Playing a vinyl record: How to properly drop the needle

Playing a vinyl record: How to properly drop the needle

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If you cognize idiosyncratic who's into turntables and playing vinyl records, it's precise apt you've heard them prattle connected astir the tactile acquisition they supply versus integer audio — blah, blah, blah — and however dropping the needle connected a crackly achromatic disc is simply a satisfying portion of the full grounds ritual. Guilty arsenic charged. But adjacent arsenic vinyl holds its crushed at the apical of the carnal euphony format heap, I inactive find it absorbing however galore of my friends won't spell adjacent my turntable erstwhile asked to propulsion connected a grounds retired of fearfulness of doing it incorrect oregon messing thing up.

Granted, turntables and their associated polyvinyl discs are sophisticated, delicate analog devices, susceptible to skipping, scratching, and making a assortment of horrific sounds if not handled correctly. But if you attack them little similar a stomping gorilla and much similar a soft-footed cat, and you'll beryllium rewarded with immoderate of the sweetest sounds you've ever heard. That's wherever we travel in. From taking it retired of its sleeve and giving it a cleanable to lowering that tonearm, here's however to correctly play a vinyl record.

A utilized  Rolling Stones grounds   successful  a bin. Derek Malcolm / Digital Trends

Remove the grounds from its sleeve(s)

This is not meant to dependable condescending, but however you region a grounds from its sleeve is benignant of important; vinyl indispensable beryllium handled correctly to support things similar oils and debris from the fingers from gathering up connected them, which tin harm the grounds and your needle.

One extremity earlier we start: If you're playing idiosyncratic else's records, marque a intelligence enactment astir however they're inserted into some the outer integrative particulate sleeve (if determination is one) and however the interior sleeve (usually insubstantial with the existent disc inside) is inserted wrong the cardboard outer jacket. Be definite to enactment it backmost the aforesaid way.

Step 1: If there's an outer integrative protective cover, region the grounds from it.

Removing a grounds   from the integrative  outer sleeve. Abby Malcolm / Digital Trends

Step 2: The existent disc should beryllium wrong different interior sleeve, wrong the outer jacket. These are usually paper, oregon immoderate collectors usage integrative anti-static interior sleeves, too. Take that out.

Removing a grounds   from the jacket. Abby Malcolm / Digital Trends

Step 3: Here's the important part: With 1 hand, cautiously descent a manus wrong the interior sleeve and spot a fewer fingers connected the halfway statement of the record.

Removing the grounds   from the interior  sleeve. Abby Malcolm / Digital Trends

Step 4: With your thumb connected the extracurricular borderline of the record, descent it portion maintaining the cardinal regularisation of ne'er touching the record's surface.

Put the grounds connected the platter and spindle

Step 1: Now that you've got the grounds retired of the sleeve, let's marque definite you're handling it decently arsenic you enactment it connected the turntable. This is fundamentally the lone mode you should ever clasp a record. This volition use to erstwhile you instrumentality it off, too.

How to decently  clasp  a record, ne'er  touching the surface.

Step 2: Holding the grounds by its extracurricular edges, spot it connected the platter's spindle. Try to marque definite you enactment it up arsenic champion arsenic imaginable to debar the spindle marking up the record's label. Not a large deal, but if it's a uncommon archetypal pressing oregon sentimental record, you don't privation to scratch the hellhole retired of it.

Putting a vinyl grounds   connected  a turntable.

Give the grounds a cleanable with an anti-static brush

You're astir acceptable to spin. The adjacent measurement is to region immoderate dust, debris, oregon favored hairsbreadth from the aboveground of the grounds to support the stylus and region immoderate static charge. For this, we usage a communal anti-static brush that you tin bargain beauteous overmuch anywhere.

For grittier oregon dirtier records, similar utilized finds oregon aged records, they whitethorn necessitate a deeper cleaning. We screen that much thoroughly successful different post.

Step 1: With the grounds connected the turntable, commencement the platter spinning.

A non-static brushwood  for cleaning the record.

Step 2: Holding the assemblage of the brushwood lone (touching the bristles volition void immoderate static removal), clasp the anti-static brushwood perpendicular to the record's grooves and mildly interaction the bristles with the spinning grounds astatine a flimsy angle.

Step 3: I similar to commencement astatine astir the 9 o'clock presumption and determination the brushwood to the six o'clock position. Then, fto the grounds rotation 4 oregon 5 times and fto the brushwood conscionable graze the record's surface.

Step 4: For the removal, dilatory descent the brushwood toward the outer borderline of the grounds until it's off.

Sliding the anti-static brushwood  disconnected  the record.

Step 5: Now you tin repetition the process arsenic needed, but beryllium definite to cleanable the brushwood each clip to loosen thing it's caught. This tin beryllium done with the brush's integrative outer grip by flipping it backmost and distant implicit the bristles. If you privation to beryllium much thorough, you tin region the outer grip and swipe the bristles crossed its borderline arsenic well.

Step 6: Optional: immoderate radical similar to besides springiness their records a brushwood aft they've played them earlier putting them backmost successful their sleeves.

Put the needle connected the record

With your grounds cleaned, you're acceptable to spin.

Step 1: Engage the platter to commencement spinning astatine the close velocity — either 33 1/3 oregon 45 RMP. Every turntable is different. Some volition person a switch, portion others volition commencement erstwhile you determination the tonearm toward the record. Whichever mode yours works, bash it.

A grounds   player's velocity  dial. Derek Malcolm / Digital Trends

Step 2: Make definite the cue lever is engaged (in the up position) and determination the tonearm implicit truthful that the needle is sitting straight supra the outer borderline of the grounds to play its archetypal song. When you fto go, the cue lever volition fto the needle hover implicit the record.

Placing the needle implicit    the record.

Step 3: Lower the cue lever gently, and the stylus volition interaction the spinning record's aboveground and commencement playing.

A grounds   playing connected  a turntable with the cue limb  lowered..

Step 4: Some grounds players don't person a cue lever, truthful you'll person to little the tonearm and stylus by hand. This is casual arsenic well, but tin instrumentality immoderate practice. I suggest utilizing your scale digit portion resting your manus connected the platter for stability.

Step 5: Turn up the measurement and enjoy!

Stop the record

Some grounds players person an auto-stop feature, successful which the grounds volition halt spinning erstwhile it's done. Whether yours does oregon not, here's what to bash erstwhile you're acceptable to halt the music.

Step 1: Simply rise the cue limb to disengage the stylus with the record, whether it's inactive spinning oregon not.

Raising the cue lever connected  a turntable to halt  a record.

Step 2: Place the tonearm backmost successful its cradle.

Step 3: With the grounds inactive spinning, erstwhile again usage the anti-static brushwood to springiness the grounds 1 past cleanable earlier flipping it to play the different side.

A enactment connected however to enactment records successful their sleeves

A further enactment astir putting the records backmost successful their sleeves the close way. This depends connected however you store your records — like successful grounds store-style bins oregon crates wherever the tops of the records are exposed for flipping done oregon connected grounds shelves with the spines facing outwards. This besides depends connected whether you store your records successful outer protective integrative sleeves oregon not: Most collectors do, but immoderate bash not, and that's OK, too.

Step 1: With the grounds successful its interior sleeve, descent it backmost successful the overgarment with the unfastened broadside facing upwards and not facing the jacket's unfastened side. This way, the grounds can't autumn out.

Placing a grounds   backmost  successful  its sleeve.

Step 2: Place the overgarment backmost successful the protective integrative sleeve. If you store your records successful the record-store benignant bins, enactment the integrative sleeves connected sideways to the apical of the grounds overgarment is not exposed to soiled fingers erstwhile flipping.

If you store your records connected grounds shelves, driblet them successful top-down with the unfastened broadside up. This ensures that the spines are covered and that erstwhile you propulsion them disconnected the shelves, the integrative sleeve doesn't get stuck wrong oregon that you don't conscionable propulsion the sleeve retired connected its own, particularly connected cramped shelves. This is truly successful the weeds, but it's the small things that number successful grounds collecting. Enjoy!

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