What Makes A Great Turntable?

Turntables are a simple tool designed to spin records consistently. In the process, they reproduce sound with the help of a needle. Their mechanism is simple, and if you love music, they are a great addition to your household. But before getting a turntable, it is important to assess how precisely it performs the task. Why? Because the more precise it is, the better sound you are likely to get. If you haven’t used a turntable and are looking to invest in them, here are a couple of pointers to consider. The following features make an excellent turntable. So, here’s all you need to know about them.

Counterbalance Weight Can Be Adjusted

One of the defining features of a great turntable is an adjustable counterbalance. Usually, this is available in the form of a moving tonearm counterweight that can be used for independently tweaking the needle’s tracking force. Do note that precise tracking force is imperative for maintaining a good quality of the sound. Additionally, it also prevents all damage on your records and stylus. If you set this on a heavy mode, the stylus will be lighter causing the record/music to pause at certain intervals. The best audiophile turntables are extremely precise in this regard. Alternatively, if it’s set at light, the needle will be on the heavier end. Although it will perfectly track the vinyl, it’ll end up affecting the grooves of the record. So, before you set your preferred tracking force, balance the tonearm as much as possible.

Anti-Skate Mode

Anti-Skate is the force that’ll prevent the tonearm from getting pulled across the middle of your record as it starts spinning. It also ensures that the needle isn’t pushed unnecessarily hard across the wall of your groove. A stereo vinyl features two audio tracks, one meant for the left channel, and another for the right one. These are the two different sides of your groove and in most records, the stylus runs across them. If the anti-skate mechanism isn’t set the right way, the grooves are likely to wear out more quickly on a certain side. This will result in relatively soft sounds on one among the two speakers. Generally, the anti-skate feature should be set the same way as your stylus’ tracking force. This, however, isn’t always applicable. It is also important to note that your record players powered by straight tonearms do not come with the anti-skate dial as they don’t require it in the first place.

Get The Right Plinth

Available in multiple shapes and sizes, a plinth is the real body of your turntable. Here, it is better to choose double plinth since it is great for isolating the vibrations. Also, note that varying materials of the plinth are likely to affect the sound. This is because plinths affect your sound depending on the way the material is resonating, the frequency it is resonating at, the speed of the vibrations passing through it and so on.

Bottom Line

Now that you know the features that go into making a great turntable, closely assess your preferred model and check if it is backed by these functionalities.