Tweaks for an old cartridges part 2 - diyAudio
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Old 10th September 2006, 01:54 PM   #1
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Default Tweaks for an old cartridges part 2

This is a follow up on my previous post, I thought I'd post it seperately as I think it might be helpful to a few folk trying to get good results for next to nothing.

I decided to try mounting the cartridge on my TT using cork pads between the headshell and cart, this actually made quite a difference despite the fact I was still using the conventional nuts and bolts.

I then tried just the cork with double sided tape, this worked even better, but the tape let go after 24hrs or so.

Then I tried just a piece of thin double sided foam tape, now this truly is an amazing tweak, way way beyond what I thought possible.

First of all the tape is very secure, no indication after 3 days of letting go at all. The difference in sound is incredible, surface noise is reduced to very very low levels and suddenly old LPs that were too worn to listen to are quite fine. You may think this would kill the resolution but it is quite the opposite, high frequencies are utterly beautiful and I can hear details that I have not heard before. This is simply the most stunning tweak I have ever tried.

Downsides...none I can think of, other than readjusting the VTA.

I am not sure why it works so well but I think it is that the dust and rubbish rests in the bottom of the grooves not the wall so much so the dust will tiend to force the needle upwards, the foam absorbs this impact. The sideways motion in the grooves is unimpeded as laterally the foam is still in both horizontal direction, however it probably has just enough give to soften lateral impacts from nicks etc in worn recordings.

It might sound too good to be true, but all I can say is if you are battling with old worn LPs try it, it also makes good ones sound better on my system anyway.

Next up armour-all. I tried this to get better results from worn LPs that were pretty trashed so I could make them good enough to transfer to digital for editing. Something funny happened on the way to the computer however! One of the LPs (Crime of the Century) found its way onto the turntable and got played several times, mainly because I really love the album. however I played three tracks many times and the others only once.

I noticed that each time a played the LP the needle picked up a black collection of dust and gunk on the needle. This was easily removed with a brush dipped in metho, nothing at all stuck to the stylus.

The really neat thing is that each time I played the record it sounded better and cleaner, probably because it was cleaner. Playing one of the tracks that had only been played once and comparing to those played several times showed this to be far more than imagination.

I'm no suggesting that armour-all is something to use as a general thing, there may be deficits I haven't yet come across but the results are more than a little interesting.

Hope it helps someone.
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Old 11th September 2006, 08:06 AM   #2
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just a little follow up, I armour-alled a crook disc this morning and then ran it for 4 times each side while I was working in the office just to see how many playings were needed to get ot sounding nice.

The first run totally clogged the stylus by the end of each side and filled the area around the stylus with black sooty fluff, the second picked up about half as much and the third a little bit, the fourth showed just the smallest build up, much less than normal playings.

This was done on a record that was already wet cleaned so I imagine a dirty one would create a real mess.

The sound after 4 passes is really very nice and vastly better than the untreated recording.
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Old 11th September 2006, 09:23 AM   #3
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I'm getting a little curious now. I tried a Google-search on "Armour-all", and all i can find is auto care products or dresses
Do you have a link for the product you are using ? I'd like to try this on my old 60's records, that hasn't all been taken care off.

Best regards
Ebbe
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Old 11th September 2006, 09:35 AM   #4
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Ebbe your on the right track, it is an auto care product, so cheap as chips. I'd say one bottle would do a thousand LPs. Wash the records first in soapy water or similar, dont rinse, let them dry then use a micro fibre dusting cloth with a little armour-all on it and rub in circular motion.

Then play the LP a few times, cleaning the stylus between plays and finally sit back and listen. I promise the result is amazing.

Oh and make sure you give your turntable mat a good clean first.

You will end up with a slight oily looking film on the inside of your dust covers, doesn't matter just wipe the LP each time before you play it with a micro fibre dust cloth.

Try and post your findings.

All the best
Brad.
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Old 11th September 2006, 09:44 AM   #5
es44 is offline es44  Denmark
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I don't know if we've got Armour-all as a brand in DK, but maybe other products will do I've got some Turtle polish in nano tecnology, but i'm not sure if i've got the nerve to try it out.
Maybe i should try and find an old German schlager record somewhere, that way it will be no loss if things go wrong

Thanks for all your great ( and cheap )ideas, some of them wil certainly be tried out over time.

All the best
Ebbe
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Old 11th September 2006, 09:58 AM   #6
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Hi Ebb
Armourall is not a wax it is a liquid protectant, mainly for vinyl, rubber and plastic surfaces, to protect it against UV and shine it up. It is about the consistency of water and has no colour.

Use sparingly and recoat later if you need more.

I think there are several similar products available. it is big here in OZ where sun damage of car interiors is a major issue.

Hope it helps.
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Old 11th September 2006, 10:21 AM   #7
es44 is offline es44  Denmark
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Ok, i get it now. I'm sure i can dig up something similar as i've been working in car business for the last 37 years
Still i will find a couple of old records that's expendable, just in case

Thanks a lot
Ebbe
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Old 11th September 2006, 11:17 AM   #8
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Yep Ebbe I would run with some old ones, the products you have may not be exactly the same.

You might like to try mounting the cart on the thin double sided foam tape too, this helps heaps with worn records (in my system anyway). You could always unstick it and bolt it up normally if it doesn't help.
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Old 11th September 2006, 11:38 AM   #9
es44 is offline es44  Denmark
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Quote:
Originally posted by Zero One

You might like to try mounting the cart on the thin double sided foam tape too, this helps heaps with worn records (in my system anyway). You could always unstick it and bolt it up normally if it doesn't help.

That's one of the first of your tricks i'd go for, your thoughts sound quite convincing to me. And my stock of double sided tape is quite big, hehe.
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Old 11th September 2006, 11:59 AM   #10
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Thanks, let me know how it goes.
Brad.
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