A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO GETTING THE BEST VINYL RECORD AUDIO
Discover What Equipment Generates A Superior Listening Experience
Music is a powerful medium; the songs we listen to do more than make us move our feet — they inspire, motivate, and help us define our most inner selves. Lester Bangs, the remarkable writer for Creem magazine in the 70s and 80s, stated it best, saying, "...the main reason we listen to music in the first place is to hear passion expressed.."
To achieve the best vinyl records audio, you will need a few key pieces of equipment, and each component plays an integral part in producing the highest quality sound.
Are you ready to get your first system together in your Keller, TX, home? Continue reading to discover more.
YOU SPIN ME ROUND
In any vinyl experience, the first device you need is the turntable. Your turntable unit and accessories have the most significant impact on your records' sound quality and lifespan.
Direct-Drive models have the motor connected right to the platter. Often favored by DJs for their rugged performance, they are questionable for audiophile playback. While the unit provides faster spin-up, it also has circuitry that adjusts the speed consistently, causing slight pitch changes to the playback.
Belt-Driven units take a bit longer to spin up but are ready before the tonearm comes down on the grooves. The key advantages here are the consistency of speed and noise, and these models run smoother and reproduce the music accurately. In addition, the motor's low noise makes them the turntable of choice for serious listening.
Drop The Needle
The combination of the stylus and cartridge are critical elements in accurate audio reproduction for vinyl. While the two pieces act as one, choosing and knowing which you are using affects the signal down the line.
The stylus, or needle, is the one component that makes direct contact with the record. How well a stylus tracks the modulated grooves, called trackability, relies on several factors, including the shape. Elliptical models tend to perform better on modern records with finer details and fidelity, while Conical (or spherical) needles are better suited for vintage vinyl or older 78s.
The cartridge holds the stylus at the end of the tonearm and sends a signal to the preamp. There are two standard cartridges, moving magnet (MM) and Moving Coil (MC). MC units are considered much better as they use delicate and precise components to generate a purer sound.
Amp It Up!
The electrical signal generated by a turntable is very small; in order to get it to a usable level while reducing noise and minimizing distortion, you need an amplifier.
A preamplifier (preamp) raises the audio level and provides equalization, correcting sonic imbalances produced by manufacturing necessities of vinyl and the cartridges. Most models are digital types and can handle signals from both MM and MC cartridges.
The main amplifier is the device most often associated with high-fidelity systems. This unit connects using phono (also called RCA) cables and delivers the real power, providing volume and depth to the audio over the speakers. The decision between discrete (solid-state) and tube (analog) can be debated ad nauseam and often comes down to personal preference.
Make Some Noise!
Records are a distinctly two-channel experience, enveloping you in what many consider the best sound field for music. The speakers you choose should technically match your amp and heighten how you listen.
We can help you find the right stereo pair that fits your room, genre of music, and budget. Hear every nuance, every note while reveling in the joy each artist brings to your home.