Turntable Basics

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The complete website for turntable maintenance, adjustment and performance!!

Our mission is to serve record collectors with essential accessories to keep the vinyl sounding right.
The Vinyl LP is the original, and still the best, high-definition, full frequency, full range recording format.


Ordering is through the shopping cart, whether you want to use a credit card or the send a check with the printable order form for mail-in orders. You can also fax your order form to 1-800-330-0592.
Last Updated October 30, 2013.

Advice Page!


Phono Cartridge Alignment Tool. $20

Turntable Basics has made the best cartridge alignment tool possible.

An essential tool for installing any phono cartridge. Obtaining correct overhang length and alignment is essential to obtaining proper audio reproduction, and avoiding unnecessary record and stylus damage. This is a precision job and cannot be done by eye alone.

Based on long-accepted alignment geometry, but superbly executed, this alignment tool has a combination of features not available anywhere else. It is also the easiest to use.

The mirrored surface makes all measurements easier and more accurate. The mirror's parallax effect allows the elimination of sighting errors, and provides better lighting, critical in making fine adjustments on small parts. The two null points on the alignment tool are surrounded by concentric squares instead of a grid, so that the user will be measuring the cartridge body's lineup against parallel lines at each edge.

Finally, the horizontal sight-line, which is to be pointed at the pivot point of the tonearm when measuring alignment in the outer grid, ensures correct overhang length on any tonearm, irrespective of its effective length. There is an inverse relationship between the effective length of the tonearm and the optimal offset angle of the headshell.

Regardless of effective length, the two "null points," at which the stylus should be perfectly tangent to the groove, are the same. A properly designed and mounted tonearm will allow the cartridge to line up properly in both grids.

Complete instructions are included. They cover:

  • levelling the turntable
  • adjusting vertical tracking angle

  • calibrating and adjusting the tracking weight

  • setting overhang length

  • adjusting the tracking angle

  • checking and adjusting azimuth

  • Because some turntable models (Empire, Garrard, Thorens, Acoustic Research, Luxman, VPI, Systemdek, Well Tempered, Sota, Music Hall) have larger spindles, this alignment tool is available with either a standard or oversized spindle hole. All other brands of turntable will take the standard spindle hole.

    Standard Spindle Hole (0.282 inches/7.163 mm)

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    Oversized Spindle Hole (0.288 inches/7.315 mm)

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    Carbon Fiber Record Brush. $12.00

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    This Anti-Static Record Brush is essential equipment. It has over one million tiny carbon fibers which go deep into the record groove and remove stubborn dust particles. Its body has a copper wire grounding system to eliminate static buildup. For best results, ground your body to the stereo system by holding one hand on the turntable deckplate while sweeping the record. It is a dry brush only; do not use it with cleaning fluid. Hold the brush at an 85 degree angle from the record surface to gently sweep away daily dust. The brush's body has a rib in the frame for cleaning off the bristle ends.


    Record and Stylus Cleaners

    Record Cleaning Fluid, Cloths and Kits; Stylus Cleaning Fluid and Brushes

    Click Here For The Complete Selection


    Cartridge and Stylus Page
    Click here for the complete selection of cartridges and Needles

    Featured Cartridge: Audio-Technica AT311EP

    p-mount w/half-inch adapter
    Stylus: Biradial, elliptical nude diamond .3 mil x .7 mil
    Tracking Weight: 1.0-1.5 grams
    Response: 15 Hz- 27 kHz
    Output: 5.0 mV RMS
    Channel Separation: 29 dB @ 1 kHz; 18 dB @ 10 kHz
    Channel Balance: 1.25 dB
    Cantilever: Tapered alloy tube
    Load Impedance: 47,000 Ohms
    Load Capactiance: 100-200 pF

    In Stock $50.00

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    You will need a phono cartridge alignment tool to install this, or any cartridge correctly. Running any cartridge that is not aligned correctly will damage the needle and your records, and sound poorly. Cartridge performance is also determined by the quality of the turntable, tonearm, foundation, wiring and amplifiers. If a turntable is having problems with excessive rumble, improperly mounted tonearm etc, then any cartridge mounted on it would sound poor as a result.

    Click here for the complete selection of cartridges and Needles


    Silicone Damping Fluid for Tonearm Cueing Mechanisms, Damping Troughs, and Monopivots. $10.00

    10cc, packaged in a plastic syringe for easy application. Restore the original smooth operation of your tonearm! For Cueing mechanisms, 300,000 cSt is best. For tonearm damping troughs, 10,000 cSt, 30,000 cSt and 100,000 cSt are available. For monopivot damping wells, 600,000 cSt is appropriate.

    Click Here For The Complete Silicone Selection


    Turntable Belts

    Turntable Basics is happy to offer a complete selection of replacement belts for your turntable. As belts age and wear, they dry out, stretch and lose tension and friction, causing slippage and speed irregularities in your turntable. These replacement belts are new, individually sealed for long shelf life and made in the USA. The belt part numbers indicate their circumference in inches, i. e. FM 23.2 measures 23.2 inches all the way around. This measurement is made with the belt unstretched. If your turntable is not listed, you can measure the existing belt. Mark your starting point with a paperclip for accuracy. Remember that a belt will stretch by 3 to 5 percent during its life. If your turntable currently has no belt, then measure the belt path with a piece of string tied in a slipknot. Contact us at tim@turntablebasics.com prior to ordering or just mention in the notes section of the order form that you have an unlisted turntable. We'll send out a few belts in the range of your measurements and let you see which works best, and then send back the others. We also have a wide selection of belts for cassette players and other devices.

    Idler Wheel Rebuilding and pinch roller rebuilding services are also available.

    Click Here For Belt Selection Chart


    Bubble Levels $5.00

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    Ensuring that your turntable platter is perfectly level is critical to obtaining correct tracking performance. This simple, accurate bubble level is perfect for the job. It is 36mm or 1-7/16 inches in diameter. Remove the platter pad and place the level on the bare metal platter with the motor off. Place shims under the foundation as necessary to make the bubble appear in the center of the printed circles. Observe the motion of the bubble to test for wobble in the foundation. Do whatever you can to make the foundation heavy and stable, to prevent the transmission of feedback to the turntable. Quiet foundations allow enhanced detail and dynamic range in the audio signal.


    Stylus Force Gauge $15.00

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    Correct tracking force is not optional. Incorrect stylus force will damage your records as well as your stylus. Running the tracking force too low can be as damaging as running it too high. Always follow your cartridge manufacturer's specifications when adjusting tracking force.

    The stylus force gauge is a balance beam. It pivots on the two nubs that project from the bottom. It will balance at rest when the stylus force on any one of the laser-indented lines is equal to the force indicated.

    If 1.5 grams is your target weight, set the stylus on that line. If it tips the balance, then the force is too great, and you need to move the tonearm counterweight further away from the pivot and try again. If placing the stylus on the 1.5 gram line does not move the gauge, then the force is too light, and you'll want to move the tonearm counterweight closer to the pivot. When the force is exactly 1.5 grams, the gauge will be level. If you can get it off of either end but not perfectly balanced to the horizon, you're close enough. This gauge is hand-calibrated for accuracy. Ideally, this adjustment is best made with the stylus sitting at the same level as it would during playback. Either place the force gauge directly on the platter pad, or remove the platter pad and rest the force gauge on the mirrored alignment tool. The mirror will help determine when the gauge is perfectly level.


    Brushed Aluminum Headshells $10.00

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    This headshell fits all tonearms with a standard H-4 Bayonet Mount (see illustration below left). Comes with headshell wires. Cartridge mounting hardware is sold separately. Extra headshells are great to have around for spare cartridges, comparing cartridges to each other, or to have dedicated headshells for Stereo LPs, Mono LPs, and 78 RPM records.

    Black Anodized Aluminum Headshells $10.00

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    This headshell fits all tonearms with a standard H-4 Bayonet Mount (see illustration above left). Comes with headshell wires. Cartridge mounting hardware is sold separately.


    Cartridge Mounting Hardware $4.00

    Stainless steel panhead or cheesehead machine screws with nylon washers, stainless steel washers and nuts, in five sizes: 2.5 mm by 12 mm, 16 mm and 20 mm; and #3-48 by 1/2 inch, 5/8 inch and 3/4 inch.

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    Record Sleeves, Jackets and Bags

    A complete selection of paper sleeves, poly-lined sleeves, cardboard record jackets, and poly outer bags for 7 inch, 10 inch and 12 inch records.

    Click Here For The Complete Selection


    45 RPM Adapter
    25 cents each

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    Phono Stage Preamplifier
    $35.00

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    A phono stage preamplifier is required if your stereo does not have a phono input. This preamp takes the tiny signal from the phono cartridge (about 3.5 to 5.0 millivolts) and brings it up to an appropriate line level signal, which can be plugged into the auxiliary inputs of any modern stereo system, home theater or computer sound card. It also has an RIAA equalization circuit to decode the compressed signal on any LP, EP or 45 RPM record made after 1948. Works with any moving magnet cartridge; moving coil cartridges make a lower level signal and will require an additional gain stage amplifier. Moving coil cartridges are very expensive and are usually marked MC on the cartridge body.

    Unit features Left and Right RCA female type inputs and outputs, plus a stereo (TRS) 1/4" output. A ground lug is also provided for turntable grounding.

    Specifications:

  • Total Harmonic Distortion: 0.06% at -40 dBu/1 kHz
  • Signal To Noise Ratio: 68 dBu at 0 dBu, A-weighted
  • Max Input Level: -23.5 dBu at 1 kHz
  • Input Sensitivity: 5.3 mV at 1 kHz
  • Input Impedance: 47,000 Ohms
  • Gain: 35 dB
  • Maximum Output: +11.5 dBv at 1 kHz
  • Input/Output Connections: Single Ended, RCA
  • Power Requirements: 12 Volts DC, 125 mA (120 V AC power adapter included)
  • Dimensions: 1.25 in (32 mm) H x 4 in (102 mm) W x 2.5 in (64 mm) D
  • Weight: 0.4 lbs (180 g)

  • ART DJ Pre-II Phono Stage Preamplifier. $65.00

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    Perfect for plugging your turntable into a stereo with no magnetic phono inputs, or a computer soundcard. In addition to providing the required gain, this unit also adds necessary RIAA equalization to compensate for the industry standard EQ curve utilized on LPs. Includes gain control to set recording levels. If you are plugging this into a couputer sound card to record music digitally, it is recommended that you set the software input volume control at 100% and use the preamp's gain control to set the level.

    Unit features L/R RCA female type inputs and outputs, plus a stereo (TRS) 1/4" output. A ground lug is also provided for turntable grounding.

    Specifications:
  • Frequency response range: 10 Hz to 50,000 Hz, +/- 0.5 dB
  • Total Harmonic Distortion: 0.01% at 1 kHz
  • Hum and Noise: below 90dB below clipping
  • Input Impedance: 47,000 Ohms
  • Capacitive Load: switchable from 100 pF to 200 pF
  • Maximum Input Level: 40 mV RMS @ 1 kHz
  • Maximum Gain: 45 dB at 1 kHz
  • Input/Output Connections: Single Ended, RCA
  • Maximum Output Level: +6 dBu (1.4 V RMS)
  • Filter Type/Response: Switchable, Low Cut (rumble filter), -3 dB at 22 Hz
  • Power Requirements: 7-12 V DC or 9-12 V AC, 150 mA (120 V AC power adapter included)
  • Dimensions: 1.75 in (44.5 mm) H x 5.2 in (107 mm) W x 3.5 in (89 mm) D
  • Weight: 1.25 lbs (570 g)

  • RCA Stereo To 3.5mm Stereo Mini-Jack Adapter. $5.00.

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    If you're planning to record your LPs onto Recordable CDs on your computer, this is the adapter you need. Very hard to find! Many other adapters are for a 1/8 in. mini-jack, which is .013 inches too small. A 1/8 in. jack will fit, but the electrical contact will not be solid, and it will jiggle and likely fall out. This is a true 3.5 mm mini-jack, the correct size for your computer sound card. To record an LP onto a computer will require a phono-stage circuit with RIAA equalization. Going directly from the cartridge to the soundcard will not produce a correct signal. Either use a stereo receiver with a phono circuit, or the phono stage premplifier described further down the page.


    RCA Stereo To 3.5mm Stereo Mini-Jack Patch Cable, 32 inch. $7.00.

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    The correct cable to connect the phono stage preamp, or your stereo's line-in and line-out jacks, to your computer's soundcard. Length of cable: 32 inches/81 cm.

    RCA Stereo To 3.5mm Stereo Mini-Jack Patch Cable, 15 feet. $13.00.

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    The correct cable to connect the phono stage preamp, or your stereo's line-in and line-out jacks, to your computer's soundcard. Length of cable: 15 feet


    Phonolube $13.00

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    Phonolube is a light bodied grease made of polymerized oil, specially developed for the lubrication of small geared mechanisms such as phonograph motors and changers. Retains its viscosity over a wide range of temperatures. Highly resistant to oxidation. Will retain excellent lubricating properties for years. Drip-proof. 2 fluid ounces per tube.


    "Re-Grip" Rubber Cleaner & Revitalizer $7.00

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    Cleans and revitalizes hardened and glazed rubber drives and belts. Restores friction, allowing correct and stable drive speed. Use a cloth saturated with Re-Grip and rub surface until clean, wipe off any excess. Available in the USA only. No international shipping.


    Email: tim@turntablebasics.com

    Ordering is through the shopping cart, whether you want to use a credit card or the printable order form. Domestic First Class Shipping Cost for all orders $4.00. International orders are charged actual shipping rates for USPS Priority International. Because the shopping cart system cannot separate product weight from packaging weight, multiple-item international orders will have an artificially high shipping rate; the difference between the rate charged and the actual cost of shipping will be refunded after your order ships.

    Home | Drive Belts | Idler Wheels | Record and Stylus Cleaners | Cartridges and Styli | Alignment Tools, Stylus Force Gauges and Bubble Levels | Tonearm Mounting Data | Headshells and Cartridge Mounting Hardware | Silicone Damping Fluid | Phono Stage Preamplifiers | Sleeves, Jackets and Bags | Interesting Links | Contact Us