How to Make the Switch to Vinyl

How to Make the Switch to Vinyl

Starting a vinyl collection can become a rewarding, lifelong interest. While downloading or listening to music online is often the cheaper and easier route, it’s also a very impersonal route. Buying and unwrapping a physical piece of music can make the process of listening to music a more intimate experience. The physical size of the record, the artwork of the album cover, and the inserts inside the album cover lend more depth to whichever piece of music to which you choose to listen. Through the process of placing a record on the turntable and then flipping it over, your physical body becomes an agent involved in the process of listening to music. As a music platform, vinyl demands both a physical and an emotional presence.

 

Before you can start buying albums on vinyl, you’ll need a turntable setup. This step of moving toward vinyl is the most expensive and time-consuming part of the process, but this quick guide should make things much easier.

 

The AT-LP60 Automatic Turntable is a great choice for beginners. (http://turntablelab.com/)

The AT-LP60 Automatic Turntable is a great choice for beginners. (turntablelab.com)

First, unsurprisingly, you’ll need a turntable. Audio-Technica’s AT-LP60 Automatic Turntable is a great option for beginners because it includes a pre-amp and a cartridge. The pre-amp converts the turntable’s “phono output signal” into a “line level signal,” while the cartridge is simply the piece that the needle attaches to. The AT-LP60 avoids the necessity of buying and setting up an external pre-amp and cartridge, which facilitates a much easier setup.

 

Once you have a turntable, pre-amp, and cartridge (or, of course, the AT-LP60, which includes all three), you’re good to go! All you have to do is connect the setup to either a stereo or powered speakers.

 

If you want to develop and deepen your interest in music, vinyl is the way to go.

 

What do you think vinyl can add to your own experience with music? Let me know in the comments, or find me on twitter @ryanlawlessness

Ryan Lawless

Ryan Lawless is an undergraduate student at Fordham University. He studies English and Spanish as majors, and philosophy as a minor. He won the Margaret Lamb Writing to the Right-Hand Margin award for creative fictional writing, and has been published in Fordham's literary magazine The Ampersand, and its newspaper, The Observer. Ryan grew up in New York, but is also an Irish citizen. He enjoys fiddles, coffee, and music.

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