VINYL GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS
Start Your Vinyl Journey Here
New To Vinyl Records?
If you’re just getting started with vinyl records, you’re in the right place.
Through this page, we’ve collated the best advice, tips and how-to guides to help you get started with your new vinyl hobby. From choosing your first turntable, to buying your first records and preserving them in pristine condition, you’re well on your way to building a record collection you can be proud of.
We’re a community of over 50,000 monthly vinyl enthusiasts; Sound Matters has helped countless music fans discover the joy of music on vinyl, and we can’t wait to get you started.
What’s the best turntable for beginners?
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
5 Things You Need to Get Started with Vinyl Today
So you’ve decided to start collecting vinyl. Fantastic! In our great digital age, vinyl records offer an experience that is authentic and rewarding. At this stage, there’s a good chance you’re looking for something a little more from your music than a streaming service and a laptop. But most of all, you’re likely hooked on vinyl as a physical medium;
How to Balance a Tonearm & Set Turntable Tracking Force
Adjusting your tonearm tracking force is one of the most important aspects of setting up your turntable. You need to apply the correct amount of downward pressure so the stylus can accurately track your records. Failing to set this correctly can result in poor sound quality, or worse, damaged records. If you’ve just purchased a turntable, there’s a good chance
How to Use a Record Player Properly Without Damaging Records
So you’ve got your first record player and you’re ready to start spinning records. Congratulations! You’re about to experience the most rewarding way to enjoy music. But wait… How do you use a record player? (or turntable for that matter). Vinyl enthusiasts can often assume everyone knows how to use a turntable, but do they? We live in a digital
Best Online Record Stores to Grow Your Collection
Finding the best place to buy vinyl records online can be a minefield. Sure, there are many places to choose from, but not all online vinyl stores are made equal. A good record retailer will hand curate a selection of new or used records, often both. Many specialize in a particular handful of genres and offer exclusive pressings to their
Best Budget Phono Preamps for Amazing Sound
If you’re buying your first vinyl setup, you’ll need to make sure you have a phono preamp somewhere in the signal chain. In straightforward terms, a phono preamp amplifies the signal up to a level suitable for the AUX input on your Hi-Fi receiver. Also, it will apply an equalization curve to inverse the standard frequency adjustment made during the
Record Player Sounds Distorted? Here’s How to Fix It
When vinyl records are at their best, I wholeheartedly believe it’s the best way to enjoy music. As with any physical media, though, there are several reasons why they might not perform at their best. If your record player or turntable sounds distorted, there’s a good chance the reason falls into one of the following categories on this page. So
Automatic vs Manual Turntables
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
Best Albums to Own On Vinyl – 30 Essential Records Every Collector Should Own
Compiling a list of the best albums to own on vinyl is no small task. There’s a staggering amount of music history to consider, and at the end of the day, you could ask ten different people and get ten completely different lists. But I can conclude one thing for certain: there’s no better way own music than the beautiful canvas of
Frequently Asked Questions
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
Turntable Phono Preamps Explained – Do You Need One?
If you’re new to the world of vinyl records, it may surprise you to learn that you can’t simply plug your turntable into most sound systems, just as you might do with any other piece of audio equipment. (Or at least not without a phono preamp). The good news is, you might already own one… In this article, you will
Does 180g Vinyl Sound Better?
Most vintage vinyl records measure somewhere between 120-150g, and for many years, these specifications seemed to work just fine. In more recent years, however, we’re commonly sold much heavier new pressings, often labeled as “Audiophile Quality 180g”. So does 180g vinyl sound better or make any difference to the overall listening experience? Or is it all a great swindle set
How to Clean Vinyl Records – The Ultimate Guide
Vinyl records are more popular than ever. Their distinctive sound, and immersive, tactile listening experience has solidified the format as the ultimate way to own music. When properly looked after, your vinyl record collection will last a lifetime and beyond, and a huge part of this is keeping your vinyl clean. Most importantly of all, clean vinyl records sound amazing,
How Long Will a Record Stylus Last?
Playing vinyl records is a demanding physical process that involves your stylus traveling a great distance. (Around 1,500 feet across each side of an average LP). It’s no easy task. Your stylus will confront, dirt, dust, debris, and even scratches as it traverses miles of grooves over the course of its useable life. Not surprisingly, a stylus needs to be
Turntable vs Record Player – What’s the Difference?
So you’ve decided to get into vinyl records. Great! In our humble opinion, music on vinyl is the most rewarding listening experience of all. But should you buy a turntable or a record player? The two terms are often used interchangeably, which often causes confusion for those just starting out with their record collection. So what’s the difference between a