What’s the best turntable for beginners?

Marc HenshallNew to Vinyl12 Comments

Due to the continued growth in vinyl record sales, the demand for entry-level turntables and records players is greater than ever. Increasing numbers of consumers are rediscovering physical music formats, with vinyl now outselling CD for the first time since 1986. Naturally, as demand grows, more manufacturers are offering entry-level turntables designing to appeal to new collectors. So which turntable … Read More

New Vinyl Quality Control – I’m Running Out of Patience

Marc HenshallCulture & Industry50 Comments

Considering vinyl records are pitched as a premium or luxury product, the quality control of some new vinyl releases leaves much to be desired… Pressing faults and the quality of new vinyl is a topic we’ve covered before. Sadly, there are several common faults to watch out for, which can be a cause for headache for many record enthusiasts.  To … Read More

Right cover, wrong record. The perils of buying used vinyl

Marc HenshallCulture & Industry6 Comments

During a recent impromptu trip to an out-of-town record store, I stumbled across one of my personal ‘holy grail’ albums… Or at least that’s what I thought… The record in question was an original 1969 copy of Unicorn by Tyrannosaurus Rex (later known as T-Rex, of course) on the British Regal Zonophone label. I’m not old enough to remember the … Read More

HEXMAT “Yellow Bird” Review

Marc HenshallReviews4 Comments

More of an isolator than a traditional platter mat, the new HEXMAT “Yellow Bird” is both visually striking and intriguing. As vinyl enthusiasts, we are constantly in pursuit of the perfect setup and sound. A great turntable is only half the battle, as all aspects and components of any HiFi setup will affect the final sound. Turntable mats are certainly … Read More

How to Grade Used Vinyl Records

Marc HenshallVinyl 1015 Comments

Whether you’re selling off some of your collection, or hunting for your next holy grail vinyl purchase, understanding how used records are graded is fundamental. It’s important as a seller, as you want to provide an honest and fair assessment of what you’re selling, but it’s also important for the customer as a key indicator of quality. This is particularly … Read More

Ortofon 2M Red vs 2M Blue – Is it worth the upgrade?

Marc HenshallReviews9 Comments

The 2M series from Ortofon has, for many, become the de facto cartridge and styli range for the vinyl revival. The ubiquitous 2M Red, in particular, has rightly earnt a reputation as one of the best-sounding affordable cartridges on the market at just $99 or £95. Sound-wise, the performance is undoubtedly impressive across the 2M range, which is semi-modular to … Read More

The History of the Record Players and Turntables

Marc HenshallCulture & Industry1 Comment

When you pull a record from its sleeve, place it on your turntable, and lower the stylus, you’re witnessing a beautiful playback mechanism over 100 years in the making. What began as an inherent human desire to preserve our mortal voices eventually unfolded through a series of incremental breakthroughs that gave birth to a cultural music revolution. Your modern turntable … Read More

Top Vinyl Record Books

Marc HenshallReviewsLeave a Comment

As record enthusiasts, we like nothing more than to indulge in our hobby. We’ll explore every aspect in search of vinyl nirvana, whether it’s through the pages of a website like Sound Matters, the many excellent resources available on YouTube, or even good old fashioned printed books. Many of us don’t do things by halves, and we’re a stickler for … Read More

Locked Grooves – Endless Fun (Literally)

Marc HenshallCulture & Industry3 Comments

In a recent feature, we explored the weird and wonderful world of run-out groove messages. From mastering engineer signatures to hidden messages and inside-jokes, there is a whole world of interesting etchings to explore. Closely related to this topic is the world of audible locked grooves. Standard records have a locked groove at the end of each side, usually in … Read More

Wax & Stamp Record Subscription Review

Marc HenshallReviews4 Comments

One of my key motivators for starting Sound Matters was the loss of experience and musical discovery that happens when you surrender all music ownership to the internet. The abundance of choice online is amazing, and it’s never been easier or cheaper to access more music than a person can consume in a lifetime. The trouble is, the experience just … Read More