This is where record cutters raise questions about cutting, and trade wisdom and experiment results. We love Scully, Neumann, Presto, & Rek-O-Kut lathes and Wilcox-Gay Recordios (among others). We are excited by the various modern pro and semi-pro systems, too, in production and development. We use strange, extinct disc-based dictation machines. And other stuff, too.
I've started getting some distortion on my cuts, but only on the left channel. It's most noticeable on kick drums and on sibilant vocals, but the surface noise also sounds a little higher on the left channel.
Any ideas what could be causing this? Is it a calibration issue perhaps?
I suggest you check your diamond on the microscope, 2 times I had distortion on 1 side only and it was because my diamond was done. The other thing that happened to me was also a burned preamp in the mixer. It also happened to me that I had a bad rca splitter which was sounding like crap. I'm not connecting my main unit with that splitter anymore... and it's way better for me now.
Check also if you have plastic melted on your stylus, that stuff can do damage also. Acetone really help for that... but careful not to melt the glue for the heating wire
That's the only thing I can share from personnal experience. Hope you find the problem Ben
One quick way to narrow that down would be to connect a speaker(s) instead of the cutter head to your power amp outputs and have listen. If its not distorted from the speaker the problem lies in the head and/or stylus. Note that it will sound very bright due to the RIAA and head EQ, but it should still be clean.
It turns out that there's something wrong with the left channel of my mixer (the one used to toggle between previewing source and cut record). It starts off fine but then after a few minutes the left channel drops about 18db and the sound distorts.
The good thing is that it's not affecting the cuts as it's just the playback channel, but it's obviously pretty difficult to cut well if the playback is so distorted.
Any ideas on what could be causing this mixer issue? Should I just get a new one? Is it perhaps some weird grounding issue/something?