Player For Home

Player For Home

21/07/2021 Off By killiadmin

Turntable or record player?

The first thing you need to consider is the type of record playing device you want. Record players and turntables are actually two different things.

Turntable.

A turntable has a flat platter to hold the record and a drive (direct motor or belt drive) to turn the record around at a certain speed.

A stylus (often a diamond, but maybe another semi-precious stone) housed in a cartridge at the end of a tonearm is placed (carefully) in the groove of the record, generating a low-level electrical signal that goes through the left and right stereo cables to the pre-amp.

The signal then travels directly to the power amp for amplification and sound is produced via headphones or speakers. Some of the models we test have a built-in pre-amp.

Record player.

A record player has the pre-amp and amp, and sometimes even the speakers, all built into one unit.

This may sound like the ideal solution, but you’ll generally find the sound produced is not as pleasant as what comes out of a turntable.

 

 

Speed settings.

33 1 / 3 rpm: standard playback speed for 12″ LPs. All the models tested and every turntable or record player you find should support this speed.

45 rpm: standard playback speed for 7″ singles. Ditto, all record players and turntables should support this speed.

78 rpm: standard playback speed for 10″ and 12″ shellac records. Note that a small number of 78 rpm microgroove records have been produced (higher rpm = increased bandwidth); do some research before using your old 78rpm records, as you may find that your stylus can’t play it properly.

45 rpm spindle adapter: old RCA 45 rpm players and some jukeboxes have a very large (38 mm) spindle, necessitating that the centre of a non-RCA record is punched out to reveal a larger hole. The adapter sits over the regular modern 7.2 mm spindle so that you can play these punched-out “doughnut” records. Most manufacturers recommend you use a dedicated stylus, as the standard stylus could be damaged and could damage your records due to the different materials used in their construction.

Other equipment you may need.

New users may be surprised to know that the turntable is just one part of the hi-fi chain.

You’ll need to pick up an amplifier/receiver (essentially the same except a receiver includes a built-in radio) and a pair of speakers if you’re starting from scratch, which can double or triple the initial cost for newcomers. Amps and speakers within a similar range to the turntables in our test, for example, start at around $ 500 and $ 250 respectively.

Alternatively, you could hook a turntable up to a mini hi-fi system. Some of the higher-end models can deliver reasonable sound quality, and take up much less space than a separate amplifier. Look for wired speakers to hook up to your turntable, not Bluetooth or wireless speakers. The audio qualities of vinyl depend on a wired connection, and the bulk of turntables don’t support wireless options.

You may also need to invest in a pre-amp. This equalises the electrical signal coming out of your turntable into something suitable for your ears. Your records will be buried behind excessive bass and static without one. Receivers from the vinyl age, and very recent models released after the format’s resurgence, typically include a phono port that has a pre-amp built-in, while many turntables also add this feature. But in some cases, you may find yourself with a turntable and receiver without pre-amps, which means you have to buy an external one. This will set you back around $ 200.

 

 

How much should you spend?

Unfortunately, vinyl is just one of those things that comes with a relatively steep entry price. While you don’t need to put a second mortgage on your home to afford good-quality gear, trying to save a few bucks with low-end equipment will really diminish the experience. Just remember that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. A $ 1000 amp can’t make a $100 turntable sound good and vice versa. Cost is typically a good gauge – always aim for equipment within a similar price range.

Should you clean your records?

Dust will make its way onto the record surface at some point no matter how clean your home. Many audiophiles would suggest that visible dust on the record surface is brushed aside by the stylus and any that collects on the stylus can be easily blown away.

This may be good advice for enthusiasts who are longtime vinyl fans, but what about the significant number of people considering their first turntable after a 20-year hiatus, who may have a collection that’s been stored in less than ideal conditions (like, under the house or in the garage)?

Be to ensure your records are in good condition before laying them on the platter. If they are in bad condition with finger marks and mould, then give them a good (careful) clean and you should be able to use them without too much further upkeep thereafter. Cleaning solutions and tools (not to mention professional advice) are available from many hi-fi stores and online.

Lid position during play also seems to generate debate, but it must be said that most of us live in an imperfect sonic environment. Keeping the lid closed while playing records will prevent dust from falling onto the record surface and should make cleaning less of an issue. Depending on the room environment and ambient temperature, playing with the lid open may offer sonic improvements.