Old or new, crackles or scratches it really does not matter because the sound from Vinyl is the best. But, How to make your Vinyl better?
Vinyl is beautiful
After the post that I wrote a couple of days ago one of my very good friends said to me why don’t you tell people how they can make their Vinyl sound much better. The way is just by using cables and cords and I said yes that is a really good Idea and so I am writing this evening.
The first thing we need of course is a Turntable and it does not matter if it’s old or new because the same things can be done to either. The things I will show you have been done to many turntables and some were very old and some were very new costing more than a mini car but in each everyone got a much better sound.
Before we start I would like to explain this can be done with any type of turntable but you must ensure that you have your turntable set up correctly as this is really the first thing to do. Make sure that the turntable is absolutely level by using a good spirit level because a few people that I have spoken to actually did not realize that you have to make the turntable level!
Also please make sure that your tracking is correctly set. Please check your anti-skating and make sure that your tone arm is level when playing the record. Also please check your cartridge is correctly set in all ways and that your counter weights are correct.
You will see three pictures below and I will explain to you what to do with each picture –
This first picture is of three items and the first two are hard wooden blocks, which were taken from one wooden block and I normally use three or four and put them under the turntable legs as they really help to reduce vibrations.
The third item in the picture is a “spike” which is from a Norwegian company called sound care and these can also be used but when used they must be put directly underneath the turntable base as these now become the legs. The spikes remove all vibration and noise transmissions and are quite frankly the best thing that you could ever use to help your Turntable.
The second picture is of a pair or Interconnect cables and these are something that is often overlooked in a system. What I have done is to remove the original cables from the Turntable and replace them with two female RCA sockets which have allowed me to use two very good quality interconnect cables. The source is the most import item in the chain and the interconnects are the second.
The third picture shows a power cord but not the original thin flimsy two-pin cable that comes with the turntable but a good high-quality power cord. I have removed the original power cord and fitted a female three pin receptacle so that I am able to plug the replacement power cord into the Turntable. This allows good power to be fed into the turntable to drive it better and give it a better power to operate with.
I know what you are saying to yourself right now – this guy is crazy we are only driving a motor so what difference will a good power cord make to the sound of our turntable! Now I have been down this road so many times with different people and I do not go into hours of discussion and write many pages so please just trust me on this point – OK
What was done
What I have done was to take an old turntable and make it sound great. How? Just by doing three things. The first was to place “SoundCare” spikes under the base and I used three because it always works better with three. The second was to cut the original interconnect and replace it with a good quality interconnect.
The third was to remove the original power cord and replace it with a good quality power cord. These changes have been made just to show you how easy it can be done with and old turntable. The same three things can be done with a new and expensive turntable (as it was in the last blog).
This particular turntable that I used cost 50 Euros and had a very nice Shure cartridge with it and worked very well. After the three things were done it was in a completely different league and I will keep this turntable because it really does sound great and is good to show people what to do.
This is the turntable after all of the three modifications were completed. It was only placed on the top of the testing amplifier as a temporary measure for test purposes only.
The amplifier you see is a Grundig SV-140 and made in 1969 but is one of the best sounding and most musical amplifiers ever made. Below are two pictures showing the Turntable to amplifier connections.
The Interconnect was fitted to the amplifier by a five pin Din to RCA crossover made by Milty which is one of the best crossovers ever made and was supplied by a company in the UK
The original two core mains cable has been removed from the amplifier and a high-quality IEC connection fitted inside the amplifier. This allows a high-quality power cord to be fitted and by doing it improves the performance of the amplifier in many ways.
I always have a couple of LP’s which are the same as the CD’s that I carry. I always like to compare with the different system I work with. When you have done this a few times there is always that moment when you switch every component on and you say to yourself well I wonder how this will sound.
When you hear the music flowing, you know that everything has been done correctly as the sound is simply magnificent. This is because we know how to make the vinyl sound much better!
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