5 Must-have Turntable Accessories

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5 Must-have Turntable Accessories

A turntable, also known as a record player or phonograph, is a musical device that can play vinyl records. Turntables are one of the oldest forms of musical playback and have remained popular even as other forms have fallen out of favour with the general public. DJ’s uses turntables for a variety of things, such as live song mixing, beat matching, and scratching. As such, there are a number of accessories that can assist with this or improve audio quality.

The following guide shall examine the 5 must-have turntable accessories, and shall detail on how to find these accessories on eBay. The site has an unrivalled selection of audio equipment for sale at much lower prices than those found in specialist stores.

Turntables

Turntables are musical devices that are used to play vinyl records. Three types of records have been developed for use on turntables, and these are 33RPM, 45RPM and 78RPM. RPM stands for rotations per minute, and refers to the number of times a record will rotate when placed on the device. It’s important for buyers to become familiar with the basic components found in all turntables, and the following will be found in every model for sale on the site:

· The plinth is the base of the turntable and supports the other components. It’s important to have a sturdy plinth as it will reduce vibrations and improve playback.  Plinths can be manufactured from a few different materials, including plastic, metal, and wood.

· The platter is the rotating component that the record is placed upon. The heavier the platter, the better, as this will minimise vibrations and stop the record from skipping when it is being played.

· The tonearm houses the needle that connects to the record, and is responsible for maintaining a consistent speed on the outer and inner circumferences of the record.

· The stylus is another name for the needle, and the cartridge is the component that houses the tonearm. Cartridges are regarded as one of the most important components because they are the part that keeps the tonearm in place and converts the groove readings into audio.

5 Turntable Accessories

There are a large number of different accessories that can be bought for use with a turntable, and some are necessary for amplification, while others are made to help the DJ mix. The following are 5 turntable accessories all buyers should consider purchasing:

1.     Preamp

A preamp is a requirement for anyone who wishes to play the record through amplifiers or audio equipment, such as speakers and stereo systems. A preamp is also required if the turntable is to be connected to a laptop. Turntables produce a PHONO output signal, whereas amplifiers and speakers can only receive an AUX signal.

The preamp converts PHONO to AUX, and although this feature is built in to many modern turntables, older and less expensive models may be without it. Preamps range in price, but it’s very easy to buy inexpensive models for as low as $30. Preamps are usually connected to the turntable and amplification with a set of RCA cables.

2.     Cartridges 

Although all turntables come with this accessory, many people buy a new cartridge to achieve a particular quality of sound. As previously mentioned the cartridge is one of the most important components on a turntable, and is available in magnetic and moving coil form. Magnetic cartridges are the more common of two, and moving coil cartridges are believed to produce a better sound quality.

There are two ways to connect a cartridge to the head-shell, and buyers need to be aware of the connection on their turntable before purchasing a cartridge. Standard mount cartridges are bolted into the head shell. P-mount cartridges slide into place. Another reason people buy new cartridges is these components wear down over time, and this affects the sound quality and can damage the records.

3.    Mats and Dustcovers

These accessories are used to enhance playback and ensure that there is no interference when the record is playing. Mats sit between the record and the platter and keep the record in place while also dampening vibrations. A dustcover is a protective cover placed over the record while it is spinning and protects the record from dust and debris. This prevents the record from skipping or becoming scratched and damaged.

4.    Isolation Feet

Isolation feet are important accessories and all buyers are advised to buy these if their plinth is not already equipped with feet. Isolation feet are generally made from rubber or metal, and are placed under the plinth at the corners of the turntable. Isolation feet have excellent vibration dampening qualities, but buyers need to use feet suitable for their turntable.

Stiffer feet should be used with heavier turntables, while flexible and looser feet are ideal to use with lighter turntables. Isolation feet vary in price, but these are very beneficial accessories, as they will help prevent the record from skipping. 

5.    Stylus Gauge 

Also known as a tracking force gauge, this accessory measures the amount of downforce a cartridge applies to a record. The downforce refers to the pressure the cartridge places on the record when it is playing, and this needs to be accurate for stylus to move along the grooves without jumping or dragging. The downforce is applied through gravity and cartridge manufactures recommend specific levels of pressure depending on the cartridge. The stylus gauge measures this pressure, and is used to ensure that the correct amount of downforce is being applied to the record.

Searching for Turntable Accessories on eBay

As previously mentioned, eBay has a large selection of new and used turntable accessories available to buy at lower prices than those found in audio stores. To find a relevant accessory, head to eBay.com.au and take the following simple steps:

· Click on the ‘Shop By Category’ tab followed by the Electronics heading.

· On the following page, scroll the cursor over the Audio tab, and click on the Record Players/Home Turntables link.

· Type the name of the desired accessory into the search bar and press enter, e.g. Preamp.

· Use the ‘Condition’ filter to list Used items only, but buyers that do so are advised to check the ‘Description’ box on the Item page for specific information about the accessory’s condition. Buyers are also advised to visually inspect any photographs for signs of physical damage.

· The ‘Price’ slider can be used to list turntable accessories within a certain budget, and this is an easy way to speed up the search.

Buyers should also check out eBay Deals, as this section of the site has a number of turntable and audio accessories for sale at reduced prices. Simply click on the ‘Deals’ link located at the top left hand side of every page, followed by the Audio title found in the Electronics tab. Turntables and related items can be found towards the bottom of the page.

Conclusion

There are a number of different turntable accessories buyers can purchase, and different products are used for different things. Some, such as preamps and cartridges, are essential to playback, whereas others like isolation feet are made to reduce the chance of the record skipping. Buyers should spend some time deciding which of the above 5 are most valuable to their turntable setup, and should search for need products on eBay. The site has an excellent selection of new and used turntable accessories sold at very low prices.  

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