Who doesn’t know how to use a record player? Well, one this is for sure that everybody is not able to use it correctly. And if you don’t use it accurately, you are going to damage the valuable vinyl records. If you have been thinking of purchasing a record player, or you have one already, you must know the proper way to use it, so that it offers good sound for years to come.

Not only is it crucial to learn the right way to use a record player, but you also get information on important components that work in sync for creating the audio information from the record disc. And finally, this sound is reaching our ears through speakers. You will also be able to go through some questions people have in mind regarding the working of record players.

How to Use a Record Player1

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Why is it important to have a Step By Step Guide on How to Use A Record Player?

Using a record player is an experience. Unlike iPhones or CD’s that just play music on the click of a button, the turntables do require a bit of effort from the user. Understand that each of the turntables can be different in its appeal. This also has an impact on the sound and experience of uniqueness.


Some of the machines might come with a tone-arm that’s automatic, as they have an anti-skate feature that brings needle to the groove center. While others might not have this function and you need to manually move the tonearm yourself.

Here is a Step By Step Guide that’ll Make Your Work Easier

Search For Flat Surfaces:

You must be finding a flat surface for placing your record player. In case you are placing it on a kind of surface that’s not flat, chances are that it won’t work properly. Also, you might end up damaging the record players as well.

Go through the Instruction Manual:

Each brand delivers the record player with an instruction guide. This will offer you the details on setting up the record player and the way it needs to play or stop. This will also give you specifications on information like:

  • Cue lever that mainly controls the record player tone-arm.
  • The counterweight that’s placed on the tone-arm base.
  • Record player adaptor for adjusting to match dimensions of the disc.
  • Speed gage that needs to be adjusted as per the RPM of the record.
  • Each of the machines has the corresponding weight for tracking. This is the information that you get in the manual. Before you plug the record player, there will be a need for adjusting the tone-arm counterweight.

Placing Vinyl Record over the Record Player:

For proper record handling and taking it out from the sleeve, open your hand, and let the record slide out. Now in the disc middle, you will see a center hole, and you need to carefully place the fingers over it, not touching the plate of the record.

Making Sure That Speed Selected Is Correct:

Before placing the vinyl record over the record player, check the speed and see if it matches the record requirements. The disc middle has to detail on the inscription and that mentions the needed speed. Usually:

  • 7-inch vinyl records work at 45 RPM.
  • 12-inch vinyl records work at 33 or 45 RPM.

The Record Has To Be Clean:

You need to clean the machine well, for proper functioning. The sound does get affected by the dust, dirt, or fingerprints. You can get some of the abnormal playbacks like:

  • Silence
  • Warbled vocals
  • Muffled treble
  • Distortions
  • Crackling
  • Fuzziness
  • Popping
  • Scratching

As can be well understood from above, that silence will be the worst issue to work with. If there is no sound emitted from the machine, the record might have been managed. This can also mean that the needle gets worn or has been clogged with dust collected. A replacement can be needed. Another bad sign will be bouncing and skipping of the needle on the record.

Read more: How to Clean Record Needle: 3 Tips Cleaning Turntable Stylus

Now Press Play:

With the correct speed adjusted, you just need to press play. The cue lever is going to lift and hover on the spinning record. If the record player is manual, one needs to press over the tone-arm cue lever. You have to align the outer rim of the vinyl record with the tone-arm. This is important as the first groove and needlepoint have to be in contact. The music should then play on its own. For stopping it, pull the cue lever up for lifting the tone-arm from the record. Then guide record player tonearm back to its resting place. After doing this you should press on the stop button.

Now as you are familiar with the way of using the record player, it will be nice to understand the moving parts. This will allow you to have ease in the set-up and a great understanding of the general functioning of the audio equipment.

FAQs on Record Player Usage

How to store a vinyl record?

Vinyl storage needs to be done properly as it prevents damage caused to record collection like warping or scratching. Understand that records are fragile and get easily damaged if you don’t take care of them. For storing vinyl records, make sure that they are placed in an upright position, try not to stack them. As stacking can cause warping of the vinyl, it has to be avoided.

Does Tracking preserve vinyl records?

The needle has to be in contact with the record rightly, and not heavy. Also, the contact shouldn’t be extremely light either. This can cause the bouncing in grooves that can lead to damages. Ideally, the top end has to be tracked and on the advised tracking force. Keep in mind that there can be a lot of damage caused when one tracks too heavily.

Is There a Need For Cleaning Vinyl?

A lot of people believe that when their record player makes a cracking and hissing sound, this is normal. In reality, this is the sound that’s caused due to dirt over the record and indicates that there is a need for cleaning.

One can use a soft brush that is available for specifically cleaning vinyl records. The brush has carbon fiber that works well for removing debris and dirt from the vinyl grooves. There are also cleaner fluids available in the market for deep vinyl cleaning. You will notice one that just after you play the music an improvement of sound quality is evident.

Final Thoughts

Now you have all the details you need on How to Use a Record Player? Following these steps will make sure that you have the best music experience possible. And also you get maximum audio capability out of the expensive record player that you just bought. Remember to change speed as per the record that you play. Surely this will provide you the ultimate audio quality that you had been looking for.

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