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. 




A preamp will always have rca inputs for a turntable. What is this “preamp/DAC”? Sounds like it is all digital… not really a preamp.


I am a little confused. Always Tt —> phonostage —> preamp —> amp. The first connection is always rca.. the phonostage will have rca… could have XLR… after that it depends.


But volume control is done with the analog signal in the preamp. 

Mississippi Records in North Portland has the best prices, and you can listen to used vinyl before you buy - highly recommended.

We can all argue or, rather, debate, 'till the cows come home, whether vinyl LPs, even new ones, benefit from cleaning, ultrasonic or otherwise. Be that as it may, I choose to put my faith & confidence in what the experts on this subject, including scientists, have to say and one other important factor = my own experiences. I hasten to add here that what I'm about to share is in no way scientific or meant to be construed as a fair A/B comparison(s)! Too much water has gone under the bridge in these past many decades. Also, like most mortals, I am just as susceptible to Presbycusis as the next person. However, I haven't had an audiological examination since Christ was a corporal and my friends tell me they're surprised by my hearing acuity when we go to equipment auditions. Since scheduling an audiological examination, just for fun, is not something on my itinerary, I choose to remain blissfully ignorant on this point, for the time being.

I won't go into details here in order to keep this as brief and to the point as I know how. For those of you who may yearn for more detail, check out a post I created 8-24-21 labelled "Record Cleaning Machines". I'm not trying to toot my own horn, here, but merely offering this because Mr. Neil Antin, himself, contributed many, many times in this post and I, for one, learned a great deal in the process. Mr. Antin definitely helped me improve my LP cleaning regimen a great deal! God Bless Him!

In days of yore, I cleaned a good portion of my LP collection (purchased new in the 60s & 70s and only played on my trusty old Phillips 212) manually. Definite sound improvement! More recently, after having purchased and put together my own lash-up US cleaning system employing a 40kHz frequency sweep machine and a Knosti for final rinse, I cleaned several of those same records again and treated them with Last record preservative. Another significant improvement! Admittedly, though, I have a new, and much better TT & cart now. This is, of course, a definite mitigating factor and completely invalidates any fair A/B comparison in this regard. However, much more recently, I took several of those freshly cleaned LPs to a high-end shop and had them cleaned, once again, using a Degirtter. I re-treated those with Last before playing them again on my TT, although I'm not sure that was necessary because my understanding is that Last works on the molecular level. If there was any sonic improvement after a run-through with the Degritter, I can't honestly say. This is why I ultimately decided not to part with three grand (more, now) for the Degirtter. Regardless, I just may change my mind about that, at some point, because the Degirtter is just so darn convenient and much less labor intensive than my US cleaning system.

With regard to dust, I would never dream of spinning my LPs without the dust cover down. Yes, I know some purists fiercely disagree with this. However, I've done this both ways and don't hear any difference in fidelity either way. Plus, there's just dust in any room.

Record brush? I use the Audioquest Anti-Static brush, both before AND after every play. I also use an Onzow ZeroDust before & after every play, regardless of what Mr. Fremer had to say in what I and many others consider to be a hatchet job of reporting on this in Analog Planet. Where's the follow up, Mikey? I communicated with Onzow Corporation on this and got a prompt response? Did you? Did WAMM Engineering? There was promised follow-up. Where is that? I'll probably add a liquid stylus cleaner to my regimen, occasionally, as well. As with most things, there is a right way and a wrong way to use these things. Some purists eschew the notion of using any brush(s) and, instead, use puffs of air, like the kind generated from a small bellows you'd use for camera lenses. These folks don't think anything other than a stylus belongs in those precious record grooves after a proper record cleaning.

Stylus pressure gauge? I still have my old and trusty Shure Precision Stylus Force Gauge SFG-2, which is surprisingly quite accurate when compared to my Audio Additives digital stylus force gauge.

Equipment placing? I'm a firm believer in placing a TT, especially low mass designs, on rock solid foundations and keeping the amplifier as far away from the TT & cart as possible. I also would not place components of any kind on top of one another.

That's just some of the ways I roll. There are many others, as well, to be sure. To each, his own! Live and let live! Vive la difference! Like most things in life, there are trade-offs between how meticulous or compulsive you want to be when spinning your LPs and how much you want to spend just listening to the music. After all, when all is said & done, isn't that what we all really do this for ... for the love of music?

May the music be with you all! Enjoy!



Congratulations on having a wise audio plan. The system you outline will be more than fine to figure out what vinyl is all about.

Once you hear vinyl played well, there may be no doing back...

@ddonicht 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? 

The above has been your request for information in the OP.

After reading and contributing to this thread, It certainly looks like the bases have been covered, and a good foundation has been made available to you.

Don't forget that Youtube is also your friend, there are a variety of demonstrations that can help to show how to best use equipment and ancillaries like you have purchased. A picture is a saving of a 1000 Words and Video is a saving of 10 000.

Also I see you have been looking at the Manual Cleaning Method.

If you do choose this as the selected method and have acquired materials to create the solutions. If at a later date you choose a mechanical or USM cleaning method, there will materials immediately available to produce a solution, that will be absolutely perfect for any of these alternate methods.