So you’ve got a great turntable that won’t ruin your records, and got yourself some vinyl records. What now?
Here are some essential accessories that every record collector should have. This list does not include cleaning equipment, which you will need if you have used records in your collection. This list will focus on the bare minimum, absolutely essential accessories that every record collector should own. They will help keep your records and turntable in good shape.
- A record cleaning brush
Records pick up dust, even when they’re in their sleeves, so it’s always good practice to give the record a pass over with this brush while it spins on the turntable before you put the needle down. It will help to pick up dust that could get lodged into the grooves by the needle, which could cause some damage to both the record and the needle.
2. A stylus brush or a Magic Eraser
Even if you use the record brush on every single record before playing, your stylus is bound to pick up a few strands of dust. Dust on the needle can cause affect the sound quality while the record is playing and may cause long-term damage to records with repeated plays. It’s recommended to give your stylus a brush if you notice any dust on the end of it. Remember, the stylus is a very delicate piece of equipment and you should only brush from the back to the front of the cartridge (in the same way the record turns and passes under the stylus from behind) and never side to side, which may cause the stylus to bend beyond repair. If using a Magic Eraser it should be good enough just to lower the stylus onto the eraser and lifting it up again. All the dust should remain behind.
3. Record outer sleeves
If you’re keeping your vinyl records on a shelf or in a box where they can rub up against each other when you take them out, you’re going to want some outer sleeves. This will protect your record sleeves from scuff marks and keep them in mint condition long into the future. You can get them in packs of 100, which seems excessive, but once your collection gets going you’ll wish you had bought more.
Always use polyethene sleeves. PVC ones may look nice and thick but they are made of the same material as vinyl records and may fuse to the record through the cardboard sleeve.