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Phono Stage help


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Having trouble diagnosing the problem.

A few weeks ago i was running a Pioneer SX 1010 (100% refurbished a few years ago) with an Orbit TT with Klipschorns (1974 all original except a new XO from Crites)

The left speaker made a mild cracking sound, and it seemed like the K55V was having trouble.

They are original from 1974, so I figured the diaphragm went bad, ordered a pair of A-55Gs from Crites (good reason to order these anyway)

Noticed the sound still wasn't right, left side a bit bright or right side was muddy.

Swapped out the SX 1010 for a Pioneer SX 535 (little brother)  - sounded OK, but still off, at first I though it was just the down grade in receiver.

Decided to hook the 1010 with the Orbit to some KG 1.5's  - noticed the woofer cone was dancing a bit, and more on the left side.

Swapped the 535 in and noticed the same thing, just less pronounced dancing.

Did the same with some Forte II's 1010 and 535 same results.

Next I grabbed an old Pioneer PL15 TT, and did the same tests with 1010 and 535 with the forte IIs

Similar results, also noticed while i was touching the balance knob the woofer dancing was worse then it would settle down, again both the 1010 and 535.

Thus I can't seem to find the problem, but something is not right.

Last test was to go away from the phono stages and go ipod to aux, both 1010 and 535 - both sounded as they should.


As always appreciate any insight/help before i spend some $s to have the 1010 phono stage looked at.



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The Orbit TT is new, with no ground to the receiver, I assume the plug to the wall has this covered.

The older PL 15 has a ground wire, and i do have it connected to the receiver, as required.

I have never pulled the back or cover off the PL 15, could use a good once over. 

Still doesn't explain the U-Turn Orbit Plus doing the same.

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If speakers sounds good with iPod

Then no out of phase. And not likely both receivers suffering from same phono stage problem. Why both reaction same when touching balance knob...

Which outlets are you using to power both turntables?

Reaching I am...


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Temporary set-up on a table, new power strip from the wall - all units plugged into the power strip.

Power strip is heavy duty, daughter is home from college and we purchased these special for her dorm room.

I have a 3rd set-up in my main living room with a newer Denon AVR-S640H - it has a phono stage. 

I wasn't planning on dismantling all my set-ups, but this would rule out any issues with the TTs.

Schu may be right on with the Caps, but the balance knob thing is strange, I'm off work in a few - will play around with more options then

Thanks for the help so far

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Just learning more about your set up. All on the table when trouble shooting, so to speak. When you

have the time to do this with focus then. Hopefully it doesn't come to dismantling, just calm logic 


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I think i discovered a few things.

Phono Stage on the 1010 needs repair

RCA cord that came with the Orbit is bad, never in my 49 years have a seen that

PL 15 needs some work as well

All discovered by running everything through a newer Denon AVR

Orbit with replaced RCA cord worked fine with AVR and SX 535 - not the 1010

PL 15 still danced the woofer cones with AVR and 535

Dismantled 3 systems to figure it our. 

Such is life with old 70's gear.

Thanks for all the suggestions.




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