Buying your first record player
If you’re thinking of buying your first record player, you should start off small and build up big. Spending all of your money on a quality system – separate turntable, amp and speakers – is a pricey business and it’s hardly worth the investment if you don’t own any records.
For first time buyers, a standalone turntable with inbuilt speakers is a perfect option. Compact, portable and affordable, it won’t break the balance and can be setup without having to buy any other equipment (leaving you with more cash to splash on records).
The Re-Vinyl Record Player is a great example. One of our best-selling products of 2016, it comes with everything you need to start spinning records. Simply plug it into a socket, turn the power on, place a record on the platter, lower the needle and you’re away.
As you’d expect from a turntable that costs under £50.00, the sound isn’t as powerful as a system pushing the £500.00 mark. However, there are a number of ways to boost the sound and enhance your listening experience. Here are just a few examples:
Eliminate a flat sound with a flat surface
Think of a wheel. Pushing it along a flat surface is easy and the wheel revolves at a steady speed; pushing it uphill is harder and the wheel revolves at a slower speed. The same applies to your record player. If it’s set up on a slanted surface,
records will work harder to revolve on the platter and the needle will produce a more distorted sound. When set up on a flat surface, records will spin at a steady speed, producing a perfectly balanced sound.
Top Tip: Use a spirit level to determine whether your turntable is sitting on a flat enough surface. Place bits of cardboard under the corners of the turntable until it’s nice and level.
Boost the bass with desktop speakers
The Re-Vinyl Record Player has an RCA output on the back which can be used to plug in desktop speakers (the type generally used for laptops and computers). There are some top models available at affordable prices and many of them come with bass-boost features. As the bass is somewhat lacking on the turntable's in-built speakers, investing in a pair of external speakers is a great way to enhance the sound and emphasise the bass on your records.
Top Tip: We recommend buying desktop speakers with an adjustable bass output. Doing so will enable you to set the perfect tone for the type of music you’re playing.
Keep your records and stylus clean
Records create static electricity which attracts a lot of dust. Dust distorts the sound of records, making them crackle and pop – a bit like a bowl of rice krispies. Dust also transfers to the needle, which can also affect the sound of a record (regardless of how clean the record is). If you don’t clean your records and needle regularly, you may find that your records get scratched over time. There are loads of cleaning products available, inc
luding stylus brushes to clean the needle and fluids that clean deep into the grooves of a record.
Top Tip: Clean your records before each listen and give the stylus a good brush before turning off your turntable. This will save you having to clean it the next time around.
Even if you own a quality system, a portable turntable is a solid investment
The beauty of a standalone record player is that you can easily set it up in any room. The only thing you need is a plug socket. I like to set mine up in the kitchen whilst cooking a batch of my killer chilli (although I don’t bother arsing around with a spirit level). If you’ve got a long enough extension lead and a sheltered space in your garden – a marquee, for example – you can play your records outside, too. It’s a great idea if you’re throwing a garden party (especially if your mates to bring some of their records along for the ride).