Nowadays music is accessible on our phones, computers, television… All because the internet is spreading it all around the world. For modern youth, even a sight of a person holding a cd player is something uncommon. Physical copies such as CDs, cassettes or vinyl records seem to have been replaced. One tap and the show is on. Perfect sound, no disturbance. But is it really true that people no longer care for older ways of enjoying music?
Of course not. Looking around the globe, you will find an extraordinary number of “old fashioned people”, also known as audiophiles. An audiophile is somebody who enjoys high-fidelity sound reproduction. Among them, you will find people obsessed with vinyl records.
The reasoning behind their passion lies in sentiment. For them, playing music is more than a mere tap of a button, it’s a complex process or a ritual of a kind leading them to a state of nostalgia. Sounds reproduced from vinyl records, therefore, come as a wonderful prize, where a person can find oneself being lost in wonders of daydreaming. If you are one of such individuals, have a look at this article, perfect for you!
If you are on a journey to get good vintage audio for your ears, armor yourself with the right knowledge. Starting with how to take care of your pieces of vinyl once you get them. The hisses, scratches, and pops, even though being synonymous with vinyl records, are actually just results of improper handling and bad maintenance.
And most of the damage to a vinyl record happens when it’s not being played. Being improperly stored, vinyl records can be bend or wrap, and you can kiss your perfect vintage audio goodbye. To prevent this, store your records vertically, keep them away from heat or direct sunlight, also avoid places with high humidity.
Dust is also bad for the records- to keep them in the sleeves that come with the packing. Consider your fingertips an archenemy to your precious records, since they are for sure the dirtiest thing a vinyl can encounter.
Carry them with care and do not touch anywhere where you could leave fingerprints. Oil and grime from your skin will wreak havoc on vinyl. Use a proper brush to brush off the dust off your vinyl before playing it. With all this in mind, you are ready to move to another step.
As a rookie, you should keep in mind certain common mistakes. It is good to know how to actually operate a turntable in a proper way. With CDs, you can be pretty rough and they will not suffer that much damage, but as much as you have already noticed, treating vinyl with care is a must. The record player should be positioned on a surface that can dampen shocks and vibration.
There are certain anti-vibration stands that can be bought. Many turntables have a plastic dust cover (either as a hinged attachment or as a completely separate piece) that you must lift up or remove in order to access the turntable itself. Set your RPM settings for the type of the record you want to play and then safely place the vinyl on the platter.
Start it up with a flip of the rotary switch or lifting the tonearm. Some models have a so-called “cue” switch which lifts the tone arm exactly above the spot where it should be to start the music. But, some don’t, so if you end up having to place the needle yourself, do it smoothly and with precision. Don’t let it drop onto the record. If you finished this step correctly, you should be able to hear the music.
Once the side of the album is done, some turntables will lift and move the tonearm, some won’t. Those are extremely rare, so do not fret that your tonearm will end up bumping against the end of its range and scratching your vinyl. Some of the best turntables out there include Audio Technica AT-LP60BK, Electrohome signature, Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC, Pro-Ject RM-5.1 SE etc.
After picking a turntable, it’s time for the rest of the group! If the turntable doesn’t come with a built-in preamp, buy one. Next step hooking it up to an amplifier. It can be standalone or integrated into speakers. Sometimes you’ll end up wanting a more personal setup, in which case headphones come in handy. And a headphones amplifier, of course.
Also, actual cables will be needed to wire everything up. Exercise caution however as working with anything involving electricity can be hazardous and you do not want to get hurt.
Now you have the basic knowledge to build your perfect “me-time” with your vinyl records. Put the record on, sit back and relax. And rest peacefully, knowing that your precious record collection is well taken care of.