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Does your TT meow?

Discussion in 'audio' started by Maxbertola, Oct 13, 2021.

  1. Maxbertola

    Maxbertola pfm Member

    Hi all,

    I'm having problems with my Rega P2. If I play pop, rock or jazz with fast changing pitches there's nothing seriously wrong, but with sophisticate piano or string music, the slight instability in pitch is making me a little seasick.
    My mains are normal and I believe the TT to work within specs; yet, I have a high sensitivity to pitch shifts - I did a test once and ascertained that I can hear a 6 cents difference between different notes, a quantity comparable to roughly 1/17th of a semitone - and I now understand why music has always sounded strange to me when I was a youngster and could only afford low- to medium-priced TTs.
    I may be biased because I recently attended an exhaustive listening session of the Naim Solstice, which was a special experience, but now my P2 sounds vaguely uncertain with almost all classical music, namely when strings hold long notes. My totally non-audiophile and professional musician wife hears the same.

    Does anyone have the same problem? How much do you think one needs to spend to have real stable pitch and rotation?

    Thanks for opinions,
  2. a.palfreyman

    a.palfreyman pfm Member

    Do you mean wow i.e. a slow change in pitch? Could be an off-centre hole. Can you can see the arm moving slightly left-right-left with the vinyl spinning?
  3. pickwickpapers

    pickwickpapers ‘It wasn’t the wine, ... It was the salmon.‘

    a thing to bear in mind if it hadn't occurred to you already: could be the original recordings (if on to tape), or pressing eccentricity / disc warpage etc., in some instances.
    Obviously, short of a disc flattener, and the Old Dragon deck that physically moved discs to supposedly be accurately centered (I had one briefly from The Emporium ... lucky I'm still alive to tell the tale), improving other components wont help, in that context.
  4. Maxbertola

    Maxbertola pfm Member

    Yes, I meant wow but I purposely used meow because the experience has no 'wow effect'.. I know that some LPs are slightly off-centered, and what's more some older recordings - especially pop ones - are inherently flawed because certain songs were recorded with the left-hand reel almost empty and the right-hand one full, which created issues even to professional tape recorders - listen to The Mama's and Papa's Monday, Monday or, for that, to While my guitar gently weeps (provided it wan't an intentional effect, LOL) and you will see (hear) what I mean. Unfortunately, I just heard an unpleasant instability this morning playing a fine DECCA Lp of Scriabin's orchestral music, and it was so&so. No, the arm was not moving left-to-right...
  5. Alex N

    Alex N pfm Member

    I noticed a similar woozy effect with my new Planar 3, listening to the long notes of Craig Armstrong’s slow piano on Massive Attack’s just-released Protection.

    Unusually, I also had that album on cd, and playing it at the same time as the record, the Rega was running maybe as much as five seconds fast per track.
  6. Maxbertola

    Maxbertola pfm Member

    Hi, thanks, see my previous reply. I am aware of all possible recording- or printing-related issues, I've fought with vinyl for decades; but since nothing of the sort appeared (or seemed not to appear, perhaps I was not noticing it because of the generally extraordinary sound) with the costly Solstice, which has a powerful motor and a huge platter, I blamed the P2. Maybe I'm wrong though.
    pickwickpapers likes this.
  7. Maxbertola

    Maxbertola pfm Member

    This seems to second both my impressions and a.palfreyman's and pickwickpapers' replies. Unusual, yes, with CD. Perhaps you have similar sensitivity to pitch as I think I have.
  8. Maxbertola

    Maxbertola pfm Member

    That is not a minor percentage; not only it accounts for my idea that motors in 'inexpensive' turntables are not very precise or precisely powered, but also for the very common notion that Rega TTs have a brilliant, assertive tone...
  9. Beobloke

    Beobloke pfm Member

    A nice Quartz Lock Direct Drive Jap deck from the 1970s/1980s will cost you a few hundred pounds. My experience suggests that they're pretty good at going round at the right speed...
  10. davidsrsb

    davidsrsb pfm Member

  11. Alex N

    Alex N pfm Member

    I’ve wondered about the above myself, as even with pricier belt-drive turntables, slow piano notes often sound just wrong. Direct drive (Technics) all the way for me ever since my week with the Rega.
  12. chartz

    chartz If it’s broke fix it!

    My main TT’s don’t wow because they’re DD.
    My belt ones are never as rock-steady as DD ones.
  13. Darren L

    Darren L pfm Member

    Would a Rega Neo TT psu with it's adjustable speed help with this issue?
  14. chartz

    chartz If it’s broke fix it!

    The issue is not the power supply it’s the belt itself.
    denni55 likes this.
  15. Maxbertola

    Maxbertola pfm Member

    Lasting piano notes of long decay are among the most difficult to listen to for me; this doesn't happen with CDs of piano music. Also, long string melodies seem to wander a little bit from 'normality'. I must say that I have been a professional musician for all my working life and have very long experience of live music. I may try a DD turntable. Thanks for your testimonial.
  16. Maxbertola

    Maxbertola pfm Member

    For everybody's testimonials.. :)
  17. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile

    The real issue here is people with perfect pitch perception.
    Rosewind and kristoffer like this.
  18. Maxbertola

    Maxbertola pfm Member

    My dealer lent me the new Rega EBLT a few months ago. I tried it on my P2 and although I think I noticed an overall marginally better sound staging, I did not have a clear impression of a more regular speed. That's why I hesitate to believe that there was an actual relationship between EBLT and effect.
  19. a.palfreyman

    a.palfreyman pfm Member

    OK, if the vinyl is good then what about the belt (as stated above) or even the sub-platter? If you are saying there is no wow effect as such, but pitch instability, is it a more rapid effect? Could it be that the drive pulley is off-centre or even has something stuck to it, changing the diameter (and speed) several times per revolution of the disc? During rotation, the belt is 'laid on' to the sub-platter relatively loosely and as it comes back off again on the opposite side, the tension against friction stretches the belt slightly. If the belt is uneven, then this will lead to slightly irregular pitch instability. Have you tried cleaning all the running surfaces? Some swear by a light talc covering on a flat belt as it should even out the 'grip'. Any finger marks / traces of grease on the sub-platter could give irregular pitch instability.
    @AlexN, could be your belt is to tight.
  20. CJ14

    CJ14 Waiting for the Death Monitor

    The thing to check is the mains frequency , is the motor a synchronous type.
    I run my synchronous TT on a amp and transformer with a pression signal generator, ok you don't have to go that far, I just happened to have the kit about. But a Xtal digital divide network and a nice simple square to sinwave converter and simple power amp into a transformer would help.
    If you are into DIY I have one I did for a company many year ago, Tom Fletcher of NLE. I dig it out and post it up if that helps???
    Darren L likes this.

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