Automatic vs Manual Turntables

Marc HenshallMarc Henshall
New to Vinyl, Vinyl 1014 Comments

When choosing a new turntable, there are many factors to consider. In most cases, your final decision will come down to a balance between price, features, quality, and personal preference. One aspect that is often misunderstood is the choice between automatic and manual turntable designs. After all, if you can remove effort and work by purchasing an automatic deck, why … Read More

How to Grade Used Vinyl Records

Marc HenshallMarc Henshall
Vinyl 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

Do You Need a Mono Cartridge to Play Mono Records?

Marc HenshallMarc Henshall
Tech Talk, Vinyl 10113 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

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

Marc HenshallMarc Henshall
Tech Talk, Vinyl 10111 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

What Does Direct-to-Disc Vinyl Mean?

Marc HenshallMarc Henshall
Tech 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 HenshallMarc Henshall
Tech 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

Do Picture Disc Vinyl Records Sound Worse?

Marc HenshallMarc Henshall
Tech Talk, Vinyl 1011 Comment

A large part of vinyl’s lasting appeal is the artwork. The larger physical canvas has long given musicians the chance to express their art beyond the music in a way that adds to the overall experience of collecting and listening to music. The whole product becomes a canvas, and that includes printing directly onto the vinyl disc. Enter, the weird … Read More

How to Digitize Your Vinyl Records

Marc HenshallMarc Henshall
Tech Talk, Vinyl 1018 Comments

In a world increasingly dominated by the convenience and portability of streaming services, some collectors may question the value of digitizing vinyl records. But the truth is there are still plenty of good reasons to capture the sound of vinyl and turn them into convenient digital files that you can take with you wherever you roam. For starters, many of … Read More

What is Half Speed Mastering?

Marc HenshallMarc Henshall
Tech Talk, Vinyl 1014 Comments

Sound Matters offer a simple explanation of half speed mastering as a practice while gaining some more detailed insights from experienced Mastering Engineer, Barry Grint. (Barry’s work includes award-winning artists George Ezra and Tom Walker, plus many classic projects, including Madonna, Prince, Oasis, and many more). The Basics To understand what the term “half speed mastering” means, we must first … Read More

Direct-Drive vs Belt-Drive Turntables – What’s the Difference?

Marc HenshallMarc Henshall
New to Vinyl, Tech Talk, Vinyl 1013 Comments

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