Now that you have an interest in vinyl record players, it is only natural that you will come across a few especially if you have a collection of vinyls. However, you need to ensure that the record player lasts long, which you can do by using accessories. Most equipment that you buy comes with its own unique accessories to complement their use.
The record player, too, has its own accessories, which are important for use. They keep the record player in top shape. Therefore, it is best for you to own a few, if not all, of the various accessories available. Here are a few of them.
It is very essential to choose the right mat as it will enable you to achieve improved sound quality through reduction of friction, avoiding a build-up of static and dampening vibrations. A good platter mat will enable firm grip of both the record and the platter to prevent slipping off during spinning. The material from which the mat is made should contain excellent sound characteristics.
Most platter mats are made using various materials such as cork, leather, rubber, acrylic and felt, each with different sound properties. Mats made from rubber are good at vibration dampening, while those made from cork are good for opening the sound spectrum and are popular with audiophiles. To ensure it serves its right purpose, you should keep the mat clean and dry at all times.
While platter mats are meant for holding records firmly, slip mats allow the record to slip over the rotating platter to allow for scratching and cueing as well as enable the DJ to control the vinyl record without causing unnecessary damage. Slip mats are mostly made using felt and they are only necessary if you are a DJ. If it’s just for listening, then platter mat is enough.
Record clamps consist of weights designed to fit on a record player’s spindle to ensure vinyl stability allowing for better tracking. With the clamp in place and the platter flat, unwanted needle movements and resonance are at a bare minimum. The clamps are made of heavy metal that puts weight on the record to keep it stable.
Cartridge alignment protractor
Aligning a cartridge can be a very hard job, especially for an amateur. This is where the protractor comes in as it help to align the cartridge to improve sound quality and to give the stylus longer life. The protractor is made of plastic material and is calibrated with lines of tangency and null points.
These accessories are those you fit or install on the record player for enhancing sound quality. These feet and pads have excellent vibration-dampening qualities. Stiff and strong isolation feet and pads are used for heavy record players, while the less heavy ones are suitable for use in light record players.
Carbon fiber brush
For record lovers, the carbon fiber brush is necessary. It is used to remove dust particles from the record player and should be used prior to and after use of a vinyl record to avoid dust building up. If dust is allowed to build up, then the sound quality is compromised. The brush is designed in a manner that allows cleaning even in-between the record grooves.
The stylus of a record player is a very sensitive part and should always be kept clean. To do this, you can use the stylus cleaner to remove dirt and dust. A dirty stylus can compromise the sound quality of the record player and it is appropriate to clean it on a regular basis. Turn off the record player or mute it off when cleaning the stylus.
Lint-free microfiber cloth
From all the available record player accessories, this lint-free microfiber cloth is inexpensive. It is made up of woven small lens-like fibers which can pick up even the minutest dust particles. A good microfiber cloth performs exceptionally well to absorb oil and moisture from the surface of the record. The super feature of this cloth is that it is non-abrasive and therefore cannot damage the record surface.
Precision bubble level gauge
A perfectly set-up record player will deliver good music. Therefore, it is important to ensure you set it up correctly and this starts by mounting it on a flat surface. To achieve this, one can use a precision bubble level gauge. If it is placed on a leveled surface, it will prevent sloping, thus ensuring you listening to good free-flowing music.
Brush pads and kits for record cleaning
For a fast deep cleaning, these accessories come in handy. They are used for wet cleaning or dry record cleaning. They come with soft cleaning pad and specific cleaning solutions that have the ability to clean the deep grooves, removing dust particles leaving your entire record player clean.
45 RPM adapter
This adapter is also known as the 7-inch adapter. It is made of small plastic or metal insert that perfectly fits in the middle of a 45 RPM record so it can be played on the spindle of a record player.
Inner sleeves for records
Before storing your beloved record away, you should keep it inside the casing to prevent it from being damaged. For this purpose, you can protect your record by putting it in inner sleeves. If the sleeves are weak or old, you can have them replaced. The inner sleeves are made of either plastic or paper material; both are good either way.
If you bought your record player without a dust cover then it is important to get one. This will protect your player from dust particles or any other unforeseen damage when not in use, hence prolonging the playing time. With the dust cover in the place, the delicate parts of the record player such as cartridges, tone arm and others will be protected.
There are numerous record player accessories out there on the market. New ones are being made to replace older models. Either way, it is essential to own a few accessories for your record player to ensure it serves you right. Try to ensure that you purchase these accessories from selected and authorized dealers to avoid fake or inferior items.