An Introduction to Turntables

2014-05-08T21:28:29+00:00January 8th, 2011|Audio, Beginner Articles, Features|88 Comments

You think vinyl went the way of the Dodo? Think again. Sure, piles of disco records were melted down at Comiskey Park in 1979, but a lot survived.

Vinyl culture has been kept alive by audiophiles, collectors, disk jockeys and regular folk that enjoy spinning a record on their old but serviceable turntable.

Many people can’t believe that new music is still being pressed and released on vinyl. In fact, just the other day I saw a Britney Spears album at a record store. Even HMV carries a limited selection of records.

New vinyl is being released every month and industry statistics show that while there were 661,000 units of new vinyl sold in the U.S. during the first half of 2003, combined sales of SACD and DVD-A discs during that same period was 234,000 units.

Why are people still purchasing and listening to vinyl records?

Well, not everyone had a yard sale. Not everyone bought into the record companies’ little scam of replacing their music collection with a new medium. For some of us it’s also fun. The act of sliding the record out of the sleeve, putting down on the platter and gently dropping the needle, is a dance unto itself. You can watch the needle move along the grooves. The whole process adds an extra dimension to the music listening experience.

Some excellent music has never been released on CD. Collectors enjoy the hunt of tracking down that elusive record. Cover art is another reason some collect records. Once you start collecting you keep realizing there’s another record you “need”. It’s like crack, black crack, so watch out.

DJs are some of the most diehard defenders of vinyl. Most underground music only comes out on vinyl. Recently major record labels have been making acapellas of pop music conveniently available to underground producers. These producers then make bootleg remixes of these songs and released them on vinyl. This gives mainstream artists hype and arguably street credibility.

A lot of people will tell you “it sounds better.” You don’t have to be an audiophile to appreciate the “warmth” of vinyl records.

Why does it sound better? Basically it boils down to resolution.

Sound waves are purely analog, and have very smooth curves, flowing from frequency to frequency, and changing amplitude smoothly. Because the wave is stored on vinyl exactly as it was originally produced, it retains this smoothness, and warmth. While listening to a song on a CD player may satisfy the casual listener, listening to that same song on a turntable with a high quality sound system will send chills up your spine. Also, CD players are capped at frequencies between 20hz-20Khz. Even though humans can’t hear outside of that range, we can feel it. A vinyl record can produce low sounds that may add a “punch” to the bass kick we can feel, enhancing the listening experience. A quick note, while the record may contain the purest sound, a good stylus is needed to accurately reproduce the sound. So, while an average CD player on a cheap sound system may sound okay, a decent turntable/stylus playing through a decent sound system will sound far superior than even the best CD player can aspire to.

The digital sound-wave is not really a wave at all. It’s more of a series of steps. A digital recording takes snapshots of the analog signal at a certain rate (for CDs it is 44,100 times per second) and measures each snapshot with a certain accuracy (for CDs it is 16-bit, which means the value must be one of 65,536 possible values). Some sounds with quick transition, such as trumpet or drums, change too quickly for the sampling rate and may sound distorted.

These “steps” are being made smaller by high resolution audio formats, such as SACD and DVD-Audio, but that’s another discussion for another time (see diagram below).

What about the snap, crackle and pop?

People thought the lack of surface noise on CDs was the equivalent to better sound, and this technological Achilles’ Heel of LPs almost buried what is still the premier format in terms of sound quality. Fortunately the Vinyl Brotherhood had greater intestinal fortitude than the Beta Brotherhood. It took only about six or seven years for VHS to overwhelm Beta, but the LPs have withstood the digital onslaught for over two decades now.

While vinyl is cheap, and can be seen everywhere from your car’s dash, to your kitchen floor, it’s not perfect. Because records must be read with a stylus to reproduce the sound, there is a constant friction on the walls of the grooves. Temperatures can get quite high at the point where the stylus and wall meet, gradually melting, and shaving material away. If you have your needles improperly set up with too much weight, it’s very easy to increase the wear, chewing away at the walls of the record. This wear is a fact of life, and cannot be avoided, only minimized. When the records wear, the sound degrades. It’ll become muddy, or scratchy over time, and may eventually become unplayable in any situation but a casual listen. Cleaning, and proper stylus and turntable setup both will aide immensely in reducing wear, and extending the life of your precious vinyl.

Dirt and oils wreak havoc on vinyl and styli. No matter how clean your hands are, they contain oils, which are easily transferred to the surface of the record. As dirt and oil collect, they “smooth” out the walls of the groove, reducing sound quality, and giving records that trademark “crackle.” Dirt also plays hell on styli, acting like sandpaper and dulling the diamond tip, while at the same time rubbing away at the walls. Again, KEEP YOUR RECORDS CLEAN!

Vibrations are also cause for concern with the vinyl medium. Anything from a truck driving by, to the turntable motor, to the bass pumping out of your subwoofer can cause vibrations which can be transmitted through the stylus. These concerns are minimized by quality turntables with ultra smooth drive units, solid base construction and feet that isolate vibrations. Some turntables have out board motors that provide further isolation from the platter. You can also buy shelving units for your A/V gear that further isolates your equipment from unwanted vibrations.

With all these concerns regarding vinyl, you may wonder why anyone goes through the trouble? For the same reason car owners go through the trouble of maintaining an MG Roadster, when they drive it they have a bigger grin on their face than the guy driving around in a Toyota Corolla.

So you want to get grooving? The stereo soundtrack on a vinyl record is stored on the walls of the groove. The outside wall contains the left channel and the inside wall the right channel. The sound wave is cut into these walls.

What you’ll need is a turntable. Direct drive turntables rotate the platter directly via the motor, belt drive turntables rotate the platter via a belt. This type of mechanism reduces interference between the motor and phono cartridge. As was previously mentioned there are higher end turntables that separate the motor assembly and housing from the platter and base, further decreasing interference.

You’ll then need a phono cartridge and stylus that attaches to the tone arm. The sound waves etched into the vinyl walls vibrate the stylus. This mechanical energy is then converted to electrical energy by the cartridge. Cartridges come in two variations: moving coil and moving magnet. By moving either a coil or a magnet the stylus transforms the mechanical energy into electrical impulses. Moving magnet type cartridges are more affordable, not only that but the stylus is replaceable thus saving you money in the long run. Moving coil type cartridges provide a cleaner more accurate sound with detailed highs but, they are more expensive, less compatible with phono preamps and the styli aren’t easily replaced.

If your receiver lacks a phone stage then you will need to buy a separate phono preamp. Again, you get what you pay for.

Remember to ground your turntable and to keep your vinyl clean!




  • About the Author:

    88 Comments

    1. GreenGoogle Mar 10, 2019 at 6:41 pm

      GreenGoogle

      […]we like to honor lots of other online web pages around the web, even though they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Underneath are some webpages really worth checking out[…]

    2. Sns nails scottsdale Mar 11, 2019 at 9:05 pm

      Sns nails scottsdale

      […]Here is an excellent Weblog You may Discover Fascinating that we Encourage You[…]

    3. vibrator Mar 12, 2019 at 4:00 am

      vibrator

      […]one of our guests lately suggested the following website[…]

    4. fretboard Mar 12, 2019 at 1:09 pm

      fretboard

      […]Every after in a while we decide on blogs that we study. Listed beneath would be the most recent websites that we select […]

    5. fiverr gig finder Mar 13, 2019 at 12:13 am

      fiverr gig finder

      […]just beneath, are several absolutely not connected web sites to ours, however, they’re surely really worth going over[…]

    6. Penis pumps Mar 13, 2019 at 2:15 pm

      Penis pumps

      […]below you will locate the link to some web pages that we think you ought to visit[…]

    7. Rabbit vibrator Mar 14, 2019 at 6:12 pm

      Rabbit vibrator

      […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine several unrelated data, nonetheless genuinely really worth taking a appear, whoa did a single find out about Mid East has got a lot more problerms at the same time […]

    8. Magic wand massager Mar 15, 2019 at 12:36 am

      Magic wand massager

      […]usually posts some very fascinating stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[…]

    9. S1U1 Leadership Mar 15, 2019 at 9:17 pm

      S1U1 Leadership

      […]Sites of interest we have a link to[…]

    10. Lecture notes 22 due Mar 30 2017

      […]Here is a superb Weblog You may Locate Exciting that we Encourage You[…]

    11. bondage toys for men Mar 16, 2019 at 11:26 pm

      bondage toys for men

      […]we like to honor many other internet web pages on the internet, even though they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Beneath are some webpages worth checking out[…]

    12. Best anal vibrators Mar 17, 2019 at 3:05 am

      Best anal vibrators

      […]we like to honor numerous other net internet sites around the web, even when they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Underneath are some webpages really worth checking out[…]

    13. Discounts over half price Mar 17, 2019 at 3:09 pm

      Discounts over half price

      […]the time to study or go to the content or sites we’ve linked to below the[…]

    14. LEGO Nexo Knights Knighton strijdblaster 70310

      […]below you will discover the link to some web-sites that we believe it is best to visit[…]

    15. cordless magic wand Mar 18, 2019 at 12:52 pm

      cordless magic wand

      […]Every after in a although we opt for blogs that we study. Listed below would be the most current web pages that we pick […]

    16. http://www.blurb.com/user/montu4891

      […]one of our visitors lately encouraged the following website[…]

    17. Chicago SEO Mar 19, 2019 at 1:28 am

      Chicago SEO

      […]Sites of interest we’ve a link to[…]

    18. Detroit SEO Mar 19, 2019 at 4:13 am

      Detroit SEO

      […]we like to honor lots of other world wide web web sites on the internet, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Underneath are some webpages worth checking out[…]

    19. rechargeable wand massager

      […]just beneath, are quite a few entirely not associated web sites to ours, even so, they may be surely worth going over[…]

    20. Criminal Defense Lawyer Richmond, VA

      […]very few internet websites that happen to become in depth below, from our point of view are undoubtedly effectively really worth checking out[…]

    21. guitar music theory Mar 27, 2019 at 9:34 am

      guitar music theory

      […]one of our guests recently proposed the following website[…]

    22. samsung screen repair Mar 28, 2019 at 10:10 pm

      samsung screen repair

      […]the time to study or visit the content material or web-sites we have linked to beneath the[…]

    23. best masturbation sleeve Mar 30, 2019 at 11:32 pm

      best masturbation sleeve

      […]Here are a few of the web sites we recommend for our visitors[…]

    24. sex toys for plus size Apr 1, 2019 at 9:51 pm

      sex toys for plus size

      […]one of our visitors recently proposed the following website[…]

    25. increase girth size Apr 1, 2019 at 9:55 pm

      increase girth size

      […]one of our visitors just lately advised the following website[…]

    26. how to play with vibrato Apr 2, 2019 at 8:36 am

      how to play with vibrato

      […]below you will come across the link to some internet sites that we feel you should visit[…]

    27. vibrating bullet sex toy Apr 5, 2019 at 7:29 am

      vibrating bullet sex toy

      […]Here is a great Weblog You may Locate Exciting that we Encourage You[…]

    28. evolved wild orchid video Apr 6, 2019 at 11:51 pm

      evolved wild orchid video

      […]Every after inside a though we select blogs that we read. Listed below would be the latest web sites that we decide on […]

    29. Check Here Apr 8, 2019 at 9:16 pm

      Check Here

      […]just beneath, are many absolutely not related web-sites to ours, nevertheless, they may be certainly really worth going over[…]

    30. electric fence accessories Apr 10, 2019 at 10:14 am

      electric fence accessories

      […]just beneath, are many entirely not related web-sites to ours, even so, they’re surely really worth going over[…]

    31. mail order brides Apr 10, 2019 at 1:36 pm

      mail order brides

      […]below you will come across the link to some web sites that we believe you should visit[…]

    32. data entry from home Apr 11, 2019 at 7:25 am

      data entry from home

      […]that could be the end of this article. Right here you’ll uncover some web pages that we consider you’ll enjoy, just click the links over[…]

    33. los angeles seo Apr 11, 2019 at 10:51 pm

      los angeles seo

      […]Every as soon as inside a when we pick out blogs that we study. Listed beneath would be the latest internet sites that we decide on […]

    34. xxnx Apr 14, 2019 at 10:52 pm

      xxnx

      […]here are some links to websites that we link to because we assume they’re worth visiting[…]

    35. Rabbit Vibe Apr 18, 2019 at 11:35 am

      Rabbit Vibe

      […]we came across a cool website which you could possibly take pleasure in. Take a search when you want[…]

    36. rechargeable kegel balls Apr 19, 2019 at 3:58 pm

      rechargeable kegel balls

      […]The information talked about within the report are a few of the most beneficial available […]

    37. strapless dildo Apr 20, 2019 at 12:56 am

      strapless dildo

      […]always a significant fan of linking to bloggers that I love but don’t get a whole lot of link enjoy from[…]

    38. 188bet Apr 22, 2019 at 3:40 pm

      188bet

      […]Here is a good Weblog You may Locate Intriguing that we Encourage You[…]

    39. app for pc Apr 25, 2019 at 10:54 am

      app for pc

      […]one of our visitors lately encouraged the following website[…]

    40. app pc download for windows Apr 25, 2019 at 12:07 pm

      app pc download for windows

      […]one of our visitors recently suggested the following website[…]

    41. download full version pc games

      […]we prefer to honor several other world wide web web sites around the web, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Beneath are some webpages worth checking out[…]

    42. free download for windows 10

      […]here are some links to websites that we link to for the reason that we feel they’re really worth visiting[…]

    43. realistic vibrator Apr 26, 2019 at 9:43 am

      realistic vibrator

      […]usually posts some very interesting stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[…]

    44. free download for pc windows

      […]that will be the finish of this post. Here you will obtain some sites that we assume you will value, just click the hyperlinks over[…]

    45. pc games for windows xp Apr 26, 2019 at 10:40 pm

      pc games for windows xp

      […]although internet sites we backlink to below are considerably not connected to ours, we really feel they are basically really worth a go by, so have a look[…]

    46. тягостный Apr 27, 2019 at 9:28 am

      тягостный

      […]very couple of websites that happen to be detailed beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly very well really worth checking out[…]

    47. sexo ao vivo Apr 27, 2019 at 11:13 pm

      sexo ao vivo

      […]very couple of internet sites that take place to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly nicely really worth checking out[…]

    48. best butt plug Apr 28, 2019 at 5:39 pm

      best butt plug

      […]that could be the end of this article. Here you will locate some web sites that we consider you will appreciate, just click the hyperlinks over[…]

    49. thruster rabbit Apr 28, 2019 at 7:35 pm

      thruster rabbit

      […]Here are a number of the web pages we advise for our visitors[…]

    50. free games download for pc

      […]please visit the sites we adhere to, including this one, because it represents our picks through the web[…]

    51. app download for windows May 1, 2019 at 10:17 am

      app download for windows

      […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine some unrelated data, nevertheless actually worth taking a appear, whoa did a single learn about Mid East has got a lot more problerms as well […]

    52. pc games free download for pc windows

      […]we like to honor many other web websites on the web, even when they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages really worth checking out[…]

    53. pc games for windows 8 May 1, 2019 at 5:48 pm

      pc games for windows 8

      […]we like to honor a lot of other web sites on the net, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Beneath are some webpages worth checking out[…]

    54. best vibrating bullet May 2, 2019 at 10:17 am

      best vibrating bullet

      […]Sites of interest we have a link to[…]

    55. apps for pc May 3, 2019 at 7:16 am

      apps for pc

      […]although sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not associated to ours, we feel they may be in fact worth a go by way of, so have a look[…]

    56. hamptonbay May 3, 2019 at 10:16 am

      hamptonbay

      […]we prefer to honor quite a few other internet web-sites around the net, even though they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Underneath are some webpages worth checking out[…]

    57. dani daniels May 4, 2019 at 11:19 pm

      dani daniels

      […]The details talked about within the write-up are a few of the ideal obtainable […]

    58. remote control egg May 5, 2019 at 8:46 am

      remote control egg

      […]Here is an excellent Blog You may Come across Fascinating that we Encourage You[…]

    59. silicone penis toy May 5, 2019 at 11:11 am

      silicone penis toy

      […]always a huge fan of linking to bloggers that I enjoy but do not get quite a bit of link really like from[…]

    60. silicone rabbit vibrator May 5, 2019 at 4:20 pm

      silicone rabbit vibrator

      […]always a massive fan of linking to bloggers that I really like but don’t get a great deal of link adore from[…]

    61. sexe webcam May 6, 2019 at 8:03 am

      sexe webcam

      […]Here is an excellent Weblog You may Come across Interesting that we Encourage You[…]

    62. blowjob and masturbator toy

      […]although web-sites we backlink to below are considerably not connected to ours, we feel they’re truly worth a go through, so possess a look[…]

    63. massaging prostate May 6, 2019 at 11:03 pm

      massaging prostate

      […]just beneath, are many entirely not associated web pages to ours, having said that, they may be surely worth going over[…]

    64. thrusting massager May 7, 2019 at 11:36 pm

      thrusting massager

      […]Here is a superb Blog You may Find Intriguing that we Encourage You[…]

    65. vibrating strapless dong May 8, 2019 at 1:26 am

      vibrating strapless dong

      […]we came across a cool website that you may possibly take pleasure in. Take a appear in case you want[…]

    66. how to use prostate vibrator

      […]below you will uncover the link to some internet sites that we feel you should visit[…]

    67. wall mounted dildo May 8, 2019 at 6:58 am

      wall mounted dildo

      […]usually posts some pretty exciting stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[…]

    68. stroker masturbator May 8, 2019 at 9:16 am

      stroker masturbator

      […]always a huge fan of linking to bloggers that I adore but do not get a great deal of link really like from[…]

    69. greencardorganization May 8, 2019 at 11:44 am

      greencardorganization

      […]check beneath, are some absolutely unrelated web sites to ours, on the other hand, they may be most trustworthy sources that we use[…]

    70. Bed Bug control Greensboro

      […]we came across a cool web-site which you might appreciate. Take a search if you want[…]

    71. anal vibrator review May 9, 2019 at 8:50 pm

      anal vibrator review

      […]Sites of interest we’ve a link to[…]

    72. https://www.movieschor.org/genre/hollywood-english-audio/

      […]here are some links to web-sites that we link to since we assume they may be worth visiting[…]

    73. powerful vibrator May 10, 2019 at 12:52 am

      powerful vibrator

      […]the time to read or take a look at the material or web pages we’ve linked to below the[…]

    74. песня последняя поэма текст

      […]usually posts some very intriguing stuff like this. If you are new to this site[…]

    75. erogen.ru May 10, 2019 at 9:20 am

      erogen.ru

      […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a number of unrelated information, nevertheless definitely really worth taking a appear, whoa did one particular discover about Mid East has got more problerms also […]

    76. adult toys May 10, 2019 at 12:25 pm

      adult toys

      […]Here are several of the internet sites we advise for our visitors[…]

    77. https://myanimelist.net/profile/OneWorld_Herald

      […]very couple of internet sites that transpire to be comprehensive below, from our point of view are undoubtedly nicely worth checking out[…]

    78. gay anal sex May 11, 2019 at 8:01 am

      gay anal sex

      […]Here are a number of the web sites we suggest for our visitors[…]

    79. pocket pussies May 11, 2019 at 2:29 pm

      pocket pussies

      […]please go to the web pages we comply with, which includes this 1, because it represents our picks from the web[…]

    80. strap on harness for pegging

      […]below you will find the link to some websites that we assume you should visit[…]

    81. male pump May 11, 2019 at 5:24 pm

      male pump

      […]very handful of web sites that transpire to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly effectively really worth checking out[…]

    82. sex toys for her May 13, 2019 at 3:41 am

      sex toys for her

      […]please check out the web sites we adhere to, which includes this one particular, as it represents our picks through the web[…]

    83. enema valve May 13, 2019 at 5:35 am

      enema valve

      […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a few unrelated data, nevertheless truly really worth taking a appear, whoa did one particular discover about Mid East has got additional problerms as well […]

    84. crystal jellies May 13, 2019 at 6:14 am

      crystal jellies

      […]Every when in a although we select blogs that we study. Listed beneath are the most recent internet sites that we pick out […]

    85. Avandra-100 May 14, 2019 at 11:42 pm

      Avandra-100

      […]Every after inside a even though we pick blogs that we read. Listed beneath would be the newest web pages that we opt for […]

    86. easy loans for bad credit May 15, 2019 at 1:34 am

      easy loans for bad credit

      […]The data talked about inside the report are several of the best accessible […]

    87. scrap car removal chilliwack

      […]although web sites we backlink to below are considerably not connected to ours, we feel they’re essentially worth a go as a result of, so have a look[…]

    88. валерия была любовь текст

      […]the time to study or pay a visit to the content or web pages we’ve linked to below the[…]

    Leave A Comment