Author Topic: distortion on isn't anything/loveless 12" vinyl  (Read 432 times)

silentvelcro

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distortion on isn't anything/loveless 12" vinyl
« on: November 03, 2016, 07:11:07 PM »
hi all,

i have recently been investing a lot of time into setting up my hifi/stereo at home, reading up on proper turntable setup, etc.  mbv is one of my go-to bands for "reference" listening as i've listened to loveless probably more than any other album in existence.

one thing i've never been able to get around is vinyl distortion when listening to some of the louder/harsher/hi-frequency tracks, mainly "all i need" and "to here knows when"

..whenever i listen to either of these tracks i get an overly distorted sound from my records as compared to the CD/MP3 version. what is confusing of course is that MBV's sound is by nature VERY distorted, plus vinyl, as a medium, far more prone to distortion, so it's hard to separate mbv's distorted sound (which is intended) from the distortion caused from incorrect tracking of the groove (unintended)

what i want to know is, how much of this is due to:

(i) insufficiencies in my setup? did i align my cartridge incorrectly, is my needle worn out, etc. OR

(ii) is this simply the  way that the track was mastered for vinyl? maybe this distortion was intended and closer to the way mbv & co intended to disc to sound. maybe this distortion is simply unavoidable on vinyl, especially when you have a sound like mbv's.

(iii) have i just listened to these records too much and worn out the grooves? maybe i just need to buy a new copy after having listened to them hundreds of times?

anyways, i just want to know if this is on anyone else's radar. am i the only one that hears this harshness on these tracks?

silentvelcro

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Re: distortion on isn't anything/loveless 12" vinyl
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2016, 07:12:19 PM »
i should note, i have the Plain Recordings presses of both albums. both purchased new from a record store sometime around 2007. maybe they were just bad presses?

loveably tiny demon

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Re: distortion on isn't anything/loveless 12" vinyl
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2016, 12:33:49 AM »
I'd use something other than a loveless repress to calibrate and set your stereo.
Something which has a good range.

Also I take it you are not adding any eq or using any presets?

cristian

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Re: distortion on isn't anything/loveless 12" vinyl
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2016, 02:34:39 AM »
I haven't heard the Plain reissues but I have read opinions on the internet and most people considere them bad pressings. They are not approved by Kevin either, his opinion was that "Plain did an awful, terrible job".. My original Creation pressings don't have any strange distortion on those tracks when compared to the cds. The only difference between the Loveless CD and the loveless vinyl is the mixing (CD:vocals are higher in the mix). Isn't anything has better low end on the original vinyl, but no strange distortion. Maybe you should try your set up with M B V which for sure should sound great because is a phenomenal pressing.
In case you're only having distortion problems with the Plain vinyl but the rest of your collection plays fine then it's probably a pressing issue.

silentvelcro

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Re: distortion on isn't anything/loveless 12" vinyl
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2016, 02:31:00 PM »
Thanks. That's a good point.  m b v sounds fine  from what I can tell so it's probably an issue with Plain not doing a good job with the presses.

I haven't heard the Plain reissues but I have read opinions on the internet and most people considere them bad pressings. They are not approved by Kevin either, his opinion was that "Plain did an awful, terrible job".. My original Creation pressings don't have any strange distortion on those tracks when compared to the cds. The only difference between the Loveless CD and the loveless vinyl is the mixing (CD:vocals are higher in the mix). Isn't anything has better low end on the original vinyl, but no strange distortion. Maybe you should try your set up with M B V which for sure should sound great because is a phenomenal pressing.
In case you're only having distortion problems with the Plain vinyl but the rest of your collection plays fine then it's probably a pressing issue.

MouthOfTheDesert

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Re: distortion on isn't anything/loveless 12" vinyl
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2016, 05:41:10 AM »
 I can definitely vouch that the Plain's sound absolutely shite having owned both, and they are known for terrible pressings in general most of which is alleged  to be 'mastered' from CD quality digital files. So yes, charlatans. I've seen Plain pressings of Loveless going for $100 (AUD) in reputable record stores, and of course online - which is why I think Kevin Shields had some moral culpability in putting these remasters out years ago, although at least he called Plain out on it in an interview somewhere.

in that light it should be said that an original press of Loveless isn't necessarily a revelation, it just isn't a 'loud' record by contrast to other records and with wax the crackle and whatnot does become a 'part' of the sound, what really has me giddy though is how high quality the pressing of m b v was.

Wait till the remasters and we'll hopefully have a better understanding of it all anyways.

MouthOfTheDesert

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Re: distortion on isn't anything/loveless 12" vinyl
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2016, 05:44:16 AM »
I'd use something other than a loveless repress to calibrate and set your stereo.

Oh & definitely this too man

silentvelcro

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Re: distortion on isn't anything/loveless 12" vinyl
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2016, 02:06:44 AM »
i totallly get that mvb are not "reference" listening band. but purely based on the number of times i have listened to lovelss as compared to any other album, i would be able to tell if there is anything "off" with my system just by listening to it.

my stereo, for the record, is a thorens 160 with denon dl-110 cart, audio tesearch sp9 preamp, dynaco st70 power amp, kef 104ab speakers with no EQ whatsoever.