Enjoying Your Turntable System

Are you enjoying music from your turntable?

Yes? Not yet? It should be nothing but “fun, fun fun” like the Beach Boys did. Having said that, we’re dead serious to say that getting a turntable right is our business. You see, the turntable is largely a mechanical device, full of moving parts and geometry. It can be intimidating to many, especially beginners. But we all know too well why analogue sound still rules and all the trouble are worth the effort.

Given that analogue is still the undisputed king of the hill, how do you enjoy it to the fullest? It is not just about buying a turntable, put on an LP and you’ll get the right result. No, not so simple. To get analogue right, you need a steady pair of hands, patience, the right tools and most of all, the know-how to get it right. It is dead easy to get a turntable spinning but also equally easy to get the setup wrong.

We have learnt through our years – to get the geometry exactly right, approximation is not good enough. We do not subscribe to one-size fits all alignment method or jig for that matter. To get the analogue rig to sound right, effortless, natural, kick-ass, it has to be done perfectly.Cart alignment

In our opinion, a turntable set right should exhibit these characteristics:

  1. Absolutely no IGD or Inner Groove Distortion. IGD (if any) is easily noticeable when you play a female vocal piece close to the lead-out groove. If you detect any “breaking” in the vocals especially in the stronger or higher pitch, it didn’t pass the IGD test.
  2. An airy, transparent, natural, effortless, high-resolution presentation that is never harsh from the 1st track to the last. There should be very little or no difference where the playing stylus is, the sound quality should faithfully remain constantly – good.
  3. Longer lasting stylus – of course, assuming you play only cleaned non scratchy records
  4. No cantilever slanting problem even upon reaching the end of the lifespan of the cartridge
  5. Low noise floor

The right turntable setup would make one sit up and listen. It’s a feeling you know it is right – not for the hyper details, not for the audiophile superlatives but the ease of flowing music. Simply, music itself at a level that touches you and draws you in to keep you playing records after records.

All things being equal, the price of the analogue rig is irrelevant of how “right” it could be but pricey turntables certainly set one’s expectation higher. If it is not optimally setup, it will not beat anybody (dare a shootout?) and can even be embarrassing to the owner.

On the contrary, a perfectly setup rig will shine and perform at a level that even more pricey sources would look up to. This is where the fun is and where analogue heads should head to and get their money worth.

Turntable setup is no rocket science and we certainly do not want to sound like a wet blanket to beginners or aspiring vinylphiles. However, getting a turntable setup right is not exactly a piece of cake (we know we’re repeating but this is fundamental) – it takes the right tools and skills that come only with experience. Perhaps we have heard one too many turntables setup (some very expensive ones) that were casually setup without the owner realizing the untapped potential or problem.

As you may already know, we are audiophiles too and audiophiles want value. We believe in bringing value to the table (pun intended). Value in the form of protecting and optimising your analogue investment. Value in removing for you, the technicalities, the guesswork, headache and frustration. Value in ensuring this hobby continues to bring relaxation and pleasure to you.

At the end of the day, Your Pleasure is Our Business!

This entry was posted in Analogue. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.