By MH Staff - Posted on 18th September 2013
Take a break from iTunes and find your platter-spinning groove with these tips
Big-box store models can be more like toys than turntables. Look for a stable, non-plastic chassis and words like “MDF” or “composite materials” on the packaging. Your turntable should also have adjustable feet for stability, and a tonearm made of a strong but lightweight material like carbon fibre or aluminum. Try a brand like Rega, Music Hall, and Pro-Ject.
You’ll need a phono preamplifier to turn up the jams. (Some turntables have them built in, so check with your retailer.) If you need to, buy a phono preamplifier made by one of the turntable brands listed above.
Find a store in your area and hit thrift shops and secondhand sales. As you browse, check used records for scratches and scuffs by holding them at an angle toward a light source. Then find a flat surface and place the record on it. If it doesn’t lie flat, it’s warped from heat and might not play well. Don’t live near a vinyl vendor? Look online at listeningroom.co.za.
Quiet those pops and crackles by making your records pristine. Combine 2½ cups of distilled water with two or three drops each of alcohol and a mild, clear, fragrance-free dish soap. Rest the LP on a microfibre cloth and apply two or three drops of the liquid. Now slowly pull a record brush from the inside of the LP to the edge.
Store your LPs away from direct sunlight and radiators – heat can warp the vinyl.