Record Player Mistakes you should Avoid

Now that vinyl is not only surviving but actually thriving in the digital age it also attracts a whole lot of new vinyl lovers. And at the point when you first begin to collect records you’re probably going to commit a couple of mistakes. However, because of our experience in the world of vinyl we can mention some of the mistakes that we actually made, so you can learn from them. In this article, we will list the most common mistakes that people make when they’re initially getting into the world of vinyl.

10: Buying a Suitcase turntable

This is an extremely common misstep to make as these models show up everywhere,  except in audio shops. And for a good reason, while they might look aesthetically appealing, they are usually made from poor materials. And that includes the built-in speakers and preamp, which translates into poor audio quality. But the worst part is often the needle, which can wear out in less than 40 hours playing time, and thus damaging your precious vinyl records.

However we understand one other part of the attraction, they are usually really cheap and make a great gift. Therefore we have researched the most budget-friendly options in our article on the best cheap turntables. They are the best budget options from reputable brands and can still be a great affordable gift, not a single suitcase turntable to be found.

9: the plural of vinyl is vinyl not vinyls

A small detail but also in important one to not come across as a complete beginner. So the next time you go into a record store or talk to an expert you now exactly what to say.

8: Don’t touch the grooves of a record

While it can be tempting to hold a record firmly so it doesn’t fall the correct way to hold a record is by its edge. This way no dirt or moist will touch the sides of the record. Dirt and dust is the number one reason records and record players wear out.

7 : Not adjusting the tonearm and cartridge

Now with some record player, the cartridge comes already installed out of the box. However, with a lot of record players, the tonearm and cartridge need to be lined up properly so the needle touches the grooves in a delicate way. While at the same time the balancing weight of the tonearm must also be adjusted. If you want to read more on how to do this read our guide on how to properly set up your tuntable.

6: Not cleaning

Often the vinyl sound does not only revert to as warm but also as crackling and popping, however, that should not be the case. A clean and non-damaged record should play smoothly without these artifacts. Therefore you should keep your records and record player dustfree by cleaning them every once in a while. Read more about how to keep your vinyl records in great condition or our guide on how to clean your record player.

5: Replacing Paper Sleeves

A lot of old records are stored in paper sleeves. The paper actually wears out vinyl over time. Therefore we recommend replacing these with plastic ones so you can grab your records without worrying about scratching your records.

4: Playing 78rpm records with a standard stylus

A mistake that is very common is playing records that are 78 rpm with a regular stylus. The reason why shouldn’t do that is because the sizing is different which can destroy the needle or the record. Modern records can be played with a stylus that is about 0.7 to 1 mil in size. But for older records that are 78 rpm it is better to use a 3 mil sized needle which are less common but a great addition to your setup.

3: Forgetting the Amplifier or Receiver

A common rookie mistake is that people think they can hookup their turntable directly to their speakers. Now while in some cases that can be done, in most setups you will need an amplifier for it to work. Read more in our article Does a Record Player need an Amplifier? Every turntable needs at least a preamp and an amplifier, now the preamp can already be built-in into your turntable, as for the amplifier is often a separate device. Only the so-called Active Speakers have an amplifier already built-in. Make sure you have a Record Player, Preamp, Amplifier and Speakers in your setup and you can never go wrong.

If you would like to know our favorites then you could read more in two of our guides. We reviewed the best budget preamps that won’t break your bank, as preamplifiers can get really expensive. And we also did research to find the best Turntables with an already built-in preamp.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor record player setup schematic

2: Stacking you Records 

Placing your records on top of each other must always be prevented. Stacking records will cause the lowest records in the pile to curve because of the weight that is above them. Therefore you should always place your vinyl records vertically, even though that means you have to tilt your head to read them.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor vinyl record stacks


1: Stick with what you know

If you were like me when starting out then you likely searched for all your favorite albums and songs. Going to a record shop and finding something you know and love between all those records sure is a great feeling. However, the hobby faded pretty quickly for me when I couldn’t find any records anymore that I knew but didn’t possess yet. 

Therefore every once in a while, try something new. It doesn’t have to be expensive as you can simply try a second hand or discounted record. You can be as experimental as you like by picking a nice cover or keep it close to what you know by staying with your favorite genre. If you don’t want to play vinyl roulette with your own money than most record shops have a listening corner were you can try out some new music. Don’t exclude yourself from finding that new gem and take yourself on a vinyl adventure!

Looking for something else?

If you are looking for a turntable with a specific feature or within a certain budget you can take look at one of guides below.

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