In This Series
- 1 How Do Vinyl Records Work?
- 2 Components
- 2.1 The Platter
- 2.2 The Bearing
- 2.3 The Motor
- 2.4 The Tonearm
- 2.5 The Cartridge
- 3 Phono Stages
- 4 Should You Buy an All-In-1 Turntable?
- 5 The Current Market
- 6 How to Setup a Turntable
- 7 How to Install and Align a Turntable Cartridge
- 8 Optimising The Sound
- 9 Purchasing a Used Turntable
- 10 Turntable, Tonearm and Cartridge Specifications
- 10.1 Tonearm Specifications
- 10.2 Turntable Specifications
- 10.3 Cartridge Specifications
- 11 Turntable Drive Systems
- 12 Recommended Tools
- 13 Free Protractors and Strobe Discs
- 14 Conclusions
To draw our series to a close, I’ve included a list of products featured in the guide, along with a glossary of terms for easy reference. We’ve also compiled a few other resources over the years which can be found linked below.
Products in This series
The following is a by no means complete list of the products we’ve mentioned in this series.
- Acoustic Energy Aego3 2.1 Bluetooth Speaker System
- Audio-Technica AT-LP120 USB Turntable
- Audio-Technica AT-LP5 Turntable
- Audio Technica AT95E Moving Magnet Cartridge
- Audio-Technica AT440MLB Cartridge
- ClearAudio Concept Turntable
- ClearAudio Performance DC Turntable
- Pro-Ject Essential 3 Turntable
- Pro-Ject Elemental Turntable
- Pro-Ject 1 XPression Carbon UKX Turntable
- Rega Planar 1 Turntable
- Rega Planar 3 Turntable
- Rega RP10 Turntable
- Ruark Audio MR1 Active Bluetooth Speakers
Glossary of Terms
As we conclude our guide, let’s briefly revisit a few of the terms we’ve covered.
- Cartridge Alignment – The process of positioning a cartridge to minimise tracking error.
- Null Point – a point on a record where the stylus is in perfect tangency with the groove.
- Null Radii – a point on a record, measured from the centre spindle, used to calculate optimal cartridge alignment.
- Overhang – Overhang is measured in millimetres, and is the distance between the centre of the turntable and stylus tip if the cartridge were to be positioned directly over the central spindle.
- Phono, an abbreviated term used to refer to the phonograph record.
- Phono Stage – a device used to amplify the low-level signal from a cartridge, and to reverse the equalisation applied to a vinyl record.
- Pickup, an alternative name for the turntable cartridge.
- Protractor – a tool used for cartridge alignment.
- Vertical Tracking Force – the weight applied by the stylus to the record groove.
- Vinyl, used to refer to a modern record manufactured from a vinyl compound. Vinyl used in both a singular and plural form to refer to one or more records.
- Zenith Angle – The tangency of the stylus contact area to the record groove.
We’ve compiled a few pieces of content over the years concerning vinyl playback. Most of it can be found via the Vinyl Tag. We also compiled an introductory series to hi-fi, all of which can be found Here.
In this guide, we’ve covered almost every aspect of the hardware involved in vinyl replay including choosing and setting up your turntable, caring for your records and even performing turntable maintenance and upgrades. This is by far the longest piece I’ve written for Audio Appraisal. I think this guide shows that high quality vinyl playback need not be a hobby reserved for a small market, nor should getting the best from your turntable be a daunting task. I hope this guide has been of benefit to some and I wish you many years of happy vinyl listening.
This article is part of our Guide to Turntables and Vinyl series.