Hardware ReviewsIf it spins vinyl, reproduces vinyl or otherwise has anything whatsoever to do with optimizing the sound in the grooves, we'll cover it.
Spinning LPs is no trivial task. The turntable must spin stably at the correct speed, provide a secure, resonance free platform for the tonearm and cartridge and isolate from both airborne and internally generated vibrations as well from footfalls.
Whether pivoted or tangential, the tonearm must securely and accurately carry the cartridge across the LP's surface while suppressing coloration causing vibrational feedback— not as easy at it sounds.
Transducers convert energy, whether phono cartridges or loudspeakers— mechanical to electrical in the case of cartridges, vice-versa for loudspeakers, but on either side of the energy equation, they are considered the weakest links in the audio chain.
Phono Preamp Reviews
Phono preamplifiers both increase the cartridge's low-level output to the line level inputs preamplifiers require and perform the RIAA equalization necessary to create flat frequency response from the purposely bass-shy, treble boosted signals etched in the grooves. Transformer-based "step-up" devices boost ultra-low level moving coil outputs to moving magnet levels for use in MM-type phono preamplifiers.
Cables carrying the cartridge's ultra-low voltage output to the phono preamplifier can have profound effect on sound.
Set-Up Accessory Reviews
Achieving perfect cartridge alignment, the correct tracking force and other critical parameters are key to vinyl playback satisfaction. Having the right tools and knowing how to use them are a necessity in today's DIY world.
Playback Accessory Reviews
From proper turntable illumination to record mats and effective isolation stands, there exist hundreds of devices designed to bring you closer to vinyl playback nirvana.
Analog to Digital Converter Reviews
Products that digitize the analog output of your preamplifier, usually through the "record out" jacks, allow you to archive your vinyl so you can enjoy the music on a music server or on the go.
Record Cleaning Machine Reviews
In the 21st Century vinyl world, record cleaning machines are not an option both for quiet playback and record and stylus longevity.
Record Cleaning Fluid Reviews
So many fluid formulations, so many opinions, even about the water used for final rinsing (or not)!