Posted on June 04 2016
1. Dry clean your vinyl before each play.
For real. This is an easy one. Just do it. Even brand new, just unsealed, records can be dusty from the factory. By removing any debris before playing a record, you'll minimizes the pops, while preserving the life of your stylus.
2. "Store your vinyl upright, not in a stack."
People are going to say this to you. The science on this is lacking, but it's still advice worth following. In theory, records stacked on a perfectly flat surface will age without warping. But is it worth the risk? Get a milk crate until something better comes along. We built one of these!
3. Some records look worse than they sound.
Don't leave behind a record you want just because it looks beat. You should aim to become a scholar of scuffs and scratches. You need to learn how to eyeball what an acceptable sounding scratch looks like. Go buy a few rough, but playable, records at a thrift store and study the damage. That scuff on Side 2 may just be a light pop!
4. Maintaining your turntable isn't very difficult.
Aligning a cartridge and replacing RCA cables may seem like something you can't do, but that's what how-to guides, and a deep breaths are for. The knowledge and confidence you gain from the first job will carry you through the rest. Trust us, 10 years ago, we didn't own a soldering iron.
5. Collecting is a long game.
If you want a record and it seems too pricey, just wait. If you plan to collect for the next 5, 10, or 20 years, trust that another opportunity to buy that record lies somewhere down the line. Recently, a friend of ours picked up an original pressing of OK Computer for cheap while vacationing in Japan. He wasn't out looking for it the day he found his Holy Grail.