Hi, music lovers!
All set to buy your own, new record player? Oh, I can see that confusion. Don’t worry! Everybody faces it, and now that you have finally reached your ultimate confusion solving guide on how to buy a perfect audiophile’s record player for your home, rest your back, relax, and just read on.
Step one is about knowing the major components of a turntable, that helps it in pouring the melodious music into your ears.
The Base (Plinth) :- This is the component which supports the entire player and is responsible for stability (and hence a good playback). Stable the plinth, better will be the quality of the sound.
Platter:– This is the platform on which the record stays and spins. The heavier the platter, lesser the vibrations (and hence better the music).
Tonearm:– This is the arm that holds the needle and makes it touch the vinyl as it rotates. The tonearm must be designed in such a manner that it ensures a consistency in the speed of the needle, in the outer as well as the inner circumference of the record. Therefore, a poorly designed tonearm will result in inconsistency of the tempo.
Stylus and Cartridge:– The stylus is nothing but the needle, and a cartridge is a part that holds the needle. The needle or stylus is very important as it is the only part of the turntable that contacts the tiny sonic threads (tinier than a hair strand) of a vinyl, which makes the cartridge even more important as it is the one that houses the stylus. Therefore, the slightest error in the position or design of these two can cause substantial degradation in the quality of the sound.
Pointers to Research
Step two involves investigating and comparing the following grounds :-
Budget :- The budget will naturally affect the quality of the turntable you purchase. There will be a large range of pricing that you will find while purchasing a record player. A low budget turntable may not prove to be of satisfactory standards and keep you away from experiencing quality music. Therefore, it is recommended to spend efficiently on standard quality turntables.
Features :– Record players come with a lot of new technology features other than just a rotating vinyl. Therefore, it is very important to research well and decide upon the features that you will give priority to. For instance, whether you want a USB or a Non-USB turntable, or whether you want a Manual or Automatic turntable. Comparing the features will help you narrow down your search.
Upgradeability :- Purchasing a turntable is the task, and maintaining it in working order, is the subtask. Every turntable will require upgradation at some point or the other in future. Hence, you must look for a player that allows independent upgradation of its components, otherwise, you might get stuck with an entire useless device if one of its parts gets damaged or degraded.
The most common upgrade includes upgrading the stylus, tonearm, cartridge, and belt.
and finally the preamp
The sound produced by a record player is PHONO output signal, which has to be converted into LINE LEVEL signal (AUX signal) so that it can work with audio gadgets such as stereo systems, computers, and speakers. The Preamp performs this conversion. A preamp could be external or built-in. All the USB turntables have a built-in preamp. If you go for a Non-USB turntable, then you can easily buy and assemble an external preamp.
Keeping all this information in your head, you can now step out and investigate on your own to find a perfect match (of the turntable of course !).
So best of luck buddy!