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mjzee

Turntables

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My Pro-ject Carbon seems to have a little audible rumble.  Is there anything I can do about that, or does it need to be serviced?  Also, any thoughts on other turntables?  The Pro-ject is the first "audiophile" turntable I've owned, but perhaps a more commercial brand (Panasonic, Sony, Audio Technica, etc.) might actually do a better job?

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I’d call your dealer and ask him. 

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This'll sound weird, but put on a crappy LP that exhibits this rumble and while it's playing, gently lift up the turntable until it's no longer contacting the shelf to see if the rumble goes away. That'll eliminate the environment. If that doesn't eliminate the rumble, we're on to checking to see if the motor is properly isolated. I've read that there are mounting screws for the motor and if you loosen/tighten them in different combinations, you may find one that works. If none of this works, you'll have to make sure your ground is good.

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On 2/17/2020 at 4:11 PM, bresna said:

This'll sound weird, but put on a crappy LP that exhibits this rumble and while it's playing, gently lift up the turntable until it's no longer contacting the shelf to see if the rumble goes away. That'll eliminate the environment. If that doesn't eliminate the rumble, we're on to checking to see if the motor is properly isolated. I've read that there are mounting screws for the motor and if you loosen/tighten them in different combinations, you may find one that works. If none of this works, you'll have to make sure your ground is good.

Great ideas; thanks!

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1 hour ago, Brad said:

Here’s a step by step article with photos on how to remove the rumble. 

https://www.henleyaudio.co.uk/shop/product/viewfile?FileId=748&ProductId=193

I'm on my second Pro*Ject (not a Carbon, however) and fortunately haven’t had this issue. 

It took me several attempts, but I finally got that page to come up. It references this upgrade kit: https://www.henleyaudio.co.uk/products/SE-Upgrade-Kit It seems like a pretty inexpensive fix.

BTW - if you can't get that page to come up (Error 404), follow the link I posted and click on the "Download" tab below the "Buy Now" button.

Like I said in my post above, some Debut users have gotten similar results by simply loosening and/or tightening the 4 mounting screws for the motor.

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That’s odd. I was able to access it this morning but can’t now. 

I was able to save the file as a pdf. If you send me your email, I can forward it to you. 

Edited by Brad

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This really looks great, and just might address my needs.  Thanks, bresna and Brad!

I recently replaced the belt, and that helped for a little while, but the intermittent rumble has returned.  I've been playing a lot of my old 45's recently, and moving the belt from the 45 position to the 33 might have exacerbated it.  I know they make a box to switch speeds electronically, but thought it was more for convenience; now I wonder.

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Is the rumble only audible when the tonearm is actually on the record?

Seems like a stupid question, but it's not.

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3 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Is the rumble only audible when the tonearm is actually on the record?

Seems like a stupid question, but it's not.

Correct, only on the record.  Actually, mostly notable at the leadout groove, and sometimes in the space between the next-to-last song and the last song (i.e., towards the inside of the record).

So while this was my first audiophile turntable (albeit at the low end of the audiophile scale), I do wonder whether this experience is truly superior to a good standard consumer turntable from Sony, Panasonic, or the like.  I don't recall encountering this sort of rumble from one of those.  Does a low-end audiophile turntable truly "sound" better?

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42 minutes ago, mjzee said:

So while this was my first audiophile turntable (albeit at the low end of the audiophile scale), I do wonder whether this experience is truly superior to a good standard consumer turntable from Sony, Panasonic, or the like.  I don't recall encountering this sort of rumble from one of those.  Does a low-end audiophile turntable truly "sound" better?

I don't understand this classification into "audiophile" and "standard consumer". Certainly not when it comes to Project. This is a mass producer of turntables. The only difference to the other brands you mentioned is that Project basically only produces turntables (yes, I know, they also have some electronic components). You can get $$$$$ turntables from Technics (= Panasonic) and $$$ turntables from Project. Why are the former "standard consumer" products and the latter "audiophile"? I don't get it. If I were looking for an entry level (we all have different ideas of what that actually is) turntable, I would be looking at this: https://www.analogplanet.com/content/sl-1500c-technics-cuts-price-not-sound-quality.

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1 hour ago, Misterioso said:

If I were looking for an entry level (we all have different ideas of what that actually is) turntable, I would be looking at this: https://www.analogplanet.com/content/sl-1500c-technics-cuts-price-not-sound-quality.

I'm also a fan of direct drive turntables. If I were to buy another turntable now, I'd look at the Cambridge Audio Alva: https://www.cambridgeaudio.com/usa/en/products/alva/alva-tt

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2 hours ago, mjzee said:

Correct, only on the record.  Actually, mostly notable at the leadout groove, and sometimes in the space between the next-to-last song and the last song (i.e., towards the inside of the record).

But when you drop the needle on to start the record, does it begin right there?

What is your tracking force?

And does it happen to the same degree on every record, regardless of condition?

Vinyl is indeed a delightful playground, but playgrounds are not designed for perfection, if you know what I mean.

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2 hours ago, JSngry said:

But when you drop the needle on to start the record, does it begin right there?

Generally, no; I notice it more towards the end of the side.  Of course, there are better pressings and worse pressings.

2 hours ago, JSngry said:

What is your tracking force?

1.75, which is the recommended force from the Pro-Ject manual (the cartridge came with the turntable).  It seems high to me, but whatever.

2 hours ago, JSngry said:

And does it happen to the same degree on every record, regardless of condition?

No, which is why I wonder whether the belt has something to do with it.  I will say that it seems that ECMs show very little rumble.

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1 hour ago, mjzee said:

Generally, no; I notice it more towards the end of the side.

Sounds a bit like inner groove distortion, which usually can be mitigated with correct cartridge alignment (overhang).

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Yeah, I would think that if the rumble was strictly coming from the device itself that there would be a consistency of symptom.

What you're describing introduces another variable that seems to involve the record itself, to one degree or another, either directly, or as part of a chain of variables. With this in play, "blaming" just the turntable itself does not seem to be the way to go.

Kevin's initial advice about isolating the variable is sound (no pun intended), now take it to the next level.

Solve for X, baby! :g

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My experiences with rumble is that it has always been related to proper isolation from the bass coming from my speakers. It's why I suggest to try that first as it's relatively easy to diagnose & fix.

However, in the case of these entry-level Pro-Ject turntables, the DC motor mounting has often been the culprit, to the point where Pro-Ject redesigned the whole set-up several years ago. I would have thought that a recent Debut Carbon would have all their fixes, but maybe not.

I wouldn't start poking around the other things before eliminating the easiest and most likely sources of the rumble first.

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Kevin - if it were the motor mounts, wouldn't the effect be constant, both from record to record, and within the record itself? Or are there other factors to consider?

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1 hour ago, JSngry said:

Kevin - if it were the motor mounts, wouldn't the effect be constant, both from record to record, and within the record itself? Or are there other factors to consider?

Not necessarily. Spinning the platter seems like an easy thing, but the mechanical requirements introduce some challenges. In this case, it probably has something to do with the location of the motor (outer edge of the platter in line with the tonearm mount) and where the belt touches the platter in relation to the where the cartridge touches the record. As the record plays, the tonearm moves the cartridge closer to the motor and those contact points. See the picture below to get a clearer idea of what i mean.

BTW Jim - that kit shown above includes a new pulley & belt, so clearly those things can be part of this rumble problem too. 

DSC_5741.jpg?resize=900%2C601&ssl=1

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Ah, that motor is in the middle of the record on top, I see.

Another variable added...this equation is getting polynomial and may well become quadratic. At least there's a formula for that!

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I finally broke down and did a search on the Hoffman forums, where I read a lot about the motor problems with the Pro-Ject Debut, a turntable I had for many years (and no, I never had any hum/rumble problems). Here is one: https://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/my-experience-with-a-pro-ject-debut-carbon-tt.460286/ Now, avoiding the "Just get rid of this piece of garbage" posts, you can see that people have had luck by simply messing with the motor's screws but most have had to add some sort of isolating material to get rid of it completely. If you take a couple of stabs at this and it won't go away, I'd order that upgrade kit ( https://www.henleyaudio.co.uk/products/SE-Upgrade-Kit ). $30 is $30, but if it works, it's $30 well spent.

BTW - one interesting thing I read there is that some of the owners have had luck by simply removing the cover during playback. You could try this too.

Edited by bresna

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32 minutes ago, bresna said:

BTW - one interesting thing I read there is that some of the owners have had luck by simply removing the cover during playback. You could try this too.

Thanks.  I already do this.  I am considering the kit, although I'm not adept at this sort of thing (all thumbs), and for steps 3 & 4 there are no pictures.

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On 2/22/2020 at 3:31 PM, mjzee said:

What do you like about this turntable?  It is beautiful.

There are not many direct drive turntables out there, especially when you get under $2K and I was never a fan of the Technics DD turntables, even back in their heyday. I have an older Denon DD. Denon exited the US market for DD turntables about 10 years ago when they stopped selling the DM-500M here. It's still available in Japan.

If you're rich, VPI makes a DD turntable. Not for me (even if I were rich). I'm not a huge VPI fan. I had a Scout and hated it.

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