Record Collecting Sources

Record Collecting Tips

Cartridges

The cartridge is the starting point for your vinyl sound experience. Good cartridges with diamond stylus are available from about $50.00 to $100.00 with replacement stylus going for about $25.00 to $50.00.

Avoid higher end cartridges unless all you are going to play are audiophile records. You will need a really good turntable to get the benefit of it anyway. Higher end cartridges have smaller tip radii that can actually pick up more surface noise on a used record.

You cartridge should track at about 1-1/2 grams. This is a good compromise between wearing the record and not having the tone arm skip across the record when you walk across the room. Ideal tracking weights are specified by the cartridige maker. Inexpensive scales are available to measure tracking weight.
A stylus should be replaced after about 500 to 1000 hours of play to keep your system sounding good and prevent record damage from a worn down stylus tip. See the manufacturers recommendations. We generally replace ours yearly.

What if my amp does not have a phono input?
You can buy phono preamplifers to hook up to your aux inputs of your amplifer from a variety of sources. A DJ mixer will have two or more phono inputs.