Intermittent Sibilance

I seem to be suffering sibilance again this week. It’s been fine the past few weeks but was an issue towards the end of last year.

Both systems are affected including the one with Krystal MC. I’ve cleaned and checked both styii and they’re clean as a whistle now. I get it on any part of the LP although some records more than others.

Could it be the household mains?

Or maybe I’m going bonkers and imagining it…

Hi, well, it’s got to be something common then. You’ve already identified the mains, plenty of info online about how to deal with that.
Another thing to consider that’s common to both systems…your ears! Ear wax can cause intermittent issues, it’s well worth the money to get them cleaned (good luck getting it done on the NHS right now…). The other big thing around right now that can effect hearing is COVID, lots of info online about the after effects of the infection on hearing.

1 Like

Just a thought… as I have found it before, have you moved speakers or furnishings, curtains, rugs at all, sometimes reflections and room reverb can accentuate sibilance frequencies thereby drawing attention to them.

I found a good test was to compare speaker vs headphones… if one was very different, although not assured, if worse with speaker then it pointed to room interaction. Do the clap test… when you notice sibilance, does the clap stop dead or have a very short reverb.
Of course it may be not relevant for you… but for me that has helped in the past. I find this is of more relevance for high bandwidth sources and amps.


I have some sibilance only on PF The Wall, and Elton John Honky Chateau. It only occurs on those two recordings.
I just mentioned it in case they happened to be music you were playing. Shot in the dark tho …

1 Like

It’s eels … beautiful freak …for me… great record… terrible sibilance

Thanks all.

It seemed to be back in both systems in different rooms but I will try headphones anyway.

I had this a couple of years ago. Drove me crazy. I thought the stylus must have got gunk on it or that I had damaged it in some way. After many attempts to clean the stylus, rebalance the arm etc. I finally realised it was caused by a surge protection mains block I’d plugged in somewhere else. Removing that and the sibilance on vinyl replay disappeared. So it could be something on your mains…

1 Like

That gives me one idea although it’s a bit left field. I had turned off the in-built amplifier in our Linn Sneaky DS and was just using it as a streamer over xmas but removed the external non-SMPS amps on Sunday. Mmm. Other than xmas tree lights going off I can’t think of anything else that’s changed. I’ll check out the Linn player though.

Hi, I’ll start by saying that Richard’s advice is the most logical. But over the Xmas period my system just sounded ‘wrong’, even ‘fatiguing’ - drove me nuts. As soon as all the locals took down their dec’s/outside light displays etc the beautiful sound returned: did they ‘dirty’ the supply, who knows, but I believe others have found the same thing (which is similar, as I said at the beginning, to what Richard has said). :thinking:

1 Like

Decades ago a couple of friends and I used to lend records to each other. I stopped when I realised that when they came back from one person there was always an increase in sibilance - I guessed his stylus was worn or tracking set up incorrectly or whatever, causing damage to the records.


This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.