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Album plays louder on the left.


fwphoto
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Here's the deal. When I use my CDP or computer as my source, both channels seem balanced, but my rt. channel seems to drop in level a bit when I use my TT. Not totally out, just a noticeably lower level. I summed the L+R signals & that seems to level the signal out so I suspect its the TT that's delivering the unbalanced output.

I'm wondering if this can possibly be something as simple as out-of-adjustment tracking. I followed the specs when I installed my cartridge but I'm wondering if more/less might help balance out the signals. Is there a standard for this, like more (higher #) tracking should increase rt. channel & less (lower #) will increase the left? (Or the opposite?) I'm not new to TTs in general, but I don't remember ever having this problem.

FYI, here's the system:

Sources - Thorens TD 160 + Goldring ELECTRA, Rega Planet CDP, 800MHz Titanium Powerbook (iTunes) + Keces DA-151 DAC

Preamp/Amp - Dynaco PAS-3, Dynaco ST-70 (both just back from being serviced)

Speakers - Forte IIs (Crites Titanium tweeter diaphrams)

TIA,

Frank W.

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If you reverse the channel connections from the TT, does the imbalance switch to the other side?

  • Great question. If it does reverse, set up your cartridge / arm again. Use a test record with a channel balance test..
  • I presume you have tried more than one album? Channel balance on a single record and the CD version could be different (shouldn't be, but sometimes is).
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Thorens are tricky (as in sensitive...) on the tracking. Make sure that the cartridge leads are clean and tight, etc. And as others said, try different LP's, etc. That being said, a number of LP's that I have owned had noticeable differences between the left and right. Usually the cheaper brands, etc.

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Thanks for the replies folks!

I didn't realize how much of a PITA checkin' all this stuff out was going to be! ;-)

OK, I did reverse the connections & it didn't seem as pronounced as it did before. Put them in the correct allignment & the problem now was less apparent. (Maybe my right ear is bad!) Seems the harder I listen the more I get confused!

I played a couple different albums. That could be some of it. I just didn't have enough time to play more. Will definitely be listening for L/R balance in the future.

Its funny. Sometimes I think I might just be hearing a more accurate soundstage is all. You know, like maybe drums far left, lead guitar a little closer to center, vocals next, bass on right side by itself. (Well, not exactly, but you get what I'm saying, right?) That could also be caused by not-so-great sound engineering, too.

I'm going to have to keep working at this. I will set up the tracking & anti-skate again but I think the wiring is OK. I'll also have to listen a bit more critically to all my sources to try and find out exactly what I'm hearing!

Let the fun begin! ;-)

Thanks again!

Frank W.

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. (Maybe my right ear is bad!) Seems the harder I listen the more I get confused!

Thanks again!

Frank W.

Look directly at each speaker in turn (i.e., using each ear equally) and notice which is louder. If the side that is louder keeps switching back and forth with different records, that's O.K. ... if one side is always or almost always louder, that requies some attention from you. If you have a mono or A + B switch, throw it and confirm that the sound is coming from dead center (although if one ear is less sensitive, it won't) ... be sure to switch it back! Another way to do all this is to buy a test record and use the pink noise band at LOW volume (to protect your speakers), or use a Radio SHack SPL meter with pink or white noise (at 70 dB or below, for safety). Then stop before your dopamine channels are hijacked and you are as addicted as the rest of us..

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Guest davidness

I have a Shure cartridge that plays noticably lower level on the right channel than the left. Other cartridges I have are fine. So it could be a defective cartridge.

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I'm leaving on a vacation today but will definately check the TT setup again when I return.

I still don't have a final diagnosis of the problem, though. So many variables, especially at the listening end. In all honesty, at this point I'm not sure I have a problem at all! I think I'll pull out the headphones & play a few different albums before I get to crazy about fixing a problem that may, literally, be in my head!

Thanks again for all the suggestions. Like I said, I will check the TT setup out when I return, then post my findings.

Later,

Frank W.

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