Well, there’s no question that vinyl is back and in a grand way. Of course, it’s not the standard audio format, nor will it be again, but it continues to increase in popularity annually. With that fact established, perhaps it’s time to consider purchasing your own vintage record player. Don’t worry if you are clueless as to where to start. We’ve done the hard work, meaning all the research. Below are some suggestions to help you make your decision.
I don’t just bombard you with the best vintage record players. I have put together a complete vintage record player buying guide for anyone who wants a little more help making a choice. Vintage record players now come with all the mod cons attached so you can get the look but with the modern features we crave.
Phonograph Vintage Turntables with Wireless Speakers
The Phonograph Vintage Turntables with Wireless Speakers, Record Player comes with a classically elegant European retro art design and features a horn made from pure copper, with a durable wood base. There are 2 built-in 20W full range stereo speakers on both the left and right. Combined with one 10w silk treble speaker on top. It Supports 2 speeds (33/ 45RPM) vinyl record and CD player.
This record player is a fantastic choice for use in hotels, bars, clubs, at home, or at the office. You can freely, and unhindered enjoy music essentially anywhere you like, and further know that this item is definitely the showpiece of any room you place it in. A real design statement. Simple to set up and installation shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes after reading the user manual. It can be operated by the panel and remote control.
Crosley CR6233D-RE Dansette Bermuda Portable Turntable
This gorgeously styled Crosley Dansette Bermuda Portable Turntable is based on the design of vintage Dansette sets. You’ll be proud to own this iconic two-speed turntable that can remain standing on its elegant legs or rest on a tabletop, whichever way you can best display it. The built-in Bluetooth receiver allows for streaming your music wirelessly to the powerful, full-range speakers. The belt driven turntable mechanism will play at two fantastic speeds: 33 1/3 and 45 RPM records.
Plus, the adjustable pitch control will further enable you to listen to music with a modern vibration minus the high price you’d be forced to pay for a real vintage player. With its portable audio, matching stand, and detachable legs, this turntable will rapidly become your favorite piece of furniture. One that you will be able to hear pulsating throughout your entire house when throwing a party or hosting a get together.
Victrola 8-in-1 Bluetooth Record Player
The lovely Victrola 8-in-1 Bluetooth Record Player & Multimedia Center will easily become the showpiece of your home. Featuring eight amazing ways to play your favorite music, plus a 3-Speed Turntable, Bluetooth connection to wirelessly play music, so you can eliminate those pesky cords and remote control. Furthermore, you also get a CD player, a cassette tape player, and an AM/FM radio all combined in one.
If you still aren’t convinced, how about getting all the controls you require, such as a volume knob, FM tuner, and easy click buttons for input select, power, program, shuffle, play/pause/forward/rewind too? Makes an ideal household gift for the whole family to enjoy playing all of your records and tapes and making recordings as well.
Victrola 50’s Retro Bluetooth Record Player
The Victrola 50’s Retro Bluetooth Record Player & Multimedia Center will bring retro style into your home along with modern technology. Let it take you back in time while still enabling you to enjoy the benefits of improved modern quality. You’ll fall in love with this awesome record player that will deliver performance above your highest expectations. This turntable will play and record your vinyl records to MP3. It features a CD player, AM/FM radio, Bluetooth, Aux & headphone jack, plus stereo speakers.
You can have this system set up and running without difficulty within minutes. Its high quality creation with careful attention to detail reveals Victrola’s 115-year devotion to the finest craftsmanship. Excellent sound and all the controls you require for the perfect listening experience.
LuguLake Record Player Retro Turntable
A beautiful piece of Victorian-era style with modern functionality, the LuguLake Record Player Retro Turntable will invoke feelings of nostalgia along with pride every time you play it. Providing high quality and deeper stereo sound, this turntable has a 10W Tweeter and 2 x 20W full-range Stereo Speakers. The brass horn comes with a 10W tweeter that will reproduce the most realistic sound. You’ll feel transported magically back to Victorian times.
The elegant and sturdy wood base is a testimony to the exquisite detail and care with which this beautiful phonograph has been delicately handcrafted by experienced and skilled artisans using several processes. All it takes to install it is 10 minutes, and reading the easy to understand manual that comes with this wonderful record player. Furthermore, you get a 12 months warranty when you purchase this item. Can it get any better?
SeeYing Record Player Turntable
The amazing Record Player Turntable, Vinyl Bluetooth Radio LP Player, is astonishingly lightweight and arrives in an attractive cabinet that further adds to its class and style. Capable of converting vinyl to MP3 format and storing music to USB flash drive so that you can take it anywhere you go for your listening pleasure. Through the use of the TS button, you can divide the recording music into folders. There’s also a remote control included to make for easier operation.
The record player has 3 speeds (33, 45, 78 rpm) and supports three sizes of records. Moreover, you are able to have your private time with the use of the phone jack. This vintage record player makes for an interesting as well as an entertaining conversation piece for your home for when friends and family come to call. You will be more than satisfied with its appearance and performance.
WOCKODER Vinyl Record Player
If you want a record player with a classic look yet all the modern amenities, then the Record Player Turntable Vinyl Record Player with Speakers Turntables is just what you are looking for. Portable and lightweight, this record player allow you to wirelessly play music from your phone, so you can take it anywhere and simply enjoy it. It has an easy setup and is perfect if you are new to record players, as it’s very uncomplicated to use. The three-speed turntable plays all of your 7″, 10″, and 12″ vinyl records and albums.
Its natural wood design is beautiful and has a rustic flavor to it, and it comes with a removable protective dust cover and a multiple connections panel that you can quickly learn to use. The turntable base comes with a spring for shock absorption and to provide better sound quality. Company provides replacement stylus needle/dust cover/ power adapter/ RCA line.
JOPOSTAR Record Player Turntable
The JOPOSTAR Record Player Turntable provides a three speed belt-drive, which covers 33/ 45/ 78 RPM speed settings with a 45-RPM adaptor, which is included with the whole package. It allows you to listen to all of your vinyl records. Furthermore, you can record vinyl records to WAV/ MP3 audio files for playback later on your PC and mobile devices. This record player gives the word record player an entirely brand new definition with its great quality and classically simple elegance.
In fact, the makers of this product are so confident that you will love it that they provide a one year guaranteed warranty. If it doesn’t work for any reason, just call and report the problem, and there’s also a 30 days long 100% refund too. That’s how much faith they have in this item.
Buying Guide For Best Vintage Record Player
So you’ve heard all the rave reviews that playing vinyl records gets in terms of producing a clearer, purer sound. Now you want to determine for yourself whether or not this is true. You could just get online or go to your nearest shopping mall and select a decent record player that boasts all the modern conveniences, but if you are a true blue, dyed-in-the-wool lover of vintage record players, that move might night be the wisest. You’ll end up disappointing yourself if you try to modernize when your heart just isn’t in it.
Don’t bother with those cheap but useless USB turntables that are out there. Sure, they’ll play a record, okay, but it’s a guarantee that they will also damage, as in ruin, your records over time. This is because they are not capable of setting the needle pressure on the record. This is referred to as a tracking force, and you will absolutely want a turntable that has this capability. Besides which, those USB turntables are lightweight and inexpensive because they are made out of plastic. If you are willing to part with just a tad more money than you originally planned, you can purchase a vintage table of very high quality, simply add a new needle (stylus), and have a piece of equipment that is in such top form it may very well endure for the rest of your life. So avoid the USBs whatever else you may do. We’ll explain further later on.
Instead, if you’re longing for the real deal, a classic vinyl experience, you probably should consider purchasing a vintage turntable. Sure, there are good points and bad points to taking this path, but that’s why we’re here. To help you make the correct decision and avoid any serious mistakes. That’s what this buying guide is all about, answering all your questions about buying a vintage record player.
Why Should You Buy Vintage
The case for buying vintage as opposed to brand new is strong. A lot of the reasoning boils down to a mixture of personal preference, with some common sense thrown in. The primary argument for buying vintage is that modern turntables can be constructed very inexpensively, but that isn’t always a good thing. Certain brands are more concerned with producing a cheaper product to increase their profit margin rather than saving your vinyl. Because they are made at such a low cost, many of their turntables will serve the purpose, but you will have to sacrifice sound, high quality components, and there is always the possibility that they could damage your records.
Once you rise above a certain price level, let’s say over $100, you won’t generally have to worry about those problems. Modern turntables that are made from top quality material can be excellent and provide a lot of extras that vintage ones simply lack. We’re talking here about USB connectivity or compatibility with Bluetooth. Then again, it’s also true that many modern turntables lack features such as auto-return. What all of this amounts to is that the deciding factor will ultimately be what features you deem necessary and which ones you aren’t concerned about.
Lastly, the strongest recommendation for purchasing vintage instead of new is sound quality. Just as it has happened with other types of old fashioned technologies, fans claim that vintage turntables sound much better than new ones. They insist that the craftsmanship is of a higher quality, which leads to an amazingly improved sound. Well, that’s a matter of opinion, so you’ll have to make the comparison and make your own determination on that score.
Plan a Budget
Like with any other product, it’s easy to spend way more than you can afford, particularly if you haven’t set a budget. So give yourself a break and before you start looking for a vintage record player, sit down and do the math to decide exactly how much money you can afford to spend. If you want a vintage turntable that is in perfect condition, you should expect to have to pay a few hundred dollars, probably more. Just like with most vintage items, turntables can increase in price as they age due to demand, quality, and most especially if they are rare.
If you want a high quality vintage turntable, you need to be certain that it’s created using top notch craftsmanship. However, the most dedicated and experienced craftsman available can’t do much for you if the materials that your turntable is made from are substandard. There are certain materials you can keep an eye out for that will be best for your vintage turntable.
When the manufacturing of record players was still in its infancy, steel was frequently used because of its durability, sturdiness, and the fact that it provides a little vibration resistance. It was also selected because it was inexpensive, and thus there are some negatives to using this material too. The greatest flaw is that the platter (the spinning part of the record player) demands a lot of energy to turn properly, which can lead to difficulties with the motor. All in all, though, stainless steel is basically reliable.
Although nowadays there are many other materials to use, many high quality turntables are still created from aluminum. It’s likely that if you come across a turntable made of aluminum, it’s a built to excellent standards. Aluminum is a fantastic material — both for the plinth (which refers to the base of the record player) and the platter — for many reasons. To begin with, it provides great vibration resistance, which helps to elevate the overall quality of sound. Furthermore, it will not aggravate any instabilities that the motor has. If you are able to afford it, aluminum is essentially the best choice when purchasing a vintage turntable.
Back in the early part of the 1980s, plastic was used extensively to make turntables, nearly replacing steel as the least costly material available. That came about because plastic is one of the cheapest materials to make. But, as can be expected, with the lower expense comes problems. Since it is not especially dense, plastic has truly awful vibration resistance. Plus, as time passes, it can warp or crack. So the bottom line is to avoid using plastic no matter what.
Vintage turntables have three basic types of drives, but out of them all, only two are worthwhile. These two are direct-drive and belt-driven.
Belt-Driven — The first thing to mention about belt-driven turntables is that they work much like the belts under the hood of cars. So if you are a mechanic or have an understanding of how cars work, you have an advantage here. For those not so fortunate, here’s an explanation. Belt-driven turntables contain three basic parts: the motor (this is the part that makes the energy needed for the turntable to spin), the belt (an elastic part that transmits energy between the motor and the platter), and the platter itself (obviously the rounded platform where you place your records).
Not particularly expensive, this system has replaceable parts that permit extended longevity. Furthermore, they do a good job of withstanding vibration and have little background motor noise.
Direct-Drive — Without question, the most sophisticated and expensive of the three selections, direct-drive turntables have what are called standalone devices that turn the platter without wheels or belts. Moreover, they have advanced capabilities that permit users to manually alter the speed of the platter, and they have great endurance. Together, these characteristics make direct-drive tables extremely popular with DJs — who use them for the purpose of scratching –but they also are prone to greater vibrations. In addition, they are hard to come by, expensive, and seldom made nowadays. Unless you are purchasing a vintage turntable to use for performing or creating music, you most likely should stick with a belt-driven one.
While most of the factors in selecting the ideal vintage turntable to depend upon quality and material, shape, or format are the main concerns when it comes to tonearms, often, particularly when dealing with older models, the tonearm will be created from synthetic materials or lightweight metal, although there are some made from wood and carbon fiber. However, the overall shape is the most important factor.
The shape of the tonearms covers two categories: curved and straight. DJs overwhelmingly prefer straight tonearms because they make scratching easier. On the other hand, certain experts believe that for individuals who want to preserve their record collection, straight tonearms can, with the passage of time, inflict damage on your records more quickly, although this is an ongoing argument.
Another cause for debate is the claim that curved tonearms make for a better sound and don’t wear on records as hard as the straight tonearms do. However, they are more prone to skipping. Since neither side can be shown to be absolutely right about their claims, this becomes a matter of your personal preference.
First off, the cartridge is the unit that is connected to the end of the tonearm. As such, it is one of the most essential pieces for any turntable. There are two main reasons for this. To start with, the cartridge holds the electronic bits that convert the vibrations emanating from the record and needle into an electrical signal, which then becomes sound that can be. Secondly, this mechanism houses the stylus, or needle, which is the part that makes a direct connection with a record’s grooves and picks up the vibrations. In general, you should replace the stylus after every 1,000 to 1,200 hours of playing time. Given this advice, when choosing a vintage turntable, you should replace the needle and start fresh. Fortunately, thanks to brilliant engineering, changing a needle is usually very easy, just as long as you are able to locate the correct compatible unit.
Naturally, this pleasant scenario isn’t always the way things turn out. There are some cartridges — particularly the modern selections — which lack separate needle housing. In this instance, you will need to replace the entire cartridge every time the needle wears out. Fortunately, there are plenty of manufacturers who make these too. You just have to be certain to look for the appropriate compatible options when you need to. The big advantage of cartridges that have their own separate stylus housings is that it is far easier to replace them when necessary. But, those who do not have this feature provide a better signal and, as a result, sound much better.
Regardless of the situation, you might be better off if you just go ahead and replace the cartridge because, as you can guess, older technology doesn’t hold up with the passage of time, and it’s possible that there could already be some deterioration of the vintage cartridge of your turntable.
A Warning: Use Caution
It doesn’t matter if you’re buying a vintage turntable from someone you highly trust or just purchasing one from an online re-seller. You must always use caution and restraint when you do your buying. This is most important if you’re not an expert but relying on the experience and word of the person you are making the purchase from. It’s an unfortunate fact of life, but the vintage turntable might not be in the tip-top shape. It was promoted as being in. Be your own best friend and undertake some research on your own to be absolutely sure that the record player you’re thinking of investing in is all it’s hyped up to be. There are many online experts and forums you can turn to for advice.
Furthermore, you should take a good look into the person or business that you’re about to make the purchase from. If indeed, they are respectable, they will be found online, and you should be able to verify their reputation through testimonies and reviews. In the case where you can’t do this, then it is recommended that you get in touch with them directly, request pictures, and see what your gut instincts tell you as to whether or not they are being honest.
One of the top of the line places you can try online is Craigslist. The great benefit here is you can test the table first, and from time to time, you will meet up with an experienced record player enthusiast who is willing to assist you with setting up. Last but not least, if you want a vintage player that is all set up and ready to go and doesn’t require any extra maintenance, visit your local record store. Unless you purchase a vintage turntable at a record store and receive some type of guarantee, you will definitely have to spend some money on a new needle or stylus. Usually, the stylus is the whole tip mechanism, while the needle is merely a diamond tip on a plastic holder. While a stylus costs a tad more money, that’s the route you should take.
Follow the above advice and do your due diligence, and you should come out of the deal just fine.
We hope that you enjoy the article, and it’s helped you find the best vintage record player for your home. There is nothing better than relaxing with a cold drink listening to the sweet tones that a record player produces.