Do you have ways to ease use of vinyl?


The reason for this post is to help some of the older guys here who recently said they gave up on vinyl because of its physical challenges. And at 66, I could not agree more. I used to have a two shelves rack for my turntable, which placed the top of the platter above knee height, at 25". To flip vinyl was either bend over and hurt my back, or doing it and one knee and hurt those.
Well, NO MORE.
Late last year I purchased a 4 shelves rack which puts the top of the platter at my belly button height, 40". Btw, I am of average height, 5'10".
What a difference! My back and knees will be forever thankful.
Here is another thing that greatly eased my vinyl experience.
I use an outer ring, center weight and brush my vinyl for each play. This was the process it entailed: Put on the center weight before brushing because I play my vinyl on a bare aluminum platter. Wait until the brushing was done before putting on the outer ring because I brushed the conventional way, finishing by dragging the brush outward to get rid of the dust. Once brushed, removed the center weight so I could install the outer ring and then reinstall the center weight and I finally could drop the needle. Ouf!
NO MORE!
Now I put on the outer ring first, then brush the record taking the brush INWARD instead, leaving the minute dust on the label (and I found out it does a much better job of brushing since the brush moves in the direction of the grooves, inward). Once brushed, simply put on the center weight and drop the needle. Voila!
Easier ten fold.
Another important pointer, the center weight, brush AND OUTER RING must be near the TT and at the SAME HEIGHT. Your back will thank you.
Those changes took me over 50 years to figure out and they have literally made my listening to vinyl experience a dream instead of dreading to flip those vinyl. 
Please share any tip you may have to ease up the physical burden that some older folks here may have about using vinyl. Thanks.

B23f4216 5f85 4eb7 97bf ecc1c8d9b377baylinor
Turntable at an ergonomic level is the smart way to use it. Mine is about level with  my chest- minimal bending.




Hire a vinyl flipper.I have had LPs for over 55 years and I love them even still because its  the best sound my far streaming does not come close.Enjoy!
"Hire a vinyl flipper."

Mine is brunette, blonde highlights. Requires  constant maintenance, but it's  gratefully accepted.
A while back, I got a ring weight and determined that a small mistake in placing the stylus at the beginning of a record could be a disaster.  So I rigged up my VPI TT so that couldn't happen.  I can now place the stylus blindfolded.  This could probably be adapted to other TTs.  Here is my  post with photo at the Asylum:
https://www.audioasylum.com/audio/vinyl/messages/107/1072416.html
@jjss49
That Thorens rig is something else. Wouldn't trust any of my records to it though lol. But definitely a good point about making flipping vinyl easier.
@melm
Imaginative setup. My ring is a canadian Audio TTW, it is extremely thin over the record and is advertised as not hurting the stylus if accidentally dropped on it. Not going to test it but had it for about three years and never had an issue with stylus or cantilever damage.

Thanks for the tips... I’m an old fart also. My TT is at ~42”... but I could add one more shelf and lift more. So I’m not the only one that doesn’t like bending over.

A note: With contemporary equipment streaming can be as satisfying as vinyl at most levels. A bit more investment is needed than for the analog side. But the rewards are huge... library goes from the thousand or so to nearly infinite for the monthly cost of one album... and No getting up at all... I still bicycle every day, so I get my exercise in other ways.

For any older guys that have the means... I highly recommend an upgrade to your digital end to get it in line with your analog... your ears and achy bodies will increasingly appreciate it. Then the big problem becomes finding the album you liked so much who’s title you can’t remember and unknown group name... darn, now where did I leave my Prevagine?

Alternatively, get an old record changer so you can just stack four or five records and listen. (-:
The problem for me with having it at chest high is having to lift up my arms to do the flipping. My shoulders are so messed up with arthritis, it makes it another problem. Bellybutton high is perfect for me, body straight, arms naturally down without stressing the shoulders. I need to upgrade to a new body, not a new system ha.
"My shoulders are so messed up with arthritis, it makes it another problem"  

baylinor-

I know the pains you speak of, mine are just in other locations. Hopefully, you have consulted a rheumatologist and done lifestyle changes to help with your discomfort. Gamechanger for me.
Unfortunately, with my wife having worked in a hospital most of her working life, I have seen way too many doctors. The primary every 6 months and currently seeing specialists for the ears, dry eyes and dermatologist. At least I haven't had to see my cardiologist for a few years.
I was a professional snow skier into my early thirties, so that was that. No regrets whatsoever, at least I used the body I have to its full potential and I always knew there would be a price to pay for over working it.
Thanks for your concern.
With contemporary equipment streaming can be as satisfying as vinyl at most levels. A bit more investment is needed than for the analog side. But the rewards are huge... library goes from the thousand or so to nearly infinite for the monthly cost of one album... and No getting up at all... I still bicycle every day, so I get my exercise in other ways.


Yes. I just tried that with the purchase of a streamer/dac. Its been the most frustrating piece of equipment I ever bought. I have spent 50+ yrs setting up & using HiFi and 30 with computers. I figured I had a basic understanding. Well, yes & NO.  Of course the lack of instructions didn’t help. My 150 yr old eyes in my 70 yr old body doesn’t help either. On a bright note, a fellow A’goner was a big help.

Funny thing I did this because of age as much as anything. The problem I see is that there are too many parts to synch and my synch doesn’t exactly work as good as it used to. I burned out my multi tasker with over use. Sound is good enough but I know there has to be an easier way.

These golden yrs can be a challenge for sure. Each one has to find what fits their need. But old habits are hard to break

Mine was on the floor - when I was young, and no money for a good rack. Soon as I built a proper rack it went up to convenient height. https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/8367
A good light helps a lot. 

My VPI vac is right beside the table. Now though it is used only to vacuum the final rinse off leaving records perfectly clean. I never even use a record brush any more, other than once in a while if I see some dust that won't blow off. 

Depending on what you are doing, get a headlamp! 

I don't know what it is called, but there's this neat little table you can get that clips on the arm rest of your chair. Perfect for that adult beverage. Sorry, but once the records are clean and the brush is eliminated it is hard to think of much else than kick back and enjoy the fruits of your labor! 

Ease of Access makes thing so much more comfortable and build confidence.
I had a TT set up a HiFi Enthusiasts show once where it was slightly lower than the Knee on a Support Plinth.
A Brand New Needle had a few skates during the day and I rolled backwards and was legs akimbo in a room that was full with attendees of the show.

At home the TT is set up at approximately 4 feet in height, this is the b est for my practices, and the Grandchildren are not even focused on it when it is passed by.

I have a Lamp placed on the Sub Plinth, this works great for illuminating the LP and Cartridge.
Also a Q Up device or similar to lift the Tonearm at the end of a replay,
if it can be utilised ?, gives reassurances to a Cartridge security,
if a slowness or sleepiness is set in at the end of a Replay.

As for Vinyl Care, if the LP is not feeling too secure in a trusted usual grip.
A pair of easy on/off artefact handling gloves will allow for a improved hold on the LP without contaminating it.
I use Nitrile Gloves when cleaning and these are reassuring,, but a alternative material used for the Glove can be used.
As crazy as it might sound, a glove of choice with Micro Fibre Cloth Finger Tips sewn on, could be the ideal method.
I've had a search and discovered these in the Link

https://www.amazon.co.uk/SWISS-REIMAGINED-Microfibre-Inspection-Stretchable/dp/B01FTZ135G


You can see the 3 lights setup on top of my TT in my house of stereo system. I love its convenience.
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The biggest change that helped my vinyl listening was to make a eye height rack or the table and bought a hunt record brush that truly gets the dust and debris off the record.
I'm 67 and my knees talk back on the way down and up from putting on records.  My 3 TT's are in the rack and 2.5 feet above the floor.  I have made two changes to keep me off my old knees.  I replaced one TT with a SL-10 and it's full auto.  The other change is to listen to more digital. I'd forgotten how good my digital playback could really be.
30 plus years after getting rid of all my LP's and TT, I decided to get back into them again. Still not sure WHY. Even though it is nowhere near meeting audiophile standards, I choose a Line Phono TT stand to hold my new TT simply because it was the only one I could find that put my TT at a realistically usable height. My back thanks me for it. What's left of my brain is still trying to figure out why I insist on retreating back into the stone age.
Fun post.  Key is to have the platter at such a height that your elbows are at a 90 degree angle.  No bending, stooping, leaning, etc.  I lucked out with the height of my built-in cabinet and height of turntable, it works out this way.  There are turntables with vacuums now that suck the LP down to the platter.  No rings necessary.
@pgaulke60
I like the 90 degree angle elbows height best. It is 43" for me. Since my TT is at 40", I'm buying a 3" butcher block to put under it. Always wanted to do that anyway. Thanks for all the suggestions everybody. Fun post indeed, no one insulting eachother. Refreshing.
A couple questions for Baylinor and Meim and one for the rest of you.

First, baylinor, what are you using for your outer ring? I wanted to get one for my VPI Classic 2, but the VPI one was so expensive I put off getting one.  Maybe you found a more economical alternative.

Meim, could you explain a little more where you have that small O-ring on the VPI arm lift located, that you described in the picture you provided a link to. It sounds like a great idea, but I couldn't figure out what you had done from looking at your picture. Your setup looked a bit different than mine.

Anybody else, I had read somewhere of a add-on device that would automatically lift the arm up off the record once it had finished playing. Is there any such device any of you have used, or could recommend? That way you could fall asleep listening to a record and not worry about having to lift the arm up at the end of the record's play. Whenever I'm getting a bit sleepy at night I usually put on CD's to avoid this problem. 

Mike 
Thanks for the thoughtful post!!
@baylinor Well done on the room. Curious but why not build with concrete instead of wood? 
@skyscraper, If you Google: tonearm lifter, you'll find at least a dozen devices that lift a tonearm up at the end of an album. They range from $39 up to $350+.
If you add the word: review,  at the end, you'll find reviews... although it would be interesting to see some opinions here as well.

Thanks mwink. I'll do that.

Mike
The Q Up Tonearm Lifter I bought did not allow for it to be set up on my SP10 MKII TT.
The Chassis encroaches the required space for set up.
If a Chassis is recessed into the Plinth it might improve on the setting up and allow it to work.

I have not tried it on any of the other TT’s sitting on the Sub’s Bench.
As advised previously , check to see if a Lifter can be positioned correctly to function.

On the subject of Tonearm Control, a Lever Operated Dropper/Lifter for a Tonearm, which is very accurate in a controlled drop speed and maintaining the line of the drop, is for me today a very important tool to trust in.
One that performs to the above standards can quite easily save a valuable cartridge from unwanted occurances.
I got smart 16 years ago. Some in here are just SLOW.

my table is just below chest height. Makes everything visible, easy, and painless. Even doing alignments are very easy; I have 107 cartridges so I align often. 

As for using brushes, when are you folks going to learn that using brushes and vacuums are 40 years out of date!!! Sheesh!! There’s a much better way to remove surface dust and lint, even micro dirt, as well as neutralize static, than carbon fiber brushes, Discwasher pads, sprays and vacuums, or Zerostat guns????

Get with it folks!!
Borrow the best turntable setup you can get access to and digitize all your records with a high end A/D. Problem solved.
I don't believe for one minute the effectiveness of sweeping of a disc is any different whether it is done inwards or outwards.  On a 20 minute 33.33 side the groove 666 times so the inward 'advantage' is just 0.12mm.  And I don't want dust all over the label that will go back in the sleeve and mingle in the grooves.

Has anyone else noticed SQ improves with the TT at chest height compared with 24 inches above the floor?  Or is it just that my back aches less?
See many other posts on false subjective impressions of SQ improvement.

The advantages LPs just go on and on; you have to get up every 20 minutes and walk from your chair to the TT and back.  Big boost to the cardio-vascular system compared with streaming when you don't need to move once in a four hour session.
@skyscraper
Audio TTW extreme V2 outer ring, about 2/3 of the cost of the VPI and maybe better.
@noromance
Resonance.
Like hobo1452, I sold my vinyl over 30 years ago or rather traded them all in for cd's. About a year ago I decided to get back into vinyl. I had already built a rack and there was this very convenient place on top for a turntable. Of course that led to going mono amps and more rack system and on and on. At 72 though, I am having a blast searching for the vinyl I gave up and adding to the rack. My vinyl flipper though refuses to work as she thinks I am crazy. 
"Audio TTW extreme V2 outer ring, about 2/3 of the cost of the VPI and maybe better"

Thanks baylinor. I’ll look that up today.

I did some research on tonearm pickup devices last night following mwinks suggestion and found a couple of promising choices; the "Little Fwend" coming in first, and the "IntegrityHiFi Trulift" automatic tonearm lifter second thus far.

Mike
@skyscraper,

I don't know what I can tell you without seeing your set-up.  Mine is an older but simple VPI arm base.  The ring slips over the end of the lift.  The actual ring I used was in a small package of assorted O-rings I got in an auto supply store.

The EXACT placement of the ring must be done VERY carefully by trial and error.  It will take several tries.  But once done, the placement of the stylus on the lead-in groove is easy and repeatable.

@baylinor,

Mine is also a TT Weights ring.  They are not the thinnest made.  But ANY ring can ruin a stylus.  That's a chance I would rather not take with  a $1k stylus.
I have a $3,800 Lyra Kleos. The reason I never have any issues dropping it in the right spot is if I have one too many beers I switch to my CD player 😉
Like others I have always kept my turntable at 42" and I am 5'7" Aside from not having to bend over it puts the table at a great height for visualizing set up, etc. In terms of convenience I'm afraid peripheral rings are a PITA and an accident waiting to happen. IMHO the two best clamping methods are of either the SME reflex scheme or vacuum type.
I never use a hand held brush. I use a conductive sweep arm which collects incidental dust and discharges the record keeping static and dust collection to a minimum. I always use a dust cover during play and have found that a dust cover that is isolated from the platter and tonearm improves playback. Mark Dohmann has also found this to be true and is working on an isolated dust cover for the Helix tables. 
I also use an Audio Technica tonearm lift which IMHO is a must. It removes the stress of having to get to the table to stop the Ka-thunking.
A word of warning. There is one auto lift on the market that uses a metal lift platform. DO NOT get that one!!! The metal has no grip. The antiskating force slowly pulls the arm backwards off the lift dumping it on the record then blocking the tonearms progress causing a permanent skip in the record. The Audio Technica lift has a hard rubber lift platform which has more grip but even so I had to grind a little depression in the platform where it contacts the tonearm to hold the arm in place.  
I have a VPI Prime TT on a rack at chest ht. I also use a VPI outer ring to couple the record to the platter. I installed a TRU-lift to raise the arm but I attached a small strip of the soft side of a velcro on the top of the lifter that contacts the underneath of the arm and it prevents the thump when the lift triggers and the arm will not 'walk' off the lift. When I feel I've imbibed too much I switch to my CDs. Still sounds great and saves on hours of my cartridge lol. Happy listening.
I just sit on my sofa with my cell phone using my BlueSound Node2i and selecting from a huge library.  No brushing or cleaning.  No noise!
I wish I could figure out why people use vinyl?  I like the looks of a $20,000 turn table.  However, after the first play the quality goes down.  When I played vinyl I noticed the noise.

I don’t even bother to play CD’s today.  You have to get up, find the CD and after playing eject the CD and begin the process all over again.  
So instead you stream, which is 100% noise. Sigh.

Speaking of Idiocracy, I think I found the chair you use.
https://youtu.be/smtSv3e04vM?t=52
You must be in great shape!
However this is completely besides the point of the post, which is what would make your vinyl listening experience easier.
Thanks MC for pointing out the idiocracy of such poster. Anyone who doesn't post their system holds very little trustworthiness, if any.
Indeed. Now back to the subject at hand, there is an obvious solution. How audiophile it is will depend as usual on the details. But it will be hard to make record playing any easier - or more beautiful! - than this:   

https://youtu.be/OtzS-6GtfGg?t=38

The stereo logo was awesome!
"I have seen way too many doctors. The primary every 6 months and currently seeing specialists for the ears, dry eyes and dermatologist. At least I haven't had to see my cardiologist for a few years."

baylinor-yup, I can relate to that...I've got a Nascar pit crew of specialists head to toe. 

" was a professional snow skier into my early thirties, so that was that" These days, my knees wouldn't last a complete run on the "easiest" bump trails, but I can still handle most everything else-just slower...much slower!

I'm envious of anyone who has a standalone audio room. I'm sure your setup sounds great. VPI Classic user here. Ever get the urge to go BIG on speakers? I see a room waiting for them.
Like many, platter height is higher - 50" up. Lets me see what I'm doing without having to bend over. Bad back, neck and right rotator cuff. 

I clean everything I get, then sleeve record in Mofi sleeves. Put the album cover in a plastic outer, and just slide the record in the MoFi sleeve into that - on the outside of the record cover. 

Less strain on shoulder as it's one thing to remove from the outer sleeve.

Also made a records to be played flip storage. Holds about 20 or so records. Go through the collection, pull a bunch of material and fill it. Still have to go through the main set when I urgently need to listen to something that pops into my head, but I find this a bit easier for me. Plus, I keep the collection in rotation,

Have a small shelf I added to my rack, to the right of the TT and thats where I keep my clamp/record brush/stylus cleaner.

Next rack I build is going to be double width so I can place components side by side. It'll make it a little bit lower overall, but I find I'm wanting the extra shelving. And once I build the platform for the TT, I suspect it shouldn't be too much lower.


"Do you have ways to ease use of vinyl?"

I find that a light powdering of super fine cornstarch definately aids one slipping into vinyl.

DeKay
"I like the looks of a $20,000 turn table.  However, after the first play the quality goes down."

Hi Larry, looks like you've been sold a turkey with that turntable.
It seems to me that if you see visible dust after brushing, you shoud invest in covers for you r LP's.  By brushing backwards, it seems that any leftover dust would be on the styks side of the pits, instead of the non-attacked side.