So You Want To Buy a Record Player?
Are you thinking of buying a vinyl record player? Well, if you are, that is a smart move you are about to make. You will have no regrets about the purchase of the record player because it carries a lot of benefits. In fact, you will start wishing you had bought it much earlier. It offers a different and better listening experience compared to CDs, tapes and digital files. The audio is absolutely great. If you used to think that a CD or MP3 produces better sound compared to an old vinyl record, wait until you own the best record player. Since MP3 files and CDs have been compressed, they do not provide more original and enjoyable sound quality as the record player does. Even though downloading music may be affordable and convenient sometimes, the vinyl record has the advantage of allowing you to read through the song list before making your selection. You will have a physical copy of the album or song that you enjoy.
Why Record Players Are Awesome!
If you manage to get the best vinyl record player, your music listening experience is totally going to change for the better. Before cassette tapes became popular around the late 1970’s, it was the top choice for music. Even though the record players are considered to be vintage items, they are becoming very popular again nowadays. Turntables are readily available in various stores across the world. The experience and process of playing vinyl record players is an absolutely great and enjoyable one. You will love it especially on those lazy Sundays. The entire process from selecting a vinyl from the collection you have, carefully taking out of its cover, putting it on the player, dropping the needle and to finally waiting for it to find the first note is just fascinating. It is also fascinating to watch the vinyl spin around while your favorite music is playing.
Listening to vinyl through headphones is great. Check out the best headphones under $100 for listening to vinyl…
How Much Does a Record Player Cost?
When you are looking to buy a good record player either for home use or commercial purposes, one of the things that you will need to know is how much it costs. As with any electronic devices, the vinyl record players are available on the market in endless options and go at varying prices. If you want to buy a new vinyl record, you will need to part with approximately $10 to $30. For a complete setup that includes the best portable record player, speakers and amplifiers, you may spend approximately $150. If you are interested in sound quality, you may want to invest in a good music hall turntable that will cost you somewhere between $200 and $300. This one features a built-in phono preamp, so you will simply need to hook it up to any CD or aux output.
If you are on a tight budget, there is no need to fret because you can still be able to get cheap and best record players for sale on Craigslist, Amazon, eBay and also at flea markets. Do not be in a rush to choose the first record player you come across. To be able to get the best one that you will have no regrets about, you will need to search for it patiently. But just because you are looking for a cheap record player does not mean that you should ignore other factors. Even though any turntable with a needle can work, you need to make sure that you will enjoy the best sound quality from what you will buy. Just like with most things in life, you get what you pay for when buying a record player.
Which Brand Do You Recommend?
Brand is one thing that you cannot ignore when you are looking for the best record player for sale. While there are so many companies selling record players nowadays, some of them do not sell high quality ones. The following are some of the brands you should consider buying if you want to get value for your money.
This brand is known for producing lovely looking and sturdy turntables that sound great. It was first established in 1962 in Japan and has since then grown to become one of the most influential brands in the record player industry. Whether you want to learn how to become a famous DJ or just want to enjoy rich and deep sound quality, you can never go wrong with the record players from this company. The three Audio-Technica record players you should consider investing your money in include Audio Technica AT-LP20, Audio Technica AT-LP1240-USB and Audio Technica LP60.
AT-LP20 is considered by most people in the professional music industry and serious audiophiles across the world as the most reliable turntable. It is not your average turntable. It is the best record player that people would not have minded paying through the nose for 30 years ago. Even today, people are still willing to pay a premium price for it because of the great sound quality that it produces. Another thing that you will love about it is its capability to hook up to a traditional stereo, amplifier or receiver, or even a computer effortlessly depending on what exactly you want to do with it.
If you are operating on a tight budget and still want to get the best record player, you should consider buying one from Sony. Even though it is a little known brand when it comes to vintage turntables, it is well known for producing budget-friendly and high quality record players. Many Sony turntables feature a classical look with a lovely finish and wood plinths. Among the best Sony vintage turntables you should look out for include Sony PS-X2/5/6/7/9, Sony PS-x40/50/60/70, Sony PX-X500/600/700/800/555ES, Sony TTS-3000 and TTS-4000. Higher numbers mean better record players.
While Teac does not have a wide selection of record players to choose from nowadays, the few that they have are generally of high quality. They focus on producing mid-priced turntables that everyone can afford, including those that are on tight budgets. Even though you will need to have at least $200 to buy a Teac record player, the price tag never goes beyond $500 in most cases. The three best Teac turntables you should consider buying include Teac TN-300, Teac LP-R550 and Teac MC-D800-CH. TN-300 is the most popular record player that this company has produced to date. It features a high quality aluminum construction, a wooden cabinet and has a beautiful glossy finish. It is available in six different colors.
Jensen is a brand that has different product lines. It started building record players decades ago. So when buying their products, you do not need to have any worry in your mind because they have the knowledge and experience in producing well-functioning, high quality turntables. One of the best record players they have ever produced is Jensen JTA-230. It is very affordable and yet does a really great job. It costs less than $50 dollars but features stunning sound output. It features a USB output that allows you to convert your audio content from the vinyl record player to MP3 and other formats. Another Jensen record player to consider buying is JTA-220. With a retail price of about $40, it is very easy to be skeptical about its performance. But when you start using it, you will realize just how great it is. Apart from the incredibly low price you will use to buy it, another thing that you will love about it is its small and lightweight nature. It fits almost anywhere and is very easy to transport. Other Jensen turntables to consider buying include JTA-222 and JTA-460.
There are many different types of Crosley record players on the market and just about every one of them is great. In case you are looking for a quality, stylish and affordable turntable, you should consider buying from this brand. Crosley CR6232A-BR is one of the best record players from this company. It is designed to closely mimic the turntables that were very common during the Great Depressions leading to World War II. It is driven by a belt mechanism that makes its sound quality absolutely fantastic. Other things to like about it include the intelligently designed needle NP5 system as well as the ability to plug it into any musical production equipment or stereo system. It comes equipped with an auxiliary output, in-line RCA output, USB connectivity and headphone jack.
The CR8005A-TU is another remarkable Crosley turntable that you should consider buying. You will love its retro inspired look and small and lightweight design that allows you to move it easily. It can play three different speeds without any problem at all. There is also CR6019A-BR that has become a force to reckon with in the turntable community. It features a traveling suitcase design that makes it stand out of the rest of the pack.
Other notable brands that have wonderful turntables include Technics, Electrohome, Project, GPO and Stanton. Before you make up your mind about which one to buy, think about the rest of your sound setup. Apart from making sure that you have the best turntable, you also need to make sure that you have the best sound equipment to go with it. If you buy the best or most expensive record player and then hook speakers or receiver system that is not high quality and perfectly tuned, it may sound more than a little flat.
So here is List of Best Record Players in 2017 Reviews.
1. Audio Technica AT-LP120: USB Direct Drive
This unit offers truly professional sound. If you want a turntable that can help you listen to your vinyl in stunning accuracy, this option will bring your recordings to life in a way you never thought possible. Audio Technica is trusted by professionals around the world, and you’ll be able to take part in some truly mind-blowing sonic experiences. The AT-LP120 uses a manual operation with a direct drive operating system. It’s able to play at 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPMs so that you can select the right speed for your recordings. The forward and reverse controller uses an S-curved format that is designed to make it easy to use and adjust.
The USB connection offers a superior way to connect to your computer, and it makes this unit highly functional in some truly exceptional ways. You’ll be able to convert your vinyl to a digital audio format, and the software that comes with the unit works on both the Mac and PC. The motor is a high-torque motor for a quick startup, but you don’t have to worry about this unit shredding your recordings. With a fully manual operation, you have complete control but that also means the device won’t automatically stop when your recording is finished.
Additional cables are also included in case you need an adapter to connect the device to your computer. The platter is made from die-cast aluminum, and it uses an anti-resonance design that is normally found only in professional applications. With a one-half inch mount and a dual-magnet phono cartridge, you’ll get amazing response and realism. This turntable also comes with the option to connect to a 3.5mm or 1/8-inch mini plug. It’s highly versatile, and you can adjust the pitch of your recordings in increments of 10 or 20 percent. A low signal-to-noise ratio rounds out the system for exceptional sound clarity.
- Provides a 3-speed turntable option.
- Comes with the option to adjust the pitch in increments of 10 percent.
- The tone arm assembly has an adjustable counterweight.
- Doesn’t have an automatic stop feature.
2. Electrohome Signature Vinyl Record Player
This retro-inspired player is designed to provide you with a phenomenal record player that is designed using sturdy materials and superior hand-craftsmanship. It provides its own acoustic cabinet for an authentic sound, and it will also play modern media as well. You can listen to your vinyl one moment and then pop in a CD or listen to music through your smartphone the next. The player also comes with the option of tuning to various AM/FM radio stations for the best array of options. Featuring real wood cabinetry, this unit is designed to be solid and you’ll immediately sense its sturdiness when you open the package upon arrival. The unit uses an old-fashioned design, and it is a classic look that will look great in virtually any decor. The analog tuning dial and rotary control knob give this unit a real vintage look.
The company has been developing audio systems for over 100 years, so they know what it takes to make a good item. This system is completely analog for the vinyl playback option, and that makes it an ideal option for those who want an authentic sound. The conical-shaped ceramic needle has a sapphire tip for delicate reproduction of tone quality. You’ll love the ability to play all of your albums and it’s also got modern recording capabilities so that you can record your albums to CD. This option can be completed with a computer, but the unit plugs in easily with a USB cable. However, if you just want to record your music to MP3 format, this system can do that without the aid of a computer. Since the unit has a built-in MP3 recorder, you won’t have to worry about fiddling with computer settings.
The belt-driven unit is fully automatic. You’ll be able to listen to your recordings at three speeds and it can handle 7-inch, 10-inch and 12-inch records with ease. The unit produces warm tones that help to bring out the natural sound of your recording. With use, this unit will take care of your records and you’ll be able to listen to them for years to come. The acoustic speaker is essentially a chamber inside the player and you’ll love the four high-performance speakers that are capable of providing stunning detail and clarity. You’ll hear things in your records that you’ve never heard before, and you’ll marvel at the brilliant clarity and versatility of this system. The arm does require a manual start, but at the end of your recording, it will return to its base.
- Offers a cool, retro look that is a great conversation starter.
- Capable of playing music from a portable audio player as well as records.
- Record vinyl albums to MP3 for listening on the go.
- While versatile, it doesn’t provide the best audio.
3. Audio Technica AT-LP60: Fully Automatic Stereo Turntable
Featuring a belt drive, this unit is designed to be incredibly versatile and functional. It offers an anti-resonance, die-cast aluminum platter that is designed to provide you with exceptional sound quality. The unit also comes with an integrated dual magnet photo cartridge with a diamond stylus that can be replaced. For a record player at this price point, this is a pretty rare thing to come by. The device also offers a built-in switchable phono pre-amplifier. You can connect RCA cables to power a set of external speakers or connect to another audio system. There are a host of connection options available on this unit. Two output adapter cables, including a 45 RPM adapter are available.
The unit offers three speeds for the ultimate flexibility in the type of recordings you want to listen to. You’ll love the wow and flutter that is less than 0.25 percent. The system is also fully automated, so you’ll love how well it works to give you an optimal sense of convenience and utility. The turntable is probably one of the best on our list, but there are a few things to be aware of. The stop button sometimes needs to be reset, but when you consider the price and versatility of this system this becomes a minor problem. This turntable looks and feels better than a lot of other models out there. You should love the sound that comes out of this unit and hooking up a decent set of speakers will help improve that level of quality even more.
While this unit might not be as heavy-duty as the AT-LP120-USB version, it does offer some features that need to be taken into consideration. The AT-LP60 is more affordable so you’ll get a much better deal if you get this unit. The sound quality is very similar to the USB model, and you’ll also get a unit that is a bit lighter. The unit offers semi-automatic operation, which makes it a great unit to have around for parties or for a late night of easy listening. Ultimately, this unit is smaller and lighter than the USB version, but it doesn’t have the same level of reliability and the parts aren’t quite as sturdy. However, for nearly half the price, it’s a great deal. Still, the build quality is solid enough, and it should last for at least a decade or more.
- Comes with a professional aluminum platter.
- Has a very low signal-to-noise ratio.
- The platter uses an anti-resonance design for clear audio.
- Only offers two speeds.
4. Victrola Nostalgic Aviator Wood: 7-in-1 Bluetooth Turntable
Get ready to experience some serious nostalgia with this amazing portable player. This player offers a seven-in-one music center that makes it possible to get the best quality recordings from their vinyl records. The system makes it possible to record all of your favorites and keep that vinyl recording preserved in a digital format. It also uses a three-speed turntable and you can make your recordings without having to use a computer. Recordings can be saved directly to a recordable disk with little to no effort. Enjoy the option of using Bluetooth to stream your music through the built-in stereo speakers that are designed to provide you with the best quality sound. Play cassettes, CDs, MP3 files and much more with this highly versatile and vintage looking unit.
Your music can be streamed from up to 33 feet away from the device. You’ll be able to connect your Bluetooth devices and start playing your recordings from most anywhere in the room. The vinyl record player uses a belt-driven turntable that is designed to take good care of your vinyl recordings to minimize wear and tear. The player also includes a three-speed turntable system that is able to play 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM recordings. The biggest selling point might be the luxurious and beautiful wood trim that gives it a solid and truly vintage look. You’ll love being able to control all of your music with the use of the included remote control as well. Not many portable record players have remote control functionality.
This unit is a true entertainment center. You’ll be able to relax and enjoy your music in stunning detail whether you use the built-in speaker system of the RCA aux-in and headphone jack to connect external devices. The model also comes in a non-Bluetooth model if you don’t need the added functionality, but this unit can help you get the best possible listening experience from your portable devices when you purchase the highly-rated Bluetooth version. If you’re looking for a quality record player that comes in a classic case and design, you’ve finally found that in this incredible little device. You’ll love the extreme reliability and professionalism of this product, and this highly functional player will quickly become one of your favorites.
- Comes with three speeds to choose from.
- Bluetooth connectivity means you can play music from your Bluetooth devices.
- Includes extras like a built-in CD layer, cassette player and radio.
- The built-in speakers work best for vinyl recordings.
5. Electrohome Wellington Record Player Retro Vinyl Turntable
If you’re looking for something that’s made from real wood and still has modern options like the ability to connect to USB, this model might be perfect for you. It’s a good model that sports a 4-in-1 design. Listen to vinyl records, CDs, radio and MP3s using the provided USB connectivity. It also allows the option to use a 3.5mm auxiliary input to listen to music playing on almost all portable players. The built-in speakers offer a rich and deluxe sound that will fill the room with the nostalgic sound that only a record player can produce. If you like your music just a little bit dirty, the vinyl record player is the way to go.
The player offers a host of features to make it even more valuable. You’ll love the ability to record any vinyl album to an MP3 using the provided USB port. All you have to do is simply attach your USB drive and press the record button. The player will record whatever is currently playing on the turntable. This feature is great for when you want to take the sound of your analog recordings with you. You’ll love how well you can hear the sonic quality of your recordings as the professional components bring your music to life. A conical-shaped sapphire tipped ceramic needle offers improved audio performance and you’ll get an incredibly warm and natural tone when you listen to your vinyl on this player.
The player is designed to be easy on your recordings. Don’t worry about scratching your recordings or harming your records. This unit is designed to ensure your vinyl can last a long time. With the iconic design, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time to when War of the Worlds was first broadcast over the radio. This player looks and feels amazing, and it is designed with a mahogany cabinet from a company that has over 100 years of experience creating outstanding analog audio components. The illuminated tuning dial adds an extra dimension to the device so you can enjoy all the best that this incredible little unit has to offer. Experience how your recordings are supposed to sound with an incredibly smooth unit that is designed to give you an exceptional level of power and control.
- Great built-in stereo sound.
- Makes it possible to record vinyl recordings to CD.
- Better audio performance thanks to the conical-shaped ceramic needle with a sapphire tip.
- No output option to connect to external speakers.
6 Things You Must Know When Buying a Record Player
Before parting with your money to pay for a record player, there are various things you must know about it, namely:
- Components or Features of the Record Player
It is important to understand the major components of the record player you want to buy especially if you will be spending a lot of money on it. The first component is the plinth of the record player. It acts as the foundation and base and serves the very important function of providing stability across the board. You need to make sure that the plinth is in good condition to avoid the risk of the turntable falling especially when the records are spinning.
Another key component to check when buying a record player is the platter. This is the area where the recording sits and spins. It is a good idea to consider choosing a turntable with a heavier platter because it is considered to be of better quality compared to a lightweight one. The heavier platter offers extra stability and reduces vibration when the records are spinning. You should also check the tone arm and stylus/cartridge/needle system of the record player you want to buy. Make sure that it is in good working condition and can be moved effortlessly either manually or automatically.
If get hooked to the whole vinyl experience, chances are you will want to upgrade your record player at some point in future. For this reason, you need to check the prospective record players and determine which components on them are upgradeable. Among the features that are likely to require an upgrade or replacement in future include the tone arm, cartridge, belt and slip marts. Be careful when buying lower-end turntables because most of them are built in a manner that does not allow for individual components to be replaced or upgraded. If you buy a turntable like that, you are likely to get stuck with stock components.
- Manual vs. Automatic
You have the choice of automatic, manual and sometimes semi-automatic when buying a record player. This simply refers to the method that you will be using to place and remove the needle on the record. An automatic system is the best because the process happens at a simple push of a button. If you are comfortably sitting on your chair or resting in bed, you will not be forced to stand up and go where the turntable is to get the music playing. The manual system on the other hand requires you to lift the arm and put it on the record by yourself. This can prove hectic at times but is manageable. Semi-automatic record players require you to manually put the needle, but the needle if lifted off automatically in the end. If you do not have a steady hand, it will be a good idea to buy an automatic turntable to avoid the risk of scratching the record.
- Rotational Speed
When shopping for record players, you will come across some that are classified as three speed. These turntables support a third speed of 78 revolutions per minute and are perfect for older 10 inch records that feature wider grooves. But since most records play two different speeds that are supported by every turntable, that is 45 revolutions per minutes for seven inch records known as singles and 33 revolutions per minute for 12 inch records known as EPs or albums, you do not need to worry too much about the rotational speed of the turntable you will buy.
You need to know where or how you need intend to keep the record player that you are buying. While this may sound trivial to some people, it is a very important issue that you cannot overlook or ignore. Record players are very vulnerable to vibration. You need to keep them in a place where there are no vibrations. This is because the external vibrations can be turned into sound, something that will affect the sound quality of the music that you are listening to. If the external vibrations become too much, they can cause the needle to skip and jump.
If you want to be able to listen to your music in different places, you should consider the portability of the record player that you will buy. There are some that are very heavy that moving them from one place to another will be close to impossible. But if you take your time to shop around, you will not miss to find the best portable record player. Among the most popular brands that are known for making the most portable record players include GPO and Crosley. They make turntables that can be easily folded into carry cases for ease of transportation. Some of their record players even include built-in speakers. Make sure that you choose carefully because some of them are often flimsy due to the lightweight design.
Everyone that is looking to spin their vinyl has something for them on the market. Do not let budget constraints be the reason to give up your research for the best record player. Whether you are looking for something new or old, something that fits well with your furniture, or something that will not take up a lot of space in your house, you will find it provided that you look for it. Now is the perfect time to get a record player because most new albums are usually released into vinyl format. You can also find classics to play on your record player at very affordable prices on eBay or your local record store.