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A Brief Beginner’s Guide To Turntables

A Brief Beginner’s Guide To Turntables

Are you a music enthusiast looking to improve your listening experience? Then getting a turntable might be what you need.

May 26th, 2023

Are you a music enthusiast looking to improve your listening experience? Then getting a turntable might be what you need.

Turntables have been around for centuries, but they still hold immense appeal due to their aesthetic charm and sound.

After all, you can ask any vinyl enthusiast and they’ll definitely tell you that music sounds better on a record player!

So where do you start?

Find out everything you need to know about turntables in this beginner’s guide, then check out the best automatic turntables worth investing in today.

What's So Great About Vinyl?

If music is so widely available on streaming services, why do people still buy and listen to vinyl records?

Put simply, there's something special about the sound of vinyl that digital music just can't replicate.

Audiophiles and music lovers alike praise the warm, rich tones that vinyl records produce.

Playing a vinyl record is also a tactile experience that digital music just doesn’t have - the crackle as the needle touches down, the weight of a record in your hands, and the satisfaction of owning a physical collection of your all-time favorite records.

If all that sounds good, it’s probably time to invest in a turntable.

The Different Types Of Turntables

With the variety of turntables on the market today, it can be hard to choose just one. But we’ll break it down right here.

The first thing to consider is whether to get a manual turntable or automatic turntable.

Manual turntables require you to place the needle on the vinyl record and take it off. Automatic turntables do it for you. This ultimately comes down to preference and convenience.

Another thing to consider is belt-drive turntables vs direct-drive turntables. These are both built differently, but what’s worth knowing here is that belt-drive turntables use the classic design and offer high-quality sound, while direct-drive turntables are more modern, can last longer, and are easier to use.

Finally, USB turntables and portable turntables. USB turntables let you convert your vinyl records into digital music files via a computer. Portable turntables, on the other hand, are smaller, lighter, and battery-powered, ideal for taking your turntable on the go.

Do You Need Speakers For A Turntable?

Yes and no. Most modern record players have built-in speakers, so you’ll hear the music coming out of the turntable.

But if you want superior sound quality to complement the warm sound of vinyl, then the answer is yes - it’ll be worth investing in a decent pair of speakers for your turntable.

If that’s the route you’re going for, then consider the two best options: active speakers and passive speakers.

Active speakers have a built-in preamp that amplifies the audio signal. Passive speakers don’t have a built-in preamp, so you’ll have to buy one separately if your turntable doesn’t already have a preamp built in.

How To Use a Turntable

If you're new to the world of vinyl records, using a turntable can feel totally alien. Thankfully, it’s pretty simple.

The first step is to turn it on and remove the dust cover if it has one.

The second step is to carefully place the record on the turntable platter.

The third step depends on whether you have a manual or automatic turntable. If it’s manual, carefully place the tonearm on the vinyl record’s outermost groove, then press play. If it’s automatic, all you’ll have to do is press play!

That’s it - you’ll start enjoying the warmth and depth of vinyl sound.

Turntable Maintenance - Must-Know Tips

Once you have your own turntable, there are a few basic things you can do to keep it in top condition.

The main thing is to keep the turntable clean and dust-free. Whether it has a dust cover or not, it’s well worth carefully wiping it using a soft cloth, including the tonearm and stylus.

If you have a belt-driven turntable, have the belt checked periodically for wear. These can stretch over time, which can hamper playback.

Most importantly, never move the turntable while it’s on or playing. This can damage the stylus and, in some cases, your vinyl records as well.


Vinyl has made a big resurgence among music enthusiasts - so it’s not dead yet. And if you’re looking to elevate your music listening experience, a turntable is well worth looking into.

After reading everything above, you’ll now know the benefits of vinyl music, the different types of turntables, whether you need speakers, and how to use and maintain a turntable.

So what are you waiting for? Start looking for your ideal turntable today!

Laura Bartlett

Laura Bartlett

Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.