The Care and Keeping of your Vinyl and Turntable
The good news is, turntables by and large are pretty hardy. For the most part, it’s the vinyl you need to really keep after. First off, it’s a good idea to set your turntable on a flat, smooth, solid surface in an attempt to keep nasty vibrations at bay.
Make sure your tonearm’s balanced! If it’s one of our straight tonearms, the factory has pre-set the pressure (tracking force) for the cartridge, and you don’t need to sweat it. If it’s adjustable though, it’s good to check that it’s on the right settings. Too much pressure will dig into records, and too little and it’ll skip across the grooves like a stone on a lake. Don’t want either of those!
And, most-most-MOST importantly, keep your turntable CLEAN! The spin of a turntable generates a lot of static electricity, which of course sucks dust and hair and glitter and who knows what else out of the ether and on to your turntable. (Just think of a computer screen when it’s turned off, and every speck of dust in the universe is right there, on your screen.)
Keeping the dust cover shut will help with some of this, and the all-important moving parts are out of harms’ way of dust, but it definitely will SOUND weird if it’s dusty.
So you’ve got a gunked up needle. No need to fret! All things can be cleaned. Grab a stylus cleaning kit- which looks like a funky mascara wand- and gently dab the stylus with the bristles to wipe it clean. Once it’s all dry, it should be shiny and pointy again.
If your needle’s busted- well, that’s another story. (Check out our replacement needle videos over here.)
Now, about the discs themselves. These guys can be finicky, and so they’ve got to be handled with all the love and care of a fluffy, feathery kitten. When you pick them up, hold them by the edges with the pads of your fingers, or touch the label. You don’t want the oil of your skin attracting gunk on the surface itself. There’s some debate about storing vinyl, but the rule of thumb is to store it vertically. Some racks and crates are made just to hold them upright. (Here’s some of ours!)
Even the best babied vinyl records can get icky over time, or maybe digging that amazing crate find out led to an explosion of dust. Even those can get restored! Use a microfiber brush and a special cleaning solution to clean along the curves, and wait for the record to dry ENTIRELY before playing.
That’s really it!
Keep your turntable (and vinyl!) clean, and it’ll solve many of the strange hiccups that come with playing analog music.
(Something still bugging you? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give us a shout at 1-866-CROSLEY.)