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A turntable guarantees a unique listening experience, whether it’s the ritual of sliding an album out of its sleeve and placing it on the platter, or the beautifully warm analogue audio that only vinyl can provide. The final sound quality is influenced by many factors, including the quality of the vinyl record itself, the turntable's drive, cartridge, preamp (MM/MC), stylus accuracy, and the platter’s tuning. See below for more information on turntable parameters and components.Continue
Turntables generally use MM (Moving Magnet) or the more complex and expensive MC (Moving Coil) cartridges to capture sound from the groove. The preamp (can be located in the amplifier or standalone) must always match the cartridge. Some preamps work with both cartridge types (they have a combined MM/MC Phono input). Turntables with a piezoelectric cartridge have a built-in preamp.
|Amplifier with MM/MC Phono input||Amplifier with MM Phono input||Amplifier without Phono input|
The cartridge is one of the most important turntable components and its quality directly affects the final audio you get. When choosing a different cartridge, make sure to observe the weight and pressure limits as specified for a particular tonearm.
|Piezoelectric cartridge||MM cartridge||MC cartridge|
If your turntable supports 78 RPM platter speed, it doesn’t mean you can play records at 33/45 and 78 RPM without any additional steps. In most cases, you must purchase and install a special cartridge or at least replace the stylus (vinyls designed for 33/45 and 78 RPM speeds have different groove widths).
|12" (30 cm)||33.3 RPM||45 min LP (long-playing record)|
|45 RPM||12" single, maxi single|
|10" (25 cm)||33.3 RPM||LP (long-playing record)|
|78 RPM||3 min plate (requires special stylus)|
|7" (17.5 cm)||45 RPM||Single|
|45 RPM||Extended single (EP - extended play)|
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