Needledrops For Review

Needledrops For Review

Postby SubVet » Sat Dec 29, 2018 2:42 pm

Hoping we can have a thread where fellow VPI forum members listen to our turntable systems. Now of course they cannot come to our house and listen to our full system, but by using a needledrop they can listen to our turntable/cartridge/phone preamp setup. Hopefully the recording process will not impart any significant artifacts.

Ideally this thread can be a place to request comments or ask question as some of us, like myself, may not have friends who know or care anything about the finer aspects of audio, much less turntables. This is not a thread about how to make the perfect digitally corrected recording. It is about the sound of the system without digital corrections.

In my case I am sometimes uncertain whether a noise I hear on a record is simply as aspect of the record itself or a deficiency in my system. I am also uncertain whether I am getting everything out of my system that I should be getting out of it.

I've included a link to a less than 90 second needledrop of "See The Sky About To Rain" from Neil Young's Massey Hall LP. This particular record is generally regarded as an excellent sounding LP.

It was recorded from my Aries 3/Soundsmith MIMC/Pass Labs XP-10 phono pre with the single ended output going directly into a Denon DN700R digital recorder (monitoring via headphones, line preamp volume at 0). The recording at 96khz/24bits was trimmed to size, converted to FLAC and normalized to maximize output at -1db. No manipulation for noise or clicks was done. It includes 5 seconds or so of the lead in groove which exhibits some noise.

You should be able to listen to the file directly in your browser or download it, if you prefer. I'd appreciate any comments about the sound generally. I expect the lead in groove noise is simply what's on the record, but if there is reason to believe otherwise, please let me know.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/13t2brfi0kXVb1HVRnD4e3zZtZsAj_PDk/view

Thanks,
Ed
Soundsmith MIMC Star on VPI Aries 3 w/ Classic 3 Arm and SDS
Pass Labs XP-15, Pass Labs XP-10, Pass Labs X-150.8, Audio Sensibility cables and Harbeth C7ES-3 Speakers
Schiit Yggdrasil DAC/Laptop w/ JRiver and Denon DN-700R recorder on the digital side
User avatar
SubVet
Senior Member
 
Posts: 138
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:48 am
Location: Maine

Re: Needledrops For Review

Postby Mr_Putty » Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:55 am

OK, First impression...noise I hear at 15 to 18 seconds suggests your record is not totally clean. However, the first few seconds sound very clean to me, I would be happy with that. I think I hear some distortion, but, have no suggestions for improvement unless fine tuning cart alignment sounds better to you. Overall, sounds very good on my headphones. Makes me wish I had been there so I could do a current memory check of the setup/recording. Would you mind telling us your record cleaning method for a subjective reference?
As you probably know, sometimes we just can’t get things as clean as we would like. Most of my 80s records are in that category.
Mr_Putty
Senior Member
 
Posts: 228
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:44 am

Re: Needledrops For Review

Postby SubVet » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:13 am

Mr_Putty wrote:OK, First impression...noise I hear at 15 to 18 seconds suggests your record is not totally clean. However, the first few seconds sound very clean to me, I would be happy with that. I think I hear some distortion, but, have no suggestions for improvement unless fine tuning cart alignment sounds better to you. Overall, sounds very good on my headphones. Makes me wish I had been there so I could do a current memory check of the setup/recording. Would you mind telling us your record cleaning method for a subjective reference?
As you probably know, sometimes we just can’t get things as clean as we would like. Most of my 80s records are in that category.

Thanks for taking the time to listen and for your feedback.

I use a VPI 16.5 with a 2 or 3 step AI fluid method, depending if the record is new or used. This record was purchased in early 2015 when I first started with the RCM and didn't have a clearly established routine. So it may benefit from a re-clean.

Perhaps another needledrop would be useful.
Soundsmith MIMC Star on VPI Aries 3 w/ Classic 3 Arm and SDS
Pass Labs XP-15, Pass Labs XP-10, Pass Labs X-150.8, Audio Sensibility cables and Harbeth C7ES-3 Speakers
Schiit Yggdrasil DAC/Laptop w/ JRiver and Denon DN-700R recorder on the digital side
User avatar
SubVet
Senior Member
 
Posts: 138
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:48 am
Location: Maine

Re: Needledrops For Review

Postby Pythonman » Mon Feb 25, 2019 4:42 pm

Sounded gorgeous. No complaints from me.
VPI Prime, Hana SH, Parasound A21, Parasound P5, Parasound JC3+, Athena AS F2s
Pythonman
Jr. Member
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:25 pm

Re: Needledrops For Review

Postby SubVet » Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:56 pm

Pythonman wrote:Sounded gorgeous. No complaints from me.

Thanks.
Soundsmith MIMC Star on VPI Aries 3 w/ Classic 3 Arm and SDS
Pass Labs XP-15, Pass Labs XP-10, Pass Labs X-150.8, Audio Sensibility cables and Harbeth C7ES-3 Speakers
Schiit Yggdrasil DAC/Laptop w/ JRiver and Denon DN-700R recorder on the digital side
User avatar
SubVet
Senior Member
 
Posts: 138
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:48 am
Location: Maine

Re: Needledrops For Review

Postby Dorian » Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:59 pm

Sounds very good to me too, and very familiar as the owner of a MIMC Star. Well done!
VPI Prime #959 & Outer Ring| SoundSmith MIMC Star | Herron VTPH-2A | Primaluna DiaLogue Premium HP Integrated | KEF LS-50s | Phoenix Eagle & Roadrunner | Audio Sensibility Cables | Symposium Ultra | AQ Niagara 1000 | Stillpoints LPI | Focal Clear
User avatar
Dorian
Senior Member
 
Posts: 1109
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:14 pm
Location: Westchester County, New York

Re: Needledrops For Review

Postby SubVet » Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:25 am

Dorian wrote:Sounds very good to me too, and very familiar as the owner of a MIMC Star. Well done!

Thanks. Since posting the drop in December I've moved to using iZotope RX7 for my audio editor/repair program. It has tremendous capability.

I didn't do much editing on this drop, just some light click removal, a high pass filter at 20 Hz and a very small bit of de-noise, using a second or two between a track so the de-noise module can "learn" what is and isn't noise.

This is the final 90 seconds of Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain" from the 2011 45 RPM pressing remastered by Steve Hoffman.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1RMLjLU0WAkpDk43vlZB8h9Xk-1BNrGwU/view
Soundsmith MIMC Star on VPI Aries 3 w/ Classic 3 Arm and SDS
Pass Labs XP-15, Pass Labs XP-10, Pass Labs X-150.8, Audio Sensibility cables and Harbeth C7ES-3 Speakers
Schiit Yggdrasil DAC/Laptop w/ JRiver and Denon DN-700R recorder on the digital side
User avatar
SubVet
Senior Member
 
Posts: 138
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:48 am
Location: Maine

Re: Needledrops For Review

Postby Orchids1 » Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:23 pm

This is pretty cool. I’m familiar with the term neeedle drop, but only in a different commercial context with a different meaning. What you’re doing here is new to me. Are you using an analog to digital converter and then creating a file for the output, transferring the file to your computer’s music library (which I’ve never used) and uploading the file. In all events, the music “posted” here sounds impressive. I’d be interested to know the process. Thanks. Rich
Avenger (w/mods)+SS Paua, Phoenix Eagle psu/tach, Sutherland 20/20, Audionet Pre1G3, Benchmark AHB2 monos, YG Carmel 2 spkrs, JL e112 subs, Nordost/Audio Sensibilty ic, Kubla-Sonsa spkr cbl; Auralic Aries renderer, Auralic Vega dac; dedic. 20A circuits.
Orchids1
Moderator
 
Posts: 1450
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:56 pm

Re: Needledrops For Review

Postby SubVet » Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:44 pm

Orchids1 wrote:This is pretty cool. I’m familiar with the term neeedle drop, but only in a different commercial context with a different meaning. What you’re doing here is new to me. Are you using an analog to digital converter and then creating a file for the output, transferring the file to your computer’s music library (which I’ve never used) and uploading the file. In all events, the music “posted” here sounds impressive. I’d be interested to know the process. Thanks. Rich

Hi Rich,

It does require an analog to digital converter. Those exist as stand-alone recorders, both portable and rack mount, they also exist as units that connect via USB directly to your computer. Some people do use their computer sound cards instead, but usually that does not produce very good results.

In any of those cases you end up with a file, either already on your computer or on a USB thumb drive or SD card in your recorder. It's really not that different than recording to cassette. Once you have the file in your computer you can do any number of things or nothing at all. There are a number of free programs available for editing and many programs for sale from a few bucks to thousands of bucks. Basic editing of clicks and splitting of the tracks is very easy with the right program.

It is generally accepted that a small snippet of a song can be uploaded, as a sample, and shared without violating any copyrights. Dropbox, Google Drive and similar locations are used for this.

I do all my digital listening from digital files via my music server/computer. I still buy physical media (CD, SACD, Blu-Ray Audio, DVD-Audio), because I like to have the physical item, but always rip it to the library, using my computer, rather then use a player. I have plenty of my records ripped as well. There are free and pay programs for this side as well.

Of course there's no substitute for all analog listening on the turntable. Except, occasionally, for listening to an all analog recording on the Nakamichi CR-7A.

Ed
Soundsmith MIMC Star on VPI Aries 3 w/ Classic 3 Arm and SDS
Pass Labs XP-15, Pass Labs XP-10, Pass Labs X-150.8, Audio Sensibility cables and Harbeth C7ES-3 Speakers
Schiit Yggdrasil DAC/Laptop w/ JRiver and Denon DN-700R recorder on the digital side
User avatar
SubVet
Senior Member
 
Posts: 138
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:48 am
Location: Maine

Re: Needledrops For Review

Postby Pythonman » Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:05 pm

Fleetwood Mac clip sounded fantastic. That’s what I’m talking about! Great front to back layering of musicians and instruments, vocalists sound remarkably live and almost spotlit. Stage width appropriately fleshed out. I hear things from your setup to aspire to with my own system and Soundsmith is at the top now for cartridge upgrades. I wouldn’t even bother with click or tic removal. Your RCM does a fine job and what exceedingly minor groove tics from the Neil Young clip aren’t even worth commenting upon. It’s the music man. Your VPI and the rest of the chain are making that music shine.
VPI Prime, Hana SH, Parasound A21, Parasound P5, Parasound JC3+, Athena AS F2s
Pythonman
Jr. Member
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:25 pm

Next

Return to General Audio

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 2 guests

x