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How to Buy LP Player: A Guide for Vinyl Lovers

How to Buy LP Player: A Guide for Vinyl Lovers

If you are a fan of vinyl records, you might be wondering how to buy LP player that suits your needs and budget. LP players, also known as turntables or record players, are devices that spin vinyl records and convert their analog sound into electrical signals that can be amplified and played through speakers or headphones.

Buying an LP player can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be confusing and overwhelming, especially if you are new to the world of vinyl. There are many factors to consider, such as the type, quality, features, compatibility, and price of the LP player. In this article, we will guide you through the basics of how to buy LP player and help you find the best one for you.

Type of LP Player

The first thing you need to decide is what type of LP player you want. There are two main types of LP players: belt-drive and direct-drive.

  • Belt-drive LP players use a rubber belt to connect the motor to the platter, which is the part that holds the record. The belt absorbs the vibrations from the motor and reduces noise and distortion. Belt-drive LP players are usually cheaper, quieter, and more suitable for casual listening.
  • Direct-drive LP players have a motor that is directly attached to the platter, which means there is no belt. This makes the platter spin faster and more accurately, which is ideal for DJing and scratching. Direct-drive LP players are usually more expensive, durable, and responsive.

Depending on your preference and purpose, you can choose either type of LP player. However, if you are looking for a high-quality sound and performance, you might want to invest in a direct-drive LP player.

Quality of LP Player

Type of LP Player

The next thing you need to consider is the quality of the LP player. The quality of the LP player depends largely on its components, such as the tonearm, cartridge, stylus, phono preamp, and anti-skate mechanism.

  • Tonearm is the arm that holds the cartridge and stylus over the record. It should be lightweight and balanced to avoid skipping and tracking errors. It should also have an adjustable counterweight and height to optimize the pressure and angle of the stylus on the record.
  • Cartridge is the device that converts the mechanical vibrations of the stylus into electrical signals. It should have a good frequency response and output level to produce a clear and balanced sound. There are two types of cartridges: moving magnet (MM) and moving coil (MC). MM cartridges are more common, cheaper, and easier to replace. MC cartridges are more rare, expensive, and difficult to replace. They also require a special phono preamp to amplify their low output signal.
  • Stylus is the needle that touches the record groove and picks up the sound. It should be sharp and smooth to avoid damaging the record and creating noise. It should also match the shape and size of the record groove. There are different shapes of stylus, such as spherical (conical), elliptical (bi-radial), hyperelliptical (fine line), shibata, micro-ridge, etc. Generally speaking, the more complex the shape of the stylus, the better it can trace the record groove and extract more details from the sound.
  • Phono preamp is a device that amplifies the low-level signal from the cartridge to a line-level signal that can be connected to an amplifier or speaker. Some LP players have a built-in phono preamp, while others require an external one. If you have an external phono preamp, you need to make sure it matches the type of cartridge you have (MM or MC).
  • Anti-skate mechanism is a device that counteracts the inward force that pulls the tonearm towards the center of the record. This prevents uneven wear on the stylus and record groove and improves sound quality. Some LP players have an adjustable anti-skate mechanism, while others have a fixed one or none at all.

To ensure a high-quality sound and performance from your LP player, you should look for one that has a well-designed tonearm, cartridge, stylus,

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