A Guide to Setting Up Your DJ Turntables
We've touched on the modern day offerings in the DJ Turtable world, so it's worth looking into the best way to set them up! No matter which deck you choose, you will need to spend a few minutes getting it ready to play records properly, maximising the stylus lifetime and minimising record wear. A Guide to Setting Up Your DJ Turntables :
Out of the Box
A standard DJ turntable
consists of a few key components. In the box will be the main body of the deck, usually driven by a direct drive motor. The platter will need placing onto the turntable, to be driven by the motor built into the unit. If you have a belt driven turntable then you face the added step of making sure the belt is secured around the drive ring and bottom of the platter.
Make sure any packaging and taping is removed from the turntable, such as tape around the arm (used to secure it in transit). The tonearm will now need to be constructed and balanced.
The tonearm consists of three parts; the counterweight, arm and headshell/cartridge. The counterweight needs to be fixed onto the back of the arm, with the cartridge going on the front. Depending on your choice of cartridge, the arm needs to be 'weighted' accordingly, for example the 'Orftofon Concorde MKII DJ' which has a tracking force of 4.0 grams. This means that the counterweight needs to be set to apply 4.o grams of weight onto the record. If you apply any less weight than this then the record will skip, any more and the stylus will wear out and potentially damage the vinyl record.
To start balancing the arm, turn the counterweight until neither side of the arm outweighs the other i.e it is at a 'level' position (imagine a see-saw with nobody on it). Now any force applied to the cartridge end will be a true value. Turn the dial on the counterweight to zero without moving the whlole weight (the dial should turn independently from the weight). Now turn the whole weight to the corresponding tracking force of the cartridge, in our case 4.o grams.
Now that the tonearm is balanced, it is time to use it. Set the anti-skate to 0 as you will be cueing the records (using backwards motion), but you can change this at a later stage depending on personal taste. Some turntables have a switchable phono/line output. If your mixer has a 'phono' input then you can use this, as the mixer will boost the signal to line level. If your mixer doesn't have a phono input, or you just want to use the pre-amp built into the turntable, use the 'line' setting.
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