For serious record collectors, nothing beats playing your favorite vinyl on any one of the great vintage turntables available today.
Unfortunately, tracking down top-of-the-line vintage turntables is a lot more difficult today than it probably was in the past – especially since these high-end pieces of equipment have become so incredibly popular during the “vinyl revival” we are all living in the middle of right now.
But that shouldn’t dissuade you from looking for a top-notch “new to you” record player, especially if you want to really enjoy your vintage records the way that they were intended to be enjoyed.
Arm yourself with the insider information we included below and you shouldn’t have any trouble whatsoever getting your hands on the best old-fashioned record player available out on the market today.
Let’s jump right in!
Don’t even think about buying vintage record players without understanding the key components
Even though all turntables (vintage and otherwise) do exactly the same thing – play vinyl records – they go about doing so in a very, very unique way.
Some of them take advantage of the same key components that all turntables have in common differently than others, and you’re going to be to make sure that you know exactly what you’re getting into before you pull the trigger on a vintage purchase.
Here are the “essentials” that you’ll need to be aware of.
The plinth of your new vintage record player should be in as good a condition as reasonably possible, which can mean a bunch of different things dependent entirely upon the age of the vintage record player you’re looking for.
The foundation of your record player, this base unit should be incredibly stable (to provide for stutter free playback), and should be as cosmetically pleasing as it can be.
Your platter is going to be the rotating component that the record actually sits upon while it plays, so it needs to be in tip top condition – or they need to be replaced. The heavier the platter the better off you’re going to be, as heavier style platters are going to reduce vibration as the record spins around.
This will result in crystal-clear audio as opposed to audio that pops and whistles.
This little gizmo is the arm that reaches out and sets down the needle on your record, and needs to be in as close to brand-new condition as it can be.
The tonearm needs to gently pressed upon the record as it is spun around on the platter, with just enough force that it reproduces the music authentically but not so much force that it damages the actual record that is being played.
Tonearms come in “automatic” and “manual” configurations, and most serious audio enthusiasts would be caught dead with an automatic – especially on a vintage turntable.
Lastly, you’ll need to make sure that the cartridge or needle system that your vintage turntable takes advantage of is still in perfect working order and that it will accept a new cartridge or a new needle.
The odds of you stumbling upon a vintage turntable with OEM needles or cartridges in brand-new condition are slim to none (without dropping a small fortune on the purchase), so just making sure that the piece of equipment that accepts the cartridge or needle is in working order should suffice.
Get as many details about your new vintage turntable as possible ahead of time
The vintage marketplace is littered with pieces of all different calibers, many of them as close to brand-new as possible (even though they may be 40 years old or older) but many of them are in a sorry condition and require refurbishing or rejuvenating.
Unless you know just about everything there is to know about your new turntable ahead of time, you might end up purchasing something that sounds perfect – until you actually try to play a record on it!
If you can find one of these vintage turntables in solid condition, snap it up!
While you are going to have an almost endless amount of choices in front of you when it comes to purchasing vintage turntables, these two classics are “fan favorites” for a real reason – they are not only beautiful, they also are capable of reproducing such rich and authentic sound that you would have sworn you were right there in the studio recording with the band.
The two vintage turntables that you should be on the lookout for are the Electrohome Winston Vinyl Record Player 3-in-1 Classic Turntable Natural Wood Stereo System and the Crosley CR704C-PA Musician 3-Speed Turntable.
Both of them bring different features to the table (the Crosley is a little bit newer and a little bit more “advanced”), but you really can’t go wrong with either one.
At the end of the day, either of these two amazing vintage turntables will be a worthy addition to your collection!