Vinyl record player setup for beginners

This guide will help you set up your vinyl record player or turntable for the first time

Andrew Macrae
7 min readMay 9, 2020
Photo by Juliane Mergener on Unsplash

Before you play any of those new, sealed vinyl records with your record player, use this simple guide to setting up your turntable.

A record player is a very sensitive instrument, and even small inaccuracies in setup can have a big impact on the overall sound.

I’m assuming that you have a working turntable, and that your amplifier either has a dedicated phono channel, or you’re using a standalone phono preamp into your amp’s auxiliary channel.

There are three main things you need to do to set up your record player:

  • position and level your record player
  • set the stylus pressure
  • align the cartridge.

Some terminology

First, some definitions so we’re all on the same page.

  • I use the words turntable and record player interchangeably.
  • The stylus or needle is the tiny, delicate point that sits on the surface of the record as it spins. It picks up vibrations from the groove and transmits them…



Andrew Macrae

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