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Topic: What is the best SP vinyl to test a turntable?

This topic contains 30 replies, has 2,301 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of marigold marigold 4 years, 6 months ago.

On marigold wrote:

Case: I bought a secondhand Technics SL-1210MK5 turntable a while ago, and it will be serviced and a new stylus implemented soon. The stylus will most probably be the Denon DL-103, since the guy doing the job adviced that one. He also asked me to bring vinyl to test the service afterwards, and he will finetune the settings of the turntable based on my taste. I’m going to bring Led Zeppelin (The Song Remains The Same), Thin Lizzy (Live and Dangerous or Life/Live) and Deep Purple (Made In Japan) on vinyl, since I’m a huge lover of live rock shows. But of course I want to bring some Smashing Pumpkins too. I’m not a vinyl collector, so I have only little vinyl of Smashing Pumpkins. What should I bring to the turntable finetune session?

Choose between:

I Am One 10\"
I Am One 12\"
Cherub Rock 7\"
Cherub Rock 12\"
Siamese Dream 12\" (black vinyl)
Disarm 12\"
Machina / The Machines of God 12\" (I’m thinking of bringing this one)
Tarantula 7\"
That’s The Way (My Love Is) 7\"
Teargarden Theme 7\"
The Solstice Bare 12\"
The Celestials 7\"

Reason I’m asking, I never played Smashing Pumpkins on vinyl so far. And I have no idea which 7\", 10\" or 12\" of SP is worthwhile listening to in a technical hifi-oriented way. Thanks for your help! :)

Billy Corgan, December 2, 2008 : "Not everyone understands our death trip. But you do. And that's what matters."
Profile photo of spag
Participant
On Spag wrote:

I suppose I would choose the album/single/whatever I listened to the most, or like the most. That way I’d best be able to decide how good the turntable is. In my case that would be Machina.

I'm the best bass player the Smashing Pumpkins ever had
Profile photo of manillascissor
Keymaster
On manillascissor wrote:

i used to play the cherub rock 12\" quite a lot, as the bass seemed to overpower on the record. perhaps that’s not a good record for fine tuning!

in my time of dying
Profile photo of Cool As Ice Cream
Moderator
On Cool As Ice Cream wrote:

i was thinking siamese dream or cherub rock, but don’t ask me why.

Profile photo of Sven
Participant
On Sven wrote:

TEG on Machina on vinyl is insanely bass heavy.

a lot of record players can’t even handle the depth of the groove there… resulting in tracking problems (bouncing stylus even)…

if calibrated correctly, it sounds amazing!

the Cherub Rock 12\" is not too bass heavy, but you don’t get much in terms of b-side balance stuff to check with.
i’d use the SD LP…
check for the seperation in the stereo field, especially in Quiet, the drum sound in Cherub Rock and Geek, the attack in the guitar in Rocket, the cello/strings in Disarm and the clearness in Today and Hummer… it should be a massive difference compared to the cd.

Profile photo of Cool As Ice Cream
Moderator
On Cool As Ice Cream wrote:

i wish i had a technics record player.

Profile photo of manillascissor
Keymaster
On manillascissor wrote:

i wish i had sven’s ears

in my time of dying
Profile photo of Arthur
Moderator
On Arthur wrote:

Thanks for all the advices, guys, really helpful!

I just realised I was asked to bring 2 or 3 albums, so I changed my list. Led Zeppelin stays, but will get company from Machina and Siamese Dream. I’m also interested to hear Soma and Glass & The Ghost Children. :)

Billy Corgan, December 2, 2008 : "Not everyone understands our death trip. But you do. And that's what matters."
Profile photo of Arthur
Moderator
On Arthur wrote:

i wish i had a technics record player.[/quote:26ogy5lr]
They are not too bad, I heard.

Billy Corgan, December 2, 2008 : "Not everyone understands our death trip. But you do. And that's what matters."
Profile photo of Arthur
Moderator
On Arthur wrote:

i wish i had sven’s ears[/quote:mkddyxx2]
They are not too bad, I heard.

Billy Corgan, December 2, 2008 : "Not everyone understands our death trip. But you do. And that's what matters."
Profile photo of Sven
Participant
On Sven wrote:
i wish i had a technics record player.[/quote:19c0gmpr]
They are not too bad, I heard.[/quote:19c0gmpr]

those are the best, trust me; when correctly callibrated and with the right cartridge/stylus; it’s amazing…

Profile photo of Sven
Participant
On Sven wrote:
i wish i had sven’s ears[/quote:2xmgv6oa]
They are not too bad, I heard.[/quote:2xmgv6oa]

well, errr….
they had some ‘road damage’ due to way too many concerts…

but, still:
the insane NAD pre/end amp coupled with the speakers and hooked up to the SL1200MK2 (never mind any higher spec; it’s the MK2 you need to go for!) set-up blows your brains out (and half of the neighbourhood… :)

Profile photo of Arthur
Moderator
On Arthur wrote:

never mind any higher spec; it’s the MK2 you need to go for[/quote:2vf75v48]
True, the differences are minimal. But when I read this on a vinyl forum, I decided to go for a MK5 anyway: "MK5’s have a superior speed control circuit." And the Denon DL-103 stylus does well in the rock/blues market, I understood. Anyway, after it is serviced, you’re happily invited to come check it out, Sven!

On a sidenote, plans have changed again. Not that I wanted that, though… But I spend quite some time trying to find my copy of Siamese Dream on black vinyl, but it is hidden somewhere… No idea where. I’m sure I have it, I even remember buying it in Belgium in 2008! Instead I found my copy of Siamese Dream on pink vinyl, but no way I’m going to play that.

So now I’m taking I Am One 10" and Thin Lizzy – The Sun Goes Down (extended version on 12") with me. The latter is a stunning, well recorded rock ballad, and it has a very different type of dynamics between SP’s I Am One/Machina and the live show of Led Zeppelin on The Song Remains The Same. If the Technics turntable can swallow all that nicely after being serviced and calibrated, I’m sure it was treated well. :)

"There is a demon among us whose soul belongs in hell
Sent here to redeem us, she knows it all to well"

Billy Corgan, December 2, 2008 : "Not everyone understands our death trip. But you do. And that's what matters."
Profile photo of Cool As Ice Cream
Moderator
On Cool As Ice Cream wrote:

But I spend quite some time trying to find my copy of Siamese Dream on black vinyl, but it is hidden somewhere… No idea where. I’m sure I have it, I even remember buying it in Belgium in 2008! Instead I found my copy of Siamese Dream on pink vinyl, but no way I’m going to play that.[/quote:2asj10io]
i was wondering, which SD pressing on black vinyl do you have? is it the fairly recent caroline repressing, or the original hut uk pressing?
also, why is there no way you’re going to play SD on pink vinyl?

Profile photo of jawn till dusk
Participant
On jawn till dusk wrote:

Are coloured vinyls not said to be of leeser sound quality?
Sure I heard that somewhere.

Profile photo of Arthur
Moderator
On Arthur wrote:

I think it is the repressing of SD that I have, but I can only confirm that after I found it back. I must have stored it in another vinyl box when we moved in 2010. And I want to keep the pink vinyl in mint condition, that’s the most important reason. I don’t think the color of the vinyl influences the quality of the pressing. Could it be?

Billy Corgan, December 2, 2008 : "Not everyone understands our death trip. But you do. And that's what matters."
Profile photo of sauli
Member
On Sauli wrote:

At least sound quality of picture discs are pretty bad.

Profile photo of Sven
Participant
On Sven wrote:

Are coloured vinyls not said to be of leeser sound quality?
Sure I heard that somewhere.[/quote:3dvpys3j]

colour doens’t matter.

however:
– picture discs use very thin vinyl on both side of a ‘picture’ on paper sandwiched in between and although thin vinyl should per se compromise the sound quality (i.e. Teagarden 2 12"), it frequently appears to be of lower fidelity…

also:
– clear vinyl / translucent / transparent vinyl tends to but is not always somewhat of inferior fidelty to solid vinyl (coloured or black)…
> therefore I really REALLY dislike the fidelity of the original PI release…
>> however: I own a Red Sparrowes record on clear speckled black/gold dust vinyl that just sounds amazing, so it can be done…

Profile photo of Cool As Ice Cream
Moderator
On Cool As Ice Cream wrote:

– clear vinyl / translucent / transparent vinyl tends to but is not always somewhat of inferior fidelty to solid vinyl (coloured or black)…
> therefore I really REALLY dislike the fidelity of the original PI release…[/quote:3o352lvj]
that’s why you need the UK pressing.

Profile photo of Sven
Participant
On Sven wrote:
– clear vinyl / translucent / transparent vinyl tends to but is not always somewhat of inferior fidelty to solid vinyl (coloured or black)…
> therefore I really REALLY dislike the fidelity of the original PI release…[/quote:339zlo3w]
that’s why you need the UK pressing.[/quote:339zlo3w]

errr… yeah i did and would like to have the black vinyl UK pressing, BUT: the remaster blows even that one out of the water… so as per audio (SP)Freak(s)-joy there no begging here ;)

Profile photo of Arthur
Moderator
On Arthur wrote:

So I went to the guy doing the service, and it was pretty cool spending a few hours there. He owns every Technics SL model, including the extremely rare MK6. His preferred model is the M5G, which he set up with a Marantz amplifier and Stanton speakers. We played the vinyl I brought on his turntable, and tried several brands of stylus. The Denon stylus is indeed quite something.

I was not impressed by Machina on vinyl. In fact I was disappointed. Same for the Led Zeppelin show I brought (I learned I have the first pressing by Swan Song, but the second pressing is supposed to be better). The Thin Lizzy vinyl blew us away, which I kinda hoped/expected since I remembered playing it years ago when my Thorens turntable was still working. I Am One was not played.

The guy also played some vinyl from his collection, some jazz on 200 gram, Dire Straits and more. And during this session I learned a tough lesson… When you enter the world of high end turntables, your vinyl better be a perfect pressing of a perfect recording, perfectly mixed and produced. And that’s where Machina failed… I mean, it sounds good, it are still the songs I know and love. But it didn’t blow me away… :(

Billy Corgan, December 2, 2008 : "Not everyone understands our death trip. But you do. And that's what matters."
Profile photo of Arthur
Moderator
On Arthur wrote:

TEG on Machina on vinyl is insanely bass heavy. a lot of record players can’t even handle the depth of the groove there… resulting in tracking problems (bouncing stylus even)…

if calibrated correctly, it sound amazing![/quote:j8w9qcnm]
I wonder if we did something wrong. I mean this guy obviously knew what he was doing, as he showed me how to calibrate the skating settings in a way that skating will not appear on ANY place of the record, while most people settle for a no skating setting only in the middle of the vinyl. He will teach me the magic on my turntable in 2-3 weeks, when he is done servicing it. But I wonder, is maybe a special type of stylus needed for the Machina vinyl?

Billy Corgan, December 2, 2008 : "Not everyone understands our death trip. But you do. And that's what matters."
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Keymaster
On manillascissor wrote:

i remember sven speaking of the heavy bass on the machina test pressing. perhaps it was changed for the commercial release. also possible, is a difference between the US and UK pressings.

in my time of dying
Profile photo of manillascissor
Keymaster
On manillascissor wrote:

personally, i would have calibrated to siamese dream, as it’s my favorite record ever. make that sound superior, and nothing else matters.

in my time of dying
Profile photo of Sven
Participant
On Sven wrote:
TEG on Machina on vinyl is insanely bass heavy. a lot of record players can’t even handle the depth of the groove there… resulting in tracking problems (bouncing stylus even)…

if calibrated correctly, it sound amazing![/quote:3t7kddtp]
I wonder if we did something wrong. I mean this guy obviously knew what he was doing, as he showed me how to calibrate the skating settings in a way that skating will not appear on ANY place of the record, while most people settle for a no skating setting only in the middle of the vinyl. He will teach me the magic on my turntable in 2-3 weeks, when he is done servicing it. But I wonder, is maybe a special type of stylus needed for the Machina vinyl?[/quote:3t7kddtp]

no, i don’t think you did something wrong…
it’s just a massively distorted/saturated mix with all out low end; i guess it’s a matter of taste…

Profile photo of Arthur
Moderator
On Arthur wrote:

@manillascissor: that’s what I will do indeed. I’ll bring Siamese Dream next time. And some other vinyl I have that I remember that are quite good pressings (Michael Schenker Group, Black Sabbath, Ted Nugent). I hope I am not mistaken… Nevertheless, vinyl is a world apart, I realize now. ;)

@sven: I guess you are right. You know, that Thin Lizzy maxi single with the extended version of The Sun Goes Down played like the band was right there in the room. Few other songs/albums made us feel the same. I like that feeling, and Machina didn’t do that, at that moment. :(

Billy Corgan, December 2, 2008 : "Not everyone understands our death trip. But you do. And that's what matters."
Profile photo of Arthur
Moderator
On Arthur wrote:

For who’s interested, this is the service currently being performed.

-New EU transformator (since the US transformator does not have the 220V switch)
-New alu diecast base
-Upgrade to blue LED stylus illuminator
-Cleaning of pitch fader, buttons, tone arm and all other moving elements inside and outside
-New wiring, soldering, packing and lubrication on some places
-New (goldplated) shielded signal cables and plugs
-New panel cover with mounted hinges (the original MK5 does not come with hinges)
-New turntable mat
-Extra headshell with Denon DL-103 stylus
-Full calibration of all settings

The new alu base and the EU transformator made it a rather pricey service after all. I have to blame myself, because though I did my research before I bought it from an American seller, I forgot to ask about the 110/220 switch, which comes on other SL models. And the base is not that damaged (the turntable is still in perfect working order), but I still didn’t like the scratches on it when I saw it irl.

Billy Corgan, December 2, 2008 : "Not everyone understands our death trip. But you do. And that's what matters."
Profile photo of Arthur
Moderator
On Arthur wrote:

Service done, can’t wait to spin some SP vinyl when I pick it up on Friday! The guy even made a little clip for his Facebook page lol.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/ALBEPRO-A … 2314843515

Billy Corgan, December 2, 2008 : "Not everyone understands our death trip. But you do. And that's what matters."
Profile photo of Arthur
Moderator
On Arthur wrote:

Last post about this. During the listening session Friday night I made a few pics, and this blurry one of the colored Siamese Dream being played, which I send to a few friends, ended up on SPfreaks Twitter and Facebook, I noticed. :lol:

Siamese Dream sounded stunning by the way. We played the record start to end, and I got goosebumps at almost every song! <= the guy that serviced this machine didn’t know Smashing Pumpkins at all, but he put Siamese Dream on his list of must-buy vinyl albums. He even took a picture of the sleeve! 8)

Billy Corgan, December 2, 2008 : "Not everyone understands our death trip. But you do. And that's what matters."
Profile photo of Danni
Participant
On Danni wrote:

I think Siamese Dreams is the #1 choice, quite frankly. The depth is amazing.

Profile photo of marigold
Participant
On marigold wrote:

Siamese Dream sounded stunning by the way. We played the record start to end, and I got goosebumps at almost every song! <= the guy that serviced this machine didn’t know Smashing Pumpkins at all, but he put Siamese Dream on his list of must-buy vinyl albums. He even took a picture of the sleeve! 8)

[/quote:3aukeptd]

new fan! :)

 

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