Vinyl turntables - what happend with wow and flutter specs?

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
lfm
KVRAF
4962 posts since 22 Jan, 2005 from Sweden

Post Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:45 am

In my early years, in the sixties, no turntable was acceptable if not wow and flutter was below 0.05% or something.

Looking at a replacement for an old Thorens there is nothing basically that go below 0.1% - even up at about $2000 price tags. Looked at a range of brands.

Or what am I missing?

Incredible annoying on piano in particular if speed is not stable.

In the days of cnc and all, one would think precision were much better than ever before and done more cheaply too.

Thanks.

Steve Bolivar
KVRian
507 posts since 25 Aug, 2006

Re: Vinyl turntables - what happend with wow and flutter specs?

Post Sat Mar 16, 2019 8:40 am

I initially thought it was something simple like measuring equipment is better or that laws about advertising are more strict now. This article has a lot of good information but it looks like he does use it to link to some partner sites. I never had thought about the effect of the concentricity of the pressing.
http://120studio.com/audio/wowflutter.htm#wf

https://forums.pioneerdj.com/hc/en-us/c ... nd-Flutter

lfm
KVRAF
4962 posts since 22 Jan, 2005 from Sweden

Re: Vinyl turntables - what happend with wow and flutter specs?

Post Sat Mar 16, 2019 8:47 am

Thanks will have a look.

Advertisement laws - I wonder - they seem to get away with today what was unlawful way of doing specs in the 60's.

Yamaha specified frequency range at -10 dB on their HS-series monitors as one - where standard all over is -3 dB.

Is musical power is ok now again - that was pretty much forbidden back then - specifyin amp power in music watts instead of rms.

JCJR
KVRAF
2576 posts since 17 Apr, 2005 from S.E. TN

Re: Vinyl turntables - what happend with wow and flutter specs?

Post Sat Mar 16, 2019 2:14 pm

On the watts thing, depending on the kind of use put to the amp and it's design, a straightforward rms figure may not be representative, though "music power" is a terrible spec as well.

Old amps with stiff power supply rails could deliver no more than x clean watts before clipping and a heavy duty built enough example might be able to deliver that max clean x watts forever without frying. But it would clip if it is asked to deliver even x.1 watts even for a brief loud transient.

That kind of spec is great for loud narrow dynamic range use. Live loud pro sound. Bass guitar amp with the player actually using the power available, etc. Maybe a good spec for folk who mostly listen to narrow dynamic range squashed flat music.

But some of the modern amp designs can deliver big clean power for short transients, but would distort if steadily held at that high power level for long time periods. They don't act like they have stiff power supplies but it is by design not accident or shoddy manufacture.

In uses with wide dynamic range music, such an amp would perform just as clean as an old-style amp that can deliver the same x max clean watts forever. So for wide dynamic music with plenty of amp headroom an amp that is lighter cheaper and can deliver short bursts of clean high power would be nice, but if you spec it for max continuous clean rms watts, it will appear "on paper" to be a wimpier amp than it really is.

Some of the "big name" high power pro digital power amps are rated in some compromise fashion giving numbers bigger than the long term max rms watts, because the amps can short term deliver much higher clean power levels. And therefore perform equivalent clean to a higher power "old fashioned" amp that can deliver the max loudest transient power level continuously.

With normal dynamic range music maybe a 20 dB crest factor if the average listening level is 1 Watt and brief peaks are 100 watts, then you need at least a 100 Watt rms old stiff power supply amp to avoid clipped transients, even though the amp is usually just loafing along at 1 Watt.

OTOH with a little 2 Watt rms amp it could run clean most of the time but clip most of the brief transients.

If you had a 2 Watt rms amp that could deliver clean brief 100 Watt transients then it ought to work as good as a 100 Watt rms amp on "wide dynamic range music".

But wouldn't be a good choice for workhorse loud pro use with narrow dynamic range music.

JCJR
KVRAF
2576 posts since 17 Apr, 2005 from S.E. TN

Re: Vinyl turntables - what happend with wow and flutter specs?

Post Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:39 pm

Dunno much about turntables. Back in the day never spent more than a couple hundred bucks on a turntable but that might be $1000+ in inflated modern monopoly money. :)

A wild guess by analogy-- I worked on some turntables long ago but can't remember seeing inside any exotic ones of yesteryear.

One of the first "hifi" cassette decks was an Advent model. I had one of those. It was built like a tank. Was not as "super hifi" as some of later-year Nakamichi's and such, but its claim to fame was being one of the first aimed at music rather than dictaphone purpose.

That Advent got low wow and flutter with a fist-sized main capstan motor with a fairly big flywheel on the back of it. Complete overkill just to turn a tiny little stem-sized cassette capstan. The speed was steady because of power and inertia of mass.

Later on, better-spec'd more modern cassette decks accomplished the low wow&flutter with little thumb-sized motors. Sometimes it was possible to disassemble the tiny ailing motors, clean and lube the bearings, re-adjust the speed, etc. Opening the thumb-sized motors was amazing-- Tiny little circuit boards, near-microscopic parts, speed trimmers requiring the smallest mini-screwdriver to adjust. Those units got the low wow&flutter with fine-grained electronic speed control rather than inertia of large mass. Less expensive and probably worked as good or better.

Maybe by analogy turntable engineering followed a similar path? I wonder if maybe early "deluxe" turntables relied on big motors and massive components, wheras when they went to "direct drive" and other more-modern improvements, they figured to get "about as good performance" with much less massive, less expensive, fine-grained electronic speed control?

In the big stereo companies, maybe the same engineers working on cassette decks also designed turntables, so a solution path for cassettes might have also been a solution path for turntables?

lfm
KVRAF
4962 posts since 22 Jan, 2005 from Sweden

Re: Vinyl turntables - what happend with wow and flutter specs?

Post Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:49 pm

Thanks. I've seen very spaced out turntables like taken from Star Trek or similar.
Bang & Olufsen made one with fully perpendicular arm like engraving machines(or what it's called).
They always had a flair for design.

Things that might have developed would be bearings and material for arms and such, I think.

The latest from back then turntable itself were directdrive motors. Just how I remember it.

Just curious on the matter how hard it was to find anything below 0.1% wow/flutter. AT $1000 it was still 0.15% and similar. It's like they brought in the "toy" developers almost to meet the increasing demand.

I had a period listening to piano concertos from the big classical names, and on tape with around 0.1% it was noticable the unstable attack of notes. So figured if to at all bother investing in a turntable today it would have to be better than that and as just about all turntables back then did better than that - one wonder why nothing today?

I saw these big reviews recently and how good it sounds and all that, but how does it matter if it flutters like crazy, at least noticable. Comparisons that were a bit like wine tasting in fancy words how one sounded and not the other.

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BertKoor
KVRAF
11010 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Re: Vinyl turntables - what happend with wow and flutter specs?

Post Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:09 am

Vinyl as a playback format sucks. Compact disks are better. But since everybody went listening & watching to streams, even half-decent cd/dvd players are not made anymore.

Todays turntables are built as toys. Because that' what they are: just toys.
We are the KVR collective. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. Image
My MusicCalc is back online!!

AnX
KVRAF
4139 posts since 17 Nov, 2015

Re: Vinyl turntables - what happend with wow and flutter specs?

Post Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:23 am

utter rubbish

lfm
KVRAF
4962 posts since 22 Jan, 2005 from Sweden

Re: Vinyl turntables - what happend with wow and flutter specs?

Post Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:22 am

BertKoor wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:09 am
Vinyl as a playback format sucks.
I would no go that far, there are parts that I loved getting rid of when cd came - like rumble noise and other anomalies like statics and stuff. And dynamic range.

But there is something about the vinyl sound still - that I really like.

I discovered that DAC is the most important part - and it varies greatly - so beginning 90's I started using my own external dac's instead of that crap built into cd/dvd players I had so far.

CD productions are so horrible many that I bought in recent years(Yes, I am one those that always buy this stuff).

They push frequency content as well as loudness war so not as enjoyable as they could be - some of them.

Vinyl has natural limitation you always had to stick to, like dynamic range and frequency content too as needle is to track this later.
Todays turntables are built as toys. Because that' what they are: just toys.
I have to agree on that - there is a demand, let's meet that with a pizza roundabout.
People have more money than sense - let's just charge the crap out of this demand.

JCJR
KVRAF
2576 posts since 17 Apr, 2005 from S.E. TN

Re: Vinyl turntables - what happend with wow and flutter specs?

Post Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:25 pm

A New Yorker cartoon:
Image
“The two things that really drew me to vinyl were the expense and the inconvenience.”

lfm
KVRAF
4962 posts since 22 Jan, 2005 from Sweden

Re: Vinyl turntables - what happend with wow and flutter specs?

Post Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:45 pm

JCJR wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:25 pm
A New Yorker cartoon:
Image
“The two things that really drew me to vinyl were the expense and the inconvenience.”
I think that is so true. :D

This is what I found getting an Espresso machine as well - sometimes if feels better to having to do so many operations - what a coffee maker do with no effort. It's like we accomplish something great.

The coffee grown on the right altitude, exact grain, tamping is a science of it's own. Then all the settings with temperature, pressue, time and whatnot - and a $2000 dip in your account is easily made.

Have a couple of friends over, you better have that machine in the living room or spending all the time in the kitchen - just making coffee. ;)

No didn't spend more than $200 on mine, but anyway....

JCJR
KVRAF
2576 posts since 17 Apr, 2005 from S.E. TN

Re: Vinyl turntables - what happend with wow and flutter specs?

Post Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:26 am

Good points. So far as I know no one sold "hi hi fi" turntables with changers. I had a couple of "lo hi fi" or maybe "mid hi fi" turntables with changers. One was some kind of Garrard.

With maybe avg 20 minutes per side a listening session required at least a bit of attention/work to keep the music going without a changer. Even with a changer would have to do something to the thang about hourly.

Maybe some changers were durable but mine wore out after awhile and remove the changer spindle put in the single play stub spindle and back to one side at a time.

Maybe that was the beginning of the DJ biz? One day long ago Lord Effentwit calls for the Head Butler, "Jeeves-- We now ride horseless carriages and the stable boy hasn't enough work to keep him out of trouble. Why not have him wind the victrola and play records at tea time and dinner? Have more music around the old mansion than just Lady Effentwit and our daughter playing piano and harp!"

Doesn't take long for the stable boy to discover a lively market for after-hours victrola-winding at bars, pubs, taverns and houses of ill repute.

Pretty soon he is a big wheel, fine clothes and jewelry, everywhere about town accompanied by comely young women of negotiable affection! :)

lfm
KVRAF
4962 posts since 22 Jan, 2005 from Sweden

Re: Vinyl turntables - what happend with wow and flutter specs?

Post Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:43 pm

I like your story how DJ's as a profession came to be, quite plausible. :D

And to spin that further - the DJ, not really able to sing, but a hell of a talker - started doing more talking to the beats, scratching the vinyls - and hiphop came about, and the jewelry, women and stardom too. ;)

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planetearth
KVRian
1494 posts since 10 Jul, 2006 from Tampa

Re: Vinyl turntables - what happend with wow and flutter specs?

Post Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:35 pm

This doesn't surprise me. Consider how Tascam's new cassette deck (the 202 MkVII) doesn't record to metal (Type IV) tapes, has no Dolby noise reduction (though it has something "similar"), and has no published specs--yet they want $500 for it. No doubt the specs are crap, and that's why you don't see them. (The RCA-only outputs on the back are a sure indicator that this is a consumer-level deck.)

Yes, it has USB. So what? You have no control over the signal going to the computer. Is there a compressor built in that you might not want to use? Or will it just clip if the level gets too hot?

Oh, and you can't record to the deck over USB from your computer. You also get no auto-reverse, no continuous recording between the two decks, no high-speed dubbing, no bias control, no...I could go on and on, but you get the idea.

I've seen a disturbing trend of manufacturers putting out what should be entry-level cassette decks or turntables...and charging pro-level prices for them, simply because "Millennials" have no idea what the specs or prices should be for entry-level gear. Next up: 8-track tape cartridges (and players!) for $699.99. (To be fair, the players will be portable--if you can find 6 D-cell batteries somewhere.)

Steve
Listen to some of my stuff here: https://soundcloud.com/shadowsoflife.

AnX
KVRAF
4139 posts since 17 Nov, 2015

Re: Vinyl turntables - what happend with wow and flutter specs?

Post Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:31 pm

mine says 0.2%
cant say ive ever noticed

got it half price (£120) had it for couple of years, great deck. I'd get another one. Some of the ones i had before were ok but not great, even one of the rega planers was a bit iffy, but it was a belt drive, i dont like those. Im not an audiophile, i just like playing my records.

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