Poor Sound from Turntable

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  • 03-15-2004, 06:45 PM
    jaxplanner
    Poor Sound from Turntable
    I have a vintage Yamaha CR-820 receiver. I have a vintage JVC direct drive turntable model L-A55. The receiver plays crystal through my BIC America DV-62si bookshelf speakers. However, when I plug the turntable into phono 1 or 2, the sound is distorted and scratchy sounding. It's not the quality of the record. I don't think it is the needle since it is supposed to have a relatively new diamond needle in it. What could be causing the distortion? Thanks for the help.
  • 03-15-2004, 08:23 PM
    Worf101
    Do you know if...
    You've a moving coil cartridge on that turntable? Could be a ceramic cartridge.. it sometimes makes a difference with specific receivers... try another receiver, preferably if you've lying around. Also turntable use is not what it used to be... ergo your receiver may have skimped on this circuitry... just a thought..

    Da Worfster
  • 03-15-2004, 08:54 PM
    markw
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jaxplanner
    I don't think it is the needle since it is supposed to have a relatively new diamond needle in it. What could be causing the distortion? Thanks for the help.

    Is this turntable perchance a recent acqustion? If so, have you ever heard it in operation in any system? See where I'm going here?

    If you answered "yes", "no" and "huh?", I'd say it just might be the cartridge.

    Either of three options to nail down the problem spring to mind.

    1) Try the turntable on another receiver/amplifier with a known working phono stage. If it works there, you can be sure the problem is with the receiver. If it doesn't, goto 3

    2) pick up a cheapo phono stage at aforementioned RatShack and try the tt thru that into one of your receiver's high level (aux) inputs. If that works you know the problem is in the phono stage of the receiver. If that doesn't work then it's a pretty good bet it's the cartridge. Goto 3.

    3) Pick up a new cartridge. Cheapo (12 - 15) magnetic cartridges are available at RatShack and plan on keeping it. Or else, you might want to get a better one. It's probably time to replace it anyway.

    There is always the off chance it's the wires between the cartridge and the receiver itself. Can you clean and reseat the cartridge holder connections?
  • 03-16-2004, 06:07 AM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jaxplanner
    However, when I plug the turntable into phono 1 or 2, the sound is distorted and scratchy sounding.

    Does the needle "flip over"? If so, you have a ceramic cartridge that should be plugged into a high level input like tape, tuner, etc. Phono inputs expect a much lower level output from the cartridge.

    rw
  • 03-18-2004, 07:28 AM
    jaxplanner
    The turntable currently has a Stanton D65-2 cartridge in it. It has a diamond stylus which has seen very little use. It's hard for me to believe that it is the needle. I will try as suggested a cheap cartridge to see if perhaps the cartridge is bad. Is there any easy way to test cartridges other than just buying a new one?
  • 03-18-2004, 07:39 AM
    markw
    It's deja vu all over again. (The great Yogi Berra)
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jaxplanner
    Is there any easy way to test cartridges other than just buying a new one?

    Try the turntable on another receiver/amplifier with a known working phono stage. If it works there, you can be sure the problem is with the receiver.
  • 03-20-2004, 09:12 PM
    JDaniel
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jaxplanner
    What could be causing the distortion? Thanks for the help.

    I recently pulled a TT out of storage after many years. I had the same problem as you describe. I found it was corroded connections in the cartridge, where it connects to the arm. I cleaned them with Deoxit, and it sounded fantastic afterwards. Just a thought.

    JD
  • 03-21-2004, 05:26 AM
    skeptic
    There are many possibilities. The phono stage of the receiver may be damaged. This can be determined by trying another receiver. The new stylus may be damaged. You can damage a stylus badly very easily by carelessly removing it from its packaging and installing it without even a single playing. The cartridge may be damaged or badly out of alignment. The tone arm wiring may damaged. My advice to you is to get help from someone more familiar with record playing equipment than you are. At least you will get to the bottom of your problem more quickly.