Trouble with VPI Classic/dynavector 20x

Jers -- Fri, 02/03/2012 - 22:44

   I've had three copies of  The Red Hot Chili Peppers Stadium Arcadium and haven't been able to listen to any of them with out loud pops. It sounds as if there are grooves running in the wrong direction. I chalked it up to bad pressings but asked the retailer to play the last copy before they sent it. They reported it sounded "fantastic" but I still have the same problem.
   I checked the tracking force with the suplied gauge and it looks about rite, although I cant be 100% with that gauge. I going to my stereo shop in the A.M. to hear the record on another table. I should be able to rule out the vinyl after that. They may be able to let me use a better tracking force gauge to double check that. After that I'm out of ideas. I hate the idea that the cart will not track a record with this much base and there is nothing I can do, but that may be the case. I realy enjoy the table as it is and I don't want to have to upgrade. Anyone have any experiences or ideas that might help?

paulieb00 -- Sat, 02/04/2012 - 11:04

What version of the 20x do you have?
There are 3 versions, a high output, a medium output, and a low output.
Sounds like you may not have your phono preamp set correctly and it is overloading your preamp or line section.

suheil atallah -- Sat, 02/04/2012 - 20:26

the correct impedance for dynavector/ vpi 20x cartridge is 500 ohms, that will be a perfect setting and increase the cartridge weight to 2.00 grams, this one have already a kind of damping system then using the fluid for the tonearm could cause a high freq rolls off. But we did put this fluid because it will make the cartridge stable to lateral movement and did'nt notice any rolls off.

suheil atallah -- Sat, 02/04/2012 - 20:29

I forgot to mention something this cartridge is excellent for listening classical and jazz music but not good for rock, the denon cartridge dl-s1 will be much better if you primary listen rock music.

Jers -- Sun, 02/05/2012 - 09:28

   First thank you both for your posts. I took the vinyl in yesterday and it is fine. My dealer is being very supportive and will take a look at the table whenever I can get it in. And I got to check out some new gear wich is always fun. Paulie I am emdarassed to say I not sure which version of the 20x I have. The dealer set it up for me and its the only box / manual that I didn't get. Is there a way to tell by looking with out taking it off of the arm?
  I am using a Sutherland PH3D phono preamp the loading options are 100 ohms, 200 ohms,1k ohms,and 47k ohms. I will have to take it out of the rack to check what setting it's at. The gain options on the PH3D are 40dB, 45dB,50dB, 55dB, and 60dB. I increased this setting from what the dealer set to 60dB becouse I needed to turn the volume why up when playing records as opposed to when I was using the CD player. If you guys have any suggestions I will take the PH3D out and play with the settings.
  I am not using the fluid. If you think it could help I'm not against triying it, though I was told (again by my dealer) that I should not need it with this cart. I listen to mostly rock, blues, and a bit of pop. I realy like the sound I'm getting from this combo. This is the first time I have had any problems with it. Thanks again.

paulieb00 -- Sun, 02/05/2012 - 11:35

The gain setting that you changed is the (or one of the) problem(s).
You should change it back to where the dealer had it. On peaks and transients the phono stage is putting out too high of a signal and your preamp (or receiver, or integrated amp) input is overloading. this may not happen on all albums, only ones that are cut "hot".
Don't be affraid to have turn your volume control up higher with vinyl, than you have to with a cd player.
As long as you are not going above 4 or 5 o'clock on volume dial you should be fine.
Here are links to the different carts and your phono stage:
The vpi version is the mid output version, unfortunately they don't list any specs other than output, which is 1 mV.
The dynavector page shows the high and low output versions with specs. As you can see they would require different settings on your phono stage (both gain and loading).

Jers -- Mon, 02/06/2012 - 19:36

  Thank you very much for the time you took to help me out. I changed the gain back to 55dB and the record plays with no pops. But now wouldn't you know after pulling the phono stage out of the stack to get in side of it I picked up a low level hum as if I have some wires crossed. I've spent a couple hours rewireing but have not been able to fix it yet. I guess it's always something. Thank you again.

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