How to Clean Your Turntable Stylus – Without Causing Damage

Marc HenshallCleaning Vinyl, New to Vinyl, Record Care, Vinyl 1014 Comments

Your record player or turntables’ needle (better know as the stylus) is the first point in the audio signal chain. It is the instrument responsible for directly tracking your record and beginning the process of transforming an otherwise useless groove into sweet, sweet music. For it to perform at its best, you need to keep it clean. If you allow … Read More

Automatic vs Manual Turntables

Marc HenshallNew to Vinyl, Vinyl 1017 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

Do You Need a Mono Cartridge to Play Mono Records?

Marc HenshallTech Talk, Vinyl 10125 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 HenshallTech Talk, Vinyl 10116 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 HenshallTech Talk, Vinyl 1012 Comments

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 10111 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

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

Marc HenshallNew 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

How to Set Up Your Turntable

Marc HenshallNew to Vinyl, Tech Talk, Vinyl 1015 Comments

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

Vinyl Stylus Shapes Explained

Marc HenshallTech Talk, Vinyl 10114 Comments

The hi-fi world is full of technical jargon and vinyl records are certainly no exception. In the following article, you’ll learn about the most common stylus shapes on the market designed for vinyl playback. So what exactly is a stylus? In simple terms the stylus (or needle) is the tip that tracks your vinyl record. Most styli are made from industrial diamonds … Read More

Vinyl Record Inner-Groove Distortion (A Simple Explanation)

Marc HenshallTech Talk, Vinyl 10115 Comments

While vinyl records have plenty to offer, both sonically and from a listening experience standpoint, they also come with some trade-offs. One of the most commonly cited but also misunderstood trade-offs is a phenomenon known as inner-groove distortion (also referred to as end-of-side distortion. Inner-groove distortion is an audible deterioration in sound quality that sometimes occurs when playing tracks close … Read More