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Tracing Distortion on Vinyl LPs

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Tracing errors arise because the reproducing stylus is of a different shape than the cutting chisel used to create the original acetate lacquer master for vinyl Long Play (LP) records. Tracing errors are typically the most significant source of distortion in vinyl reproduction and probably the main reason manufacturers of pickup cartridges seldom specified distortion figures for their products. In this paper, a historical overview of harmonic distortion results due to tracing errors is provided. In many cases, these results are 70--80 years old and, at least in some cases, seem largely forgotten by now. Some new simulation results are provided to verify various approximations proposed and used in the past.

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JAES Volume 71 Issue 10 pp. 616-637; October 2023
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AES - Audio Engineering Society