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10 Essential Turntable Accessories

This is a very worthwhile article from Pro-Ject Turntables with the low-down on how to make sure you are getting optimal performance and sound from your Audophile turntable!

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Anyone who enjoys listening to analog music on a record player is going to wonder how they can improve the sound quality of their vinyl records. Any audiophile will tell you that getting perfect Hi-Fi sound is not easy, but there are several turntable accessories that you can purchase to upgrade your home audio listening experience. These accessories will not only make your record collection sound amazing, but they ensure that even the best turntables don’t skip a beat during playback.

Ten Ways to Make Your Turntable Sound Greater

Whether you get your vinyl accessories from Pro-Ject, Audioquest, or Amazon, they can be used to provide you with high-quality sound that you can’t get when listening to music on a CD player. With the right accessories, record skipping as well as the pops and crackles that are sometimes heard through the speakers will no longer be picked up by the stylus. Let’s take a look at some of the upgradable accessories that will improve your Hi-Fi sound.

1. Phono Preamp

tube box preamp with debut carbon evo

A phono preamp is a great way to upgrade your setup and push your audio listening to the next level. Without using one of these, you will find that distortion occurs when the signal is not boosted.  An A/V receiver is used in combination with the phono preamp to boost the sound coming from the turntable before it reaches your speakers. If your amplifier does not have a built-in phono input, then a separate phono box, like the Pro-Ject Phono Box DS2, is a solution. You simply use RCA cables to connect the devices, so it’s relatively easy to use.

If you are unsure if a phono preamp will benefit your audio setup, take a look at our phono preamp guide to learn more.

2. Turntable Weight

record weight puck

Also called a record weight, these turntable accessories work as a stabilizer and help keep vibrations to a minimum. This added weight will also ensure that the tracking is more precise, which will produce a cleaner, less distorted sound. The weight should be enough to stabilize the records without adding weight to the bearings or straining the motor of your turntable.

3. Stereo Interconnect Cable

When audio cables wear down, they don’t perform as well as new wires. A stereo interconnect cable is an excellent way to provide a performance-boosting sonic upgrade to your audio system. Typically, you can connect these cables anywhere you have an audio cable connected.

4. 45 RPM Adapter

Most record players are not designed to play 7-inch singles. RPM adaptors, like Pro-Ject’s Adapt It, make 45s a universal fit for most vinyl records to fit on any turntable easily. This specific model is made out of aluminum, so it will last for years.  Without an adapter like this, the different-sized records will not spin properly on the platter, which causes damage to the stylus.

5. Bluetooth Transmitter

Older audio equipment is not likely to be Bluetooth enabled, but with a Bluetooth transmitter, you can easily add the functionality to amps, record players, and other technology. The device is relatively small and enables you to connect to Bluetooth headphones anytime you want to listen to music without disturbing those around you.

While it’s not the first place most vinyl enthusiasts think of, it can ensure that your system can stay analog-focused while being future-proofed. If you’re considering a new turntable, there are a few that are Bluetooth-enabled right out of the box.

6. Turntable Mat

A turntable mat or a platter mat is designed to keep the record and the platter from moving during playback. This helps to minimize vibrations and gives you more resonance control. It also helps prevent static from forming, which means less dust will accumulate over time. DJs often use slipmats to more easily cue and back-cue music. It gives them more freedom to move the vinyl as they see fit. Typically these mats are made out of cork, felt, or leather.

7. Cartridge Alignment Protractor

cartridge alignment tool

One of the turntable accessories that you will want to have to keep your vinyl’s tracking force in check is a cartridge alignment protractor. Pro-Ject’s Align It tool will allow you to align the phono cartridge’s edge so that the needle tracks better in the record’s grooves. It will also prevent the needle from jumping on the vinyl, which could damage the stylus.

When using one of these tools, you are actually not aligning the cartridge; you are aligning the stylus to make sure it tracks the grooves correctly. The cartridge body is larger, making it much easier to see when you align it. Having a misaligned stylus will create pops and crackles in the music, giving it a distorted effect that is always unwanted.

8. Isolation Feet and Pads

Isolation feet and pads will improve the sound of your music by removing unwanted vibrations that could affect playback. Even someone walking in your home or traffic going by could add to the vibration you hear, so decreasing it will help create hi-fi sound. If your turntable is heavy, make sure that you have stiff feet so that the vibrations do not move the feet along with the turntable.

9. Cleaning Kit

record vacuum vc s2

A good vinyl cleaning system will come with cleaning solution, microfiber cloths, and a carbon fiber record brush. These items are used to remove static and dust from the vinyl before it is played. You will also need a stylus cleaner because stylus cleaning is just as crucial as cleaning records. In fact, if you don’t properly clean your stylus, the dust on the needle has a good chance of being tracked back to your records.

Cleaners come in all types, from tools like the Spin Clean to the Pro-Ject VC-S2 (pictured above). A record brush or record broom is a bare minimum for preserving your vinyl.

10. Dust Cover

Of course, you protect your vinyl with record sleeves when they are not in use, but how can you keep the dust off of your record player when it’s not being used? To keep your turntable platter cleaner, a dust cover is going to be a must-have accessory.  Most dust covers  are designed to sit right on top of the record player without attaching to it.

In addition to keeping the dust off, it also protects your device from spills and helps extend the life of your record player. Another benefit of this accessory is that it will protect your tonearm from getting bumped and damaged.

Beyond Turntable Accessories, Consider Upgrading Your Speakers

Whether you are using soundbars or bookshelf speakers, there is always an upgrade that you can find to give you a better audiophile speaker setup. This doesn’t mean finding bigger speakers. It’s the quality of the components that give you higher-quality sound. If you have all of the accessories mentioned above but want to continue upgrading your setup, see what speaker options call out to you. Check out the incredible speakers on demo at Musicworx  – we have speakers in all sizes and to suit all budgets.3. 

We have a demo/open box promotion so  there has never been a better time to start (or finish) putting your dream system together! You’ll save a bundle!

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