RECORD PLAYERS & HOME AUDIO TURNTABLES
Buying an entry level record player or premium home audio turntable online has never been easier thanks to Vinyl Revival. Often the most striking feature of any home audio system, the humble record player has enjoyed a healthy resurgence into mainstream popularity over the last decade. However, like all HiFi components their range of design and available features are almost endless. From belt drive to direct drive, manual and fully automatic record players – plus those with inbuilt phono preamplifiers, there’s a lot to consider. Where do you begin?
Direct Drive or Belt Drive? Due to advances in technologies in turntable design we now have the "vinyl revival" where the true atmospheric sound of vinyl records can be experienced. One of the reasons for this has been the understanding by turntable designers that turntable motors introduce vibration into the sound reproduction.Whilst belt drives isolate the motor from the platter by providing an insulation effect,in a direct drive turntable the motor sits directly beneath the platter, and this means that any noise or vibration it makes has the potential to travel directly into the platter, into the record sitting upon the platter, in turn being picked up by the stylus.And if any of that noise or vibration is amplified, it will sit on top of your music in the form of distortion.Direct Drive turntables still have a distinct purpose and that is as DJ turntables due to their high torque (they spin up to speed quickly) and they can be speed pitch controlled and toggled backwards and forwards for "scratching" and mixing tracks between turntables.Typically belt drive turntables form the greater proportion of the quality home turntable market.
Manual or Fully Automatic? research and development and technological experimentation and advancement specialist turntable manufacturers have established that the simpler but more refined the turntable mechanism design is, the more the pure atmospheric sound of playing vinyl is what is reproduced. Hence fully manual turntables have become a focus for those wishing to truly experience the sound of vinyl without the compromise incorporated into fully automatic designs.For those requiring the convenience of tonearm lift at the end of play there are optional devices available such as the ProJect Q-Up.
That being said,there are some current design fully automatic turntables that are vastly improved over the offerings of the original heyday of vinyl. Improvements in tonearm design with improved record groove tracking and quieter, lower resonance motor designs mean that fully automatic turntables can still be a very convenient option. You simply slip on your favourite LP and hit the start button, the turntable does the rest..
Inbuilt Phono Preamplifier? A phono preamplifier is essential for phono audio signals, i.e. Turntables. The difference between an analogue audio signal and a digital one is strength. The signal coming from the cartridge on your turntable is weak, really really week. It needs a boost – a little pre-amplification – before it’ll hit a line level required by the amplifier or other audio device to accurately attenuate volume through your speakers. The job of the phono preamplifier is to take the weak signal coming from the phono cartridge on your turntable and amplify it to a line level if your amplifier or audio device doesn't have an inbuilt phono preamplifier. Simple as that! Or is it?
One of the single most important components in any vinyl replay system is the phono pre-amp itself. Low distortion and high headroom are vital to ensure optimum reproduction.Technology,of course,has vastly improved the quality of phono preamplifiers since their original heyday in the 1960's to the 1980's.Today even the phono preamplifier inbuilt into current amplifiers or certain turntables is significantly sonically superior.There is also a large variety of stand-alone component phono preamplifiers of varying levels of performance.It is important to choose one that will optimise the output quality of your turntable.Putting cheap tyres on a sports car is never an optimal equation.
Record Cleaning? Records are inherently statically charged and attract dust, fluff and grit like a magnet. To protect that atmospheric sound of playing your precious vinyl we highly recommend you invest in the anti-static AM Record Brush. It will prevent your stylus running over these contaminants and damaging your records.
The AM Pick Up carbon fibre stylus cleaning brush is suitable for daily cleaning of the stylus. The stylus brush is the best tool for quick maintenance and daily cleaning of your needle tip. Clean it gently removes dust and crustification with thousands of the finest carbon fibres. The result is a clean and good sounding diamond stylus that ensures a perfect reproduction of your records.
The AM Record Cleaner Box Set not only includes the Anti-Static Record Cleaning Brush but also an equally important stylus cleaner to remove the build up on the stylus due to playing your vinyl. The record cleaner fluid and cloth are the perfect solution to cleaning up your record collection and optimising your vinyl listening experience.