Tuning for record players
Compared to other sources, record players can be rather like divas when reacting to mistakes made during setup and startup. On the other hand, they reward their owners if they are given a little extra attention. This doesn’t even have to be expensive. Here are the most important tips:
1. Location, location, location
Treat your record player to a steady, vibration-free location.
2. Weight watchers
Set the correct tracking force, as specified by the manufacturer of the pickup system. If the relevant data is unavailable, try 1.8 grams for a start.
3. Hangover cure
Adjust the pickup unit’s overhang and offset. Templates for this purpose can be found at specialist retailers, as can friendly people who will do this fiddly task for you.
4. Spin that dial
If there is an anti-skating dial, set it to the correct value. This should normally be around 75 percent of the tracking force.
5. Welcome mat
Give turntable mats a try. Some significantly improve the sound for just a few euros.
6. Make it heavy!
By means of pressure or their own weight, record weights and clamps ensure that the record is fixed to the turntable and does not oscillate in an uncontrolled manner. They can be very effective, but take heed: excessively heavy clamps can overload spring-mounted turntable units.
7. Cable spaghetti
Replace the provided LF cable with a high-quality phono cable. A record player’s output signal is so delicate and fragile: Why should it also be tormented by a low-quality cable?