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In the Forum: Analog Playback
In the Thread: Inner Groove Distortion - Your experience?
Post Subject: Inner Groove Distortion - Your experience?Posted by hifitodd on: 12/4/2008
Hi Romy and others,

One thing that I have struggled with for some time is that I have always been plagued with inner groove distortion on the majority of my records (many new, all cleaned with Nitty Gritty).  Inner Groove Distortion on the sibilants especially drives me nuts, seems to happen on about 75% of my records.  I just bought a brand new 180g anniversary Dark Side of the Moon, and on the last track it goes "I'll Sssssssee you on the dark sssssside of the moon."  Very annoying. 

In classical music, this distortion represents itself on dynamic piano, string and horn passages, as well as in the sibilants in voices.

I've had this problem spanning several turntables and arms, (Rega P25, VPI HW19, Nottingham Spacedeck, and now a VPI Scoutmaster).  I've tried 3 cartridges (Denon 103R, Dynavector 20x and Shelther 901) always with the same results.  The table was professionally setup by my dealer, and I personally confirmed all the settings myself.  The tables have been level, I've tweaked alignment with various protractors and tools, tested VTF all throughout the range (leave it on the high side usually, 2.0g on the Shelter 901), and tried different VTA and antiskate settings.  I'm currently running the VPI Scoutmaster with the JMW 9 sig arm and the Shelter 901.  I understand that the compliance on this cartridge is too low for this arm, but my understanding is that this shouldn't impact IGD. (correct me if I'm wrong)

Always, the inner groove distortion is there.  I also just bought the new Guns n Roses album on vinyl (probably not your taste, Romy Smile  )  , and it's got it too.  Axl Rose doesn't even need to say something that starts with S.

Anyway, the one variable that has never changed, is the fact that I've been using a pivoted 9" arm. I have spoken with VPI and some others who feel that a well setup 9" should not have inner groove distortion, but the marketing on longer and linear tracking arms always mentions that they "reduce/eliminate IGD"

So the reason why I'm posting is just to get your take on things to see if you had any advice or thoughts to share.  Have you run into inner groove distortion before?  Did it seem to be a common theme in 9" arms?  How did you deal with it?  Do you think that a linear tracking arm would magically make this problem go away?  (granted, it's probably not compatible with the Scoutmaster anyway, but this IGD is a dealbreaker for my vinyl enjoyment, so I've got to fix it one way or another).  I'm talking with Mike at VPI concurrently, who thinks it's a setup issue, which I am hesitant to believe given that I've had the same problem spanning several completely different setups.

Thanks in advance,


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