5 essential turntable accessories for DJs

You made the decision to buy your first set of turntables, but as we briefly discussed in our previous article about turntables, if you get into spinning, you will have to spend a little extra effort to keep your music organized, your records in good condition, and your turntables properly set up. You may also require extra tools in order to keep your records and stylus clean. Luckily this can be done in 5 easy and inexpensive steps!

1. Storage and accessibility


As soon as you buy your first records, you will need to find a place to make them accessible whenever you want to play them. This may seem obvious, but it can actually kill the vibe of spinning records if you constantly have to reach for them in awkward places. There are plenty of standard-size vinyl boxes in different colors, that make storing clean and handy. The Zomo VS-Box series allows you to easily browse through your favorite records and store your entire collection.

While setting up your turntable, you will have to check if the platter is in a flat position in order to make the stylus run smoothly, in the center of the grooves. You can do this with a proper spirit level designed for leveling the platter and the tonearm. In case you want some extra isolation between the turntable and your desk, the Luke ASB-1 is the perfect solution against feedback from bass waves and vibration. You will only need this if there is excessive vibration coming from a subwoofer, or if the sub is placed too close to the turntable, so it is probably not a must-have for home applications, but it can be a lifesaver if you are playing out.

2. Cleanliness


After storage and proper setup are checked, the next thing on your list should be cleanliness. As inconvenient as it can get, vinyl records do require your attention as even a very small amount of dust or dirt can make them sound awful. You should get into the habit of keeping your records clean early on, because as soon as you start getting gigs, you may find that a single dirty record can make the public flee the dancefloor in no time due to the awful sound it produces if you let the stylus accumulate the dust and push it through the grooves.

Cleaning your records can be done on different levels, but one absolutely essential piece is a carbon fiber anti-static vinyl brush, which is a cheap and highly effective tool to quickly brush the dust off from your record, without scratching or damaging it. You should use it each time you put a record on, as your records will inevitably have a small amount of dust on them, each time you take them out of their cover, no matter how well they are protected. Luckily, the whole process is a matter of seconds, but you should know how to use your brush correctly

In case you want to clean the stylus as well, be extra careful not to damage the stylus and the cantilever, and we don’t recommend using stylus cleaning fluids, as it may damage the internals of your cartridge.

While a brush may be enough in most cases, DJs usually touch the surface of the record and the moisture from our hands can make some dirt and debris stick on the vinyl, or sometimes small particles of liquid can make their way into the grooves, and this can also cause some popping and crackling. Don’t be too afraid of this, as the needles can handle a fair amount of dirt, but as soon as you notice that one of your records is popping during playback, it is pretty likely that it has some excess dirt at some point in the groove, or it may even be damaged. In case it is only dirt, you can clean it off with a microfiber cloth and some cleaning liquid, but you may want to give a full, deep cleaning with a proper cleaning machine to completely rejuvenate your record. If you want to do very meticulous cleansing, you may benefit from the Knosti Disco-Antistat Ultrasonic cleaning device which not only reaches deeper into the grooves but also provides longer-lasting cleanliness.

3. Smooth run

Vinyl Stabilizer

Unsmooth run is also a factor that can trigger an unbalanced sound. By unbalanced sound, we mean that the stylus can constantly derail from the center of the groove because of rotational irregularities, resulting in slight distortion. This can happen for several reasons: warped records, lightweight records, improper tonearm balance, improper cartridge setup, a too slippy slipmat, etc. You can easily correct this by adding extra weight to your record, with a proper disc stabilizer. They not only ensure a smooth run and a more balanced sound, but they are also very stylish and come in different finishes. The Recordcase Vinyl Stabilizer can also give you a hint if your record runs stable and flat, due to the spirit level on its top.

Some records can get excessively warped over time which can also cause distortion and skipping. Correcting warped records cannot be done without an adequate tool and it should be a very delicate process, so we strongly advise against amateur methods like putting your record in the oven, unless you are willing to sacrifice your record if something goes wrong (and there is a good chance it will). A proper vinyl flattener tool can be a hefty investment, but if you have huge a collection of rare releases that need some extra care, or you’re just simply attached to some of your older records, it can make an impressive difference in terms of sound.

4. Proper DJ Slipmats

Zomo Slipmats

In case you find your turntable manufacturer’s slipmats boring, you can customize your turntables with a wide variety of slipmats, most of them are all-purpose and get the job done, but you can also find some specific slipmats for scratching, like the Dr. Suzuki 12” Skratch Slipmats.

5. Adequate storage while transporting

Vinyl Storage

Last but not least, as soon as you have enough records to deliver a nice DJ set, you should get a proper vinyl case, as you might find that you get gigs sooner than you would expect, and you don’t want to show up with your records in a Lidl bag, furthermore you want your records to arrive just the way they left your studio, without scratching or warping them. There are several types of vinyl bags and hard cases that offer adequate protection, just make sure you can load them at least up to 60-70%, so your records won’t bounce from side to side while transporting.

Mixing with vinyl records is one of the most rewarding experiences a DJ can get, so make sure you get the most out of your collection by following these easy steps!