Systems and synergies – It looked good on paper

Conductor's hands

The interaction between delicate instruments is more art than science. Liptons helps your system harmonize beautifully

Sometimes, people will put an entertainment system together for themselves. They’ll spend hours on research and talking to experts and it’s perfectly designed. On paper. They bring it home, spend an evening or weekend putting it together and something doesn’t work. Like it just won’t. It happens with all kinds of equipment, both audio and video.

They take it all apart and the store’s got a great return policy, so they replace everything and start again. But there wasn’t anything wrong with any of it the first time. So, they end up back where they began. Frustrated and doubting their research.

Sometimes, even as experts we run into those situations too. But, we have resources to help figure it out and more important, the skills to resolve it with no stress to our customers.

Recently, we were installing a beautiful  Acoustic Solid brand,  Bubinga turntable. On paper, the cartridge we initially selected was a good choice. But when we tried it, the fit wasn’t suitable. Remember, as we talked about in the articles How turntables work, and Turntable set-up and care, the interaction between turntable, cartridge, and system is exceptionally delicate.

In this case, between the turntable, the cartridge, and the amplifier, it wasn’t a perfect, grounded system. There was an odd kind of buzz and hum when it was playing. It was subtle, but it was definitely there in the background.

Because we don’t send people home with boxes under their arms, we were there at the house installing it and noticed the sound. We checked everything, we adjusted everything, but we could not get rid of the buzz in that configuration.

We called in a factory technician from Acoustic Solid, the turntable company, to help us check it to make sure it was right.


Benz Micro Moving Coil Cartridge Glider S.

The cartridge we used was the Benz Micro Moving Coil Cartridge Glider S.

We tried changing various pieces to see what it was. What we determined was that there was nothing wrong with any of the equipment and it should be perfectly compatible. Nevertheless, once installed, there was something delicate off in the balance. What we discovered was that the issue was in the specific combination of items. Good pieces, but not effective together as a system.

To resolve this issue, we selected a different cartridge that was slightly higher quality than the one we had originally chosen (which was already a very nice cartridge), and that small change did the trick. The cartridge we used was the Benz Micro Moving Coil Cartridge Glider S.

That’s where we ended up, but we spent several hours working on this, troubleshooting it with an expert from the manufacturer.

It was a question not of quality, but of compatibility. There are sometimes things in technology that are hard to put a finger on. It should work, it says it works, but in practical application, it’s subtly off. When you get into the higher end stuff, it’s definitely that way, These are subtle pieces. Having a store like Liptons Audio Video Unlimited that is willing to work with you makes a big difference.

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