Selecting a Turntable
This week and for the next couple of weeks, we'll be covering
turntables and what to expect out of them. On many systems, the
turntable provides the main source of sound. For this reason it only
seems logical to try to get good sounds from the beginning.
Turntables come basically in four types: Record changers,
Automatic, Semi Automatic, and Manual. To choose between these
four types depends on how much work one wants to do to listen to home
music. The record changers will automatically play several records in a
sequence. The automatic tuintables will automatically start a record,
place the tone arm in the first groove, and automatically stop each
record at the end. But they do not change records. Semi-automatic
turntables will require you to place the tone arm on the record by hand,
but will lift it off at the end of the record. On a manual turntable all
operations must be done by hand. Automatic and semi automatic
turntables are popular because they provide the convenience of
automatic stop without the complications associated with a record
changing mechanism. Overall, automkatic features are for convenience
and have nothing to do with the most important factor, the quality of
the sound. Although a turntable with a change mechanism does have
some extra mechanism in and around the platter. a possible sound locc
some of today's top quality record changers are as good as many
automatic, semi-automatic and manual turntables.
Probably one of the first things to decide upon is the drive system
wanted in the turntable. There are three basic types to choose from.
The first of these is using a gear mechanism. These systems have almost
been wiped out due to the extreme amount of vibration and rumble that
exists in these systems. The gear systems have been replaced with either
a belt drive or a direct drive. As the name suggests, a belt drive system
uses a flexible belt to link the motor to the turntable platter. A direct
drive system makes the platter an integral part of the motor much like a
flywheel on a car, excellent results can be attained from either type,
although a direct drive system is the favored of the two. Different ways
of controlling the speed on a turntable will also vary. The less expensive
models will usually use a synchronous motor which works like an
ordinary electric clock. The more expensive models will use a servocontrolled motor in which a special sensing circuit that checks the actual
motor speed will instantly correct it if the speed is too fast or slow. The
more elaborate systems will use a quartz crystal as a reference.
Most turntables have a cueing control which enables the user to lift
and lower the tone arm gently onto the record. This is very important to
minimize damage to both the stylus and precious records.
Another very important factor is the platter itself. A very well
balanced platter is very important to the sound quality of a turntable.
An unbalanced platter will tend to make the pitch raise or lower as the
record turns. In addition to this, an unbalanced platter will wear out a
drive motor faster and cause degrading of the sound. A heavier platter
will also help the turntable to do its thing at a steadier rate of speed.
Spinning a record may seem easy, but it is an exacting job. The
turntable must keep the correct speed within very close tolerances. If it
doesn't, the pitch of the music waivers. This is called "wow" and makes
the music sound off key. The record must also rotate smoothly without
a trace of chugging or the odd trembling sound known as "flutter."
Flutter and wow are most noticeable during slow passages.
When buying a turntable try to get the turntable with the lowest wow
and flutter rating. A good set of guidelines is approximately .15% or
less for the budget turntable, .10% or less for the medium priced
turntable, and for the deluxe turntable, .05% or less. To most listeners
anything less than .10% or less is imperceptable.
A turntable must also be free of vibration because any vibration will
get amplified along with the music and make a growling noise known as
rumble that can mask some of the quiet passages of the music. When
looking for turntables, try to get a rumble rating (sometimes referred to
as signal to noise ratio or S/ N) with a S/ N ratio that is -60 decibels or a
larger negative number. With a rating as low as this, a rumble will not
be noticeable to even the discriminating listener.
Next week we will talk about the part of the turntable that lifts the
sound off the record and transports it into the amp. This is the tone arm
and the cartridge.
"Annie Get Your Gun" at BST
new at the
Red Door
New Poker Room
12-3pm daily
1.3 Limit
Dealer's choice
Free Beer to College Players
Get $25 in chips for $20 from 12-2pm
Open to suggestions for College Nights
New Gamesroom
Space Invaders
Pitcher Beer!
1209 N.27th
"Annie Get Your Gun"
opened Wednesday, October
1st at Billings Studio Theatre
and is another great in a long
line of productions in BST
history. The play is the first
show of the 1980-81 season and
is nothing but sheer delight to
see. Irving Berlin's family
musical is directed by Stephen
Krempasky, choreographed by
Jana Shiner Iverson, and the
musical direction is under Ellen
For those of you who are
tired of the movie scene, and
wish to spend their entertainment money in a more
worthwhile way, then I
strongly suggest that "Annie
Get Your Gun" be on your
agenda within the next few
days. I was very much
impressed by the enthusiasm,
punch, vigor, and ardor of the
cast involved. Having two
members of my family involved
in the play, this review may
seem somewhat biased.
However, after seeing the play,
there is no other way in which
to write a review about
something that truly made an
impression on me. That
impression not only left
myself in an awe inspired
elation, but the entire audience
that attended the performance.
There is something about a
play that retains the certain
interpersonal relationships and
humanism that movies will
never be able to duplicate.
Stephen Krempasky directed
with an admirable flair that left
the audience in tears with
laughter at times, and in tears
of happiness at others. Tightly
directed, Krempasky patiently
wove the scenes together in a
believable fashion that was
directly responsible for the
even flow from scene to scene.
Jana Shiner Iverson choreographed the play in her usual
expertise manner that makes
her one of the best choices for a
truly professional finishing
touch to an already well done
production. Combined with
the costumes that were popular
in that era giving the play a
sense of credibility and
authenticity, the direction,
choreography, and musical
scores blended together a
production worthy of the
highest praise.
For those of you who are
unfamiliar with the love affair
between female sure-shot
Annie Oakley and eagle eye
Frank Butler in the early
1800's, then grab the kids and
the station wagon and dr6p
into Billings Studio Theatre
and get in on the fun. The
production will run until
October 19th and I promise
you a very enjoyable evening.
Cast and crew of "Annie Get
Your Gun," I wish to thank
you, and extend a hearty
"break a leg."
Rock McLean
2 freshmen
for Union Act.
Apply in 204 of the SUB
Applications accepted from
9/22/80 through Oct. 10 at 5 p.m.
applicants will be notified of the
selection dates
4\1111111111 ■
Oct. 6, 1980 the Retort Page
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