If you happen to have extra time on your hands during these unusual times, there are a few things that you can do that will cost you very little or no money and will audibly improve the performance of your audio equipment.
- Interconnecting cables and speaker wires
Clean all contacts points, RCA plugs, banana plugs and spade lugs using one of the many electrical contact cleaners on the market, such as Deoxit, Stabilant 22, Cramolin, Tweek and more. Follow the instructions on the bottle and make sure all your equipment has been unplugged from the wall, for a few minutes, before starting. Reconnect all the components. (power cords last) when done. If you are using a turntable, you may want to clean the cartridge connections to the headshell as well.
Make sure the speakers are stable, with zero wabblings. A set of adjustable feet or spikes, such as IsoAcoustic, may be required to stabilize the speakers. If you use spikes and you have wood floors, you will want to put a penny , from the penny jar that we all keep somewhere in the house, under the tip to prevent damage to your floor.If all possible, make sure the tweeters are at eye level and at least a foot away from any walls. Try tilting the speakers toward you until you get the voice, or solo instrument, exactly centred between the speakers.
Make sure they are solidly positioned, away from heat sources and with some ventilation.
Check your cartridge connections to make sure they are tight and adjust as needed.
Check the turntable’s tracking force and anti-skating, adjust if needed, as per manufacture instructions. If you can not find the suggested tracking force for your cartridge, use 1.75 grams.
Clean the needle with one of the many gadgets on the market or with fine sandpaper, back to front, gently.
Check your cartridge position by using a protractor, buy one or download a free one (such as http://www.enjoythemusic.com/freestuff.htm) and adjust accordingly.
Your turntable MUST be perfectly level and stable.
Your records need to be cleaned regularly, for about $100 you can buy a SpinClean record washer, get one. It works very well and it will improve the quality and longevity of your vinyl.
…and when it’s all and done, sit back with your favorite beverage and enjoy!
Music has decorated my life and it can do the same for you.