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Hiss/buzz noises in soprano voices

Posted on March 18, 2017 at 07:37:55
Da He Hua

Posts: 36
Joined: December 13, 2016
I have been enjoying my Denon 103 cart since I installed it about 5 weeks ago. But today as I was listening to a record with soprano singing, I heard fairly severe noises that you may call hiss or buzz - the sound is no longer clean and round, but has this hairy buzz in it. The at issue record is Peter Maag conducting Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream. Not the Decca original but a London reissue. The soprano track is the spotted snakes song which in the most inner track fairly close to the record label area. I then listened to an early digital recording on the Delos label featuring trumpets. The first track was fine with no hisses or buzzes in high pitched trumpet sounds. In the second track, I could detect a little unclean noises, but not as severe. I know this could be caused by many things: record pressing, cartridge set up, or amp or speaker issues. I was wondering what your recommendations would be to further diagnose what might be the cause. Thank you.


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RE: Hiss/buzz noises in soprano voices, posted on March 18, 2017 at 10:35:33

Posts: 630
Location: North Carolina
Joined: December 19, 2015
January 1, 2017
If it's occurring on more than one LP and gets worse as the cartridge approaches the label, first thing I'd check would be your antiskate. Could be set for too much "anti", and it's pulling the arm into the left wall of the groove. Try reducing it to a lesser setting and see if that helps. Next thing to check would be your VTF. Set it to the upper part of the range recommended by the cartridge manufacturer (too little tracking weight can cause LP damage more easily than too much via mistracking). Finally check your cartridge alignment to be sure it's spot on.

There's also a possibility that the LP's themselves have some groove damage. Have you always owned them, or did you buy them used?


RE: Hiss/buzz noises in soprano voices, posted on March 18, 2017 at 14:43:52

Posts: 1416
Joined: January 11, 2011
Is this a trend you notice with other LPs near the middle and inner grooves? The most likely cause would be tracking error. Also, the spherical tip has an inherent distortion that results in coarseness as you move to the inner grooves. You will find many saying that they don't have this problem - it depends on the music you are listening to and classical music especially orchestral tends to highlight deficiencies. Bcowen's suggestion of antiskate is also a prime candidate to examine. Since antiskate is proportional to the tracking error, I would be looking to verify your tracking alignment first.
Regards Anthony

"Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty.." Keats


RE: Hiss/buzz noises in soprano voices, posted on March 18, 2017 at 19:00:32
Da He Hua

Posts: 36
Joined: December 13, 2016
I haven't observed a trend yet. I had the 103 for 5 weeks (bought brand new), and I haven't heard the noises until today. The VTF is set at 2.5 gram (but it was done manually by balancing the counterweight and then dialing to 2.5 as I don't have a gauge) and the antiskate is also 2.5.


RE: Hiss/buzz noises in soprano voices, posted on March 18, 2017 at 19:27:51

Posts: 3825
Joined: November 13, 2001
February 18, 2003
Well, maybe the very first thing to check is for crud on the stylus or damage to the tip or cantilever. You need bright light and some sort of microscope, maybe 40-50X minimum. The last time I had this issue, it turned out to be a damaged cantilever on a cart I'd purchased used.

Others have said these:

Check VTF- maybe something got knocked and your VTF is low. Buy a cheap gauge- its worth having the few basic tools, protect your investment in diamonds!

Is your table level? Sometimes funny things happen when the table is not dead level.

Try taking the A.S. all the way off and see if the scraping goes away nearer the label.

Get out the ol' alignment protractor, make sure none of the stylus mounting hardware is loose or wonky, then check alignment. I like the little mirror one from Turntable Basics for around $20 for a quick check, keep one handy.


I know that Lp well, there's a bit of overload on that track and likely caused other carts to damage grooves, posted on March 18, 2017 at 19:38:34

Posts: 19007
Location: No. California
Joined: December 16, 2003
I've tried the Blueback and multiple Treasury's. Voice is very up close. I'm surprised it's so revered as a recording. I prefer Ansermet's.


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