What to Consider When Buying Turntable Accessories

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What to Consider When Buying Turntable Accessories

Turntables,, also known as record players, are used for playing vinyl records. Turntables were the music player of choice before cassette and CD players. However, with the rise of DJing and the newly discovered respect for the sound of vinyl records, turntables have made a comeback. Turntables have a few moving parts and an array of features, allowing music lovers to customise the sound of their audio. Buyers have the choice of manual and automatic turntables. Manual turntables require the user to lift the tonearm and place in onto the spinning record by hand. These turntables are often preferred because they have fewer parts that can cause vibrations in the tonearm. So, manual operation provides a better quality of sound. Automatic turntables play records with the push of a button, automatically moving the tonearm. These turntables are better suited to novice users. There are also semi-automatic turntables, which lift the tonearm at the end of the record.

When purchasing turntable accessories,, buyers should familiarise themselves with the various components of a turntable and consider the accessory types that help them to produce good quality music. Turntable accessories are available at specialist audio retailers and online at eBay..

Components of a Turntable

Turntables have a few moving parts. These include the platter, tonearm, and motor, which drives the platter. Buyers should understand how these parts work together to provide a good quality of sound.

Platter of a Turntable

The vinyl record sits on the platter when it is being played. When the power is on, the platter spins and the stylus, or needle, traces the groove of the record to produce music. A slipmat made of felt or rubber sits on top of the platter. Rubber mats are often used for hi-fi systems at home because they are designed to hold the record in place. DJs often use felt mats because they allow the record to be stopped so that a piece of music can be cued while the platter continues to rotate underneath.

Tonearm, Cartridge, and Stylus of a Turntable

The tonearm holds the cartridge,, which contains the stylus.. There are two different types of stylus: half-inch mount and P-mount. The half-inch mount has wires that are connected onto part of the tonearm, while the P-mount has four connectors that can be plugged directly into the open end of the tonearm.

Motor of a Turntable

A turntable has two types of motor:: direct drive and belt drive. Choosing the best type is often based on the intended use of the turntable as the differences between the two can affect the installation and performance of the device. However, both are comparable in both cost and sound quality.

Direct Drive Turntables

Direct drive turntables are usually preferred by DJs. The motor is directly connected to the platter. The platter can be rotated backwards by hand without causing damage to the turntable. This allows DJs to create interesting audio effects, such as scratching. Direct drive turntables are the most reliable and offer a very consistent rotational speed. However, they are more susceptible to external vibration. To compensate for this, many manufacturers use a vibration dampening material between the platter and the motor.

Belt Drive Turntables

Belt drive turntables are often preferred by home audiophiles. The platter of a belt drive turntable is turned by a belt attached to a motor. The rubber belt absorbs shock, keeping the motor's vibration from creating noise in the electrical signal. Belt drive turntables provide a better sound quality, due, in part, to their isolation from motor noise. However, a downside is the continual wear and tear of the belt itself. As the belt continues to stretch over time, it becomes subject to breaking.

Types of Turntable Accessories

There are various types of turntable accessories. Buyers should understand the function of the accessories so that they can recognise which are required to produce the best sounding music.

Turntable Accessories


Phono preamp

May be built into the turntable

Brings the volume up to a manipulable level


Connects to the tonearm and holds the stylus

Allows listeners to customise the performance of their turntable

Type of cartridge can affect the sound quality of any turntable significantly

Worn cartridges can reduce the sound quality and cause premature wear to records

Can be moving magnet, moving coil, or mono

Dust cover

Keeps out dirt, debris, and dust in order to prevent records from becoming soiled or scratched

Guards the record while spinning


Small needle attached to a cartridge

Rests in the record's spiral groove and vibrates in the uniform spin of the disc

Designed to respond to slight vibrational cues

Made from different materials including steel, diamond, and sapphire

Steel tips tend to be less expensive than diamond or sapphire

Can be rounded, spherical, conical, or elliptical

Elliptical styli offer better quality at a higher cost than other types

Differences in shape and material provide different audio qualities and wear


Helps DJs see their equipment in dimly lit rooms

Shoot a beam over the record


Speed calibration strobe used to visually see the record spinning at a particular speed

Used to see if record is playing too fast or too slow

When searching for turntable accessories, buyers should bear in mind the various types. Accessory items such as cartridges come in different styles. The most common type of cartridge is the moving magnet. It has a high output signal and is ideal for turntables plugged into the phono input of a standard stereo receiver. Moving coil cartridges are often used by audiophiles seeking the best sound for their turntable system. The coils in this design are wound directly around the stylus, allowing the cartridge to accurately track the grooves of the vinyl record. Moving coil cartridges have a very low output and require special phono preamps to boost the signal to a level that can then be amplified by a stereo receiver. Mono cartridges are typically used with older records that are recorded in mono. These cartridges allow the audio to be reproduced accurately. However, they should not be used to play stereo vinyl records.

How to Buy Turntable Accessories on eBay

Buyers can search for turntable accessories online at eBay. eBay offers buyers a wide selection at competitive prices. Buyers can begin their search on the eBay homepage.. From here, buyers are free to input any search terms into the keyword search box. Entering turntable accessories is likely to render a large number of search results. Those who have a better idea of what they are looking for can enter more specific terms such as turntable stylus or turntable cartridge.. From here, buyers are further able to narrow down their search by condition or price.

When the buyer finds the turntable accessory that they wish to purchase, they should read the item description carefully, ensuring that the part matches the existing turntable. If any of the turntable accessories are used, then examine the photos for signs of unreasonable wear.

Buyers may choose to limit their search results to sellers that are located in close proximity to where they live. This enables buyers to better browse by sellers who accept local collection, and perhaps even allow the part to be viewed before completing the purchase. In addition, buying turntable accessories locally may diminish the associated postage and packaging costs.

The seller should provide details regarding the accepted payment methods, postage and packaging costs, and returns policy in the item description. If this information is not present then contact the seller who should be able to answer any questions. eBay offers the handy "Ask a question" link, which allows the buyer to communicate with the seller directly.


Turntables are widely used by DJs and by people at home who still love the sound of vinyl records. Turntables have been around for many years and have recently regained popularity as older vinyl records become coveted and collectable items, and newer bands release vinyl records in additional to digital versions of their albums. Turntables are able to get the best out of vinyl records and are often seen at a range of settings from nightclubs to weddings. Turntables are made up of various parts including the platter, tonearm, and motor. These parts work together to produce the unmistakable sound of vinyl.

When buying turntable accessories, buyers should consider the setting or venue, and the type of music they will be playing. DJs may require a direct drive motor to allow them to add effects to the records. If they are playing in a nightclub they may need lights to help them to see the grooves of the records. A buyer who plans to use the turntable at home may require a belt drive.

The type of turntable accessories a buyer invests in may be affected by their budget. Accessory items, such as styli, come in a wide array of shapes and tips, each ranging in price. Steel tips tend to be less expensive than diamond and sapphire, while elliptical shaped styli offer better quality at a higher cost than other types. eBay offers a wide variety of turntable accessories to suit the DJ or the vinyl enthusiast at home.

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