The Best Vinyl Accessories For Beginners - Turntable Kitchen
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The Best Vinyl Accessories For Beginners

Lead image for a post about the best accessories for a record player
The crackle of the needle, the warm embrace of analog sound – vinyl offers a unique listening experience unmatched by digital formats. But to truly unlock its magic, having the right record player accessories is crucial. Whether you’re a seasoned audiophile or embarking on your first spin, this guide equips you with the knowledge and must-have tools to optimize your sound and protect your precious collection by highlighting the best accessories for a record player.

For the New Vinyl Voyager: Essential Starter Kit

Starting your vinyl journey? Don’t worry, even the most basic vinyl accessories for beginners can make a big difference. What’s great is that most of these tools are $25 or less – making them very affordable record player accessories for your vinyl record player. Here’s your essential starter kit:
An image of a Boundless anti-static record brush for a post about the best accessories for a record player
  • The Humble Hero: Vinyl Record Cleaning Brush: Dust and static are the enemies of a good listening experience. A best record cleaning brush for beginners is your first line of defense. Gently whisk away dust before each play to minimize pops and crackles, preserving your audio quality and your records. Look for soft, non-abrasive brushes with carbon fiber bristles for effective cleaning without damaging your grooves. We recommend the super affordable Boundless Audio Record Cleaner Brush which is available on Amazon.

An image of vinyl record inner sleeves for a post about the best accessories for a record player
  • Shielding Your Treasures: Protective Outer Sleeves: Think of these as little suits of armor for your precious vinyl. I store every record in my collection in an outer sleeve. You can get 100 of them for around $25 so it is worth it to invest in high-quality, affordable inner sleeves for vinyl records. Acid-free and anti-static options offer the best protection, shielding your records from dust, scratches, and ringwear. By keeping the records from getting dirty, they’ll even help improve the sound quality of your every day listening experience. Remember, prevention is key, and these affordable investments will ensure your collection stays pristine for years to come. We use the Invest In Vinyl Clear Plastic Sleeves which are available on Amazon.

An image of a Boundless recording cleaning kit with record cleaning solution for a post about the best accessories for a record player
  • Beyond the Brush: Cleaning Solution for Deeper Cleans: While the brush tackles surface dust, sometimes your records need a deeper clean – particularly if you have any old records in your collection. A gentle cleaning solution, specifically formulated for vinyl, paired with your brush, can remove stubborn grime and dust, further enhancing your audio experience. Opt for solutions that are alcohol-free and non-abrasive to avoid damaging your records. There are plenty of options out there but we really like the Boundless kit which includes solution, a stylus brush, and a brush. You can get it on Amazon.

  • Grounding the Sound: Turntable Mat for Enhanced Clarity: Even a minor upgrade like a turntable mat can make a surprising difference. These mats, typically made from cork, felt, or rubber, help dampen vibrations from your turntable, leading to improved sound clarity and reduced resonance. Experiment with different materials to find the one that best suits your setup and sonic preferences. Personally, we’ve had great experience with cork mats and I’m happy to recommend this one from Hudson Hi-Fi that you can buy on Amazon.

  • Setting the Force: Stylus Force Gauge for Optimal Tracking: This unsung hero ensures optimal tracking and protects your records. A stylus force gauge is an affordable tool that helps you set the correct tracking force for your specific cartridge. This crucial step maximizes sound quality and minimizes record wear, preventing costly damage over time. You can pick one up for cheap from Amazon.

Beyond the Basics: Fine-Tuning for the Discerning Ear

Ready to take your vinyl experience to the next level? Even on a budget, these affordable accessories for audiophiles can elevate your listening:
  • Anti-Static Inner Sleeves: Go the Extra Mile: Upgrade your basic inner sleeves with anti-static options. These offer superior dust protection and significantly reduce static discharge, a major cause of pops and clicks. The investment is small, but the improvement in sound quality can be noticeable making them one of the best accessories for a record player you can score. We recommend the Invest In Vinyl inner sleeves you can pick up for cheap on Amazon.

  • Sharpening the Sound: Upgraded Stylus for Detail Retrieval: Consider investing in a higher-quality stylus. This “needle” plays a crucial role in sound reproduction, and a better stylus can extract more detail and sharpness from your records, offering a richer listening experience. Which stylus is the best upgrade for you will obviously depend on which stylus you already have. As one example, if you’re using a U-Turn Orbit like the one we recommend in our Best Record Players guide, you may want to consider the Ortofon 2M Blue Moving Magnet Cartridge which is available on Amazon.

  • Unlocking Potential: External Phono Preamp for Boosted Signal: Many turntables lack built-in preamps, which amplify the weak signal from the cartridge. Adding an external phono preamp boosts the signal strength and improves sound quality, especially noticeable with budget turntables. Research options with features like adjustable gain and built-in equalization for a tailored listening experience. The Fosi Audio Box sure looks pretty and has great reviews on Amazon.

  • Quieting the Rumble: Isolation Feet for Reduced Vibrations: External vibrations can negatively impact sound quality. In fact, you may find that simply walking past your turntable can make it skip (we had that experience with our Pro-Ject Classic turntable). Vibration-dampening isolation feet help decouple your turntable from the surface, minimizing unwanted vibrations and leading to a cleaner, more focused sound. Explore different materials like cork, rubber, or even spring-loaded designs to find the best fit for your setup. These rubber isolation feet on Amazon are both cheap and effective.
  • Start Small, Upgrade Gradually: Don’t feel pressured to buy everything at once. Start with the essentials and gradually upgrade as your needs and budget evolve.
  • Maintenance is Key: Regularly clean and maintain your accessories for optimal performance. A clean brush and well-maintained stylus will ensure your records and your investment last for years to come. Be sure to check out our guide on How To Clean Vinyl Records for more info.
**With the right record player accessories, you can unlock the full potential of your vinyl collection and embark on a journey of richer, warmer, and more immersive listening experiences. Remember, the path to vinyl nirvana is paved with the right tools.
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