Record Store Day 2018 buying guide

The Record Store Day 2018 is happening on April 21, and it's the best day of the year to find vinyl offers and limited pressures.

However, if you still use a Crosley Cruiser, maybe it's time to update: lose all the bragging rights if your vinyl sounds terrible.

To help you, we have compiled a selection of recommended purchases for those looking to make the most out of their records without spending all their budget on the kit.

Rega Carbon Magnet Cartridge (MM)

The Rega Carbon is one of the best cartridges for affordable turntables. You will want one of these when the needle of your turntable is worn, which reduces the quality of the sound and could cause damage to your records.

This is a mobile magnet cartridge, so you can replace the entire receptacle that fits the tone arm or just the outside of the stylus.

Audio Technica AT-LP3

When you're ready to upgrade from the cheap turntable you bought at a supermarket or received on your birthday, Audio Technica ATH-LP3 is one of your best options.

It has an automatic belt transmission system and a built-in phono preamp; This increases the signal to the level required by the type of amplifiers and self-powered speakers that were not made with a turntable in mind.

There's a here too: you can remove and update the cartridge if you actually enter the vinyl hardware in the future.

Rega Planar 1

The Rega Planar 1 is one of our favorite high quality and economical turntables. Not only does it sound great, it also looks good.

Your plinth is made of a wood composite, lighter than the more expensive Planar 2 MDF. However, the gloss black or white finish looks great, a perfect fit for an elegant living room.

The Planar 1 uses Rega's highly regarded carbon cartridge, which guarantees solid performance.

If you're wondering why it's only slightly more expensive than the Audio Technica AT-LP3, it's because the Planar 1 does not have a preamp, so you should get one if your amplifier or AV receiver does not have a phono stage

JBL LSR305

A pair of active speakers is ideal for a turntable setup if you want to keep things simple. The sound quality of the JBL LSR305 is hard to beat for money, with a balance of studio level, good depth of bass for speakers with 5-inch cones and none of the audio tricks seen in the Apple HomePod.

That said, they use JBL's patented waveguide design for better sound images: it's the odd contouring of the plastic housing around the tweeter controllers.

The JBL LSR305 takes a 6.3 mm jack input or an XLR. All you need to connect them to a turntable with a built-in phono preamp is a pair of phono to mono TRS adapters.

Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro

You can not beat a pair of headphones with the back open to listen to them privately and at home. There are many excellent options to choose from, including Sennheiser HD 600s, AKG K702s and Audio-Technica ATH-AD700Xs. But our selection of the day are the Beyerdynamic DT990 Pros.

They look great, if you like retro taste, and they have soft velvet cups and sound that balances fun with insight.

The Beyerdynamic DT990 Pros have powerful treble and deep bass that are often lacking in professional headphones. And they only cost as much as some entry-level wireless pairs.

Spin Clean Record Washer MK II

You have to commit to some maintenance if you put yourself on vinyl, unlike if you're transmitting from the cloud, you need to keep your music clean.

Some obsessives spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on electrical machines that do the work, but Spin Clean Record Washer MK II does the same on
a tight budget, with a little fat applied.

It's a kind of bathroom for your vinyl. The plastic spacers keep your 45 and 12 inch discs in place, you fill your reservoir with the supplied fluid and then pour the cleaning solution into fine brushes that are inserted in the center; With the registration in place, simply turn it a few times by hand. This should get rid of any click and pop during playback, unless you have physically damaged your disks.

Edwards Audio Apprentice MM

If you buy a turntable, and plug it in only to discover that its output is Extraordinarily quiet and weak sound, this is because it does not have a built-in phono preamp. Most turntables live in the old high-fidelity world, not the brilliant plug-and-play of Bluetooth speakers.

The Edwards Audio Apprentice MM is one of the most affordable phonographic settings, and prepares the player's signal for a traditional line-entry style like that of Sonos Play: 5.

It's a small black box that does not take up too much space or power. Do you want to connect it to a modern wireless speaker? You will need an audio cable to jack, since the Edwards Audio Apprentice MM has phono outputs.

Dali Spektor 2

Many people have already moved away from the traditional high-fidelity configuration, but if they have not already done so, the Dali Spektor 2 are excellent bookshelf speakers.

With their grilles in place they look sober; like all Dali speakers, they have the greatest impact when they are removed. The colored cones outlined with white make the Spektor 2 more a design statement than the average bookshelf shelf or standing speaker. And they sound very good too.

However, these speakers are not active, so they should be used with an amplifier.

Sonos Play: 5

Do you want to mix old and new technology (er)? The Sonos Play: 5 can be connected directly to a turntable with a built-in preamplifier thanks to the auxiliary input on its back.

It is one of the multiple room speakers with better sound, with low power to compete with much larger traditional speakers.

Play: 5 allows you to play Spotify music and other streaming services. The only thing missing is support for digital assistants such as Alexa and the Google Assistant, for that you have to buy a Sonos One, although since that speaker does not have an auxiliary input, it will not be integrated with your turntable.

Where to go to Record Store Day 2018

Hundreds of independent record stores participate in Record Store Day, in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. You can consult the sites involved in recordstoreday.com, recordstoreday.co.uk and recordstoreday.com.au.

In Rough Trade East in London, you can see the performances of Hinds and Shopping, as well as DJ sets by Tim Burgess and Raf Rundell. Admission is free, but crowds are expected.

In New York you can see The Shacks and Chris Stamey at Rough Trade, Brooklyn. However, Record Store Day is the perfect day to visit a small record store you have not been to before, so dig into the directory.