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Topic: Is there anything "bad" on having no automatic vinyl arm? (Read 11349 times) previous topic - next topic
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Is there anything "bad" on having no automatic vinyl arm?

Hi,

I recently bought my first own vinyl player, one of those with an arm without a motor. Is there anything bad on having such, except that it's a bit more effort to set the needle to the track?

Just wondering. It seems to make diagonal extra lines on my LPs.
audiophile // FLAC and Opus user // using too many audio players

Is there anything "bad" on having no automatic vinyl arm?

Reply #1
Most high-end turntables are fully manual.  There are some turntables that only raise the stylus off the record at the end.    (Automatic turntables don't usually have a separate motor for the tonearm.  It's usually a mechanism that is operated from the platter rotation.)

On most turntables, you'll find a "cue lever" that gently lowers (and raises) the tonearm  so there is less chance of damage to the record.

Quote
Just wondering. It seems to make diagonal extra lines on my LPs.
That shouldn't be happening.  Do you hear any damage to the sound?

Is there anything "bad" on having no automatic vinyl arm?

Reply #2
Yes, there is such a lever. I was just wondering if I made something wrong here.

Hm, not sure, the music sounds OK to me. The LP I tried last has some weird marks on the tracks which were played though. Not sure if they were there before.
audiophile // FLAC and Opus user // using too many audio players

Is there anything "bad" on having no automatic vinyl arm?

Reply #3
The important questions are
Is the cartridge alignment correct?
Is the tonearm adjusted correctly?

Of course, on some lower end TTs there are no user adjustments but that does not mean everything is fine.

Is there anything "bad" on having no automatic vinyl arm?

Reply #4
[quote author=AndyH-ha link=msg=872441 date=1408412803]Is the cartridge alignment correct?[/quote]

How can I see that?

[quote author=AndyH-ha link=msg=872441 date=1408412803]Is the tonearm adjusted correctly?[/quote]

It's horizontal when not playing.
audiophile // FLAC and Opus user // using too many audio players



Is there anything "bad" on having no automatic vinyl arm?

Reply #7
[quote author=AndyH-ha link=msg=872457 date=1408444457]Look here and you should find plenty of explanation

https://www.google.com/search?q=tone+arm+se...&channel=sb[/quote]

Thanks.

What brand/model is this turntable you have bought?


This one:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dual-301-1-DJ-Plat...g/dp/B0076Z72RQ
audiophile // FLAC and Opus user // using too many audio players

Is there anything "bad" on having no automatic vinyl arm?

Reply #8
[quote author=AndyH-ha link=msg=872457 date=1408444457]Look here and you should find plenty of explanation

https://www.google.com/search?q=tone+arm+se...&channel=sb


Thanks.

What brand/model is this turntable you have bought?


This one:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dual-301-1-DJ-Plat...g/dp/B0076Z72RQ
[/quote]
I used to have a Dual 505 turntable, and it came with a clip-on alignment thingy, which got the cartridge fairly close to spot-on.

Is there anything "bad" on having no automatic vinyl arm?

Reply #9
Hi,

I recently bought my first own vinyl player, one of those with an arm without a motor. Is there anything bad on having such, except that it's a bit more effort to set the needle to the track?

Just wondering. It seems to make diagonal extra lines on my LPs.


The only negative about a manual turntable, is falling asleep with an album playing to wake up many hours with it still running adding many hours of wear to the stylus.

Is there anything "bad" on having no automatic vinyl arm?

Reply #10
one of those with an arm without a motor [...]


You mean, one with a radial arm (fixed pivot) rather than a tangential arm (base of arm closer to centre on the inner groove). You got the common solution, the one to the right:



This sketch exaggerates the advantage (if any) of a tangential arm. The stylus is close to a point, so it does fit into the groove even if not at zero degrees angle. It still does matter whether the "groove movement" is orthogonal to the arm or not, and AFAIK most (virtually all?) vinyl cutters are tangential, here are  a couple of nice pictures: http://transcoder.fr/images%20site/T-560.jpg and http://thewallpapers.narod.ru/archive07/ve...yl_recorder.jpg (the radial arms are for playback!)

A tangential arm aims to resolve that angle issue, but adds more movable parts to a mechanical system supposed to pick up only the motion in the groove. Most turntables have radial arms, and especially in the low brackets you do not want to pay for that extra mechanics AND for the more elaborate engineering required to solve those problems it creates. Even in the expensive bracket, the radial arms dominate.



Just wondering. It seems to make diagonal extra lines on my LPs.


You do not mean it creates scars? Just that it is positioned slightly diagonally except somewhere in song number two-ish?
High Voltage socket-nose-avatar

Is there anything "bad" on having no automatic vinyl arm?

Reply #11
A tangential arm aims to resolve that angle issue, but adds more movable parts to a mechanical system supposed to pick up only the motion in the groove. Most turntables have radial arms, and especially in the low brackets you do not want to pay for that extra mechanics AND for the more elaborate engineering required to solve those problems it creates. Even in the expensive bracket, the radial arms dominate.


Ah, thanks.

You do not mean it creates scars? Just that it is positioned slightly diagonally except somewhere in song number two-ish?


It looks like scars. 
audiophile // FLAC and Opus user // using too many audio players

Is there anything "bad" on having no automatic vinyl arm?

Reply #12
How do these marks look, can you take a picture? And also one of how the tonearm/pickup sits on the record?

When lowering the tonearm, you have to be gentle, don't just bang the lever straight down. A lot of turntables have a damped mechanism to do this, but some are undamped. Some even require you to grab the tonearm and do this completely by hand, which requires a gentle touch.

A record should obviously bear no marks from being played back. If it does, some kind of damage has occurred.

Is there anything "bad" on having no automatic vinyl arm?

Reply #13
I'll be back on my vinyl station in about nine hours. I'll post pictures then.
audiophile // FLAC and Opus user // using too many audio players

Is there anything "bad" on having no automatic vinyl arm?

Reply #14
Here's my copy of "f#a#infinity". You can see which part I listened to. Not sure if that's intended.

audiophile // FLAC and Opus user // using too many audio players

Is there anything "bad" on having no automatic vinyl arm?

Reply #15
That does look a bit strange.

Is anything other than the stylus itself touching the record during playback?

Is there anything "bad" on having no automatic vinyl arm?

Reply #16
No, nothing. 
audiophile // FLAC and Opus user // using too many audio players

Is there anything "bad" on having no automatic vinyl arm?

Reply #17
And the turntable is correctly setup (tracking weight, antiskating, cartridge alignment), and plays well enough?

If that is the case, I am at a loss to what the problem could be.

Is there anything "bad" on having no automatic vinyl arm?

Reply #18
Are these marks making an audible 'damage' noise when you play the tracks again?

And does anyone else have a vinyl copy of this album who can post a comparison photo?

Is there anything "bad" on having no automatic vinyl arm?

Reply #19
And the turntable is correctly setup (tracking weight, antiskating, cartridge alignment), and plays well enough?


It's balanced horizontally and sounds fine in my ears. (Which probably aren't the best ears you could find.)

Are these marks making an audible 'damage' noise when you play the tracks again?


No, not yet. I just don't want them to start doing so.
audiophile // FLAC and Opus user // using too many audio players

Is there anything "bad" on having no automatic vinyl arm?

Reply #20
And the turntable is correctly setup (tracking weight, antiskating, cartridge alignment), and plays well enough?


It's balanced horizontally and sounds fine in my ears. (Which probably aren't the best ears you could find.)

Are these marks making an audible 'damage' noise when you play the tracks again?


No, not yet. I just don't want them to start doing so.

Once you balanced it horizontally, did you then apply the recommended tracking force? And how much was that? And how did you measure it?

Is there anything "bad" on having no automatic vinyl arm?

Reply #21
I, honestly, have no clue. The manual advised me to guess, so I did. I applied the force so that it won't press on the LP.
audiophile // FLAC and Opus user // using too many audio players

Is there anything "bad" on having no automatic vinyl arm?

Reply #22
OK, you really really need to read up on how to set up a turntable, and find the recommended values for the specific cartridge/stylus you're using. It sounds to me like you've set the tracking weight to the lowest possible amount, which is actually much worse than having the tracking weight too high.

Your cartridge will have a specific tracking weight range, and the recommended "ideal" tracking weight is usually right in the middle. For instance the Ortofon OM-5E that I am using specifies 1.5-2.0g tracking weight and recommends 1.75g. You set the tracking weight using the counterweight on the back of the tonearm. First adjust the counterweight so the tonearm balances perfectly. Then turn only the scale, not the weight itself to zero it out. Then you can turn the whole weight+scale to the recommended value. After this, you should set the anti-skating (usually a small dial near the base of the tonearm assembly) to the same value. Setting anti-skating to the same value as the tracking weight is not 100% perfect, but it's usually very close to correct.

But these two adjustments are only the most basic adjustments you can make on a turntable, and you really should thoroughly read a good guide to turntable setup, such as this: http://gizmodo.com/5216965/how-to-calibrat...-possible-sound

Ideally you should find someone who can help you in person, since a couple of aspects can be counter-intuitive, and having a second person there to guide you can be invaluable.

Is there anything "bad" on having no automatic vinyl arm?

Reply #23
It sounds to me like you've set the tracking weight to the lowest possible amount, which is actually much worse than having the tracking weight too high.


Hmm, just curious: Why?
audiophile // FLAC and Opus user // using too many audio players

Is there anything "bad" on having no automatic vinyl arm?

Reply #24
OK, you really really need to read up on how to set up a turntable, and find the recommended values for the specific cartridge/stylus you're using. It sounds to me like you've set the tracking weight to the lowest possible amount, which is actually much worse than having the tracking weight too high.

Your cartridge will have a specific tracking weight range, and the recommended "ideal" tracking weight is usually right in the middle. For instance the Ortofon OM-5E that I am using specifies 1.5-2.0g tracking weight and recommends 1.75g. You set the tracking weight using the counterweight on the back of the tonearm. First adjust the counterweight so the tonearm balances perfectly. Then turn only the scale, not the weight itself to zero it out. Then you can turn the whole weight+scale to the recommended value. After this, you should set the anti-skating (usually a small dial near the base of the tonearm assembly) to the same value. Setting anti-skating to the same value as the tracking weight is not 100% perfect, but it's usually very close to correct.

But these two adjustments are only the most basic adjustments you can make on a turntable, and you really should thoroughly read a good guide to turntable setup, such as this: http://gizmodo.com/5216965/how-to-calibrat...-possible-sound

Ideally you should find someone who can help you in person, since a couple of aspects can be counter-intuitive, and having a second person there to guide you can be invaluable.

Looking at close-ups on the Amazon link he posted, it isn't the usual Dual arm, with the side-mounted tracking weight adjustment dial. But there is a scale on the counterweight itself, so once you've balanced the arm, give it (at a guess) 1.5g to 1.75g.

From distant memory, once the arm is balanced, rotate the dial (not the counterweight) until the zero is top and centre, then turn both the dial and counterweight together 'til it shows 1.5g.

 
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