How do you play vintage records?

Answered by Ricardo McCardle

Playing vintage records can be a nostalgic and enjoyable experience. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to play them:

1. Gently pull the record from its sleeve: Carefully remove the record from its sleeve, making sure not to touch the grooves. Oils and dirt from your fingers can damage the record and affect the sound quality.

2. Place the record on the platter: Locate the platter on your turntable and ensure that it is clean and free from dust. Place the record on the platter, aligning the center hole with the spindle. The record should sit flat and centered on the platter.

3. Adjust the speed: Vintage records usually come in different speeds, such as 33 1/3, 45, or 78 RPM (revolutions per minute). Make sure your turntable is set to the correct speed for the record you are about to play. Most modern turntables have a switch or button to adjust the speed.

4. Check the cue lever: Some turntables have a cue lever that allows you to lift and lower the tonearm. Before lowering the tonearm, make sure the cue lever is in the raised position. This prevents the needle from accidentally scratching the record when you lower it.

5. Position the tonearm: Gently move the tonearm over the record. The tonearm should be parallel to the grooves of the record. If your turntable has an anti-skate control, adjust it according to the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure the tonearm stays in the groove properly.

6. Lower the tonearm: Once the tonearm is correctly positioned, slowly lower it onto the record. Be careful not to drop it or let it slam onto the surface. The needle should make contact with the record and start playing.

7. Enjoy the music: Once the needle is in contact with the record, you can sit back and enjoy the music. Adjust the volume and tone controls on your amplifier or receiver to your preference.

It is important to note that playing vintage records requires proper care and maintenance. Clean your records regularly with a record brush or cleaning solution to remove dust and dirt. Also, ensure that your turntable’s stylus (needle) is in good condition and replace it when necessary to avoid damaging your records.

Remember, playing vinyl records can be a delicate process, but with a little practice and care, you can enjoy the unique sound and experience that vintage records offer.