At our New Orleans record store, we carry a great collection of Crosley record players. But if you want to buy a record player, you probably also want answers to the most common questions about them.
How much should I spend on a record player?
Although higher price tags don't always correlate with higher quality, there's good reason to invest in a high-quality record player.
If you care about your record collection, you probably also care about getting the best sound and using the best equipment. Cheap record players often come without a counterweight, and they may even damage your records. A high-quality turntable features plenty of bells and whistles to enhance the sound and your listening experience. It also lasts longer and has a better resale value.
Should I get a manual record player or an automatic record player?
If your record player is manual, you must lower the tonearm onto the record yourself to make it play and lift it back up when the record is finished. If the record player is automatic, it does all the work for you once you have pressed a button or lever. There's no difference in sound quality between the two types. So which is better for you comes down to price and whether you mind fiddling with the player as you play your records.
Do I need a preamplifier?
Maybe. Every turntable needs a preamplifier to translate sound signals into something your record player can interpret, but most turntables already have a built-in preamplifier. So, no, you don't really need a separate, standalone preamplifier if you're happy with the as-is sound quality. But yes, you do need one if you want to upgrade the sound quality.
When should I replace the stylus?
The stylus or needle is the most important point of contact between record and turntable. Records in less than pristine condition may transfer dirt, dust, and mold to the stylus, which can compromise sound quality and damage your records.
You may need to replace the stylus if you observe skipping, jumping, hissing, or static when you play a record. Also keep an eye out for jagged or bent edges on the stylus.
Even if you clean your stylus regularly (use a carbon brush and a stylus-cleaning solution), it will get worn down soon or later. Manufacturers recommend a new stylus after every 1,000 hours or so of play. Most offer stylus replacements themselves.
When should I replace the belt?
If you notice that the belt is slipping or the pitch is shifting when you play records, it's time to replace the belt, especially if it's been in use for more than five years.
How do I replace the belt?
It's not complicated. It's simply a matter of removing the dust cover, removing the rubber mat from the platter, lifting the platter from the spindle, slipping the belt around the underside of the platter, putting the platter back on the spindle, spinning the platter to align the square opening with the motor pulley, stretching the belt over the motor pulley, removing the ribbon from the belt, and reinstalling the rubber mat and dust cover. You can hire a professional if you wish. But if you decide to do it yourself, Sony provides excellent, easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions with clear illustrations.
Why do records skip?
Records hiss, snap, crackle, pop, and skip if the stylus or the record is dirty or damaged. Even a single stray speck of dust can be a big obstacle for the stylus, which is delicately calibrated to read and translate minute amounts of information. Oil, grime, a defective groove, and static electricity can all soil the sound.
Records also skip if the tonearm is improperly balanced or is damaged. If the arm exerts too little pressure on the record, the needle may lift up and skip around. Adding a coin to slightly adjust the weight is an old trick that still sometimes comes in handy. Newer record players, though, have knobs for adjusting tonearm pressure.
Is it okay to leave a record on the turntable?
No. Leaving the record exposed makes it more likely to get dirty or damaged. Always return records to their sleeves.
What are the benefits of 180-gram records?
Because 180-gram records are made of a heavier grade of vinyl than other records, many aficionados believe that they ride more smoothly than records of lighter grade. Some vinyl enthusiasts also say that 180-gram vinyl records are stronger, more durable, and better able to resist breakage and warping than lighter counterparts. However, the quality of the sound depends on the vinyl compound of the record, not on its weight.
We are the place to shop for record players in New Orleans.
At Mushroom New Orleans, we sell used vinyl records, new vinyl records, and cool record players. We have plenty of music to sell or to trade, and we're here every day from 10 a.m. to midnight. You can also contact us for information before placing an order online.