Building The Ultimate Vinyl Sound Rig For Professional Listeners

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High-end equipment is often hooked together and tested in people’s homes only to have their disappointment anything but silent.  This is often due to a wrong belief about what makes a listening experience complete for vinyl records, and thinking that classic equipment is good when modern equipment could do an enormously better job overall.  Knowing why each component in a setup is important will help the individual determine where to put their focus when figuring out what to buy.

The Most Important Piece

The record player is often the most important piece of the setup because it is the closest thing to the record that interprets and outputs the audio sound to an amplifier.  While there are many high quality boutique vinyl record players from yesteryear that play and sound just great, modern simplified setups are the go to components for audiophiles everywhere.  Not only do manufacturers of modern record players keep the highest audio quality possible in mind, these players also have many measures to protect the records that are played on them.  Given that vinyl records from many years ago are extremely difficult to replace it is important to do everything possible to store and play them safely so they can sound great for as long as possible.  Neil Young vinyl records may be reprinted, but there is nothing like the versions that came out when the albums in question were first released.

The Importance Of Cables

The cables are extremely important because the sound can so easily be distorted or otherwise modified by the outside environment because it is analogue.  Modern digital audio does not have as much of a problem because it incorporates a high degree of error checking, but anything that is changed in an analogue stream comes out through the sound.  Gold hardware with properly shielded wires helps a lot, especially when such items are next to various other types of electronics.

Utilizing Record Cleaners

Cleaning can also restore sound to records that one would think is totally gone from the etching.  Over time, records naturally wear through play due to their very analogue nature, and as such they need to be kept clean so the abrasive foreign objects do not damage them much. Using a VPI 16.5 cleaner is always a must to ensure that records are not damaged in any way when one is attempting to restore them to their original condition.  Cleaning records in virtually any other way is rather risky and can either physically or chemically cause damage to the grooves in the record that contain the audio.  Sometimes it can be best to convert the music to digital resources too so the vintage quality sound can live on after the inevitable damage reaches the record’s surface.  It is far too often that people store and handle their records improperly and shorten the otherwise long life they could have.

Eric Blair writes about vinyl records, record cleaners, turntables, and other music equipment from