Turntable Accessories Advice

Quibbley

Standard Member
New guy here and looking for some advice. I just purchased a Pro-ject Debut Carbon EVO turntable. It should arrive in two days. I am just getting into turntables and have a lot to learn. I am far from an audiophile and don't expect to evolve to that status. Rather, I would like to enjoy music that sounds good to my untrained ear.

What basic accessories do I need to buy in order to properly use and take care of the turntable and albums? I am just started out with turntables so I have nothing in the way of turntable accessories. Any advice is appreciated.

I currently have a Denon AVR-X1600 A/V receiver, a pair of Klipsch Chorus ll's that I bought new back in the late 90's if I recall correctly, and some surround speakers. I use my system as a home theater mainly but listen to music on CDs occasionally. Somewhere down the road I would like to get a tube amp but that is a little way down the road.

Thanks,
Quibbley
 

camcroft

Well-known Member
Welcome to the forum
 

DT79

Well-known Member
Welcome to the forum and the wonderful world of vinyl! You need all this stuff. look around for the best prices, I just found the first links I could on amazon.

One of these to brush dust/dirt off your stylus (a couple of brushes from back to front i.e. same as direction of travel of the record, before each new record you put on.
Amazon product
Some of this to properly clean your stylus (maybe once per week or every 10-15 records (assuming they were washed properly in the first place). Found this one that comes with the above brush too.
Amazon product
One of these to brush dust/dirt off your records (brush each side as the record spins before lowering the stylus). Most people go for the carbon fibre type, but they simply don’t pick up any dust at all, so I much prefer this one.
Amazon product
You need one of these (or similar of this basic design) to properly wash your records. Every second hand and new record needs to be cleaned otherwise the dirt and crud causes noise and increased wear on your stylus and the record itself and the static will annoy you and attract more dust
Amazon product
One of these to set your vertical tracking force
Amazon product
some of these to put your freshly washed records in to replace generic paper sleeves (if the ones supplied aren’t poly-lined), or to slip inside bespoke inner sleeves
50x 12 Inch Anti Static Inner Vinyl Record Sleeves | AUDIOPHILE Poly Lined Plastic Protective Album LP Sleeve | Replaces Paper Sleeves & Fits Inside Cardboard Inners | Archival Quality Triple Ply : Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & Photo

Assuming your cartridge come pre-installed then I think that’s all you need for now. If you’re going to be changing cartridges then you also need some other bits and bobs, but cross that bridge when you come to it.

Have fun!
 

Quibbley

Standard Member
Thanks guys. Yes, the cartridge comes pre-installed. I ordered everything as suggested. Amazon is loving me today!
 

oscroft

Member
I'm going to go against some of the recommendations you're likely to get, and say you don't need very much at all. (Though I see you've already ordered it all :))

All I'd say you actually need is a stylus brush and a record brush. I use a stylus brush with soft bristles, but others prefer the "toothbrush" style. For a record brush, I use the carbon type that you can get cheaply at places like Richer Sounds.

I have a Milty Zerostat gun to zap static, but you don't need one. You might not have problems with static anyway, and their effectiveness is debatable - I think mine works, but I often go many plays without using it and don't notice any difference.

You don't need a stylus pressure gauge, you can just use the counterweight markings which are approximate but close enough for most basic cartridges. Set the recommended weight, and then tweak it until it sounds best. I have a stylus gauge now (and fancier cartridges), but I went decades without one.

You don't need any fancy stylus cleaning devices, goops, or potions. If you keep your records out of the mud, just the brush should be all you need. I've never used anything but a brush.

You don't need a record cleaner/washer. I do have one now, but I only got it a few years ago when I came back to my record collection after a couple of decades and thought a good cleaning would be a good idea. But now that they're as clean as new, I'm not going to be washing them again any time soon. If a new record looks a bit dirty, I'll give it a gentle wipe with a microfibre cloth and some home-made record cleaning fluid (~80% deionised water, ~20% isopropyl alcohol, and a dash of photoflo wetting agent) - being sure to wipe along the direction of the grooves. After that, I just keep them in their sleeves and dust with a brush before every play.

You don't need any special inner sleeves, but I'd put them in the highly recommended category. Plain paper or card sleeves can do two things - cause abrasion, and harbour dust. But it's not like they're going to chew up your records the minute you slide them in or out, and there's no immediate urgency. When you do get some better inner sleeves, you'll find some relatively expensive ones that a lot of people recommend. But I've never found any real difference between those and cheap ones. I use plain plastic ones (semicircular at the bottom) to go inside any original inner sleeves I want to keep (eg ones with lyrics, pictures, etc), and I just replace plain paper inners with plastic-lined paper ones.

There are various things you can get in due course, as and when you think you'd benefit from them (or just for fun - I like gizmos as much as the next gadget man). But starting out, I'd say just get a stylus brush and a record brush, and enjoy the music.
 

Craig uk

Well-known Member
I use the VP dust buster for my Apheta 3 -

As mentioned the DiscoAntistat is a great solution for keeping your records clean for not a lot of money.
 

Quibbley

Standard Member
Oscroft - You are probably correct. The turntable arrives tomorrow and I don’t have any playable (more about this below) albums or 45s to play. I live in a small town and the only stores that have albums are Walmart and Target and the selection is very, very limited. I will probably pick up at least one album today just to have something to play tomorrow.

As teenager in the late 70’s, I had a cheap integrated AM/FM tuner, automatic record player, and cassette player along with a handful of albums and 45s. But I never learned how to take care of records as a child. Now I have an opportunity to learn.

I was an early adopter of CDs because I was stationed in Europe while in the military in the mid-80's. When I arrived in Europe, the CD was the common format. No one was buying albums or cassettes at that time.

I amassed a collection of almost 200 CDs over next four or five years but they we’re destroyed in a house fire. So I started over buying CDs again but ended up buying mostly greatest hits discs because I didn’t have a whole lot of money at the time. So now I only have about 40 or 50 CDs. I have a few hundred individual mp3s songs on my smart phone but I never cared for the sound quality and still don’t. While I don’t care for mp3's, they are very portable. I listen to them while exercising or in my car. So the state of my music collection never recovered from the house fire.

I am somewhat of a gadget guy and I like accessorizing my toys almost as much as the researching and buying process of the toy itself. So while I probably don’t need all of the suggested accessories for what may be only a handful of albums, I do enjoy accessorizing. Plus, I think I still have a few albums from my childhood packed away. I doubt they are playable anymore. I know a couple of them have warped so badly they they can’t be played. It might be fun and a good learning experience to try to see if I can clean up any of the non-warped ones and bring them back to a playable condition.

To start out, I don’t plan to purchase albums for music I already have on CD or mp3. But I reserve the right to change mind anytime. Now that I’m a little older and have more disposable income I thought I would indulge myself and dip my toes back into ”vinyl” waters once again since albums have made somewhat of a resurgence. Who knows, I may get more involved in album collecting once I start down this rabbit hole.

Craig - I will checkout the DiscoAntistat. I wonder if static is more of a problem in the winter time when humidity is lower?
 
Last edited:

gibbsy

Moderator
Craig - I will checkout the DiscoAntistat. I wonder if static is more of a problem in the winter time when humidity is lower?
We don't get that problem of humidity so much in the UK. Nine months winter and three months bad weather, that's our year usually.

If you're going to buy vinyl of modern artists then a lot, if not all, come from the same digital masters and the only thing to be gained is really the routine of cleaning and placing on the platter. You are in a much better position in the US to purchase direct from the likes of MoFi for remastered heavy vinyl.
 

Quibbley

Standard Member
I had not heard of MoFi. I have much to learn. I just took a quick peek the website. This looks like something I would be interested in. I will be browsing the website tonight. Thanks for turning me on to this.
 

oscroft

Member
Oscroft - You are probably correct. The turntable arrives tomorrow and I don’t have any playable (more about this below) albums or 45s to play. I live in a small town and the only stores that have albums are Walmart and Target and the selection is very, very limited. I will probably pick up at least one album today just to have something to play tomorrow.

As teenager in the late 70’s, I had a cheap integrated AM/FM tuner, automatic record player, and cassette player along with a handful of albums and 45s. But I never learned how to take care of records as a child. Now I have an opportunity to learn.

I was an early adopter of CDs because I was stationed in Europe while in the military in the mid-80's. When I arrived in Europe, the CD was the common format. No one was buying albums or cassettes at that time.

I amassed a collection of almost 200 CDs over next four or five years but they we’re destroyed in a house fire. So I started over buying CDs again but ended up buying mostly greatest hits discs because I didn’t have a whole lot of money at the time. So now I only have about 40 or 50 CDs. I have a few hundred individual mp3s songs on my smart phone but I never cared for the sound quality and still don’t. While I don’t care for mp3's, they are very portable. I listen to them while exercising or in my car. So the state of my music collection never recovered from the house fire.

I am somewhat of a gadget guy and I like accessorizing my toys almost as much as the researching and buying process of the toy itself. So while I probably don’t need all of the suggested accessories for what may be only a handful of albums, I do enjoy accessorizing. Plus, I think I still have a few albums from my childhood packed away. I doubt they are playable anymore. I know a couple of them have warped so badly they they can’t be played. It might be fun and a good learning experience to try to see if I can clean up any of the non-warped ones and bring them back to a playable condition.

To start out, I don’t plan to purchase albums for music I already have on CD or mp3. But I reserve the right to change mind anytime. Now that I’m a little older and have more disposable income I thought I would indulge myself and dip my toes back into ”vinyl” waters once again since albums have made somewhat of a resurgence. Who knows, I may get more involved in album collecting once I start down this rabbit hole.

Craig - I will checkout the DiscoAntistat. I wonder if static is more of a problem in the winter time when humidity is lower?
That turntable is a good one - you're going to have fun :)

Thinking of MP3 on your phone, I'd suggest the phone is the weak point rather than MP3 itself. High-quality MP3 played from a computer or streamer via a decent DAC can sound pretty good.

One thought on building up a few LPs reaonably inexpensively... Here in the UK, I keep an eBay search list of used LPs that are rated Exc or better, with a price of under £2. Every now and then I take a look at the ones finishing in the next 24 hours, and pick up any that I like the look of (often for as little as 99p). With postage, they usually cost me about £5-6.

I've had quite a bit of success like that. I get a bad one every now and then, but I'll just throw it away rather than mess about trying to get refunds. But the bad ones are very rare, and most are definitely very playable (and sometimes as-new mint).

One benefit of this strategy is that it helps justfy the purchase of my record washer - I'd always recommend a washer for people collecting used records, and I never play one without a good cleaning first.
 

Quibbley

Standard Member
Great idea about eBay. I will do the same thing.

I will have to learn more about high quality MP3’s. I have a Network Areas Storage (NAS) device with 6TB of storage that I use to stream ripped movies across my home WiFi. I’m guessing I could do the same with MP3 files.
 

Craig uk

Well-known Member
We don't get that problem of humidity so much in the UK. Nine months winter and three months bad weather, that's our year usually.

If you're going to buy vinyl of modern artists then a lot, if not all, come from the same digital masters and the only thing to be gained is really the routine of cleaning and placing on the platter.
Please consider the difference between the playback device also - a stylus in the vinyl groove feeding a pure analogue signal to the phono stage vs optical pickup feeding bitstream to a dac. The playback medium will make a difference which is why so many folks buy a TT. There’s no right or wrong - just personal preference.
 

coruja

Active Member
All I'd say you actually need is a stylus brush and a record brush. I use a stylus brush with soft bristles, but others prefer the "toothbrush" style. For a record brush, I use the carbon type that you can get cheaply at places like Richer Sounds.
The toothbrush type stylus brushes can be a bit dangerous. I have managed to remove a stylus with one, a Nagaoka MP-150 which has a 'nude' diamond.

Need to take care and not be heavy handed, which can happen after the third glass of wine/whisky/brandy.
 

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