Questions about my set up. New Presto user.

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.

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Questions about my set up. New Presto user.

Unread postby Barry » Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:57 pm

Couple of weeks ago I flew into Texas, rented a van, and drove this Presto 8c back to Oregon. I’m just getting my feet wet, and would like some feeback. My audio comes from the headphone out of my Tascam CD player. Then goes into channel one of the DBX EQ. Then into the amp, and from the amp to the cutter head. My question: Does my line give me proper mono results? Also how does my cutter head angle look? Playback wise my results have been good. Good tracking, good levels, and low surface noise. My audio still needs work. Sounds a little boxy. My set up is not ideal, but it’s all I can afford right now. Looking forward to learning how to do this well. Thanks.
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Re: Questions about my set up. New Presto user.

Unread postby Gridlock » Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:14 pm

Where in Oregon are you? To my understanding, Eugene is the record lathe capitol of Oregon. Especially for Presto gear. Stop on by sometime. I'll show you what works best for the anti static wax! (Spoiler alert: pabst blue ribbon)
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Re: Questions about my set up. New Presto user.

Unread postby Barry » Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:31 pm

I’m in Milwaukie. I’d love to stop on by. Where would that be?
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Re: Questions about my set up. New Presto user.

Unread postby sameal » Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:57 pm

Hey alright! Fellow milwaukee person!
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Re: Questions about my set up. New Presto user.

Unread postby Barry » Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:01 pm

That’s Milwaukie Oregon.
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Re: Questions about my set up. New Presto user.

Unread postby Prestofan » Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:23 pm

Do you have a line out rather than headphones? Would suggest the former not the latter if possible. The degree of slant on your head should be about 2 degrees.
what are you doing for inverse RIAA curve? This should be required if you are using a flat power amp of any sorts.

PS: Your 8C is one I rebuilt and sold several years ago. My home is in Eugene, temp Port tobacco, MD. Home next year permanently.

Any questions I can answer, just ask.

Alan Graves
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Re: Questions about my set up. New Presto user.

Unread postby Barry » Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:47 pm

Thanks for responding Alan. I must admit your question about the RIAA curve is over my head. The amp I have is a Crown XLS 2500. My guess is it doesn’t have the RIAA curve you’re asking about. I do have a line out, but just don’t have the RCA cable to 1/4 inch. The headphone out does have its own volume control, but I need to go buy (I’m spending way too much money already) the proper cable. Your advise is welcomed, thank you.
Barry
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Re: Questions about my set up. New Presto user.

Unread postby sameal » Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:11 pm

Barry wrote:That’s Milwaukie Oregon.


D'oh! I never was much good at geography.

Ah well, we still have presto in common! Enjoy the lathe!
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Re: Questions about my set up. New Presto user.

Unread postby Barry » Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:25 am

Thanks. Whatever you do to get good results i would love to hear it. Some tips on EQ would be welcome. I can’t figure out how to eliminate the boxiness of the vocal (mainly).
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Re: Questions about my set up. New Presto user.

Unread postby Gridlock » Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:58 am

PLEASE make sure you know what you're doing before you start plugging random crap into this... we can help you...this is why a forum...you are on the right forum....for one, stop throwing money at this. You have the lathe. You need now to know the electrical philosophy and the physicality. Also cut a deep gash in your forearm and rub turtle wax, pvc shavings into it and electrocute yourself at least 2x a day. Be that guy. You bought the machine and now you're that guy. Study study study cut cut cut and laugh laugh laugh at all the jokers trying to cut in "stereo". "Stereo? Saint the fu'in Beatles mate!"
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Re: Questions about my set up. New Presto user.

Unread postby sameal » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:50 am

Barry wrote:Thanks. Whatever you do to get good results i would love to hear it. Some tips on EQ would be welcome. I can’t figure out how to eliminate the boxiness of the vocal (mainly).


Well, i haven't cut groove one yet. Im still waiting to get my cutterhead back.

But, what's your process before you cut from the tascam, and how does the source sound from the tascam itself?

One thing i notice is your cutting from the headphone out, which quite possibly has a different amp circuit then the tascam itself. The rear panel outputs should have the circuit tascam intended you to use.

Unless that tascam is set up different. I don't know that unit.

One other thing depending on the outcome of the above questions on signal chain, if you need more e.q. control, a parametric e.q. will get between the bands of a graphic e.q. a graphic is like a shovel, a parametric is like a scalpel.

But depending on your signal chain, you might not need another e.q.
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Re: Questions about my set up. New Presto user.

Unread postby Barry » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:50 pm

I wont plug random stuff into this. The amp and eq units I’m using are the units the guy I bought it from were using. Right now I feel one day I take three steps forward, then the next day I take two back. I woke up this morning wondering just what the hell I was thinking buying this. My ears are open, and I’m tying to keep positive. Last night I was having a hard time with the cutter head. I can’t get a consistent weight from the shank on the polycarbonate.
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Re: Questions about my set up. New Presto user.

Unread postby Prestofan » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:27 pm

If you don't have inverse RIAA - here's something you can try: Cut the bass tone control on your amp to about minus 50%. Boost the treble control to plus 50%.

Cut from a familiar source, possible a record you are familiar with. Cut just enough to give you a sample. Return the tone controls to zero, and play back. How does it sound to your ears? If have too much base, decrease the bass control some more. If not enough highs - increase the treble control. Cut another sample. Experiment with these changes until it sounds OK to your ears. That is what is most important. If your highs become distorted, back off on the treble boost

If you want to ask me more about this, PM me for e-mail and phone number.

You have a VERY good lathe. I can't tell what your problem with the head weight is without asking you some questions.

Alan
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Re: Questions about my set up. New Presto user.

Unread postby Barry » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:57 pm

Alan did You get my PM. Not sure I’m using the PM correctly.
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Re: Questions about my set up. New Presto user.

Unread postby Prestofan » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:26 pm

No, I have not gotten your PM.
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Re: Questions about my set up. New Presto user.

Unread postby Prestofan » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:30 pm

Check with Steve E, the moderator on how to do it. You need to be signed on with your password to do it.
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Re: Questions about my set up. New Presto user.

Unread postby Gridlock » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:04 am

I remember the first time I lugged my k8 over to Alan's house for inspection. At first he appeared to be a very old gentleman shuffling up to my truck to look at the Presto of days gone by. But that thought was quickly extinguished when he said "no, you don't uhh want to pick it up like that" and hoisted the machine (50+lbs) over one shoulder and carried it in his front door like it was a single-relay on Normandy beach.
And when he told me "no, no you have a WORKING Preston machine here...wow...that is just...wow, that is just great..." I won't ever forget.
The stories of Alan graves have their own place as a true memorial to history. You should hear some of the shit this guy rattles off. All the others - Grundy, etc have their place in this part of the story but if Peter king is the grandfather of lathe cuts, graves is the, like great great grandfather or something. Him and what's his face.
You can say whatever you want about RECORDS or CUTTING or WHATEVER but the fact remains that this guy may be one of two or three of the only ones left who knows, and I know because I showed him my technique and all, what it's all about. This guy is deep. And I've personally seen him down a beer in less than 10 seconds. If you don't believe in titans among men, I suggest you seek out Alan graves. Alan flips all you lathe trolls like eggs over medium on a Saturday morning.
Cheers. Long live Alan!

Ps. To the person who wrote the post, be patient. Talk to Alan. Talk to me. Talk to Bryan. It's ooookkkaaaayyy man we're not upset with you we just want your machine to work for you. Sometimes it's not so easy as simple science and math - sometimes it comes down to SPIT or ALLIGATOR CLIPS or God forbid ACRYLIC (Do not cut on ACRYLIC it is a waste of time) and intra-personal relationships. All we wanna do here is to cut some fuckin records and drink a few beers.
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Re: Questions about my set up. New Presto user.

Unread postby Barry » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:06 am

I really appreciate the input. I hope to get on the phone with Alan, and get into my machine. I know how heavy they are because I drove mine back to Oregon from Texas. I never felt safe with it in the van, so I carried it into my hotel room every night. I think it must weigh 75 pounds.
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