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Old 26th Oct 2021, 10:42 am   #1
Tim
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Default Record players. Lid up or down?

Hi all.
I have been meaning to ask this for some time, and a recent episode of Inspector Morse has provided the final nudge. Morse was playing one of his beloved opera records with the record player lid up. Surely as a music lover he( OK Morse is a fictional character) would have known better?
Very often on TV programs where a record player is in use the lid always seems to be up.
When my mum taught me to use an auto changer on her HMV2002 portable she said the lid should be closed because not only does it improve the sound, ( and blocks out the sound from the stylus itself)but there is the obvious risk of the lid dropping, and potentially damaging your precious LP’s. The HMV2002 even has an aperture at the back of the lid so a 12” record can be used with the lid closed.
I realise not all record players are designed to be used with the lid closed but why are those that obviously are shown being used with the lid up when most people using them would have known the lid was supposed to be shut? Is it merely ignorance by program makers or is it some artistic licence in that the player is shown “ exposed” so the audience are aware of what it is.

So who is right, my Mum or Inspector Morse?
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Old 26th Oct 2021, 10:45 am   #2
stevehertz
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Default Re: Record players. Lid up or down?

I didn't know that some record players were designed to be used with the lid up (is that true?), but in general I would always, always, put the lid down. I 'experimented' with this even as a 10 year old and even then I realised that lid down was the way forwards.
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Old 26th Oct 2021, 10:48 am   #3
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Default Re: Record players. Lid up or down?

Your mum is right of course. The Morse director would have wanted the visual image of the record going round - just artistic licence.
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Old 26th Oct 2021, 11:35 am   #4
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Default Re: Record players. Lid up or down?

My Transcriptors HRT has a slot in the side of the lid for the back of the brush arm to poke out of. As the record plays and the brush moves across the record, the back slowly protrudes from the slot. So it was obviously made to work with the lid closed. With a transparent lid you can also see the works going around even with the lid closed. Only problem is that when the record has finished and the arm is poking out you can't open the lid. You have to fiddle around trying to get the brush out of the way first which is difficult when you can't really get hold of it. So not much thought went into that feature. Bit after Inspector Morse's time though.

Edit:
According to Wikipedia he was born in 1930 and in his 40s at the start of the books. That would make it early 70s so he could well have had an HRT.
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Old 26th Oct 2021, 11:58 am   #5
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Default Re: Record players. Lid up or down?

Try putting the lid down on a Phillips Disc Jockey Major when it's playing 😄😄

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Old 26th Oct 2021, 12:05 pm   #6
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Default Re: Record players. Lid up or down?

I imagine Morse was using a separate record deck rather than a record player, so it would make no difference to the sound, apart from the surface noise of course.

With a record player, closing the lid is necessary for the integrity of the loudspeaker cabinet, so it might be expected to improve the bass response when closed.
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Old 26th Oct 2021, 12:31 pm   #7
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Default Re: Record players. Lid up or down?

Thorens TD160B mk2 (OK, deck, not player) - the tail end of the arm counterbalance fouls the transparent lid towards the end of a side, if the lid is down. The fact I (wincingly) know this suggests that after all, I am on the side of the Ladies, and had assumed 'lid always down' up to this point. I also agree with them it is better not to p*** all over it
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Old 26th Oct 2021, 6:14 pm   #8
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Default Re: Record players. Lid up or down?

Back in the day, using a typical portable Dansette-style player to play 45s, it made more sense to leave the lid open because you would have to go back to the thing after a few minutes to turn the record over or load the next one. [the stackers with an auto-drop for the next disc never really caught on in my world].

Later, I had a Garrard SP25.4 whose case came with a smoked-plastic dome cover; nobody who had one of these would ever bother putting the silly cover back on after dropping the needle onto their copy of Yes's "Tales from Topographic Oceans" or The Who's "Quadrophenia".
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Old 26th Oct 2021, 8:26 pm   #9
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Default Re: Record players. Lid up or down?

Quote:
to play 45s, it made more sense to leave the lid open because you would have to go back to the thing after a few minutes to turn the record over or load the next one.
Quite agree in that case��. Main listening when I was a lad were Goon show LP’s, Ertha Kitt, Peggy Lee and Lonnie Donegan on 10” LP’s.
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Old 26th Oct 2021, 8:34 pm   #10
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Default Re: Record players. Lid up or down?

When I was a kid, my grandad had a record player where the lid was a removable speaker enclosure. It sounded rather good even though not very deep physically, it had a Push pull output stage using (I think), a pair of ECL86, not only did the lid have to be open it also had to be removed if you wound up the volume. I can't remember the make though.
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Old 26th Oct 2021, 9:14 pm   #11
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Default Re: Record players. Lid up or down?

Yes, I had one that started howling with feedback with the lid closed. What fun!
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Old 26th Oct 2021, 9:37 pm   #12
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Default Re: Record players. Lid up or down?

I had a quite expensive Micro Seiki direct drive TT years ago. If you closed the lid the static build up would lift the arm up to stick to the lid. ( some sort of plastic ) It did track at 1/2 a gram though.
( Electret Condenser cartridge made by Micro Acoustics )

From the previous suggestions I imagine most of you are discussing arms that tracked at a few ounces, if you can hear the signal from the needle ( not stylus ). My current SME arm cannot be heard tracking!!.


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Old 26th Oct 2021, 9:40 pm   #13
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Default Re: Record players. Lid up or down?

A good record player should have some means of ventilation (usually a slot at the rear of the lid) to stop heat build up from a valve amplifier and also to help prevent that acoustic 'howl' mentioned above when the lid is closed. Record players and radiograms always look more attractive and 'obvious' when operated with the lids open, particularly in films etc. The 'tone' is always much better with the lid closed and it also stops you hearing the 'needle chatter'. Without ventilation in the lid an LP would end up melted into a dish, if not by the end of playing, but particularly if it got forgotten about after it had finished and the player was left switched on.

People that 'homebrew' record players nearly always forget to allow for ventilation in the lid. Sometimes the 'slot' at the back is to let a 12" LP poke through on a small single play player - or as Rigonda did on their large, but somewhat badly designed radiograms. I've got a couple of record players with no lid ventilation. One is a modified, but badly designed original and the other is a completely homebrewed one which howls as soon as the lid is closed - they both get hot under the collar when the lid is left closed while playing! There's a good example of a really bad 'homebrew' player in the vintage audio section at the moment, which is made from a gutted radio case sawn in half and with no ventilation, but with its solid state amplifier it'll probably be ok - that's if the chap ever gets it working...looking at it I have to admit that it's the sort of thing that I'd have been guilty of knocking together when I was a youngster!

Old HMV players had a written statement in the rear of the lid telling you to close it while playing.
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Old 26th Oct 2021, 9:57 pm   #14
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Default Re: Record players. Lid up or down?

[QUOTE=Tim;1417867]
Quote:
Ertha Kitt on 10” LP’s.
Yes, it was the 10" LP "That bad Eartha" that I decided to play on a wind up gramophone with a heavy sound box and steel needle when I was a kid. I wound the speed control down to approximate 33rpm and the audio did sound ok, but the problem was speed flutter due to the gearing of the motor and it's governor not being able to regulate properly at that speed. I played about half of one side until I decided that the change of shade of the surface of the part that had been played compared to the un-played part was probably spoiling the record. I still have that record to this day and although it still plays on the part played on the gramophone, it is spoiled, unfortunately.
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Old 26th Oct 2021, 10:08 pm   #15
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Default Re: Record players. Lid up or down?

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Originally Posted by rambo1152 View Post
I imagine Morse was using a separate record deck rather than a record player, so it would make no difference to the sound, apart from the surface noise of course.

With a record player, closing the lid is necessary for the integrity of the loudspeaker cabinet, so it might be expected to improve the bass response when closed.
Morse is shown using a number of record playing devices during his career. In later life he uses hifi decks (there is even an episode featuring a murder at a fictional deck manufacturer, the name of which I forget.) Earlier in his career in the 60s he uses a number of portable record players. I'm pretty sure they are always shown with the lids raised.

Of course, it's very unlikely that any sound is actually being produced. It will have been added in post production.
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Old 27th Oct 2021, 7:17 am   #16
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Default Re: Record players. Lid up or down?

I have a Yamaha B2 turntable, bought in 1979. It definitely plays better with the lid up. When it's down, you can hear a rumble in the background. Took a while to notice this but once you've heard it, you hear it all the time!

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Old 27th Oct 2021, 8:10 am   #17
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Default Re: Record players. Lid up or down?

Back in the days of 78s in which needle chatter was noticeable it made sense to close the lid but in the era of microgroove records needle chatter was virtually non-existent and it didn't matter that you left the lid open.

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Old 27th Oct 2021, 12:57 pm   #18
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Default Re: Record players. Lid up or down?

It's true that with a low tracking weight Hi-Fi turntable playing LPs, that needle chatter is no longer a problem and actually fitting the lid while playing can enhance any rumble that may be present.

I thought that I may have been pulled up on some of the exceptions to the closed lid with no ventilation problem. Radiograms often have no lid ventilation, but they don't need it due to the large amount of cabinet ventilation usually provided in the back cover. What about acoustic 'howl'? Well you often notice the complete brown felt lining on the inside of these lids to negate this. The Pye Black Box is another example of a totally closed lid with no ventilation. These have plenty of air space under the deck with ventilation holes giving good (hopefully) convection ventilation at the rear. The amplifiers in these players don't generate excessive heat like some of the live chassis types do with droppers etc., in a confined space. The Black Box has a heavy lid with felt all around the mating edge, so no 'howl' and I understand that the lower frequency response of the amplifier was carefully designed to help to negate any the might have occurred. The Black Box sounds at its best with the lid closed while playing.

Most other record players that have the amplifier at the front with some sort of ventilation holes or grille venting straight into the under lid deck space have to vent their hot air across the top of the record deck and out through the ventilation usually provided at the rear of the lid. I think the live chassis amplifier models tend to be the worst offenders with regards to generating unwanted extra heat within the above platter area.
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Old 27th Oct 2021, 2:15 pm   #19
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Default Re: Record players. Lid up or down?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim View Post
Quote:
to play 45s, it made more sense to leave the lid open because you would have to go back to the thing after a few minutes to turn the record over or load the next one.
Quite agree in that case��. Main listening when I was a lad were Goon show LP’s, Ertha Kitt, Peggy Lee and Lonnie Donegan on 10” LP’s.

I have some of those in a box upstairs. 10" LPs that is , though most are Chris Barber but some others too. Another thing my Dad saked me to sell, and will do one day.
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Old 27th Oct 2021, 2:41 pm   #20
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Default Re: Record players. Lid up or down?

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsherwin View Post
Morse is shown using a number of record playing devices during his career. In later life he uses hifi decks (there is even an episode featuring a murder at a fictional deck manufacturer, the name of which I forget.)
The fictional turntable company was ‘Richards’. The deck used in that episode was a Roksan Xerxes.
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