Audiophiles who know the value of great sound always look out for the best vintage turntable. They see them as the best of their kind. This desire is not just about the sound though. It’s also about the fact that vintage turntables are widely regarded as a symbol of music history. They’re seen as being high-quality, probably because of the period in which they were produced. For most audiophiles, vintage turntables give them a feeling of nostalgia which is indescribable.
But, first things first:
What is a Turntable?
A Turntable is a music-playing device that plays LP (Long Play) records. LPs are also known as “vinyls.” Turntables operate through a needle tracing the engraved waveforms from record and vibrating to reproduce the recorded sound waves.
Turntables may also be referred to as “record players” or “phonographs”. Turntables that are used with a mixer as part of a DJ’s set up are often known as “decks”. Using turntables in this way to manipulate sounds and create music is a modern art known as “Turntablism”. You can read more about “Turntablism” here.
Turntables are very popular with audiophiles as it is widely accepted that they produce a better sound quality than other digital music sources like CDs (Compact Discs). Besides their greater sound quality, turntables are also popular with music enthusiasts because of their historical significance in the world of music.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Vintage Turntable
If you’re in the market to buy a record player, you’ll find the following suggestions useful. It can be daunting but follow the recommendations.
Check Record Compatibility –Most vintage turntables will play all LP record formats (33RPM, 45RPM, 78RPM and 16RPM) however some models may only play the more commonly used 33 and 45RPM speeds. It is strongly recommended that buyers check the turntables record compatibility prior to buying to ensure the most successful purchase possible.
Check Needle Compatibility –Almost all vintage turntables have interchangeable needles (styluses) so that if one should break, it can simply be replaced with another. It’s always advisable to check the turntables needle compatibility with the seller or manufacturer prior to purchase.
Manual or Automatic –Vintage turntables are often available in both manual and automatic. Automatic turntables feature a tonearm which is capable of moving records over automatically. Manual turntables however have a tonearm which must be moved over to the records manually. Generally speaking, audiophiles prefer manual turntables as there is less parts to cause vibration which interferes with the sound.
Best Vintage Turntable – Our Picks
This item, manufactured by Electrohome, has an old-fashioned look. It has a 4.3 out of 5 stars rating on Amazon. It has over 500 reviews with a dimension of 15 x 12 x 21 inches. The item weighs 25 pounds with a shipping weight of 19.7 pounds.
You don’t require batteries to operate this record player, just plug it into a wall socket. It comes with a 12-month Full Manufacturer’s Direct Warranty.
You can use it for LPs 33, 78 and singles 45. It takes CDs and USB, so you can copy from vinyl or CD to MP3.
It comes with extensive set-up instructions. It’s actually detailed and might require you to do a bit of studying to understand. The manual is usually within the box the product is shipped in.
The Electrohome Wellington Vinyl Turntable is the sixth best-selling product in Amazon’s Turntables & Accessories sub-category.
Let’s hear what actual users are saying…
I’ve used it several times with all the media options and really enjoy it. If you are considering it for playing records, the sound is very good.
I love the fact that I can plug into exterior speakers. Ours is hooked to a set of Bose through an auxiliary cable.
I like the fact that this product plays all sizes: LPs (33 RPM), Singles (45 RPM) and 78 RPM. Also you can play CDs and music from a USB stick.
It was easy to set up. Instructions are clear, some of them are even on the turntable so you can’t make a mistake. I wish I could describe how beautiful the sound is. I have not listened to an LP in many years. In all honesty, I didn’t realize what a crazy, emotional moment it would be. I’m sure I will enjoy the other features as well, but for the time being, I will listen to all those LPs I’ve been saving, and likely begin collecting some original rock ‘n’ roll records next. Nostalgia and technology together in the same good-looking unit. Hope and expectations exceeded.
It doesn’t play cassette tapes. It does record CD, radio, and USB though
This unit records to USB intermittently; sometimes, I have to play the record more than once to get it done
There is no start and stop button on this machine. You have to pick up the arm manually, but it is very easy to do and I have yet to scratch a record
When recording a record to mp3, it records the entire side as only one mp3. It doesn’t automatically break them up into individual songs. However, you can use software like Audacity to break up the file into individual songs. You would need to stop the recording and start again after every song if you wish to record each track separately.
There’s no Bluetooth transmission. Transmission can only occur or can be sent by wireless components like iPads, cellphones, and even computers. It has a standard 3.5 mm audio in port (same size as the headphone jack in the front), so you can plug a mobile device or MP3 player into it.
This product has a 3.5 out of 5 stars rating on Amazon. With over 300 reviews, the Pyle Home Classic turntable weighs 22 pounds with a shipping weight of 23.8 pounds. It has a dimension of 11.5 x 22.2 x 16 inches.
It’s made in China by Sound Around. You can contact the technical support team at 718-535-1800 Ext 279 or email them: email@example.com for further assistance.
Let’s hear what actual users are saying…
I’ve used this unit to record records. Just insert USB “thumb” drive into the USB slot and play the record. It will record onto the drive. From there, you can transfer the music to your computer to burn CD’s. I have tons of records and now I am able to not only play them but transfer them to digital files to put on my kindle fire.
We’ve had this player for over a year. My husband and I love it. We use the record player and iPod hook-up most often, and it has never failed us.
Great sound! I love that it can play records, tapes, CDs and hook to my phone to play Pandora. Definitely worth every penny!
I would recommend this system for anyone who wants to play and/or record music on “legacy” media: vinyl records, cassettes, etc. The turntable works great. Controls have tiny lettering on them. But, after a while, you memorize which buttons do what.
I had to return two units in order to get a working one. Both times, one of the speakers did not work.
If you want a turntable that stacks multiple records and automatically changes the record when it is done playing, this is not the system for you. It will only take one record at a time. It has all three speeds 78, 45, 33 1/3. You can only play one CD at a time.
It is attractive and compact, but radio reception not good. Trying to improve the antenna set up by contacting Pyle.
The only thing that is really bad is the instruction manual. Very poorly written and hard to understand. But, you can figure it out … eventually.
The package consists of a belt-driven Turntable mechanism, CD player, Cassette Deck as well as a plug for your MP3 player or other portable audio device. It plays 3 Speeds – 33 1/3, 45 And 78 RPM Records.
It’s the 8th best-selling product in Amazon’s Turntables & Accessories sub-category (as at the time of writing). It’s made in the USA by Deer Park Distributors. It has a dimension of 17 x 12.5 x 10 inches and weighs 16.7 pounds with a shipping weight of the same volume.
Even though this product doesn’t have handles to carry it, it is self-contained with speakers and can be moved without disconnecting components. It isn’t compact.
It has a One year Crosley Factory Warranty as well as RetroVisions FREE Extended Warranty.
Let’s hear what actual users are saying…
It comes with everything necessary to play vinyls, cassette tapes, CDs and the radio. Nothing else is needed. Just place the record on the turntable and play.
The sound on this machine is great. Our house is not huge, but the sound fills the room that the record player is in, and can also be heard quite clearly both upstairs and down. There is absolutely no need for external speakers.
I received this player as a Christmas present. I have never previously owned one nor do I know much about them, but I love it. The sound is great and it’s been working smoothly for about a year now. It’s easy to work and gives you plenty of options for how you want to play your music.
If you want to use an external speaker, just know that you can’t hook up a speaker to it. There are no places for the larger cords that go with external speakers. But you really don’t need to. It plays plenty loud.
This unit has an AM/FM radio though the reception isn’t great. There’s a wire that hangs down the back of the machine that you have to move around to find the right spot. I’m sure there’s a way to take care of that, but I’m not tech savvy enough to figure out what it is.
I keep a small flashlight with the unit. It is difficult to see the the various buttons since they are embedded into the metal. You will want the unit at a good height to see even with the flashlight. The unit has a great sound–have tried CD’s, a cassette and the radio so far and the sound is good.