You may have had an old thrift store record player in college that you hooked up to some equally shoddy speakers to listen to a scratched copy of Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys. But now it’s time to seriously think about giving your vinyl hi-fi setup some upgrades. Even if you’ve ridden the wave of vinyl’s resurgence and added a few decent components to your dusty old system, there are some killer new products that can deliver a life-changing sonic experience.
Go through your system bit by bit, upgrading what you can, when you can. One of the first keys to building a great sound system is to center it around audiophile-grade vinyl, which is now something anyone can pick up to maximize musicality. Invest in a nice turntable next, then an amp, followed by a few gadgets to help your vinyl. Speakers are the big spend, but these days you can get some amazing deals on mind-blowing sets, no matter your budget. Each step will elevate your experience, and we’ve put together a great start with some bang-for-your-buck gear.
Best Vinyl Hi-Fi Upgrades to Transform Your Stereo System
1. EAT C Major Turntable
Want a world-class turntable ready to rock right out of the box? This is it. The acclaimed European Audio Team’s entry-level offering is the last player most enthusiasts will ever need to buy. A high-end cartridge, needle, and record clamp are included—and, in a groovy twist, the platter assembly itself is made from recycled vinyl.[$2,500; europeanaudioteam.com]
2. Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs UD1S Vinyl
MoFi’s UD1S, or UltraDisc One-Step, is an unprecedented vinyl pressing method, using just one step (versus the standard three) to minimize “generational loss” and give listeners the absolute closest sound to the original masters. This means you’re hearing a disc with the lowest noise possible outside of the studio. Our pick? Miles Davis’s genre-shattering 1970 album Bitches Brew.[$125; mofi.com]
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