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.

Just wanted to say thanks for the valuable service you provide to the vinyl community. After almost 20 years, I pulled my vinyl from storage, purchased a new turntable and connected to my soundbar (also a new purchase). I found your site and use you exclusively for all my vinyl needs, purchased a record cleaner system from GrooveWasher and cork turntable mat based on your articles and recommendations. Thanks again and keep up the great work!
Peter
Sound Matters Subscriber

Start Here

Marc Henshall

Top Five Reasons to Buy Vinyl

In a world where we can access almost any piece of music at the click of a mouse, or the tap of a screen, who would think that a physical format like vinyl would continue to endure? Far from being a nostalgia trip, vinyl records are now enjoyed by a wide range of ages by music fans searching for something

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Marc Henshall

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;

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Marc Henshall

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

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Marc Henshall

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

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Marc Henshall

The Best Affordable Phono Preamps

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

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Marc Henshall

Ten of the Best Budget to Mid-Range Turntables in 2021

Vinyl is back! The momentum behind consumer enthusiasm for the vinyl experience shows no sign of slowing, and while streaming offers day-to-day convenience on a mass-market level, vinyl continues to appeal among the most decerning of music fans.  Hi-Fi equipment across the board has a reputation for costing a lot of money, but in truth, there are plenty of options

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Frequently Asked Questions

Marc Henshall

Does 180g Vinyl Sound Better?

Most vintage vinyl records measure somewhere between 120 – 150g, and or 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 really make any difference to the overall listening experience? Or is it all a great swindle set

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Marc Henshall

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

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Marc Henshall

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

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Marc Henshall

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

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Marc Henshall

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

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How to clean vinyl records. Cleaning tools image.
Marc Henshall

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,

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Not sure where to begin?

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