Music that lasts: how to maintain your vinyl records

The world of vinyl can seem intimidating, especially because of how delicate they are. Each crest is carefully crafted to play your favorite songs, and minor scratches and dust can ruin the experience. While there’s no single way to care for your records, here are a few methods that can help ensure your listening experience runs smoothly and your records last a long time.

How to properly store your vinyl

Storing your vinyl is an integral part of having a record collection. It’s important when you store your vinyl that you keep them upright so that you don’t have too much pressure on your records as this can cause them to warp later on. The next part of vinyl storage to consider is taking care of the inner and outer sleeves. outer sleeves can help ensure the longevity of your records by making sure the cover remains intact and preventing wear and tear on the vinyl cover. Inner sleeves provide antistatic protection against scratches and dust. It also provides a smoother insertion process, which helps keep your records secure. When storing your records, space them evenly. If there are too many discs packed into a small storage space, there is a higher risk of scratching them when you take them out for playback.

How to clean and maintain your vinyl

It is important to clean your vinyl record once you place it on your turntable. This ensures that any dust that may have accumulated while your record was in its sleeve is cleaned off before playing. To clean them, use an alcohol-free vinyl record cleaning solution, an anti-static velvet cleaning brush, and a small stylus cleaning brush. Cleaning ensures that your vinyl records last a long time and makes a big difference in sound quality. Your turntable’s stylus isn’t meant to last forever. After about a thousand hours of listening, it is recommended to change it. How often you change the needle depends on how often you listen to music on your turntable. If you listen to your records for about an hour a day, you should change them every two years. If you hear static on discs where there was none before, that may be a sign. Any visible damage and debris on the tip of the needle are other signs.

How to play your discs safely

Playing your records is the fun part, but you want to do it safely. Place your turntable on a surface where it won’t be bumped or pushed because if that happens, your record may get scratched. Some turntables come with a button that will start the record and move the needle on its own, but it’s not always best to use it, as it can leave a lasting mark on your records. It is safest to move it by hand and gently lower it onto the disc. When handling discs, avoid putting your fingers over the slots. Fingerprints can affect how the record sounds when played. Most turntables don’t come with quality speakers. To get the best sound from your setup, invest in a quality pair of speakers. The vast majority of speakers will need to be paired with a stereo amplifier that includes a built-in phono preamp, in order to work with your turntable. If your amp doesn’t have a phono stage, you can always add an external one to your system. If your turntable is equipped with Bluetooth, you can connect wirelessly to any Bluetooth speaker.

In general, be sure to take care of your discs while you enjoy your music. Vinyl is a great way to listen to music and really appreciate music in a physical way. It makes listening to music an experience rather than a passive activity. Treat your records with care and keep collecting.

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