Record surface noise and speakers - Rega RS3s and Spendor A7s

That is interesting.

What speakers did you move to?

Agree with this too! I’ve been listening on vinyl since 1979, and over the years, with increasing quality of TTs and their set up, ‘surface noise’ has become all but inaudible, and is totally non intrusive. If someone is suffering from intrusive surface noise, then there is a problem somewhere in the playback chain.


Spendor Classic 3/1

If they have scratches, even tiny, a Degritter would not restore them. But i think you are aware of that.

Yeah, I am…I think this is just residual dust, individual pops not connected to scratches.

Curious…how often do you run your vinyl through the Degritter?

I have a lesser quality machine vs yours, the Humminguru.
I have cleaned all my records last year. Sometimes I make another clean. But I listen to vinyl only few hours a week. So it’s probably different from you.

I agree completely I have no surface noise issues here and if there was it would point to a problem. :+1:t2:

So… 323 S boards then…? Or are they K’s…?

The K’s were tweaked (from the S) for the then Linn carts - K for Karma.

@Richard.Dane could tell us what the difference is, I think…

If they are K’s they will not sound nice at all with a normal lomc.

There’s a marginal difference in loading between the S and K boards (470 vs 560 ohms respectively). The main difference is that the K boards roll off later and shallower at the top end.

Thanks, Richard. So the S’s roll off more, the K’s less at the high frequencies…?

Hmm… best avoided then, unless used with an ‘appropriate’ Linn Cart (Karma or related) - which probably wouldn’t include any current Linn carts…?

It’ll depend on how well behaved an MC is at very high frequencies. That will depend on design, and where the tip resonance is most pronounced.

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They were developed for use with the combination of Linn cartridges and Linn speakers.

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I believe they are 323S’s.

I upgraded to Spendor A7‘s with 2 turntables (don’t ask) and I certainly do not get excessive or indeed any noticeable surface noise. I do get differences between my PT 1 and Clearaudio Concept on clicks and pops from scratches but that is the decks / cartridges and nothing to do with the A7s. Clear A7s are a bit mid heavy and emphasise vocals but that is personal taste.

This isn’t necessarily of any benefit to you but I absolutely loved my Rega RS3s. There was something so sweet about their presentation.

I fully agree - I am keeping them and moving them into my office system. They are the last remaining component to my startup hi fi system of 15 years ago (shocking to think). I’m the original owner and intend to keep them for the duration…

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It seems to me that surface noise is usually a function of record cleanliness/condition, cartridge choice and turntable/arm quality in that order.

Given the quality of your turntable if it’s well set-up I wouldn’t expect it to have distracting surface noise on cleanish vinyl. Your Art 9i is a superb cartridge, better than my AT-OC9 and I’m not getting much surface noise at all.

I would investigate getting a proper set-up done on your LP12 by someone that knows what they are doing. One of the great strengths of the LP12 in my experience is the way it minimises surface noise to an almost uncanny degree (and I speak as a GyroDec owner who has heard many Linn’s)

One cannot expect CD levels of background silence very often with vinyl, although I have to say that the recent pressings I have been buying new (took delivery of the repress of the Blue NIle’s “Walk across the rooftops” today) have staggered me with their complete absence of surface noise. Vinyl formulations on new pressings seem to have come a long way!!!

Hope that helps,


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Well, it’s confusing…I have a terrific LP12 person here in Seattle who works on many many of them. Seems like all the elements are there for quiet…

I will add, I do not buy new vinyl out of principle…only recycled/2nd hand.

Have you wet cleaned your records with a vacuum type record cleaner.