Why Pay More? Turntables

There are so many reasons to love vinyl, but perhaps key among them all is that, even in this world of high-resolution digital files and wireless streaming, there remains something unique about the sound quality and pleasure you get from a great vinyl.

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Pound for pound, vinyl has a broader dynamic range than most other media – particularly as engineers often master for it differently than they do for digital formats. The analogue process used for records contains no digital compression and the recent trend for producing heavyweight 180g vinyl means better sound, with physically deeper grooves for higher fidelity.

If you're going to go for vinyl, you need a turntable that will provide your amp and speakers with the beautiful, full-range sound synonymous with vinyl. As you might have guessed, there are lots of options available and we stock all manner of turntables at a variety of prices, but, as is often the case, you really do get what you pay for. When it comes to turntables, a little extra money spent can add huge amounts of excitement and enjoyability for years to come.

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The most important improvement you’ll notice is the sheer quality of sound you can get by upping your budget even slightly. Remember that the movement of the needle in the record’s groove picks up the audio signal from vinyl, so cutting out any unwanted additional movement - no matter how small – produces a cleaner and more faithful signal. That means not just isolating external movement but also vibration from the turntable's own motor.

High-end turntables use improved materials to enhance overall performance. The “platter” your record rests on is very important to avoid slipping or any vibration. The rigidity and weight of the tone-arm and cartridge are also very important. Even the bearings used around its axle can make a big difference in isolation from vibration and that translates directly into a big improvement in audio quality.

Moving up from the most basic models can also get you some extra, and useful, features. A particularly useful one is a built-in USB socket so you can record or 'rip' digital audio tracks from the vinyl source. This lets you have the best of both worlds: the beautiful sound of vinyl at home, but also the convenience of digital audio files to listen to on the move.

One of the more recent features to show up on turntables is Bluetooth for wireless streaming to Bluetooth speakers. While this might initially seem counter-intuitive to the analogue nature of vinyl, Bluetooth technology has come so far along that there is very little loss of quality, especially when you pair your premium turntable with a premium pair of wireless speakers, which are also quickly becoming readily available.

The difference, of course, is best heard for yourself!

Our home-styled Experience Rooms rooms in every store will not only let you compare different turntables, but also let you put vinyl alongside CD and high-resolution digital files so you can compare and contrast for yourself. There's nowhere better to try them yourself and find the perfect turntable for your home.

Experience RoomExperience Room