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Vinyl Player: 5 Tips for Improving Sound

In 2023, it isn’t a problem to buy a vinyl player, there are many models on the market. However, after some time of use, questions arise: how to improve the sound? Do you have to go to the store for a new one, or can you upgrade yours? Have you hit a jackpot at https://gatesofolympusfreeslot.com/ to buy it or is a cheaper option enough? Or maybe it’s not just about the turntable?

We have five recommendations that will improve the sound of your turntable and allow you to listen to vinyl in all its beauty. Let’s do it!

Placing

A few placement rules are important for the stable performance of your vinyl player. They will help correct sound problems at the initial stage.

Keep It Level

The table or rack where you want to put the turntable should be perfectly level, without the slightest “tilt” to the sides. It’s difficult to check this by eye, so use a level. It will help determine the slope of the surface so you can adjust the legs of the table. The turntable base and base plate should also be level – make sure that the airdrop in the instrument is exactly centered. If there is misalignment, the turntable legs themselves need to be adjusted.

Don’t Put the Turntable on the Same Shelf as the Speakers

Often in photos, you can see a picture: turntable, and on the sides of it on the same shelf – acoustics. This is not a good solution because the turntable’s pickup is very sensitive to vibrations and the speakers are the main source of them. If you turn up the volume with this arrangement, the cartridge will “start-up” and you will hear a hum. There are cases when it’s impossible to put the turntable and the speakers on different surfaces, in such cases use damping stands for speakers.

Use Special Stands for the Equipment

The shelf under the TV or the dresser, on which you put the turntable, perfectly transmits vibrations from the floor. This will make you hear an explosive low-frequency sound in your speakers. It’s hard and unpleasant to listen to. However, there are damping racks for hi-fi equipment that, due to their design and weight, do an excellent job of dampening vibrations. If this solution seems too drastic, you can use damping stands, such as IsoAcoustics, which will also keep the turntable at rest.

Tonearm and Cartridge

These are the two elements that define sound, so they should be treated very carefully. Especially when you have just brought your turntable from the store.

Adjust the Tonearm

If your model has a tonearm that requires a tracking force and anti-skating adjustment, it should definitely be done. Step-by-step setup instructions are always included with the turntable. Without a tuned tonearm, you won’t be able to listen to music because the needle will not properly track the soundtrack on the record. The sound will be lost and “floating”. This can easily ruin your vinyl and your cartridge head. Simply Analog has a kit with everything you need to set up your cartridge and cartridge.

Pick up a Cartridge

Most vinyl players come with cartridges already installed which will suffice for the first time. Afterward, however, you might have higher demands for detail, dynamics, and analytical sound quality. A basic cartridge won’t always satisfy them, so experiment. Experienced vinyl players often use different cartridges for different genres of music. The cartridge determines the primary sound, which is then transferred to the audio system. 

When replacing your cartridges, consider the features of your cartridge tonearm – how much weight it can handle. This information can be found in the manual.

Attention and Care

Taking care of vinyl isn’t only useful but also interesting. Vinyl has a complicated relationship with dust: it actively attracts it to itself, but the sound becomes much worse. So keep it hygienic.

Clean Your Record and Needle Before You Play

Special brushes will not only remove visible dust from the record but also remove static electricity from it. The characteristic clicks in the sound disappear. The pickup needle should also be cleaned as well since it can pick up dust and lint from the tracks on a vinyl record.

Close the Turntable With the Cover

Most models have protective covers – remember to put them down during and after listening. This will keep the turntable free of dust and damage. The cover is usually made transparent, so the aesthetics won’t be lost.

Put the Records Away After Listening to Them

This simple rule will help keep your records clean. If you have vintage vinyl, be sure to replace the paper inner envelopes with modern polymer envelopes. Old envelopes crumble and cellulose clogs the record tracks. Modern envelopes don’t have this problem, and they are good at removing static electricity.

Put the Record on a Slipmat

The turntable platter, most often made of metal or glass, is covered with a soft slipmat upon which a record is placed. It keeps the back side of the record you are not currently listening to intact and removes static electricity from the record. Besides the practical side, the slipmat is a stylish accessory that adds personality to the turntable.

Phono Stage

The phono stage amplifies the weak signal from the cartridge head and passes it on to the amplifier.

You Can’t Do Without It

If you connect the turntable to the line input of an amplifier, you will not hear any sound because the signal is weak. Even if you turn the volume knob to maximum, nothing will change – you need an additional preamplifier, i.e. phono stage.

External is Better Than Built-in

After vinyl became popular again, many turntables and amplifiers started to be equipped with built-in phono recorders. However, their quality is not always satisfactory. For example, some models have significant background noise added to the sound when the phono stage is turned off or on. An external phono stage is a separate device, where everything is “tuned” to the sound transmission from the turntable. It has a better signal-to-noise ratio, greater sonic detail, and a variety of tuning options.

Cables

The player is connected to the phono stage, amplifier, or active speakers with interconnect cables.

Don’t Forget About Grounding

An RCA cable with two tulips should have an extra thin grounding cable. It’s attached to a special GND terminal on the turntable and on the device to which you connect it. If the interconnect cable does not have a separate ground wire, you can purchase a special wire. Without grounding, a strong electrical background will be heard in the sound.

Use Cables with Good Insulation and Connectors

RCA connectors should fit snugly into the amplifier and turntable connectors so that the signal isn’t lost. They shouldn’t loosen or pick up interference from other cables nearby. If this occurs, replace the interconnect cable.