HiFi news test record

misterpete

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Just wondering if anyone has experience of the HiFi news test record? I am trying to optimise my TT, particularly anti skating and wasn't sure if this would help.

Any advice is welcome and appreciated.

 

kernow

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I have one and should give it a go with the anti skate also actually because I don't know if mines right or not !

 

Von Krolock

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I've found it handy.

It has three tracks to aid bias setting which is adjusted for minimal buzz in each channel.

Have a go at tweaking vta & vtf on this as well & see what happens.

Don't bother too much with the +18dB track - neither of the carts I've tried with it

pass it without buzzing.

 

SergeAuckland

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I very much prefer The Ultimate Analogue Test LP. The noise bands on the HFN one aren't accurate and there's no calibration statement of what the +XdB bands are actually relative to.

It's better than nothing, but the UATL is considerably better.

S

 

SergeAuckland

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and even then not really very good in absolute terms.
Have you any numbers for the accuracy of The Ultimate Analogue Test LP? I have always had problems with test LP accuracy especially with the noise bands where white noise wasn't properly white, pink slightly brown. I also don't know how good the level bands are. I bought it as I found the HFN LP too obviously flawed, and in correspondence with the producer, his view was that accuracy wasn't important as it wasn't meant for test equipment, just to be used by ear. Not hugely impressed by that.

S

S.

 
G

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That is a real surprise to me serge...

- - - Updated - - -

Back on topic:

Follow the instructions on the back, the tracks for bias are easy to use. If you hear breakup of the sound in one channel adjust the bias so it moves over or goes. You will hear if adding or removing it makes it better or worse.

I find the phase check and left right very useful every time I change something just to check.

 

meninblack

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I used the HFN record (by ear) and found it useful, especially for the anti-skate.

 

kernow

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That is a real surprise to me serge...- - - Updated - - -

Back on topic:

Follow the instructions on the back, the tracks for bias are easy to use. If you hear breakup of the sound in one channel adjust the bias so it moves over or goes. You will hear if adding or removing it makes it better or worse.

I find the phase check and left right very useful every time I change something just to check.
That's what I use it for too, not progressed past that.

 

Pussycat

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I have heard and read that using a blank groove on test records for anti-skate calibration is not an accurate method. Certainly I've never had a satisfactory outcome on my (admittedly very old) Shure test record. Not sure why this should be, mind. I'm sure Serge will be able to confirm or dispel this.

 

Beobloke

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It's basically because a smooth section of vinyl does not accurately represent the forces acting on the stylus when it is in a groove and therefore by setting the bias using this method you'll likely be applying too little.

The osciloscope and test LP method is still the most accurate, although I usually set by ear unless I'm setting up a review item because my oscilloscope is downstairs, my listening room is upstairs and I'm lazy...

 

Chivas

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I just used mine again yesterday, as I always do when I change something to my vinyl setup. I agree, forget about the 4th +18db track, but do you guys actually pass the first 3 with absolutely no buzzing? I can get passed the first 2, but not the 3rd with no buzzing.

Perhaps I should take a look at my VTA too, because my system can be prone to sibilance too?

 

SergeAuckland

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I have heard and read that using a blank groove on test records for anti-skate calibration is not an accurate method. Certainly I've never had a satisfactory outcome on my (admittedly very old) Shure test record. Not sure why this should be, mind. I'm sure Serge will be able to confirm or dispel this.
Bias is require because the friction acting on the stylus from the two groove walls as well as the resistance caused by the groove modulationtends to pull the stylus in the direction of rotation of the LP. As the arm has an offset, this pull creates a torque which pulls the arm into the centre. The anti-skate is a torque in the opposite direction which substantially cancels the torque due to the stylus-groove friction. A blank disc will have far less friction with the stylus and won't have any modulation so bias/ anti-skate set up with a blank disc will be much too low.

Note also that the actually bias generated depends on groove modulation so is a dynamic process and any bias compensation is approximate. Fortunately, it's not a critical adjustment, it just affects the point at which mistracking occurs.

As Adam said, the best way is to set it up wth an oscilloscope, but as the breakup due to mistracking is so obvious, doing it by ear is also quite easy. However, any mistracking causes groove damage, so every time the test LP is used in this way, it will be damaged slightly, making it less easy to tell next time what's mistracking and what's record wear. Test LPs have a finite life.

S.

 

SergeAuckland

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I just used mine again yesterday, as I always do when I change something to my vinyl setup. I agree, forget about the 4th +18db track, but do you guys actually pass the first 3 with absolutely no buzzing? I can get passed the first 2, but not the 3rd with no buzzing.Perhaps I should take a look at my VTA too, because my system can be prone to sibilance too?
+18 is an extreme test, and I'm generally happy with +16, although my Shure V15 would usually manage +18.

As to sibilance and VTA, unless your arm is very short indeed, with a normal 9-12" arm, the difference in VTA due to a few mm of height difference is tiny in terms of degrees. Certainly far less than the difference in cutting angle on different LPs, and cartridges. I've always set the arm parallel to the LP as that's how the cartridge manufacturer expects their cartridge to be used.

S.

 

tomart

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It is a useful tool to set up a cartridge. Twisting (slightly L or R in the head shell) the cart after aligning can improve the tracking performance. My old fidelity research cart will even track the last, 4th, track cleanly. Others carts will only do the 3rd.

 

graham67

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I just used mine again yesterday, as I always do when I change something to my vinyl setup. I agree, forget about the 4th +18db track, but do you guys actually pass the first 3 with absolutely no buzzing? I can get passed the first 2, but not the 3rd with no buzzing.
Agree I found the 4th is not do-able on any cart i have tried. An AT OC-9 passes the other three, whereas the third test usually gives other carts problems. But the OC-9 is a known good tracker, on some difficult tracks, the stylus can literally waggle away as it tracks the groove where on others the cart body moves instead.

I do find the HFN disc is very useful. In conjunction with a tiny spirit level to check VTA is super useful and a set of scales to check the weight, it is possible to get a cart set up quite quickly.

 

wer

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My experience with the HFN is rather disappointing. Did not use it for a few months after i bought it, but at first use it wobbled around like a drunk spinning top. The centre hole is offset by about 1mm - great for a test record. Unfortunately i could not find where i had bought it from, so i wrote a mail to HiFi-News but never got an answer.

I also found that the Full Frequency track is nowhere near linear, with a big dip around 1kHz and generally +/- 6db. Tried 3 pre's and various cartridges, but to no avail, the scan always looked more or less the same.

 

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