Also, don’t ignore the influence of a third-party tone arm (the thing where the cartridge is mounted). It can have a strong influence on the sound that comes out of even the best cartridges, and for this reason you’ll find dedicated vinyl people buy a good turntable and replace the tone-arm with a better one. Just something to bear in mind…[/quote]
Another tip you may find useful is silicon spray eg Mr. Sheen. The stylus moves up/down, left/right on vinyl records, that’s where the stereo sound comes from. As records are usually scratched, you therefore amplify not only the music, but the snap, crackle & pop coming from scratches as well.
Silicon spray lubricates the stylus, and allows it to slide with very little friction within the record groove, eliminating up to 90% of unwanted noise. Just give the record a light spray, then wipe around the groove with a lint-free cloth. You will feel the difference! It also removes dirt from the groove.
It’s also a good idea to get a turntable that has a speed control. These types have a strobe pattern around the turntable platform, the pattern appears stationary under electric light when the speed is correct.