How to Fit a Cartridge on a Headshell

Marc HenshallNew to Vinyl, Tech Talk, Vinyl 101Leave a Comment

There are many reasons why you might want to replace the cartridge on your turntable tonearm. You could be looking to upgrade the performance and sound quality, or you might be looking to play older mono records or even vintage 78s. In some cases, you might purchase a turntable used and simply need to fit a new cartridge of your … Read More

Different Mastering, Same Record – Californication Mastering Comparison

Marc HenshallCulture & Industry, Tech Talk10 Comments

Here’s why I own four copies of The Red Hot Chili Peppers Californication. The mastering process of a vinyl record can make or break the overall sound quality. The mix engineer can get everything right, from the initial microphone technique to the final mix, but if the mastering quality is poor, the record will fall at the final hurdle.  Sadly, … Read More

Does Colored Vinyl Sound Worse Than Black Vinyl?

Marc HenshallTech Talk10 Comments

Colored vinyl gets a bad wrap among vinyl and HiFi circles. For years, colored pressings were infamous for lousy quality. They are subsequently cast aside to this day by many as little more than a marketing gimmick. But is this really fair? Can the color of a vinyl record really make that much difference?  On face value, a debate around how color … Read More

How Do Different Turntable Mats Affect Sound Quality and Performance?

Marc HenshallTech Talk16 Comments

Changing your turntable mat or platter material is one of the easiest and most affordable upgrades you can make. But not all turntable mats are created equal; some mats offer a quick and appealing aesthetic upgrade to your setup, while other designs can significantly affect the sound quality. There are many turntable platter mats available on the market, each with … Read More

Do You Need a Mono Cartridge to Play Mono Records?

Marc HenshallTech Talk, Vinyl 10115 Comments

Up until the late 1950s, commercial music was mixed in mono. Even then, it took some time for stereo to take off, and it wasn’t until the late 1960s that stereo went mainstream.  In the early days of stereo, many engineers took the opportunity to experiment and play with the format. It’s not uncommon for the stereo version of a … Read More

Mastering Vinyl: Alchemy’s Barry Grint on What Makes a Great Record, and the Importance of Quality Control

Marc HenshallCulture & Industry, Tech Talk5 Comments

When it comes to producing and releasing a vinyl record, much of the final outcome hangs on the mastering process. During this final polishing stage, a great mix can either be sent to the stratosphere or drowned in a ditch (figuratively speaking). Any mastering engineer worth one’s salt will take a great deal of care in ensuring the hard work … Read More

Moving Magnet Vs Moving Coil Phono Cartridges – What’s The Difference?

Marc HenshallTech Talk, Vinyl 10114 Comments

When it comes to choosing the right components for your turntable, your phono cartridge is, well, pretty important. After all, this is the device that makes direct contact with your records. In most audio systems inputs are almost certainly more important than outputs; to put it frankly—shit in, shit out.  There are two main types of phono cartridge available: moving … Read More

Fix Scratched Records Using a Toothpick

Marc HenshallRecord Care, Tech TalkLeave a Comment

We’ve all got those records, haven’t we? Whether we accidentally put the scratch there ourselves, or we were unlucky enough to purchase a used VG (very good) copy from a reseller that was less than honest – these records suck! They’re the otherwise perfectly listenable pieces of wax if it wasn’t for that one pesky scratch. They’re the records we’ve … Read More

What Does Direct-to-Disc Vinyl Mean?

Marc HenshallTech Talk, Vinyl 1011 Comment

When collecting vinyl records, you might come across the following terms associated with a special release: live to vinyl, direct-to-disc, or direct-to-acetate. All of these terms refer to the same process, which as they suggest, is the practice of recording directly to a vinyl-disc cutting lathe without first recording to magnet tape or digital storage. Before the advent of magnetic … Read More

Do Record Weights and Clamps Make a Difference?

Marc HenshallTech Talk, Vinyl 1015 Comments

Like many Hi-Fi optimization topics, record weights and clamps intended for record stabilization divide opinion. In the pro-stabilization camp, many feel that a record weight or clamp can bring stability during playback, while also helping to tighten and focus the overall sound. Over in the anti-stabilization camp, there is a feeling that record stabilizers can put unnecessary strain on turntable … Read More