So you just bought a record player and speakers. Now what? Jonathan Weiss of Oswalds Mill Audio gives sound advice for the ultimate home setup
1. Rock steady.
Mount your turntable on a purpose-built shelf, anchored to the wall with studs that go in deep — not just surface-skimming screws, advises Weiss. “You want it on the most solid place possible. The player is operating at the level of a scanning electron microscope. If people are walking around — or you’re throwing a dance party — all of that vibration will go up into the turntable, and it will skip.”
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2. Spike it.
Go a step further and put your turntable, and speakers, on metal spikes. Weiss recommends three points, not four — “it’s much harder for the vibration to travel up through three points.” Splurge on Stillpoints ultra stainless steel feet, made to dissipate vibrations that can get into audio, or for the more budget-minded, try using squash balls as a base.
3. The perfect Hi-Fi height
Right around 30” to 36” is the sweet spot for turntable mounting, says Weiss. “You don’t want to have to bend all the way down or reach up too high; you want to be comfortable when cueing the records.” And never put a turntable right in front of your speakers; it should go between and behind them. “The speakers are creating a pressure wave, and those waves can go right back into the system.”
4. Go with the flow.
“In terms of room acoustics, the ideal situation is to have the speakers firing the length of the room.” And make sure there’s not a hard, reflective surface like glass at the end of the room or adjacent to the speakers. “It’s better if the first point of reflection on the side wall is something more absorptive, like shelves filled with records of books, a painting or drapery.” And place a rug in front of your speakers to better soak up the sound.
A version of this story originally appeared in the April 16 issue of Billboard.