5 ways to improve your vinyl listening experience.
Record players work by measuring vibrations. The vinyl groove causes the stylus to move or vibrate, and this is turned into a tiny electrical signal that is amplified and turned into sound by the speakers. This means that for a turntable to work well you want it to ‘read’ just the vibrations in the groove rather than having them muddied by vibration coming from elsewhere. The difference between good and great turntables is their ability to cope with external vibration but none will give off their best if they are in the wrong place.
In practice this means putting the turntable on something that’s not going to vibrate with the music, such as a small table or a shelf rather than a sideboard. Large pieces of furniture vibrate when speakers are playing, just put your hand on them and you’ll feel it; ideally you want something that’s both light and stiff. So a small wall bracket or a lightweight coffee table – the Ikea Lack has for a long time been the preferred support for Linn’s classic LP12, and at £5 it is unbeatable value.
The other way to minimise vibration is to keep the turntable away from the speakers, and don’t even think about putting the two on the same piece of furniture. This is one of the many reasons why complete record players in a box with speakers built-in sound crap, it’s a miracle they work at all.
Finally, wherever you put the turntable make sure it’s level. Use a small spirit level and adjust the feet so that its level in both side to side and fore/aft planes. If the feet aren’t adjustable use pieces of card or similar under the feet.