Here’s how to use a record player? In the modern world, there are many ways to listen to music, whether you have an MP3 player or an iPod, or stream your tunes on your smartphone or tablet. However, there’s something old-fashioned and classy about listening to music on a record player. If you’re looking to buy one of these newfangled devices to play your favorite vinyl records and 45s, here’s how to use a record player in seven easy steps!
Step 1: Choose your record player
There are two types of record players. Automatic turntables use built-in motors to wind your records back for you and transport them for playback. Manual turntables require you to lift and place your vinyl on a platter, making sure that each song is lined up correctly. If it’s your first time, go with an automatic turntable—there’s less risk involved when operating these devices. If you’re committed to manual recording, however, be sure that you choose one that has variable pitch control so that you can adjust speeds between 33 and 45 rpm; using speeds outside of those parameters will damage your records over time.
Step 2: Set up the player
Before you do anything else, plug in your record player and make sure that it is working properly. Most come with a built-in speaker so if you have one of those skip to step 3. If not then connect it up to an external speaker (you’ll need something with an AUX input) or use headphones. Some players have RCA inputs for connecting up directly to amplifiers and speakers, but if yours doesn’t then you’ll need an amplifier (see Step 3).
Step 3: Load your vinyl onto the player
You can place your vinyl records onto your record player in three ways: automatically, manually or by using a combination of both. The automatic method is quick and easy, but it may damage your records over time because they are placed on at an angle. If you’re looking for more precision when placing vinyl onto your record player, use the manual method. Make sure you read your owner’s manual before attempting either method so that you know how best to care for your records and player as well as how to load them onto your specific type of turntable (automatic or manual). You can also follow these steps if you own a combination player.
Step 4: Connect and adjust your cables
The first time you plug in your turntable, you’ll have to make sure everything is connected properly. Most modern turntables have automatic switches that recognize when they’re plugged into an active audio system and will adjust accordingly. If your turntable doesn’t have a built-in switch, though, you’ll need to connect everything manually: Connect one end of an RCA cable to your turntable’s output jacks. Then connect the other end of that same cable (and another RCA cable) into your receiver’s auxiliary inputs or line-in ports.
Step 5: Select your source and switch on
To play your record, all you need is a source of electricity (like batteries, or an AC/DC adapter), and something called a needle. There are three types of needles. A standard needle is made of metal and is designed for playing vinyl records only. Another type is made from diamond; these are used for playing CDs as well as vinyl records. The third type is made from sapphire crystal, and these are used for playing microgroove LPs. Selecting which one you’ll need depends on whether you have any of these formats in your collection
Step 6: Play your first song!
You’ve picked out your favorite LP, your needle is in place and you’re ready to listen to music. All you have to do is lower that stylus onto that vinyl! But, wait…you may need something called an anti-skating weight. On one end of your tonearm (the arm that holds your cartridge) there should be a hole with threads coming out of it. If it doesn’t have threads or a hole, use duct tape (preferably red or pink) and make one yourself. Threading about two feet of fishing line through it will do just fine as an anti-skating weight—just tie off both ends. Lowering the cartridge onto The Beatles’ Sgt.
Step 7: Take care of your new vinyl collection
If you’re not sure what you should do with your records, it’s actually very simple. You should store them in a cool, dry place. In other words, don’t store them in hot and humid places like bathrooms or attics. And if your records are in good condition and sound great without any noise or damage, then it doesn’t really matter how you store them—just make sure they don’t get damaged while they’re being transported. But if your vinyl is so badly damaged that you wouldn’t even want to play it at home, then there are ways of refurbishing vinyl for free on YouTube (which we’ve linked below).
Record Player FAQs:
There are two basic ways to play your record: You can play it from side A, then flip it over and listen to side B. Or you can place your needle gently at the edge of one of those recessed grooves and let it follow along while you listen. This second method is called direct-drive, because there’s no belt involved in moving either motor. In fact, no motor is needed, as a special permanent magnet within your tonearm does all of that work for you.
Before you jump into spinning your first record, it’s good to know how records and players work. The record player is actually quite simple—but there are some specific things you should know before listening for the first time. We’ll go over that here in a few minutes.
To use your record player without a receiver, you will need to either plug your speakers into an MP3 player or connect them directly into your TV. If you choose to do so, please make sure that you select Audio or Auxiliary from under your audio settings and not TV Speakers. Doing so will direct any sound from devices connected through these settings directly towards your speakers, rather than through your TV.
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