With the rise of new technologies, everything’s becoming more or less digital. The music we listen to is sorted into playlists and it’s on our smartphones. While this is certainly great for organizing and storing our music collection because we don’t have to make space for CDs or records, it certainly feels like something’s missing.
Why You Need a Record Player?
Table of Contents
- Why You Need a Record Player?
- How to Choose a Vinyl Record Player?
- Few Things to Keep in Mind for a Better Sound
For those of you who don’t know, a record player, also known as a phonograph or gramophone, is a device for playing vinyl records. It was the main medium for listening to music in the 20th century and, nowadays, only a small percent of the artists make vinyl records. But many people collect old records that are worth a lot, and who knows, maybe it’ll become your hobby, too.
1. It Produces a Unique Sound
No other format can give you the original sound, just like the artist made it to be. There isn’t digital conversion so you get an unmatched quality sound, close to the music you hear when on gigs and concerts. But you need to be careful when choosing the player because poor-quality ones can damage the records and will only be a disappointment. This being said, you should look for a top-quality vinyl record player that will have everything you need.
2. It Gives You a Full Experience
Choosing, playing, and listening to the vinyl is a full experience in itself. You just don’t press a button and listen to anything that’s next on the playlist. You choose the music that you feel like at that moment, put it in the player, and turn it on. You give full attention to and absorb the music that you’re listening to. Also, if you like to collect things, you own that piece of music when you have it on record. Some great records are still not available on CD so vinyl is the only option you have.
3. It Can Add New Flair to Your Space
You can create a corner in your house that’ll be just for the vinyl records and the record player. This will make the entire space seem more sophisticated and even nostalgic. You can even decorate with the record covers in case your favourite record dies. Besides enjoying this spot and relaxing by yourself, it’s a great way to spend quality time with your family and friends. You can teach them what real music is and everyone will love the authentic sound that record players produce.
How to Choose a Vinyl Record Player?
Record players can be found at different prices, so set a budget when purchasing your vinyl record player. You need to consider what you expect from it, whether you want a simple device or the latest technology. This will help you choose the features of the player.
Some offer basic functions or all-in-one, which are a great option if you opt for portability. But if you want something of higher quality, browse record players that don’t fall under the cheapest category. They won’t be as high-end as the expensive models but at least you’ll get great sound quality for your money. With a wide range of choices, it may be hard to find the best option for you but here are several things that you should consider.
1. Belt-Drive vs. Direct Drive Record Players
The platter of the turntable is the component that holds the record, and there are two methods used to spin the platter. Belt-drive is when a thin rubber belt is used to spin the platter. The direct drive uses a motor for spinning. They both have pros and cons. Belt-driven vinyl players are quieter but the belt needs to be replaced after some time. Direct-driven players, on the other hand, are noisier and interfere with the sound quality but you wouldn’t have to worry about replacing the belt.
2. Manual, Semi-Automatic, and Automatic Record Players
The tonearm keeps the needle and allows it to make contact with the vinyl. This division refers to your interaction with the turntable.
- Manual – When you lift the tonearm and place it on the record;
- Semi-automatic – You need to place the tonearm onto the record but when it’s done, the player automatically lifts the tonearm and shuts off the motor;
- Automatic – The player itself lifts and drops the tonearm, you just need to push a button.
Which one you’ll choose depends on your preference. With a manual, you’ll have to do the job yourself but if this is exactly what you want, go with it. If you’re looking for something more modernized, the auto may be the option for you.
Most players come with a cartridge and it isn’t something you need to worry about except if you want to upgrade it for a stronger sound. It’s situated on the tonearm and holds the needle or the stylus that produces the sound. There are two types of cartridges: moving magnet and moving coil. For a budget-friendly upgrade, a moving magnet cartridge is a better option. You should consider this much more if your record player doesn’t come with a cartridge. You can find more information online or ask the store from where you bought the player. Otherwise, the cartridge that the player has will serve its purpose.
4. USB Output
Even though the primary reason why you want a record player might be that you enjoy its sound, you could also create a digital copy in order to preserve the music, and have it with you whenever you go out. For this reason, you’ll need a record player with a USB output.
Few Things to Keep in Mind for a Better Sound
In order to preserve the good sound, keep your vinyl player and records clean and free of dust. There are record cleaners for deep cleaning and brushes that are made for this purpose. Brush them before and after playing. It’s a simple thing that does a lot.
You could add record mats and vibration isolators that will keep the sound clean and not affected by vibrations. You should also pay attention to the cables that your turntable came in with. They usually don’t last long so you’ll need something of better quality to prolong the life of your record player.