Despite this digital era of the music industry, we are experiencing the re-emergence of turntables and vinyl records for fans. However, this equipment, whether the antique version or the modern kind, is fragile and needs extra care to maintain its sound quality. Hence, here are some tips to extend the life of your precious device at a reasonable expense.
We know that dirt is one of the top catalysts of damage to our equipment. It accelerates wear and aging when a device is left uncleaned. Make sure to clean your turntable regularly carefully. Use a smooth microfiber cloth to wipe most areas of the exterior of the player. The stylus shall be carefully cleaned using a carbon brush or any brush with extra soft bristles. Brush the small needle in a parallel direction to avoid damaging the tip.
There are parts of the player that needs to be changed regularly. One of them is the belt for belt drive turntables. Change this piece once every few years, depending on how often it is used. Constant and long use of the player, together with a buildup of dirt, can cause deterioration in this component. Sometimes, it also reflects on the created sound being slower than usual.
One more important component that should be replaced from time to time is the stylus. Most styli are manufactured using the hardest materials such as diamond or sapphire for longevity. When it is not taken good care of, this fragile and very small material can create noticeable changes to the music quality. At worst, it can affect the vinyl itself as it damages the groove. A good choice for a replacement needle is the Shure M91ED. As we are running on a budget, this certain brand of styli offers a great quality worth its economical price. Remember to be extra careful when handling this tiny component.
As time passes by, the music player can slowly and slightly change in terms of its sound. This is mainly found to be caused by the mechanical parts of the player. Make sure to check the alignment of the counterweight. This part is essential as it balances the weight of the tonearm while it makes sure that the needle fits perfectly into the grooves without causing any damage. Also, the anti-skate weight needs to be checked as it is also important in stabilizing the tonearm and keeping the stylus in the grooves of the record.
To avoid any external vibrations that may cause distorted sounds, you need to invest in a very good platform to place your turntable. This player is a sensitive machine that transforms physical signals into sound waves. These physical signals from the grooves cause the stylus to vibrate. But these vibrations are very tiny and are just being amplified. Thus, there is a high risk of interference from outside the machine. If your turntable cannot cancel out these external signals, a good solution is to put it on a platform that can do that job. It also prevents wear to the machine and the record.