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?
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
Direct-Drive vs Belt-Drive Turntables – What’s the Difference?
When buying your first turntable, or even upgrading your current setup, there are many technical terms and details that cause some confusion for would-be vinyl enthusiasts. At Sound Matters, we present answers to many of these frequently asked questions in a way that cuts through the jargon, getting to the key points you need to know. Today, we tackle the … Read More
How to Set Up Your Turntable
Setting up your turntable correctly is fundamental if you want to achieve the best possible sound from your vinyl records. Accuracy is key, and it’s easy to understand why when you consider the task at hand. The average LP has about 1,500 feet of groove on each side, and the groove in question is less than a hairline thick. The … Read More
Q&A: HD Vinyl – The Future of Record Manufacturing?
HD Vinyl Pioneer, Guenter Loibl talks to Sound Matters about his ambitions to revolutionize vinyl record manufacturing using lasers. The HD-Vinyl concept first caught our attention back in 2016, when Austrian-based company, Rebeat first filed the patent for a new vinyl record production process involving lasers. Naturally, it wasn’t long before the internet was awash with speculation about the new … Read More
Vinyl’s Imperfections Improve the Listening Experience
It is the prerogative of each generation preceding the next to claim that their generation’s music was better. Or at least that’s how each generation typically feels… We all get there eventually; at first you’re checking out what’s new on the block musically every day, then it’s every week – or even every month. Before you know it, you haven’t … Read More
Top Five Turntable Upgrades
One of the great advantages of building a hi-fi setup through separate components is the option to perform spot upgrades – almost infinitely – should your budget permit. From your turntable to your speakers, and even the listening environment itself, every last piece of the signal chain is upgradable or modifiable. Before we get started, it’s worth mentioning that the … Read More
The Pros and Cons of Vinyl Records
Few debates in the audio world create such a large divide as the analog vs digital question. Vinyl vs CD/Digital is the classic battleground, where passionate enthusiasts on both sides of the argument often partake in heated exchanges with no real conclusion. The question itself is undoubtedly oversimplified – there are far too many variables to draw a line under such a broad debate, … Read More
Measuring Vinyl Dynamic Range – It’s Complicated!
As a young(ish) person discovering vinyl for the first time, I was fascinated by the claim floating around in many of the Internet’s forums that some vinyl releases have better dynamic range than their digital or CD counterparts. This immediately seemed odd to me, as digital music – on paper at least – is capable of much greater dynamic range. See figures below: 16 … Read More
What’s Wrong with Cheap Record Players?
As record sales continue to grow year-on-year, so too has the market for cheap starter record players. The demand is so great, last year’s hottest Christmas seller on Amazon was the Jensen JTA-230 3-speed stereo turntable with built-in speakers. Priced at just $51.99, it’s safe to say the majority of these players were bought as starter turntables. The Jensen JTA isn’t the only … Read More