The rise of turntables and vinyl records over the last few years have been an interesting surprise in the music industry. As people turn back time, slow down and immerse themselves in the peaceful and relaxing experience of searching for and collecting vinyl records, it’s best to think about what to consider when purchasing the turntable to go with that Miles Davis record you just picked up (because, let’s face it, jazz is always the best first listen).
1. Price Matters
When it comes to turntables, you definitely get what you pay for. It’s best to consider increasing your budget if you’re looking for a more crisp, high-quality sound. Lower budget turntables tend to have their own speakers, but as you go higher-scale, you may need to supply your own speakers and other components. For the turntable beginners, budget turntables with their plastic casings and built-in-speakers are the best option, but for the more advanced vinyl enthusiasts out there, investing more money into a quality turntable makes quite the difference in creating a more enjoyable listening experience.
2. The Spin
Most records play at speeds of 33 RPM (Rotations Per Minute) or 45 RPM. But be wary of the fact that since record players are analog systems, different factors may affect the performance of your player. It may play at a slower speed as it plays on the outer edge of the record, moving toward a higher speed near the centre. If you’re thinking of purchasing an older, more vintage record player, keep in mind that the deterioration of the motors or capacitors may either decrease or increase rotation speeds and require more maintenance and repairs.
3. Manual v. Automatic
When purchasing a turntable you will need to consider whether it will be manual or automatic. Manual record players require physically lifting the needle to place it on the record, while automatic turntables typically start playing your records at the push of a button. If you’re someone that doesn’t have much of a steady hand, you may risk scratching the record so definitely consider an automatic turntable in that case.
4. Turntable Placement
You wouldn’t realize it, but where you actually place your turntable matters. Turntables are sensitive to vibrations as the vibrations through the needle as it turns around the grooves of the record are what deliver the actual sound. Excess vibrations can cause the needle to jump and cause skips. Make sure to put your turntable on a flat, sturdy surface or if it’s in your budget, consider purchasing a specially designed table for your new record player.
After purchasing your turntable, consider grabbing some accessories to keep your records sounding beautiful and your turntable performing properly. Make sure to purchase some cleaning supplies to keep your records and needle clean. Keep your records in record storage crates and have some extra vinyl sleeves on hand to keep your records safe from warping and free of dust and grime. Take good care of your new record player and you’ll be sure to have wonderful listening experiences on a regular basis.