Turntable noobie...what advice do you have?


As this forum has corrupted me and I have decided to dive down the rabbit hole of LP's.  Usually I stream but I find the tactile experience of records appealing.  I have ordered a Pro-ject RPM-3 Carbon with Sumiko Amethyst cartridge and a Mobile Fidelity StudioPhono preamp. Oh, and a record brush.  I will be plugging them into my Voyager GAN amp and from there powering my LSA 20 Statement speakers.

I know there is always better equipment to get but I feel this gives a good starting point.  I picked up some new records but a half dozen does not a record collection make.  So I do plan on making my focus for the near future getting more and expanding my collection.  I listen to all kind of music so they will be many different genres.  I will be getting new ones but I will undoubtedly get some used ones too.  

Okay, so what all would you recommend for someone just getting into this hobby?  Especially if I am getting any used records, I should probably look at a record cleaner.  What else for equipment or doodads?  What about tricks or tips for increasing my collection?  In my city there is a record store called Music Millennium that I will be checking out and there of course if Barnes and Noble (where I purchased my other ones).  Do you know of places online  I should check out?  Thanks in advance for your advice. 

 

ddonicht

You definitely need a cleaner for used records and I suggest cleaning new records also to get rid of and releasing agent left behind. I use the Vinyl Style cleaner. Based on my research, it’s better than the Spin Doctor. But don’t use the Vinyl Style cleaning fluid (it’s a reusable fluid and why use dirty fluid). Buy a bottle of the Spin Doctor fluid. Every time you clean it’s with clean fluid. 

@ddonicht, lots of good guidance here from the vinyl community!

There's lots to know about the proper care & feeding of LPs and vinyl playback, not the least of which is proper storage, good quality anti-static poly sleeves, etc. I hesitated a bit before chiming in with my two cents, which is probably an amalgam of many things already mentioned. However, as a self-described nerd who tends to research things before pulling the trigger, when you have time enough to devote to this, have a read of Neil Antin's "Precision Aqueous Cleaning of Vinyl Records - 2nd edition". Not an easy or quick read, by any stretch of the imagination! However, certainly worth the time and gray cell investment!

Should you clean records before play, even new ones? Absolutely! Does this need to be done before every play? Of course not! However, there are some vinyl afficionados who do. More power to 'em! Is ultrasonic LP cleaning the way to go? I'm convinced, as are many other audiophiles. If the budget can bear it, have a look at the Degritter machine, which is all the rage now. On the other hand, if sticker shock is a factor, you might want to check out "Cleaner Vinyl Ultrasonic Record Cleaning". A bit more labor-intensive and less convenient than Degritter, but a fraction of the cost. Convenience, eloquence and innovation has its price. By all means, though, I strongly encourage you to invest in some sort of record cleaning system or device(s), especially if you are going to get involved with used records! Your ears will be happy you did! Depending upon what the budget will bear, you should have a look at the vacuum cleaning machines or something as relatively inexpensive as a Spin-Clean or Knosti Disco-Antistat. Personally, I would go with the Knosti because of the cleaning brushes, as opposed to the Spin-Clean's pads. In any event, pay particular attention to the types of cleaning fluids employed (you don't need to use what comes with the machine) and, if needed, use only high-quality microfiber cleaning or drying cloths. You can also clean records manually. However, a machine makes this considerably easier. With a properly cleaned record, good TT & cart and good sound system, surface noise is virtually eradicated. You'll be amazed at the deep, dark, black background noise floor the music will be coming from and the dynamic response or, as Messieurs Simon and Garfunkel would put it, "The Sound of Silence".

Another thing I consider indispensable is a good record clamp, like a Michell Reflex. Here, also, you'll be amazed at the sonic improvements this makes. You can also use a record puck or weight. However, I don't see the sense in placing extra weight on the TT bearings or additional mass on the platter, even if the manufacturer says the TT was designed and engineered to accommodate this. If you do go with a clamp, make sure you get one that accommodates the length of the TT spindle.

I'm not sure the Audio Technica - AT6006R Safety Raiser would work with the Pro-ject TT you have in mind. However, if it does, one of these gizmos certainly beats the hell out of having to be ever vigilant so as to prevent your stylus from running into the label at the end of a record. Not a good thing!

Here's another inexpensive gizmo to have a look at: StylusTimer

Helps you keep track of the mileage on the cart & stylus. Not absolutely necessary, of course, but convenient.

Some sort of stylus cleaner is also an absolute must. I would recommend you check in with your cart manufacturer on this to see what they recommend.

Oh! MoFi & Music Direct are an excellent source for new records, There are a few others but you can't go wrong with MoFi & Music Direct.

Welcome back to vinyl and happy spinning!

@tomic601: Yer on, buddy! I'm heading out to sea in July (a cruise to Alaska), and may be heading down to SoCal (Glendale) in a coupla weeks, where I'll be visiting Amoeba Records in Hollywood. Gawd I miss that place!

@bdp24 @spiritofradio We need to do a Portland record store crawl this Summer !

 

Absolutely! We’ve got some good ones. To the OP, Millennium is a great store, one of the best indy LRS if the country. Also check out Crossroads out in the cultural wilderness of SE Powell and 82nd… like having all of Discogs under one roof.