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admin's picture
Last seen: 4 days 23 hours ago
Joined: 04/09/2013 - 14:19
Posts: 51588
Newbie help

Hello there,

I recently inherited a heap of interesting old vinyl and, next to what I had already, I thought I'd like to return to playing it. Now that digital media is with us the CD is dead, right?

So I looked up a few reviews and thought that the Project Debut III came in at about right for my budget. Unfortunately I didn't read closely enough and ended up also buying a Cambridge Audio 540p, since my existing amp -- a Sony STR DE375 -- didn't have a phono input. It all goes through a pair of Eltax Symphony 4.2.

 (Okay, bear with me here, I know the amp and speakers aren't up to much, but I'm going to change bits as I can afford to -- it's basically an old home cinema set up I wasn't using any more.)

So it's all plugged in, as is my iTouch. But what's really bugging me is that I'm not getting a decent sound from the vinyl. The bass seems fine, and when a track is pretty simple -- just acoustic guitar and vocals, say -- I really enjoy it. But as soon as the sound fills out to a full rock band scenario, it all starts to sound terrible. Sort of tinny or underpowered somehow.

You might be keen to blame my rubbish set up, but when I play the same songs digitally through the iTouch, I get a better sound. It's not awesome or anything, but it just sounds fuller, or more rounded.

So, am I doing something wrong? Is it possible that some bit of my kit just isn't working right? Is that 540p just rubbish? I think the sound I'm getting is not just audiophile bad, but something that would annoy you in a little ghettoblaster.

Any help you can offer would be much appreciated. I'm quite deflated at the moment.


iMark's picture
Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 16/05/2008 - 12:21
Posts: 786
Re: Newbie help

Sounds like your cartridge is not properly balanced or you don't use the proper weight/anti skating for your cartridge. If you're cartridge is not properly set up you will suffer from bad tracking because the stylus will not follow the groove properly.

Have a look at the manual and try to set up your deck again. It will sound much better. 

I have set up many record players since the 1970s and first balancing the arm/cartridge and then applying the right weight to the cartridge makes a huge difference. 


Pro-Ject 1Xperience Comfort (OM 2Red), Yahama R-N602, Sony UHP-H1, Sony TV, Humax DVR, Infinity Overture 1 speakers. Range from very cheap to expensive cables.

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