Are you a music lover looking for a new project to tackle?
Why not try building your own turntable?
Whether you’re a seasoned DIYer or just starting out, building a turntable can be a fun and rewarding experience.
Plus, it allows you to customize your setup to your exact specifications.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps of building your own turntable, from assembling the tonearm to wiring the speakers.
So grab your tools and let’s get started!
How To Build A Turntable
Step 1: Gather Materials
Before you begin, you’ll need to gather all the necessary materials. This includes plywood, ring-shaped magnets, a record player needle, wires, a small amp, a power source, and speakers. You’ll also need tools such as a saw, clamps, and a power drill.
Step 2: Build the Plinth
The plinth is the base of your turntable and can be fully customized to your liking. Using your saw, cut the plywood to the desired size and shape for your plinth.
Step 3: Assemble the Tonearm
To assemble the tonearm, connect one dowel to another dowel that is placed perpendicularly to the first. Use ring-shaped magnets to allow the arm to move freely. Place the record player’s needle on the end of the tonearm.
Step 4: Wire the Right and Left Sides
Next, wire the right and left sides of your turntable. Connect the positive right wire to the amp on the right side and the left wire to the amp on the left. Connect both negatives to the ground for the amp.
Step 5: Connect to Power Source and Speakers
Finally, connect your amp to a power source and a couple of speakers. Make sure everything is securely connected before turning on your turntable.
Gathering The Materials And Tools
The first step in building a turntable is to gather all the necessary materials and tools. For materials, you’ll need plywood, ring-shaped magnets, a record player needle, wires, a small amp, a power source, and speakers. It’s important to make sure you have all of these materials before starting the project.
In addition to materials, you’ll also need some tools to build your turntable. These include a saw for cutting the plywood for your plinth, clamps to hold pieces in place while you work on them, and a power drill for making holes where needed.
It’s important to ensure that all of your tools are in good working order before starting the project. This will help you avoid any unnecessary delays or complications during the construction process.
Once you have all of your materials and tools ready, you can move on to building your turntable. The next step is to build the plinth, which is the base of your turntable and can be fully customized to your liking. From there, you’ll assemble the tonearm and wire the right and left sides before connecting everything to a power source and speakers.
By following these steps and gathering all necessary materials and tools beforehand, you can successfully build your own turntable and enjoy the lush sounds vibrating from your device.
Wiring The Turntable
If your turntable has a USB output, you can easily connect it directly to your computer. However, if you’re not using a USB output, you’ll need an adaptor to input into your computer’s audio input, which is usually an 1/8″ headphone style input.
To wire the turntable, start by making the proper connection between your turntable and computer. Once connected, go to your computer’s preferences and assign the proper input and output.
Next, it’s time to wire the right and left sides of your turntable. Connect the positive right wire to the amp on the right side and the left wire to the amp on the left. Connect both negatives to the ground for the amp.
It’s important to ensure that all wires are properly connected and secured before turning on your turntable. Once everything is connected, turn on your amp and enjoy your newly built turntable.
Setting Up And Testing The Turntable
Once your turntable is assembled, it’s time to set it up and test it out.
Step 1: Find a Stable Surface
Place your turntable on a sturdy, level surface. If your furniture isn’t solid, consider using cheap isolation feet to dampen any unwanted vibration. You may also want to use a platter mat for extra noise dampening.
Step 2: Balance the Tonearm
Balancing the tonearm is the trickiest and most important part of setup. Read the instructions carefully and follow these basic steps. Attach the belt and place the platter on the spindle. Attach the headshell and install the counterweight on the back end of the tonearm. Set the anti-skate dial to 0. While gently supporting the headshell, move the tonearm into position above the platter. Adjust the counterweight until the tonearm can float on its own, parallel to the surface of the platter with a tracking weight of 0g. Set the arm tracking weight dial to 0 and rotate the whole counterweight to the correct tracking force as specified in the manufacturer instructions. Finally, lock the tonearm back into its rest and adjust the anti-skate dial to match the tracking weight.
Step 3: Hook Up Your Cables
Refer to your instructions for guidance on hooking up your cables. There’s usually a diagram to tell you what goes where, which can be especially useful if you’re hooking up a separate pre-amp for the first time.
Step 4: Choose Your Speed
Make sure you select the correct speed for the record you’re playing. For most 12-inch records, you’ll need 33 RPM, while most 7-inch discs play at 45 RPM. Some older 10-inch records play at 78 RPM, which only three-speed turntables can play.
Step 5: Level Your Table
To ensure that your records are spinning correctly, level your table on both the X and Y axis using a level. Adjust each axis until the table reads level in both directions.
Step 6: Test Your Turntable
Once everything is set up, it’s time to test your turntable! Place a record on the platter and give it a spin. Listen for any unwanted noise or distortion and adjust as necessary. Enjoy your new turntable and happy listening!