Record Players

Vinyl is back in a big way. While sales of digital downloads and other physical media are in decline, vinyl sales in 2017 hit their highest level since 1991, marking 12 successive years of growth.

What was once dismissed as a fad now looks like it’s here to stay.

If you’re ready to start collecting vinyl, you’ll need to buy a record player (also called a “turntable”). But where do you start? There’s an almost unlimited number of products to choose from, with prices ranging from the tens of dollars to thousands.

Manual vs. Automatic Record Players

The process can differ depending on whether you choose a manual, automatic, or semi-automatic record player.

This refers to the method used to place the needle on, and remove it from, the record. On an automatic system, it happens at the push of a button. With manual systems, you need to lift the arm and place it on the record yourself. On a semi-automatic table, you place the needle manually but it lifts off on its own.

How Much Should You Spend on a Record Player?

Most budget turntables are retro-styled players in plastic casing with their own built-in speakers. It’s everything you need to give vinyl a try, or to give your parents’ old record collection a listen.

But if you’re looking for the warmer, richer sound that vinyl fans eulogize, you’ll need to spend more. Pushing your budget up to the next level will give you noticeable improvements. 

As you move up to the mid range and beyond, the price grows exponentially. Most mid-range turntables don’t have a speaker built-in (we carry Edifier Brand Speakers), so you’ll need to supply your own. You might also need to supply your own phono preamp since most players aren’t powerful enough to drive the speakers without one.

The Best Record Player Brands

For the best beginner record player we’d recommend the Audio-Technica AT-LP60X-USB. It’s a well-specced, fully automatic, player with built in pre-amp and USB port. Thus, the LP60X enjoys great reviews. It’s affordable enough to get started with, but you shouldn’t outgrow it as you become more immersed in your hobby.

We carry Audio-Technica Brand turntables, and accessories. If you're looking for a different brand or model, please contact us, and we will do our best to fulfill your request quickly.


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