Turntables have been around for a long time, and in the past few years they’ve become popular again. Because of their popularity, there are now many turntables on the market that vary in price and quality. Some people may be overwhelmed by all of these options, so we’ve created this guide to help you decide what’s right for your needs! We’ll discuss some things you might want to consider when purchasing a turntable as well as how to set it up and care for it once you get home. This way, you can have an enjoyable experience with your new purchase from day one!
What does a turntable do and why is it important to have one in your home
A turntable plays records, also known as vinyl. Vinyl is a type of music that is very popular again right now. Records are discs with songs on them – like CDs or cassettes. Older models may come with cassette players, but you will need to get an adapter to play records on these.
In the past few years there have been many advancements in technology and turntables can do much more than they used to be able to. These new models often come with USB ports so you can easily convert your vinyl into mp3s which you can then upload onto your phone or computer and listen to anywhere you want!
As stated before, it’s important to have one in your home because the turntable will allow you to listen to music in a different way. Vinyl sounds warmer than digital music, so this is great for those who think the quality of mp3s is poor. The vinyl also has no scratches or skips like CDs do, giving it a more authentic feel. If you’re someone who likes having the same song on all your devices, this may not be the right choice for you!
The different types of turntables available on the market today, including their pros and cons
There are two main types of turntables available on the market today: automatic and manual.
An automatic turntable means that it will turn and stop when you put the needle down on a record, so if you want to listen to an entire album, then you don’t have to keep turning it manually. However, this type of turntable is more expensive than a manual one.
A manual one requires you to lift or lower the needle arm onto the record which can be a little difficult for people who are new to setting up their first turntable. When looking at prices, a new manual turntable usually costs less than $100 while an automatic one can cost upwards of $1000!
**Pro Tip: If you’re purchasing your first turntable, we recommend getting a manual one because it has fewer parts and is easier to set up. You can always purchase an automatic model later if you’d like!
To decide which features are right for you, consider what extra things you may want or need on the turntable. Here’s a list of common ones found on today’s models: **Auto start/stop – The arm will automatically go down onto the record when it detects sound, then lift up when there’s no music playing
Counterweight – Increases tracking force so that the needle stays in the middle of the grooves longer
USB port – Converts all your vinyl into mp3s by plugging the USB cord into your computer
Headphone jack – Connects to headphones for personal listening anywhere you want! Some models have line output jacks which allow you to connect to speakers or audio equipment
Anti-skate mechanism – Keeps the cartridge in place so that it doesn’t “drift” when you’re playing the record You may want one of these features if they are important to you. However, some turntables will include most of them while others don’t include any at all.
Some other things to consider when purchasing a turntable: Size and weight – A big consideration is how much space does this item take up? Does the size fit well with your décor, furniture and room layout? Do not choose a turntable that will obstruct your views or make it difficult to walk around. The weight of the item is also important since heavy pieces can be damaging to flooring and other surfaces in your home. If you live in an apartment, then please consider this as well!
Your lifestyle – Will you only use the record player occasionally, at parties and excursions? Or do you plan on using the device regularly for personal listening or music enjoyment? This may affect how often you use it and whether any additional features are worth paying for.
Components – How many speakers does it have? Are they built-in or separate? Does each speaker act independently from one another, moving left, right or both together? What type of outputs does it have: coaxial, optical or RCA? Can you connect to a sound system through Bluetooth? Or does the turntable only play records and nothing else? It is important to consider how each component affects your listening experience before purchasing something that might not be what you were looking for.
Pros of automatic turntable:
- When an automatic turntable is set up, you can just turn it on and let the machine do its job while you get other things done. After putting a record onto the platter and setting the cue arm down in the middle, it will then move automatically to play your music! This is especially convenient if you’re someone who doesn’t want to spend their time turning records manually.
- A great perk of automatic turntables is that they can be paired up with a smartphone. You can download an app to use as a remote control which will increase your interaction and overall enjoyment from the device. Because it’s automatic, you don’t need to fumble with buttons or switches whenever you want to play or stop your music.
Cons of automatic turntable:
- If something goes wrong with the system or if any parts get damaged, then you might be stuck having to repair it without knowing how. In some cases, fixing these problems can cost more than just buying a whole new system unless you know what you’re doing (and have the right tools).
- You will not get the satisfaction of turning a record yourself, which can be quite fun and not very hard to do. Most automatic turntables are geared towards beginners who don’t have any experience with how this device works in the first place.
- In order for an automatic system to work well, it needs to make sure that there’s a steady rotation of the platter and that the needle is following it while in motion. If there’s even a little bit of friction or movement, then you could end up with some serious jams on your records! The motor may skip over parts or jump around if you’re not careful, which can ruin them very quickly.
Pros of manual turntable:
- You get to enjoy the feel of turning the record yourself and can adjust it for your preference
- You will learn how turntables work in this process, which could be useful for you later
- You have complete control over what is happening on your records because you’re doing all of the work!
- Doing things manually will also help to decrease wear and tear on your system as well. This means that there’s less chance of anything getting damaged or broken before its time
Cons of manual turntable:
- The one thing that people might not like about a manual turntable is that they might require more maintenance. You would need to clean it after every use in order to make sure nothing gets stuck. You would also have to be careful when placing records on the platter so that they don’t get scratched or damaged.
- Setting up your turntable and maintaining it will require you to spend some time and effort, but it’s all worth it in the long run. In the end, you’ll learn something new about record players that most people wouldn’t know otherwise! You can use this knowledge for future reference if a problem arises whenever you’re using one for listening or collecting purposes.
How to set up a new turntable
In this guide, I will cover some of the basics of setting up a new Turntable.
Find A Place For Your Turntable
Musical equipment can be a hazard to young children and pets, so keep yours out of reach and away from anything that it could get too close to when it’s plugged in and on. Be wary of where you plug your equipment in as well, as electricity can pose a fire hazard if wiring isn’t properly installed or the walls are not reinforced with fireproofing materials. Try to place your turntable somewhere safe and out of the way (such as on a shelf or in a corner), so that you’re less likely to trip over it, or damage anything else while carrying things around the room.
For most people, it’s not a good idea to hang your turntable on the wall. A record player isn’t something that you want to have spinning when you run into the living room and accidentally bump into an open cabinet door. If you do plan on hanging your turntable up, make sure that it’s mounted securely onto a wall stud; don’t just leave it balancing from a nail hammered into drywall!
A Good Power Source For Your Turntable
When placing your equipment somewhere go be safe, there are some other things that should be taken into account as well:
Your turntable should have a dedicated outlet to plug into. The wiring in your home may be old and worn out, but we’ll touch on that later. If you’re constantly moving your equipment then you don’t want it plugged into an extension cord or power strip. You also want to make sure that the bulbs in the light fixtures above where you’re going to place your decks are working properly! One little slip of doing something incorrectly can leave you with a dead turntable and damaged walls/light fixtures.
I personally like using surge protectors with power strips for my equipment, they’re more convenient than trying to find extra outlets around the room just to keep everything organized (especially if you have multiple pieces of equipment).
The Correct Way To Plug In Your Turntable
Once you’ve found an appropriate location to put your turntables up, make sure that they’re plugged into the correct type of outlet:
Your turntable should have come with several types of cords. If these weren’t provided then you will need to purchase them before plugging in your new decks. The first thing you’ll notice is there are two cords (three if you bought a Hi-Fi system), one cable should be very thin (almost transparent) and the other thicker. The larger cable is called the AC power cord and it’s what you use to connect your turntables to a wall outlet/surge protector or extension cord. Never plug these into any kind of extension cords or power strips! If you choose to use an extension cord or power strip, make sure that it’s rated “heavy duty” otherwise you could risk a fire hazard and damage to your equipment if they’re not heavy-duty enough for your needs.
If the item that you are plugging into has its own built in fuse (i.e.: a lamp) then you should try using this instead of connecting via an extension cord (although this may still pose a fire hazard as well).
The thinner wire on the other side of the device is called a ground wire and it should always be connected to your turntable. If you don’t know if your grounding wires are grounded, take a look at any electronics in your home (ex.: a lamp, TV, or radio) and compare them to your turntables. Most likely they will have three pronged outlets rather than two.
The last thing that you’ll want to do is plug one end of the AC cord into an outlet on your surge protector/extension cord plugged into the wall (or directly into an outlet not behind furniture where you would bump into it). You then want to connect your ground wire (“the small thick blue one”) to something that’s metal such as the back of your turntable or the metal frame for a shelf. Don’t screw it into the wall! If you’re unsure whether or not this wire is grounded, plug in only one turntable and listen for an audible hum from the motor (the needle shouldn’t move). If there isn’t any sound the then you need to ground your equipment.
What You Need To Power Your Turntables
If your turntables were purchased separately then purchase these items:
A) An amplifier (if it didn’t come with one already)
B) A set of speakers (also if it didn’t come with any). This could either be a simple speaker set or an all-in-one stereo system.
Amplifier and Turntable Placement
One thing that I’ve learned from installing turntables is that you may want to place your amplifier behind the equipment instead of on top (where its recommended for most electronics). Those who might have experience in this would probably agree that placing these pieces in front adds too much weight resulting in: wobbling speakers, misaligned needles, a lack of bass response, and so on.
The ideal position is directly behind where the speakers are placed. If you’re using an integrated amp/turntable then you’ll need to place it somewhere in between where the speakers are and your turntable(s). If you have a stereo system or separate components then you can decide between two options:
A) Behind the speakers.
B) In front of the speakers (this is not ideal as they will appear in your desired line of sight)
The main reason why I recommend placing these items behind your equipment is so that you won’t accidentally bump into them while trying to use/access your turntables.
Setting Up Your Speakers Correctly
Speaker placement also plays an important role for optimal sound quality and performance. You want to make sure that the center of your speaker faces forward, if there’s a tweeter ensure it’s oriented upwards, and if there are multiple speakers the should be at least one foot apart. The distance between your speakers is also important, ideally they shouldn’t be too far away from each other (no more than 8ft) but when I had mine set up I found that it made sense to place them closer together due to my small room (the space is about 24in x 15in).
Setting Up Your Turntable Correctly
Before placing your turntable on top of the table, you should first wipe it down with a damp cloth (just to make sure there aren’t any small scraps of paper/dust stuck to the surface). After that you want place the felt mat in between your platter and the table so that it doesn’t scratch up its bottom.
Connecting Your Turntable To Your Amplifier
You’ll want to plug your RCA cables (“the two skinny ones”) into the same output that your speakers are plugged in to. You may have an input labeled “phono” or “turntable”. If you can’t find this then look for something along the lines of “record player”.
If there’s a hole/port on the back where you could connect a wire directly to your power amp, it would be best to go with option A and route all wires through there (option B is explained below). This will enable you to keep everything connected together, if not then here’s how you should connect everything:
If there weren’t any ports/holes for connecting wires directly from your turntable to your amplifier (option A), then you should connect the turntables output directly into an auxiliary input located on your amplifier. This is pretty much just a jack for plugging in other audio devices, like a CD player or cassette recorder (but not MP3 players). If there isn’t one of these in/near your components then you’ll have to find another means of connecting everything together.
Using Your Turntable
After placing both styli onto the records and making sure that they’re facing down towards the platter, flip over switch #2 which will engage power if everything was connected properly. You’ll see that there are two lights on the top: red and green. The red light indicates whether or not the power is on (if its not illuminated, flip switch #2 on). The green light means that the turntable has been set up and is ready to use.
Playing Your Records
When you first turn your turntable on, it will automatically start at the beginning of the record. It’s ideal to keep it in this position so there aren’t any “skips” throughout other songs. When you place your needle down onto the record then bring back up again, a small number should appear somewhere around 3-5 seconds after placing it down (on some models these numbers are displayed horizontally while others display vertically). These numbers will be accompanied by corresponding symbols: triangles (♯), squares (♭), circles (o), and a diamond (♮). A triangle symbol indicates that the sound will come from your right, square means left, circle signifies center, and diamond indicates that the sound will come out of both front and back speakers.
The Proper Way To Use Your Record Player
When you’re ready to play your record, place the needle down onto the outer edge of the LP (or a specified point), because if you dont do this then your stylus might misalign and scratch up both sides of the record. Also, try to avoid dust collecting on or around the turntable as it could potentially damage your records. Also one last thing: You should never leave your turntable running for an extended period of time without playing anything, this is especially true when using a belt-driven type (those are horizontal ones that have a motor). The reason for this is because they need a constant supply of power in order to keep their mechanisms moving (keeps them “ticking”), if they dont have that then the motor will quickly burn out and you’ll need to replace it.
Tips for caring for your new purchase (including how to properly clean it)
A lot of people just like you and me, love records. It’s practically a rite of passage to buy a turntable for oneself even if it just sits in the corner of one’s room collecting dust. But really how do you care for your new purchase? The first thing that we want to do is clean them! Dust on records can cause breakage and degradation, so the first step to caring for your record is to dust off both side with a dry cloth. You may also use a soft brush (they make these specifically for cleaning vinyl) and gently dust off what has been gathered on the record from your stylus during playback.
The next important part is maintenance. This is easy-all you need to do is get a small container of record cleaning solution and place it on the turntable platter. Now what I like to do is put a about 1-2 drops onto the brush (on the turntable platter) and gently drag it from left to right, making sure there are no streaks behind.
How To Make Your Records Sound Better
Now that you’ve given your records some TLC, you may want to make them sound even better than before! The first step in this process is to remove any unnecessary surfaces between your stylus and the grooves of the vinyl which may be causing unwanted noises. So, take out those dust covers and remove any extra mats too (not necessary). But what else can we do?
The second step is to replace your stylus with a better one. This might not be necessary immediately, but if you’ve been having trouble listening to your records then it may be time for an upgrade (this goes for both needles and cartridges). There are tons of different companies that manufacture these products so it will definitely be able to find something that fits your particular needs!
A Few Other Things To Keep In Mind…
Keep in mind that unless you have a plug-in type of turntable, your motor needs to be ‘on’ for the stylus to not continue going around. This means that if you want to conserve and/or save energy then you should turn off your record player when not in use (this goes for both plug-in types).
In this blog post, we’ve discussed the importance of owning a turntable in your home. We have also gone over some of the different types available on the market today and how to set up one for yourself following a few simple steps. If you follow our advice, it should be easy to find one that suits your needs and wants-whether you are new or an experienced record enthusiast.
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!