Vinyl records have made a comeback in recent years, and with their resurgence comes questions about how to properly care for them.
One common question is whether it’s safe to leave a record on the turntable. While it may seem convenient to leave your favorite album on the turntable for easy access, there are potential risks involved.
In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of leaving a record on the turntable and provide tips for proper record care.
So, sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of vinyl record maintenance.
Can You Leave A Record On The Turntable
The short answer is yes, you can leave a record on the turntable. However, there are some things to consider before doing so.
Firstly, leaving a record on the turntable for an extended period of time can expose it to more dust and debris. While most turntables come with a dust cover, it’s not foolproof and some dust may still find its way onto the record. This can affect the sound quality and potentially damage the grooves over time.
Secondly, leaving a record on the turntable can also put unnecessary strain on the stylus or needle. If the stylus gets stuck in one spot, it can cause the record to loop in that same spot and potentially damage it. Additionally, if the stylus arm gets stuck partway on the return, it can repeatedly try to get back into position and damage the needle, gears, and other internal components of the turntable.
Lastly, leaving a record on the turntable for an extended period of time can also pose a fire hazard. Older turntables may overheat if left running for too long, which can be dangerous.
The Risks Of Leaving A Record On The Turntable
Leaving a record on the turntable for an extended period of time can lead to several risks. The stylus or needle can potentially damage the record by looping in the same spot overnight, causing scratches and scuff marks on the grooves. This can significantly reduce the quality and life of your records over time.
Moreover, leaving a record on the turntable can damage the internal mechanisms of the turntable, especially in older models with outdated wiring. If left running all night, these turntables may overheat and pose a fire hazard.
It’s important to note that while leaving a record on the turntable overnight once or twice may not cause any harm, doing so regularly can lead to these risks. Therefore, it’s advisable to avoid leaving a record on the turntable for extended periods of time and remove it once you’re done listening to it.
To prevent any potential damage to your records or turntable, it’s recommended to handle them with care. Always open the sleeve wide enough to reduce contact with the record and gently feed the disc in without touching the grooves. Additionally, cueing the record properly using the record player’s cueing lever and waiting for the turntable platter to come to a stop before removing the vinyl can also prevent scratches and damage. Finally, always place the tonearm back into its appointed resting place and never leave it resting on the vinyl, as this can apply pressure to the grooves and cause serious damage.
The Pros Of Leaving A Record On The Turntable
While there are some potential drawbacks to leaving a record on the turntable, there are also some benefits to doing so.
One advantage is convenience. If you plan on listening to the same record multiple times in a short period, it can be easier to just leave it on the turntable rather than constantly taking it off and putting it back on. This is especially true if your turntable is in a separate room from where you typically store your records.
Another benefit is that leaving a record on the turntable can help prevent damage from handling. Every time you take a record out of its sleeve and put it on the turntable, there is a chance that you could accidentally scratch or damage it. By leaving it on the turntable, you can minimize this risk.
Additionally, some audiophiles believe that leaving a record on the turntable can actually improve the sound quality over time. The theory is that the weight of the stylus pressing down on the grooves can help “settle” them and improve the overall sound.
Proper Record Care Tips
To properly care for your records and turntable, it’s important to follow some basic tips:
1. Clean your records regularly: As mentioned earlier, vinyl records create static electricity that attracts dust, dirt, and debris. This can affect the sound quality and potentially damage the grooves over time. To prevent this, use a carbon fiber brush to clean your vinyl before and after every play. For a deeper clean, use a mixture of record cleaning fluid and water with a microfiber cloth.
2. Clean your stylus regularly: Styluses get dirty by picking up dirt from your records, which can build up if you spin vinyl regularly. To avoid damage to the stylus or needle, use a stylus cleaner to swipe away any lingering dust and dirt.
3. Store your records properly: Always store your records upright in a sturdy box or crate, or on solid shelves designed to support a great deal of weight. Records are heavy! Avoid stacking them horizontally or letting them lean as this can lead to warping over time.
4. Store your turntable properly: When not in use, always cover your turntable with a dust cover to protect it from dust and debris. Additionally, avoid leaving it on for extended periods of time as this can pose a fire hazard.
By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your records and turntable are properly cared for and will provide you with years of enjoyment.
When To Remove A Record From The Turntable
When it comes to removing a record from the turntable, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure the longevity of your vinyl and turntable. Firstly, always make sure the platter is not spinning and the record player is either off or in rest mode before attempting to remove the record. Attempting to remove a record while the platter is still spinning can cause scratches and damage to the vinyl.
To properly remove a record from the turntable, use both hands to lift it up from either side with your palms facing the non-playing edge of the disc. Put a small amount of pressure on the side of the record and lift it up. Now that the record is in your hands, you can get it back into its sleeve.
It’s important to note that cueing the record improperly can also lead to damage. To cue the record properly, use the record player’s cueing lever which is specifically designed to ensure that the stylus is picked up or dropped onto the record gently. Additionally, avoid picking up the vinyl record before you have waited for the turntable platter to come to a stop. This will prevent scratching of the vinyl and ensure that your records remain in pristine condition.