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Vinyl Home Listening: Things To Look For When You Buy A Turntable

Misbits Record Shop - Turntable

Yeah, we know, not everybody buys records to carry them around and spin them in front of techno hungry crowds. Some of us buy vinyl for their home listening pleasures: sitting comfortably in your favourite armchair, sipping from a cold beer and just enjoying the analog pops & clicks from your favourite band album.

So, what turntable is right for you? What turntable will best suit your listening needs? As right now you can choose from tens of turntables, we decided to help you decide what is the best pick-up you can buy and install in your living room.

1. The looks

You know you’ll spend a lot of valuable time with your record player so why not enjoy every minute of it? Nowadays you can choose from some really good looking turntables, from an ultra minimal design to some badass futuristic ones. The price is the only limit 😀


2. Preamp / No preamp

Depending on your home audio setup, you’ll need a phono preamp. That’s because the turntables produce a PHONO output signal. You can buy record players with built-in preamp or you’ll have to buy it separately, regardless if you have an amplifier, some active speakers or you just use your computer. Or, if you inherited your father’s amplifier that most likely has PHONO inputs, you can plug your preamp-less turntable directly.


3. Belt Drive vs. Direct Drive

Some turntables feature an independent motor that drives the platter via a rubber belt, some have the motor integrated into the platter. As you want a better sound quality (less noise, less vibrations) and you don’t intend to DJ with your turntable, we suggest you go for the Belt Drive technology 😉

4. Turntable Features

Again, keep in mind that you’ll use it to enjoy your music at home. So you won’t need a pitch control but you’ll definitely need 33 / 45 rpm capable turntable, an anti-skating adjustment and some tonearm adjustments to accomodate a range of cartridges.

5. Cartridge / stylus

Depending on how much money you want to spend on your audiophile vice, the cartridge (the tiny box with a needle / stylus) that touches the vinyl surface in order to produce sounds) quality will vary: from a non replaceable shitty one on super entry level turntables to some impressive stuff in higher end models. The more money you have, the better sound quality you’ll get from your purchase 😀


6. USB Port

If you intend to digitalise your record collection (store it in mp3 format to your computer), look for a turntable with an USB port

7. Upgradeability

As your you’ll get more pretentious over time regarding your home listening habits, it’s wise to buy a turntable that supports replacing the cartridges, at least

Now you’re all set, go buy yourself a cool turntable, lock yourself inside the house and spend some quality time with your records 😉