What Are The Basic Elements Of A Usb Turntable?

Music is an integral part of our lives as the satisfaction and feeling we get from listening to good music, rhythms, and tones cannot be matched by anything else in this world. With the advancement of technology, way of listening to music has also changed to a great extent as earlier people used to hear music using cassettes, tapes, and vinyl records, but now much more advanced things such as MP3 players are popular. But in the present time too, there is a set of people who are attracted to the traditional records, tapes, and cassettes as they believe that the sound quality it offered cannot be matched by the modern systems.

A turntable is one such device that was used in the past and is still highly popular as it offers the real and unique sound quality by scraping the needle in the record and playing different types of music. Most of the modern DJ’s use of USB turntables and mix different music and beats to create magic in terms of music. You can read the full review to learn more about the turntables and their different essential aspects and functions. There are various parts of a turntable, and each part has different features, and they all come together to produced soothing music. USB turntables not only allow you to play the records but also enable you to convert those traditional records into digital MP3 files.

Some of the common aspects of a good USB turntable

Anti-skate feature

The tonearm scrapes the records while it spins, but while it happens, the tonearm is pushed toward the center of the record, and the anti-skate feature prevents it from happening. It keeps the tonearm in its place and prevents it from getting dragged towards the center. It put more pressure on the needle, which makes it stay on the single groove wall and doesn’t allow it to move towards the center. Each groove has commonly two sides, and the needle runs in between them. The anti-skate feature varies in different record players as it is needed in the players having an S-shaped tonearm, but if the player has a straight arm, then there is no need for anti-skating as it already stays in its place and doesn’t get pulled towards the center of the record.


The tonearm is the most crucial part of the USB turntable as, without it, you won’t be able to produce any sound or music from the vinyl record. A cartridge is attached to the arm, which picks up the music form the groove when it runs over it. There are commonly two types of tonearms; first is the basic straight tonearm, and the second is the S-shaped arm. No matter what design you choose, the arm must have low mass so that it can lower the vibration on the cartridge and helps the stylus to stay at the right spot on the grooves of the vinyl record. The geometry of the arm with the records is highly essential as any issues in it can cause any damage or fault in the music playing.

Tonearms are made up of different types of materials. Aluminum is the most common material used in making tonearms for USB turntables, but nowadays, some manufacturers are also using multiple modern materials such as graphite, fiber, wood, etc. to make the tonearms for USB turntables. Although tonearms are available in a wide variety of materials, there are some materials that you must avoid, and one of such materials is plastic. You should never choose a plastic tonearm as it is weak and not durable.

Turntable platter

The platter is another important part of a USB turntable as it holds the record in its spot and spins it. Without the platter, the USB turntable is of no use as the record won’t be able to produce vibrations that are absorbed by the stylus. The platter runs on a belt, which helps to keep the record in the right place and also prevents the speed from fluctuating. The weight of the platters affects its quality as the heavier the platter will be, the better quality it will offer. Most of the top USB turntables are quite heavy, and some of them have a weight attached at the edges in the form of heavy rings. Along with the platter, it is also necessary to provide proper cushioning to the record, and it can be done efficiently by using a record mat for it. The mat not only acts as a cushion to the record but also offers it a good grip and helps to lower the high vibrations caused by the record. If you want to make the record more stable on the platter, then you can use a record clamp as it holds the records and enhances its stability.

Adjustable weight to balance it

It is one of the essential elements in the USB turntable. It is like a tonearm that casts weight to counter the keep the pressure on the stylus balanced. The amount of pressure on the needle directly affects the sound quality of the record, so it keeps the weight balanced. It is a challenging task to put the right amount of pressure on the stylus as if it gets too heavy it may damage the grooves in different ways. If it is left too light it will not be attached to the record properly and wouldn’t produce proper quality of sound. Counterweight balance helps you to put precisely the right amount of weight on the needle.

The cartridge

The cartridge is the part of USB turntable that picks up the vibrations and converts it into sound. The vinyl record spinning on the platter produces different vibrations that are picked by the stylus, and these vibrations are converted into sound by the cartridge when it comes out of the speaker. It is a complicated part of the USB turntable, and most users are skeptical about this part. Most of the users ponder that the vibrations are picked by it, but in reality, the vibrations are recorded by the stylus, whereas the cartridge act as a supporting part to the cartridge and convert the vibrations into music. Cartridges for USB turntables are available in a vast range, and each one of them has different designs and prices. Usually, two types of cartridges are used in the turntables; first moving magnet cartridges and second ceramic cartridges. The cartridge with the moving magnet is better than the ceramic ones as they are durable and offer a better quality of sound.


All the turntable have an on and off switch. The only difference is that some have traditional on/off switch, whereas some have auto start switch. The auto start turns on the turntable, places the tonearm, and plays the track. The automatic switch is more preferred in today’s time as things are more modernized and technically advanced. The automatic switch also has a feature of an auto-off switch, which stops the turntable automatically and lifts the tonearm and places it in its resting position.

To put it in a nutshell, USB turntables are still popular and offer a more authentic and real feel of the music. The sound quality it provides is impeccable and better than the others.