Buying Guides / 27 February 2024

A Guide to Starting Your Vinyl and Turntable Journey

Vinyl Turntable and Audio Speakers in A Music Store

There’s no denying it – vinyl is making one hell of a comeback and it’s here to stay!

There are so many reasons vinyl is so desirable. The physical connection of owning a beautiful copy of an album you love, the act of pulling a record out of its sleeve and setting it down on a turntable platter – it all plays a part in making vinyl special. It’s also not surprising that many people own multiple vinyl records without having any means of playing them.

We’ll admit – for someone who’s just keen to start their vinyl and turntable setup, it is daunting. In a world of plug-and-play products today, vinyl sits firmly in the past. But does it really have to be so hard?

Get 10% OFF Vinyl Records

Thankfully, kickstarting your record listening setup isn’t exclusive to audio junkies – you don’t need to splash out thousands or put together complicated setups just to listen to your beloved records. Today, brands that make turntables recognise the fast-growing segment of casual listeners who are just starting out on their vinyl journey.

Plug and play

As a generation used to having everything at the tap of a button, it’s not surprising turntables have gone down the plug-and-play route. If you’re brand new to all of this and you’re looking to keep your budgets small, this might be the best way to dip your toes into the world of vinyl.

Crosley Cruiser Deluxe Portable Turntable
Inexpensive, fun and accessible – the Crosley Cruiser Deluxe is a great starting turntable for vinyl rookies.

Turntables from Crosley and Gadhouse have everything you need to get started playing your vinyl collection instantly. You can dive in without having to invest in a full setup, and at an affordable price point. They come in an attractive compact design that sits pretty on a table in your home.

Gadhouse Brad Record player with BT 5.0
Everything you need to start enjoying vinyl – the Gadhouse Brad is a great new vinyl aficionado.

The speaker is built into their enclosure so you don’t have to find the right cables and connections. But if you find yourself craving an even better sound, you can easily connect the Crosley or the Gadhouse to a larger pair of speakers.

Read more: New Turntables Ahoy!: Gadhouse

The turntable and speaker setup

For those looking for a home set-up with good sound to boot, you’ll be looking at a separate turntable hooked up to a pair of speakers. This is probably the picture you have in your head when you think of a turntable setup.

Let’s start with choosing a turntable.

Audio-Technica AT-LP60XUSB
Look out for turntables like the Audio-Technica AT-LP60XUSB when starting out.

For the sake of convenience, we like turntables with features like a built-in phono preamp, just so you have one less component to worry about. Turntables like the ones from Audio-Technica have just that, with the option to bypass the phono stage if you have your own preamp.

Audioengine A5+ Classic Powered Bookshelf Speakers, Hi-Gloss White (Pair)
 Built-in analog power amplifiers with clear and full audio – Audioengine Speakers are a pretty good place to start!

Then, you’ll need to connect it all to your speakers.

Audioengine A2+ Wireless Powered Desktop Speakers, Satin Black (Pair)
Audioengine also has a wireless Bluetooth version of their speakers if you don’t like wires

Desktop or shelf speakers like those from Audioengine are designed to cater to vinyl fledglings and casual listeners. Some of their speakers even have Bluetooth capabilities if you also want to stream music from your phone or laptop.

Taking care of vinyl

Vinyl is expensive. It’s also one of the only formats that are likely to retain resale value over time. Unlike digital records, vinyl is a physical copy with pressed grooves. Any dust or dirt that builds up along these grooves deteriorates the quality of the music, producing audible crackling and causing your music to skip.

Part and parcel of owning vinyl is the care and maintenance that goes with it. To begin, it’s important to know how to store and handle your vinyl.

Store your vinyl in their sleeves upright and away from heat. Never stack them flat on top of each other – you don’t want your vinyl records to warp!

Gadhouse Vinyl Cleaner Set
Cleaning your vinyl goes a long way in extending its life.

When handling your vinyl, gently remove it from its sleeve. Handle it carefully by its edges and keep your fingers off the grooves. Use a vinyl cleaning brush to remove any surface dust before and after playing. If your turntable has a lid, it should be closed during playback to prevent any dust from settling on the vinyl.

Get 10% OFF Vinyl Records

Come down to our flagship store at The Star Vista or head on over to our online store to start your vinyl journey today. We’ve got thousands of vinyl titles across all genres and ranging from top hits to deep cuts. Got questions? We’re more than happy to recommend and advise you on the best setup for your needs.

Read more: Crosley Turntables Compared


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