Does improper alignment cause permament damage ?

Does improper alignment or incorrect tracking force cause permanent damage to LPs ?
For example,I noticed that some LPs i play has a lot of distortion sound coming out of my speaker. It could be because of improper alignment. Does this eat the wrong part of the groove causing irreparable or permament damage ?

Or is it the stylus that is going to get damaged due to improper alignment ?

thanks for the insight.
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From what I learned from various sources in the industry, yes. Poor tracking bad enough to cause a lot of distortion sounds like something that should be addressed.Since you listen to these records they must have enjoyable value.The stylus and record both will suffer from extra wear.A damaged stylus will ruin a record also.I would want to correct the problem since it may not be to late.I hope you caught it in time.
As Elizabeth says, it depends.

1. Does this distortion happen in synch with dynamic peaks in the music or is it more random?

2. Can you describe how it sounds?

The thing that does the most damage to record grooves is cartridge mistracking. When a stylus is simply incapable of following the groove modulations, it exerts contact pressures hundreds of times higher than when tracking an unmodulated groove. The fact that a lousy cartridge may require 5gm of force to eliminate most mistracking is what gave rise to the idea that it was the high tracking force that ruined discs. It is, rather, the stylus's inability to stay with the grooves at any reasonable force that does the damage. With a cartridge that tracks fairly cleanly at up to 2gm, you should expect several hundred plays before a highly modulated disc is ready for the dustbin.
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Hello guys,

Thanks for the reply,
Doug, this distortion happens sometimes in inner groove especially if there is a high pitch female vocal like jacintha.
On some Lps, no problem or minimal distortion on the inner groove.
I'd say its random because it doesnt happen in all the LPs i play.

Good info. What you're hearing is called "inner groove distortion (IGD). It's a very common problem, particularly on strong, high pitched notes or massed violins.

Unfortunately, knowing the name does not tell us the cause. IGD has many possible causes including, but not limited to:
- cartridge or stylus incapable of accurately tracking the shorter wavelengths on inner grooves
- cartridge capable of tracking, but mistracking due to improper VTF or anti-skate
- cartridge electrically or mechanically incapable of resolving closely spaced, high frequency fundamentals and harmonics (I've heard many that can't)
- cartridge overhang and/or zenith mis-aligned
- LP damaged by previous plays
- LP not clean
- stylus not clean
- cartridge/tonearm combination resonates internally at certain related frequencies
- phono stage overload or slewing distortion (a very common cause)

If you hear crisp, static-like bursts or fuzz from one or both tweeters during this distortion it's likely your stylus is mistracking. (Listen with your ear on line with each tweeter.) If you hear this, STOP playing valuable LP's until you eliminate that sound. Mistracking means your super-sharp diamond stylus is literally bouncing off the much softer plastic groove walls several 1000 times/second. The usual cure is more VTF and/or (if the mistracking is in the R channel only) more antiskate.

If the sound is just distorted, without those static-like bursts then mistracking is probably not occurring. You'll have to look toward those other causes.

No easy answer, sorry. You have homework to do and experiments to try, but you'll learn alot in the process.
Hi Doug,

Thank you for the tip.
I don't hear much of that static like burst or fuzz you are referring to.
This sounds similar to an amp clipping right ?
What i hear is for example, Jacintha on the last groove, when she sings,esp the high pitched passages, somewhat distorted or shrieking. Not so good sound.
However on some LPs, on the same inner groove, no problem of this sort.