Hum Problems From the Audio Fringe

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Hum Problems From the Audio Fringe

My Experience In Vinyl-Land

Halloween is a spooky time, and appropriate for mentioning ghosts in the machine.

While in the real world, people listen to their music from CDs or files on a hard disk, there remains a small but devoted contingent who still listen to vinyl records. Ever curious, and desirous of not being left out of some great audio experience, I obtained a certified high-end turntable, moving coil cartridge, and phono preamp.

Since it arrived about two months ago, I have succeeding in playing one LP satisfactorily. That's because I chose a tube phono preamp. Between hum problems with the (again highly regarded) cables I used at first, low level but clearly audible noises, and high frequency squealing that shut down one of my amps, this has been an unhappy experience of the audio fringe.

Thinking back on it, I have no idea what possessed me to request a tube phono preamp. Moving coil cartridges deliver very low level signals, and the required amplification (around 70 db) is a lot to ask of an inherently noisy device. Live and learn.

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