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Thread: Jesus, help! Stereo trouble upsetting music listening

  1. #1
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    Default Jesus, help! Stereo trouble upsetting music listening

    Please try to help me.

    I know nothing about separates systems, or hi-fi, which will soon be apparent.

    I have an amp, a cd player and some speakers that I got for free and are quite old.

    They have more physicality and power, are better at depicting timbre than my little stereo thing.

    Anyways, the damned thing spoils about half my cd's with this effect it drops on top of the music.

    I can only describe this effect as a sort of crackling. But the rhythm of it when it appears is distinctive. It's often like a 'flicking', like a quarter note with the emphasis on the first note and every second note thereafter.
    It sounds as if my system were a vinyl player, and there were a cloud of sand scudding across the top of the revolving disc intermittently, tugging it back a few times in quick succession, giving the insectile crackling effect.

    I used to think this only happened on my ADD cd's, and especially orchestral ADD. But it always happens on my EMI alban berg quartet bartok, which is DDD and chamber, obviously.

    Clearly, I know nothing about any of this. But I am incredibly pissed off. I just want to listen to my music. I've asked around and nobody knows anything about this.

    Thank you for reading, and if you can, please do offer me some advice on this most vexing of situations.

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    Senior Member Mark Harwood's Avatar
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    I've heard this sound, & it was on discs that were badly made & deteriorating with age. It may be just possible that a computer CD drive will read this disc better & copy it to a fresh disc. I hope you get advice from people who know more than I do.
    "Music is a social act of communication among people, a gesture of friendship, the strongest there is."
    - Malcolm Arnold.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richardgaray View Post
    Please try to help me.

    I have an amp, a cd player and some speakers that I got for free and are quite old....I can only describe this effect as a sort of crackling....it always happens on my EMI alban berg quartet bartok
    Some older CD players do occasionally have trouble disc-reading.

    Two things you can do before blaming the disc or the player--Wash the problem CDs with warm water and a dish-washing detergent. Also, use a CD player cleaning disc.

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    I've done the cd player cleaning disc thing. It wasn't that. Got hilariously ripped off for the thing too.

    Have since discovered that it only seems to happen on EMI classics cd's.

    Still not happy about it. I guess it's either my cd player or amp, as they're old.

    Any guess as to which might be causing the problem?

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    Quote Originally Posted by richardgaray View Post
    I've done the cd player cleaning disc thing. It wasn't that. Got hilariously ripped off for the thing too.

    Have since discovered that it only seems to happen on EMI classics cd's.

    Still not happy about it. I guess it's either my cd player or amp, as they're old.

    Any guess as to which might be causing the problem?
    From the above I doubt it's the amp, and probably not the cd player but not sure about that. I would look at the discs first. Older cd's had a problem with the silver reflective coating becoming corroded. Do those EMI titles play on your computer? If so (or even if not), try ripping them as wav files and burning them to a blank cd and see if the copy plays on the cd player.

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    Thanks, I'll try that.

    It will take we a while as I don't have the facilities handy.

    I'll report back when I can try this out!

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    Junior Member Major Minor's Avatar
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    I am pretty sure it's your CD player.
    You can get a new one that would be a vast improvement cheaply, if that's an issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richardgaray View Post
    I've done the cd player cleaning disc thing. It wasn't that. Got hilariously ripped off for the thing too.

    Have since discovered that it only seems to happen on EMI classics cd's.

    Still not happy about it. I guess it's either my cd player or amp, as they're old.

    Any guess as to which might be causing the problem?

    Contact EMI. They may have embedded something for whatever reasons. They do have history with copy protection, opendisc, etc.

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    A new twist.

    Yesterday I bought Zimerman Boulez Ravel piano concertos on DG (4492132).

    And the same problem arises when I try to play this.

    I am incredibly angry.

    That is all.

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    Major Minor, if you would be so kind:

    What are the main concerns when buying a cd player to link up with speakers and amp you already own?

    I've heard it is easy to make lamentable mismatches.

    I have a feeling this sorry tale will end with money being blown, wisely or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richardgaray View Post
    Major Minor, if you would be so kind:

    What are the main concerns when buying a cd player to link up with speakers and amp you already own?

    I've heard it is easy to make lamentable mismatches.

    I have a feeling this sorry tale will end with money being blown, wisely or not.

    Have you checked your speaker wire connections with regards to + and - ?

    Failing that fix, I'll guess your CD player lens is shot.
    Last edited by Vaneyes; Jun-01-2010 at 17:43.

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    Vaneyes: I have, yes.

    Today it also happened on a disc of brilliant classics bach edition.

    A shame I live in Dublin, where I am certain there is no professional expretise in these matters available.

    I mean, I don't think it's possible I could find someone to come out to the house and examine the system for me.

    Could I bring my cd player into town and leave it with some guy at a counter?
    Perhaps, yes; in this recession I'm sure there will be many happy to do odds and ends.

    Still a problem of finding some place like this, though.

    Yeah. I think I'm probably going to be replacing my cd player. I'm sure I'll be around here to ask questions when the time comes.

    Thanks for the suggestions. And keep them coming if you want.

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    To check its workability, consider seeing a reputable hifi dealer. If it is in need of repair, be cautious. Repair bills can easily be a substantial portion of the cost of a new or used player.

    What HiFi? website forum mentioned these Dublin Ireland dealers:

    Cloney Audio

    http://www.cloneyaudio.com/

    Sevenoaks

    http://www.sevenoaks.ie/
    Last edited by Vaneyes; Jun-01-2010 at 18:14.

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    That's great stuff, Vaneyes. I was never aware of these (more)dedicated hifi stores.

    I'm on the right path at last.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richardgaray View Post
    Please try to help me.

    I can only describe this effect as a sort of crackling. But the rhythm of it when it appears is distinctive. It's often like a 'flicking', like a quarter note with the emphasis on the first note and every second note thereafter.
    It sounds as if my system were a vinyl player, and there were a cloud of sand scudding across the top of the revolving disc intermittently, tugging it back a few times in quick succession, giving the insectile crackling effect.

    I used to think this only happened on my ADD cd's, and especially orchestral ADD. But it always happens on my EMI alban berg quartet bartok, which is DDD and chamber, obviously.

    Clearly, I know nothing about any of this. But I am incredibly pissed off. I just want to listen to my music. I've asked around and nobody knows anything about this.
    :
    Mr. Gray -- It looks like you're on the right track. But there are a lot of steps you can and should take on your own to isolate your problem.

    First, though, don't do it when you're pissed off, because you won't be in a good, receptive, problem-solving state of mind.

    You really need to verify that this problem is your CD player and not something else in your system. Have you got a DVD player? If so, connect the RCA audio outputs from it to your amplifier (you can just unplug your CD player from its cables, and plug the DVD player onto them). Then play one or more of the problem-causing CDs on the DVD player and see if the problem recurs.

    If you don't have a DVD player or an extra CD player, then see if you can get the problem to happen with some other component, playing something other than a CD; i.e. a cassette deck, a VCR playing a video cassette, etc.

    Alternatively -- does the CD player have a headphone jack? Then see if the problem happens when you listen with phones. If it does, you know where your problem is. You know the rest of the system is not at fault. If it doesn't, well, you understand now.

    I'm asking you to do one of these tests because scratchy audio is often caused by noisy, dirty controls on amplifiers/preamps. If by chance the CD player ends up looking healthy, I'll give you some suggestions on dealing with a possible problem in the controls.

    Emerson.

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