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Beogram 9000 Sibilance

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WhatsGoingOn
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WhatsGoingOn posted on Thu, Jan 22 2015 6:31 PM

Hi all

 

I've recently began using my Beogram 9000 again, however I've experienced some really heavy sibilance issues. I also believe that I am somehow causing damage to my records with my setup. It's not as obvious on new vinyl but on older albums it's really quite noticeable. My cartridge is a SoundSmith MMC4 which I bought last year, my tracking weight is 1.2mm. My current set up is as follows:

 

Denon hi-fi

Cambridge Audio 551P Amplifier

BeoGram 9000

Grounded DIN cable/grounded Phono double-ended cable

 

I have a carbon fibre brush that I use to remove static, so it's not a dust issue.

 

Please someone help!

 

-WhatsGoingOn

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leosgonewild
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A video would help :)

Lee
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Lee replied on Thu, Jan 22 2015 6:48 PM

I never managed to completely get rid of Sibilance on my Beogram 5005 (which has the same internals as the 9000) tried many different stylus profiles from Shibata to fine line and was never satisfied. I put it down to the short tonearm. In the end I replaced it with a Beogram 6006 (8000 with black buttons) and all my problems went away. 

A couple of things to try... Is the stylus completely clean? Check it with a magnifying glass. Also is the room cold? The mmc's are temperature sensitive (I was told this is not the case, but after much testing I am certain it is), it particularly effects the upper frequencies if the room is below 16 degrees, I believe the colder temperatures makes the polymer in the suspension less compliant and this would cause miss-tracking particularly on sibilant passages.

Lee

WhatsGoingOn
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That's odd. I do agree that the tonearm does seem a bit rubbish...

 

The stylus is pretty much brand new so I'd be surprised if there is buildup on it. Every time I check it there always seems to be a bi t of fluff dangling off the edge and always pull it off with tweezers - however doesn't change anything. The room it's in is very warm so that shouldn't be an issue either, however it was kept in storage for a very long time (10-15 years). It was a lot worse before we got the cartridge changed however it's still there. There is little to no sibilance on newer records but I just want to make sure that I am not damaging them during use.

 

Is there any way to fix the suspension issue?

 

-WhatsGoingOn

Lee
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Lee replied on Thu, Jan 22 2015 7:04 PM

It doesn't take much crud to cause deterioration in sound quality so I would definitely check that first.. Don't clean it with tweezers, that's could easily chip the diamond. The best way I have found to clean the stylus is with a piece of Magic Eraser foam (google "magic eraser stylus cleaner" and you'll find lots of info on using it) Also try upping the tracking force to 1.4g and see if that makes a difference.

Lee

leosgonewild
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Are you sure your old records are clean?

WhatsGoingOn
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I have cleaned them all using a warm cloth in the grooves and nothing changed.

Lee
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Lee replied on Thu, Jan 22 2015 7:18 PM

I've just been reading about the SMMC4 and a few people prefer them tracking at a higher weight. It's always better to track slightly higher than too low. Give it a try... The sibilant sound you hear is probably the stylus loosing contact with the groove wall and could well be damaging your records. I'd set it at 1.5g if I was you.. But first things first... make sure the stylus is spotless!!!

 

WhatsGoingOn
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Yeah, I will do nothing more until I clean the stylus. Does Robert Dyas sell Magic Eraser - I believe it's a JML product in UK so they probably will.

Lee
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Lee replied on Thu, Jan 22 2015 7:27 PM

Yes I believe they do 

WhatsGoingOn
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Just got back. Used the magic eraser and increased the tracking weight to 1.45g and although it has improved I'm still getting sibilance. Any ideas?

Dave Farr
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WhatsGoingOn:

Just got back. Used the magic eraser and increased the tracking weight to 1.45g and although it has improved I'm still getting sibilance. Any ideas?

I'd also try washing the records properly with a rotary cleaner - you'd be amazed what a difference it can make.  

Secondly, just because the tonearm gauge says 1.4g, unless you actually measure with a digital scale, you don't really know and you could still be substantially under the weight you need.

Linear tracking decks should produce less sibilance than radial decks (the reasons for this are clearly spelled out on many vinyl forums) so I suspect it is still a cartridge issue.  Are you sure the tonearm is all set-up properly according to the service manual for parallelism  and that the cartridge is 90° to the record etc?

Dave.

leosgonewild
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When I buy used records I clean them with thee wood-glue method. Deeeeeeeeeep-cleansing Big Smile

WhatsGoingOn
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I put it slightly over 1.5 and it has decreased slightly again but am worried of increasing it further. The plate is even, and it's all in working order so I'm quite confused at the moment. It's a shame because the mids and lows sound beautiful but when you get that sharp "shhh" sounds it ruins the listening experience.

WhatsGoingOn
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Like I said, although my test record is used and from 1979 it's been cleaned multiple times and no dust is coming off of the grooves. It's in immaculate condition so I don't think it's the vinyl.

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