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Hey guys,

I finally got my Technics SL1200 and my Shure M92E cartridge, and I noticed some things after setting it all up. First off though, I'm really happy that I can actually play my records! It's so cool!

I noticed immediately that there was a definite lack in bass in comparision to the same album played on my ipod, or from a CD. Is this not normal, is it a lack of quality from my cartridge, or am I expecting too much? It doesn't seem like my sub is doing much on the Rush - Snakes and Arrows vinyl.

My copy of Feist's Let It Die album doesn't sound very good at all. The highs sound all staticy, even though they are fine on other records. What's that about?
 

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I noticed immediately that there was a definite lack in bass in comparision to the same album played on my ipod, or from a CD. Is this not normal...?
It may be the cartridge, but it could also depend on the album. IIR, records were limited in the intensity and/or bass levels that could be cut into the grooves. If they went overboard, it could launch the stylus right out of the groove - or so they said on the test disc I got with my Shure V15 Type V-MR cartridge.

So it's possible that the album you're talking about was more bass limited than the producer or artist really wanted at the time, and when that album was re-mastered to CD they took advantage of the medium's capabilities and did it the way they originally wanted to. Speculation for sure, but not out of the realm of possibility.

There could be other factors as well. It could be that your pre-amp has a built-in rumble filter. Low frequency surface noise was a problem with records, as well as mechanical noise from the turntable itself (center bearing, drive pulleys, etc.). This was often addressed by designing heavy turntables that acted as a mechanical dampener, and further addressed with well-dampened tone arms.

So, there could be any number of reasons why you're getting less bass from the LP version of a recording.

My copy of Feist's Let It Die album doesn't sound very good at all. The highs sound all staticy, even though they are fine on other records. What's that about?
Probably background noise from subtle clicks and pops. Not all record quality was the same. I had trouble with some sounding like they had been used as Frisbees, right out of the shrink wrap - all kinds of clicks and pops audible between tracks, and in the background during the songs, especially during quiet passages. Other, better-quality records had a very quiet noise floor.

I'll bet you're starting to see why CD buried vinyl. :D

Regards,
Wayne
 

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You cold try giving the LP a good cleaning, most people say using a mix of distilled water and alcohol works the best.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It may be the cartridge, but it could also depend on the album. IIR, records were limited in the intensity and/or bass levels that could be cut into the grooves. If they went overboard, it could launch the stylus right out of the groove - or so they said on the test disc I got with my Shure V15 Type V-MR cartridge.

So it's possible that the album you're talking about was more bass limited than the producer or artist really wanted at the time, and when that album was re-mastered to CD they took advantage of the medium's capabilities and did it the way they originally wanted to. Speculation for sure, but not out of the realm of possibility.

There could be other factors as well. It could be that your pre-amp has a built-in rumble filter. Low frequency surface noise was a problem with records, as well as mechanical noise from the turntable itself (center bearing, drive pulleys, etc.). This was often addressed by designing heavy turntables that acted as a mechanical dampener, and further addressed with well-dampened tone arms.

So, there could be any number of reasons why you're getting less bass from the LP version of a recording.

Probably background noise from subtle clicks and pops. Not all record quality was the same. I had trouble with some sounding like they had been used as Frisbees, right out of the shrink wrap - all kinds of clicks and pops audible between tracks, and in the background during the songs, especially during quiet passages. Other, better-quality records had a very quiet noise floor.

I'll bet you're starting to see why CD buried vinyl. :D

Regards,
Wayne
These albums I am referring to were all pressed within at least the last..6 years. Snakes and Arrows came out two years ago, and many records are still being produced today, like Radiohead's "In Rainbows".

I dont mean to come off as rude and I apologize profusely if I am, I'm just pointing this out because you use "had" and "was" which I find odd, since they are still plentifully available, know what I mean?. No hurt feelings? :)


I talked to my buddy at school and he said that the bass thing is normal, because "you can't get a lot of bass from records anyways" and I'm asuming that it is because - like you said - a phyical limitation of the hardware. Led Zeppelin I has more bass than a lot of my other albums though.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I totally just fixed my low bass response problem!

I recorded from my turntable to a digital recorder and then listened to it, and noticed that the audio was totally out of phase, so I checked the cartridge out, and sure enough, it wasn't connected correctly. So, I reconnected it correctly and HUZZAH! I now have audio bliss! :D :D
 

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I actually prefer the ortofon needles over most shure needles for bass response.
From my dj days I liked the concord series but now use the hifi series ... and also liked the product called Groove Glide for maintaining my records that got a lot of mileage (you do seem to lose a very slight touch on the highs if you use it though but your vinyl and needles both last longer)

http://www.ortofon.com/

http://www.grooveglide.com/
 

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Hey Travis, I have the same turntable. I doubt it is the cartridge. I've had the same problems with some of my albums but I really think it is the albums themselves. It really depends on the quality of their recording and the condition of the albums. Perhaps your playing an old album which was either used quite a bit or more importantly played with an inferior stylus so now it is ruined. Try playing new high quality albums and see if you here a difference, I bet you will. Another problem may be that you didn't set up your stylus correctly, meaning the weight. I mike me too heavy or too light. You can play with adjustments until you get the best sound.
 
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