Right after buying a record player, taking it out of the box, and unwrapping the entire package, learning how to use a record player is of course, your next top priority. Some models of record players differ from another, yet majority has the same features and parts. This article serves as a guide on how to properly use a vinyl record player – from turning it on, turning it off, up to its appropriate storage every after use.
How to Use a Record Player in Ten Easy Steps
Step 1: Plug the Device to a Power Source then Turn the Record Player On
Most of the time, the ‘ON’ button also serves as the ‘OFF’ button.
Step 2: Lift the Dust Cover of the Turntable
Some record players come with a removable dust cover; lift it and set it aside if you want to use the device. Conversely for other record players, they come with a hinged dust cover. Meaning, you only have to lift the cover if you are using the device and lower it when the device is not in use. The dust cover is important in order to keep the rest of the components clean when it is not used.
Step 3: Position the Vinyl Record onto the Platter
Most turntables come with a metal platter (such as aluminum) with a slip mat made of foam or rubber. The platter is a part of the record player that holds the vinyl record during play. First, take out a record from its case and hold it properly. Then, position the spindle correctly in the middle of the platter, letting it through the hole of the record.
Step 4: Set Up Control Features to Move the Platter
It is common for record players to play on three different speeds: 33 1/3, 45 and 78 RPM. In selecting the speed, old models require manual repositioning of the drive belt. However these days, you can already opt for automatic and more modern turntables.
Step 5: Lift and Position the Tonearm
The needle of the tonearm should be placed properly over the grooves of the outer portion of the record. Doing this step makes the record player to start producing music.
Step 6: If all the songs of the record have been played and you want to listen to the same record, place the tone arm back above the beginning of the record.
If you want to listen to another vinyl record, then lift the tonearm, take out the record resting on the platter, grab another record, and repeat steps three, four and five.
Step 7: If you are done using the record player, lift and position the tonearm back to its rest (the position of the tonearm when not in use).
This step is not necessary for fully-automatic turntables since their tonearm automatically return to its place when the record is over.
Step 8: Remove the Vinyl Record
Some users simply leave the vinyl record on the record player. However, to protect both the record and the device, it is better to remove it and place it back to its case when not in use.
Step 9: Put Back the Dust Cover
If the dust cover of your record player is removable, put it back in order to protect the platter and the entire device. Otherwise, if the dust cover is hinged, simply lower it.
Step 10: Place the Record Player to an Ideal Place Away from Possible Damage
When the record player is not in use, make sure to place it on a safe area. The area should be away from extreme temperature and moisture. Keep in mind that an ideal storage area is a cool and dry place.
Some record players cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, and yours may be one of them. Hence, if you already have one at home, then make it a priority to know how to use a record player – carefully and correctly. This way, you can preserve the life of this precious device, and perhaps, make it last for a lifetime.