How To Set Up Turntable

A turntable is a platform that rotates the phonographic record and transforms the carved codes of music into

A turntable is a platform that rotates the phonographic record and transforms the carved codes of music into electrical signals. These signals are then further converted into a sound medium through an external conversion device such as an electronic amplifier and speakers, which are not part of the turntable. But before being fed into the amplifier, the preamp must first prepare these signals. This completes the conversion process, and you can finally hear the sound of music from the device. A needle called a "stylus" makes contact with the record, and the speed selector decides the rotation speed, mainly measured in RPMs. If you don’t know how to set up a turntable, follow the steps below. This sequence of steps will allow for a detailed setup of the turntable.

How to Set Up a Turntable


The first and foremost thing to know is that it is a very sensitive device with microscopic processes. So, the first thing you need to do is to put your turntable on something very rigid and strong.

Secondly, make sure that it is horizontally leveled. A level instrument can do this. If your record already has leveling feet, then use them. Otherwise, ensure the surface on which it is placed is perfectly leveled. And since you are four feet from the device, it is recommended that you check the level from every one of the four sides and, most importantly, from the center to the stylist.

Stylist setup

The next thing is to set up the stylist pressure. This means you must calibrate the amount of pressure the needle will exert on the record grooves. The screw calibrator does this at the end of the tonearm, which has calibration measurements. First, rotate the calibrator from the farther end just enough that the tonearm is leveled straight. Once done, rotate the front end where the measurements are carved. The value to which this needs to be turned is the same as the weight of the cartridge.

Anti-skating setup

The next step is to set the anti-skating value. What happens is that the turn arm acquires a tendency to get pulled toward the center while the record is spinning. So there is a mechanism designed to counteract this pull called the anti-skating mechanism. It has a knob with measurements near the rear end of the turn arm. The general rule for this setup is to set the same value for it as for the cartridge weight. However, this is not a hard and fast rule. If this method does not give a good-quality sound, then you need to use a hit-and-trial method and rely on your hearing to adjust for the best sound quality by changing it by small amounts and checking for quality.

Cartridge alignment

The final, most crucial step is setting up the cartridge. Ensure the wiring is correct and all the wires go into their designated slots of positive/negative and left/right. After this is done, you must tighten the two screws on the headshell just enough to perfectly align the cartridge with the record. Do not tighten up the screws all the way. The aligning is done using a protractor, a set of measured lines in the form of a specific pattern. You can print this pattern onto a paper piece while considering the correct print size. Place one end of the protractor and pin it to the system's centerpiece, so the paper is free to rotate. Now connect the protractor to the turn arm and place it on the protractor. It must be in line with the mainline drawn on the protractor in both patterns. If it is offset on any one of the patterns, then readjust the screws and check again. Keep doing it until both patterns have the cartridge in line.

You are now all set to play your music on the turntable.