What’s the point were collecting vinyl records when you’re not going listen to your records? It’s not like you are just collecting all these discs or plastic for no obvious reason. You’re not just filling out your room or library with these materials just for the way they look or the kind of slight scent that they give off.
Well, some people collect vinyl records precisely for these reasons. Most people actually want to listen to their vinyl connection. The problem here is, of course, you want to preserve the condition of your records.
Believe it or not, vinyl records are actually quite fragile because the analog sound creation system requires sensitive grooves in the vinyl. The more you play these vinyl records, the more those grooves get reshaped and in many cases, flattened out. While they still produce sound, the fidelity starts to go and before you know it, after enough place, it simply doesn’t sound as vibrant, impressive or clear as before.
If you don’t want this to happen, then you have to invest in a very important piece of vinyl records’ listening equipment. I am of course talking about turntables. Now, when people hear of turntables, they automatically think about the kind of turntables professional DJs use.
These turntables are very different from a turntable for home use because when you’re at home listening to Vivaldi, Beethoven, Bach or Bocherrinni, your needs are different from somebody who plays vinyl records for a living.
If you’ve ever gone to an electronic dance party, a trap trance or acid house party, you would notice that DJs would quickly need to put the vinyl on the turntable, spin a few times, play around with the music and then swap it out as quickly as possible. They’re trying to blend the bits, pieces, tracks and samples from different records.
Hence, the needs of professional vinyl record turntable users are going to be quite different from the home user. You have to understand that. Because when you search for a turntable online, it’s highly likely that you will step into reviews for professional use.
There’s a common idea that goes along the lines: if you buy a turntable that is designed for professional DJs, then your home needs are well taken care of. After all, they have such more discriminating more exciting requirements.
That’s a bit of an overkill. Seriously. It’s like burning down your house to kill a few ants because you’re just looking to make sure that your vinyl collection doesn’t get destroyed. That’s pretty much the long and short of your need as a home vinyl record listener.
You have to understand that the typical DJ has very different needs from someone who just wants to collect vinyl records and enjoy them while hanging out with friends. For a DJ, a turntable is not just a piece of sound equipment that plays records. No, for a DJ who actually does events and enjoys decent demand, a turntable is a necessary piece of work equipment that can spell the difference between success and failure. The turntable has to perform at the highest level all day every day. The DJ’s next meal ticket is riding on the performance of his or her equipment. Not so with the leisurely vinyl record collector. You just want to make sure your turntable produces the very best sound in a small enclosed space. No more. No less.
Another point of differentiation that is worth mentioning is the fact that a DJ would have to spin dozens of records in the course of a 1 or 2-hour set. We’re talking quick changes on the fly. The turntable would have to take a lot of punishment. It also would have to produce high-quality sound that doesn’t diminish with such heavy-duty use. It would have to do this for hundreds if not thousands of hours. On the other hand, a typical home vinyl record user would probably listen to a few dozen, at most, records per day. In fact, for most home users, they are good after listening to a complete album. In other words, once you’re done with Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy, you’re probably set for the night. The same goes for Nirvana’s Nevermind album. Not so for the typical DJ. In fact, the typical professional DJ would play only snippets of a record before quickly taking the platter off and slapping on a new piece of vinyl to capture a few grooves and then on to another record.
So, you have to keep your selection parameters adequately restricted and keep it at that level. There’s no need to be a hero. Don’t overthink. This there’s no need to overspend.
Focus On Record Players Not Turntables
Here’s the key. You need to buy a record player that is designed to preserve the state and quality of your vinyl. In other words, it’s less likely to change speeds. The needle is less likely to jump and possibly damage other parts of your vinyl record.
Many record player brands are specifically engineered to maximize vinyl smoothness. In other words, they play in a very even way. There are no massive change-ups in speed, there are no abrupt stops.
This ensures that the delicate vinyl that you are laying on top of these pieces of audio equipment, will remain in tip-top shape. They’re not going to get warped. They’re going to get nicked at a micro level because it may start out small. But if these small changes and warping eventually add up, before you know it, you’ll definitely be able to tell.
Stick Within Your Budget
It’s very easy to go overboard especially buying hobby and specialized items like a custom turntable and record players. If you set a realistic budget for the best sound quality that you can afford within a certain price range, stick to it. You’ll thank yourself later on.