A turntable of a decent quality can’t automatically guarantee the sound of the highest quality. There do many other things to consider. To get the clearest turntable sound, you can try many different methods: from buying new speakers to just changing their positioning. Under each case, you should be aware of the most basic ways on how to do so.
1. Choose the most suitable speakers. | Clearest Turntable Sound
Choosing speakers for your vinyl player, you get a choice between bookshelf speakers and tower (floor-standing) speakers. For a more powerful and loud sound, you should choose floor-standers. However, if you don’t feel like dedicating a lot of space to the speakers, you definitely will be satisfied more with bookshelf speakers.
It would help if you also didn’t forget about the room size. The sound of small bookshelf speakers will get lost in a large space.
In general, each bookshelf speaker contains such inner components as midbass for middle and low frequencies and a tweeter for high frequencies. The floorstanders can offer more in this aspect: they have a separate driver (woofer) for bass handling also, midrange frequencies to sound much better through the tower speakers.
The floor-standing speakers have another advantage: they let out a greater output, making the sound louder and the low-end more pronounced.
However, tower speakers usually don’t have an integrated preamp, so most of them are passive. Or course, some models have an inbuilt preamp, but, as usual, their cost is very high.
In the case with bookshelf speakers, as they are intended to provide compactness, most of them are active since they have a preamp added in their construction.
2. Passive or Active? | Clearest Turntable Sound
Passive speakers can’t work out the turntable’s weak signal. This is due to the absence of a built-in amplifier. This means that you will need an AV receiver with an integrated amplifier or a separate amp.
This will increase the cost of your turntable audio system. However, a separate amplifier also offers many advantages, like upgrading and tweaking the overall sounding of your speakers.
Active speakers work as a great plug-and-play solution. You can connect them to a turntable and start listening to music straight after. This is very convenient and requires less budget. However, such speakers are usually designed to produce a simple sound.
3. Position your speakers in a proper way | Clearest Turntable Sound
The sound of speakers depends not only on their quality but on their correct placement as well. The improper positioning may negate the advantages of the most expensive equipment, while the correct one can push to the limit all the positive qualities of budget speakers.
If you need a truly clear sound, you need to be careful when placing the speakers and follow some rules.
Ideally, the sound wave must reach the listener before it bounces off the surface or objects. This way, the speakers must be installed on the short side of the room and turned to the listener at an angle of approximately 30°.
If the room is significantly elongated, the speakers will be better to place along a long wall. This will allow avoiding an excessive emphasis on bass, ringing, and rumble. The front speakers must be placed close to the equilateral triangle with the listener’s seat.
It’s not recommended to place the speakers in the room’s corners, although it seems to be the most convenient solution. Such an arrangement contributes to the appearance of significant phase distortion (echo) and strong standing waves.
It would help if you also didn’t place speakers to close to the wall as this will boost the low frequencies, and the sound won’t be balanced.
Many manufacturers provide some instructions on how to place the speakers in their user’s manuals. However, if you have limited space, you may not be able to follow those instructions. In this situation, you will have to dedicate some time to balance settings.
That would ease if you also weren’t afraid to experiment. Different people like different sounding and experiments with the speaker’s positioning will help you find your perfect one.