Turntable Pitch problem

Printable View

  • 11-25-2010, 03:46 PM
    kiwi32
    Turntable Pitch problem
    Hello,fellow users,
    Some of you might remember a litlle setup I was building ( http://bit.ly/ekycq9 ).
    Today I have a question concerning the turntable part of my setup.

    Everything started when I wanted to give vinyl a try.After reading so many positive comments about it,I got a Technics SL-J1 to listen to my classics I have on my computers mostly in MP3,a bit in FLAC.Note that since I listen to a lot of things but mostly disco,funk,soul of pre-1985 a lot of my music was actually recorded to vinyl originally.

    At first I had an old kenwood amp with a phono input that worked fine.A basic test gave me a reasonnable sound quality with records(using the SL-J1)
    After a few months of not using it,I got a Behringer pre-amp and a Denon AVR-4xx receive and now I have a serious pitch problem.

    You can get the original recording from my tt to my computer of one of my vinyl,saturday night fever,track 1(a fifth of bethoven by Walter Murphy) here: http://bit.ly/dXQ45A

    Here is a slowed down version with an edited pitch to show the problem: http://bit.ly/fqtb38

    In short,the pitch changes constantly during the reading.The needle seems stable,and I do not see any apparent problem.This is my very first turntable,but it looks like the speed is changing.Or maybe its the pre-amp?

    Any help with this matter would be appreciated,thanks!


    Video in use 1: http://bit.ly/dEqG82
    Video in use 2: http://bit.ly/hjseK0

    Pictures:
    http://bit.ly/ezFCHJ
    http://bit.ly/ealpJi
    http://bit.ly/grGPZ1
  • 11-25-2010, 05:36 PM
    Luvin Da Blues
    Technics TTs usually have rock solid speed consistency. My first guess is the belt. Make sure the belt is 'seated' on the platter and pulley correctly and is not stretched.

    If you need a new belt you can get it online.

    http://www.turntablebasics.com/belts/technics.html

    Good Luck
  • 11-25-2010, 06:24 PM
    JohnMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Luvin Da Blues
    Technics TTs usually have rock solid speed consistency. My first guess is the belt. Make sure the belt is 'seated' on the platter and pulley correctly and is not stretched.

    If you need a new belt you can get it online.

    http://www.turntablebasics.com/belts/technics.html

    Good Luck



    Good Answer! I would also suspect the belt and would order a new one before I looked further. The belt has stretched with age and may have hardened which would cause it to slip. Before you put on the new belt I would clean the pulley and the underside of the platter where the belt makes contact in case oils have coated the parts. Wipe it with an alcohol pad to clean or a cloth with a degreaser detergent to rid the oil/grease. Let dry and try the new belt.
  • 11-25-2010, 06:32 PM
    Luvin Da Blues
    Thanks JM. :)

    OP - I picked up a 'new in box' 80's Micro Seiki Belt driven TT a few years back and a couple of issues right out of the box were;

    1) The spindle the platter sits on needed oil desperately. So, check that your platter spins freely with the belt disengaged and oil if needed.

    2) My TT has a speed adjustment. I needed to work it back and forth quite a few times to 'sweep' the contacts clean due to corrosion that built up.
  • 11-25-2010, 06:41 PM
    kiwi32
    Thanks all for all the quick answers!
    I did played with the belt since it fell of the platter after a while.I will shoot for a new one and will post a video of the inner works and how I am manipulating it so you can tell me if its right.
    Thanks again !
  • 11-26-2010, 02:44 AM
    poppachubby
    I don't have time to reference your model. If your table has variable pitch control, then my guess is not the belt, but rather the internal pots on the motor control board. Do you have a manual? If you open it up, there should be one pot for each speed your table offers.

    You need to clean these thoroughly with contact cleaner...I mean thoroughly. Also clean out the dial or slider on the front panel. Then you must calibrate it. Set the slider/dial to centre/zero/halfway and use the pot to set the correct speed. This may require leaving it open and can be a real PITA. Some models have holes in their platters to allow access into the unit while working, this could help deopending on the location of the pots.

    Once you do this your pitch will be perfect, like the day it left the factory. You should try out the belt firstly, since a new belt is probably a good idea anyhow.

    Good luck.
  • 11-26-2010, 03:50 AM
    kiwi32
    My Turntable does not have pitch control(not that I know of).
    Here is the manual: http://bit.ly/idyNAl
    Thanks.
  • 11-26-2010, 12:10 PM
    poppachubby
    Hmmm. No it doesn't. Have you cleaned up the speed selector? Give it a whirl anyhow.
  • 12-30-2010, 09:03 AM
    kiwi32
    Ok,so heres a small update:
    The belt is ordered from Luvin da Blues's link.I have yet to receive it.
    I also made a small video to show you the belt and platter:
    <object width="1280" height="745"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/I5PUoOf-pwI?fs=1&amp;hl=fr_FR&amp;hd=1&amp;color1=0x2b405b &amp;color2=0x6b8ab6"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/I5PUoOf-pwI?fs=1&amp;hl=fr_FR&amp;hd=1&amp;color1=0x2b405b &amp;color2=0x6b8ab6" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="1280" height="745"></embed></object>

    I will let you know if the problem is fixed with the belt once I get it.If not I'll check the speed selector,but I prefer not to play with it if its not the problem.

    Thanks,and happy new year !

    Off topic: I will also soon receive a Yamaha CDR-HD1000 for 125$ ! Cant wait to try it!
  • 01-14-2011, 07:52 PM
    kiwi32
    Hello,
    This is a small post to thank everybody for their help.I changed the belt(witch was much tighter than the old one) and my turntable is rocking again perfectly !
    I still have a few questions for you audio folks but I will post them in separated thread to keep it clean.
    Thank again,good weekend.
  • 01-15-2011, 04:17 AM
    Luvin Da Blues
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kiwi32
    Hello,
    This is a small post to thank everybody for their help.I changed the belt(witch was much tighter than the old one) and my turntable is rocking again perfectly !
    I still have a few questions for you audio folks but I will post them in separated thread to keep it clean.
    Thank again,good weekend.

    I'm glad it worked out for you..

    Cheers,

    LDB
  • 01-17-2012, 06:43 PM
    Awesoman
    I am having a similiar problem with pitch. Just got a Sony PS-LX300USB turntable. I'm noticing some odd variations in pitch on several of the vinyl records I'm trying to record. The pitch seems to bend quite a bit. I'm pretty new to turntables in general but it seems pretty odd that the belt is already having problems this soon. I've tried disassembling the turntables parts and putting them back in again with no real change in the pitch problems. What am I missing here?
  • 01-17-2012, 09:33 PM
    02audionoob
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Awesoman View Post
    I am having a similiar problem with pitch. Just got a Sony PS-LX300USB turntable. I'm noticing some odd variations in pitch on several of the vinyl records I'm trying to record. The pitch seems to bend quite a bit. I'm pretty new to turntables in general but it seems pretty odd that the belt is already having problems this soon. I've tried disassembling the turntables parts and putting them back in again with no real change in the pitch problems. What am I missing here?

    When you have an old decent turntable and you hear pitch fluctuations, it's likely because of a specific problem, like oxidized speed control contacts or a loose belt. When you have a new, inexpensive turntable it more likely a limitation of the quality of the unit. Many people's ears are too good for these low-end USB turntables on the market.

    To make a long story short, you probably just need a better turntable.
  • 01-18-2012, 08:08 PM
    Awesoman
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 02audionoob View Post

    To make a long story short, you probably just need a better turntable.

    That's what I was afraid of. But before I splunk down more money on another unit, I'd like to know if there is anything I could try to get this one working again. It is entirely possible I did something wrong when setting the turntable up. Should I take a look at getting another belt for it? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
  • 01-18-2012, 08:38 PM
    02audionoob
    Is your turntable new? Does the belt feel snug?
  • 01-19-2012, 07:51 PM
    Awesoman
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 02audionoob View Post
    Is your turntable new? Does the belt feel snug?

    Yes the turntable is brand new; got it as a Christmas gift. The belt appears to be snug; I have it wrapped around the inner side of the record plate and looped around the motor pulley.
  • 01-19-2012, 08:50 PM
    02audionoob
    Some guesses: If the pitch variations you hear happen at a fast frequency (several times per second) then that's flutter...a limitation of a low-end turntable. If it happens once per rotation, you might have a defective record or platter. If it happens erratically and lasts for more than a rotation, your speed control could be malfunctioning.
  • 01-28-2012, 06:24 PM
    Awesoman
    Well I ended up swapping out the turntable with another one. Same model but this time I also bought a long USB cable that will reach from my entertainment center to my PC. That way I'm not moving the turntable around as much. I'm thinking my moving it might have messed up the belt. We'll see how this one fares. Thank you for your help.
  • 03-23-2012, 11:49 AM
    mmuller86
    Similar pitch problem, but only with new vinyl records...
    I've got a question quite similar to the one at the beginning of the thread. I'm thinking about buying a certain Technics SL-J1, but as it turns out, it has pitch problems with new vinyl records. The seller played several old vinyl records for me and they all sounded good (flawless), yet the new vinyl records he played changed pitch constantly. So, for some reason the turntable can't maintain its speed when playing the newer vinyl (5 year old records, stuff like that).

    The only cause I could think of was that it has to due with the fact that these newer records weigh more. I presume that means the engine has to work harder to play the record at the right speed, right? So, could the engine be the problem?

    I'd like to know what the problem could be, and what it would cost to fix it. I haven't bought the turntable yet, but if there's a cheap solution to the problem, I'll probably buy it and fix it myself.

    Any thoughts what could be the problem here?

    By the way, the seller recently had it repaired (both the belt and needle were replaced) and even brought it back a second time, but they didn't find the cause (they said it played fine, but they probably only used old vinyl).
  • 03-23-2012, 03:01 PM
    02audionoob
    The weight of a newer, heavier record isn't enough to slow down a turntable. What you're hearing could be a poor-quality record or recording. For example, the hole being off center could cause an audible issue.
  • 03-24-2012, 05:47 AM
    mmuller86
    We thought about that, but the newer record sounded without problems on another turntable (the one the seller regularly uses). Can some turntables handle off center holes better than others?
  • 03-24-2012, 09:59 AM
    02audionoob
    That's a good question. I don't know the answer. What kind of turntable was it that played the new records better?