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Analog Playback
Topic: Sometimes surface noise is not just surface noise

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Posted by Romy the Cat on 10-02-2008

 Romy the Cat wrote:
So, I would call Jubilee as a noise highlighting cartridge. (BTW, there is one subject regarding it that I need to look further ….)

This is VERY interesting phenomena that I am trying to decipher but so far unsuccessfully. It looks like we are taking about the surface noise but it is not about surface noise. I detected that some of cartridges have own noise that I call “Compliance Noise” and this noise is remarkably similar to the surface noise. Do not be deceived with the name “Compliance Noise” as it is not from the cantilever bending. In fact I have absolutely not idea where the noise is coming from. The noise sounds like a very quite silent surface being played or the sound of minor static.

To understand you need to hear it. Here is how to do it. Use headphones as most like your speakers are too dull to portray it. Use a relatively high volume on your headphones. Lower your needle in the grove and get a second-long loud dynamic sound burst. Then lift your needle up and pay attrition to what happen during the first half second. With some cartridges as soon the needle detaches records the sound will be gone to darkness (phonostage noise) but with SOME cartridges it will not be the case. You will hear some “continuation of the record surface noise” for a 0.5-1 second and then for another 0.5-1 second the noise will gently decay. This is not the “continuation of the record surface noise” of cause as needle has no contact with surface but it is something that I call “Compliance Noise”.

Some cartridges have no such effect and some do not. They have it regardless of the tonearms, wiring diagrams, grounding schemas and… looks like regardless the electrostatic conation of the play. (Electrostatic discharge of the records to the rising needle might be one of the reasons but I tested it and ruled this out). For instance among my cartridges the following do not have this effect:

Denon 102, Denon 103R, Denon 103M,  Ortofon CG 25, Ortofon SPU Mono, Ortofon SPU Classic, Micro Seiki LF25, Koetsu Onyx

The following cartridges do have the “Compliance Noise” or whatever hell it is:

Shelter 901, 103D, Grado References, Ortofon Jubilee.

Ironically they are the very same cartridges that I feel “do not hide surface noise”. In fact it might not be just too loud surface noise but the surface noise + the “Compliance Noise”.

Well, I think it is necessary to go to the bottom of it and found out what are the sources of the “Compliance Noise”. The returning of the cartridge suspension to default position shell not takes a whole second and if it would be the source of the noise then it will not last so long. I think the true reason somewhere else and I need to found what it is.

Rgs, the Cat

Posted by Antonio J. on 10-02-2008
I haven't tried your experiment myself, but for your description, I agree that one second is too much time to get the suspension back to its rest state. Maybe the coils develop some capacitive charge that needs some time to bleed.


Posted by Lwood on 11-25-2008
...with an Ortofon 10, sold it and got a Benz Pearl....neither of these are high end by any stretch, but the Ortofon
was way noisy compared to the me.

I'm using an older Luxman PD277 TT, what do you think it would cost to really make an upgrade?  It comes stock with
a Micro Seiki arm, and I'm using a Graham Slee SE 2 phono pre...?

Thanks, Lwood

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