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Cause of sibilance?

Discussion in 'audio' started by mjhill1234, Aug 5, 2022.

  1. mjhill1234

    mjhill1234 pfm Member

    I must admit that I very rarely listen to vinyl, I guess because of the convenience of streaming…. However occasionally when I do play a record it’s mixed emotions especially with my AN IQ3.

    I have a Nottingham Analogue ace space with the heavy kit and two notts arms (12” + 10”). On the 12” is the Audio Note IQ3 and in the 10” is an Audio Technica VM95ML. Phono stage is an Audion Premier and speakers are the rather revealing Avantgarde Duo horns.

    I am certain the alignment of both carts are good as I have a Dr Frickert and took time to set them up. My stylus force gauge is an Amazon special so likely not the most accurate of things but assume does the job.

    So the issue I have is the IQ3 seems very detailed and revealing which sounds amazing at certain times and rather cringe at others. For example tonight I opened my MOFI copy of Dire Straits - brand new first outing and my word the sibilance and distortion on the hi-hat in parts of ‘Down to the Waterline’ were not pleasant BUT ‘Water of Love’ sounds great. Try the same track again on my Audio Technica and while not as detailed - care barely hear any distortion or sibilance.

    I have no idea what is causing this - maybe it’s on the record and the Audio Note is just revealing it.

    My other thought is possibly it not being run in as it’s only played 28 sides according to my clicker!

    Any advice or pointers would be appreciated
  2. chartz

    chartz If it’s broke fix it!

    ML cartridges do that, in my experience: ruthlessly reveal the other profiles their weaknesses.
    Get a better AT!
  3. Bairnstorm

    Bairnstorm pfm Member

    Sounds like the cartridge is not quite set up right. Don't know how long you have had the cartridges but over 5 years possibly a problem or make sure they are clean. Try buying Audio Passion cleaning goo (MCRU). Don't buy anything else as the problem can be solved.
  4. a.palfreyman

    a.palfreyman pfm Member

    Tail high possibly, or needs a bit more tracking force?
  5. mjhill1234

    mjhill1234 pfm Member

    Had the IQ3 for a while but rarely used - think about 3 years maybe a little longer. I’ve got one of those cleaning goo things although mine is marked vinyl passion. Cheers
  6. mjhill1234

    mjhill1234 pfm Member

    The arm is parallel to the record and I have experimented with some adjustment and I can’t hear much of a difference :). I’m not sure how accurate my stylus gauge is but I have also tried the upper limit of the IQ3 as well and no difference.

    Listening to Janis Joplin now and sounds amazing :confused:
  7. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig Trade: ^'- -'^

    Sounds like the Audio Note IQ3 is maybe just not a good match for your turntable or tastes. It's obviously a Goldring G1000-series and they are on the bright side and finicky to set up.
  8. mjhill1234

    mjhill1234 pfm Member

    I guess it’s possibly not to my tastes - if that’s the case I guess finding something that is will be the challenge and expensive as I guess home demo of cartridges just don’t happen.
  9. a.palfreyman

    a.palfreyman pfm Member

    Quick google of the specs:
    Audion Premier has 2mV input sensitivity and 46dB gain.
    Audio Note IQ3 has 6.5mV output compared to 3.5mV for the Audio Technica VM95ML.
    If it is the new 45rpm mofi, it shouldn't be sibilant according to online reviews.
    If you take into account that a hot pressing can generate more than twice the above stated output, I wonder if the phono stage is being over driven by the IQ3?
  10. Sugarman

    Sugarman Active Member

    Cause of sibilance, 'high end' hifi?
  11. mjhill1234

    mjhill1234 pfm Member

    Ohhh that’s interesting and will explain why the AT seems a little quieter. It is indeed the new 45rpm version.
  12. a.palfreyman

    a.palfreyman pfm Member

    Any good with a soldering iron?
  13. mjhill1234

    mjhill1234 pfm Member

    Not too shabby :)
  14. a.palfreyman

    a.palfreyman pfm Member

    Make an inline attenuator.
    Cart output connects to 22k ohm in series with 47k ohm connected to earth. Output to phono amp goes from junction of 22k and 47k. Remember that the 47k resistor is // with the 47k input impedance of the phono stage so in effect you get 22k>23.5k which will make the output near as dammit same as the AT. It also means you are loading the cart with 22k+23.5k=45.5k which is near enough.
    Bit fiddly, but you should be able to do this inside the phono plug at the phono amp end.
    mjhill1234 likes this.
  15. davidsrsb

    davidsrsb pfm Member

    Excessive load capacitance, pushing the LC resonance too low?
  16. a.palfreyman

    a.palfreyman pfm Member

    Didn't think of that but can't find any info on input loading of the stage. According to AN the cart needs 150-200pF, so it's unlikely to be a long way from that. In the tubeamps review it says input is '2mV sensitivity variable'. Have you got a manual and can you check this out?
  17. Allaboutmusic

    Allaboutmusic pfm Member

    I had some sibilance on my older neat momentum sx3i speakers and when I changed my amplifier the sibilance disappeared. However if you aren’t getting it from streaming and the cart is setup correctly then potentially your phono amp?
  18. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    Assume your records are wet-vac cleaned. The 12" arm should present a more laid back (though not less detailed) presentation. The phenomenal (?) 6.5 mV output of the AN into a 2mV stage may certainly be an accentuating factor. With the Dr. Feickert protractor (I have the original), your alignment should be spot on. Unless VTF is obviously too low or the VTA/SRA not balanced (sibilance increases with increase height at the rear), all I can suggest is to get a decent moving coil (sorry; didn't really mean that ! :D)

    Capacitance, which is more important in a MM, may be a factor here but I have little knowledge of MMs generally. Not sure how this would introduce sibilance, though.
  19. Jim Audiomisc

    Jim Audiomisc pfm Member

    Mistracking springs to mind. (pun alert!) The alternative is as above - incorrect loading. However I know zip about your cartridge, and I'd tend to expect bad loading to only be a possible cause of this in a MM design, not MC. Incorrect loading of an MM tends to mess up the HF response so you get either 'dull' or 'bright' sounds, depending on the loading error.

    Low output MCs tend to have booger-all in the way of windings, so low inductance. Hence no need for cable/loading capacitance unless they have a horribly mech resonance that need flattening. High output MCs may be more prone to cable/loading but also probably have higher tip mass, so prone to struggling at HF to track the groove without deforming it or otherwise giving excess HF.
  20. steve1ooo

    steve1ooo pfm Member

    Some times it's actually on the record. I've heard sibilance in live gigs.
    mjhill1234 likes this.

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