"I listen to some old historical classical recordings now and then and I recently picked up an old London LP in excellent condition from the early to mid 50's of Ernest Ansermet conducting Stravinsky.
I usually only buy the newer reissue LPs or CDs of these historical recordings because they don't distort nearly as bad as the originals, but being a big Ansermet fan and not having this recording, and knowing that these old London monos are really hard to find in this conditon, I couldn't resist.
The Fire Bird Suite on side A plays beautifully, but the Symphony of Psalms on side b, which is a choral work, distorts badly even at lower volumes. I've noticed that voices on Choral music distorts easily on these old mono records, and to a lesser extent on old stereo ones as well. I couldn't have asked for a better copy, so I know it's not the condition of the record causing this as I've heard this problem before on other records, even unplayed, still sealed ones.
What can I do to help reduce the distortion? Any stylus recommendations? Would getting a good quality mono only cartridge help? I've never owned a really high end turntable, but I've owned Rega and Project in the past and still suffered from excessive distortion on old records."