Is it feasible? A Turntable that instantly converts analog to digital with error correction for wow and flutter.

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In the mid 1980's and around 1990, there were hoardes of manufacturers using a relatively simple but effective DD system.
A lightweight platter, and a weak DD servo controlled motor.
My Kenwood is one of them.
The result was no cogging, and a quick response to speed correction.
And just enough torque to eliminate any modulated-groove stylus drag issues.
Of course these turntables used mainly a P mount cartridge tracking at 1.5G.

My Kenwood for one, measured in at 0.027% wow/flutter when tested in the shop.
Kenwood specified 0.025% in their literature.
How many of todays consumer turntables can accomplish that?

It suits me fine today, so does the Audio Technica ATN3473SE stylus on it.
Not to mention the FM sidebands these speed variations create on every note.
A similar sort of thing must happen with AM after passing through "dynamic range compression" crappification. There's just no way to smoothly yet quickly adjust the volume of a 'peak' without distortion artifacts.

Ever met a person who is incapable of "lightly seasoning" their food with a salt shaker like a 'normal' person, and has to unscrew the lid to get 50x more salt every time? I think they must all work in radio & tv and music studios. /lol-end-rant..
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It appears it is possible, then, but may not be necessary, depending on your system

Cedar, which has been mentioned before, has something on its website:

invented the speed corrector that didn't need a guide tone

The Nitty Gritty is mentioned here at this website:

I also found this manual it will take some time to go through it, but here is is:


British Library › help › britishlibrary › media


I also found software called "Capstan" by searching on the web: which seems to do the same thing by recording and restoring the audio signal through computer software.

"For, in Capstan, there is now for the first time a program capable of removing wow and flutter from recorded music. Whether on tape, compact cassette, wax, shellac or vinyl"

There is a variation in the quality of recording pressings, as well, as demonstrated by Michael Fremer at RMAF 13. The song 'Walk on By" played from 17:00
sounds different between the different copies that is evident even through the voice microphone, sound system and YouTube listened to over low end headphones. It may not be possible to correct these thing electronically.
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My observations are:

(1) Speed variation. Use a belt drive with a reasonable sized motor and a heavy platter ( lots of inertia). I have seen some magnetic strobes that put a phase locked loop to the motor. It keeps adjusts every revolution.

(2) Vibration... rumble. Use the best bearing you can afford ( I just put a Karousel in my LP12... you gotta hear it to believe it).

(3) Wow and flutter... Usually caused by an off center spindle hole... Nakamichi solved that. There is another gizmo but it affects the record and is expen$$ive too.

(4) Noise.... see bearing. Not much you can do if the noise was injected from the recording.

(5) Other distortions... the cartridge must be aligned correctly. It must match the tonearm in compliance.

LP playback is mechanical so the best way to handle your concerns is to fix them mechanically.

An electronic fix might be to record a known test LP... with a silent groove, grooves at different gains with test signals ( white, pink ) and mono/stereo. Then analyze that signal and apply a correction to the recorded LP playback files. But this would still be best if the mechanical sources were addressed to begin with.

I used to use Cubase to post process my 24/96 LP recordings. I'd remove ticks by cutting off just a tiny little bit of the rising edge of the tick waveform, that turned the "CRACK" into a muted "pop" without affecting the rest of the recording. I did this manually and it was labor intensive... so I decided that keeping my records and cartridge clean were more efficient. I do suppose, however, that some such automatic processing could be implemented but I did not know if Cubase could be so programmed with a filter profile.

But for background noise, it will be quite hard. And for speed variations it will be extremely hard. Assuming a static variation, the issue will be finding the phase ( start of the cycle )... we might assume 33.33 or 45 Hz frequency. But if the rotational variation is variable ( meaning variable frequency ) then we'll be hosed. Likely it will be impossible to remove.

In the meantime, go buy yourself a good used belt drive turntable and get a Pearl 2. Cartridges will likely be an MSRP commercial product.
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What's the real basis for believing that if Tom Scholz has a low opinion of CD, the format itself must have a problem? It sounds rather suggestible, and provides a shaky foundation for much of the reasoning built therefrom.

Also, you seem eager to re-engineer vinyl playback. Elaborate digital methods applied to gramophone records make some sense for digitizing personal LP collections (decidedly not my thing) or cleaning up and preserving historical recordings, which has been happening for at least 40 years now. But as an on-the-fly approach to vinyl playback in the home, digital processing seems curiously futile. Specifically, it sounds like an attempt to eliminate things that will either be inaudible to you with good, properly set-up equipment, or that are inherent to this particular analogue format. As soon as you process vinyl digitally, you have removed the entire point of playing it from an analogue source.

And the dilemma you have made for yourself seems to arise from misconceptions both about CD and vinyl. It could be characterized as follows: you think CD is something it isn't, so you want vinyl to be something it can't be.
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In the meantime, go buy yourself a good used belt drive turntable and get a Pearl 2. Cartridges will likely be an MSRP commercial product.

This looks to be on the cards. In the intervening years between now and when I wont be able to hear anything - you can read between the lines, I want to experience all the worlds music, all the music I like. I even had a Youssou N'Dour casette once, great album. It had the song "Birima" from memory, 15 odd years ago.

So let's start with the budget. Here is a baseline in the link below. I would want a class A amplifier to start with. Or Steve Gutenberg's budget systems ($500, 1000 etc). Also speaker stands, speaker placement, room environment etc.

Specifically, it sounds like an attempt to eliminate things that will either be inaudible to you with good, properly set-up equipment, or that are inherent to this particular analogue format. As soon as you process vinyl digitally, you have removed the entire point of playing it from an analogue source.

I have to agree with you. I suddenly realized that before CD players, all music was intended for vinyl, and whatever feedback (in terms of quality) the artist got in terms of what it sounded like was either the studio tapes or vinyl. That is with the 35 dB channel separation and the 70 dB response. Inherent in the format!
You've seen the light. Good, good. There will be more than enough to keep the mind/wallet occupied just by adopting the medium. It provides near-endless scope for modifying, improving, and upgrading, and all fully within the analogue realm.

I don't believe especially in one format over another, or that (convenience aside) digital vs. analogue is a question that needs an answer, but I do believe that vinyl, done right, ought to be good enough for almost everybody who is serious about listening to music, and that there are valid reasons why some people who have high-end rigs listen to nothing but vinyl.
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Budget? Do you mean for the entire, complete system?

Used Linn LP12, Lingo, Ittok, Trampolin, Karousel. $4000. Might even find one with the Ekos I, but don't settle for anything less.
New MC cartridge... starts ar $1000.
Phono preamp: DIY Pearl 2. The BOM ALONE for mine exceeded 1100, but I figure you could do it for much less.. plus the build.
Preamp: BI1 buffer. Go DIY.
Amp: I'd go DIY. SissySIT 42. Go DIY.
Speakers: Ay.... remember you'll need 90 db/watt with that amp.

LP cleaning: At minimum, a VPI HW16.5. MINIMUM.

Stands? Get good ones, but don't go for the High End Audiophile stuff. Just make sure you can fill them with sand.

Room? We rebuilt the house from the studs about 23 years ago. New power, HVAC, home runs to the audio/video/computer, plumbing ( quiet ), etc, etc, etc... rooms all sound good. $400K. Then.

Whatever you do, make sure your room sounds good and you have a good front end. Then even a nice ACA Mini with a nice set of speakers (Elac Unifi 2 UB52 ) will play beautiful music in your room. No necessarily loud, but it will be beautiful.

I can tell you this from experience since I have all of those components and at a couple of points in time I tried them in such a combination. Does that speaker/amp combo sound as good as my other speakers/amps? No, but they sure come eerily close and are very satisfying. The front end, of course, is the constant. No compromises there.


You should know better to ask me. I don't go those articles about "set up a system for 1000, 2000, 3000, 100,000 dollars". My system(s) have been living things. The audio growing since '74, the HT since '83.
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Whatever you do, make sure your room sounds good and you have a good front end.

I appreciate your being straightforward with the prices. That is something to aim for ultimately.

I am not sure what you mean by a front end. Room treatment? But we are getting away from the topic. You mentioned HVAC - do fans or to a lesser extent
air- conditioning fans destroy the sound to some extent?

Power - power conditioning or large batteries?

I guess you have the rewarding experience of building and improving your system from day one.
By front end, I think he means the source component, so in this case the turntable including any parts directly associated with playback, like the arm and cartridge.

He has selected Linn as an example, though there's no reason why you'd automatically want to choose that over others, or why you'd need to drop $4000 on a first turntable. Most people don't, and they're not wrong. Also, if you're going the moving coil route for cartridges, which you certainly don't have to, you could start at far less than $1000 for the cart.

With the other costs mentioned, I assume tonyEE was being somewhat facetious, or at least just demonstrating where things can lead over decades of building a system. It's not unrealistic (or unwise) to start out with a budget of just a few hundred dollars for your turntable, though a little more won't hurt either. Things to consider are whether you want it to be all-in-one (tonearm included, as in your What Hi-Fi link, and probably most people's choice to start out with, because it's just easier), current production or secondhand/vintage, direct drive or belt (linear and idler are other options, though you might not want to start there). There are few easy answers to those questions, and dogmatic opinions on any of them, including those from trusted reviewers, should be treated with caution.
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This is far from topic, we are discussing my first real turntable. You mentioned used, I could purchase an used one, or, a certain relative I spoke to the other day said he had an turntable, I think it was pioneer, and throw it away because the belt had broken. I nearly fell out of my chair. He also held up another one to the video call and offerred to give that to me, should I find the model number, specs and parts and so on? I am fine with buying an used one off e-bay but how on earth do I know it is working? I had a bad experience with a Sony turntable that came with a system given to me, but it stopped working and reportedly needed some ICs replaced. No way to repair this thing. I think it had an AC direct drive motor.

Is this the real thing? Seems awfully low in price with free international shipping to where I live. Wish I had known before I ordered my Crosfield clone.
In any case, my topic question has been answered more or less. One more thing I need is : what do I find reliable information on turntables for beginners.
Is there a "turntable for Dummies", I wonder.

Here are a few sites to get started, plus the YouTube channels like Fremers'

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If you can afford buy a second hand Technics sl1200mk2 ( or relative): mine had been in play in various ( nightmarish) condition for 25 years (and i bought them second hand from a wedding dj) without any real flaw ( except easily fixed mechanical ones).

They are built like a tank, easily fixable allow for various carts to be used, can be customised ( remote psu, changing plate,...) and sound good ( not the last definitive answer but you won't be disapointed either).

MC are very nice, but depending on music you listen an MM can be as satisfying. Ortofon 'concorde' ( clubmk2) can sound very good.

Go for a diy Riaa pre ( RJM have some very good pre, Salas too).
Ths should keep you happy for years to come...
You don't know if a secondhand one will be working; it's a calculated risk. Even if it's working at time of sale, an improperly secured and packed deck can take serious damage or be completely destroyed during shipping: turntables and tape decks (open reel) are notorious for this, as are owners who don't know how to pack, and wouldn't want to spend the time and money on doing it right. But that's down to the actions of the seller, and you need to work out beforehand if they can be trusted on this. To know what to look out for, you'll have to read some forum posts on correct packing.

For any deck under consideration, if you're not already familiar with it then you should look it up. I think Vinyl Engine is probably the best place to go for that, though membership is apparently not too easy to set up these days and some parts of the site are accessible only to members. Failing that, you can ask questions about each deck that interests you. Definitely, unobtainable ICs are something you should take account of, but there are plenty of TTs that use none at all, and others that have ICs that are easily available. I believe the Technics SP10 Mk II is one such model, and in a case like that, you could just buy in some spare ICs against the day when you need to replace them. There's pretty good awareness these days of which turntables have crucial electronic parts that can't be replaced (some of the Denons, for example), so vintage in itself is not the problem.

Krivium's advice is good: you can't go far wrong with the Technics SL1200 series: they are extremely robust, parts are abundantly available, they are capable of excellent performance, and they are upgradeable. There is a huge amount of information on how to do work on them, and no doubt plenty of people who can do it for you.

Other Technics decks, if slightly less numerous, are similarly reliable: the SP25, the SP15 (with some reservations), and the SP10. For the last model, you do need to be aware of the differences between Mark I and II, in particular. It's the Mark II that gets most of the attention. And it's the Mark II that you would normally be recommended to go for if you can spend some more than the cost of an SL1200/SP25.

Some of these Technics decks don't necessarily come with a plinth or arm (and didn't in their original configurations). For that reason, you'll probably get a lot of advice to go with the 1200 over other Technics models. And it's not bad advice. You can always sell a 1200 later.
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I've bought most of my stuff used, B-stock or DIY.

Including my Linn LP12, which I bought USED around '90.

Avoid eBay. AVOID buying "vintage" receivers because the pricing went haywire and there are tons of dishonest hackers and flippers in there. An old receiver from the 70s will require $700 of work to rebuild it... yet there are flippers at eBay that claim their stuff works great, has LED lights (yuck!) and want like $400 for an old, tired Superscope because "it was built by Marantz"... pffft...

If you want a Class A amp, they are expensive... that's why I suggested the ACA Mini with a pair of Elac Unify 2 EB52. The former you can build or hopefully find one used, the latter is on eBay... I got my pair on one of their periodic sales...

Use to find components. Over the years I've been burnt twice, both times on eBay. But audiophiles tend to be very honest people, I've "met" quite a few doing buys and sales on Audiogon, Audiomart, etc.... the Canadians tend to be the most honest in their pricing but paying them, if they don't use Paypal, can be a PITA.

The Gov (IRS) is really trying to control ALL sales. They want to see 1099 forms issued even for garage sales, and the States want their sales tax. Triple whammy for eBay. Also, use only Paypal's friends and family to pay audiophiles ( bye bye credit cards, but better terms and no tax ).

IMHO, buying new is throwing money away. Something like the Linn LP12 is like Grand Pa's ax... you can always get parts.. just make sure you got someone nearby that can be trusted to work on them. If you do, then you're golden. Unless, of course, you can work on them yourself ( I won't touch mine ). Other tables tend to be more complicated in the sense that the manufacturers either don't carry old parts or are long gone... Linn seems to be rather unique - and VERY good sounding. Hence my recommendation to spend some serious money on a good used LP12.

( I'm prejudiced towards direct drives, hence I don't like the Technics... besides they got a "bent" tonearm... IMHO, "serious" tonearms are always straight!).

Cartridge is also extremely important. You might go a bit cheaper and get something like a Denon DL-301, one of the entry level Sumikos or a Grado wooden body (I currently got a Grado Master 2 low output). Phono preamp too... try to find a good used if you don't want a DIY Pearl 2...

( Check out the review archives at The Absolute Sound, Stereophile, 6Moons, etc... ).

Sure, you could get a Rega with a built in cartridge, preamp and USB DAC.. but in all honesty, if you are going to go "cheap" DO NOT bother. Just get a good DAC and use an Android tablet or a PC as streamers. IMHO, anything under $3K for an analog front end: table/tonearm, cartridge and phonostage preamp is not worth it, you can do much better with $1500 of DAC/PC or $1000 of DAC/Android tablet. Analog LPs are a mechanical medium.

And yes, the room is paramount. Make sure your rooms sounds good, otherwise you're just wasting your time and money.

IGNORE reddit/audiophile ( they are clueless ) and ASR ( they are doubly clueless, with a measurement set up and no understanding of what measurements mean. ).

Anyhow... those are my thoughts on the subject.
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All the responses are very much appreciated. They talk of an "Hi-Fidelity Paradise" and we all know the world religions talk of paradise as a doctrine to inspire followers. So be it. Also, in engineering, we look at the 'ideal system' and then calculate losses. Many possible losses here, both real and financial.

Listening to music has now become essential to me, like food and exercise. The cost is justified, up-to a point. Let us see how this progresses.

Somewhat related to the topic is the 'vinyl conversion' of which I have four albums, converted using professional turntables. I am very happy with the results, and the uncompressed sound at least. Recording noise is nothing to me, I just ignore it. Clarity is excellent, but I note the slight deficiency in bass response.
As mentioned before, all artists before the CD wanted to buy their records and play them on your system, so the intention of the artists are always fulfilled.
They never had CDs in mind.

So here is a quote

I believe that were you to conduct a blind listening test, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between the ripped file and the actual vinyl playing on the turntable.
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(1) Marantz integrated amp
(2) WAV files are "gargantuan"
(3) No description of the speakers, turntable.
(4) No description of the bit rates or format ( WAV 24/48? MP3 128CBR? )...

Bottom line... that is one heck of an poor "review". Take a good set up, High End set up. Record with a truly good AC/DAC into 24/96 WAV.... it will be very close, if not identical to the original LP.

Storage? Files... gargantuan? When you can get an 8TB USB drive from Costco for $140 bucks.... an LP, at 24/96 WAV is around 1.6GB... that's about 5000 LPs. My Android phone, and tablets, with a 512 GB flash card hold 250 LPs each... the Tidal HiFi Master recordings are about 500 LPs in the card.

The guy is an Apple guy.. pfft... Cloud... pffft...

There is a lot of noise on the Internet. This one quote you came up with is such noise.

Lack of bass... depends... I have no issues with bass, but then I believe in accurate bass. I used to do PA and recording eons ago.

I'm a scientist, engineer... got into physics because of my interest in audio.
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What is the dynamic range of the studio tapes? Artists before the digital era would have only imagined that their music would be played on records or open reel.

Searching Wikipedia generated this"

"The dynamic range of digital audio systems can exceed that of analog audio systems. Consumer analog cassette tapes have a dynamic range of 60 to 70 dB. Analog FM broadcasts rarely have a dynamic range exceeding 50 dB.[4] The dynamic range of a direct-cut vinyl record may surpass 70 dB. Analog studio master tapes can have a dynamic range of up to 77 dB."

I wonder about channel separation? What is it?
I would tell you to find vinyl in good condition first.
Vinyl = PVC, most were melted down to make soft PVC toys, slippers and such.
Poly Vinyl Chloride is the Asian name, the Americans call it vinyl.

Then you can work on good quality reproduction.
Particularly in your remote location, finding or shipping records there is difficult or expensive.

No offense meant, but your question is a little imaginary, in the sense that you want an error correcting reproduction system.
The music is important, not the medium, and the same music is available on optical disc and cloud storage, some is free, some is paid.
So the need for an error correcting turn table was simply not there, though servo speed controls for electric generators and motors have been around since WW2.
And there has always been a set of rich people willing to spend money on wild ideas.
I am sure somebody would have built one in the heyday of vinyl, was shifting to cassette tapes by that time, and by 1990 vinyl records were more or less out of production.
This means your chances of finding well preserved vinyl from previous to 1980 are...?
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Channel separation is also the "crosstalk" between channels. That is, if a signal was recorded on one channel only, the separation specifies how loud it will be heard on the other channel when the recording appears on the record.

Most cartridges have a channel separation around 30db -usually quoted at 1Khz. Which is actually quite a bit and sufficient for a good stereo presentation. For some reason, it turns out that a little bit of crosstalk is good for localizing the signal, otherwise it's heard as L or R "mono"... Go figure. Channel separation is also frequency dependent... at the low end it's mono.

High bit rate digital, DSD have the best dynamic range... same with 24/192 and 24/96. They claim something like 120db or more. The main advantage of 96Khz and above recording rates over 48 and below is the gentler encoding filters which do not introduce phase shift and other artifacts in the audio band ( generally 20->20Khz bandwidth). ( More below ).

Wide word sizes ( 14, 16, 24 ) allow for smaller encoding data delta inter sample... so the signal has more information... meaning it can be reconstructed with higher fidelity. Naturally, higher sampling rates also allow for smaller errors from sample to sample when the signal is reconstructed.

LP dynamic range is also frequency dependent. I believe that as a rule of thumb LPs have a dynamic range up to 50dB. Higher quality pressings, the loudness of the signal as cut, different cartridges, stylus shapes, turntable rumble, cleanliness (next to Godliness), etc.. all affect the dynamic range.

Now one thing to remember... the truly astounding sad thing to note... as the recording mediums have yielded mind boggling dynamic ranges, the music industry had gone backwards... to "squashed" dynamic ranges of less than 10db.

You can hear this pressing "for AM radio" in 60s and 70s LPs... where in otherwise well produced LPs, the songs meant to be the "hits", that meant to get heavy rotation on AM radio, were compressed. Just grab a Frank Sinatra LP from the 60s and listen to it. Nelson Riddle sounded fantastic... until the "hit" song started to play...

IMHO, LPs from the 70s have the best combination of volume, dynamic range and crosstalk. They truly took care of production then, during the 80s they started to record with early Digital and the ensuing sound... well, forget it. The 60s and even 50s had some great production too, but just not as good as, say, a Warner Brothers LP from the 70s..

Yep.. the current state of American Pop Music... sucks.

Oh, @BasicHIFI1, that "review" that your link posted to... note the guy showed his Grado SR80... That is an entry level set... I had one eons ago.... I got an SR325ix and an Oppo PM3. I would hide an SR80. That choice of headphones makes me wonder about the quality of his audio set up.
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This means your chances of finding well preserved vinyl from previous to 1980 are...?

I think most of us in this forum would prove the exception to your claim.

When I look around my home office, I see two full walls of LPs.

Some of my visitors glance at the 200 or so LPs in the living room, near the turntable and they think THAT's the collection... in reality that's the current rotation. I then take them into my inner sanctum... my own "Man Cave".. where instead of a big TV, my records, books, computers and an electronic bench reside. ;-)

Oh wow!... is the typical response.

The records are there... but they are getting expensive.... but there are some stupendous new LPs being re-issued. I got some MoFi 45 rpm that sound awesome... DSD mastering or not...
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