The best turntable accessories for Record Store Day 2024

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn more ›

Record Store Day 2024 is this coming Saturday, April 20, and to enjoy your limited-edition slabs of wax to their fullest, you’ll need a few accessories. (If you need help finding the right turntable, we have recommendations, too.) Add-ons for your record player typically fall into a couple of categories: maintenance and audio fidelity improvements. The former will keep your treasured grooves in tip-top shape to avoid creating scratches that can result in unwanted clicks and pops. The latter are components to add to your analog audio system to help your albums sound their best. Having a few turntable accessories from both categories will ensure your vinyl gives you maximum enjoyment for a lifetime—if not multiple lifetimes.

Best powered speakers: Klipsch the Nines

The Nines topped our list of the best turntable speakers, and they’re an incredible upgrade for turntable owners looking for an audiophile-grade all-in-one system. In our full review, our author praised The Nines for the presence of an internal preamp, which will allow you to quickly plug any turntable with a moving magnet cartridge into it. Many modern turntables come with a built-in preamp, but older models and lots of high-end record players don’t. Using an external preamp will always yield better results, but it’s nice to be able to use The Nines with a turntable out of the box. Additionally, The Nines have a grounding peg for your turntable’s RCA cables.

The Nines are stacked on the audio hardware side: Each speaker has an eight-inch long-throw woofer, one-inch tweeter, custom DSP, and an amp that delivers up to 480 watts of power. In addition to a turntable function, The Nines supports native playback of 24-bit digital audio files up to 192kHz when connected to a source using its optical audio or USB port. Yes, you can connect The Nines directly to a computer using the included USB-B to USB-A cable or optionally pick up a USB-B to USB-C cable, depending on your computer’s ports. The Nines also sport an HDMI port to use them as home theater speakers with a television.

This versatility makes The NInes’ $1,499 price tag easier to justify. You can use them as a pair of incredible speakers for your turntable while pulling double or even triple duty as the Bluetooth wireless audio system and home theater setup in a living room. Just make sure you have enough space for the speakers because at 19 inches tall and 13.38 inches wide, you’ll need a fairly large entertainment center.

Best preamp: Cambridge Audio Alva Solo

A phono preamp sits between your turntable and amplifier (or powered speakers) and boosts its signal so that you’ll be able to actually hear your music. Cambridge Audio’s Alva Solo works with turntables outfitted with moving magnet cartridges, and we like it for both its understated look and powerful features. Its all-aluminum enclosure houses a 10-watt preamp with 39dB of gain, RIAA equalization, and a built-in subsonic filter that can reduce the sound of some subtle sonic imperfections from your albums. Critically, the Alva Solo’s power supply is built inside its relatively svelte box, so you can connect it to the wall with a single clean cable. The preamp’s relatively small footprint (just under seven inches wide and two inches tall) means it’ll fit in any turntable setup, either beside or below your deck. Our favorite touch is that Cambridge Audio labeled each input and output above and below the RCA jacks, so you can easily identify them if you’re looking at them upside down (aka from in front of the equipment).

Best record weight: Andover Record Damping Weight

The purpose of a record weight is to help keep vinyl from moving vertically as it spins around; even a visually imperceptible amount of movement can cause distortion. Andover’s Record Damping Weight weighs 9.35 ounces and fits right on top of your vinyl’s label, with a cutout that fits over the turntable’s spindle. The company says using this weight can result in less distortion, improved dynamics, righter bass, and a deeper sound stage, among other benefits.

Best record cleaner: Spin-Clean Record Washer Complete Kit

If we could only recommend one vinyl maintenance tool, it’d be this record-washing kit from Spin Clean. Here’s how it works: the spin clean’s basin gets filled with a mixture of water and the included record cleaning solution, at which point you submerge your album inside. The water only gets high enough to reach the innermost groove, so your vinyl’s label won’t get damaged. Once it’s submerged, you’ll physically rotate the vinyl clockwise a few times. Soft brushes on the inside of the spin clean will get the gunk out of your record’s grooves, which can reduce the album’s surface noise and the number of clicks and pops you’ll hear. Once it’s been cleaned, wipe off your album with the included cleaning cloth. It won’t turn your VG- mono copy of The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society into an NM-sounding album, but the difference will be noticeable.

Best turntable slipmat: Pro Spin Cork Turntable Mat

Static buildup is one of the reasons you’ll hear clicks and pops on your albums, but you can eliminate this issue by switching to a cork turntable mat instead of using the felt mat that comes with most record players. There’s no increased risk of scratching your albums using a cork mat, and you’ll ensure the grooves of your records won’t accumulate stray stands of felt in them. This cork turntable mat from Pro Spin was designed to fit both 12-inch and 7-inch vinyl and is thick enough to absorb a few stray vibrations to reduce overall distortion.

Best record brush: Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs Anti-Static Record Brush

Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab

SEE IT

Another way to reduce static clicks and pops from your albums is using an anti-static brush like this one from Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs each time you play a record. Its fine plastic bristles will clean your album’s grooves while removing static simultaneously. To use this brush most effectively, start your turntable and gently place the brush’s bristles over your spinning record. Repeat this process each time you flip the album for the best results.

Best turntable cartridge: Ortofon 2M Bronze Moving Magnet Cartridge

If you’re using a turntable that lets you upgrade its cartridge, we highly recommend stepping up to the Ortofon 2M Bronze moving magnet cartridge to get the most out of your record collection. It’s a level up from the already excellent Ortofon 2M Red and 2M Blue (found on excellent turntables like the Fluance RT85, which our reviewer loved). Its Nude fine line diamond-tipped stylus was specifically cut to a profile optimized to stay inside the groove of a record even if it’s wobbling a little bit, and it uses split pole technology to send a clean signal from the needle to the tone arm using a copper wire. The Dutch-made cartridge we’re recommending has been premounted, which means it can plug directly into the tone arm of a record player rather than requiring you to futz with removing and replacing an entire needle. A turntable’s needle is the literal point of contact between your vinyl and the rest of your audio system. A weak or lackluster signal cannot be improved as it moves through your chain, so having a strong piece of hardware right up front is the best way to ensure you get the best possible sound from your albums.

Best power conditioner: WAudio AC Power Filter Power Conditioner

If you’re incredibly sensitive to any noise when listening to a new or mint album, turn to WAudio’s AC Power Filter Power Conditioner. The truth is that some noise can come from the quality of the electricity coming from your wall due to old or low gauge wiring. You can eliminate this by plugging your turntable (and other audio accessories) into a power conditioner, which will pick up and eliminate this noise before it hits your system. WAudio says its power conditioner can restrain interference above 1kHz and will up to 10dB of digital noise between 2MHz and 100MHz. This power conditioner has 10 outlets—six of which are filtered—and also provides overload and voltage protection to avoid electrical spikes from damaging your equipment.

Best vinyl subscription: Vinyl Me, Please

So, you got the taste for premium pressings of classic albums but don’t want to wait till the next RSD to flesh out your collection. Well, look no further than Vinyl Me, Please. The site allows you to join a “club” and will send you one LP per month. Clubs are broken down by genre (country, hip-hop, rock) plus essentials (covering soul, blues, and jazz) and a generalist essentials option for listeners who want a little bit of everything. A subscription costs $46 per month, with discounts if you subscribe for three, six, or 12 months. Albums and box sets are also available a la carte for varying prices. Finding original pressings of albums in near-mint quality can be difficult, and Vinyl Me, Please takes the hassle out of crate digging with the hopes of striking gold.


[colabot4]

Leave a Comment