Update on VPI and classic rock lps

Well, after listening for a few days with further tweaks, I can report the Scoutmaster can play classic rock lps.

I have played quite a few of the lps I previously complained about being overly compressed and lifeless. The improvement with these tweaks is much larger than I would have expected.

1. I had my amp on BDR cones, switched to two sets of Aurios Pro Max. Much more air and spaciousness, and at the same time more detail and precision, less smearing.
2. Thread drive on Scoutmaster. More impact, dynamics improved, again more precision, less smearing.
3. Cayin phono came with the metal shrouded tube dampers with springs. Took those tube dampers off, replaced with Herbies. Wow, opened up the sound by a large margin! Those metal cages were obviously damping down the sound something terrible.

Taken together, these three changes have allowed me to enjoy my large collection of classic rock lps again! I'm still looking for a bit more bass impact, and there is a bit of hardness in the mids and lower highs. I suspect a change to Mullard 12ax7's from the present Sovteks will alleviate that bit of dryness. As for bass impact, I'm still trying to figure that one out.

At last I'm hearing at least a bit of that magic I remember from back in the day, when listening to these records on my Dynaco system. I suspect a whole lot more of these recording are going to prove to be satisfying in the future!

I guess I have to eat crow now, I may have mislead some in criticizing these recordings. I now realize they weren't as bad as I believed. Sometimes even an old dog can learn new tricks, and I haven't even listened to my good recordings with the new setup!
OK Dave, you've convinced me to go with the springs.

Islandmandan, glad you reminded me of cutting the Bright Star plinth, forgot about that one.
Now that you're "dialed in" put on Bad Company, self titled debut. You should be blown away. If not it's back to the drawing board.
One other thing that I don't think has been mentioned yet. Not to state the obvious but these classic rock recordings were all mastered by people who intended for them to be played loud. Don't kill your ears but make sure the volume is high enough to hit 85 db or so at least. Many of these recordings open up substantially when supplied enough juice. If it doesn't, it may truly be a dog.
Ehaller, that is a damn good album, I'll have to search to see if I have it. I still have about half my albums (aprox. 1,000) in storage, I hand clean each thoroughly, a very time consuming project, hard to even get 100 in a full day. I recall seeing some Bad Company, not sure its that first album. With all the lps I have yet to play, or even gotten out, sometimes it seems I have way too much music (at least 5,000 cds as well), some of it may never be listened to again, kind of sad!

As for Bad Company, you should hear the some of the "Free" albums (precursor to Bad Company), the albums, Free, Fire and Water, Highway, Free Live, and even their later albums are damn nice. Some cuts may be the most well recorded rock I've ever heard, transparency in spades, not much reverb, very closely mike, yet sounds awesome! If the Bad Company sounds anything like these it should be a winner.

Just checking those albums, Chris Blackwell produced the first, later on self produced. Chris Blackwell tought these guys a thing or two about sound quality. Remember, Chris is the founder of Island Records, every Island record I've heard has pretty damn good sonics.

SonofJim, I have to listen at least that volume, as my Art Audio doesn't really open up until that volume. SET's in general don't bloom until you hit a certain db.

I suspect I'll still have dogs, my pressings of Roxy Music, not the original ATCO label and Bee Gees, 2 Year On have got to be two of the worst dogs. If these dogs now sound good, I'll have to eat a dog!

By the way, Atmasphere and Tom at Better Records have differing opinions about the sonic merits of various pressings of ELP's first album. I played my orignal Cotillion pressing Thursday night. On Tank there is a bass drum solo that should shake the foundations of your house, my bass was shy there, don't know if its my pressing or my vinyl setup, anyway I definitely need more impact there. Otherwise the album sounded very good, transparent/detailed and nice micro dynamics, not too much compression here.