— Friction generates static electricity, and the friction between the stylus and the vinyl disc is no exception. When this electricity has nowhere to go but your preamplifier, static happens.
To get rid of the static, we need two approaches: create an environment where static electricity doesn't appear, and route the static away from your preamp's input.
For a static-free environment:
- Increase the humidity in your home. Relative humidity of 40% or more is good for your LPs — and for you too!
- Store the LPs in the antistatic bags
- Use the antistatic gun. Yes, they really do work, it's not snake oil.
- Buy a DS Ionizer. It's like an antistatic gun that's on all the time. Expensive but very effective.
- Wash your discs
To route the static away, make sure your turntable is properly grounded. If it has a separate ground wire, make sure it's correctly connected to the preamp (and the preamp only!). Some better turntables have a second ground connection from the main bearing. This too should go to preamp's ground connection, and will solve your static problem for good.
If you have a cartridge with built-in carbon brush (Shure, some Stantons and Pickerings), make sure it's down and in contact with the disc.
40-50 years ago there was a fashion for separate "cleaning arms" that brush your disc as you play it. If you still have one of those and it isn't grounded, you are generating static electricity right there.