In reponse to a recent rant from Lefsetz about how great vinyl is:

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Rate of change phenomena directly and physically translated from mechanical/electro-mechancial media is limited to asperities in the media which will change and vary as per Archard equation:

I too loved the romance of the  ol' 24 tracks - here's a pic of my kid (a year old at the time) sitting in front of a 2" 16/24track A-80 Studer, yep, just like the ones that recorded all that "good ol' vinyl" you guys seem to love so much:

Man, I loved the smell of the tape, big ass 2" reels, 3M 250, Ampex 406/456. Big ass servo's moving an 8 pound reel...

BUTTTT - Do any of you know how fucked up that shit was?  Really?  I recall a story of how a well known producer took a tape into Mastersound and then realized the 10K alignment tone was wavering 'cause he left his master next to his bookshelf speakers....

Ain't just me - see Jack Endino's page titled "The Unpredictable Joys of Analog Recording" (Jack's the guy that did a lot of the early Seattle stuff including Nirvana's Bleach ).

From that page: "To me, analog is unpredictable; it does that funny thing to the bottom end. You work really hard on the bottom to get it exactly right, and then you play it back on your analog tape, and it's like, 'Oh, what happened there?' The storage medium is making decisions about what the bottom end should sound like." ~Bob Clearmountain

I also repaired all those, "good ol" tape decks. Isoloop 3M 59/79's, JH-24 MCI's that had so many issues with the discrete CMOS transport logic (JH110 transports), Did tons of work on Ampex MM-1100/1200's with their funky head loading issues, Otari's (MX80's to non-capstan MTR90's) and everything in between. Setting bias on a Scully 1" was a nightmare if it was older than a year or so - electrolytic caps go to la-la land. You'd never get all the channels to sound the same.

And every Studer known to man... in fact, to set up new brakes on an A-80, one had to flood the hubs with Acetone, then run the units WITH THE BRAKES ON (you pulled the brake solenoid) until it started to smoke slightly - then and only then were the new brake bands broken in... otherwise you'd spill $200/reel 2" tape on the floor next the bass player's cumshot from him fucking some groupie the night before (actually had to fix an Amek 2500 console that happened to before a session with Blue's Travelers at Mulberry Street Recorders).

Do you guys even have a clue as to how fucked up even the best of the best was back then with regards to signal integrity?  How many of you actually know how to set the volts per division and triggering on an oscilloscope? Especially an old 500 series Tek that was as big as a stove?

As to the "wow - vinyl" here's a bit of info - it actually sucks... ya know why? You can't track a stereo groove exactly the way a cutter, such as the ol' Neumann lathe/Telefunken cutter actually cut the grooves - and even those weren't the best - here's an actual datasheet with specs:

Specs of a typical Professional Diskcutter Head

What? only rated to 15KHz? Probably one of the reasons for half-speed mastering...

OK - I'll answer one of the questions from the end of this rant - You CANNOT play a record again within 17 hours after a stylus passes over it. Why? The extreme forces of that little elliptical or conical diamond stylus, due to the small surface area of contact, exerts extreme pressures (even at one gram tracking force) and destroys the high frequency info in the grooves - the plasticizers in the vinyl (pure vinyl is brittle) compress to a point that an immediate replay of the record just lops off the hi freq grooves...see the first paragraph of this rant...

Dust on the record?  Naw man, that's all the cymbals going bye-bye...that grey dust is actually part of the groove....

I will say that other studies (esp those done by the Last Co.) show more damage is caused by conchoidal fractures than replay. But other studies have shown that as the point of contact goes "plastic" further stress can exacerbate fracturing.

OK... as a kid I worked at Opus One in Pittsburgh - Tasso (the owner) actually built George Benson's first guitar amp (actually one of his techs did out of an old KLH amp)

I remember getting a hi-end audio system on the service lift that claimed it picked up Radio Moscow on the left channel... I went upstairs to the sales guy with a "What the fuck..." question. Didn't even get that far, Phil, the sales guy, said the customer ran the electron microscope at CMU and had a Ph.D. EE.

So I go to the guy's house, he's using a top of the line Thorens, with a  Linn tone arm and Supex MC cartridge  - turns out the ground system for his DX long wire antenna was inducing RF into the phono preamp.

To get a phonograph to play even close to what happened on the master tape or even the mastering lathe, required such care that it was insane....

OK, I sent this before and I really hope you ACTUALLY post it this time:

Seriously, anyone here that's really into vinyl know how to set antiskate? How do you really do it correctly? It's effects on channel balance?
OK...  I just did a Google to see forum results for Rega, antiskate (with all the spelling variations).

Wow -  only a few of them that I saw (I realize I didn't do an exhaustive search) failed to talk about the true way to set antiskate.

You see, on any pivotal tonearm, there is a tendencey for the tonearm to be pulled towards the center of the turntable. Back in the day the typical consumer turntable had a dial with a spring to counter this force. The dial had a scale that typical consumers would use to set anti-skate depending on the tracking force; there were all kindsa rec's on how to set it - not any of them were correct.

In fact, the way you really set antiskate, it to get a special test disk  - No, not the fancy pants one I saw on all these forums.

A blank (no groove) disc. Blank. Totally. Just a flat fucking vinyl polymer disc. Just like a record but no groove.

Now put that on your Rega- bop thingy. Place the tone arm on the 33-1/3 or 45 RPM spinning blank disk with what you THOUGHT was the correct antiskate.

Watch what happens - you may want to be awake, really awake for this.

As the tonearm starts skating inward or outward (depending upon how fucked the antiskate you thought was right ACTUALLY is), you may want to be ready to keep it from destroying your pinky-pinky stylus as it either slams into the label area or whizzes past and falls off  of the needle drop area.

Yep - back in the day, that's how we set it... back in 1975 - back when that, 8 tracks, cassettes were king. Lovely...

Here's a vid -

How long does the average stylus suspension really last? What are plasticizers and how does it effect a phono cartridge?

Speaking of plasticizers, how does the variance in these chemical compounds affect hi frequencies and groove life?

How many people here know how long it takes the typical vinyl formulation to recover after a stylus passes over it?

How's 'bout MC vs MM and inertial differences? What's a Supex? What's the diff?

OK... how's bout phase shift due to poor RIAA preamps?  Anyone here know the diff? Anyone here know why there even is an RIAA curve? How's 'bout when the electrolytic coupling caps dry out? What happens then?  How is  the average shelf life of an electro rated?

How does L/R phase effect cutter/Stylus motion? How is stereo cut into a groove? What is the effect on channel separation?

Anyone here actually used a Fairchild limiter on a Neuman/Tele lathe/cutter?

What is the effect of the diminishing circumference as the groove approaches the center of the disk?

OK... How's about linear tracking vs tangential error? How's a record cut - Pivotal or radial?  What effects does it have as the stylus moves towards the center of the record?

OK... Anyone here tell me what famous turntable used to use gymbal suspension and could actually play upsidedown?

OK.... anyone here actually uses a Lissajous display to actually observe LF modulation characteristics of the various drive technologies (belt vs puck vs direct drive)?

Some great stuff on vinyl here -
... love the silverfish turds

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