09 Apr

Five Tips for Vinyl Listening Newbies

I read a great post today about how to get into vinyl listening for “vinyl virgins.” Many of us have been listening to vinyl for years, and some never stopped, but there are a lot of people out there who are just realizing the power of music inherent in vinyl. How the vinyl album reveals sonic information never before heard with the CD and especially the MP3.

Josh Bizar, the Marketing Director for Music Direct, says that the hardware used for analog and vinyl listening is a lot different than standard stereo equipment. It can be a daunting task for someone just starting to buy equipment to decide where to start. So, Bizar has come up with five tips to help get newbies going in the right direction.

FIND THE RIGHT TURNTABLE — Used record players are a dime a dozen at garage sales and thrift stores, but a 30 year old record player could have many problems. Make sure you get a really good service tech to get it up and playing properly. There are also countless new turntables on the market today. For an investment of $300, you can buy an amazing new turntable with 21st century technology that will be perfect right out of the box.

SET UP YOUR SYSTEM WITH CARE — Any turntable will need to be properly set-up to get the maximum amount of music out of your record. That means finding someone who knows how to install the phono cartridge (needle) properly to get the most music out of the grooves. Also, make sure you place your turntable on a rock-solid shelf to keep vibrations away.

LOOK FOR QUALITY VINYL — Thrift shops, garage sales, used record stores and even your uncle’s basement are great places to start your vinyl collection. There are also more new LPs pressed today than anytime since the mid-80s. Specialty stores can advise you on all the great music that’s available on the best quality new vinyl.

TAKE CARE OF YOUR RECORD COLLECTION — Avoid all those ticks and pops by removing the decades of grunge from the grooves with a really good record brush and record cleaning fluids. There are even special record cleaning machines that do all the work for you and will vacuum dry the LP so you can play it immediately. They can be pricey, however. Still, clean records not only sound better, they’re much more valuable.

BRING YOUR RECORDS INTO THE 21st CENTURY — The biggest trend in vinyl right now is taking your records and making them digital. Many newer turntables can connect directly to your computer via USB, and even older, standard turntables can run through a special USB Converter and achieve the same effect. Download some free “ripping” software, like Audacity, and you’re ready to put your record collection right onto your iPod.

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One Response to “Five Tips for Vinyl Listening Newbies”

  1. Audiophil Says:

    A great online site for buying vinyl:

    They feature literally 1,000’s of dealers who have incredible inventories.

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