How to set up a turntable


(Image: ©

If the term ‘turntable’ conjures up photographs of your parents’ beat up aged file participant from the 70s, it’s high time you grew to become acquainted with the carefully present day turntables on the market ideal now. 

The finest turntables today come with all method of nifty capabilities, together with Bluetooth connectivity for wi-fi headphone pairing and USB outputs for ripping your vinyls to your personal computer.

Whether or not you’ve landed yourself a brand name new state of the art report player or you’re blowing the cobwebs off a person that is been collecting dust in your attic for the previous couple a long time, it’s essential to know how to effectively set up your turntable. 

Which is wherever we occur in: we have set alongside one another this handy guideline to setting up your turntable. It is well worth noting that several less expensive present day turntables appear pre-assembled, so you must be ready to enjoy your music straight out of the box on the other hand, the further up the rate band you go, the much more probable it is that you will have to established up your new turntable by yourself. 

For the purposes of this manual, we have assumed that you have to have to assemble your new history participant from scratch – and never get worried, it is not as fiddly as it appears to be. 

The Audio-Technica LP60XBT (Image credit: TechRadar)

The Audio-Technica LP60XBT (Image credit rating: TechRadar)

Areas of the turntable

No matter if you require to assemble your turntable or not, it’s a fantastic notion to develop into familiar with the different areas of the turntable.


The plinth or ‘support’ is the base of the turntable. As effectively as supplying a foundation for almost everything to sit on, the plinth is developed to dampen or soak up vibrations that negatively affect the sound excellent of the turntable. 

It is important that the plinth is sat on a entirely stage surface, as you will want to stability your tonearm when it will come to setting up the turntable and a sloped surface can toss it off kilter. Some turntables come with adjustable toes for this rationale. 


The platter is the circular element of the turntable that spins and where by you place your record. Most platters occur with a mat produced of rubber or felt to minimize vibration and secure your treasured vinyl. 

Belt push

The two most generally utilised types of turntables are belt driven turntables, and immediate driven turntables. The latter are generally utilized by DJs who need to be ready to ‘scratch’ and enjoy their data backwards, though belt pushed turntables are usually employed for home listening. 


The tonearm is the element of the turntable that guides the stylus (also acknowledged as the needle) by the grooves on the vinyl. It demands to be carefully balanced to ensure the stylus sits accurately in the groove without having veering in the direction of possibly facet. 


The cartridge attaches to the stop of the tone arm and includes the stylus, which sits in the microgrooves of the document. As the platter spins the history, vibrations vacation through the stylus and into the cartridge, wherever coils in a magnetic industry transform the kinetic vitality from these vibrations into an electrical signal.

The stylus is typically produced from a small piece of diamond hooked up to a adaptable metallic strip, although elements like ruby, sapphire, boron, and even cotton fibre can be employed as effectively.


The pre-amplifier (also acknowledged as the phonostage) amplifies the electrical indicators from the cartridge, boosting the signal so that you hear new music when it last but not least reaches the speakers. Several buyer document gamers appear with an amplifier designed in, but substantial-spec, audiophile turntables usually require an external pre-amplifier to be related by means of RCA cables. In accordance to Turntable Lab, “if your turntable has a USB output, it has a developed-in preamp”.

An Audio-Technica cartridge up close (Image credit: TechRadar)

An Audio-Technica cartridge up near (Image credit score: TechRadar)

How to set up your turntable

First of all, you can expect to require to join the diverse pieces of your turntable setup with each other. If you are working with an exterior pre-amplifier, you can expect to want to plug it into the turntable’s output port applying an RCA cable. 

If the preamp will come designed into the turntable, you’ll be capable to plug your speakers into the back again immediately. Examine out our roundup of the best stereo speakers if you have to have some inspiration.

It's important that the belt isn't twisted (Image credit: TechRadar)

It can be important that the belt isn’t really twisted (Graphic credit rating: TechRadar)

Attaching the belt 

If you have a belt-pushed turntable, you will want to attach the belt to the platter and the motor pulley – this is what tends to make the platter (and for that reason your documents) spin. Carry up the dust deal with, take off the protective mat, and take out the platter flip it upside down and slip the belt all around its underside. 

Then area the platter back again onto the spindle (the bit that sticks via the gap in your vinyl), and pull the belt as a result of the sq. opening in the platter. 

You can need to have to hook the belt all-around the motor pulley – most belts will come with a modest piece of ribbon connected to enable you pull it by the gap and attach it securely. 

It’s significant that the belt has no twists in it so it the platter spins efficiently. Place the mat again on the platter. 

The tonearm should be parallel to the record (Image credit: TechRadar)

The tonearm should really be parallel to the document (Picture credit score: TechRadar)

How to harmony the tone arm

Now it can be time to harmony the tone arm. Initially unplug the document player so that it would not start spinning unexpectedly.

Up coming, established the anti-skate management (a little numbered wheel subsequent to the tone arm) to ‘zero’ and gently raise the tonearm from its relaxation, getting care not to drop it, which could trigger hurt to the stylus.

Our pals at What HiFi? say that the tonearm’s “peak has to be established so the arm is parallel to the record’s surface area when the cartridge sits in the groove”. You can do this by going the counterweight at the bottom of the tonearm backwards and forwards until the tonearm sits level with no your guidance. 

Location the tracking body weight

This usually means your tracking excess weight (the amount of down-force the stylus places on the microgrooves in the record) is now at 0g.

After you have completed this, you can modify the tracking bodyweight to the cartridge manufacturer’s recommendation.

Also superior, and the stylus will leap out of the grooves and hurt your records, even though much too minimal a tracking pounds will deaden the seem and guide to distortion. It is value getting your time with this step and using the manufacturer’s recommended tracking pounds to steer clear of triggering harm to your treasured vinyls.

Now that your monitoring bodyweight is properly at 0g, you can improve the monitoring bodyweight gauge to ‘zero’ to replicate this. The monitoring weight gauge is a different numbered dial that forms element of the counterweight alone.

Now you can established the monitoring fat to no matter what the maker endorses by transferring the total counterweight up and down the tonearm. 

As soon as you might be delighted, put the tonearm again on its relaxation and established the anti-skate handle dial to the identical range you have just set the tracking fat to. 

Balancing the tonearm is the most difficult component of the approach to get correct, so if you might be unsure, we recommend looking at the online video under from Vinyl Tv set:

You spin me right round

Now you’re prepared to commence participating in your information! Merely switch the turntable back on, position your document onto the platter and choose the proper speed placing – there really should be a button on the plinth that makes it possible for you to do this. 

If you’re playing a 12-inch you ought to choose 33 RPM (revolutions per moment). For 7-inch vinyls, decide on 45 RPM. 

Press enjoy and elevate the tonearm’s cueing lever – the tone arm should now raise up. Align the tone arm with your document and decreased the cueing lever until the tonearm carefully drops and the stylus settles into the microgrooves of your record. 

There you have it – if you’ve got adopted all the steps the right way, you may be equipped to sit back again and take pleasure in the heat analogue sound of your music on vinyl.

  • However searching for the ideal record participant? Study our spherical up of the very best turntables

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