How to Use a Record Player 

How to Use a Record Player 

Most true music connoisseurs will agree that vinyl records are far superior to any other music format. But if you don’t know how to use a record player, you’ll be missing out on all that musical awesomeness.

Luckily for you, using a record player doesn’t require advanced DJ skills — anybody can do it!

In this article, we’ll go over the basics of using a record player and some more in-depth knowledge that even the experts will appreciate.

The Record-Playing Basics

Here are the basic steps to take if you’re at a loss about how to use your shiny new record player:

  • Connect the speakers, if necessary.
  • Adjust the turntable to the right size and speed.
  • Carefully place your record on the platter.
  • Drop the needle on the starting groove.
  • Enjoy your music!

Connect the Speakers 

Most record players have built-in speakers. If yours do, congratulations! You’re ready to start listening to your records. However, if you’re the sort of person who needs or wants to use external speakers, fret not. It can be a little tricky, but it’s doable.

How to Use a Record Player 

Record players use a preamp to convert phono signals to a form that will work well with your speakers. This device is built-in for entry-level speakers, so you’ll only need to plug in the red and white RCA cables.

If your record player uses an external preamp, you’ll have more control over things like equalization and tone. However, this means more cables to fuss around with, so be careful not to ruin your audio experience with messy connections.

Some record players use a 3.5mm line jack to connect directly to your headphones or speakers. Some even provide Bluetooth connectivity! Simply fix up the settings to connect your turntable to your speakers, and you’re all set.

Adjust for Size and Speed 

Vinyl records come in two main sizes: 12-inch full-length records and 7-inch singles. Vinyl can also be played at three different speeds, depending on how many times the disc rotates per minute: 33⅓ RPM, 45 RPM, and 78 RPM.

Full-length, long-playing records, or LPs, have a diameter of 12 inches and are usually designed to be played at 33⅓ RPM. Most record players have this speed as the default setting, so you don’t need to make any adjustments if your records are full-length albums.

For extended play (EP) records that usually hold singles, you’ll probably need to adjust your turntable speed to 45 RPM. Discs containing singles typically have a diameter of 7 inches, although there are 12-inch singles as well. Be careful; 12-inch singles play at 45 RPM, not 33⅓ RPM.

Records that run at 78 RPM are entirely vintage. Though they may be easy to come by in second-hand record stores, these records’ production ended in 1955. Modern turntables don’t usually have the 78 RPM speed built-in, but no worries, since most of the records you’ll be playing will be at 33⅓ RPM or 45 RPM.

Place your Record on the Platter 

Ah yes, the part where you feel like a real music aficionado. You probably already know the platter is the centerpiece of your turntable. It’s not uncommon to see that the metal bar in the middle pokes through the disc’s central hole. However, if your turntable is vertical, you’ll need to make some adjustments for your record to be stable.

What you need to be especially careful about is how you handle the vinyl. Use gloves or tissue paper. If it’s a 7-inch EP and you have big hands, place a finger in the hole and your thumb on the edge. Whatever you do, keep your fingers off the vinyl surface.

Vinyl is very fragile — and quite expensive, too. That’s why most turntables have a felt or plastic mat on the platter to prevent your record from touching the metal. If yours doesn’t come with a mat, you might want to invest in one or improvise by cutting cloth in a round shape.

Drop the Needle and Play

With the record on the platter, all that’s left is to move the needle to the starting groove of the album, usually the outermost groove for the very first song, and then use the lever to lower it onto the record carefully.

Stylus Recommendations

Here’s what you should consider: the turntable arm is the most crucial piece of your record player. It contains the needle for picking up vibrations and the cartridge that converts vibrations to electrical signals. Replacement of these items can be costly.

So if you’re going to be forking out some money for a diamond stylus — yes, the needle tip is made from an actual diamond — you might want to take a few precautions when using it.

For instance, don’t do any back-and-forth movements with your records in an attempt to mimic old-fashioned hip-hop sounds. Not only will it wreck your vinyl records, but it’ll also ruin the needle.

The contact between the needle and the disc must be firm but not too heavy. If the contact is too heavy, your needle will suffer. If it’s too light, the needle will have free rein bouncing on the disc, which will damage the record.

It would be best if you kept dust and liquids from the needle and cartridge. A wrecked needle means you’ll have to live with less-than-perfect sound from your record player, and your records will develop static that’ll render them unlistenable.

But enough doomsday news. If you’re careful with that all-important needle and don’t try anything crazy while playing your records, you can begin to enjoy the incredible, unadulterated sound of vinyl.

Caring for Your Record Player

If you want to be able to enjoy your vinyl for a long time, you’ll have to do certain routine maintenance tasks for your turntable. It quickly gathers dust, and certain parts might need replacing at some point. A dirty turntable will ruin the quality of sound in even brand new records.

Here are some tips you can work into your routine to keep your record player at the optimal performance:

  • Dust the turntable and needle after each use.
  • Thoroughly clean the stylus once or twice a month.
  • Regularly check the condition of the belt.

Clean Your Turntable 

As your turntable spins records, it generates static electricity, and this attracts dust and debris. Over time, this can severely impair the quality of the sound produced. Your record player needs dusting regularly to avoid the hissing and skipping of a dirty turntable.

It’s recommended that you dust your record player after each use, but you may decide to do this twice or three times a week. Use a microfiber cloth to dust all the surfaces, from the platter’s center to the outer edges.

The needle should also be dusted often with a special cleaning brush. You can improvise with a paintbrush as well.

If you haven’t cleaned the record player in a while and you’ve started noticing skipping and hissing sounds, you may need a deeper clean. A cotton cloth moistened with some rubbing alcohol can be used to wipe the surfaces of your turntable, and you should leave it to dry before use.

Wash the Stylus

A dirty stylus can also contribute to the hissing sound that ruins the audio experience of your vinyl. To prevent this, properly wash the arm every couple of weeks with rubbing alcohol or a vinyl cleaning solution.

The arm should be wiped with a moistened microfiber cloth from back to front. Do not try top-to-bottom; else, you risk bending the needle.

Check the Belt 

The belt is responsible for spinning your turntable. If your record player ever stops spinning, there’s a good chance that the belt is withered. Instead of waiting for this to happen, frequently check the state of the belt.

If you realize the belt has over-expanded or needs replacement, get a compatible belt from a store using the manual’s guidelines. Switch off the record player and unscrew the clip holding the platter. Flip it upside-down and carefully slide the belt into the circular lid underneath.

After the belt snaps into position, place the platter in its correct orientation on the turntable and turn it to expose the motor. Using the access points, pull the belt over the drive motor and push the platter back into place. Reattach the C-shaped clip and try spinning the platter in both directions to see if the new belt works perfectly.

Caring for Your Records 

As said earlier, vinyl is very fragile. It can easily be corrupted by anything on its surface other than a well-crafted turntable stylus. Dust can also go a long way to mess with the record, and the same goes for water or any other liquid.

How to Use a Record Player 

You can’t be too careful with caring for your records if you want to enjoy their music forever. Some tips for this include:

  • Keep records in their sleeves when not in use.
  • Store in a shelf or crate — do not stack.
  • Store in a cool, dry place.
  • Use a microfiber cloth or carbon fiber brush to clean the vinyl surfaces.
  • Don’t use water or liquid apart from designated record player cleaners.
  • Hold records by the edge and avoid touching the surface with your fingertips.
  • Always play from the starting groove.

Mind the Sleeve

You might think returning records to their sleeves after playing should be a no-brainer, but you’d be amazed at how many people leave the record on the turntable or, worse, store it naked without the sleeve, how they can still expect to hear that smooth vinyl sound is just mind-blowing.

Dust is the enemy of your records. It lines the grooves, creates static, and ultimately ruins the sound. To keep your record away from dust, always return it to the sleeve after use. Please don’t leave it on the platter, and certainly don’t keep it anywhere without the sleeve. Enough said.

Store Records Properly

Storing your precious records in tidy stacks may look efficient, but it isn’t good for the vinyl. The cumulative weight of the records not only tends to wreck the surface of the records placed lower down, but it also warps the records and can render them completely unplayable. This can happen even in the sleeve.

To properly store your albums, keep them upright in storage crates or racks. Record frames that hang on the wall are sometimes used, but these are primarily decorative long-term storage solutions. It isn’t easy to open up the frame to access the record if you want to play it.

Picture ledges are also a good but slightly more expensive storage option. Originally meant for storing pictures, these stylish racks can only hold a few discs apiece, so get ready to buy a ton of these if you happen to have a ton of records. Picture ledges also expose their contents to dust, which means records will require frequent cleaning.

Keep in a Cool, Dry Place 

It’s important to keep records away from heat and humidity if you want them to be playable. This means storing them away from direct sunlight and any other sources of heat. Crates and other storage options usually have open vents for air to keep the discs cool. However, this isn’t enough if you keep the crate in the boot of a car when traveling.

If you’re moving and you have to take your record collection along, store them vertically in an open box and keep this box with you in the car. If it’s a hot day, turn on the air conditioner or choose the coolest hour of the day to drive. Do everything possible to keep the surrounding air cool and dry.

Clean with the Right Tools 

Maintaining your records in good quality means you’ll have to clean them often. It’s important to avoid using your handkerchief, towel, or T-shirt to wipe the surfaces of your discs. The fiber creates scratched records, which will create scratchy sound, making an audiophile cry.

A pure microfiber cotton cloth is a good choice. Even better is a record-cleaning brush.

If you’ve been carefully collecting records for some time, you should own one of these carbon fiber brushes. The hairs are optimized to clean dust and silt while minimizing scratching. It’s recommended that you always brush records after playing them, just before they go into their sleeves.

Twice or three times a year, you might want to clean your discs beyond mere brushing. This helps if you want to maintain that shiny vinyl look and sound of your records.

Use a dedicated vinyl cleaning solution to spray the record’s surface, leave out the label, and carefully wipe with a cotton cloth. Take care to follow the disc’s circular curve when wiping, and don’t wipe across it.

Make sure that you’re using a designated vinyl cleaning solution and not any other liquid. Certainly not water!

Keep Your Fingers Off the Surface 

Touching the vinyl surface of your record is an absolute no-no, especially with your palm and fingers. Oils from fingertips can easily ruin the sound quality of a vinyl record. This might not be equal to the permanent damage caused by scratches, but over time, the records will no longer sound as good as you’d like.

There are other methods of carrying a record. Try holding the disc by the edge and use the hole. Use both hands for 12-inch LP records. If, for any reason, you can’t rely on the edges for a firm grip, then wear felt gloves or use a microfiber cloth.

Always Play from the Beginning

What? All the time? Yes, always use the starting groove.

It’s the safest place to place the needle without risking any scratches on your disc surface or compromising the needle. Trying to start the record anywhere other than the outermost groove is an advanced technique and requires special training.

If you really want to hear that particular song on the album, and it isn’t a single, start the record from the beginning and wait for your song to come on. Patience is a virtue.

Perhaps this one is the hardest to do in this day and age of instant coffee and instant entertainment. But unless you’re very experienced, the chances of putting the needle in the wrong groove are quite high.

This practice might create negligible scratches at first, but much worse ones later, and can potentially destroy your precious records.

Conclusion

Digital music has its place. We can’t do without our Spotify lists. But no one can call themselves true connoisseurs of music and rely solely on digital sources for their rhythms. Once you’ve heard your favorite albums on vinyl, you’ll be able to appreciate the warmth and true feel of the music. And the very first step to getting there is learning how to use a record player.

So go forth, and pump out the jazz.

How to Ground a Record Player

How to Ground a Record Player

Record players, also known as phonographs, are often regarded as the pharaohs of all the music players in history. The quality of the music they emanate, the rustic feel of the much-loved and cherished vinyl, and the nostalgia of listening to your favorite pieces of music at leisure are a few of the reasons why music connoisseurs worldwide still prefer these devices.

How to Ground a Record Player

A record player enthusiast can well appreciate the quality of a perfectly performing turntable. The music is crisp and free from disturbance as it plays in otherwise silent background.

So what is that humming and buzzing, and how can you stop it?

Why Do You Need to Ground Your Record Player?

Imagine a pleasurable music experience with your record player. What if it is disrupted by a strange humming every time you play a record? While this may go unnoticed by some, as the playback on your vinyl can mask it, it can be extremely annoying to others.

A faulty turntable does not necessarily cause this sound. You might hear buzzing when the amplifier is at maximum or when you’re not playing a record at all.

For the music to stay as melodic as it’s meant to be, it’s essential to keep the record player in peak performance. One such method of ensuring quality sound is to ground your record player.

Every record player comes with a turntable, an amplifier, and a receiver. Whether your record player is of the direct drive type or has a belt type fitting, it makes no difference. Except for players with a built-in preamp grounding, any other type of record player will require a ground connection. Grounding a record player is done for two reasons:

To Eliminate Ground Loop

Record players at some point during their usage will develop what we call a ground loop. This phenomenon is a common occurrence when there is a voltage or potential difference in the chassis’ connections. As with any other electrical appliance, the record player’s metal casing carries the risk of being in contact with a live wire.

The electrically-conductive casing will pass the electric current and cause a difference in electric potential. The result is a disturbing hum that is distracting and distinguishable from the melody you play. This hum can be benign background noise at low volumes, but it can be jarring as you crank up the volume.

To Ensure Your Record Player’s Safety

While an irritating hum can be quite a dampener on a lovely musical evening, safety concerns are another ball game altogether. In a larger device, the absence of grounding can cause the user to receive shocks when using the record player.

Grounding your record player will ensure that the excess electrical impulses are directed towards the earth’s conductive surface. This protects not only your device but also your household members, as well as your house, from electrical surges and the ramifications they may bring about.

What Is the Grounding of a Record Player?

Grounding, or earthing, is a method of connecting specific parts of your record player to the ground. When a record player is grounded, the exposed electrical components connect to the earth’s conductive surface. The differences in potential or voltage are resolved and brought to similar levels by connection with the ground. This is done both as a security measure and a functional failsafe.

While you ensure the safety of your device’s usage, grounding has many other perks, too. Grounding resolves the irritating hum you encounter when the device is on. The quality of sound coming from the device is made clear in the absence of the hum, and you will be able to recognize the lack of background noise. The overall performance of the turntable also improves when you successfully ground the device.

How to Know When Your Record Player Requires Grounding

This is a question often asked by people who have purchased a record player. You may have found yourself unaware of the answer to this question when you first purchased your record player or even unaware of the problem, to begin with. As you continue to use your device, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do you encounter an electric shock when you come in contact with the metallic portions of the record player?
  2. Do you find yourself listening to an undeniably discernible hum that peaks to a screeching sound as you crank up the volume knob?

If the answer to either of these questions is “yes,” your record player is in absolute need of grounding.

Another way of identifying if your device needs grounding is by checking for the source of the hum you hear. The hum may be caused by the ground loop created by a lack of grounding of your appliance’s metallic casing. This hum is of the wavelength 120Hz. Another hum can be the input connection and is of the wavelength 60Hz. The key is to identify if your device is throwing off a ground loop hum.

This may sound pretty technical, but it’s easy if you have a keen sense of hearing. Imagine a low-pitched, calm, and serene sound like those made by the sea’s continually crashing waves on the rocks. Now compare it with a higher-pitched buzzing with aggressive undertones.

If the hum you hear is calm and slight, you can rest easy. However, if you hear an antagonistic and higher-pitched hum, it’s time to get on with grounding your record player.

What Materials Do You Need for the Grounding System?

Grounding a record player is an easy process with little to no learning curve. You may find that your device already comes with the materials required for grounding your system. You may also need to create some materials for grounding your system correctly. Here are the materials that are necessary to ground your record player efficiently:

  • A grounding wire – Your record player may be furnished with a ground wire that is meant to be attached as a ground wire to the amplifier or the receiver.
  • An insulated wire – You will need an insulated wire if you do not find a grounding wire with your record player. It needs to be of sufficient length and 18 to 20 gauge.
  • A grounding terminal – The ground wire must be attached to the grounding terminal on the amplifier or the receiver. In case you do not find a grounding terminal, there exists another way to ground your record player successfully.
  • Needle nose pliers – A pair of good needle-nose pliers will be needed to handle, position, and cut the wire needed for grounding your system.
  • Gaffer’s tape – Gaffer’s tape will be needed when your system does not have a grounding terminal. The tape will help us in the workaround for establishing a grounding terminal for the record player.

How to Ground a Record Player

How to Get the Record Player Grounded

We’ve already covered what grounding is and how it can help you. And now that you know all the necessary elements required for grounding your record player, here is how you can get it done without too much effort:

Step 1: Shut Down the Power Source

Shutting down the power source will ensure that you do not encounter any shock. Although the chances of that happening are meager, it’s better to think of safety first. Switching off the turntable power source and the amplifier will ensure that your ears are safe from any unwarranted screeching sounds caused when you are handling the ground wire.

Step 2: Look for the Ground Wire

  • The ground wire to the record player is similar to any other electrical equipment. It will usually be connected under the metal chassis of the turntable. It will be identifiable as a flattened piece of u-shaped metal in the form of a copper spade connector which will be unconnected.
  • The ground wire, like in any other electrical appliance, may have a distinguishable green color. Many times, you may find it challenging to locate the ground wire. In newer turntables models, this wire will be hidden under the metal chassis of the turntable and neatly folded or twisted with a wire tie. Unravel this wire for grounding.
  • In case you do not find any grounding wire, use the insulated wire instead. You will need to strip the insulation on either end of the insulated wire with the help of the needle-nose pliers.

Step 3: Look for the Grounding Terminal on the Amplifier or the Receiver

  • The grounding terminal can be located on the back of the amplifier or the receiver terminal. It will be easily identifiable and often be marked as ‘ground.’
  • It will either be an all-metallic length of the shaft or a regular screw-in terminal. All you need to do now is loosen this grounding terminal.
  • In case you encounter an absence of a grounding terminal, you can easily create an alternative grounding terminal on the body of the amplifier with the help of the grounding wire and the Gaffer’s tape.

Step 4: Make Sure the Measurements of the Wire Are Accurate

  • Once you have established the grounding wire and the grounding terminal, you need to check if the measure of wire available is adequate for the distance between the turntable and the amplifier.
  • You may need to either reposition the record player’s parts or resize the grounding wire in the event you are using an external insulating wire to create a perfect fit.

Step 5: Make the Connection of the Ground Wire to the Terminal

  • This is the step where you will be thankful for the power source being switched off. Bring the flattened copper spade connector to the grounding terminal and slip it in. Fasten this with adequate force and make sure you don’t overdo it.
  • If there is no grounding terminal, you will have to attach the connector to the underside of the metal body of the amplifier with the Gaffer’s tape.
  • When you are using an external insulated wire, attach one stripped end to the screw on the turntable chassis. Take the other end and attach it to a screw on the chassis of the amplifier. Make sure you do not connect this end to the receiver terminal. While this method is as effective as attaching on an available terminal, you may find yourself changing the spot for attachment to find the place where the least hum is heard.
  • Testing for the right spot may take a little trial and error with the system switched on. Take the wire’s stripped end and look for a background humming noise and select the place with the best results. Ensure you do not come in direct contact with any metal part of the system while you do this.

Step 6: Switch on the Power

Once you’ve connected the ground wire to the amplifier’s terminal, switch on the power source for the turntable and amplifier, and prepare yourself for the most pleasing musical experience with your record player.

Final Thoughts

Those who own a record player check to see if the ground wire is already attached when the player is purchased is a must. If that isn’t the case, grounding it can help the record player reach its maximum potential while giving you the experience of a lifetime and sound quality that is often unparalleled.

Make sure that you are in no danger of being shocked while performing the grounding techniques. When working with electricity, safety should always come first.

Ensure that you read the instructions carefully and follow the steps to the T to avoid any mishaps or accidents. Now that you’ve learned everything you need to know about how to ground a record player, good luck and happy listening!

A 2021 Wockoder Record Player Review Guide

Record players were initially created in the 1800s for two reasons — to record and to produce sounds. 

While modern record players have evolved a bit past that now, people today still love a classy, vintage look that can transport them back in time.

Looking for a new record player that feels like the good ole days?

The Wockoder record player with built-in speakers offers a great mix of modern functionality with a classic look and feel.

This article reviews one of the best record players on the market, the vintage-style Wockoder Record Player. 

Take a Look at the Wockoder Record Player 

Those who love vintage products would enjoy having a Wockoder record player at home. While these vintage record players are beautifully designed with an antique aesthetic, they are not as functional because they will not likely have the modern features as the newer record players.

The Wireless Record Player Turntable by the Wockoder Store is one of the popular models in the market because it looks vintage, and it comes with modern features that can be seen on advanced and high-end players.

Surprisingly, this turntable is remarkably affordable at a retail price of $68.99. Below, we will discuss all the features, benefits, and drawbacks of this record player.

Features, Benefits, and Drawbacks

If you’ve owned a vintage player or turntable before, you would probably agree that there’s something unique and special about these sets. 

Casual listeners and audiophiles find the sound quality appealing, which is likely why they have consistently played it over the years. 

As it is quite difficult to obtain an authentic vintage turntable, the next best thing is this record player with the best of both worlds – a vintage-inspired design with modern features.

Although many people presume that the expensive models come with top-of-the-line features, Wockoder does a great job with this model because it has important features that amplify the user experience. If you’re on the lookout for that amazing vinyl player that offers a great listening experience, then this may just be the best one for you. 

This model not only has a vintage-inspired design, but it also has a functional setup that can serve as an additional player for an existing one. This product can serve as a stand-alone record player in your home. 

While the vintage design may cause people to question this amazing product’s features, it’s surprising to know that it comes with a ton of great features like wireless compatibility, portability, and durability. 

This record player comes with a clear covering to keep both the record player and the vinyl from dust. The dust has the potential to ruin a record player; hence regular cleaning is advised. The cover does a great job of keeping dust out, so you do not have to put as much effort into cleaning.

In the next section, we’ll share certain features that make this model unique and sets it apart from other products. 

Unique Features of the Wockoder Record Player 

To provide customers with an amazing user experience, Wockoder specifically integrated impressive features to increase functionality and sound quality. Some of these features include: 

Wireless Connection 

Arguably one of the best features of this vintage record player, wireless connection enables users to connect the record player with another device. Simply put, this feature allows you to pair the player with an external device like a speaker, MP3 player, smartphone, and tablet.

One of the fascinating things about this feature is that it adds a bit of versatility. 

When your device is connected to this record player, you can stream your favorite songs on various music streaming platforms. For example, if you’re tired of listening to your vinyl collection and want to switch things up a bit by streaming songs from an Android or Apple phone, this feature affords you that opportunity. 

Albeit an impressive feature, one of this player’s drawbacks is that you cannot connect to external Bluetooth speakers because the Bluetooth feature only allows input, not output. 

If you prefer to use a larger or louder speaker than what the Wockoder Record Player can connect to, you may have to opt for another record player. 

Bear in mind that the output Bluetooth feature is not easily found in other record players in the same price range. It is an expensive feature that would have you paying more. 

Depending on your preference, you may decide to use the built-in speaker instead of opting for an external one. While the speaker is not particularly loud, it is ideal for your bedroom or living room. Except you’re playing through a party, there may be no need for an external speaker. 

Three Levels of Speed 

Like most record players within the same price range, this product comes with three record and speed designs. This means that you can play your collections at three levels of speed at 33, 45, and 78 RPM (revolution per minute). 

Although found in some of the other record players available on the market, this feature has been upgraded to offer more than you would ordinarily get from any other player. The three-speed levels enable you to play as many songs as you would love to at different levels. 

Three Record Designs 

Regarding size, you can play 7, 10, and 12-inch records on this affordable record player. While there are a few record players that allow one to play more record sizes and speed, they tend to be quite expensive. 

For a record player of this price, this feature is one you don’t often see. The manufacturers, prioritizing user satisfaction and comfort, have attached this wholesome feature to this record player. Regardless of your record size, you can conveniently use this player at all times. 

Advanced Shock Absorption 

The best advantage when it comes to shock absorption is that it helps with stopping any skipping. Some turntables that are available for purchase today do not come with this important feature. 

Depending on the model you opt for, you may have to purchase a shock absorber separately. 

When you play a record, vibrations naturally occur. In some cases, the vibrations can be felt through the deck’s surface, creating an audible rumble. These vibrations may cause the tonearm to jump and skip parts of the song in most cases. 

Most audiophiles recommend that you place the turntable on a heavy piece of furniture or a record player stand to solve this problem. While this recommendation works in some cases, it is not a sustainable option. 

The brand behind this impressive turntable took this problem to heart and incorporated an impressive feature to combat the vibrations — a spring. Located at the turntable platter base, the spring can minimize the level of vibration and prevent skipping. 

If you’re still experiencing issues with this player, then you have to ensure the turntable is level. 

While most people focus primarily on keeping the base level, it is equally important to level the turntable platter. To do this, you may have to remove the cover and make use of shims. If the player is not leveled, songs will likely be skipped.

Speakers 

Like other turntables within the same price range, this product comes with a built-in speaker for a pleasurable audio experience. While this speaker may not rival a complete audio set-up, you have to consider its price. 

If you do not already own a player and this would be a stand-alone player in your home, all you need to do is connect speakers to the player through the RCA units attached to it. This should be done if you are not satisfied with the sound. 

This speaker attached to this model is ideal for a bedroom as it is quite loud. If you’re looking for a louder speaker, you may have to connect external speakers or opt for an advanced turntable. 

Belt-driven 

There are two types of motors — direct drive motors and belt-driven motors. While direct driven motors are mainly found in higher priced turntables and record players, the former is found in some lower-priced ones like this model. 

One interesting feature of belt-driven motors is that they help with reducing skipping. To make this possible, an elastic belt needs to be attached to the turntable platter and the motor, which results in precise, smooth, and fast movements. 

Belt-driven motors require less maintenance. With the way they are set up, belt-driven motors help prevent various vibrations and reduce skipping songs. With this beneficial feature, you’re guaranteed to listen to cleaner and smoother sounds. 

Top Record Player of 2021

How the Performance of the Wockoder Record Player Excels

Compared to some of the record players in the same price range, this is quite an impressive product. The sound it produces is better compared to others. 

The wireless connection and the RCA connections allow you to connect the turntable to external speakers sets, which sets it apart from players.

At first glance, this is an aesthetically pleasing record player due to its vintage yet classy style. 

Unlike other models, the top that comes with the turntable is clear for anyone to see even when the lid has been shut.

The lid prevents specks of dust from contacting the turntable and the other components within it. As you already know, specks of dust can be detrimental to the turntable’s functionality and condition, so the lid is imperative in maintaining the player’s longevity.

If this is your first time owning a turntable, this model may be the best option for you. 

It is a beginner-friendly model that will not take you more than 5 minutes to set up. The controls attached to this turntable body are pretty basic, and it should only take you a few minutes to master them.

The three-speed and record-setting discussed before ensures that you can play records of all sizes. 

While the built-in speaker’s size may not be the largest, it provides a clean and smooth sound that will make your vinyl and overall sound quality richer and amplified. As mentioned earlier, the speaker is loud enough for an average bedroom. 

Specifications 

  • Brand: Wockoder 
  • Weight: 5.28 pounds 
  • Wireless connectivity: yes 
  • Speed settings: 3 (33, 45, and 78 RPM) 

Pros

  • It is an affordable turntable 
  • It comes with a shock absorber spring 
  • It is portable 
  • It has a compact design 
  • It is a record player that is aesthetically appealing
  • It is loud enough for an average bedroom 
  • It comes with belt-driven motors 
  • It enables you to pair up to an external pair of speakers
  • It comes with wireless connection capabilities
  • It enables you to play records that come in almost every size 

Cons 

  • It is not loud enough and does not compete with a complete audio set up 
  • As it does not come with a Bluetooth output feature, this is limiting in terms of connectivity features
  • A message pops up every time you turn on and connect to Bluetooth
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Conclusion 

The portable Wockoder record player with built-in speakers is an impressive device designed for audiophiles who still want to feel and hear the unique sounds that come from listening to a turntable.

This vintage player comes with tons of modern features that set it apart from other players on the market. 

We hope you enjoyed this comprehensive Wockoder record player review!

Record Player vs Turntable: What’s the Difference?

Record Player vs Turntable

Is there a difference between a record player vs. a turntable? If so, what is it? These are questions that get asked fairly often, and the answers can be somewhat confusing, mainly because these terms are often used interchangeably.

While both record players and turntables play vinyl and records, the main difference between these devices is the components they include. 

Generally speaking, a turntable is a significant component of a record player. But this doesn’t mean you can’t purchase or use a turntable on its own.

In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at the differences between these two popular devices, as well as which one of them will best suit your needs.

Record Player Refresher

We’re sure you already know what a record player is, but to accurately compare one to a turntable, it might be best to refresh your memory slightly. To put it simply, a record player is an all-in-one device designed to play sound and audio from external records.

All record players need a turntable to function, as a turntable is a platter or surface on which a record is placed and then rotated. A record player requires no additional equipment to play the sound from a record.

Record Player vs Turntable

All you need to do is put a record on the platter, lower the needle, and you’re good to go. That’s one of the significant benefits that you’ll enjoy with a record player, among others. 

No extra components are required, but a record player is typically more expensive than a turntable. 

What Is a Turntable?

A turntable on its own is a device onto which you place a record. However, it’s not as simple as just putting a record onto a turntable’s platter and having it automatically play the sound back to you.

Turntables also come with a mechanism, known as the tonearm and cartridge, that recognizes the record as a playable device with sound recorded. 

However, to hear what’s on the record, you would need to have a separate preamp, speakers, and an amplifier. All of these components already come included in a record player.

To put this all together, a turntable is a device found within a record player. All record players have turntables, but turntables can also be sold separately. The turntables that are not within all-in-one record players require extra equipment to play sound.

Record Player Components:

Stylus

The stylus is a typically cone-shaped needle that allows the record to play by picking up the vibrations from the grooves engraved into the vinyl. The stylus is connected to the tonearm with a flexible piece of metal.

The exact shape of a stylus can vary from being spherical to elliptical, and these slightly different structures can have other effects on performance and application, resulting in different prices. 

The most common and least expensive stylus shape is spherical, though some claim that this type of stylus can wear records down faster than other stylus types.

Note that most turntables will also come with a stylus.

Tonearm and Cartridge

The tonearm is the movable, arm-like part of the record player that you use to lower the needle onto the record. The tonearm works hand-in-hand with the cartridge, which holds the stylus and converts vibrations into electrical signals. These signals are then sent to the amplifiers or speakers.

Like the stylus, the tonearm and cartridge can come in several different types that all have their pros and cons.

Note that most turntables will also come with a tonearm and cartridge.

Amplifiers and Speakers

Amplifiers transfer the cartridge’s electric signals and tonearm right into the attached stereo speakers within the record player. This is what allows us to hear the sound engraved in the vinyl records.

Audio signals are created via the audio receivers and pre-amplifiers to generate sound signals we can listen to and enjoy as music.

Note that turntables do not come with these components. They must be purchased separately.

Turntable Components:

A turntable will require external components for you to listen to vinyl records, but many music enthusiasts prefer them. The following are the major components that come included with a turntable. 

Record Player vs Turntable

Platters

The platter is the rotating surface that a record is placed on top of. The platter is typically made from metal material but can also be made of plastic, rubber, or vinyl. 

To protect the record from being scratched or damaged by the platter, a slip mat is placed on top of the platter and serves as a cushion.

A metal rod holds this all in place. 

Steel Platters

Steel platters are very commonly found in entry-level turntables, as they can be cheaply produced. You may eventually want to upgrade to an aluminum or vinyl platter.

Aluminum Platters

A more expensive type of platter is made from aluminum. Some people believe that aluminum is more stable than steel and allows for vibrations to be cast at a lighter level.

Belt-Drive

A turntable can either use a belt-drive or direct-drive system to spin the platter. A belt-drive, as the name implies, uses a belt to turn the platter. 

This belt is connected to the motor but can easily be separated from it if issues arise. Belts will eventually have to be replaced, as they can wear out, but this is usually an easy and inexpensive task.

Direct-Drive

A direct drive system does not use gears, belts, or wheels to turn the platter. They are directly connected to the platter, which means that they can quickly reach full spinning speed and cause no resistance to the platter when turned off. 

These are the systems that are often found in the turntables used by DJs. Direct drive systems offer speed control settings, and you’ll often see DJs spinning records in both directions without damaging the motor.

Record Player Sound Quality

Vinyl records that are played on a record player offer a real, authentic sound quality that you won’t find in a CD or digital media. The quality can be compared to sitting in the studio and listening to the performer make the record live. 

These days, vinyl is viewed as a work of art and something that a music connoisseur owns to hear the sound as it was meant to be heard. Possessing a record player can fill in a picture of the music’s historical backdrop and how it sounded to those who first heard it.

Classic But Limited

A record player already includes amplifiers and speakers, whereas a turntable requires additional equipment to work. That being said, if something goes wrong with your record player, it could be challenging to find out which part is malfunctioning.

If you can’t figure out which part is causing the problems, you might have to replace the record player altogether. Even if you happen to find out what the specific issue is, you may end up paying quite a bit of money to fix or replace the individual components.

On the off chance that low-quality amplifiers and speakers were used when making the record player, the result will be an inferior sound quality that can be hard to fix. 

However, if you’re willing to take the chance that the sound quality might not be perfect but instead a classic, authentic sound, a record player can end up being the more cost-effective choice.

Turntable Sound Quality

There’s no doubt that turntables are a more modern device. While they still allow you to listen to classic vinyl records, they’re upgradable with technology that musicians and music-lovers of previous generations did not have access to.

If used with the right equipment, turntables can provide a pure, streamlined sound that record players of old simply can’t match.

Modern But Fussy

As mentioned before, turntables require extra equipment to play sound. This can be an advantage because users can control exactly which parts they want to use to get the sound quality they desire. 

This also means that turntables can be finicky and fussy, as you might not know exactly what a particular setup will sound like until you hook it up to your turntable and turn it on.

Because of this, turntables can be a lot of hassle, and you may end up buying and returning individual components until you find a particular setup that you like.

If you enjoy the idea of having complete control over the parts required for your setup, a turntable may be the perfect device that provides you with the more contemporary sound you desire.

Record Player vs. Turntable: Which Should You Choose?

When choosing between a record player and a turntable, you have to keep in mind what it is that you’re going for. Do you want an all-in-one, no-fuss device? Or do you want something that you can upgrade a bit more easily? 

Record Player vs Turntable

Here are a few things that you should consider before making a decision.

Pricing

A turntable can be upgraded to improve the sound quality to whatever you desire, while a record player is harder to upgrade or fix. These factors lead to some differences when it comes to the overall cost.

While a record player can initially be more expensive to purchase than a turntable on its own, an entire turntable setup with the necessary amplifiers, speakers, and other gadgets can easily outprice a record player. 

However, if something were to ever go wrong with your record player, trying to find replacement parts that work with your specific record player can be a challenge – and an expensive one. 

You might even have to end up buying a whole new record player if you can’t pinpoint the problem or find the right replacement parts.

High-quality turntables can undoubtedly cost quite a bit, though, so do some research and budgeting before you commit to one option or the other.

Ease of Use

Record players are, simply put, much more user-friendly than turntables are. All you have to do is put a record on the platter and drop the needle. 

To own and use a turntable, you need a bit more know-how when it comes to not only scoping out and buying the best add-ons but hooking them up to your device. 

If you want to listen to your records right away, buy yourself a record player. If you like the idea of a challenge, try your hand at making your turntable setup.

Extra Equipment

A record player is a complete audio system that requires no additional equipment to play your favorite records. Some modern, high-tech record players can play everything a turntable can and then some. This includes CDs and other forms of digital sound.

A turntable requires that you buy extra components before you’re able to play any sound at all, but you can also upgrade these devices to your heart’s content. 

If the idea of testing out and buying additional parts makes you break out in hives, go for an all-in-one record player instead. And, if you would like even more information on the differences between a record player and a turntable, check it out here.

Conclusion

Record players and turntables are similar devices that can offer very different sound experiences. Depending on your musical needs, you have the option of purchasing a classic record player that evokes a time gone by or a modern turntable that can be upgraded as time goes on.

Both items are seen as art pieces that remind us how music and audio were first introduced to the public. Either choice is sure to provide a fantastic sound experience.

We hope you enjoyed this record player vs. turntable guide. Now go enjoy some music!

A 2021 Pyle Record Player Review Guide

Currently, there are tons of advanced and high-end record players that are designed to offer you a modern feel. The recent increasing demand for these players has spurred most brands to begin producing record players with lots of added features.

Some of these new vinyl record players come with features like wireless connectivity, built-in speakers, and more. While offering you these modern features, some players are still designed to have that vintage and classy look.

One such record player that fits that bill is the Pyle Classic Vinyl Record Player.

Take a look at our Pyle record player review below!

The Pyle Classic Vinyl Record Player

This model has been designed to give you that fantastic vintage-style record player with top-of-the-line modern features.

You’ll likely enjoy the vintage look as much as most people do, and this is because it offers a timeless feel. This model provides a true classical form of a vinyl player.

Its beautiful design and build is something we can’t stop talking about. This player has been designed with some of the best materials out there. It’s a durable and impressive model. Plus, its attached covering helps to keep it safe from damage as you play, as well as when you travel with it.

The Pyle Record Player Review

At first glance, the beautiful design of this player will catch your eyes. Designed in a suitcase-like shape, this player comes with everything you would want to see in classic vinyl. Although a bit highly-priced, this record player has been built to offer you more value for less.

Like most other models in the same price range, this model, although classically styled, is one of the finest out there. Depending on your preference, this model can be used as a stand-alone speaker, or you can connect a few other external speakers to it through the RCA outs.

One of the most exciting features of this model is that it can convert your vinyl collection into MP3 songs. Do you own a vinyl collection that you would love to play on your smartphone or tablet? This player ensures you can convert them to MP3 and listen away anywhere you go.

The lightweight nature of this product is another impressive feature. While this is box-shaped, it is incredibly light and can be carried by anyone. Its compact design is another aspect that should be talked about. It is a well-packaged piece that can be placed anywhere. To offer you countless hours of uninterrupted playing, this player comes with a rechargeable battery.

This makes this product quite the ideal record player for anyone. You can charge it and play music anywhere you see fit.

The versatile nature of this product cannot be overlooked. With wireless connectivity, you can conveniently connect this record player to your smartphone or tablet. Additionally, you can stream your favorite songs from any music streaming platform.

While this product comes with a built-in speaker, it is not particularly large, but this is okay for a product that falls under this price range. While this compact designed stereo speaker is not very large, it is loud enough for your bedroom and maybe your living room as well.

Features of the Pyle Record Player

Apart from having a beautiful design, this product’s brand has gone ahead to incorporate top-of-the-line features that will offer users a fantastic experience. The features include:

Vinyl to MP3

One of the most exciting features of this player is that it can help you convert your vinyl collection of MP3. This is unlike any feature you’ve seen before. This record player comes with a driver and music editing software that allows you to convert your records into digital MP3s. Besides converting records into MP3, the most exciting part of this feature is storing converted MP3 files on your computer and play from there.

The editing software attached to this player is compatible with both your PC and Mac. Once you get this player, you can sync with your computer and convert all of your vinyl records into MP3s and play them straight from your computer. This is arguably one of the best features you will find in any classic vinyl player available right now.

Surprisingly, this is relatively easy to carry out. You can conveniently use this software to edit some of your favorite songs in just a few minutes. Yes, it is that easy.

Wireless Connectivity

As briefly mentioned above, this player has a wireless connection. This means that this player is compatible with all of your Bluetooth devices. With this feature on the Pyle vinyl classic record player, you can stream some of your favorite songs from your Bluetooth device straight to the vinyl record player.

The attachment of this feature helps you do away with long cables that have become a part of using vinyl record players over the years. The feature guarantees you crisp and clear sound with a fast set-up process.

If you’ve used any of the vinyl players before, then you would agree that playing some of your favorite songs can be a tad bit difficult or almost impossible to do. With this in mind, this player’s developers have included this feature to make it easier for you to stream all of your favorite songs or tunes on the turntable. This sets it apart from any of the other models you’ve probably used.

While being an impressive feature, the drawback to using this model is that the Bluetooth feature is only input, not output. This simply means that you cannot connect this player to other Bluetooth-powered devices for louder sound. Regardless of this minor setback, this is still an impressive feature that offers you all you would want to see in a classic vinyl record player.

Speakers

Like most of the other record players that fall into the same price range, this model comes with a built-in speaker that allows you to enjoy listening to all of your favorite songs anywhere you find yourself.

One of the most exciting features of this speaker is that it allows you to play your songs without external output. While this speaker has a compact design, it can offer you a rich and clear sound, unlike any vinyl player you’ve likely used before.

While we mentioned that this speaker might not be as loud as some of the full audio set-up systems available, you will find it interesting to know that this model is loud enough for your living room. It has been designed with various tiny components to offer you crisp, rich, and better sound.

RCA Output

If you’ve used a record player before, then you would agree that almost every one of them comes with this feature. This feature helps you connect your smartphones and tablets to the player.

While there is a wireless connection feature, you can also decide to connect via an aux cord. This is precisely how versatile this product is.

Additionally, if you own external speakers that you would like to connect to this record player for richer sound, the RCA output allows you to do this. You can conveniently connect this model to anything you think of. The variety of possible connections are unlimited.

Durable

When choosing a record player, one of the many things most people forget to consider is the durable nature of these products. This has resulted in most people opting for highly functional models that do not last long.

The manufacturers behind this product use functionality and durability as their watchwords and have produced this model with some of the most durable materials you can think of.

This model comes with a leather covering that has been attached to protect this record player. Specks of dust have proven to be detrimental to these players. If not correctly cared for, dust could disrupt the play and, in some cases, damage your record player. To prevent this, the leather covering has been attached.

Shock Absorber

Ordinarily, vibrations emanating from these record players are capable of disrupting your play, in some cases, causing this player to skip certain parts of the songs you’re listening to.

To solve this problem, most audiophiles recommend that you get record player stands. While these stands can help steady the player to offer richer and smoother sound, it isn’t a sustainable idea. The Pyle record player, unlike a few others, has been designed with a shock absorber.

This absorber’s primary function is to minimize the level of vibration, in the process ensuring that you can play songs without interruptions. Its sturdy design also makes it a better fit, as it is not easily shaken by anything.

Rechargeable Battery

This is one unique feature that sets this model apart from most of the others. This feature offers you uninterrupted music play even when there’s a power outage. Ideally, this model has become a perfect fit for people living in certain African countries where constant power supply is impossible. They can quickly charge and use this model when there is no power.

Additionally, this is a perfect traveling companion for a road trip. You can charge and use this device as you drive around town.

Performance of the Pyle Record Player

If you’re looking for a functional record player, this may be the best one for you. It has a rich and smooth sound that’s unmatched. While it comes with a small and compact speaker, it does not fail to offer you a rich sound.

Pyle Record Player Review 

Surprisingly, it is better than some of the other models that come with larger speakers. This product is proof that functionality and size aren’t mutually exclusive.

Another interesting aspect of this record player is how easy it is to make use of. If you’ve never owned a record player before, this may be the one for you. It is beginner-friendly.

The controls and settings are pretty basic to master. The editing software incorporated is also easy to use. In less than five minutes, you can get the hang of it.

Finally, this is a beautiful record player designed with impressive features.

Specifications 

  • Brand: Pyle
  • Model: Classic Vinyl PVTTBT8BR
  • Weight: 4.3 pounds
  • Wireless Connectivity: Yes
  • Speed Design: 2 (33, 45 RPM)

Pros 

  • It’s a beautiful model
  • It comes with wireless connectivity
  • Rechargeable batteries make it a perfect traveling companion
  • It’s portable
  • It comes in a beautiful box
  • It allows you to convert your vinyl collections to MP3
  • It comes with editing software that’s compatible with Mac and PC
  • It’s easy to make use of
  • It’s durable
  • It’s moderately priced
  • RCA output for wired connection

Cons 

  • It comes with only two-speed settings
  • Small speaker
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Conclusion

This Pyle record player review has discussed the many great features of this record player model in full.

Its rechargeable batteries make this player a perfect fit for anyone, regardless of where they might be. It can also serve as a portable traveling companion.

Additionally, the unique ability to convert vinyl collections into digital MP3 files is another fantastic feature that sets it apart from many other record players in the same price range.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

The Best Record Player Under 1000 Dollars: A Review Guide

Record players are available at almost any price point, but the connoisseurs know that with a higher price comes higher quality.

If you’re willing to spend more than a few hundred dollars on a record player, you’re all but guaranteed to find a device that will play an amazing sound that’s far and away from what you’ll see on the lower end.

Read on to find out our pick for the best record player under 1000 dollars.

The Top 5 Record Players Under $1000

In this article, we cover the 5 best record players that cost less than $1000. You can get them on Amazon right now by clicking the provided links.

To save you time from searching high and low for quality players, check out our top picks here:

Best Overall Record Player

This record player takes the first place trophy in terms of value, features, and price. Every dollar you spend on this player is well worth it, and it will only deliver the finest performances. If you want the best choice, you’ll find it hard to resist.

1. Fluance High Fidelity 

The maker of the best player on our list is Fluance. With the best features and a very attractive price, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better one. When your record starts spinning, all you’ll hear is the pure and undiluted sound of analog audio.

There is nothing digital about this record player, as all it needs to do is play your favorite records. The sound quality is amazingly pure, with little added noise or extra sound. Almost all the sounds you hear are from the record alone.

With the help of an Ortofon 2M Blue elliptical cartridge, you will only hear a warm, pure, and elegant sound. This little piece of plastic might not look like much, but it’s the backbone of this record player’s beautiful sound profile. With this cartridge, the sound is positively affected.

The elliptical cartridge adds some resolution and dynamics to the signal, allowing for a detailed soundscape. It does this without adding any coloration to the sound, as purists prefer to hear as pure a sound as possible. By maintaining a flat frequency response, the sound is as clean as it can be.

Connecting the player to external speakers is required. With the gold-plated RCA outputs, the signal is very clean, and there is no compression or coloration. From the tip to the output, everything is optimized for the purest of tones.

The acrylic platter is heavy and dense, reducing undesirable vibrations and keeping them away from the record. It also spins constantly to prevent any skipping. As acrylic and vinyl are resonant, the platter will cancel out any extra reverberations to provide a clean soundscape, improved low end, rich mid-range, and a pure signal.

The motor used to drive the turntable is precisely tuned and built. It also reduces vibrations and prevents them from reaching the stylus. With a precise motor decoupled from the plinth, you get a signal without any rumbling.

What makes the motor special is that it constantly measures variances in velocity within a few hundredths of a percent. With this constant self-correction, the flow and flutter is only 0.07%. You won’t have to worry about the record playing at inconsistent speeds with this motor.

Made of wood, the main chassis has tonal purity down to a science, reducing traveling vibrations. There are also three rubber isolation feet to minimize contact of the turntable with the environment. Without these, there would not be full and rich bass frequencies.

Fluance only uses the best materials to construct this record player to deliver the best performance for you. Any audiophile will appreciate the premium build quality without spending more than $1000. With this record at home, all you will hear is the unadulterated music from your favorite albums.

Specifications

  • Package Dimensions: 13.75 x 16.5 x 5.5 inches
  • Total Weight: 16.76 pounds
  • Frequency Response: 20-20000 hertz
  • Speed: 33.3 and 45 revolutions per minute
  • Channel Separation: 20 decibels at 1 kilohertz
  • Channel Balance: 2.0 decibels or less at 1 kilohertz
  • Load Impedance/Capacitance: 47k Ohms/100 power factor
  • Included Parts: 1+

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Stylish look
  • Pure sound signal
  • Premium build quality

Cons:

  • No built-in preamp
  • Some examples have a weak belt

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Best Budget Record Player

If you’re not quite willing to drop close to $1000, you can still get yourself an excellent record player. It may not be as good as the best, but it’s still well worth your hard-earned money. If this sounds like you, then you’ll like this player!

2. Fluance Elite 

Also made by Fluance, this RT81 record player is similar in build quality even with the lower price. All the features it has are geared toward playing high-fidelity audio. At such a low price, it’s hard to find any other product that can beat it, let alone match it.

Like the RT85, the RT81 is focused on creating a pure analog audio treat for your ears. There is nothing digital in it, and it will never be an option. Analog audio is naturally warmer and richer when compared to digital so that you won’t hear any digital harshness.

Instead of the Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge, the RT81 has an Audio Technica AT95E cartridge. The elliptical tipped stylus is made of diamond for a precise and accurate reproduction of the sounds pressed into the vinyl. The stylus is upgraded from older models and has a reputation for crystal clear, balanced, and pure audio.

With only 2.0 grams of tracking force, it’s almost a miracle the turntable is reading the grooves of your record.

The RT81 has an S-Type tonearm, which is balanced with a counterweight. The tonearm has bearings inside that move fluidly and works with the anti-skating system to prevent any scratching. It gently touches your record, so you can rest assured that you can listen to these albums and singles for years to come.

To help with powering speakers, this record player has a preamp built into it. It’s strong enough to power most high-fidelity speakers but can also be used when your normal amp isn’t strong enough. The preamp is made by Texas Instruments, known for its high-quality electronics.

The ground terminal and gold-plated RCA output are made by Texas Instruments as well. This shows that Fluance truly cares about delivering the best audio experience possible.

To reduce vibrations, the chassis is made of wood that prevents them from traveling to the stylus.

Fluance built this player with sound isolation feet, an aluminum platter, and a rubber mat for unwanted reverberation. Instead of hearing unwanted reverb, you’ll get to hear sounds exactly how the artists played and intend to be heard.

The RT81 will accept records that spin at 33.3 and 45 revolutions per minute. If you have records that play at 78 revolutions per minute, they won’t be supported. Fortunately, they are less common than the other two types.

For a record player with a low price like this, it’s a worthy investment, as you get more than your money’s worth. Some players aren’t even as decked out as this one is, and they cost a lot more. This is why it wins the best budget placing.

Specifications

  • Package Dimensions: 13.75 x 16.5 x 5.5 inches
  • Total Weight: 14.1 pounds
  • Frequency Response: 20-20000 hertz
  • Speed: 33.3 and 45 revolutions per minute
  • Channel Separation: 20 decibels at 1 kilohertz
  • Channel Balance: 2.0 decibels or less at 1 kilohertz
  • Load Impedance/Capacitance: 47k Ohms/100 power factor
  • Included Parts: 1+

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Very well made
  • Clear sound
  • Built-in preamp

Cons:

  • Rotation speed might fluctuate.
  • Revolutions per minute adjustment is inconvenient

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Best Runner-Up Record Player

This record player is the cheapest on our list, but it didn’t manage to win the best budget award. This is because the Fluance RT81 outclasses it by a large margin. However, if you prefer a player that won’t break the bank, this one might be for you.

3. Victrola Pro Series

Made by Victrola, this record player is priced at a fraction of some of our other players. Even if this is the case, it’s still a reliable and solid product you can rely on. It does everything a record player should be able to do and then some more.

This player has a transparent cover like the others, which allows you to keep the working parts as clean as possible. It will save you some time cleaning the delicate parts, but you still need to wipe the dust and debris away periodically. A bonus is that you can play the record with the cover closed.

With the help of the metal tonearm and high-quality diamond stylus, this record player can play your favorite albums and singles with accurate sound reproduction. The diamond-tipped stylus is precise and helps maintain a clear sound signature. The tonearm also has a counterweight to prevent scratching on the records.

While it’s not up to the Fluance cartridges and stylus standards, this tip is more than enough for a record player price this low.

It would be best to connect some speakers via the RCA output jack, as there is no built-in speaker as with many models like this. It is also possible to connect this to an amp for extra juice in your signal. This way, you don’t need to worry about a weak output.

If you don’t want to use an external amp, you can also use the built-in preamp. It has a switch that turns it on or off, depending on your choice. By combining the preamp with another amp, you can output an even stronger signal to your speakers.

If you’re not fond of wired speakers and want to avoid the clutter, you can connect a Bluetooth speaker to the player. It might not be as high fidelity as a wired setup, but it’s much more convenient and available. Most portable Bluetooth speakers will work with the player.

Recording your favorite vinyl records as MP3 files is also possible with this record player. All you need is the included USB cable and a computer. In the package is also software that helps make the recording process very straightforward.

The recording function is a great way to preserve your wonderfully pressed records for the future when they inevitably degrade.

An aluminum platter is fitted to the turntable to reduce vibrations, and you can also adjust the anti-skating feature.

On the right side of the record player is a slider to adjust pitch, and it can be locked by the quartz lock button right below.

Even though this record player is priced this low, it has some features that make it well worth the price.

Specifications

  • Package Dimensions: 17.3 x 5.6 x 14.4 inches
  • Total Weight: 9 pounds
  • Frequency Response: Not given
  • Speed: 33.3 and 45 revolutions per minute
  • Channel Separation: Not given
  • Channel Balance: Not given
  • Load Impedance/Capacitance: Not given
  • Included Parts: 1+

Pros:

  • Very affordable
  • Clear sound
  • Built-in preamp
  • Recording feature
  • Bluetooth function

Cons:

  • Bluetooth might be unreliable.
  • The counterweight isn’t the best example

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Best Record Player Under $700

If you want to get the best record player priced under $700, we have the right selection for you. It may be a bit heavier, but it’s built for DJs who want to withstand the rowdy crowds. It also has a variety of features you’ll find on premium players.

4. Pioneer DJ Direct Drive

Pioneer DJ designed and built this record player with DJs in mind. As they work in clubs with rowdy partygoers, this player was designed to last through rough handling. The weight and mass are particularly effective for reducing vibrations.

With 50 years of designing turntables for high-end clients, Pioneer DJ has more than enough experience to engineer a product that is built like a tank.

The direct drive has high torque, and it can reach 33.3 revolutions per minute in just 0.3 seconds. The starting torque of 4.5 kilograms per centimeter contributes to this. Compared to older designs which take a while to spin up, you can instantly play your records at full speed without much of a delay.

This record player’s chassis is made of die-cast zinc, and the entire player weighs 31.5 pounds or 14.6 kilograms. This is twice the weight of the other players we just talked about. With all this heavy mass, you can expect this player to withstand a lot of abuse.

The extra mass reduces vibrations and preserves tonal clarity. However, there is more vibration reduction inside. The lower part has 8 millimeters of thick resin and another 9 millimeters of vibration-reducing material. The rubber feet also reduce the amount of environmental vibration, contributing to a pure sound with no interference.

There are also springs and more rubber to absorb as many vibrations as possible. You could say that this is overkill, but Pioneer DJ believes this to be the tip of the iceberg. These features are all for accurate sound reproduction.

There is also a tempo adjustment slider to allow for speeding up and slowing down the record. While DJs mostly use this in clubs, you can also experiment at home to hear your beloved albums slower or faster than usual. There is an instant reset button to normal speed, which makes readjustment convenient.

With the help of gold-plated RCA jacks, you can enjoy a low impedance and pure sound quality. The audio cables and power cables are interchangeable and easily replaced too.

One thing to note is that this record player does not come with a cartridge and stylus. However, this gives you complete freedom to mount any of your favorite compatible cartridges. You’ll have total freedom of customization!

While this record player was designed for DJs to use in clubs, you can still buy one to keep home in your dedicated music room. It might be a heavier one, but the vibration canceling is very potent. It’s truly worth getting one for your home.

Specifications

  • Package Dimensions: 22.3 x 18.6 x 10.8 inches
  • Total Weight: 31.5 pounds
  • Frequency Response: Not given
  • Speed: 33.3 and 45 revolutions per minute
  • Channel Separation: Not given
  • Channel Balance: Not given
  • Load Impedance/Capacitance: Not given
  • Included Parts: Eight

Pros:

  • Built like a tank
  • Almost no vibration
  • Quiet operation
  • Speed-up and slow-down slider
  • High quality electronic

Cons:

  • It doesn’t come with a cartridge and stylus.
  • Tonearm bearing might wiggle in some examples

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Alternative Record Player Option

If none of the four players we discussed above satisfy your needs, we would like to direct you to this one instead. This record player works like a dream and comes from a celebrated company. If the name is important to you, this might be just the one you’re looking for!

5. Audio-Technica Turntable

Audio-Technica needs little introduction. The company is known all over the world as a manufacturer of excellent audio products. It’s not surprise that it also makes quality record players for audiophiles.

This record player is a fully manual belt-drive machine designed by the company to deliver the best analog sound for you. It reproduces sound from your vinyl records just as the artists meant their music to be heard. The sound quality is very pure and pleasing.

Part of the reason this player sounds so good is due to the medium-density fiberboard plinth made of solid wood. It also has a simulated teak veneer to reduce the amount of low-frequency feedback. A good wooden plinth will reduce vibrations and prevent many of them from reaching the stylus.

The teak veneer is also very warmly colored, making for a visually pleasing decorative piece as well.

You can play records that have speeds of 33.3 and 45 revolutions per minute. A majority of records available today or produced decades ago fit into these two categories. This means that you will only need a different player if you have records with 78 revolutions per minute in your collection.

The cartridge included in this record player is the AT-VM95C, which has a 0.6-millimeter conical stylus. Versatile in design, you can use it for many records, but this cartridge is also replaceable. Audio-Technica has various replacements for every budget and requirement, too, as long as it’s part of the VM95 series.

Made of aluminum, the tonearm is solid, and you can even adjust the tracking force as you prefer. This allows your records to last longer if you reduce the force on the records.

A preamp is installed in the player, which allows you to boost your speakers if needed. You can switch in on or off with a single action.

The dual RCA output cable is detachable as well, which opens up different connection options if you need them.

The removable and transparent dust cover can be in the down position when the record is playing. This way, you can prevent dust from getting onto the sensitive moving parts. It’s also aesthetically pleasing to watch the record spin.

Specifications

  • Package Dimensions: 16 x 14 x 8 inches
  • Total Weight: 8.6 pounds
  • Frequency Response: Not given
  • Speed: 33.3 and 45 revolutions per minute
  • Channel Separation: Not given
  • Channel Balance: Not given
  • Load Impedance/Capacitance: Not given
  • Included Parts: 5+

Pros:

  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • High quality
  • Customizable

Cons:

  • Some examples are defective

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Conclusion

A higher price means higher quality, but you also have to be mindful that you’re not spending more than you need to. Every record player on this list is an excellent product with great features, so you can rest assured that you’re getting the quality you’re looking for.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article and that you’ve found the best record player under 1000 dollars!

The Best Sounding Portable Record Player in 2021: A Review Guide

The Best Sounding Portable Record Players

If the audio quality from a portable record player is what you value the most, then you’ll want to buy one that focuses on high-quality sound components.

The best-sounding portable record player will not only be lightweight and have great built-in speakers but will also allow you to connect to external sources.

Read on to find out which record players will work best for your needs!

5 of the Best Sounding Portable Record Players

In this guide, we cover 5 of the best-sounding portable record players on the market. These players are available for purchase on Amazon, and they’ll play your records seamlessly and beautifully.

To save you time scouring through many listings, take a look at our top picks:

Best Budget Record Player

For those on a budget and still want a quality player that sounds great, this is the one for you. Not only will you save on funds for other items, but you’ll surely get more than what you paid for. The audio quality is excellent, even with a lower price.

1. VInYL MUSIC ON Retro Style

Made by VInYL MUSIC ON, this budget record player can be taken with you anywhere you wish. It not only sounds excellent, but it comes in a light blue color. The design is also visually appealing and fits any room.

The belt-driven turntable inside the suitcase housing will accommodate any record with 33.3, 45, or 78 revolutions per minute playing speeds. This means that almost every commercial record from previous decades or today will fit. You can play three sizes of records on this record player, 7, 10, and 12 inches.

When your record is played to the end, the player will stop automatically if you want. This will let you leave the player there if you wish, and you can come back later to turn it off.

The built-in speakers are tuned to play your records and make them sound full and deep. Immerse yourself in the rich tones of records while you relax. Being able to take it with you is a huge advantage as well.

If you prefer to connect speakers to the player, you can use the RCA ports. There is also an option for using headphones. Whatever is best for the situation, this player can accommodate.

The diamond needle is highly sensitive and can detect the subtlest of details in the vinyl. The belt is also designed to reduce vibrations, allowing for clear music. You will get the purest tones all the time with this player.

Not only does this record player sound good, but it also has a beautiful design that allows it to fit anywhere. All you need to do is to place it on a table or surface to complement the room. Spice up the atmosphere both with sound and looks!

Specifications

  • Package Dimensions: 16.81 x 7.32 x 13.98 inches
  • Total Weight: 6.64 pounds
  • Included Parts: 1+

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Stylish look
  • Diamond needle for clarity
  • Connects to speakers
  • Private listening

Cons:

  • Requires extra cleaning
  • No Bluetooth functionality
  • The needle might not last very long

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Best Runner-Up Record Player

Even if this portable record player doesn’t get the main prize, it’s still a worthy contender and lost narrowly. It does allow for excellent listening and works very well. Take a look and see if it’s the right one for you!

2. Victrola Suitcase Record Player

This portable record player is made by Victrola in the form of a suitcase. Not only is it portable, but the audio quality is excellent. The player also has very useful features that you’ll like.

As it’s all contained in a vintage-design suitcase, you can carry it with you with one hand. Your other hand is completely free to carry more bags or to support it. The suitcase design also protects the sensitive components from damage.

There are three speeds you can play, namely 33.3, 45, and 78 revolutions per minute. Switching from one to the other is very easy and takes no time at all. It also accommodates records of various sizes from 7 to 12 inches.

While this player’s primary function is to play vinyl records, you can also connect your smartphone with Bluetooth. This allows you to play music from your phone. You can even connect it to external speakers or use the headphone jack for private listening.

The player has all the controls you need to make your music sound good. Volume, power, and auto-stop are included, as well as a preamp for extra bass. Having control over the sound is essential for good tones.

While this example comes in a tie-dye pattern and color, you can choose many more in the Amazon listing. There’s something for everybody, so you won’t feel compelled to get a color you don’t like. However, regardless of color, all of them sound wonderful.

Specifications

  • Package Dimensions: 13.9 x 5 x 10.1 inches
  • Total Weight: 5.5 pounds
  • Included Parts: 1+

Pros:

  • It comes in many colors
  • Easy to use
  • Stylish look
  • Preamp included
  • Wireless compatibility

Cons:

  • Some have complained about the materials
  • Might squeak

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Best Overall Record Player

This is the best player out of all that we could find. It has many desirable qualities and few drawbacks compared to the other selections. You’ll be getting your money’s worth with this player.

3. LP&No.1 Portable Bluetooth Player

LP&No.1 are the makers of this record player. It has a suitcase design like the two above for easy transportation and storage. What makes this player special is that you can record your vinyl records with it directly.

Equipped with a versatile belt-driven system, this player can accommodate all three record speeds and the three sizes. Most records fall into these measurements, so you’ll be hard-pressed to find a record it can’t play properly. It does have a pitch control knob to let you adjust the speed slightly.

Other than records, you can also connect a device to the record player via Bluetooth. An aux-in jack also allows for wired input if you prefer that. Even a USB port allows you to load music files to play, which is something rare in a player like this.

Not only will this player connect to external speakers with the RCA out port, but the built-in speakers are wonderfully tuned. You can enjoy your records with full clarity and depth. The speakers are loud enough to not require any amplification in most circumstances.

By plugging a USB drive in, you can record your favorite albums onto the drive directly. You don’t even need to hook the player up to a computer. Just stick it in and play as you would normally and let the player take care of everything.

The beautiful suitcase design makes it a great addition to your room, giving it a vintage air and romantic feel. Play a slow record and relax with friends. When you want to take it with you, remove the record and close the suitcase.

The controls on this player are numerous and give you complete control over the sound profile.

The player also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and an extra 60-day warranty for returns and exchanges.

Specifications

  • Package Dimensions: 13.98 x 10.24 x 4.72 inches
  • Total Weight: 6.19 pounds
  • Included Parts: 1+

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Stylish look
  • Can record
  • Connects to speakers

Cons:

  • Material is slightly flimsy

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Best Record Player Under $60

If your budget only allows you to spend $60, then we have the perfect player for you. Regardless of the lower price, you’ll still get a lot of bang for your buck. This player has a wooden build for a natural and vintage look as well.

4. SKEVONO Portable Vinyl Player

For a player under $60, this SKEVONO portable record player has many features that you can find on higher-end products. While it may not have a suitcase design like the others we covered, it’s still light enough to carry around. We do recommend that you take care while doing so.

By combining a vintage design with modern functions, this player is as versatile as many others. You can play standard records without extra setup. All the standard sizes and speeds are supported, and you won’t need another player unless you have special records that need them.

If you want to play music from other devices, that’s supported too. Connect your phone to the record player via Bluetooth, and you’ll be playing tunes immediately. This is best if the music you want to listen to isn’t available on vinyl.

While the built-in speakers are great, you have the option of hooking up external speakers to the player with an RCA out jack. This is great if you want louder volumes or a tone the internal speakers can’t achieve. You can even plug your headphones in to keep the surroundings quiet.

You can also record music with this player through a USB device.

Specifications

  • Package Dimensions: 14.68 x 13.74 x 6.73 inches
  • Total Weight: 4.82 pounds
  • Included Parts: 1+

Pros:

  • Comes in many colors
  • Easy to use
  • Stylish look
  • Preamp included
  • Wireless compatibility

Cons:

  • Some have complained about the materials
  • Might squeak

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Alternative Record Player Option

If none of the players above work for you, we have one last card up our sleeve. This player is a reliable product you can depend on for great audio quality and portability. It also looks great as a decoration piece.

5. Wockoder w/ Built-In Speakers

WOCKODER is the company behind this portable record player. You can take it around with you even if it doesn’t have a carrying handle. The transparent cover does help protect the delicate parts from damage.

This player accepts all standard records, so you can play your collection of common records any time you wish. Just adjust the playing speed according to the record you want, and you’ll be good to go. You only need this player for your records!

The belt system has been reinforced and fitted with a spring to reduce the vibrations traveling to it. With this system, your player will be able to output crystal clear sound that isn’t tainted by vibrations. This is a great feature if you value pristine audio quality.

You can even connect your smartphone via Bluetooth and play music with its built-in speakers. Also, a wired option is available. Play what you want any time!

The RCA output jack allows for connection to external speakers, which is useful, especially when you want a louder volume. Sometimes you need the extra power, and you can even connect this to an amplifier. This way, you can be the life of the party.

The transparent cover allows you to watch the vinyl record turn as it plays. This provides for some romance and class. Plus, with the cover closed, your turntable is also protected from damage.

The wooden furniture adds to the aesthetic, giving off an old-fashioned air.

Specifications

  • Package Dimensions: 12.3 x 10 x 4.1 inches
  • Total Weight: 5.28 pounds
  • Included Parts: 1+

Pros:

  • Wooden furniture
  • Easy to use
  • Stylish look
  • Wireless compatibility

Cons:

  • Some have complained about the materials
  • Might skip

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Conclusion

Every portable record player on this list will sound wonderful as you watch them spin around and around, playing sweet music to your ears. With one of these players in your collection, you’ll be able to listen to some great-sounding tunes anywhere you wish.

We hope you enjoyed our article and that it helped you find the best-sounding portable record player out there. Happy listening!

The Best Vintage Portable Record Player in 2021: A Review Guide

The best way to listen to some of your favorite vinyl records is to use a record player, but what if you want to take one with you on the go?

And what if you want the player to be portable and look vintage?

The solution, of course, is to find the best vintage portable record player available.

This way, you can take your sophisticated-looking record player with you wherever you like.

The Top 5 Vintage Portable Record Players

In this guide, we cover 5 of the best vintage portable record players on the market today. These players are available for purchase on Amazon right now, and they’ll allow you to enjoy the unique quality of vinyl records anywhere you want.

To save you some time, we’ve made a list of our top 5 picks:

Best Overall Record Player

This is the best player out of everything we could find. Most of its qualities are excellent, and you can depend on it for your music-listening needs. It’s also priced reasonably so that most anyone can afford it.

1. Victrola Vintage Player

Victrola makes this portable record player, and you can easily take it with you for a road trip or if you want to relax on your balcony. Other than being able to play records, you can also play audio through a Bluetooth connection. It’s a self-contained unit without the need for extra accessories!

The belt-fed turntable has three speeds, 33.3, 45, and 78 revolutions per minute. This allows you to play most vinyl records on the market, except for a few rare examples that require special record players. No need to buy a turntable for records with different revolutions per minute — change the settings when you swap one out for another!

You can take the player with you anywhere you’d like, as it’s all contained in a vintage-design suitcase. Combining the best of both old and new designs with a carrying handle, you’ll get to listen to your records anywhere!

Other than playing records, it also supports Bluetooth connections. You can connect it to external speakers with an RCA jack or use the headphone jack to listen to music privately. Another option is to use the aux-in cord through a device to play music.

The player has all the controls you need to make your music sound good. Volume, power, and auto-stop are included. It’s also easy to operate, making it a solid choice for beginners looking to get into record players.

If you prefer the player to come in a certain color or pattern, you can select what you like in the Amazon store. There are more than 30 colors and patterns to choose from, so you can definitely find what you want.

Specifications

  • Package Dimensions: 5 x 13.9 x 10.1 inches
  • Total Weight: 5.5 pounds
  • Included Parts: 1+

Pros:

  • It comes in many colors.
  • Easy to use
  • Stylish look
  • Good sound quality
  • Wireless compatibility

Cons:

  • Some have complained about build quality.
  • Might squeak

Best Budget Record Player

If you prefer saving some money when it comes to getting a portable record player, we have you covered. Even if this one isn’t the best in terms of features, it’s still a solid choice. Consider getting it as a backup option too.

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2. Victrola Parker Bluetooth Player

Also made by Victrola, this portable record player is a cheaper model than the one we just covered. With a lower price, it’s still a dependable model, and that’s why it’s on the list. It’s also as portable as the other record players with a suitcase design.

The one caveat is that this one doesn’t have a handle, though you can carry it with you like a box of chocolates as well.

Like the previous player, it has the same three-speed selection you can choose from. Choose from 33.3, 45, and 78 revolutions per minute as needed. You won’t have to get a new player unless it’s for an obscure vinyl record with unusual printing.

Even if you don’t have any records on hand, it won’t stop you from listening to music. Pull your smartphone out and connect to the player via Bluetooth. It might not sound like you’re playing a record, but you can still enjoy the music that’s being played.

If you want a louder volume or better quality, you can use the RCA jack to connect some external speakers. There is also an option to play music from a wired source with a 3.5-millimeter aux-in jack, so your iPad or smartphone can use it.

On the other hand, you can connect your favorite pair of headphones through a jack and if there is no option for playing through the speakers. Maybe someone needs to sleep, but you feel like staying up longer — at least you won’t bother anyone this way.

Specifications

  • Package Dimensions: 13.9 x 5 x 10.1 inches
  • Total Weight: 8.38 pounds
  • Included Parts: 1+

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Wireless compatibility
  • Lower cost

Cons:

  • Heavier
  • No handle

Best Runner-Up Record Player

This player didn’t win first place on our list, but we still included it because it’s not bad at all. You can still enjoy your music from this player, and it might even be the right one for you. Take a look and make up your mind!

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3. Byron Statics Player

This small, teal record player has a suitcase design, allowing you to take it around with you. Made by Byron Statics, it’s a light and handy case. Shutting it up and locking the latch makes it ready to go onto the next journey on your list.

The plug-and-play system makes operation incredibly easy, as you switch between records with 33.3, 45, and 78 revolutions per minute, one after another. There is no need for any setup, and as long as you plug it into the power socket, you can start playing music right away. Connecting your phone to it is also relatively simple.

You can choose to play your music through the built-in stereo speakers or hook it up to a professional stereo setup you have. For private listening, plug in a pair of headphones into the jack, and you won’t bother anyone else. Music should be enjoyed without being at the expense of others’ comfort.

The speaker plays your records with a warm and rich tone, making room ambiance a simple matter. While lacking a bit in the bass department, you can still plug another speaker in for that.

If you happen to have a short circuit, the player has a safety measure that protects itself from damage. It will instantly shut off all electricity from powering it, so you don’t have to worry about permanent damage.

Specifications

  • Package Dimensions: 13.66 x 10 x 4.6 inches
  • Total Weight: 5.46 pounds
  • Included Parts: 1+

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Wireless compatibility
  • Safety measures
  • Warm sound

Cons:

  • Less bass
  • The casing is slightly fragile.

Best Record Player Under $70

If you have a particular price range, you can take a look at this player. It offers great features and is well worth your money. It might be a little pricier than others on the list, but with the higher price comes higher quality!

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4. Wockoder Portable Player

This portable record player is just under $70, but it can punch above its weight and deliver high-quality audio. It’s made by Wockoder and weighs a tiny bit less than the Byron Statics player we just covered. It also contains wood furniture.

Combining modern technology and a vintage look, this player has the best of both worlds. You can play the three standard vinyl sizes of 7, 10, and 12 inches, as well as 33.3, 45, and 78 revolutions per minute. The springs within the record player reduce the vibrations and allow music to be played without sacrificing quality.

You can even connect a smartphone to the player if you want some modern tunes blasted out of the built-in speaker or external speakers. If wireless isn’t an option, a jack input also allows you to play anything that can connect to it. This is truly a very versatile and flexible player that works with more than records.

As vibrations from the player itself can make the sound degrade, Wockoder built these with springs to help reduce the sound degradation. It also helps reduce the amount of shock the player endures when it falls or hits something. Located at the turntable base, this will allow your music to be as pure as possible.

The wooden case is beautiful and blends into any room easily. Not only will your room sound good, but it will also look good too. Warm your room up figuratively in sound and appearance!

Specifications

  • Package Dimensions: 12.3 x 10 x 4.1 inches
  • Total Weight: 5.28 pounds
  • Included Parts: 1+

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Wireless compatibility
  • Warm sound
  • Wooden furniture

Cons:

  • No handle
  • Might skip

Alternative Record Player Option

If none of the players above fit your bill, we urge you to look at this one instead. This player is an excellent product, and many people enjoy using it. With its many features, this might be what you’re looking for.

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5. Rybozen Vintage Wooden Player

Rybozen makes this player, and it’s extremely light and compact for a player. You can easily stow it away in a box when you bring it around with you. It also has excellent features.

Besides playing the three common record speeds, you can only play smaller records, as this is a very compact player. However, this player’s needle is very sensitive and can reproduce all your records’ sounds perfectly. When listening to your music, you can hear all the subtle details pressed into the vinyl, allowing for a wonderful experience.

As with the other portable record players, you can use the internal stereo speakers or connect the player to a pair of external speakers for a different tone. You can even connect your smartphone to the player if your music isn’t found on vinyl records, but you still want to use your player. Connecting the player to an amplifier is also possible.

On the flip side, if you don’t feel like playing music out loud to your neighbors’ anger, you can use your pair of headphones. This is made possible due to the headphone jack at the side. Now no one will know what you’re listening to and judge you for your musical tastes.

The case of this player is made of natural wood with a dark and beautiful finish. It also has a transparent cover, so you can still watch the record spin. These qualities add a magical and fancy air to your room, even if the record player isn’t playing.

Take the player with you to a friend’s home or even on a road trip with you in your hotel room. Enjoy your favorite tunes always without letting travel stop you. This is all possible without losing any quality!

Specifications

  • Package Dimensions: 4.96 x 4.2 x 2.25 inches
  • Total Weight: 4.76 pounds
  • Included Parts: 1+

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Compact
  • Warm sound
  • Wooden build

Cons:

  • No handle
  • Low bass
  • Some skipping

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Conclusion

What do you think of our list of vintage portable record players? Do you agree with us on our choices and our best overall pick?

We hope that this review has helped you find the best vintage portable record player for your needs and that you feel informed and confident to make the right purchase.

Happy shopping!

The Best Amp for Record Player Owners in 2021: A Review Guide

As much as record players are designed to give you quality sound, you won’t get much sound at all without an amplifier.

An amplifier amplifies the signals it receives and boosts them up so they can be played through speakers.

Many modern record players will have an in-built preamplifier, but this isn’t enough to boost the sound signals that come from the spinning vinyl. Some players don’t even have a preamp, and if so, it’s your job to amplify the sound.

Luckily, the market is full of options.

Read on if you’re interested in finding the best amp for record player owners.

The Top 5 Amps for Record Players

In this product review, we feature the 5 best amps for record players. They’ve been tried and tested to meet the industry standards and serve you well, and you won’t have to worry about getting value for your money.

Let’s dive in.

1. Pyle Home Audio Power Amplifier

This is a dual-channel stereo amplifier with 2 X 120-Watt power. It can be used with several speakers with 4 ohm impedance which will ensure you enjoy amplified audio.

The system has four inputs for convenience. You get three RCA audio inputs for tuner, CD player, tape deck, camcorder, and headphone jack input. There is also a rec output that you can use for recording.

The receiver features both a pager and mixing switch that you can use in different settings. The pager mode is mostly used for hosting and meetings, while the mixing mode is used for karaoke.

The amplifier has a push-type speaker terminal, making it possible to directly connect speaker wires with the amplifier.

It is fitted with EQ controls with easy-control buttons.

Product Specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 2.72x 5.39 x 8.27 inches
  • Product Weight: 5.2 pounds

Pros

  • It has two channels for better sound.
  • The system has EQ controls for better control of sound
  • It is easy to use as you can connect and stream to enjoy music
  • The amplifier has both a pager and mixing model for convenience
  • The push-type speaker terminal helps to connect speaker wires to the amp directly

Cons

  • Some users did not find them to be very durable

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2. Technical Pro Class-T Mini Amplifier

This is a powerful mini amplifier that can give you 20 watts per channel. It is fitted with a direct equalizer function to allow unfiltered sound to pass through.

It is easy to control as it has the power/volume knob for simple operation. The LED knob will give you a glowing effect in the dark for easy access to dark environments.

The system also features a ¼ inch mic input. It also comes with a 3-foot power cable and 3.5-millimeter audio cable.

Product Specification

  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 6.2 x 1.75 inches
  • Product Weight: 1.2 pounds

Pros

  • It is user friendly
  • The system has multiple outputs for convenience.
  • It has an LED knob that is convenient to use in the dark.
  • The amplifier comes with rackets for easy mounting.

Cons

  • It gives a total of 40 watts and not 60 watts as indicated
  • It is hard to use with headphones as it does not cancel output to speakers

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3. Denon Amplifier

This is a great partner to your record player. One of its main advantages is the divided circuitry making it possible to disengage digital circuits. It uses the single push-pull circuit power that can balance power and details well.

It is beautifully designed with a slim build and a vibration-resistant design that you will love. One of its strong points is the high power (70 watts at 4 ohms) to guarantee you accurate multi-dimensional sound.

The Bluetooth connectivity will give you the convenience of connecting with any device you want.

The system is built with high-grade audio components to ensure it is built to last.

Product Specification

  • Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 12.1 x 4.76 inches
  • Product Weight: 19.26 pounds

Pros

  • It has high power, giving you a strong multi-dimensional sound.
  • The system is made with divided circuitry to disengage digital circuits easily.
  • It can balance power and sound quality well.
  • The amplifier features Bluetooth connectivity for convenience
  • It has high-grade audio components that last long

Cons

  • The remote volume control is not precise
  • It does not have a USB digital input

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4. Yamaha Natural Sound-Integrated Stereo Amplifier

Yamaha does not disappoint with its devices, and this is no exception. This is a dual-channel amplifier that can do 60 watts each. It has a direct mode if you are looking for great sound purity.

It is affordable, and yet it comes with high-end technology. Unlike many that have Bluetooth connectivity, this separates so that you can have your wireless and digital components separate.

The amplifier is loaded with five analog inputs and two digital inputs.

Product Information

  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 17.13 x 15.25 x 6 inches
  • Product Weight: 19.8 pounds

Pros

  • It gives you an option for the direct mode to get greater sound purity.
  • The amplifier has excellent sound.
  • It has a traditional HI-FI design with a beautiful finish
  • It is easy to use and control

Cons

  • Its Bluetooth connectivity is not great

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5. Marantz PM8006 

This is a powerful amplifier with six audio inputs and a power of 70 watts per channel.

It gives you better control of sound thanks to the electric volume control. Not only can you achieve lower distortion, but you will also have improved clarity. It works by amplifying the sound in two stages so that you get detailed sound.

With it, there are endless connection possibilities. There is also a preamp output to help you connect to a large amplifier to integrate with a multi-channel home theater system.

There is also a headphone output to listen to music on your headphones if you want to.

Product Information

  • Product Dimensions: 5.03 x 14.92 x 17.32 inches
  • Product Weight: 26.5 pounds

Pros

  • It features an electric volume circuit
  • The amplifier has a powerful sound of 70 watts X 2
  • It has a triple-tone control system
  • The unit is easy to operate

Cons

  • Its Bluetooth connection is weak

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Buyer’s Guide for Record Player Amps

If you need a good amp for a record player, you will do well with any of the five listed above. If you can’t settle on one quite yet and need further assistance, this is the section for you.

Here are some factors that separate them:

The Most Powerful Amp

The Pyle Home Audio Power Amplifier System is the most powerful amp with a power of 2 x 120 watts, which is higher than other amps we have reviewed. It is the best choice for you if you are looking for a loud and powerful sound.

The Amp with the Best Tone Control

Many amps will provide you with tone control flexibility, but not many will function as the Marantz PM8006 Integrated Amplifier. With a triple-tone control system like this, you have the ability to control the tone accurately.

Amp with LED Knob

Even though an LED knob is not mandatory, it adds to the amp’s convenience. The Technical Pro Class-T Stereo Mini Amplifier has an LED knob that lights up in the dark.

The Most Affordable Amp

When it comes to the amp’s cost, the most cost-friendly is the Technical Pro Class-T Stereo Mini Amplifier that costs only $29.99. However, it is important to remember that it might be cheaper because it is a mini amplifier.

Our Overall Recommendation

Our best recommendation is the Pyle Home Audio Power Amplifier System, as it is not very expensive, yet it is mighty. It will give you a powerful sound and a great, memorable experience.

Types of Amplifiers

Even though amplifiers do more or less the same role, it is good to know the types on the market. When it comes to amplifiers that work with record players, two main types of amplifiers are involved. They include:

Phono Preamplifier

This has the primary role in boosting the signal. The phono preamplifier is responsible for promoting and equalizing the cartridge signal. Otherwise, the signal and sound would be very weak.

The advantage of modern record players is that many come with a built-in preamplifier. If the player does not have a built-in preamp, you will need to get an amp with a phono input.

When your record player has a built-in preamp, you only need to connect to an aux or similar input to get started.

You might be forced to get an outboard preamp in some cases, especially if you do not plan to purchase a receiver or an integrated amplifier.

Stereo Receiver

This is a form of an advanced amplifier. It has not only an amplifier but also a phono preamp and an AM/FM tuner.

With a stereo receiver, you do not have to worry whether your player has a phono preamp or not. Receivers will do the job well and can be used in different settings too.

Integrated Amps

They tend to be the strongest amps you can get and tend to be pricier comparatively. Unlike the stereo receiver, an integrated amp only has a phono preamp and amplifier. It does not have a tuner, although there is an input to add one if you need to.

Choosing the Best Amp for Your Player

When you are choosing the best amp, you have the option of selecting a stereo amp or a multi-channel AV receiver.

The stereo amp is mostly used in traditional settings, and it entails two top-notch amplification channels to give you high-quality, beautiful sound.

The multi-channel AV receiver does not detail the sound quality, as it has many other features to focus on. It also has many channels, so getting precision may be a problem.

If you are detail-oriented in terms of sound, then the stereo amp will be ideal for you. If you don’t mind the sound, then you can go for either of them.

Some of the other features to look for when looking for an amp include:

Presence of Built-In Preamp/Phono Input

Ideally, an amp should have a built-in preamp or phono input, but this is not automatic, so you should check to confirm that it has one included. It will save you the hassle of having to buy a preamp separately when it may already have a preamp.

Regardless of how strong the amp is, it may be hard for it to pick up signals without a preamp.

Bluetooth Connectivity

Bluetooth connectivity is not a must, but it is an important feature to have. With it, you can seamlessly play music from any device without worrying about connecting wires.

It is important to note that the Bluetooth connectivity strength may differ from device to device. It also depends on how the two devices you are pairing up match.

Tone Control

This is an important feature if you value customizing sound. Some amps will have specific tone control systems, while others rely on EQ sound.

It would be great to try out both if you can before making a purchase. If you don’t have that luxury, you can check for reviews online or check the FAQ section. You should also always ask questions before buying products to avoid disappointments.

Power

Different amps have different power, and it also depends on the number of channels they have. A high power translates to a great, powerful sound and vice versa. Power is measured in watts. The bigger the wattage, the better it will be for you.

Even though it sounds contradicting, a high-power output does not guarantee a good amp. It would be best if you looked out for other important features too.

Speaker Pairing

An ideal amp should pair up well with any speaker, but you may have to have to buy different speakers or a certain amp to work with your speakers. The performance of the speaker depends on the amp power.

Quality of Build

Amps are made using different qualities, and that influences their performance and durability. There are different materials used in making the amp. You should check on the precision that has gone into making different parts and the craftsmanship of the work overall.

Price

Price is normally determined by many factors, such as brand, quality build, features, etc. That is why you will get amps of different budgets. Ensure you counter-check with the important factors before settling on an amp rather than focusing just on price.

Setting out a budget before shopping can help you in decision-making, as it will guide you to look for amps within a certain price range.

After-Sale Service

A good manufacturer should have a service center so that if you need an update or your amp has an issue, you can visit the service center. Service centers should be in a location convenient to you. That may be why some people go for renowned brands because they have worked on their service centers’ quality and range.

Warranty

With the warranty, you are sure that if the amp has a certain problem within a certain period of time, you will be covered. It may range from six months to five years. The longer the warranty period, the better it will be for you, as it shows the manufacturer is confident with the quality of their products.

Reviews

It is only through reviews that you can shape your expectations about the product. You can tell what you are getting yourself into. The greater the number of reviews, the better chance you will have an honest look without any bias. Few reviews may be sponsored in some cases, so it’s good to read many reviews.

FAQs About Amplifiers

Do I need a preamp?

The answer may either be yes or no, depending on your situation. If your player does not have a preamp, then you might need one. However, there are many speakers, amplifiers, or receivers with an in-built preamp to not need one in most cases.

Is an amplifier necessary?

It always just depends on what you want to achieve as an individual. For some people, a preamp is sufficient, but for others, they need more sound. An amplifier helps to strengthen weaker signals, giving you a powerful sound.

What’s the better choice between a receiver and an amp?

A receiver and an amp perform more or less the same function. The only difference is that an amp does not have an AM/FM tuner. They both have a phono preamp and amp. When it comes to sound quality and power, an amplifier takes the title.

Does the quality of the preamp influence the performance of the amp?

If you have an amp, the built-in preamp’s quality does not matter, as an amp comes with a built-in preamp. This means that you can achieve a high-quality sound whether you have the best preamp or not.

How to Connect a Record Player to an Amplifier

Even though connecting a record player to an amp looks straightforward, many people still get it wrong. Many confuse the cables and parts.

Some of the basic steps for connecting your player to an amp include the following:

  1. Place the player near the amp. Even though you may have long cables, it is convenient to have the two units placed next to each other to connect the cables. It should be on the same shelf to dampen vibration and minimize shaking.
  2. Connect the available RCA-type stereo cable to the output of your amp. If the amp did not come with the RCA cable, you will be forced to buy one.
  3. Look out for phono input. This is an indicator of whether the amp has a built-in preamp or not. If it has a phono output, then connect the player’s output, and you will be good to go.

If your player has a ground wire, then connect it to the ground terminal on the amp, and you should be set.

If your amp is not fitted with a phono input, it means it does not have a built-in preamp. You don’t have to worry, as amps have a built-in preamp.

If you do not have a phono input, check out for inputs such as Line, Aux, Audio, or CD. The input on the front should match that on the rear panel. Also, check to ensure that you have similar connections between the amp and player.

You also have the path of choosing wireless since connecting with cables may be cumbersome. Most devices will have Bluetooth connectivity for that purpose.

Conclusion

Finding the best amp for your record player requires that you do your due diligence in your research and shopping journey. Product research and side-by-side comparisons are the very best paths to take to ensure that you’re satisfied with your new amp.

Honest online reviews can be invaluable to you, so take care that you read more than a few of them. They can help you know what you should expect, and they might even offer useful hacks for the product that could save you time and energy.

There are many options available in such a full market, but with research, reviews, and budgeting, shopping should be a success.

Good luck on your search for the best amp for record player use!

The Best Receiver for Record Player Owners in 2021: A Review Guide

Five Best Receivers for Record Players

Regardless of the kind of record player you may have, you should consider investing in a quality receiver if you want to get the best audio performance possible.

A receiver breaks down electromagnetic waves and sends them to the output devices that allow you to hear the sound.

Currently, there are many record player receivers that offer great features at a great price. This is why it can be so challenging to find the perfect receiver for your needs.

But you don’t have to worry – we recommend going through this guide to help you make a clear and informed decision about the best receiver for record player use.

The Top 5 Receivers for Record Players

In this product review guide, we compare the 5 best receivers for record players on the market. They all have high power and specifications that will ensure you get an excellent sound experience.

Take a look at the receivers we’ve picked out for you:

1. Pyle Surround Sound Stereo Receiver

This is a home audio power amplifier with a two-channel surround stereo, making it the perfect receiver for your record player.

It can give you 2 X 120 watts power to be used in multiple speakers with four 8 ohms impedance.

The amp has multiple inbuilt inputs that you can use to connect several external sources such as a computer, CD, DVD, mobile phone, 3.5-millimeter AUX for tuner, ¼” mic, and ¼” headphone jack input. It also features a REC RCA output that you can use for recording.

The receiver has both a pager and a mixing switch. The pager model is excellent for meetings as it helps the microphone override the auto talk-over feature. The mixing mode, on the other hand, is perfect for karaoke or live deejaying.

The amp has a USB 2.0 input with a power input of 750 millivolts.

Product Information

  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 7.6 x 4.1 inches
  • Product Weight: 5.4 pounds

Pros

  • It has a two-channel surround stereo system.
  • The receiver has a high power of 2 X 1120 watts that can be used in different speakers.
  • It comes with several inputs for convenience.
  • The receiver has both the pager and mixing switch for more convenience.

Cons

  • Some users complained that their receiver was faulty

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2. Pyle 300W Digital Stereo Receiver

As you can ascertain from the name, this receiver has a maximum output of 300 watts, ensuring that you get enough sound.

It is loaded with an AM/FM mode antenna for the signal. It also has an auto station seek that can give you up to 50 radio station presets, plus it has a quartz tuner. The amplifier also has an MP3 player plug-in, helping you to enjoy your music easily.

The system features four stereo RCA inputs — these are made up of three stereo RCA inputs and one RCA input for play media. This product has SD memory, USB ports, and two ¼ inch mic inputs plus mic volume. You can also get different voice effects thanks to the tone and echo controls.

It also features an A/B speaker out switch, which includes a banana-plug speaker and two mono RCA outputs. This helps create easy control of multiple speakers.

Product Information

  • Product Dimensions: 7.25 x 19.25 x 14 inches
  • Product Weight: 12.1 pounds

Pros

  • It allows you to customize your sound.
  • The receiver has safety features such as a built-in overheat, overcurrent, and short circuit protector.
  • It is powerful with its 300 watts.
  • The amplifier has several inputs and outputs for convenience
  • It features an AM/FM mode antenna and an auto tuner

Cons

  • Some users complained of a loud fan

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3. Denon 5.2-Channel Audio/Video Receiver

The sleek design and black finish make this receiver stand out, as it can match any house. In addition to working well with a turntable, this receiver pairs well with a 4k ultra-HD TV to ensure you get the best brightness, contrast, and color possible.

It is powerful, as it has five channels that give you 140 watts per channel. This helps to give you an immersive sound — with it, and you get multi-dimensional surround sound. For a premium audio performance, this receiver uses Dolby True HD powerful audio for a cinematic performance.

The receiver is armed with built-in Bluetooth so that you can amp your music from eight different devices simultaneously.

The Denon HEOS link makes it possible to enjoy music from digital streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora.

The system is easy to set up with its quick-select buttons on the front panel to store your preferred audio settings.

Even though the receiver has many qualities that make it the best in its class, it lacks a built-in preamp, which you will have to purchase separately.

Product Information

  • Product Dimensions: 17.09 x 12.56 x 17.09 x 5.94 inches
  • Product Weight: 16.8 pounds

Pros

  • It has a beautiful, sleek design.
  • The receiver is powerful, giving you a great multi-dimensional surround sound
  • Its Bluetooth is strong and can connect up to eight devices at the same time
  • It is simple to set up as all the controls are on the front panel
  • The Denon HEOS link makes it convenient to stream music from digital streaming sites

Cons

  • It does not have a built-in preamp

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4. Yamaha R-S202BL Receiver

This is an upgrade from the Yamaha R-S201 model, and it looks much better with a black-brushed aluminum finish.

This is a digital receiver with all the controls, inputs, EQ, mode controls, etc., on the front panel. It features an LCD screen to communicate on the source or mode.

It is easy to set up and use. The receiver also features Bluetooth connectivity, making it easy to connect and stream music from your favorite devices.

The receiver has a power output of 100 watts, which is very high. Even though it has a high-power output, it has been optimized to minimize power loss, as its power transformer is located close to the amp circuit. That also ensures there is maximum power being supplied, which ensures high volume and clear sound.

The receiver features 40 FM/AM preset stations.

The only issue with this system is the small remote control that makes it hard to control the receiver from a distance without pointing the remote directly to the receiver.

Product Information

  • Product Dimensions: 12.63 x 17.13 x 5.5 inches
  • Product Weight: 14.8 pounds

Pros

  • It has been optimized for a high-power output with minimal interference.
  • High voice and clear sound
  • The receiver features Bluetooth connectivity for convenience.
  • It is easy to set up and use
  • The receiver features 40 FM/AM preset stations.

Cons

  • The remote may be inconvenient to use if you are far from the receiver

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5. Sony Surround Sound Receiver w/ Bluetooth

If you are looking for a cinematic theatre experience at home, this may be the best receiver. It has an output power of 725 watts. You will also enjoy great sound from your record player.

It features a virtual front surround with a dual-speaker setup.

The receiver has Bluetooth connectivity, which affords the flexibility of streaming music from your favorite devices with ease.

It is a multifunction system with a multi-channel stereo setup, FM tuner, and a ¼ inch headphone jack. The four stereo RCA audio inputs and two digital audio outputs make it a truly dynamic setup.

The system uses Dolby Vision, which means you can easily stream on your 4,000-pixel devices and get premium-quality graphics.

Product Information

  • Product Dimensions: 11.75 x 17 x 5.25 inches
  • Product Weight: 16.76 pounds

Pros

  • It has Bluetooth connectivity for convenience while playing music from devices.
  • The system has a high-power outage on five different channels, giving you up to 725 watts.
  • It features a virtual front surround with a dual-speaker setup.
  • The system is multifunctional with a multi-channel stereo setup.

Cons

  • It does not have an aux-in port, which is inconvenient

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Buyer’s Guide for Record Player Receivers

Even though you may have the best record player, you will also need an excellent receiver to match with it. The advantage is that many quality receivers are compatible with record players. The five that we have reviewed will serve you well, but if you need help narrowing it down to one, this section is for you.

The Best Receiver in Terms of Power

The power outage is essential, as it determines the scale of power and volume that you get. If this is your top priority, we recommend the most powerful receiver; the Sony STRDH590 5.2-ch Surround Sound Home Theater Receiver, because it has a power outage of 725 watts.

The Best Receiver for Connectivity

Connectivity is vital and convenient. When it comes to Bluetooth connectivity, the best choice is the Denon AVR-S540BT Receiver with a strong Bluetooth connection. It can even connect up to eight devices simultaneously.

The Best Receiver for Affordability

When we compare the cost, the cheapest receiver in the batch is Pyle 2X120 Watt Home Audio Power Amplifier, which retails at $56.38.

Our Overall Recommendation

Although any of these five are a great choice, our top choice is the Sony STRDH590 5.2-ch Surround Sound Home Theater Receiver since it is powerful and convenient to use. It will serve you well and ensure you get great value for your money.

How to Choose a Receiver

We may have already helped you choose a receiver, but if you haven’t, you should also know the features to keep in mind when shopping for one. These features include the following points.

RCA Inputs

Even though it is considered old school, there are still quite a few record players that use RCA connectors. Most analog systems have weak audio signals, so you should ensure receiver compatibility for the best possible sound.

You should also check to confirm if there is a built-in preamp. If not, be ready to get a stand-alone option for better sound.

Speaker Outputs

The kind and number of speaker outputs are essential to consider. You should check the connection points to see if it has banana plugs or spring-clip connectors. Usually, banana plugs are excellent at ensuring a secure connection.

Quality Build

When we talk about the quality of the build, we mean the circuitry and materials used to make the receiver. The quality used in making the receiver will influence the sound it produces and its durability.

Design of the Receiver

Because you will likely use the receiver at home, you want one made in a design that matches your home’s style and furniture. Luckily, they come in different styles and designs.

Accessibility and Control

A good receiver should be as simple as possible to use. Even though most of them come with manuals, which makes setting it up simple, the control buttons should still be easy to access. Many modern systems also come with a remote control that can help you with setup, adjustment, and content selection.

Weight and Portability

Suppose you plan to move your receiver from place to place — you should consider portability. Of course, you want a system that is as portable as possible so that it is convenient to carry.

Budget

Receivers come with different price tags depending on the quality of the build and the features it has. The best approach is to make up your mind about what features you want in a receiver, then set a budget and look for receivers within that set budget. The best part about your options is that there is something for everyone.

Warranty and After-Sale Service

Many people focus on the price, and they tend to overlook many factors such as the warranty and after-sales service. It would be best if you looked out for a product that gives you at least a one-year warranty.

As for the after-sales service, you can judge how serious they are by finding out the network of service centers they have. If they have many service centers, that is a good indication that you can get help when needed.

Reviews

The reviews of each receiver will help you anticipate your experience with the product. Many positive reviews indicate you are in for a good experience. Reviews will also help you figure out the problems to expect with each product.

Important Terms to Know

There are technical terms that you should know about receivers to help you in your decision-making. They include the following.

Amplifier vs. Receiver

Many people confuse receivers with amplifiers. As much as they share functions, they are different.

An amplifier magnifies the audio sound it gets from an external source. Most of the time, an amplifier will have both a preamplifier and a power amplifier. The preamp plays the role of correcting and adjusting the preliminary signal before transmitting it to the amplifier.

On the other hand, a receiver is an upgraded amplifier, as it is an amplifier but with additional equipment, such as a radio tuner. A receiver gives you better control of sound than an amplifier does. Most receivers are sophisticated in that they can work with videos, the internet, and many other devices compared to an amplifier.

Phono Preamp

When you are working with receivers, you will likely come across the term phono preamp.

A phono preamp can transform the sound from vinyl to vinyl, although the sound is not technically recorded. A record player cannot be directly connected to a receiver without a phono preamp, as it will not be audible. Luckily, many players and receivers come with a built-in phono preamp.

How to Connect a Record Player to a Receiver

Most receivers come with a built-in phono preamp that makes them easy to connect. The receiver can act as a preamp and will upgrade the quality of sound that you get.

To connect the two, place the record player next to the receiver on a flat surface to cut down on vibrations. Connect the audio cable from the record player to the analog input of the receiver. Several inputs can be used, such as AUX, line, analog, tape, and CD. Once you are connected, you can play your favorite vinyl.

If you are using a digital player, you can connect the two using Bluetooth.

How to Connect Record Players and Receivers Without a Phono Input

If the receiver is not equipped with an inbuilt phono input, the connection is slightly different, as it means you have to add it.

First, to start the connection, connect the record player’s audio cable and ground wire to a separate device on the phono stage. Then connect the phono stage to one analog audio input of the AV receiver. You will then connect the audio cable to the phono input signal of the vinyl player. If the player has a ground wire, make sure that it is connected to the ground terminal on the phono stage.

Once all that is done, connect the phono preamp audio output to one of the AV receiver’s analog audio inputs while connecting the phono stage to the power supply.

What If You Have Preamps in Both the Receiver and Record Player?

If you have built-in preamps in both devices, connect the player to one of the AV receiver’s AUX inputs. You will not need the phono input because it would make the two phono equalizers work simultaneously.

FAQs About Record Player Receivers

Does my record player necessarily need a receiver?

Even though it is not considered necessary in most settings, you need a receiver to connect different audio and video components to the speaker. A receiver has different inputs for all of your components and an output for the speaker.

A receiver features an amplifier that enhances the audio so that the speakers can play it.

Do a speaker and receiver serve the same function?

No. Speakers are believed to produce sound, but that sound would not be possible without a receiver. Although you can directly connect the speaker to the player, you will need a receiver to break down the electromagnetic waves to get the best sound.

Can I use a record player without a receiver?

Of course, yes. Some units come with built-in preamps, though they will not give as strong a signal as a receiver. If you can get speakers with a built-in amp, you can connect the two.

Do individual record players use specific receivers?

Most receivers are made to be compatible with most devices, including record players. You can therefore choose any receiver as long as it meets your specifications.

Do I necessarily need to get an amplifier for my record player?

Since a receiver plays the amplification role, you do not necessarily need an amplifier, especially if it has a phono stage and input for the vinyl player. However, it is essential to note that an amplifier will give you better sound than a receiver.

A record player will work even better with a separate amplifier and separate phono stage.

Conclusion

Choosing the right receiver is one thing; maintaining it is another. Regardless of the receiver, you choose to purchase, how long a receiver will last depends on the care you give it.

Ensure that you dust and clean it every once in a while and store it appropriately. If you’re unsure about something, refer to the manual or ask for assistance.

When the receiver is treated well, it will give you a truly excellent sound experience with your record player.

We hope you enjoyed this review guide and that you find the best receiver for record player use. Good luck with your search!

The Best Record Player Stand in 2021: A Review Guide

Many people pay all of their attention to buying a record player and forget that they need a place to put it.

The stand you place your record player on is important, as it can either make the player stand out or make it fall flat.

The right stand can protect your equipment and give it some extra style, but which one should you choose?

There are plenty of options on the market, and we’re here to help you choose the best record player stand out there. 

The 5 Best Record Player Stands on the Market

In this buying guide, we’ll cover five of the best record player stands available. All of the options have different specifications that will suit a wide variety of people. Let’s take a look:

1. Furrino 4-Tier Rack

This rack by Furinno is made of a mix of wood and PVC. The material consists of premium composite wood and plastic tubes. 

This stand is simple yet stylish with its open shelf design that can fit in any room. It’s optimized for safety as it has round corners that reduce injury risks.

Each shelf can hold up to 20 pounds and is both water and scratch-resistant. The display rack is multipurpose and can be used for several purposes in the house.

Product Information

  • Product Dimensions: 11.6 x 23.6 x 43.25 inches
  • Product Weight: 14.5 pounds

Pros

  • Multipurpose and can be used anywhere in the house
  • Made of a mix of wood and PVC that makes it lightweight and functional
  • Stylish featuring open shelves
  • Safety is a top priority due to its round corners
  • Water and scratch-resistant
  • Easy to assemble

Cons

  • Some users found the rack to be weak
  • Able to hold up to 15 pounds

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2. Victrola Wooden Stand with Record Holder

The rack by Victrola is specifically designed to hold musical pieces. It is constructed with real wood that is easy to assemble with no additional tools. 

It can comfortably store over 50 vinyl records. Victrola is well-known for vintage audio products over the years, and this stand does not disappoint.

Product Information

  • Product Dimensions: 20.75 x 27 x 13.75 inches
  • Product Weight: 12.8 pounds

Pros

  • Constructed of real wood
  • Easy to assemble
  • Able to comfortably store over 50 vinyl records
  • Features a beautiful and classy finish

Cons

  • Some users complained that the legs are not sturdy, and the longevity of the rack did not last long

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3. Furinno 3-Tier Display Rack

This is a 3-tier rack that can be used for record players. Although the rack is made of wood, it is also constructed of engineered particle wood and PVC tubes. The engineered particle board is made of recycled rubber and PVC tubes.

The budget-friendly rack can fit in any space well and comfortably fit on a flat surface. It is easy to assemble and does not require additional tools. Each shelf can hold up to 25 pounds.

Product Information

  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 9.5 x 29.7 inches
  • Product Weight: 11 pounds

Pros

  • Compact and can fit well into a small space.
  • Easy to assemble and does not need additional tools
  • Made of lightweight, engineered wood and PVC
  • Does not have emit chemical smells

Cons

  • Some users found the rack to be unstable

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4. Winsome Espresso Shelving

This is a beautiful and classy rack. It is characterized by two shelves that can store a record player. It has ample space that allows the option to add more shelves if necessary.

The rack has a combination of solid and composite wood with an espresso finish.

Product Information

  • Product Dimensions: 11.25 x 13.5 x 29.25 inches
  • Product Weight: 12 Pounds

Pros

  • Made of solid and composite wood
  • It emits a classy vibe.
  • Shelves are big enough that allows the option to add more shelves if necessary
  • Sturdy
  • Easy to assemble

Cons

  • Some users complained of the cheap quality

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5. Vasagle 2-Tier Industrial End Table

This is a 2-tier side table coupled with a storage shelf that can be used for the record player. The accent piece features a modern and urban look composed of a mixture of wood and metal. 

The rack can be used in different settings, such as in the living room or the bedroom. It is easy to assemble and can be set up in no time. The table comes with an accessory kit that makes the installation process a breeze.

Product Information

  • Product Dimensions: 17.7 x 21.6 x 17.7 inches
  • Product Weight: 6 kilograms

Pros

  • Sturdy and stable, thanks to the metal frame
  • Stylish and can complement any space.
  • Easy to assemble
  • It comes with an accessory kit that makes the installation process easy.

Cons

  • Comes with two holes that may be improper for some people
  • Some users found damage on the end table before assembly

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Buyer’s Guide for Record Player Stands

Getting the right record player stand is important. If you’re trying to settle on one stand but are still confused about which one to choose, this section is for you. We focus on the different details that set each option apart.

Here’s a quick guide:

Biggest Stand

When we compare sizes, the Furrino Turn-N-Tube 4-Tier Multipurpose Shelf Display Rack is the biggest stand because it has four tiers. 

Sturdiest Stand

The Vasagle Industrial End Table has a steel metal frame that makes it the sturdiest stand compared to the other options.

Wooden Stand with Record Holder

Getting a stand with a record holder is not mandatory, but it is very convenient. In this case, the Victrola Wooden Stand comes with a record holder that can hold up to 50 vinyl records. 

Most Affordable Stand

When we compare all of the given options, the most affordable option is the Furinno 3-Tier Display Rack that costs $25.89. Of course, cheaper stands do not necessarily have to mean inferior quality. 

Overall Recommendation

From the five options, our best judgment is the Victrola Wooden Stand with Record Holder Shelf, as it is made with a record player in mind. It has a record holder that can be used to store many vinyl records. 

How to Choose the Best Record Player Stand

When you are choosing a player stand, there are many factors to keep in mind, including:

Built-in storage

Some stands can double up as storage for your vinyl. A record player stand with built-in storage provides ample space for a record collection without cluttering the space. Vinyl records are very delicate and can get destroyed easily if it is not stored well.

Although storage is important, it is also good to keep in mind that overexposure to ultraviolet light can negatively impact your vinyl. So, when choosing built-in storage, you should bear that in mind.

Available space

The kind of space you have in your home will determine which stand is best for you. The stands come in different sizes; hence there is always an option that suits your interests. The best option should not be too big or small. 

Style of your home

You can choose a stand that matches the style of your home. For example, if you are into retro, you can easily find stands with retro styles. There are different stands with various styles, including mid-century, modern, industrial, and more. 

You can also decide to make the record player table to be a design centerpiece for your home. That means that you will have to go for something that stands out based on your tastes and preferences. 

Your needs

People have different needs. For example, some want space to store their vinyl records, whereas others want to show off their collection. It would help if you analyzed your needs so that you choose accordingly.

Compatibility with the turntable

The stand should be compatible with the turntable with regard to size to ensure it won’t get in the way of the turntable. 

Materials

The materials used to make a stand will determine how stable it will be and how long it will last. For example, if the legs are made of metal, it is sturdier and lasts longer. The thickness and quality of the materials affect the durability and functionality of the stand. 

Versatility

Although you are looking for a record player table for the record player’s primary function, it would be nice if it is versatile and can serve other functions.

Cost

Many factors will determine the price of a record player table, such as the design, material used, and more. The best part is that there is something for everyone’s budget. Identify which stand has the features you’d like to get the bang for your buck.

Reviews

The reviews of the product are an easy way to gauge what to expect with the product. These will help you know other customer’s experiences with the product, and that can shape your purchasing decision.

FAQs on Record Player Stands

Do you need a record player stand?

Yes, you do! There is a misconception that you do not need one, but you need to keep the record player off the floor. If you do not feel like you need a stand, you can use a shelf, a rack, or the table you already have.

The convenience of having a specific record player stand allows you to store and operate the player without having to move it after you are done. You can also safely store your vinyl records too.

If you are not convinced that you need a record player stand, a good alternative would be to mount a shelf on the wall to hold the record player.

Can one use an ordinary table?

Yes, you can. An ordinary table is inconvenient, though, because you may need to move the record player around when it’s not in use. 

Is there a specific material that’s better for storing vinyl?

Nope, there is no preferential material. You can use wood, metal, plastic or whatever you please. It is based on your personal tastes and preferences. Regardless of the material you choose, steer clear of rough surfaces, as they will scratch the vinyl and make it dysfunctional.

Is it safe to put two record players on one stand?

It depends on the design and size of the stand. Some shelves have weight limits, and you’ll run into the risk of breaking them if you exceed them. Suppose it’s big, strong, and sturdy; why not!

Are vinyl collections safe on a stand? 

That depends on the design and type of stand. It’s recommended to store your vinyl collection somewhere where it will not be exposed to direct UV light, as it can break the records down. If you can, look for a stand with a special place or shelf for the vinyl collection.

Conclusion

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to choosing the best record player stand. Just make sure you know what your needs are. The record player’s size and the size of the stand you plan to buy are two crucial factors to keep in mind.

Doing some research and comparing different options should be mandatory before committing to a stand, and it can only help you out in the long run. 

The great thing is, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to find the best record player stand out there. The five options in this guide certainly prove that.

The Best Record Player Under 300 Dollars: A Review Guide

Are you looking for an affordable yet high-quality record player at a specific price point?

There are many record players on the market, and they all strike a different balance between caliber and price.

A solid mid-range record player could cost anywhere between $400 and $700, but some diamonds in the rough can be purchased for under $300.

If you’d like the find the best record player under 300 dollars, we review and compare five of the best affordable record players in this guide.

The Top 5 Record Players Under $300

1. Victrola 8-in-1 Bluetooth Record Player

As you can see from the name, this is an 8-in-1 entertainment center that combines modern design features and a vintage look. 

The turntable is not only optimized for vinyl’s but can also play CDs, cassette player, FM radio. It can also play mobile devices connected by Bluetooth, AUX cable, and headphone jack.

The system does not need any stereo or additional equipment to function. Upgraded with modern technology, this option is excellent for both beginners and experts who love vintage things.

It features a belt-driven turntable with three different speed levels at 33 1/3, 45, and 78 rpm. Built with premium quality sound and minimum vibrations, this is a great record player that suits various environments.

The system has all the controls you would need, such as a knob for volume, FM tuner, and easy-to-click buttons for different purposes. 

With it, you can get extended connection options for external speakers or an amp.

Product Information

  • Product Dimensions: 18.2 x 13.2 x 10 inches
  • Product Weight: 16.5 pounds

Pros

  • 8-in-1 system that can do functions at the same time
  • Suitable for both beginners and experts
  • Made with modern technology and is convenient to use
  • Three different speeds
  • Ability to expand connection options such as external speakers and amp

Cons

  • Some users complained that the turntable stopped working after a few times
  • Some users complained about poor customer care

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2. Crosley Turntable

Armed with a built-in Bluetooth receiver, this turntable gives you the flexibility of wirelessly streaming your music on the full-range stereo speakers.

The turntable is normally belt-driven and can play at three different speeds: 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM records.

It is convenient as you simply need to plug it in and play the audio.

The system features a CD player, cassette deck on the side, and an FM/AM radio with an airplane tuning dial.

Product Information

  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10 x 12.5 inches
  • Product Weight: 17 Pounds

Pros

  • The Bluetooth receiver helps seamlessly stream music.
  • Able to play audio at three different speeds
  • Easy to use by simply plugging in and pressing play

Cons

  • Some users had an issue with the CD player
  • Some users complained of the sound quality

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3. DIGITNOW Player

The turntable by DIGITNOW features a stereo speaker, an LP Vinyl to MP3 converter with CD, cassette, radio, AUX-in, USB/SD encoding, remote control, and built-in amplifier.

The CD changer is convenient when you need to record and play something. The Bluetooth connectivity option plays music seamlessly from an external device.

The detachable speaker duo provides a clear and loud sound with no background noise. It can also play vinyl and an MP3 recording if a digital format is required.

The record player can work at three different speeds: 33, 45, and 78 rpm, so you can easily listen to what you like. 

Product Information

  • Product Dimensions: 12.48 x 11.42 x 7.87 inches
  • Product Weight: 7.8 pounds

Pros

  • Convenient and easy to use
  • Features Bluetooth connectivity to play music from an external device
  • Two detachable speakers that produce a clear and loud sound
  • Three different speed levels
  • Convenient to use with the remote control

Cons

  • Some users found it to be defective with a bad reception
  • Some users complained the AM radio did not work

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4. Victrola 50’s Retro Player

This is a retro record player with built-in speakers and a turntable that can play at three speeds. Although it has a retro 50’s look, it is loaded with modern features like record and playing vinyl as mp3.

It is convenient to play because you do not need a stereo system or extra equipment. It is also suitable for beginners and vintage music enthusiasts. 

This multimedia center can play at 33 1/3, 45, 78 rpm, which gives the flexibility of the sound you prefer. IT can easily achieve a premium sound with minimum vibrations.

It has all the possible controls you would need, such as volume, FM, and function buttons. 

The system is made with a high-quality design and finishing, thanks to the 115-year craftsmanship that makes it durable and stylish.

Its Bluetooth function is not extraordinary, but it allows you to stream music up to 33 feet away.

Product Information

  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 7 x 15 inches
  • Product Weight: 8.65 pounds

Pros

  • Built-in speakers
  • Can play at three different speeds
  • Beginner-friendly because it is easy to use
  • Made with high-quality design and a great finish
  • Bluetooth connectivity allows you to stream up to 33 feet away

Cons

  • Some users complained the CD player does not work

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5. Fuse Vertical Vinyl Record Player with Bluetooth

This unique record player fuses a vintage and modern design that would impress anyone. The case is made of real and handcrafted Ashtree wood.

The system is belt-driven and can function at three speeds (78,45, or 33 1/3). The speed level ensures that you get a balanced tonearm with a diamond needle cartridge.

It features Bluetooth connectivity, USB, FM Radio, line-in, and alarm clock.

Product Information

  • Package Dimensions: 17.3 x 16.8 x 11.5 inches
  • Product Weight: 8.93 pounds

Pros

  • It looks vintage and modern at the same time.
  • Ability to run at three different speeds
  • Balanced tone that will produce an impressive sound

Cons

  • Some users found the functionality to be confusing
  • Some users complained that it did not last long

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Buyer’s Guide for Record Players Under $300

If you need some help deciding among the five great options above, here are some features to keep in mind that might help make your decision a little easier.

Detachable speakers

Although most record players have in-built speakers, some have detachable speakers, such as the DIGITNOW Bluetooth Record Player. Detachable speakers have an advantage because they’re more convenient and portable if you need to move them around.

Non-vintage modern player

As you’ve already noticed, most record players we reviewed are vintage and have modern functions. If you are not keen on the retro look, we recommend going for the DIGITNOW Bluetooth Record Player as it looks modern and can easily convert vinyl to mp3. 

Record player with long-distance Bluetooth connectivity

If you are big on Bluetooth connectivity and prefer a unit that allows for a wider range for Bluetooth connectivity, then the Victrola 50’s Retro Bluetooth Record Player & Multimedia Center is ideal; it can play music up to 33 feet away.

The least expensive player 

The cheapest of the five options is the Victrola 50’s Retro Bluetooth Record Player & Multimedia Center, which retails at $127.76.

Overall recommendation

You would not go wrong with any of the five options, but the best overall product is the Victrola 50’s Retro Bluetooth Record Player & Multimedia Center. This option is relatively cheaper and does the job well. 

If you’re not into the retro look, we suggest going for the modern DIGITNOW Bluetooth Record Player.

How to Choose the Best Record Player

Since there are many record players on the market, you might end up with the wrong one if you do not know how to choose the right one for you. Some of the factors that you should keep in mind include:

Build quality and material

The quality and material of the build impacts the type of sound produced by the turntable. The materials also determine the final cost of the record player as some materials are more expensive. For example, carbon fiber is more expensive than aluminum.

When looking at the quality, it is good to keep in mind that the cartridge also differs in quality. 

Cartridge

You can find that the cartridge is pre-mounted on the tonearm most of the time. The cartridge contains a pickup that can read the grooves to produce sound. The kind of cartridge used will influence the kind of sound quality from the record player.

Belt drive vs. direct drive

A motor can be connected to a platter directly or with a belt. When it is direct, speed is increased instantly as the motor spins on the platter. DJs prefer a direct drive most of the time as the response time of speed increases immediately.

On the other hand, belt-driven has its own perks as it can produce different speeds seamlessly.

Phono preamplifier

A record player needs to have a phono preamplifier as the cartridge’s signal tends to be weak. 

A preamp will boost the signal so you can hear the sound coming from your speakers. Normally, the preamp is either separate, built into the receiver, or built into the table. An outboard preamp will give you more control.

Manual vs. automatic

This is how you interact with your record player as it starts or ends playing a record. 

Manual

When you use the manual lever to lift the tonearm, place the cartridge on the record’s lead groove, and put it to the side. 

Although the manual might be inconvenient, it is the best choice if you want high sound quality. Most vintage players are fully manual, which may be the reason they are sought after.

Semi-manual

This is where you must lower the tonearm manually. Once the record is done, the tonearm returns to its original position, and the motor shuts off.

Fully automatic

This is where you must push a button, and everything moves automatically. The tonearm will slide into position and drop the needle to record. Once the recording is done, the tonearm will lift itself and return to the resting position, and the motor automatically shuts off.

Ports available

If you are buying a record player because of the value analog sound, it is sometimes nice to create a digital version of your creation. Playing a digital device is only possible if there’s a USB port. 

You should check which other ports are available on the record player for ease of use. 

Playback speeds

Most record players have the option of three different speed levels. The more options for speeds, the more flexible the record player is to record something at whichever speed.

Bluetooth connectivity

Although it is not essential for a record player, Bluetooth connectivity is convenient for those who want to play music from a mobile device.

Signal-to-noise ratio

This is a measure of the amount of background noise. The higher the ratio is, the better it is to hear the music rather than the noise. A good ratio should be at least 65 dB.

Wow and flutter

This will tell you how accurately the turntable can pin the platter. If there is a high deviation, you will get an audible wavering effect. Aim for a lower deviation, ideally below 0.25%. 

Speakers

As mentioned earlier, record players can either have built-in or external speakers. Most of the time, external speakers tend to have more sound than built-in speakers. Regardless of the path you take, your preamp will determine the speakers’ level of sound.

How the Record Player Works

There are different components that all synchronize to produce the desired sound. To know how it works, it is also important to know which components contribute to the sound, including:

Turntable

A turntable is sometimes used in place of a record player, specifically where the record is placed. It is also known as the revolving platter.

The turntable center has a metal rod that will hold the record in place as it turns. The turntable plate is usually made of metal but covered with rubber or plastic not to scratch the vinyl.

The type of turntable influences the cost of the record player. Steel tends to be cheaper but is unstable with low inertia. Aluminum plates are more expensive, sturdier, have no vibration, and do not affect the motor speed. 

The rotation of the turntable can either be direct-driven or belt-driven. The belt-drive is great for noise reduction as the belt can absorb any vibration. The direct-drive tends to have a stronger motor.

Stylus

The stylus is often confused with the cartridge. The stylus is the sharp point that rests against the record and is normally made with diamonds. In some cases, sapphires are used to make the record needles. 

The stylus uses a strip of metal to connect to the tonearm. The metal is typically flexible and allows the stylus to ride up and down the record’s grooves. 

The stylus can either be elliptical or spherical. Elliptical is ideal as it allows more contact with the grooves of the record.

Tonearm

Responsible for producing the sounds you get from a record player, the tonearm can either be straight or curved. Many people argue that a curved tonearm is better as it gives a better sound.

The stylus transfers the vibrations to the tonearm, which goes to the cartridge to give electrical signals that are then amplified through speakers to give you sound.

Amplifiers

Most audio receivers are customized to give signals that are transmitted through digital devices or streaming services. 

That means most record players cannot detect sound from a traditional audio player. An amplifier or a phono preamp is important as it will magnify the sound coming from your record player. 

Conclusion

Finding an awesome, affordable record player will give you the best sound experience. Therefore, it’s worth looking into the product details to ensure you select the best record player based on your interests and needs. 

We hope this review guide helped you find the best record player under 300 dollars and that you get to enjoy listening to some tunes on a great machine.

The 5 Best Speakers for Audio Technica Record Player in 2021

Audio Technica has a great reputation in the industry for producing high-quality record players and turntables.

But which speakers will work best for such an awesome player?

The best speakers are powerful and have quality built-in amplifiers, saving you the stress and unnecessary spending that can come with buying a speaker and amplifier separately.

Let us be your guide, and we’ll save you all the time it would take you to sift through tons of speakers. Factors such as price range, durability, ease of use, and reception were considered when picking out these speakers.

Let’s get started and discover the best speakers for Audio Technica record players.

Top 5 Best Speakers for Audio Technica Record Player

1. Logitech Z323

This speaker system from Logitech will amplify your experience with its 360-degree sound when tuning into movies, music, and games.

Its amazing sound quality is distributed evenly throughout the space in every direction, giving everyone in the room an opportunity to listen to the same sound. Though it only has one RCA audio jack, it is enough to connect your game console or your iPod.

Its’ subwoofers feature all the elements that produce a good sound like treble and bass. You can connect up to two devices to it at once. It is easy to use because of the easy-to-adjust volume control and bass knob behind the subwoofer.

The dual RCA and 3.5 mm jack can be used by music lovers who love to listen to sounds privately through a headphone. The speaker has a wattage of 30W, which is enough to produce a full range of sound.

Specifications

  • Product dimensions: 9.37 x 9.87 x 9.75 inches
  • Item weight: 7.5 pounds
  • Color: Black
  • Power source: Corded-Electric
  • Wattage: 300 watt
  • Manufacturer: Logitech, Inc.
  • Customer review: 4.4 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Features a flexible system to control the volume
  • The sound quality is top-notch
  • Low noise level
  • Made of high-quality material
  • Good value
  • Lightweight although it looks big
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • No option to adjust the treble and bass

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2. Edifier Powered Bookshelf Speakers

This speaker is a bookshelf speaker featuring an excellent design and incredible sound quality. It is compact and has a glossy wood finish that contributes to the beauty of any interior design.

The dual RCA output allows you to connect two devices simultaneously without having to switch one for the other.

The speaker features a studio-like sound quality that enhances the movie or gaming experience. The sound could even work when hosting a small party at your own home.

It comes with a remote control, so you have the power to increase or decrease the volume.

The audio jack allows you to listen to music from several devices, including mobile phones, tablets, iPods, and MP3 players.

Specifications

  • Product dimensions: 6.9 x 9.5 x 5.8
  • Item weight: 10.8 Pounds
  • Aux Input: 2
  • Batteries: Included
  • Material: Wood
  • Type: Bookshelf
  • Control method: Remote
  • Size: 4 Inches
  • Manufacturer: Edifier
  • Customer reviews: 4.7 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Sound quality is impressive
  • Easy to set up
  • Accessible volume control
  • Sturdy and durable speaker

Cons

  • Weak speaker wire

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3. Edifier Audiophile Speakers

Also from Edifier, known for producing high-quality bookshelf speaker systems, this speaker gives you an experience you don’t get from a regular bookshelf speaker. These speakers could be an upgrade from traditional models as it is perfect for gaming set-ups when using consoles and PCs.

It comes with an advanced aptX audio codec that allows you to compress any audio while retaining its original quality. It can also enhance the sound quality by fixing normal latency issues common to most speaker systems.

Like every other speaker system, this model has an audio jack that allows you to connect your PC or TV. The package comes with a 5-meter coaxial cable to connect devices easily.

It also features Bluetooth connectivity that gives you the freedom to listen to music from any Bluetooth-enabled device. The 2-year warranty is a bonus!

Specifications

  • Product dimensions: 11 x 8 x 13.5 inches
  • Item weight: 18 Pounds
  • Color: Black
  • Material: Wooden
  • Control: Remote
  • Manufacturer: Edifier
  • Customer reviews: 4.7 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Easy to use and connect
  • Made of high-quality material
  • The sound quality is top-notch.
  • Wooden material makes cleaning and wiping off dust easier.
  • Able to pair up with Bluetooth-enabled devices quickly

Cons

  • Manufacturer does not guarantee money back in case a mishap happens

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4. Audioengine Stereo Speakers

This bookshelf speaker system delivers clear and powerful sound quality that fills any room with even sound. The built-in power amp is made of premium quality materials such as aramid fiber woofers and silk tweeters so you are guaranteed a durable speaker system.

Everything about this speaker, from the hassle-free setup to its ability to work without a network, makes it appealing. This speaker does not require a password, so you don’t need to stress over completing the setup process.

Use the RCA and 3.5 mm inputs to connect any device you want. It also comes with a wireless audio adapter that connects to any wireless-enabled device from a distance of 50 ft, a connection cable, and a remote control for a stress-free operation.

Specifications

  • Product dimensions: 7.75 x 7 x 10.75 inches
  • Item weight: 25 pounds
  • USB port: Yes
  • Power: 60 Watts
  • Connection type: Wired and Wireless
  • Power source: Corded electric
  • Control: Remote
  • Manufacturer: Audioengine
  • Customer reviews: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Flexible volume control
  • Made from quality material
  • The highly durable speaker set
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Bluetooth range is not encouraging

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5. Kanto Powered Speakers

Even though it’s the last of our recommended speakers for an Audio Technica record player, it is no less effective than all others on the list. It offers the best value because of its versatility. Its sound quality allows you to break free from any limitation associated with a speaker’s use only at home. You can take it to enjoy a small party anywhere because of the richness of its audio output.

Two factors contribute to its elegant design: the use of high-quality materials and the manufacturer’s vision for wanting to stand out. The package comes with remote control, and it is compatible with any Bluetooth-enabled device.

You can make use of the phono switch with a built-in preamp to plug your turntable directly into this speaker system.

Specifications

  • Product dimensions: 13.39 x 5.51 x 8.66 inches
  • Item weight: 13.2 Pounds
  • Batteries: 2 AAA batteries required
  • Frequency: 2000 Hz
  • Connectivity: USB
  • Color: Matte White
  • Manufacturer: Kanto
  • Customer reviews: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • It offers great value for money.
  • Great sound quality
  • Bluetooth and USB connectivity make operation flexible
  • Great design and size

Cons

  • It is a little pricey

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Buying Guide: FAQs About Audio Technica Record Player

What is the difference between an Audio Technica record player and a regular record player?

Audio Technica is a renowned record player maker in the market with a reputation for great designs, stylish ideas, and groundbreaking innovations. They’ve come a long way, from the days of producing phonographs to the days of producing problem-solving audio equipment.

With their modern-day record players and turntables, you can trust them to manufacture a great product.

What kind of speakers will be compatible with Audio Technica record players?

Audio Technica record players can work well with any speaker that has an R/L stereo RCA jack. They were originally designed to be used with a component stereo receiver.

You will eliminate the receiver if you buy a pair of powered speakers with RCA inputs.

Do record players produced by Audio Technica come with USB connections since they’re always coming up with innovative designs?

If you would love a turntable with a USB for easy connections and more available resources, you may be disappointed to note that record players from Audio Technica do not come with USB ports.

However, if you would like to use this feature in conjunction with your record player that you just purchased from Audio Technica, buy a USB/RCA connector at a low price. This way, you can have the “best of both worlds.”

Do I have to buy an amplifier, or can I hook the unit directly to power speakers?

Since power speakers have great volume control, they can always be connected directly to Audio Technica’s turntables, all thanks to the built-in phono preamplifier. Behind the turntable lies the LINE position. Turn on this switch (preamp selector), and that’s it.

The built-in phono progressively raises the volume from low to high, enabling the equalizer to do what they were designed to do in the unit.

Can I use headphones with my Audio Technica in place of a powered speaker?

In principle, you could. Be sure to set the volume to a reasonable level that will not cause damage to your eardrums. Since the record payer has no volume control, it’s imperative to buy a headphone that features good volume control. It will also be necessary to use a headphone amplifier between the turntable and the headphones.

Can I plug these speakers into a smart TV?

The simple answer is maybe. While we can’t speak for all of the latest TVs in town, speakers like the ones on this list can be plugged into some newer models. The only condition that must be met is that the TV must have stereo RCA input jacks.

Can I record sound from a turntable into a flash drive or any other external storage device?

Remember that a turntable has no USB port, so inserting the flash directly into the unit for this purpose probably isn’t likely. But there is a way you can work around that. Just make sure the recording is saved on your computer. This way, the saved audio can then be transferred to a flash drive.

Can a turntable convert music from a record into iTunes, from which I could then burn it to CD?

Technically, this is possible. Just ensure that the default sample rate is set at 44100Hz and the default sample format is 16-bit.

Final Verdict

This review of the 5 best speakers for Audio Technica record player aims to help you through your decision-making about which of the tons of speakers available online will work well with your player.

While we’re sure that you would enjoy all of the speakers in this review, it remains your responsibility to analyze your needs and budget constraints carefully. Considering these two factors will help you make a great choice.

The best speaker for you will not necessarily be the most expensive on this list but will largely depend on your preferences, budget, and past experiences. It would be best if you also considered extra features like Bluetooth, lighting, and controls.

We hope this product review has helped you find some awesome new speakers for your Audio Technica.

Best of luck!

Where to Buy the Best Record Player Under $100

With the economy plummeting in various parts of the world, many people are on a tight budget.

Luckily, if you love listening to music on record players, it’s possible to find some inexpensive ones that still offer a quality sound experience.

While some might believe that a record player under $100 would lack somehow, there are a few players out there that defy the odds and get the job done just fine.

If you want to find the best record player under $100 and keep on jamming, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we review the top 5 best record players for under 100 dollars.

The 5 Best Record Players Under $100

1. Victrola 50’s Retro Player

This retro-styled vinyl provides a comprehensive audio experience. With Bluetooth technology and an audio jack, you and your friends can stream your favorite music. With a built-in CD player, you get to enjoy the music that comes from your CDs.

With Bluetooth connectivity, you don’t have to stress connecting audio cables and carrying old records with you. It is easy to set up, and once it is paired, the record player will remember the device.

With less time spent trying to connect devices, more time can be spent on what matters most – listening to your favorite music. It is also easy to clean and maintain.

Specifications

  • Product dimensions: 15 x 13 x 7 Inches
  • Item weight: 8.7 pounds
  • Speed levels: 3 levels of speed
  • USB connector: Yes
  • Power source: Corded Electric
  • Color: Black
  • Manufacturer: Innovative Technology
  • Customer reviews: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Great sound quality due to built-in amplifier
  • Made of high-quality material
  • Easy to use for beginners
  • Great design that complements any space
  • Great value
  • Features headphone jack, perfect for those who love to listen to music late at night

Cons

  • Bluetooth allows you to pair with other devices, but not with a Bluetooth speaker
  • The wattage is lower than most turntables in the same category

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2. Wockoder Player with Built-in Speakers

You would be surprised to know that this record player features so many amazing features, and it still falls within your budget. Have you considered the possibility of enjoying your classic vinyl and recent tunes using one unit?

This record player features superior music output made possible by the three belt-driven speed levels of 33-1/3, 45, and 78 RPM coupled with three sizes for playing.

The unit is protected by strong absorption pads and a spring that reduces vibrations and improves sound quality. This unity is easy to use, easy to maintain and emits good vibes at different atmospheres.

The plastic case provides good storage for the vinyl’s and protects it from particles that can cause damage over time. If your mobile device is Bluetooth enabled, it can stream music on this record player.

You don’t need anything else to use this record player because the package has everything you would need, such as built-in speakers and stereo systems.

Specifications

  • Product dimensions: 12.3 x 10 x 4.1 inches
  • Item weight: 5.28 Pounds
  • Speed levels: 3 levels of speed
  • Connections: Wireless
  • Color: Vintage Style
  • Material: Vinyl
  • Manufacturer: Wockoder
  • Customer reviews: 4.1 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • It comes with a vibration absorption pad.
  • The cover repels dust particles.
  • Easily connects with other Bluetooth devices.
  • Features headphone jack that is ideal for those who love to use headsets
  • Sound quality from this unit is one of the best options
  • Portable and lightweight

Cons

  • May need powered speakers for louder volume

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3. Victrola Metropolitan Bluetooth Player

This record player has the best of both worlds – a modern look with a Vintage-style sound. Apart from that, you will appreciate how this record player was designed to play any type of records as it has 3 belt-driven levels of speed (33-1/3, 45, and 78 RPM).

It comes with Bluetooth technology, giving you more liberty to connect and listen to music from Bluetooth-enabled devices. Another unique feature is the easy-to-adjust LED lighting that automatically turns on at dawn, amplifying any environment.

Specifications

  • Product dimensions: 15.4 x 6.7 x 15.4 inches
  • Item weight: 15.67 pounds
  • Connections: RCA, Bluetooth
  • Color: Espresso
  • Material: Wood
  • Speed level: 3 levels of speed
  • Manufacturer: Victrola
  • Customer reviews: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Amazing sound quality
  • Easy to clean
  • Highly durable
  • Versatile in playing multiple forms of audio, including cassettes, MP3, and records
  • Great value

Cons

  • Some might perceive wooden turntables as lower quality

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4. Wrcibo Vintage Record Player

With a three-speed belt-driven turntable, you can listen to old playlists and new albums any time. You can enjoy music from other sources like phones and cassettes.

Suitable for indoor and outdoor use, its rich sound quality and easily adjustable functions prove that you need some functionality while listening to music.

If you want a more private experience, the audio jack allows you to connect headphones or earphones for more individualized use. It allows you to play any genre of music on different types of records despite the size.

The RCA output guarantees an easy connection to HiFi systems. This manufacturer of this record player also comes with a 2-year warranty. Isn’t that amazing?

Specifications

  • Product description: 16.5 x 16.5 x 6.5 inches
  • Item weight: 8.58 pounds
  • Connection: Wired
  • Material: Wood
  • Motor Type: AC Motor
  • Manufacturer: Arecibo
  • Customer reviews: 4.3 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Fast and easy cleaning and maintenance needed
  • Offers great value for money
  • High-quality materials

Cons

  • Cannot connect to Bluetooth speakers

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5. Kedok Vintage Suitcase Record Player

Packed in a vintage-style suitcase with an ergonomic handle, this record player is more than a regular suitcase. Within the suitcase is a powerful yet lightweight turntable that allows you to enjoy all your favorite records anywhere and everywhere you go.

The built-in speakers mean you don’t need to connect to any external speaker. Since most music lovers enjoy a more personalized experience in the evenings, you will find the audio jack behind the device useful to plug in your headset.

Another feature is the Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to pair the turntable with any Bluetooth-enabled device so you can listen to music from various Bluetooth-enabled devices.

Specifications

  • Product dimensions: 13.94 x 10.16 x 4.49 inches
  • Item weight: 4.89 Pounds
  • Speed levels: 3 levels of speed
  • Connections: Wireless
  • Color: Vintage Style
  • Material: Vinyl
  • Manufacturer: Rybozen
  • Customer reviews: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • The exterior looks like a suitcase and provides secure storage for the contents inside.
  • The cover repels dust particles.
  • Easily connects with other Bluetooth devices.
  • Features a headphone jack for those who love to use headphones
  • Sound quality is one of the best in this category.
  • Portable and lightweight

Cons

  • You may need external speakers if you want higher volume

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Buying Guide: What to Look for in a Record Player Before Making a Purchase

Many people are revisiting their desire to have their own record player in their homes.

For some people, they’re experiencing the sheer excitement that naturally comes from owning a record player for the first time. Others may already own an old collection of classical records they would love to explore again.

After reading about different high-quality record players, your choice may change based on several factors, including size, design, and many more.

If you’re planning on buying a record player, either online or in person, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few factors to look for in a record player before making a purchase.

Sound Quality: This is often the most important aspect of a good record player. If you are flexible on the other features, never jeopardize the sound quality because that defeats the entire purpose of owning a record player, which is to listen to beautiful music.

The sound quality of a record player is determined by the following:

  • Choice of the stylus
  • Audio component
  • Materials used

If you are looking for a record player that can fill your entire room with sound, go for a larger unit because the larger record players hold more power. More recent record players are made of high-quality materials like an acrylic platter and a one-piece wooden casing.

Weight: If you want to enjoy your record player, it needs to be portable and easy to move from one place to another.

For instance, you may feel like listening to music in your room at times, but you may want to relax in your garden on other days. What if you like to take the player to a friend’s house for a party because he prefers the sound quality compared to the one he owns?

For all these situations, a portable and foldable record player with a handle is ideal for ease of transportation.

Apart from the weight, it would be nice for the record player to have an option for wireless connection because you may need it when you’re stuck in a place, and connecting to a power source is impossible.

If a record player is lightweight, portable, offers wireless connection, and has rechargeable batteries, you are better off with these models.

USB Connectivity: If you do not have your favorite record nearby and the only option is to play the song using a USB cable, wouldn’t it be nice to have a record player that has a USB connector?

A USB connector gives you the chance to convert your records into digital audio files. Some record players also have USB ports where a flash drive can be inserted to convert the vinyl.

Automatic or Manual: This concept refers to how the needle is placed on the record and to remove it from the record.

With an automatic player, a push of the button initiates and disengages the needle.

In manual systems, you must lift the needle and place it on the record.

The third option is a semiautomatic player, which requires you to place the needle on the record physically, but it automatically removes it.

The most convenient and most marketable of the three systems is the automatic system of the record player.

Audio Jacks: If you are the type to listen to music using headphones, it is important to go for models with an audio input and output for headphones or MP3. An audio input allows you to connect your record player to external speakers.

External speakers and headphones can help bring out the best audio quality.

Design: Check if the design you have in mind will fit your home or space’s interior decoration. Record players come in various designs, and they are all eye-catching.

Before proceeding with the purchase, have a mental image of your space at home in mind. If it helps, try to take a picture of the space with your phone. Search online stores for modern styles and designs with shining colors and exotic designs.

If you feel a particular product will fit your interior space well, go for it!

Budget: Record players are generally affordable as the price ranges from $60 to $1500. Small and portable ones are cheaper and are within reach of customers on a tight budget.

Beginners should start with cheaper and smaller models before moving to larger and more sophisticated ones. The point is to help you find a model that is within your budget.

Extra Accessories: Before choosing a record player, do some online research for the extra features (or lack thereof) and accessories that will make your experience more enjoyable.

There may be some models that make allowance for extra needles. This will come in handy if the needle suddenly breaks or wears out.

Some other record players come with a protective case to shield them from the inevitable dust and dirt that float in the air. Some also come with a cleaning set and other features like lights, wireless connection, Bluetooth connection, and audio jacks.

Final Verdict

As mentioned earlier, only you will know what type of record player will best suit your needs. Keep in mind that the tips in this buying guide can help you, even if you’re buying another product that’s not on this list.

As you tick every box on your checklist, make sure you exercise good judgment and stay within your budget. As a rule of thumb, the secret to a long-lived record player is careful and consistent maintenance.

We hope this review has helped you find the best record player under $100. If you know other people who would benefit from reading this review, kindly recommend it to them, and check out some of our other review guides.

Best of luck!

The Best Portable Record Player in 2021

Music lovers often reminisce about the excitement of listening to old tunes from a record player. They used to be so big and heavy back in the day, but now manufacturers see the value in producing portable and lightweight record players.

Most modern portable record players are equipped with the same features – or more – that you’ll find in bulkier record players, like lighting, wireless connectivity, and easy-to-use volume control.

Interested in finding the best portable record player?

It can be hard to know which player to buy, but you’re in luck.

In this article, we spotlight the top 5 authentic and efficient portable record players on the market.

Top 5 Best Portable Record Players

1. Victrola Vintage Portable Record Player

This portable record player resembles a suitcase to an outsider, but it is a powerful turntable that can play some of your favorite records with ease. Equipped with Bluetooth technology, you can stream music from several feet away.

The belt-driven turntable speed options are 33, 45, and 78 RPM, ensuring that the record player can play any record. Behind the turntable is a 3.5 mm auxiliary audio input jack used to play music through headphones and external speakers.

The all-in-one portable record player is lightweight and can be transported easily from one place to another, thanks to the sleek exterior. This option is perfect for those who need to move their record player for a party or event.

There is an extra stylus included in the package in case the original stylus breaks.

Specifications

  • Product dimensions: 13.9 x 10.1 x 5 inches
  • Item weight: 2.69 pounds
  • Speed level: 3 levels of speed
  • Headphone jack: Yes
  • Color: Black
  • Manufacturer: Innovative Technology
  • Customer reviews: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Lightweight and portable, making it a perfect choice for campers and nomads
  • Ability to play various forms of media, including records, cassettes, and MP3
  • Incredible sound quality
  • Seamless Bluetooth connectivity
  • Made of highly durable materials
  • Exterior safeguards the record player when it’s not in use from dust and other small particles.
  • Great options for beginners
Cons
  • While it can easily pair up with other Bluetooth devices, it cannot pair up with Bluetooth speakers

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2. Victrola Vintage Bluetooth Record Player

This record player also looks like a sleek and stylish suitcase. This option not only protects the vinyl inside but also shields it from small particles like dust and dirt. These particles can settle in the little crevices and can affect the functionality of the device.

It features Bluetooth technology, so music from various devices can be played easily on the record player. With a Bluetooth range of 35 feet, streaming music from a distance has never been this easy.

With its lightweight design, its ergonomic handle makes transporting from one place to another effortless.

Audio jacks are available to connect with external speakers and headphones. It emits an incredible sound quality, thanks to its tuned Pre-Amp and improved audio clarity. The knobs to play, pause, and shuffle can be easily located on the unit.

Specifications

  • Product dimensions: 13.9 x 10.1 x 5 inches
  • Item weight: 2.69 Pounds
  • Speed level: 3 levels of speed
  • Speaker: Built-in
  • Replacement needle: Present
  • Manufacturer: Innovative Technology
  • Customer reviews: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Pairs with other Bluetooth devices quickly.
  • Versatile and capable of playing MP3, cassettes, and CDs
  • Portable, lightweight, and can be moved around easily
  • It emits an amazing sound quality from the built-in speakers.
  • Made of highly durable materials
  • Extra features like a replacement need that adds to the value of the record player are included
  • Easy Volume control
Cons
  • No outer box for protection
  • Requires time to clean dust particles off

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3. Wockoder Portable Record Player 

Have you ever considered the possibility of enjoying a mix of classic vinyl and recent songs using one item? This is possible by the three belt-driven speed levels of 33-1/3, 45, and 78 RPM coupled with three playing sizes.

The unit is protected by strong absorption pads and a spring that provides a shock absorber against vibrations and better sound quality. This record player is easy to use and does not require much maintenance.

The plastic case provides ample storage for vinyl and shields from particles that can damage the unit down the line. If your mobile device is Bluetooth enabled, you can stream music on this record player.

You don’t need anything else to use this record player because it has everything you need, such as built-in speakers and stereo.

Specifications

  • Product dimensions: 12.3 x 10 x 4.1 inches
  • Item weight: 5.28 pounds
  • Speed levels: 3 levels of speed
  • Connections: Wireless
  • Color: Vintage style
  • Material: Vinyl
  • Manufacturer: Wockoder
  • Customer reviews: 4.1 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • It comes with a vibration absorption pad.
  • Features a cover that shields the unit from dust particles
  • Easily connects with other Bluetooth devices
  • Features a headphone jack
  • Emits the best sound quality
  • Portable and lightweight
Cons
  • May need powered speakers for loud volume

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4. Crosley Voyager Vintage Turntable

Several features prove that this record player is highly recommended. The built-in Bluetooth receiver means that music can be streamed wirelessly and effortlessly from any Bluetooth enabled device.

There is no need for an external device because it comes with built-in speakers and a vintage-inspired aesthetic that complements any space.

Music can be played at three speeds: 33-1/3, 45, and 78 RPM. It is lightweight, portable, and has an ergonomic handle that can be used when transporting the unit from one place to another.

With the aid of the rare RCA audio jack, you can connect the record player to any external speaker or headphones easily. The needle is made of durable materials, and the adjustable knob can easily pause, play, forward or rewind songs.

Specifications

  • Product dimensions: 14 x 10.5 x 4.63 Inches
  • Item weight: 5.5 pounds
  • Style: Vintage
  • Make: Belt-driven
  • Speed level: 3 levels of speed
  • Manufacturer: Crosley
  • Customer reviews: 4.3 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Great value
  • Impressive sound quality
  • Made of highly durable materials
  • Great gift idea for colleagues
  • Perfect for beginners
Cons
  • Customers mentioned that the record skips after some time

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5. Jensen Turntable with Speakers

This portable record player features a 3-speed stereo belt power, two separate built-in stereo speakers, and an auxiliary audio jack. You can also play music from other sources like CDs and MP3. There’s a USB port so you can connect external dongles and flash drives to the unit.

Apart from the three-speed options, this brand allows you to fine-tune the turntable speed with pitch control. You may find a dust cover, a tune control, a stereo headphone jack, and an auto-stop switch within the package.

It comes with software to encode, record, edit, and convert audio from the record player to the computer. The record player’s volume control, power indicator, and RCA line-out jacks are extra features that appeal to most customers.

Specifications

  • Product dimensions: 13.38 x 13.75 x 6.38 inches
  • Item weight: 5.5 pounds
  • Departments: Electronics
  • Connections: USB
  • Color: Black
  • Material: iPhone Material
  • Speed level: 3 levels of speed
  • Manufacturer: Spectra Merchandising International, Inc.
  • Customer reviews: 4.2 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Perfect for beginners
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Made of high-quality materials
  • Impressive sound quality
  • Easy to clean and maintain
Cons
  • Some customers noticed slight technical issues after long-term usage

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The Buying Guide: Proper Maintenance of a Record Player

Record players have that magical touch when it comes to sound quality. To keep it at its tip top shape, it requires proper maintenance.

Here are a few things you need to do to maintain your turntable and keep it in the same optimal working conditions it has when you first make that purchase.

Clean the records

Some things that can dampen a record player’s sound quality are dirt, dust, scratches, and spills. Even worse, these can cause serious damage in the long run. A good cleaning routine will not only give you consistent sound quality, but the unit’s lifespan will be well-preserved. To clean your record player, follow these few steps:

  1. Buy a record brush and learn how to remove dirt, dust, and other small particles from your record player from time to time. You can do this ever so often, let’s say fortnightly.
  2. You can also wipe these particles off your record player using a cotton cloth, a clean handkerchief, or a microfiber.
  3. After each use, use a cleaning solution and a clean cloth to wipe off any marks or fingerprints left on the unit.
  4. Set a target to rinse the unit with water from time to time. Be careful with this, as water can damage several parts of the record player. You can watch a YouTube video on how to wash which parts properly. Once it is properly washed, dry it and store it properly.

Remove any static

For those living in cold and dry climates, this might be a challenge. Buy an anti-static gun that will alert you of the need to remove any static charge from your record player.

To figure out if there’s any static charge coming from your device, hold regular tissue paper against your record player and if it sticks, you’ve got a static charge.

While many won’t take this step seriously, it can silently damage your record player and other electronics as time passes.

To effectively use the anti-static gun, place the gun horizontally on your record player. Move the anti-static gun directly above the record player’s ring by a few inches. Press down on the trigger as slowly as possible while you pull the anti-static gun away.

For a more effective result, repeat this procedure three more times to ensure your record player is free of any static charge.

Use a good record clamp.

No two records are the same in terms of size and make. Some records are curved due to aging, while others are designed with a slight curve. With a good record clamp, you can eliminate this problem.

The clamps help you hold the record in place and prevent deformity and unpleasant noises that will affect the sound quality.

It is recommended that the right amount of pressure must be maintained between the stylus (or needle) and the record for the best sound quality.

When the stylus is loose, it will cause the record to start scratching the record player’s walls. If this is not corrected on time, it can cause serious damage to the parts.

Adjust tracking force

This is how much force or pressure the stylus applies to the record. A brief look at the cartridge on your turntable will help you read this value.

If you’re checking the range and it’s between 1.5 and 2.0 grams, make sure the counterweight is within the same range (1.7 or 1.8 will do).

When you are done adjusting the tracking force, you can adjust the record player’s speed that is measured in revolutions per minute (RPM).

For a standard record player, a speed of 33 RPM is best for music played on them. For smaller record players (7 inches and smaller), a playing speed of 45 RPM is best used.

Failure to play at the correct speed will affect the physical features of the record player. To read and adjust the playing speed, look at the record player’s display. If you notice the speed is higher or lower than the value, that’s a cue to adjust it.

Replace the stylus

The foremost accessory for record players is the stylus. The tip controls what you listen to and is most likely made of the hardest material ever known, diamonds. Although the material is hard, it is still susceptible to normal wear and tear from long-term usage.

Once you start noticing that the ‘highs’ are starting to disappear, it likely means that you have a worn-out stylus. If it is left unattended, the stylus will damage the record’s gloves. This means you may hear funny sounds coming from the record player.

Consider replacing it before the damage becomes irreversible.

Follow these steps to keep the stylus in good condition:

  1. Make sure the records are clean before attempting to play them. A clean record will ensure a frictionless contact between the groove and the stylus.
  2. Ensure there is the right amount of pressure between the record and the stylus. If the stylus is always pressing too high on the record, the stylus will wear out fast.
  3. Every time you use the record player, correctly place the needle in the groove. This protects both the stylus and the disc because they won’t be scratching each other. If you’re new to record players, getting the right position for the needle might take some time, but once you get a handle of it – be sure you don’t deviate.
  4. There is absolutely nothing wrong with buying a used or second-hand record player as it can still be effective. It is good to always ask the seller or previous owner when’s the last time they replaced the stylus. Most people always ignore this detail but clarify the stylus’s condition so you can enjoy what you are buying. If you find out that the stylus has never been replaced, consider replacing it yourself.

Protector case

Since you want to use your record player for many years, do all you can to protect it from common environmental elements that may damage the unit like dirt, specks of dust, and other small particles. Why not buy a good protective case that covers the record player?

This protective case will shield the record player from dirt and specks of dust that naturally settle on it when you regularly clean your home. When these particles are blocked from contacting the device, they won’t dream of settling in the crevices and grooves.

A protector case can save you hours of cleaning and wiping if you learn how to prevent it from happening and settling in.

Keep away from speakers.

Record players work by interpreting the ridges within the grooves of a record. As this process plays, it will produce vibrations that can shake any magnet present and intercept electrical signals from the wires.

Since the sound is made of air molecules that regularly vibrate through space, it’s best to keep a record player far away from big speakers. Doing this will ensure consistent and impressive sound quality.

Final Verdict

For some, music is the essence of inner peace, as it brings them joy to listen to their favorite tunes. This experience will be even better when the music can be enjoyed anywhere you go. That is the freedom a portable record player can provide you with.

As mentioned in the review, the latest portable record players are affordable and easy to maintain. Although there are various shapes and styles available, all of the portable record players on our list are sure to make you happy, but be careful of imitation products!

If this review helped you find the best portable record player out there, please check out some of our other record player reviews.

Happy listening!

Buying the Best Bluetooth Record Player in 2021

Record players are great opportunities to revive oldies, and with Bluetooth connectivity, you can easily play your digital music, which means no stress about connecting audio cables.

With less time spent on connectivity, there’s more time left for what matters most – listening to your favorite music.

Have you been thinking about how much it might cost to buy a record player with Bluetooth?

The good news is that they’re affordable. The bad news is that you might not be able to tell the difference between a good one and a substandard one.

If you want the best Bluetooth record player, keep reading. We’ve come up with a list of our top 5 recommended record players with Bluetooth connectivity!

Our Top Picks for the Best Bluetooth Record Player

1. Victrola Bluetooth Player

Victrola has been known for its vintage style designs since they became a household name in record player production. With 3 speed options of 33, 45, and 78 RPM, you can play any kind of records from your favorite albums, whether classic or modern. The record player isn’t limited in terms of what it can play. Aside from records, you can play cassettes, CDs, and MP3 directly from the turntable.

The wireless range of 33 feet allows you to stream music from a distance. With it, there is no need for an extra stereo for amplifying the sound. All the controls you have are right within your grasp as you can use a single knob to control everything from selecting the track, play /pause, eject and shuffle, and so on.

The record player has a stylish design from wooden material, coupled with an impressive finishing, giving it a glossy finish. It has built-in Bluetooth technology that helps you connect with all devices in your homes like smartphones, tablets, or computers.

It also has built-in AM/FM radio. The unit also has a 3.5 mm aux jack for the connection of headsets for music lovers. The same jack can be used for any external speaker you may think of connecting it to.

Specifications

  • Product dimensions: 18.32 x 12.2 x 10 inches
  • Item weight: 15.6 pounds
  • Speed levels: 3-speed levels
  • Headphone jack: Yes
  • USB connector: Yes
  • Speakers: Built-in
  • Manufacturer: Innovative technology
  • Customer reviews: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • It is made from premium durable materials.
  • It boasts one of the best sound qualities in the category.
  • It offers great value for money.
  • It is versatile – capable of playing cassettes, CDs, mp3, and so on
  • Great volume control
  • Easy to use
  • It doesn’t cost much to replace worn out parts
  • Packed with extra accessories
Cons
  • The CD player may start misbehaving after a while
  • A little bit pricey

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2. Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Record Player

This second record player from Victrola looks like a portable suitcase when packed for transportation, but in there lies a powerful turntable that is designed to afford you the luxury of playing some of your favorite records with ease. Also equipped with Bluetooth technology, you can stream music from feet away as long as the device is Bluetooth enabled.

The belt-driven turntable speed options are 33, 45, and 78 RPM, ensuring that the record player can play any kind of record you may have in mind. Behind the turntable is a 3.5 mm aux-in jack for playing music through headphones and external speakers.

It is an all-in-one portable record player that is lightweight and can easily be transported from one place to another, thanks to the sleek suitcase house. This is perfect for those who need to move their record players to a friend’s home for a party or an event.

With Bluetooth technology, there are more music options as you can play music from any kind of device as long as they are Bluetooth-enabled. The front knob is accessible, making simple controls like play, pause, eject, shuffle, forward, and previous a lot easier.

Specifications

  • Product dimensions: 13.9 x 10.1 x 5 inches
  • Item weight: 2.69 Pounds
  • Speed level: 3-speed levels
  • Speaker: Built-in
  • Replacement needle: Present
  • Manufacturer: Innovative Technology
  • Customer reviews: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • It pairs with other Bluetooth devices quickly.
  • It is highly versatile and capable of playing MP3, cassettes, and CDs.
  • Portable and lightweight and can easily be moved around
  • It has an amazing sound quality from its built-in speakers.
  • Made from highly durable materials
  • It comes with enough extra features to make it a good buy. For instance, it comes with a replacement need, among others
  • Easy Volume control
Cons
  • No outer box for protection
  • It requires time to clean particles off it

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3. Victrola 50’s Retro Bluetooth Player

With a retro design and USB digital encoding, this record player can play radio stations of either AM or FM frequency, CDs, and vinyl records. Like every other record player from the same manufacturer, the turntable speed gives three options, namely 33, 45, and 78 RPM, for playing every kind of record.

Streaming music has never been easier because, with a simple Bluetooth pairing, you can listen to great sound from a distance away from your mobile phones, your tablets, and your MP3 players. The Bluetooth range is 33 feet, making this record player one of the best Bluetooth record players you can find on the market.

It also comes with a built-in CD player apart from the USB port that allows you to listen to any music from a CD or an external dongle. With its USB encoding, you can digitize all your vinyl records and convert them to versions that the computer can read. All this can be done using the simple recording software on your PC.

The record player is packed with various extra features that make your experience a memorable one. Some of the extra features include LED lights, the one-push button for quick controls, and a knob for easy controls.

Specifications

  • Product dimensions: 13 x 7 x 15 inches
  • Item weight: 8.65 Pounds
  • Speed level: 3-speed levels
  • USB connector: Yes
  • Output Wattage: 19 Watts
  • Power source: Corded Electric
  • Manufacturer: Innovative Technology
  • Customer reviews: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • The record player is easy to use, and it is perfect for beginners.
  • It boasts an amazing sound quality.
  • It offers great value for money.
  • It can easily pair with any Bluetooth-enabled device.
  • It has a headphone jack for headset lovers.
  • Accompanying box for added protection from specks of dust and other small particles
Cons
  • It does not work with Bluetooth speakers
  • It is a little pricey

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4. Victrola Nostalgic 6-in-1 Bluetooth Record Player

One of the great selling points of this record player is the design which is a good mixture of modern technology and nostalgic design. If you are a vinyl lover, its versatility in playing music from various sources will appeal to you. Apart from playing records, you can play CDs through the built-in CD player, play cassette through the cassette player, and you can listen to music using your phone, too.

Talking about music from your phone, as long as your phone can is Bluetooth enabled. It also affects tablets or computers. You need nothing external to enjoy using this record player because everything you need, like speakers and stereo systems, has been incorporated into its design.

The turntable speed of 33, 45, and 78 allows you to play any kind of music, from your old favorite tracks to more recent releases. The sound quality is impressive, designed to reduce vibrations to the barest minimum. Because of this feature, you can use it in your living room or your bedroom without any risk of hazards.

Specifications

  • Product dimensions: 18.1 x 13.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Item weight: 17.6 pounds
  • Material: Wood
  • Connection type: Wireless, Wired
  • Speed level: 3-speed level
  • Output Wattage: 30 Watts
  • Manufacturer: Innovative Technology
  • Customer reviews: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Available in 5 different colors (Espresso, Farmhouse Oatmeal, Gray, Graphite, and Mahogany)
  • It has two connection types for easy operation.
  • Bluetooth easily connects to other devices.
  • The sound quality is top-notch.
  • The material from which it is made makes it easy to clean.
  • A good gift idea for family and friends
Cons
  • It cannot be paired with a Bluetooth speaker.
  • Some customers complained that the selector control stopped working after a while

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5. Victrola 50’s Retro Black Record Player

The last of the recommended record players is this retro-styled vinyl with an all-around audio experience. With Bluetooth technology, you get to stream some of your favorite music. With a built-in CD player, you get to enjoy the music that comes from your CDs. It also comes with an audio jack that allows you to connect headphones or your phone to a music lovers’ unit.

With Bluetooth connectivity, you don’t have to stress about connecting audio cables and carrying lots of old records with you. You can easily connect to devices as much as you want. They are easy to set up, and once they are paired, it can easily remember the device when next it comes in range. There is more time left for what matters most – listening to your favorite music with less time spent on connectivity.

Specifications

  • Product dimensions: 15 x 13 x 7 Inches
  • Item weight: 8.7 pounds
  • Speed levels: 3 Speed levels
  • USB connector: Yes
  • Power source: Corded Electric
  • Color: Black
  • Manufacturer: Innovative Technology
  • Customer reviews: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Great sound quality from built-in amplifier
  • Made from high-quality material
  • Easy to use, even for beginners
  • Great design that can fit your interior space
  • Great value for money
  • It has a headphone jack for late-night music lovers.
Cons
  • Bluetooth can be paired with other devices, but not with a Bluetooth speaker
  • The wattage is lower than in most turntables in the same category

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Advantages of Bluetooth Record Players Over Wired Record Players

So what’s the difference between a wired and a Bluetooth-enabled record player? What advantage does a Bluetooth player have over its wired counterpart? We provide in-depth answers to these questions in this section.

Simply stated, a Bluetooth record player does not need a wired connection to a speaker or mobile device. It makes use of a wireless type of connection. It is interesting to find out that most people prefer wireless connection these days to traditional wired connections for several reasons that we will now discuss.

Fast and Easy Setup

Instead of pulling two units close to each other because the wires are short, a wireless connection allows you the freedom to connect two units (in this case, a record player and another device) from anywhere in the home with just a simple tap of a button.

It is also fast and may not require subsequent connection drills because the devices will remember the connection the next time they are both in the connection range. That is known as ‘pairing’ two devices. It may require a couple of scans and pin input during the initial connection, but the rest is just a one-tap connection drill once this is done.

Compatibility

A Bluetooth record player is compatible with any other device, no matter the make, model, or design, as long as the device is Bluetooth enabled. So even if it is with a smartphone, headset, earpiece, or air pods, you can easily listen to your favorite tunes on them. You can enjoy the songs without moving too close to the record player or without disturbing anyone at home.

The only issues with wireless connections are the number of devices you can pair and the wireless range. Most record players may allow a maximum of 10 devices. At the same time, anywhere outside your home may be out of the unit’s Bluetooth range.

Less Hardware

A wired connection always comes with physically moving too much hardware from one place to another. It is stressful because the players and the speakers must be well arranged for each event that needs some spicing up with music. However, with the wireless connection, you don’t have to carry or move too many kinds of stuff because every communication between the devices is done through their wireless routers.

If you need any hardware at all, it will be a small USB device that can be held in your pockets. It means less handwork, less stress, and more flexibility.

Increased Security

Bluetooth connection offers 2 high-level security measures. The first security is that when you set two devices to be ‘discoverable,’ their visibility is only noticed by the devices in question. Once they have been paired, the visibility is automatically shut off.

The second security measure is a 4 digit PIN authorization that makes this connection unique and secured from intruders. Even if other devices are Bluetooth enabled around it, as long as they don’t have the 4 digit PIN authorization, the connection will always be limited to the paired devices.

So, it is a good choice when you purchase a Bluetooth record player. They are more durable, flexible, and more convenient than their wired models. In this age where almost every device you can find on the market is wireless, it is best to keep pace in your choice of record players.

Buying Guide: What Makes a Good Record Player?

While some can argue that using good external speakers will improve the sound quality of a record player, the speaker alone does not make for a good record player, regardless of the make. In this guide, we take a look at other factors that contribute to a good buy.

Dampening

This is how manufacturers make up for both internal and external vibrations. They utilize various motor configurations as well as through various components.

There are direct turntables and belt-driven turntables. A belt-driven model is expected to operate more quietly and will generally remain the most stable.

On the other hand, direct-driven turntables have a motor that is connected directly to the platter. As long as you understand what you want, you should be quick to read the product description before making any decision.

Connection Type

A good turntable must offer enough convenience to the user in terms of connection type. It should have a wireless connection option for a quick and easy connection to a wireless-enabled device. This way, you can use it remotely as long as the device is in range.

While wired record players are good, a record player with a wireless connection is better and makes for a better buy. If you prefer a wired model, be sure the wires are long and will fit the speaker ports. So, let this be one of the factors you’ll consider while preparing to buy one.

Power

Any record player’s power is measured in wattage, and the sound weight (SPL) is measured in decibels. This ensures you listen to your music at a reasonable volume without causing any damage to your ears. Check for the unit’s wattage value and ensure it is enough to power your record player without a need for an external speaker.

If you come across a unit that always depends on an external speaker for the music to sound out, it says a lot about the power and cannot sustain it. Such record players will generally not last long.

Frequency Response

Every record player you see has a frequency response, a value that identifies how sound waves are transmitted. For a normal human ear, the range is between 40 Hz and 20,000 Hz. The lower value endpoints to bass while the upper-value endpoints to treble.

Every sound we hear is in-between these frequency ranges. Any record player you plan to buy must have its frequency response within what’s acceptable to the human ear. It is good to know the acceptable value because if you can’t read between the lines, you may end up buying a record player that may not bring out every sound a piece of particular music produces.

Affordability

People easily associate expensive price tags with quality and durability. Ironically, with record players, the reverse is the case. Some of the best Bluetooth record players are affordable. You might be impressed to know that some might fall below $200 or $100.

How to Buy a Record Player

You have done your homework, you have studied what makes a record player good, and it’s now time to start your online search, or maybe you prefer walking to the electronics shop. How should you go about the process of buying one of these Bluetooth record players?

To help you do that, we’ve put together a few tips that will help you succeed.

Make sure you have money on hand. Sit down and decide on how much you want to spend on a turntable. The secret is that the more money you have to splash, the better your chances of getting what you want. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you can get a substandard record player and make up for the deficiency by buying a good amplifier. The best sound quality will always be the one from your record player.

Think about the space you have at home and decide which size and design you want based on that. While many ignore this, it must be taken seriously because buying a size bigger than your space at home can mess with your interior setting. It can also create some sort of disorganization. So, after deciding how much to spend, take a look at the space you have and keep that picture in mind as you walk into a store or as you shop online. If it will do any good, pick up a measuring tape and measure the dimensions yourself. This will help you make a good choice. Most manufacturers will list on the package the dimensions, so compare this accurately, and you will make a great choice.

Because turntables are highly durable, many users have opted for used or second-hand record players. They can be highly functional years after they were acquired, so why not? Since only you know what you want, make that decision before you start your online search or before you walk into the store. If you are opting for a second-hand record player, make sure you ascertain the turntable’s current condition because you are paying money for it. If you doubt a particular model’s condition, it will be best to continue your search.

You should also take good note of whether it’s ‘old school’ or modern. One thing you can do is check the features and capabilities. The most recent designs are packed with some extra features like lightning, wireless and Bluetooth connectivity, etc. If you see a turntable with USB ports for connective external drives and dingles, what does that suggest bearing in mind that USB connection was just introduced to the field of turntables recently? It shows that the model is a modern design. Even though the oldies can still play music with incredible sounds, the modern ones will allow you more flexibility and ease of use.

You should now be ready to make your purchase. If you’re buying online, don’t forget to read the customer reviews on the record player you’ve chosen. They give you an insight into what you are buying, especially if you are going for a used record player. After this, you can negotiate and make your purchase.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Which is better – a manual or an automatic player?

A: This concept simply refers to the method used to place the needle on the record and the method used to remove the needle from the record. With an automatic payer, just a push of the button initiates and disengages the needle.

In manual systems, you must lift the needle and place it on the record. The last option is a semiautomatic player, which requires you to place the needle on the record physically, but removes the needle independently.

The most convenient and most marketable of the three systems are the automatic system of a record player.

Q: What is the best position for a record player in the home?

A: It is more than just clearing a space for the record player on the shelf because there’s more to it. Record players’ sound through vibration, which means they will convert the vibrations from outsides into sound waves. Due to the constant vibration, they may even shift positions and jump out of the window if placed near a window.

With this, the best position would be right in the middle of the house, elevated, and guided on all four sides.

Q: Are record player parts upgradable?

A: The entire system is upgradable, but a few parts can be replaced from time to time. They are the platter, the tonearm, and the stylus. The platter is the steel plate that the record sits on. The heavier the platter, the better because it will reduce external vibrations. The tonearm is the part that swings across the record, allowing the needle to make constant with the disc. The stylus is the needle that’s always placed on the record player.

Q: How much should I spend on a record player?

A: Even though people’s budgets differ, you should not spend more than $250 on a turntable on average. However, if you don’t mind the cash, you can spend more.

Q: Can I digitize my records?

A: Yes, you can! All you need is a USB phono preamp connected to your turntable through a phono cable. You should also download some kind of software in which to upload the music.

Final Verdict

Now that finding a good Bluetooth record player is solved, understand that you’re responsible for making the final decision. Each record player on the list, and any you will ever come across, will have pros and cons. You need to weigh them against each other first, then compare them with your present needs. This way, you can be confident that you’ll choose the best Bluetooth record player for yourself.

Another good way to confirm if you’ve made the right decision is to read customer reviews if you’re buying online. Getting a first-hand report from past customers will help you discover certain details that might be included in the product description.

Good luck!

When to Replace a Record Player Needle?

When to Replace a Record Player Needle

Do you enjoy listening to music on vinyl? If you’re here, then that must be the case. And, you must also know how important it is to maintain your record player properly. Otherwise, you’ll have a hard time being able to continue listening to your favorite albums.

This maintenance involves eventually replacing the record player needle. But how do you know when to replace a record player needle?

We’ve decided to answer that question here and now.

We’ll cover not only how and where the dust and gunk can accumulate on the record player’s needle but also the science that goes into changing the needle when the time comes to say goodbye.

Let’s dive in.

What is a Stylus?

If you’re confused about the difference between styluses and needles, keep in mind that these are two different terms for the same thing. A stylus, or needle, is an essential element of any turntable or record player. It’s also defined as the connecting component between the actual record and the record player itself, and in its absence, one will find that a turntable is just a simple spinning platter.

When to Replace a Record Player Needle

How Does a Stylus Work?

As the stylus is placed over a spinning record, one can see it riding over the record’s grooves. This helps it pick up and relay the vibrations reaching the cartridge. This, in turn, transforms the said vibrations into electrical signals, which are further amplified and then are passed on to the speaker allowing you to enjoy the music. These days, you find the entry-level turntables equipped with all things you need to play the records, including counterweight, tonearm, stylus, and cartridge.

In a sense, one can call these the plug-and-play machine. All you need to do is to put the record on the turntable, drop the stylus, and then you are ready to listen to the music. The automatic turntable will have a stylus that will automatically dropdown.

However, as said earlier, a stylus is bound to get wear and tear with time. This is due to the friction between the needle and the record that keeps moving and makes it dull, leading down the replacement road.

When to Replace the Record Player Needle

You get several symptoms that indicate when one should replace the needle or stylus. There can be physical indicators and audible ones. When it comes to the audible aspects, the records will not sound as good as before the needle was worn down. This indicates that the stylus or needle is damaged.

The issues with this can come in the form of distortion and crackling of voice along with the overall fuzziness and static. In other words, if you find the records not sounding the way they were, you need to check the stylus on the turntable.

As far as the physical aspect of the damage is concerned, there are few ways of checking the damage. As you check it, you can find it crooked or see them mishappening. Even if you fail to see any distortion, you will notice that the stylus is seen skipping or jumping over the record grooves while it plays. If you see such an issue, then you need to replace the stylus.

One way to get rid of this problem is to get a used turntable; however, as you do this, make sure you always replace it with the stylus as you would not know the condition of any used stylus.

What Factors Lead to the Damage of a Stylus?

If you are wondering about your stylus’ lifespan, you need to know what factors are behind it. The following are the things you need to check to see what shape your needle is in:

  • If you have a high-powered magnifier, you can quickly check for the signs of wear with your needle. Check the jagged edges along with the bends seen over the needle head. If you find some black residue on the needle, this is a sign of overuse and carelessness. All you need is a good cleaning of the area. If, after cleaning, the record still isn’t performing normally, you may want to replace the needle.
  • If your stylus is experiencing sound-deforming wear and tear, you’ll notice a muffle or distorted kind of sound coming from any of the records you try to play on the record player. If you understand the technical tones of music, a poorly performing needle will make the upper mids, along with the treble, more challenging to discern.
  • For higher-pitched instruments, like a cymbal, the ting won’t be as smooth or precise with a bad needle. The change in sound quality is both slow and gradual. So be sure that you pay close attention to these differences in tone as time goes along so that you know when to replace the needle.
  • If you find the needle to be skipping or jumping over the record’s grooves, your record is going to be damaged sooner or later without a needle replacement. To be on the safer side, it’s better to remove the needle until you have replaced the stylus. Additionally, it is always recommended to replace the stylus with a second-hand turntable.
  • Depending upon the quality of the cartridge you are using, you can easily replace the stylus, or you could even think of adding the spring for the complete cartridge. A majority of moving magnet cartridges are seen offering the stylus replacement, which you’re supposed to add the clip over the cart’s front end.
  • You can even think of considering an expensive model to get better performance. If you opt for a moving coil cart, a stylus with wear and tear often spells the end, and the manufacturer may have to re-tip the needle.
  • For improving the lifespan of your stylus, you can do a couple of things. Check the number of playing hours you have for your record, and try not to leave it playing when you aren’t present. Upkeep for the stylus is also important, including regular cleaning.
  • Also, you need to keep your records clean and in the right shape. A dirty record is prone to scuffing up a needle, resulting in grime build-up and poor sound quality. Remember that too many hours of playing your records will put more pressure on your stylus. Keep an eye on the needle, and be sure that you replace an inferior quality needle before it starts damaging your records.

What is the Typical Life of a Stylus?

Most styluses are either made up of sapphire or diamond, as these remain the hardest natural materials on our planet. While considering any of the two materials, you do not have to worry about replacing the needle too often.

However, the more the turntable is used, the quicker the stylus life will die down. Many manufacturers recommend that you consider replacing the stylus for around 150/200 hours of playtime. However, the expensive ones would have life five times the normal ones.

Is There Any Way to Extend the Life of a Stylus?

Now, this is interesting, and the answer is yes. There are several simple ways of extending the lifespan of the stylus of a turntable. All you need to do is to take good care of your records.

Anything that seems to cause any excess amounts of friction, like dust particles or dirt over the record’s grooves, can damage the needle and will need to be cleaned and removed from the record thoroughly. Grime build-up can add a negative impact on the audio quality you get from the record.

What Type of Stylus Should You Buy?

If you are keen on upgrading your turntable stylus, it is obvious to think of going for a cartridge upgrade, as well. However, it may not be feasible for you to do these two things together at the same time. Certain turntables have tonearms, which can help you replace both your cartridge and stylus.

However, the others can only allow you to replace the stylus, and you do not need to replace the cartridge. The best way is to rely on a rule of thumb; the cartridge is mounted over the tonearm with screws, followed by replacing the cartridge and stylus. If you fail to see any screws, it is more likely that only the stylus has to be replaced.

There can be so many limitations to the idea about the exact kinds of stylus you need to replace with the old ones. It is always a good idea to check the product manual or check the details over the product’s official website. If you are willing to replace your old stylus with a different one, you should know that most styluses are basically of the same type. These can be either spherical or elliptical shapes, which can have an impact on sound quality.

Generally speaking, the elliptical ones are more precise when compared to the spherical ones. This is because it has more contact with the record grooves, which ends up extracting more data than the other ones. However, the downside with elliptical ones is that because they offer a larger portion of contact, there are more chances to see faster wear and tear of these types of styluses.

When to Replace a Record Player Needle

How to Replace a Needle

So, you may be convinced that you need to replace the needle or stylus on your turntable by now. It’s time to check how you can effectively replace the worn-out needle with the new one. First things first, you should know that you should clean the record and all aspects near the needle thoroughly before you begin. This includes brushing the dust away, which can often be seen getting accumulated over the tip. At times, you can also use a small paintbrush to get rid of the dust rag, which you need to keep clean. Take the help of a magnifying glass to get the right view so that cleaning becomes more accurate.

It would help if you started with replacing the needle to remove the stylus from the cartridge. All you need to do is pull it straight out in the opposite direction compared to the arm, which tends to hold it. The cartridge containing the stylus would remain compatible with several brands, so before you think of replacing it, make sure you check the brand and the model. Once you get the new record player needle, all you need to do is push it in the right direction over the cartridge with the point facing the downward direction.

If you find the cartridge not working, it’s better to take it away by simply slipping it off along the arm. Replacing the needle can often be an easy exercise, as one can find loads of diagrams that can be helpful for this task. However, you need to know that this work has to be done with the utmost care and delicate handling. If you are not confident enough to replace the needle, it is always recommended to take professional help.

Final Thoughts

A record player can be a treasure that lasts through decades of use. It has its melody and charm, giving the music a soothing experience. However, it can have its way of functioning and flaws. One of the vital elements is the needle or stylus, which needs to be replaced as they begin to wear and tear. The record player will stay for as long as music lovers enjoy the music with these machines. Enjoy!

Why Buy a Record Player? The Benefits of a Beautiful Device

Why Buy a Record Player

When it comes to music and the way we like to hear it, we all have different preferences.

Through the centuries, owning a record player-inspired an exquisite and unique love of music. With the advent of digital media, however, the record player took a dip in popularity.

So, why buy a record player?

Ever since its rediscovery in recent years, the record player has been on-trend among vintage music lovers – and for good reason. These devices offer an authentic sound that we don’t hear too often anymore.

In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits that only a record player can provide!

The Appeal of Record Players

Record players, perhaps more well-known by their modern turntable counterparts, were introduced nearly 200 years ago and are still used by people today who like to relish the way music used to be played. Since the inception of smartphones, MP3 players, iPods, and several online music streaming platforms have taken up much of the market space, but record players have their sweet spot in the market, as well.

If you are a true music lover, who loves the experience of choosing an album, putting it in the record player, and then listening to the soulful music play for hours, or if you’re a family who still cherishes the old ways of living and classically listening to music, then the modern record player can be a perfect entertainment companion for you.

While the taste of music varies from person to person, the medium through which we hear music greatly influences the experience in its entirety. Listing to music by using a record player has a very soothing and calming effect.

It feels somewhat like upholding an old-style tradition and keeping the soul of old-school music alive. Aside from the nostalgic appeal of record players, there are actually quite a few advantages in owning a record player. In the following sections, we’ll list the advantages of buying a record player that will make you fall in love with these amazing devices all over again.

Why Buy a Record Player

The Advantages of Buying a Record Player

Vintage music lovers spend time collecting all their favorite musicians and bands’ records, and they’re starting to use their record players more and more than digital devices.

Record players have changed pretty drastically since they were first introduced back in the 1800s. In the age of modern record players, a lot is possible, and much more so than what people had in the generations prior.

Great Sound Quality

As compared to the old phonographs, modern record players have a splendid sound quality and great feel. With a record player, you can experience the aesthetic pleasure of listening to great music with the latest record player technology.

The audio files of the music we hear on smartphones get heavily compressed and edited. So, if you love to hear the singer’s original composition, then having a record player is the best available option to enjoy high-quality music. The look and feel of the record player placed next to you is a marvelous experience in itself.

Amazing Sensory Perception

The act of choosing a record which compliments your mood for the day or for that moment in time and then inserting the record in the turntable is a very nostalgic experience.

You could be alone in the room or with close friends or family, and all you do is use the time and enjoy some great music. The experience is very surreal, calming, and uplifting. It’s great to enjoy some quality time listening to great music, enjoying great company or alone time, and delving deep into nostalgia for a moment in time.

Bring the Vintage Look to Your Home

Owning a record player is not just limited to great music, but it also adds aesthetic value to your home. If you are a vintage lover who loves everything aesthetic and old, anyone who loves to collect antiques and showcase them in a special part of your home, then having a record player will just add to the ethereal beauty of your home.

It adds great elegance and a warming appeal to the entire room. The modern record players are much more compact and portable than the old-style phonographs, so you can place the record player in your cozy corner and listen to songs and music all day long.

Resurrect Those Old and Dusty Records

If your parents or grandparents have old records just sitting in the attic, there is no better time than now to unpack those dusty, old records and bring them back to life! The most amazing advantage of having a record player is that you can resurrect any old record back to life and add to or create your fantastic collection.

Hear the Songs That Don’t Exist Digitally

People often complain that the old and original version of the music and the bands they love is hard to find on CDs, online, or music streaming applications. This is because that particular piece of music does not exist digitally at all.

To hear your favorite old kind compositions, you need to buy them or borrow the original records of the version, and to do that, having a record player is essential – not only you can listen to these lost songs and compositions, but also hear them in the most appreciable way, using a record player.

Making a Collection

All music lovers can’t hide their obsession with collecting the original cassettes and records of their favorite musicians. If you are that kind of music freak who loves to admire music in its most original and authentic form, then what’s better than having your own records collection?

A collection that only you and your close friends and family have access to is just a simple act of pleasure. Whenever you are in the mood to listen to songs, you just seek a record out of your personal collection, insert it in the record player and rejoice at the sound that fills up the room with classic sounds.

Why Buy a Record Player

Get All the Music-Lovers Together

Having a collection is not just limited to pleasing yourself, but you can also create an amazing impression on your friends and family. If anyone else in your friend’s circle admires and appreciates music as much as you do, or if you want to impress someone with your taste in music, what’s better than inviting them to your place and enjoying music for a good time?

With a record player, you and your friends and family can bond over parties and get-togethers and spark new conversation over great music. The list of how you can use these record players to add spark in your relations just goes on.

Take Some Time Out of Your Hectic Routine

Now, we have a unique way to spend holidays and do some recreation when on our break. After long hours of meetings, jabbering co-workers, and nosy bosses, you can always get a peaceful timeout with your record player.

Suppose you want to make the best of the time you save for yourself throughout the entire day; what better way to do it than with some good food and some good and aesthetic music to accompany it with. Listening to records can be the new way to chill and relax rather than spending long hours staring at your mobile screen or laptops.

Make a Valuable Investment

Listening to music can be a very spiritual and enriching experience for people, and doing it using a smartphone or computer can subdue the overall experience. If you are looking forward to buying something for your home or want to gift something worthwhile and long-lasting to a loved one on their special day, buying a record player is a unique choice.

A record player directly reflects your taste and admiration for music and how much you love your interest. So any day you choose to go ahead in buying something good for yourself or a loved one, a record player is a great and evergreen choice to make.

The Verdict

Having a great taste in music, especially one of the retro style, is an amazing hobby to take up. From the endless list of records available, you can listen to and make your own marvelous collection of vinyl. There’s a lot you can do if you have your very own record player.

In addition to the advantages of owning a record player listed above, buying a record player will allow you to listen to pure and original musical compositions through a beautiful and aesthetically-pleasing piece of vintage equipment. With a record player, you can grow your record collection at your leisure and listen to a great piece of music whenever you like.

Crosley Voyager vs Cruiser: Which is Better?

If you’re an old-fashioned music lover with a taste for vintage items, a turntable is likely to be a prized possession for you. Although some would say that turntables and record players are relics of an age gone by, there are many modern and sophisticated models that you’ll come across in the homes of people with a passion for music. 

The modern Voyager and Cruiser turntables by Crosley prove that record players and the like aren’t obsolete. But which one should you choose?

This article provides you with an in-depth comparison of the Crosley Voyager vs. Cruiser, so let’s get started.

What’s the Right Type of Player for You?

Every buyer has his or her personal preferences and requirements. Hence, no specific model can be universally declared as the best one. You would have to consider certain factors and then pick the most suitable one for yourself. Here are some of the features that you might want to consider before buying a record player.

Portability

The modern Crosley turntable models come in the form of a briefcase and can be carried around. However, their portability would depend on certain factors, including their weight. 

You might want to keep in mind that the audio quality might get a little compromised for the sake of greater portability in some cases. Depending on how you plan to use the Crosley record player and how often you intend to travel with it, you would have to narrow down your options. 

Budget

Of course, your budget is one of the most important factors to consider. Turntables in various price ranges are available on the market. Setting your budget in advance would help to make the shortlisting process much easier. However, keep in mind that generally, it is advisable to go for a better model even if it costs a little higher. The quality of the product would determine its durability and audio quality. 

Speed

Depending on your vinyl records collection, you might want to pick the speeds that you want your turntable to come with. Most modern record players can run at three different speeds: 33 1/3 rpm, 45 rpm, and 78 rpm. Although 78 rpm discs are now becoming rare, you might need a turntable capable of running at that speed if you own a collection of old records. 

Pairing

The turntables can be paired with speakers or other devices through Bluetooth or cables. Although the branded record players offer decent audio quality, you might want to use external speakers if you would like really polished and clear sound. 

In that case, you should pay attention to the pairing options that a turntable offers. If you already own the system that you would be pairing with it, you may also take it to the store to test which record player would work best. 

Mechanisms

There are primarily two mechanisms that are found in turntables: belt driven and direct driven. The DJs mostly use the directly driven record players as they pick up speed quickly. 

However, if you are not a DJ, then a belt-driven turntable is the right one for you. In these record players, the platter is turned using an elastic band, which removes the noise of the motor and delivers finer details in the audio. 

Design

The leading manufacturers like Crosley build turntables in various designs to cater to music lovers with different tastes. Some prefer to strictly stick to vintage-looking models, while others might want to go for a more stylish and trendier one. 

When buying a turntable, you may also consider the interior décor at your home and see which record player would suit your home the most. 

A Closer Look at The Voyager

The Crosley Voyager looks aesthetically pleasing with its vintage design and style. For those who are into the old styles, the Voyager is certainly a good option. It comes in six colors: black, amethyst, brown, dune, grey, sage, washed blue, and pink with floral patterns. The classy finish of this model would make the Voyager suitable for most interior décor settings.

You can plug the Crosley Voyager into a stereo system for better sound quality and higher volume. Auxiliary cables can be plugged into the record player, too. It also comes with the provision of Bluetooth connectivity. 

The users may wirelessly connect their digital devices to the turntable via Bluetooth and play the music through its speakers. This makes the record player quite versatile. Apart from the RCA ports, the Crosley turntable also comes with headphone jacks for output. 

The Crosley turntable has been integrated with a pitch control feature, which is one reason behind its popularity. The audio quality of the Voyager is quite good, and the belt-driven mechanism works smoothly. The box-like structure is quite sturdy and is capable of keeping the unit safe and secure. 

Weighing just 5.5 pounds, the Crosley Voyager is highly portable, and you can easily carry it around to various places. It comes in dimensions of 10.52 X 14 X 4.63 inches. The top is attached by hinges and is not removable. However, the users can remove it by manually removing the hinges if they wish to. 

What We Like About the Voyager

Known to be the most popular turntable by Crosley, the voyager beats its rivals in several ways. Here are some of the best things about this record player: 

  • The audio quality is great and offers a pleasant experience for music lovers. 
  • This model is quite portable due to its dimensions and weight.
  • The turntable is very simple and easy to use, ensuring a hassle-free experience, even for new users. 
  • The several means of input and output add to the convenience of the users.

What Could Be Improved

The RCA Voyager does have a few drawbacks which the brand can work on fixing. These are:

  • Often, the Voyager skips portions while playing the records. This means that you would have to be careful while playing music on it. 
  • The turntable does not come with a tonearm auto-return feature. This can be a disadvantage for some users. 
  • The built-in needle looks a little cheap, but it works just fine. However, the users can always replace it with a needle of their choice. 

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A Closer Look at the Cruiser

The cruiser is rather stylish and built with a touch of the modern fashion. Crosley launched this model in 19 colors and themes. Apart from the basic colors like red, black, or blue, this turntable also comes in certain special textures and designs, such as purple velvet, chalkboard, and even a Star Wars-themed model. Evidently, the Crosley Cruiser is perfect for those who seek a trendy and stylish record player. 

What really makes the Cruiser stand out from the rest is its build and portability. Built-in the dimensions of 13.98 X 10.00 X 4.02 inches in a compact style, it can be easily fit inside cramped spaces or carried around seamlessly. The Cruiser comes with a ceramic cartridge and an NP6 needle and is controlled using a single knob. 

This Crosley model’s outputs include RCA and headphone jacks, allowing the users to play the music through high-end speakers or listen privately as they wish. However, the built-in stereo system is quite good, too, with the dynamic full-range speakers delivering a rich audio quality with a retro touch. You may also play the music from digital devices such as smartphones through the stereo system in this turntable via the Bluetooth receiver or Aux cable. 

Made of wood and leatherette, this record player is durable and of a quality finish. Due to the wide variety of themes in which it is available, the buyers can choose one that would match the settings at their home or their tastes perfectly. The Crosley turntable is also quite easy to use and is perfect for beginners. 

What We Like About the Cruiser

The Cruiser has indeed become popular among those with a taste for modern styles. This model certainly comes with several good features. 

  • The built-in stereo speaker is powerful and delivers great audio quality.
  • The portability of the Crosley Cruiser makes it very convenient to carry around as needed. 
  • Considering the funky designs, the lightweight, the build quality, and the durability, this record player is impressive. 
  • The advanced pitch control adjustments and the multiple means of input and output deliver an optimal experience. 

What Could Be Improved

Like the Voyager, the Crosley Cruiser comes with a few drawbacks, as well. Some of these are:

  • While the model is compact, the vinyl records can get damaged as the lid can’t be pushed back far enough. The users would have to be very careful to avoid it from happening.
  • The quality of the speaker is not as great as you might like it to be. 
  • The headphone jack in the cruiser is often known to malfunction. 

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Crosley Voyager vs. Cruiser

Manufacturing turntables for more than thirty years, Crosley is one of the most reputed brands in this field. Two of their most popular models, the Voyager and the Cruiser are good options for music lovers. If you plan to buy a new record player, these two should certainly be on the list of models to check out. 

Both of these have their own advantages and disadvantages, just like any other product. When it comes to the Crosley Voyager vs. Cruiser, which of the two is better for you depends on your personal tastes and requirements. 

Playing Speeds

Both of these turntables can play records at three different speeds. You can play them at speeds of 33 1/3 rpm, 45 rpm, and 78 rpm. 

Dimensions

The Crosley Cruiser turntable comes in dimensions of 13.98 X 4.02 X 10.00 inches and weighs 5.51 pounds. The Voyager weighs 5.5 pounds and has been built in dimensions of 14 X 10.5 X 4.63 inches. 

Portability

Due to its design and dimensions, the Cruiser is easy to carry around. In fact, it is considered to be the most portable turntable among the wide range of models by Crosley. It can easily fit in cramped places, making it perfect for those who travel a lot. 

Output

In addition to the built-in speakers, both the turntable models come with provisions for plugging in headphones and external speakers. The Voyager also features an AUX cable port.

Wireless Connectivity

Both the voyager and the cruiser feature Bluetooth connectivity. You can connect your smartphone to your turntable and use the latter to play songs on your phone. 

Audio

The cruiser has been packed with dynamic full-range stereo speakers. The audio quality is decent, and the record player can deliver a good overall experience. On the other hand, the Voyager comes with an audio pitch control knob which you may use to fine-tune the sound the way you like it. 

Mechanisms

Both of the Crosley record player models run on a belt-driven mechanism. Also, the Voyager comes with an NP-6 needle. The diamond stylus and the cartridge can also be upgraded for a better experience.

Design and Color

The Crosley Voyager is a blend of vintage and modern designs and suits most interior décor themes. The Cruiser, on the other hand, is more stylish and aesthetically pleasing. While the Voyager comes in 5 different colors, you can choose from 19 colors while buying a Cruiser. 

Build

The brand has built both the turntables in the suitcase-style, which, together with the lightweight design, makes them easy to carry. Despite how compact these models are, they are quite durable. The suitcase-style build allows the users to set up the record player anywhere with ease. 

Although the Cruiser is more portable, it compromises a bit in terms of audio quality. However, an external speaker can make up for it. The Voyager produced relatively better audio quality but has been known to skip while playing the vinyl records. It also does not feature an auto-return feature on the forearm.

About Crosley

Established in 1921 by Powel Crosley, this Kentucky-based brand was discontinued in 1956. However, it was back in business in 1992, producing vinyl record players. Over the years, they have proven themselves to be a reliable brand for electronic audio gadgets for home entertainment. Crosley is particularly noted for the retro designs that their turntables flaunt, making them stand out from the rest. Very few manufacturers are a match for this brand in terms of quality and popularity. Moreover, Crosley is also well-known for proper warranty coverage.

The Benefits of Owning a Record Player or Turntable

When it comes to record players, there are actually a few benefits to owning one of these timeless musical machines. Some of these benefits include:

You Can Revive Old Records

Whether you have dozens of records that have been kept in the family, or you’ve found yourself collecting some of the classics, owning a record player allows you to revive the music of old. With a record player, you can hear music as it was heard by your parents or grandparents and in its original composition.

You’ll Have Another Way to Play Music.

If you’re looking for ways to distance yourself from your smartphone or computer, having a record player is one way you can limit screen time. Rather than spending time looking at a screen, you and your friends and family can gather around the record player and enjoy the nostalgia and sound that it brings. 

You Can Live the Way You Want to

Living a vintage life has become increasingly popular over the last few years, and with a record player, you can set aside your smart electronics and live a simpler, old-school life. Having a record player is also great for turning your house into a vintage wonder by using mid-century style furniture that resembles the old days. 

Overall, listening to music using a record player has more benefits than this for those who love the classic sound of vinyl and living in a way that is long passed. 

It’s a Safer Way to Keep Your Favorite Music

Sure, you can spend money on digital music and keep your albums in a digital record, but what happens if something goes awry with the technology and you lose your favorite songs? Having a physical copy of the music, such as a vinyl record, ensures that your music is here to stay as long as you are.

Final Thoughts

In the battle between the Crosley Cruiser vs. Voyager, both turntables deliver great value for money despite their individual drawbacks. If you prefer a more vintage theme and better quality, the Crosley Voyager is the way to go. The Voyager is also safer considering the Cruiser’s issue regarding the potential damage to the records. 

However, you may want to buy the Cruiser if you prefer a more stylish design and better portability. Whichever of the two you pick, we feel that their pros far exceed their cons, and either record player would be a good option! 

What to Do When Your Record Player Won’t Spin

What to Do When Your Record Player Won’t Spin

Record players allow us to listen to our favorite songs and albums on crystal-clear vinyl records. They can bring us a lot of joy, and, when they stop working, a lot of frustration too.

Has your record player stopped spinning?

This article goes over the common causes of a turntable that won’t spin, as well as some of the things you can do to fix it.

Types of Record Players and How They Work

While all record players are driven by a motor, the type of the drive can vary. There are two main ways that record players achieve turntable spinning to give the desired sound output. The types of drives that record players use to achieve this spin are belt drives and direct drives.

What to Do When Your Record Player Won’t Spin

Belt Drives

Some record player models have an electric motor mounted within their assembly connected to the turntable by a rubber belt. This belt transmits the rotation of the motor to the platter and causes it to spin when powered.

A considerable advantage of belt-drive record players is that the belt acts as a vibration damper and doesn’t transmit vibrations from the electric motor to the turntable. This reduces the occurrence of skipping caused by internal vibrations.

Direct Drives

Other record player models have their electric motor directly connected to the turntable. This arrangement offers more consistent speeds for the platter but with the downside of causing some vibrations.

This vibration can distort the sound produced when picked up by the stylus and can even cause the record player to skip parts of the grooves. Direct drive record players also work well for record reversing, as they’re less dependent on external forces (such as belt friction encountered with belt drives).

Why Do Record Players Stop Spinning?

Sometimes the record player may have a problem and won’t spin. This can be very problematic, as it means that the record player is rendered useless until it can turn again. Some common issues that can cause a record player to stop spinning are outlined below.

A Problem with the Tonearm

In some record players, the tonearm that holds the stylus needs to be reset from time to time. This is often the case with vintage manual record players. For many manual record players, the tonearm clicks off when the record ends. When this happens, the record player will not spin again until the tonearm is reset.

A Problem with the Belt Drive

In belt drive record players, the problem may be caused by the drive belt itself. The drive belt may be too tight and cause too much friction that the motor can’t overcome, or it may be too slack and not have enough grip to transmit the rotation from the motor to the platter.

The drive belt may also be worn out, in which case the friction and grip won’t be enough to turn the platter, or the belt could be cut altogether. Whatever the case, none of these conditions will help the performance of the record player.

A Problem with the Direct Drive

In direct-drive record players, there’s a bit more complexity and technicality involved with the issues encountered. Contact between the motor and platter so that the turntable gets jammed is one of the more common problems with a direct drive record player.

A Problem with the Motor

Problems with the motor itself can affect both belt drive and direct drive record players. The motor shaft may be jammed due to an accumulation of dirt, gunk, and oil, which can cause it to no longer move freely.

The motor may also have a damaged fuse, which would mean that no power is reaching the motor. A faulty switch can be the cause of a motor issue as well.

How to Fix a Record Player That’s Not Spinning

Now that we’ve laid out the common issues that can make a record player stop spinning, it’s time to talk about how these problems can be fixed. Let’s take a look at some remedies.

Make Sure the Power Is On

The first thing to do is to confirm that there’s a power supply to the record player. Without power, the record player won’t work at all. While it might sound strange to make such a recommendation, it’s worthwhile to note that there’s a possibility that the player has been disconnected somehow.

Verify that the player is properly plugged into a working outlet. If it’s connected, check that the record player is switched on as well. Sometimes the solution to your problem is simpler than you might think.

Reset the Tonearm

In a manual record player, the tonearm may need to be reset after reaching the end of a record. This is easy to do. To reset the tonearm, push it to the right, past its usual resting place, until a clicking sound is heard. Try to do this gently so that the tonearm doesn’t accidentally get damaged in the process.

After this fix, and if a tonearm reset was the issue, the record player should start working correctly. This solution doesn’t apply to record players with a dedicated button or switch to begin the spinning function.

Adjust the Belt

The belt of the record player may occasionally need to be adjusted. With time and use, the belt can get a bit slack or loose. Even a seemingly negligible increase in length can cause a very noticeable problem with the record player.

A slack belt can sometimes be fixed by boiling the belt briefly, which will cause it to shrink back to its original size. For belts with just a slight bit of slack, some talcum may be rubbed on the belt and shaft to restore a decent amount of friction.

It’s also possible that the belt may have come undone within the turntable assembly. In this case, it’s just a matter of merely fitting the belt back into place.

Replace the Belt

If the belt is worn out, too slack, tight, cut, or missing, it becomes necessary to replace it entirely. When shopping for a new belt, care should be taken to purchase a belt that matches the record player model.

The player’s manual should contain information on the belt’s required diameter, thickness, and width. If a manual is unavailable, it may help check the manufacturer’s website for details on the exact model and search for belts confirmed to match the model.

Step 1

Before attempting to replace the record player’s belt, it must be disconnected from any power source, and the plastic covering protecting the platter should be removed.

Step 2

The platter is usually held in place on the center shaft by a circlip. Gently unscrew and pry away this circlip to free the platter. Be sure to keep the circlip, as it will be needed when recoupling the platter and center shaft.

Step 3

If the belt is still attached to the platter, carefully remove it using a pencil or another similar object. Once the platter is free from the belt, lift it out and turn it over.

Step 4

There will be a grooved hub for the belt to fit into the underside of the platter. Cautiously stretch the belt and fit it into this hub.

Step 5

While the turntable assembly is open, it’s also advisable to clean the motor. After cleaning the motor, it should be oiled at the shaft to allow easy movement. This simple maintenance can prolong the life of the record player significantly. Be careful not to use too much oil, as it can begin to trap dirt and form gunk in the future.

Step 6

After fitting the belt on the platter and cleaning the motor, flip the platter back over onto the record player, but don’t clip it in place yet.

Step 7

Gently turn the platter until the motor is visible through the access hole on the platter. Through this access hole, carefully extend the belt and wrap it around the motor shaft.

Step 8

When the belt is on the shaft, spin the platter clockwise and counter-clockwise. This will help the belt sit properly and lock into place.

Make sure to look out for any resistance to the spin. The spin should slow down steadily and not in a sudden or jerky motion. If resistance is encountered or the platter jerks to a stop, it can indicate that the belt is twisted and will need to be remounted.

Step 9

If the belt is mounted correctly, the platter will rotate even with pressure applied to it. Place the circlip back on the center shaft above the platter, lock it in place, and then tighten with a screwdriver.

Step 10

Finally, replace the plastic covering on the platter and test out the record player. With any luck, it should start spinning just fine.

Check the Direct Drive

For a record player with a direct drive-controlled turntable, the direct drive mechanism will need to be checked. It may be that the motor shaft is clogged with dirt and debris that’s preventing it from spinning. It could also be that the speed components are dirty and will need cleaning.

To open up a direct drive record player, the steps are similar to that of a belt-drive record player, except that there’s a magnet assembly at the bottom of the platter. The platter should be lifted as carefully and evenly as possible to prevent damage to it.

Once opened, the speed and pitch adjustments and the motor itself should be gently cleaned with an electronics cleaner. For hard-to-reach areas behind knobs, a little cleaning fluid can be sprayed as the knobs are turned to dislodge the trapped dirt. A small, pointed tool can also be used to fish out clumps of dust in these areas.

Check the Platter

In some direct drive record players, it’s not uncommon for the turntable platter to jam itself against the casing of the player. This happens if the platter shifted out of place and has contacted the sides of the record player’s case.

The platter should be carefully lifted out, examined for damage, and then placed back in gently, taking care to align it properly as required for smooth functioning.

Replace Damaged Components

The problem that makes a record player stop spinning might not always be easily fixable and might even require some parts’ replacement. For both belt drive and direct drive record players, the motor can get damaged no matter how well-maintained it is. This is just the result of age and use.

In such a scenario, the purchase of a replacement motor will be necessary if the record player is to work again. A replacement that matches the power, size, and configuration of the original motor can be ordered and used to substitute for the damaged motor.

Switches can also be damaged or faulty and may no longer supply power when turned on. A bad fuse could also mean that while the record player is connected, the electric motor’s power is cut off. The fuse should then be replaced with a matching fuse of similar specifications.

Checking the inside of the player may reveal frayed or damaged cables as well. Depending on the state they’re in, the cables could either be carefully rejoined or have to be replaced entirely.

How to Fix a Record Player That Spins Erratically

Rather than not spinning at all, your record player can also spin too slowly or too quickly. A record player that turns too slow may be the first sign noticed before it stops spinning altogether. A change in the record player’s speed can change the pitch and distort the sound completely.

What to Do When Your Record Player Won’t Spin

Luckily, it turns out that this can usually be fixed. Here are some of the solutions.

Cleaning and Maintenance

When the platter begins to spin too slowly, dust has likely accumulated around the moving parts (especially the shaft). The presence of this accumulated dust will generate excessive friction, which will hinder the platter’s free movement. To solve this, detach the platter and clean it thoroughly to rid it of all the dust.

When this is done, use synthetic oil to lubricate the shaft so that it can turn freely again. Dust accumulation in some direct drive record players can also cause the platter to spin too fast, especially when this accumulation is around the speed controls. A quick cleaning should solve this problem.

Realigning the Belt

It could also be that the belt is beginning to get slack but not slack enough to completely lose friction and stop spinning the platter. A slack belt will have low friction and won’t spin the platter properly. Another possibility is that the belt has somehow gotten twisted or is rubbing against some other surface within the record player.

This kind of twist or external contact should be rectified as soon as it’s noticed because it will quickly wear the belt out and even cause it to get cut. Once the belt is cut, a replacement becomes necessary.

Tuning the Motor

While it’s quite rare, the motor can be out of tune and spinning at an incorrect speed. If this is the case, the user manual should be consulted for details on finding the tuning adjustment screw. It’s commonly found under the platter or under the record player itself.

Turning the screw clockwise usually increases the speed, and turning it counterclockwise slows it down. Tuning the motor is a trial-and-error activity, and after each adjustment, the effectiveness should be tested by listening to the output of a record.

A strobe disc can also be used to check if the speed of the record player is suitable. To use a strobe disc, place it on the turntable and observe how it spins. If the shapes on the outer end of the disc form a solid black color, it means that the player is spinning correctly. Otherwise, there’s still a need for more fine-tuning and adjustment of the motor.

Conclusion

Record players are reliable companions and have a cool, vintage feel to them. They also provide the benefit of pure analog sound with fantastic quality. However, to get the best out of a record player, it’s essential to maintain it properly and store it in the right conditions.

If your record player doesn’t spin, try some of the fixes above to see if it can be saved. Many “bad” record players just need a little love to get them back in working condition. Good luck!

How to Clean a Record Player 

How to Clean a Record Player 

A record player is a device that produces music by converting sound vibrations into electrical signals. Its main components are the turntable and the stylus. The turntable spins the record at a constant speed as the stylus slides on the grooves.

A record player, just like any other gadget, demands the utmost care and proper maintenance. This will help to keep it running smoothly and sounding great.

Failure to properly clean your record player will see it accumulate dust and debris, which can affect not only the player itself but also your precious vinyl.

This article goes over some of the best ways to keep your record player clean and in top condition for hours of play.

Why You Need to Clean Your Record Player

Record players can gather a lot of dust. This happens due to the static electricity created by the friction between the stylus and the vinyl walls, or even when you remove the vinyl from its sleeve. This static energy attracts dust and debris that can be hard to remove.

How to Clean a Record Player 

In the long run, apart from your turntable malfunctioning, a record player that isn’t clean can have a negative impact on its sound quality. By not maintaining your device, you risk having it damaged further and potentially losing the player altogether.

You must ensure that your player is kept clean and free of dust and debris. Buying a new record player can cost an arm and a leg, but ensuring it’s being maintained really demands nothing more than regular cleaning.

Don’t freak out, though, because providing regular maintenance is not the hassle you might think it is. Depending on the state it’s in, cleaning your record player once every 2 or 3 months is likely to be enough.

Where Does the Dust Accumulate?

First things first. You might not actually be able to see the dust on your player if it’s very fine, but if you hear a wheezing and popping sound, that should be a clear signal that your record player needs to be cleaned.

Before embarking on your cleaning journey, you need to understand the parts that will most likely need the most dusting.

The Turntable

As you might imagine, the turntable on which the vinyl rests will probably gather more dust than any other part of your record player. Whether you have a budget model, a high-end one, or a vertical record player, you need to have a maintenance routine in place.

The Stylus

The other key component of a record player that you can’t overlook while cleaning is the stylus. For starters, the stylus is the needle that moves through the grooves of the vinyl when the record is playing. It’s a fragile component that can easily bend from the dust and debris in the grooves if not handled correctly and well-maintained.

The Grooves

The grooves of a rotating vinyl record are at high risk of collecting dust. The grooves can act like little bowls that hold and trap the dust in place. The long-term effect of this is having your treasured records completely scratched and damaged. But before then, you’ll experience those annoying pauses and skips.

What You’ll Need for Cleaning

Having understood the critical parts that need cleaning, you also need to gather the right supplies to get your record player back in shape.

Key among the equipment you’ll need is a stylus brush, rubbing alcohol, and a soft-bristle brush. You’ll also need to have a microfiber towel, a dusting cloth, distilled water, and some furniture polish to give your record player a fresh look.

You might want to consider having some compressed air as well, as it’ll come in handy in getting rid of stubborn dust buildups.

Cleaning the Turntable

To clean the turntable, you’ll need a microfiber cloth to dust off the surface of your record player. If you want to get rid of fingerprint oil or any other stains, apply some rubbing alcohol on the cloth and wipe.

Begin from the turntable center as you work your way outward, then wipe off any remaining moisture using a dry cloth.

After cleaning, you might want to use a dust cover to reduce the amount of dust and debris that gathers on your record player. You can always substitute one with a clean and dry cloth if you don’t have a record player cover.

Cleaning the Stylus

As noted earlier, this is one of the most critical parts of your record player. It demands careful attention and regular maintenance to keep it in perfect shape. Ideally, you would have it cleaned after each time you play your record player.

While this might seem like a cumbersome affair, a stylus is actually very easy to clean. You can choose three techniques: a stylus brush, a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, and an Onzow Zerodust stylus cleaner.

The Stylus Brush Method

For the stylus brush method, you’ll need a brush that’s specifically meant for cleaning a stylus, which you can purchase online or from your local store. If you don’t have one, you can also use a soft paintbrush if necessary.

To clean the stylus, wipe the tip gently starting from the back. We’ve said it before, but the stylus is very fragile, so it’s important to avoid wiping it from the side. This could potentially bend the needle.

Though tempting, don’t try to blow the dust off the stylus either, as this isn’t very effective, and you can accidentally spit on it.

The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Method

The second method uses the Magic Eraser, which can easily be found in any hardware store near you. Cut a 2-inch square, place it on the platter, and continuously lower the stylus onto the eraser. Repeat until there’s no residue left on the stylus.

Take note that the only recommended Magic Eraser is white with untreated sides. Also, make sure not to wet the eraser beforehand.

The Onzow Zerodust Stylus Cleaner Method

The last method is by using the Onzow Zerodust stylus cleaner. The material used is as soft as baby skin, which means that it won’t damage the stylus, making it effective and easy to use. To use it, lower your stylus onto the gel pad continuously. Lift and repeat the same procedure until the stylus’ tip is clean and free from dust and debris.

If the Zerodust cleaner starts to look a bit dirty, run some warm water over it to get rid of any buildup, and it’ll last for a long time. Another advantage of the Zerodust cleaner is that it comes with its own magnifying glass to inspect the stylus when you think it’s getting dirty again.

Cleaning the Records

Before we talk about the cleaning procedures, the number one cause of record damage is poor storage and mishandling of the discs. Always keep your records safely stored in their sleeves and avoid stacking them on top of each other.

Cleaning your records can be a hassle, but it’s a must-do to keep your record collections in good shape. There are several cleaning records methods, and one is with the use of a vinyl record vacuum cleaner. The sad news is that they’re a bit expensive. There’s also the cheaper option of using distilled water with a small amount of cleaning solution.

The Vinyl Vacuum Cleaner Method

Cleaning your records with a vinyl vacuum cleaner is very simple, but they can be expensive to own. The first thing to do is to remove any visible or loose dust and debris with a brush. After that, apply a cleaning fluid that’s safe to use on vinyl.

The final step is to place the disc in the vinyl vacuum cleaner. It will suck the cleaning fluid out of the grooves, along with any remaining dust, dirt, and debris.

The Distilled Water Method

The second method for cleaning records is to use distilled water and a bit of solution. Distilled water is available for purchase in most pharmacies and stores. Some might suggest regular warm water usage, but there’s no proven benefit to this, as regular water can still leave impurities on the surface of the records.

For the solution, you can either use dish soap or a record-cleaning solution. Dish soap is easily available and cheaper when compared to a record solution, but it’s also at risk of leaving some residue on your discs. You’ll also need a carbon fiber brush or cloth.

Prepare the cleaning solution by warming the distilled water. If you’re using dish soap, add a small amount. If you have a record-cleaning solution, use the manufacturer’s instructions.

Ensure there’s no loose dust or debris on the record because it can easily cause a scratch during your cleaning process. Use your carbon fiber brush to remove loose dust in a circular motion following the grooves, then dip the cloth into the cleaning liquid. You’ll only need a small amount.

Start by cleaning the record from the center in a clockwise direction following the grooves. Continue the procedure until you get to the last groove. Then reverse the process, this time in a counter-clockwise direction inwardly to the first groove.

Take note that as you run your fingers over the record, all four fingertips should be kept flat. Don’t use your fingernails at all, or you might scratch the record.

Rinse the record off if you used dish soap. Use the same method above but with only distilled water this time. Repeat until there’s no residue left.

How to Clean a Record Player 

Maintenance Do’s And Don’ts

Now that we’ve gone over some specific cleaning methods, let’s go over some general do’s and don’ts when it comes to caring for your record player.

Do’s

  • Have your record player cleaned and maintained regularly to avoid getting it damaged.
  • You should clean your vinyl records before and after each use. This will help you to reduce the amount of dust that collects on them significantly.
  • Before cleaning, remove any visibly loose dust and debris from the surface.
  • Ensure your record player is kept well away from direct sunlight and hot temperatures.
  • It’s important to replace your stylus once it wears down. Pay attention to hissing sounds, jumping, and static.
  • Look for bent and jagged edges, as they’re an indication that your stylus needs to be replaced.
  • Keep your records in their protective sleeves to prevent them from attracting dust and dirt.
  • Use a lint-free cleaning cloth. Microfiber towels are recommended for drying or just let the fluid dry on its own.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions that came with the device.

Don’ts

  • Don’t use non-approved cleaners on your records or your player. These could end up permanently damaging your items.
  • Avoid keeping your record player near objects that could fall and damage it.
  • Don’t use a lot of force while cleaning. Always be gentle with fragile components.
  • Don’t get fluids on the record labels, as they’ll cause the paper to wrinkle and shrink.
  • Don’t touch a record’s surface with your bare hands.
  • Don’t leave your turntable uncovered. Get a record player cover for when it’s not in use.
  • Never use lighter fluid or bleach on your records or player.

Conclusion

Cleaning and maintaining your record player may look like a lot of work. And yes, this can be the case, but only if you fail to give it the proper attention it needs from the get-go. If you value what your record player offers you, surely you won’t have to think twice about taking care of it.

Now that you know how to clean a record player, you can be sure that yours will last for years to come. Good luck!

How to Fix Your Record Player

How to Fix Your Record Player

For different people, music performs different functions. We often turn to music under different circumstances. Songs soothe our souls, encourage us, console us, reassure us, teach us, and lift us in most aspects of our lives. Some lucky people even earn money from music.

If you really love music, you need a good record player. Preferably one that isn’t broken.

Is your record player giving you the blues for all the wrong reasons? Read this article for some tips and tricks on how to revive your record player.

How Does a Record Player Work?

The science behind the sweet melodies emanating from your record player is a mixture of vibrations and conversions. What does that mean? In simple terms, a player works like this.

First, you place a grooved vinyl record on top of a turntable. There’s a fine needle connected to a cartridge or tonearm. As the table spins, the needle, or stylus, gets into the record’s grooves and creates vibrations. The turntable spins with the help of an attached belt. We’ll see how the belt affects the music quality as we continue.

How to Fix Your Record Player

The vibrating sounds then get channeled to the preamp and the amplifier, which decodes them into the tunes. From here, the speaker produces the output. You can adjust outputs to different strengths and levels, and this change is what we call volume.

When a record player jams or malfunctions, it can be because of any fault at any stage of the process. It’s either the turntable, belt, volume, stylus, or just a misconnection.

What Are the Common Issues with Record Players?

When your player suddenly stops working, consider that it might not be a huge problem. Rather, it could just be a pileup of little things here and there that you’ve missed. It’s always best to start with the most basic solutions first. Often just adjusting your volume will bring back your missing sound.

Before we dive into some basic solutions, let’s first discuss the common problems you’re likely to encounter as a record player owner. Here’s a list of some common issues:

  • The vinyl record you want to play has a lot of static force affecting its performance.
  • The tonearm is short, misaligned, bouncy, or swingy.
  • The turntable belt is having issues running.
  • The cartridge is heavy and puts too much unnecessary weight on the record.
  • The needle is missing or too thick for the grooves.
  • The preamp and amp are faulty. And yes, the preamp and the amp are different things.
  • The wires are connected poorly.
  • The power switch is off.

How Do You Fix a Record Player?

When dealing with electronics, always be sure of what you want to do. If you don’t feel capable enough to handle fixing the device on your own, please take it to any repair shop or expert near you. Otherwise, you may end up creating bigger issues than the existing ones.

If you’re reading this and feel prepared to tackle the issue, make sure to always use a light touch when attempting to fix a record player, as they can be delicate devices with many sensitive parts. Let’s dive in.

Resolving Vinyl Record Issues

If your problem’s coming from the record disc itself, we have some good news for you. This is the simplest issue to resolve. Mostly you’ll find that it’s the grooves that have some issues. It’s common to find that static force drives dirt and debris into the grooves, keeping the record from playing smoothly.

To fix this, get an anti-static cloth, place the disc on a flat surface, and wipe it clean. Ensure that you hold the record in a way that doesn’t get your fingerprints all over it because that would defeat the purpose.

Bonus tip: Try lacing the anti-static cloth with some synthetic oil or put drops of oil on the disc before you do a cleanup. This will wipe off even the tiniest of particles.

Resolving Turntable and Belt Issues

Problems with the belt or turntable can cause an overly fast or slow speed of the music. This is often due to an increase or a decrease in the belt’s size. Or sometimes, a broken belt.

Remember, the belt helps to spin the turntable. If the belt is sagging, there won’t be any spinning. When it’s overly lengthened, the speed will be slow, and when it’s too short, it’ll either be too fast, or it won’t spin at all.

Depending on the record player you’re using, there‘s a standard speed that the record should be spinning at. This is what we call the revolutions per minute, or RPM. The recommended ones for most players are 33.5, 45, or 78.

When you suspect any stretching in the belt length, you’ll want to remove and resolve it.

How?

The answer is simple, and you’ll need to turn the device off before you start the process.

You’ll find the belt between the spindle and the platter since it’s what connects the two. Remember to double-check this with your instruction manual. You should be able to find information on the required length and thickness of the belt inside.

First, tighten any loose adjustment screws. If this option fails, then move on to the next step, which is boiling the belt.

Not what you expected to hear, huh?

Light up your stove, bring water to a boil and insert the belt into the hot water. This should return the belt to almost its original size.

Note that the hot water trick does not work on a broken belt. In that case, consider getting a belt replacement. Also, don’t boil the belt with the ribbon that usually aligns it.

How Will You Know if the Turntable Works?

To know if boiling the belt worked or not, you’ll need to monitor the turntable speed. Buy or download a stroboscopic disc from the internet and make markings on it before loading it onto the table. You’ll need a strobe light to monitor the movement of the disc marks as they spin.

With no malfunctions, the marks will be visible in a static circle regardless of the record player’s speed. If you see the markings moving, it means that the belt needs further professional repair. Like the modern ones DJs use, advanced record players and turntables have their in-built strobe lights that monitor the disc lines as they play.

If you end up having to replace the belt, make sure that you align the ribbon and platter to the access holes before you switch on your record player.

Resolving Tonearm Issues

The tonearm is an area that requires regular maintenance. It’s a highly movable part, and if not adjusted regularly, it can become heavy on the discs. This impairs proper playing and can even widen the disc grooves over time, damaging them irreparably.

The music will either be very slow, have poor sound quality, or the turntable won’t spin because of the weight. A loose tonearm will also slow the record player’s speed.

Ensure the proper adjustment of all the connecting parts and note the weight of your tonearm’s counterweight. A recommended weight typically shouldn’t be anything over 2 grams.

When you do this correctly, you’ll notice a significant change in the turntable’s speed. Also, consider oiling the movable parts regularly to maintain smooth movement and prevent rust.

Resolving Stylus Issues

The stylus, otherwise known as the needle, is a key component in any record player, be it those classic ones our parents owned or the modern ones we see in music joints. The stylus goes into the disc’s grooves to create vibrations that the amplifier picks up and translates into sound and music.

When you suspect an issue with the stylus, first check that it’s present. You may be dealing with a cartridge with a missing needle and not know it, especially if you have playful children around. If you don’t see it, you may need to replace the lost one with a new needle.

Also, check to see if your player’s stylus is fine or blunt. A new needle has about 500 hours of music to play before it’ll need a replacement. When you surpass this amount of time, the needle may damage your records by enlarging the grooves’ spaces, so make sure to check in from time to time.

Resolving Preamp And Amplifier Issues

Preamps and amplifiers handle sound strength and quality. Most belt-drive record players have separate external wires that connect to the amplifiers and speakers.

First, check behind the amplifier and flip the button to line mode. When you lack sound from your player, you might need to make some volume adjustment. If the record is playing at a decent level, but the sound quality is poor, that may be caused by poor connectivity.

Most times, you’ll notice this from the vibrations in your speakers. To fix this, disconnect all the wires connecting the record player to the audio equipment and connect them all again, making sure they’re plugged incorrectly. The chances are that if you do that, your sound will be back.

If you do the above and you’re still having some issues with your sound, it might be time to go to a repair shop or get a replacement. You don’t want to go digging around inside your record player unless you really know what you’re doing.

How to Fix Your Record Player

General Troubleshooting Tips for Record Players

Hopefully, the above tips and tricks will help to solve your record player problems. Here are a few more general troubleshooting tips to keep in mind:

  • Turn it off. Always turn the record player off when not in use, even when addressing minor problems. And remember, the state of a record itself can affect the player’s speed. You can always buy a replacement disc if you need to.
  • Clean it. Record players can build up a lot of dust, just like anything else. To prevent any particles from getting inside the device and mucking things up, wipe your record player down regularly with an anti-static cloth. Rubbing alcohol can also be carefully used to wipe away tougher spots.
  • Get a stroboscopic disc. These are very useful for measuring rotational speed. You can also easily get a strobe light by downloading one from mobile apps like Strobily.
  • Keep it in a safe place. Always keep your record player and electronics in a dry place away from moisture, dust, and children. Always tuck away the cables to prevent unnecessary injuries at home.
  • Read the manual. All electronics come with manuals with details on operating them and maybe even how to fix them. Make sure you read them before you try anything on your own.
  • Ask an expert. Your local electronic stores may have more insight than you would think. For advanced record player repairs, always return to where you bought it from. They’re sure to have someone who can handle turntable repairs, stylus repairs, tonearm repairs, and more.
  • Lubricate the motor shaft. Try to lubricate the motor shaft and other movable parts as frequently as possible. These are like the movable joints in your body. If they stay dry or unused for long periods of time, they creak and slow down. With that, you can’t expect top performance.

Conclusion

Record players are works of art that allow us to enjoy other works of art. They are wonderful, complicated devices, and when they malfunction, it’s not only heartbreaking but can be difficult to pinpoint the problem. Be vigilant, and remember that many issues can be detected early and fixed before they worsen.

We hope this article has taught you a few things about how to fix your record player. With the proper attention, maintenance, and care, you’re sure to enjoy countless hours of sound.

Good luck!

Record Player Skipping: Causes and Fixes

Record Player Skipping

As with every good thing, specific issues can come up when playing vinyl records. One of these issues is record skipping.

Imagine playing your favorite song and having the record skip forward or backward seemingly randomly. This can be extremely annoying and a big vibe-killer that interrupts the natural flow of otherwise awesome music.

It’s essential to understand what skipping is, how it occurs, and how to fix it. This article provides all the information you’ll need.

What Are Vinyl Records?

Let’s start simple. Vinyl records, also known as gramophone or phonograph records, are analog sound storage media that take the form of flat discs. These discs have inscribed, modulated spiral grooves on them. The groove starts at the outer areas and spirals towards the center.

Vinyl records are exceptional products from what some might call a bygone era. However, it’s not up for debate that they offer a fantastic sound quality.

Record Player Skipping

Many vinyl fans even claim that the sound quality is better than digital recording formats, as vinyl preserves the original recording as it was meant to be heard.

What Is Record Skipping?

Vinyl records are designed to be played on record players. Records spin on the platter and a stylus attached to an arm on the record player runs through the grooves on the disc, starting outside and progressing inwards.

With the vinyl record rotation, the stylus picks up the recorded sound waves on the record, amplifies them to the listener through speakers. Record skipping occurs when the stylus makes non-continuous contact with the record.

This can make the stylus jump to another groove and continue from there. If the stylus moves on to an inner groove, the player will skip a section of the music entirely. However, if the stylus moves to an outer groove, it will return to the same point and keep repeating this motion.

This will lead to an endless loop of the same sound section over and over again. It’s from this occurrence that the common expression “like a broken record” originated.

Why Do Record Players Skip?

Now that we know what record skipping is, why records skip at all is a question that comes up. Record skipping can be caused by various reasons, ranging from very simple causes that are easy to fix to complex causes that may be impossible to fix.

Some common causes of record skipping are the following:

Dust and Dirt

When a record is kept in storage, it’s quite natural for the dust to settle on it. This isn’t helped by the default cardboard sleeves that vinyl records come in. While a special dustproof case can be used to store records, there are still other ways that a record can get dirty.

Handling a record with dirty hands or in a dusty environment can also make the record grungy. Oil from your fingers which may come in contact with the record grooves, can also be an issue.

In some cases, the record may have been accidentally smudged at the point of production. This can cause skips when the record is put into the record player.

Static Charges

Another common cause of record player skipping is the build-up of static charge. Static is an imbalance of electric charges on the surface of the record. Vinyl records are very susceptible to static issues, as the vinyl material is a very suitable medium for the build-up of static charges.

Static charge is widespread in dry areas with low relative humidity, and this can cause two types of issues.

The first is an audible popping sound, and a slight record player skip when the stylus gets to the point of the static charge. The other problem is that static charges attract dust particles and cause them to adhere to the record.

Damaged or Warped Records

Vinyl records can be damaged in various ways, and these can cause the record player to skip sections of the grooves. A typical incident of damage that affects records is scratching.

Often, the scratching of a record is the result of improper handling and storage. Scratches around the grooves of the vinyl record can distort the previously recorded sound waves. Scratches that cut across the grooves can also make the stylus jump to another groove and continue from there.

Records can also be warped, and this affects the record player output. Warping occurs when the vinyl disc is bent. This could be an apparent defect, or it could be a subtle one.

Vinyl records can be warped due to heat, pressure, or a production error. A warped record means uneven pressure is put on the grooves by the stylus. When it gets to areas with extremely low contact pressure, the stylus may skip to another groove.

Wobbly Surface and Stray Vibrations

Record players should be on a firm, flat surface that won’t shake easily and disturb them. If mounted on an unstable or shaky surface, for example, a table with uneven legs, there will be a tendency for the player to skip.

A table that’s too lightweight and on a floor that easily conducts vibrations can also be a problem. When the table shakes, the movement and impact can cause the stylus to move out of the groove or jump to a different groove.

Mounting other equipment on the same table as the record player can also cause it to skip. If vibration-generating equipment is mounted on the same table, there’s a likelihood that the stylus will be affected by those vibrations and miss a groove. Be cautious with external speakers and fans for this reason.

Tilted or Unbalanced Record Player

It’s essential to keep the record player horizontally level. If the record player is tilted and not leveled horizontally, the stylus can be pulled to a different groove by gravity. The chances of this occurring may increase if the record player is placed on a crowded surface or around other equipment.

Stylus Wear and Age

The process of wear and tear comes naturally with use. As the record player is used for more and more records, the stylus can get worn out and may no longer perform as expected. It’s a bit of a challenge to observe stylus wear with the naked eye, so a magnifying glass should be used.

Generally, the stylus should be checked for areas of one-sided wear, dullness, or jaggedness.

Stylus age, on the other hand, isn’t dependent on how often it’s used. Whether a record player is used or not, the stylus tends to harden with age. An old, hard stylus will not track effectively and is more likely to skip groove sections.

While the stylus may only be lightly used, its age may dictate that a replacement is necessary.

Stylus Pressure and Tonearm Balance

Sometimes, the setting of the record player is what’s responsible for the skips. The stylus may be pressing against the grooves with too little pressure, causing it to lose contact with the vinyl or even switch grooves periodically.

The stylus may also be applying too much pressure and distorting the sound from the record. Always try to make sure that an even balance of pressure is placed on the record grooves.

How to Fix Record Player Skipping

Fixing a record player’s skipping depends on the cause of the problem and fixing it accordingly. However, please note that not all issues may be fixable, and in such cases, it’s best to replace the damaged record.

Record Player Skipping

Get Rid of Dust and Dirt

The cleaning of dust and dirt is best done on a record cleaning mat to avoid the record player’s recontamination. Cleaning can be done in the following ways:

  • Clean with a lintless cloth: For simple cases of visible dirt or dust that has settled in thin layers and isn’t hard-fixed, a lintless cloth can be used to wipe down the record. This should be done with care, and attention should be paid to the grooves. A soft material that won’t cause damage to the grooves is preferred. The reason for using a lintless cloth is to prevent the lint from contaminating the record. If the fabric used isn’t lintless, the lint can rub off on the record and have a similar or worse effect than the dust causes.
  • Use wood gum: If the dirt has settled in areas that may be hard to reach with just a cloth, wood gum can be applied to clean the record. To do this, apply a thin layer of gum on the vinyl record’s surface and leave it to set. When the gum sets, it will adhere to all dust particles present on the surface. Once the gum has set, it can then be peeled off carefully, pulling along with it the dirt and dust particles. It’s best if the wood gum is peeled slowly and in one whole piece to prevent scratches.
  • Use a cleaning solution: Alternatively, for a deeper cleaning, a special record cleaning solution can be applied and used to clean the record. The solution should be used according to the manufacturer’s instructions to obtain the best results. Cleaned records may then be rinsed with distilled water, with care taken not to damage the record label.
  • Locate and clean individual dirt patches: Sometimes, there may be a visible dirt or dust patch where the player keeps skipping the record. In cases like this, attention can be given to just that portion for cleaning. A firm brush that won’t damage the vinyl can be used to carefully rub off the dirt before reinserting the record.

Get Rid of Static

There are several ways to combat static build-up on records. Some of these methods are preventative, while others are corrective. They are outlined below:

  • Use an anti-static record sleeve: The default cardboard boxes that vinyl records are sold in do little to prevent static build-up. If anything, they may even encourage the build-up of static. Cardboard sleeves can be swapped out for purpose-built, anti-static sleeves that will discharge the record as it’s being removed from the sleeve.
  • Treat with an anti-static solution: Specially-formulated, anti-static solutions also exist to eliminate static from vinyl records. These solutions are usually sold as sprays and mists, which are easy to use. The standard procedure is to spray the vinyl with the solution and wipe it down with a lintless cloth.
  • Use an anti-static brush or cloth: There are also anti-static brushes and cloth materials designed to discharge the static electricity on the record. Sometimes, the cloth material’s effectiveness can depend on the net charge of the person doing the cleaning, so try to discharge any static on yourself first.
  • Use an anti-static gun: Anti-static guns are a non-contact method of static removal. These guns work on a piezoelectric principle and emit positive and negative charges. A charge is generated inside the anti-static gun, the trigger is pulled, and the gun is brought into the record’s proximity. The charge from the gun neutralizes the charge on the record and leaves it static-free.
  • Get a humidifier: Another way of getting rid of static is with the use of a humidifier. Since static is typical in dry environments, using a humidifier to create artificial moisture and humidity will help to prevent static build-up on the records.

Use a Proper Turntable Setup

The proper setup of a turntable can prevent many issues with skipping. Some good practices that will reduce the chances of your record player skipping include the following:

  • Setup on a firm table or surface: Sturdy tables that are well balanced are the best choice for setting up. The setup should also be kept away from other sources of vibration. This will ensure a steady playout and less disturbance from external vibrations.
  • Utilize padded flooring: Using padded flooring materials like rugs can lessen the chance of vibrations being transferred across the room and the record player. The material will absorb most or all of the vibration and allow the player to function undisturbed.
  • Ensure that the record player is horizontally balanced: It’s important to keep the player horizontally leveled. The surface on which the record player is set up should be even and uncrowded. Many vinyl record players come with individually adjustable screw legs that can be adjusted until leveling is achieved. A spirit level can be used to confirm that it’s perfectly horizontal.
  • Avoid setting up vibrating equipment nearby: We’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. Do not place vibrating equipment on the same table as the record player. These equipment types can interrupt the functions of the player, and their vibrations will cause it to skip.

Replace a Worn or Old Stylus

Once the stylus has been confirmed to be worn out or hardened by age, it’s finally time to head to a store and purchase a replacement. Replacing the stylus prevents record skipping and improves sound quality, and prevents damage to the records.

Keep in mind that replacing equipment can get very expensive, so always try to keep your record player in the best shape possible.

Adjust the Tonearm and Stylus

The tonearm and stylus may need adjusting to press against the record with just the right amount of pressure (not too much or too little). In classic record players, when the pressure was too low, a coin was used as a weight to hold down the stylus.

Newer models of record players have adjustment mechanisms to set the placement of the tonearm and stylus. The procedure for adjusting both the tonearm and stylus will vary depending on the turntable, so it’s important to review the manufacturer’s instructions before making any changes.

After adjusting the stylus and tonearm, the anti-skate control mechanism, if your turntable comes with one, should also be set to the same weight as the tracking weight on the tonearm.

Record Player Issues That Can’t Be Fixed

The warping or bending of records is often permanent and not fixable. Attempts to forcefully straighten out the record can cause it to sustain even more damage or get broken entirely.

It may also sometimes be the case that none of the above fixes will work, even if the record isn’t warped. In those cases, it might be that there’s permanent damage to either the record or the record player itself.

To confirm whether it’s an issue with the player or the record, try playing other records on the player. If they all play without issues, then the original record is damaged. If the player continues to skip with different records, the record player itself is likely damaged.

Conclusion

There’s nothing more annoying and frustrating than a record player skipping on some of your favorite songs. Be systematic and try to figure out what’s causing the skipping first. Then you can use some of the strategies in this article to get your player back on track. Good luck!

Why is My Record Player So Quiet? Causes and Solutions

Why is My Record Player So Quiet

With the rise of CDs and digital downloads, some people (wrongly) consider record players to have slowly become obsolete. 

However, record players’ demand has swiftly risen from the ashes, with vinyl sales now reaching the billion-dollar mark. Record players, also known as phonographs, create sound with the vibration of a needle placed on a rotating vinyl disc.

Sometimes, the sound from a record player can, unfortunately, come out pretty quiet, which usually means there’s something wrong with it that could use some fixing.

Let’s go over some of the reasons and solutions for a record player that sounds quieter than usual.

Why is My Record Player So Quiet

Disclaimer

Before discussing the reasons for a quiet-sounding record player in detail, we should first clear up some common misconceptions. 

A record player will always sound a bit quieter than CD players or stereos. This is because CDs use advanced methods to record music. The audio recorded onto a vinyl record has limitations when recording extremely high and low notes.   

So, the experts have had to cut down on these notes using multiple methods, whereas CDs can record any music without any special interventions. 

Despite the differences between record players and CD players, record players can produce audio that mimics the original sound as it was recorded, and they produce an audio experience that sounds much more authentic overall.

Possible Reasons for Your Record Player Becoming Quieter

1. Cartridge Problems

A turntable cartridge is also known as a phonograph cartridge or pickup that ends with a tip (stylus) engraved with a sapphire or diamond to play sound from the record’s groove. All the information about the song is saved in the grooves, which usually have a wave-shaped design. The cartridge identifies these patterns and runs through the grooves to produce quality musical notes.

Various factors determine the quality of a cartridge. These include the following:

  • Stylus shape – The stylus’ shape is one of the first parts that wear down after continuous usage. The tip should be very narrow to allow easy movement between patterns present in the groove. You can either go for a Conical or elliptical design to get quality sound.
  • Trackability – A cartridge will only be able to identify notes if it tracks the grove’s pattern efficiently. You can easily pick out whether your cartridge needs a replacement by listening to the sound and how it works.
  • Cantilever – The Cantilever is present at one of the ends to hold the cartridge and transfer information from the tip to the generating element. A possible reason your record player is getting quieter is because of the instability and clumsiness of your cantilever.

2. Needle Problems

A needle is the smallest component of your record player, but trust us, it’s the most important one. It feels like a tiny dot that rests on the groove and produces the vinyl’s sound. Mostly, the needle is made up of diamond or sapphire due to its hard texture and long-lasting usage capacity.

The needle is bound to lose its texture and sharpness after continuous usage (or more than 1000 hours of playing time). But the major reason why a needle can wear out before its time is dust.

Needles are made up of solid materials, but regardless, they are affected when dust particles come in their way when they’re working to produce sounds through the groove. Continuous contact with dust wears out the needle’s sharp edges, making your record sound much quieter over time.

The stylus can also lose its sturdiness because of over-usage. The disc gets scratches after being used for a long time, and your needle has to go through these damages to produce quality notes. This will not affect the needle immediately, but after being used for a very long time on the scratched surface, it can result in the diamond’s blunting.

3. Speaker Problems

Speakers are the last in the cycle that ultimately give out the produced tune. These are responsible for providing us with a good sound base and a controller to easily move the volume up and down.

The market mostly contains two types of speakers, one which comes with a cord and is directly connected to the record player. Another is Bluetooth speakers that can be connected using a remote without the need for any wire. People mostly prefer the second option due to the hassle-free connection and a long usage guarantee.

Cheap quality speakers get worn out very quickly. The effect multiplies if these speakers get connected with a low-price record player. If you have a chord-connecting speaker, you can install it in other applications to check its sound quality. If the problem continues, you need to change the speakers before it destroys the sound quality of the whole system.

4. Cheap Quality Record Player

Record players are not only stylish but are extremely nostalgic to listen to. It gives out an uncompressed sound that is missing on other platforms like CDs, Stereos, or even in online streaming. The quality of the player is paramount to listen to those antique songs you love so much.

If you buy a cheap quality record player, there is no way it will produce a sound in the same manner. High-quality players might feel costly but are worth trying. It is better to invest in a good player rather than always running back and forth to get a bad record player fixed or replaced. These players will last you much longer than the cheap ones and will never give you a hard time.

A cheap quality record player can negatively affect your sound in the long run. It’s observed that a low-quality record player can only run 40 hours or less, whereas diamond-engraved players can smoothly function for more than 1000 hours. The cost you are trying to save by buying a cheap record player becomes more than the expensive ones’ price in the long run.

5. Tonearm Problems

A tonearm is a long arm that supports the cartridge to run smoothly and stop the record disc. It has to maintain that perfect angle and height with accurate pressure to process its function. It is an essential element of a record player, which usually contains the most problems. Some of the problems that you may face with tonearms include:

  • Tonearm swings to the side – This issue can arise if your phone is not leveled properly or the wiring between the tonearms is loose. Most of the tonearms are very delicate and need to be handled properly.
  • The tonearm is not lowering – You will notice that the arm is not making direct contact with the disc, causing interruption while playing the record. This can arise when the tonearm bridge screw is too tight and needs to be loosened up.
  • The tonearm is falling abruptly on the disc – This is the same situation mentioned above; the only difference is the bridge screw now is very loose and requires tightening. Ensure you get this done by experts who know the exact height or angle the arms need to be in.

Now that we’ve covered some of the problems you might be facing resulting in a quieter record player, we’ll discuss how to make your record player loud again in the next few sections.

Let’s Get to the Basics

The cartridge present on the turntable produces a PHONO output, whereas the technology used in iPhones or CD players emit LINE output.

A line output is much more powerful than a phono output. To get the same quality sound, you will have to install a phono preamp to transfer phono level signal to line-level signal.

Phono Preamp

The phono preamp is already installed in a turntable that contains LINE output, whereas if you have a PHONO output, the preamp can be fixed with the help of a receiver.

Possible Preamp Integrations:

  • Pre-installed into the turntable – The turntable contains LINE output.
  • Pre-installed into the receiver – The receiver contains PHONO output.
  • A standalone box

If your turntable emits LINE output, this means it already contains a pre-installed Preamp. So, your LINE output turntable can easily be connected to a LINE input receiver to give a much louder sound. Some major LINE input options can be AUX, LINE, DVD, TAPE, and CD.

Now let’s say you have a turntable that emits PHONO output, which means it does not contain a pre-installed preamp. So, you have to choose either of the two options –

  • Connect your turntable with a receiver that has a pre-installed preamp.
  • Connect your turntable with a standalone box that will allow the flow of sound between a turntable and receiver

In the first situation, you can connect the turntable with a receiver that already has a built-in Preamp. The turntable can easily produce high-quality sound when connected with a receiver emitting PHONO input.

Now, if both your turntable and receiver do not have a pre-installed preamp, then connecting to a standalone box is your rescue option. The standalone box can connect the PHONO output of your turntable with a LINE input cable of the receiver.

After you have successfully installed a phono preamp, the sound produced will be much higher and match a CD or stereo’s quality.

But another very rare problem that could arise is the collision between MM and MC.

Even after installing a phono preamp, your turntable cannot produce a satisfactory level of sound; it can because of a clash between MM and MC. Your turntable works on Moving Coil (MC), whereas your preamp is designed to function on a MM (Moving Magnet) cartridge.

MC cartridge produces a lower signal than MM cartridge, so it requires more amplification to work together. So, you would require a preamp that can work on MC.

These cases mostly arise with very expensive turntables bought by enthusiasts who are keenly interested in this type of music.

Adopting this method will instantly boost your turntable quality and give you a much louder voice than before.

How to Make Your Record Player Louder

1. Update the Phono Preamp with a Higher Gain

If you already have installed the phono preamp but still want a louder voice, the next step should be updating the existing preamp with a higher output level. The photo preamp with a higher gain will adversely affect the quality of the sound. The updated preamp uses advanced technology to filter out songs in a more refined manner, making them very clear and loud.

There are two types of phonograph preamp, one is already pre-installed in your phonograph, and another can be attached using external cords. If the preamp is pre-installed, its output and gain level are always quite low. Ensure the preamp purchased is of higher quality; otherwise, the cheaper one can destroy the quality of the voice in the name of amplification.

2. Replace or Install an Amplifier

Changing an amplifier is a big investment. Only consider this if you have already checked your preamp and cartridge. An amplifier is also known as a phono stage, enabling the record player to connect with an ordinary sound system smoothly. It re-equalizes and amplifies the signal generated by the stylus.

Why is My Record Player So Quiet

Two major reasons that you need an amplifier are:

  • Boosts signal – The signal generated by the turntable on the groove is very low. The stylus doesn’t even move a tenth of a millimeter while following the pattern, which creates a huge need to attach a device that makes the sound louder. This is where the amplifier comes to the rescue. An amplifier turns the sound into approximately 1.5 volts from a streamer, DVD player, or stereos. The voice generated by the amplifier is much clearer and louder as compared previously.
  • RIAA equalization – Founded by the Recording Industry Association of America, it sets norms regarding reducing low frequencies and boosting higher frequencies. This is done so that the entire album can smoothly fit, avoiding it breaking into two pieces.

But if you already have an amplifier and face the same issue, then it is advisable to switch to a more powerful version so that you can listen to a much louder and finer sound. You can ask an expert to look into the problem before making any decision.

3. Consider Going for Speakers With Higher Sensitivity

In simpler terms, speaker sensitivity can be referred to as the volume of music a speaker can deliver when a specific power (watts) is passed through it. A higher sensitivity implies that most of the power sent to it is converted into sound. In contrast, a speaker with lower sensitivity translates all its energy into heat, which is of no use.

For example:

A speaker that contains higher sensitivity can produce amazing music, even with an amplifier of 10watts.

And if you save your money to buy a speaker with lower sensitivity, it will not be able to provide you the same quality sound, even with 100 watts.

Sound sensitivity is one of the major criteria to consider when facing any sound issue. Not only with record players, but sound sensitivity is also necessary with loudspeakers and home theatres.

4. Install a Phono Preamp

The voice produced by a single turntable is not enough to match with the one coming from a CD player or Stereos. A phono preamp’s job is to amplify the song and make it sound like any other high-quality device. Without using the phono preamp, the voice produced by your turntable will be very low or even zero.

5. Replace the Cartridge

The cartridge is one of the major problems that users like us face when the sound suddenly goes down. If you are using the cartridge for a very long time, it is possible that the needle has smoothened and cannot work properly. Check the surface of the cartridge to make sure that you are focusing on the right problem.

Another way you can increase the turntable volume is by replacing your cartridge with a high output level. Most turntables have an output level of 2.5mV – 7.5mV. So, you can switch your cartridge with the one which is double your existing mV. This will enhance your voice quality and make it a lot louder.

Conclusion

Record players are antique items that need proper care and maintenance to keep them working. We covered in this article some of the reasons that could be responsible for your record player becoming quieter over time. But if you use some of our hacks, they are sure to help your record player produce a finer and louder sound.

Best Floor Speakers for Vinyl

know the part of a turntable

With people spending more time at home these days, a personal vinyl record collection is a bonus form of entertainment.

For vinyl music fans, playing records provides a closer connection to the music than through digital streaming, and when the sound quality can match a live-music experience, it’s even better.

That’s when floor speakers can make all the difference. My favorite floor speaker is the  Polk Audio T50 because of its premium audio performance! Check it out at Amazon.

Floor speakers provide a deeper base which means you can enjoy a wider range of music with better clarity from the comfort of your own home. Floor speakers are also sleek in design, often adding a modern touch to a room.

In today’s digital world, the online market is flooded with different types of speakers from wireless Bluetooth models to portable compact devices that sit on shelves. But with so much choice it can be hard to know where to start.

For those looking for some serious investment in sound, floor speakers are a great way to listen to vinyl at home and put that record collection to good use.

Keep reading to find out more about the best floor speakers for vinyl.

Klipsch R-620F

Klipsch R-620F Floorstanding Speaker with Tractrix Horn Technology | Live Concert-Going Experience in Your Living Room

Click on the image to see more information on Amazon.

 

Before we get down to the nitty-gritty details about this speaker, it’s worth mentioning that Klipsch is an iconic manufacturer of speakers and headphones. The company was founded by Paul Wilbur Klipsch, an American audio engineer, in 1946 with the aim of bringing live music to the living room. To this day, Klipsch is continuing with that work with a range of high-quality speakers.

The Klipsch R-620F is a floor-standing speaker that has been developed with Klipsch’s signature Tractrix Horn Technology – a standard ingredient for all Klipsch speakers. For those looking for output that can achieve a concert-style experience at home, this is the speaker for you.

Check out the Klipsch R-620F at Amazon

The ‘R’ in the name of the speaker stands for ‘Reference’, which is a range of speakers from Klipsch that promise to deliver life-like acoustics – something that is becoming even more important as people spend more time at home.

According to Klipsch, the R-620F is “packed with best-in-class audio technology”. With five-stars reviews and a history of crafting audio products that span more than 70 years, there must be some truth in the claim.

To help you on your way to choosing the best speaker for vinyl, the key features of the R-620F include:

  • 1″ Aluminium LTS tweeter
  • 90×90 Square Tractrix Horn
  • Dual 6.5″ Spun-Copper IMG Woofers
  • Bass-Reflex via Rear-Firing Tractrix ports

The R-620F also has a removable magnetic grille and the dimensions are 40″ x 9.4″ x 15.2″, meaning it can easily fit into a corner of the room without disrupting the interior design. For committed audiophiles, it could even become a focal point.

Sony SSCS3

Sony is a well-known global brand that has been manufacturing electronic products for decades. It has a reputation for decent quality without breaking the bank when it comes to price, and it has a wide range of floor speakers to be used for playing vinyl music.

The SSCS3 is a three-way four-driver floor-standing speaker system that has been designed for great sound quality while slipping seamlessly into the living space of music fans around the world.

Check out the Sony SSCS3 at Amazon

As with most floor speakers, the SSCS3 promises to deliver an immersive real-life audio experience through high-resolution audio of the artist’s music and an expansive soundstage that allows the listener to “feel the energy and passion of the original performance”. That’s quite a statement.

So, just how does Sony achieve it?

The following features are the key components of the SSCS3 speaker:

  • 3-way, 4-speaker bass-reflex system
  • 5.25” foamed-mica cellular reinforced woofer
  • 1” polyester main tweeter
  • 3/4 inches Sony Super Tweeter
  • Sound reproduction to 50kHz (for High-Resolution Audio)
  • 6-ohm speaker impedance
  • Optimized crossover componentry
  • 145W maximum input power

At a reasonable price point, the Sony SSCS3 is a popular option for many audiophiles and the speaker system has received many positive reviews, most notably for its crisp audio.

Polk Audio T50

Polk Audio T50 150 Watt Home Theater Floor Standing Tower Speaker (Single, Black) - Hi-Res Audio with Deep Bass Response | Dolby and DTS Surround

Click on the image to see more information on Amazon.

For anyone not familiar with Polk Audio, let’s get started with a little background information.

Polk Audio has been making audio equipment to bring the live concert experience to the homes of music fans since 1972.

Set up by a group of American “rock ‘n’ roll mad scientists”, Polk Audio designs and manufactures HiFi products with a huge focus on research to provide original products.

The T50 by Polk Audio is described as a home theatre and music floor standing tower speaker that delivers premium audio performance.

Check out the Polk Audio T50 at Amazon

As part of Polk Audio’s T Series, the T50 has been designed to work with most home stereos – including vinyl – and it offers an affordable upgrade for those looking to take a step up in the sound system game without blowing the budget.

One of the key features of the T50 is the use of Polk’s Dynamic Balance technology, which has been developed at Polk Audio by analyzing the electroacoustic and mechanical system of speakers to generate rich, authentic sound.

The other features of the T50 are:

  • 4-way floor standing speaker
  • 1 x 6.25″ Mid woofer
  • 2 x 6.5″ bass radiators
  • 1″ Silk Dome Tweeter
  • Audio: 38-24KHz and 86 ohms nominal impedance

The T50 is a great option for those looking to invest in an easy to set-up home stereo system for a small to medium-sized room. Or to upgrade from a smaller sound system.

GOgroove BlueSYNC STW

This floor-standing speaker by GOgroove is different from the other models included in this article in that it has a built-in Bluetooth connection, making it a versatile option for people looking for a speaker that can do more than just play vinyl music.

Aside from the wireless Bluetooth connectivity and built-in device dock slot, the GOgroove tower speaker has a minimal design that is aimed at the modern music fan and promises thumping bass.

Check out the GOgroove BlueSYNC at Amazon

Digital technology isn’t the only focus though when it comes to this GOgroove speaker. The BlueSYNC STW also has a built-in subwoofer for enhanced audio quality to bring those vinyl records to life in your own home.

So, what else can the speaker do? The other key features are:

  • Powered 30W subwoofer
  • 2x 15W drivers
  • 120W peak power
  • 4-in-1 audio station: Bluetooth, 3.5mm AUX wired input, FM digital radio, MP3 player mode
  • USB 1A power port

Finally, due to the sleek nature of the BlueSYNC STW and its 38” height, it can easily fit into small living spaces, which makes it a good option for people living in an apartment.

Pioneer SP-FS52

Pioneer SP-FS52 Home Audio Andrew Jones Designed Floor Standing Loudspeaker

Click on the image to see more information on Amazon.

Pioneer has been making audio equipment for more than 70 years and the SP-FS52 has been created by Andrew Jones – Pioneer’s Chief Speaker Engineer and world-renowned designer.

Andrew’s designs usually fall into the high-end price point of the speaker market, but this exclusive model is far more affordable without scrimping on the audio expertise and passion that he is known for.

Pioneer states that the main aim of the SP-FS52 is to bring professional sound quality into the homes of audiophiles around the world to create an immersive listening experience. For vinyl fans, that sounds like a dream come true.

Check out the Pioneer SP-FS52 at Amazon

As to be expected from a designer speaker, the aesthetics are a central focus with a curved design to reduce internal standing waves and deliver great sound quality.

The SP-FS52 is more than just sleek design though with Pioneer promising a “deep, beautiful sound” through an improved bass response and an increased tweeter efficiency.

The main highlights of the Pioneer SP-FS52 are:

  • 3x 5.3” structured surface woofers
  • 1” soft-dome tweeter
  • 8 element complex crossover
  • 130W power input
  • RF molded curved cabinet

As with other models in this article, the SP-FS52 is a floor-standing speaker that falls in the mid-range price point.

However, this one has some extra attention to detail that is unique to Andrew Jones, and we can’t think of a better way to enjoy vinyl records at home than with a designer speaker.

Investing in a home audio system

For many people, a love for vinyl music is something that can last a lifetime.

Investing in a home audio system makes it just that little bit sweeter and floor speakers are a great way to recreate a live music experience in the comfort of your own home.

To help you along in the decision-making process, the options above should provide some useful food for thought when it comes to choosing the best floor speakers for vinyl.

Then all you have to do is connect it to a turntable and enjoy your favorite tunes.

Best Vintage Turntable

In an age of mindfulness and focusing on the present moment, returning to the past is not always recommended. Except when it comes to music.

Vinyl music has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years as more people seek out an authentic way to connect with music. This has led to a booming market of record players, from state-of-the-art modern turntables to vintage-inspired models that hark back to a simpler time.

For audiophiles taking their first tentative steps into vinyl music, or seasoned fans looking to double down on authenticity, we dove into the world of records to find the best vintage turntables on the market right now. My favorite vintage turntable is the Electrohome Kingston 7-in-1 because of it’s authentic design. Check it out at Amazon.

The list below is not exhaustive, but it’s a good starting point to get an overview of the options available and the main features provided by different manufacturers.

Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB-SV

Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB-SV Direct-Drive Turntable (Analog & USB), Silver, Fully Manual, Hi-Fi, 3 Speed, Convert Vinyl to Digital, Anti-Skate Control, Variable Pitch Control

Click on the image to see more information on Amazon.

In the world of audio equipment, Audio-Technica is a household name. After starting in Japan in 1962, it’s now a worldwide group of companies that has won several awards, as well as being selected to supply microphones and wireless systems for the Grammy Awards. In a nutshell, Audio-Technica is known as a brand that understands sound.

This particular turntable by Audio-Technica is an updated version of the AT-LP120-USB model that is no longer in production. So, what are the main features of the AT-LP120XUSB-SV, and what makes it a good option?

Check out the Audio-Technica at Amazon

First, it has a new direct-drive, DC servo motor with a three-speed (33, 45, and 78 RPM) fully manual operation and a USB output to convert vinyl records into digital audio files.

Second, it comes with adjustable dynamic anti-skate control and a selectable phono preamplifier to connect the turntable to a home stereo. Additionally, it has a detachable dual RCA output cable.

Other key features include:

  • Variable pitch control with quartz speed lock
  • Balanced S-shaped tonearm with hydraulically damped lift control and lockable rest
  • AC adapter and 45 RPM adapter
  • Professional-grade anti-resonance, die-cast aluminum platter with felt mat
  • AT-HS6 universal ½”-mount headshell
  • AT-VM95E dual magnet phono cartridge with 0.3 x 0.7 mil elliptical stylus
  • Removable hinged dust cover

The AT-LP120XUSB-SV regularly receives five-star online reviews with most users praising the minimal style, affordability, and quality of the model. It’s also noted as a good option for people that are building a record collection, or for those returning to vinyl after embracing digital music.

Wockoder Wireless Portable Turntable

The Wockoder Wireless Portable Turntable is a blend of vintage aesthetics with digital technology. The result is a versatile turntable that not only looks the part but is also a practical option when searching for the best vintage turntable.

One of the benefits of this vinyl turntable is the built-in stereo speaker system, which makes it easy to use and transport without having to bring an external speaker. The wooden antique design is another highlight to introduce a retro vibe to any room and provide a little more authenticity when listening to vinyl records.

Check out the Wockoder Turntable at Amazon

Despite channeling the past with the design, Wockoder hasn’t forgotten the demands of the 21st Century as this portable turntable comes with wireless connectivity to play music from a phone or computer. The Wireless Portable Turntable is also on the market at an affordable price to provide an inexpensive stepping-stone for audiophiles just branching out on their vinyl journey.

Let’s see what else the Wockoder can do:

  • 3-speed belt-drive turntable (33, 45 and 78 RPM)
  • Plays three record sizes (7”, 10” and 12”)
  • Straight-style tonearm
  • Improved shock absorption through the spring-equipped base
  • Vibration absorption rubber foot pads
  • Bluetooth input
  • RCA output

As you can see, there is more to this Wockoder model than an attractive design. It’s actually the best of both worlds – vintage style with modern features and the added bonus of being affordable.

SeeYing Turntable

This is another all-in-one turntable that has fused the old with the new to provide an affordable option for vinyl music fans. The SeeYing turntable has incorporated vintage design with wood paneling and built-in stereo speakers. But it has also been kitted out with modern features, such as Bluetooth, FM radio, and USB connectivity.

And that’s not all. The SeeYing Turntable has vinyl to MP3 encoding capabilities, which means that your favorite vinyl sounds can be stored digitally for future listening. Not bad for a compact turntable at a budget price.

Check out the SeeYing Turntable at Amazon

Another clever feature is the option to store 20 radio stations through the memory function so that when your favorite radio show ends, you can switch straight back to listening to vinyl records.

The features of the SeeYing Turntable are:

  • Belt-driven system
  • 3-speed phonograph (33, 45 and 78 RPM)
  • Supports three record sizes (7”, 10” and 12”)
  • Built-in speakers
  • RCA output and AUX input
  • Convert vinyl to MP3
  • Wireless connectivity and FM radio
  • Remote control operation

The SeeYing Turntable has been designed with the modern music listener in mind and caters for all tastes. It may not be top of the range or have the most retro appearance, but for shoppers looking for a model that offers more than just playing records, it’s a good option.

D&L Vintage Record Player

If an authentic vintage style is top of the list when it comes to purchasing a turntable, then D&L have just the model.

This wooden turntable fits the bill when it comes to decoration and will certainly add a retro vibe to any room. Aside from the aesthetics, it’s also a 7-in-1 multi-functional music system that can play vinyl records, CDs, cassette tapes, and radio, as well as having Bluetooth connectivity for streaming music up to 33 feet.

Check out the D&L Vintage Record Player at Amazon

What about the record playing features? They are listed below:

  • 3-speed belt-drive turntable (33, 45 and 78 RPM)
  • Plays three record sizes (7”, 10” and 12”)
  • 2 built-in stereo speakers
  • 3.5mm AUX input, RCA output, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Direct recording to USB
  • 1 replacement stylus needle

The multi-functional system of the D&L Vintage Record Player is a good start for those that are new to vinyl music and don’t want to lose touch with digital technology. The all-in-one approach also makes it a useful portable option or a thoughtful gift for a music-loving friend.

Although it has received many good reviews online, the only consistent downside is that the speaker quality could be better. However, that is often the case with built-in speakers, and it can easily be fixed by connecting the turntable to an external speaker system.

Electrohome Kingston 7-in-1 Vintage Record Player

Electrohome Kingston 7-in-1 Vintage Vinyl Record Player Stereo System with 3-Speed Turntable, Bluetooth, AM/FM Radio, CD, Aux in, RCA/Headphone Out, Vinyl/CD to MP3 Recording & USB Playback (RR75)

Click on the image to see more information on Amazon.

Out of all the turntables in this article, the Kingston by Electrohome is the most authentic-looking model with an acoustically designed wooden cabinet and a vintage-inspired finish.

Electrohome has been manufacturing audio products for more than 100 years and describes the Kingston as having “the charm of yesterday with the music technology of today”. It’s certainly an attractive turntable and, thankfully, has more to offer than just good looks.

Check out the Electrohome Kingston 7-in-1 at Amazon

As a 7-in-1 stereo system, the Kingston can play vinyl records, AM and FM radio, and CDs. It also has Bluetooth connectivity, AUX input, and a USB dock. Additionally, it has vinyl to MP3 recording and playback to ensure the Kingston is up to date with the modern world, even if it looks like it belongs to the past.

Other important features include:

  • 3-speed belt-drive turntable (33, 45 and 78 RPM)
  • Ceramic cartridge with sapphire tipped stylus
  • 2x 2” speakers
  • 2x 3.5” speakers
  • Headphone jack, AUX input, and RCA output
  • Remote control operation

The Kingston by Electrohome consistently receives top reviews from users, with many commenting on the quality of the craftsmanship. For a vintage record player that looks the part and performs well, this turntable ticks all the right boxes.

Choosing a vintage turntable

From multi-functional systems to retro-inspired designs, and everything in between, there has never been a better time to invest in a turntable and embrace vinyl music.

Shopping for a turntable is just the start of the vinyl adventure, but with so many similar options available online it can be hard to make a decision.

Hopefully, the above overview has provided a useful starting point to help you find a model that suits your style and needs. Then all you have to do is sit back and relax while listening to music on your vintage turntable.

Best Crosley turntable

Anyone with the slightest interest in vinyl music will have heard about Crosley turntables, and, for most people, they either love them or they hate them. My favorite crosley turntable is the  Cruiser Deluxe because of its affordability and its Bluetooth receiver. Check it out at Amazon.

The Crosley brand is probably best known for manufacturing affordable, retro-style suitcase record players in a range of colors and styles.

The Best Vinyl Record Player Reviews

For purist vinyl fans committed to investing in top of the range equipment to listen to their records, the novelty of Crosley suitcase turntables is a big turn-off.

Too much fun and not enough substance. But for those who are just discovering the world of vinyl, don’t want to spend a fortune on a turntable, and are looking for a fun, portable option, Crosley has quickly become the go-to brand.

Crosley first started out in the US in the 1920s after being founded by Powel Crosley to design and manufacture radios. Crosley wanted to make radios available to everyone, an attitude that was dusted off and repurposed when the Crosley brand turned its attention to record players in the 1990s.

This was at a time when CDs were ruling the music world, but Crosley saw a coming trend and has been making turntables ever since

How to choose a Crosley turntable

Despite being most famous for affordable suitcase turntables, Crosley has some sleek designs in its portfolio. The C-series is aimed at more grown-up and serious music fans, including a drone-shaped futuristic model and modern, minimal turntables.

There is also a higher end of the Crosley range that features the professional K-series, which is aimed at people looking to spend more money and make a long-term investment. In a nutshell, there is something for everyone.

However, with so many styles and models available by Crosley, it can be hard to know which one to choose. A helpful starting point can be the following questions:

  • Are you new to vinyl music or a seasoned veteran?
  • Do you want something fun and funky, or sleek and stylish?
  • How much money do you want to spend?

Fortunately, there is a Crosley turntable out there to suit all budgets and styles. To get started, let’s take a look at the different options to find out which one is the best Crosley turntable for you.

Crosley C6

The C6 is a more grown-up offering from Crosley, with a sleek, modern design and a fashionable, minimal style. It’s the type of record player that can sit neatly on a bookshelf or table and blend in with most types of décor. It’s subtle and unobtrusive while offering an authentic vinyl listening experience.

Aside from the design features, the Crosley C6 has a belt-driven turntable mechanism and a manual return tonearm with an adjustable counterweight.

Check out the Crosley C6 at Amazon

It can play records at two speeds (33 and 45 rpm) and comes with a replaceable phono cartridge to allow for some musical customization. The C6 also has a built-in pre-amp and RCA outputs.

Reviewers have been kind to the C6, particularly for its elegant design and decent sound quality. Once again, this Crosley model is an affordable option (although more expensive than the Cruiser Deluxe and the C3 listed later) and is certainly up there in the ranks when it comes to the best Crosley turntable.

Crosley C10

Crosley C10A-NA Hardwood Turntable with Low Vibration Synchronous Motor, Natural

Click on the image to see more information on Amazon.

Here we have another model from the Crosley C-series. The C10 is at the higher end of the scale when it comes to price, but it’s still under $500, which is affordable compared to other brands on the market.

What does the C10 have that the C62 or C6 doesn’t? The answer is extra little details and higher-grade components. For example, the C10 sits on an audio-grade MDF plinth but comes with genuine birch veneer, instead of faux walnut, like the C62.

Check out the Crosley C10 at Amazon

It has a belt-driven turntable mechanism that plays records at 33 and 45 rpm, but the 8.6” Project aluminum tonearm has sapphire bearings to accompany the adjustable counterweight.

The C10 also comes with an Ortofon OM5e cartridge (pre-mounted), a user-replaceable phono cartridge, plus a low vibration synchronous motor and shock absorbent feet for reduced vibration.

Basically, the C10 is more than an entry-level turntable and the attention to detail is reflected in the higher price.

This is a good option for those that have already been dabbling in vinyl music and are looking to upgrade their listening experience. Not only that, but the minimal, modern design looks great.

Cruiser Deluxe

As the most well-known of the Crosley designs, we have to start with the Cruiser Deluxe model. Crosley itself describes the Cruiser Deluxe as “the one, the only, the original”, and we can’t disagree – especially due to its popularity around the world.

The most distinguishable features of the Cruiser Deluxe are the lightweight suitcase shell and the dynamic built-in stereo speakers, making it portable and easy to use. The Cruiser Deluxe has more going for it though than just a funky style.

Check out the Cruiser Deluxe at Amazon

It has a Bluetooth receiver so that it can be used to stream digital music, an adjustable pitch control, a belt-driven portable turntable that plays records at three speeds (33, 45, and 78 rpm), plus RCA and headphone jack outputs.

The Cruiser Deluxe also comes in a rainbow selection of colors, including some special edition designs, allowing buyers to match their turntable to the décor in their homes or personal style.

As expected from an entry-level record player, the Cruiser Deluxe is easy on the wallet and widely available, both online and at audio equipment stores. It’s especially popular with young people starting out on their vinyl music journey, but it’s also a good choice for anyone looking for a fun turntable.

Crosley C3

Crosley C3 2-Speed Belt-Drive Turntable with Audio-grade MDF Plinth and RCA Output, White

Click on the image to see more information on Amazon.

In comparison to the retro-style Cruiser Deluxe, the C3 looks futuristic and modern – almost like a drone. Just like the Cruiser Deluxe though, it’s aimed at entry-level vinyl music fans and won’t break the bank.

With its unique shape and style, the C3 is certainly a conversation-starter, but the design is more than just for aesthetics. The shape of the plinth provides a stable foundation for the turntable and isolates the low vibration synchronous motor to reduce distortion.

Check out the Crosley C3 at Amazon

Other features include a full-size steel platter, an external belt, and an aluminum tonearm with an adjustable counterweight and pre-mounted moving magnet cartridge.

For optimum sound, powered speakers can be plugged into the RCA output, and the turntable can play records at 33 or 45 rpm. The Crosley C3 also comes in three colors – black, white, and red.

Crosley C62

If a modern, minimal design is your thing, then the Crosley C62 ticks all of the right boxes. Crosley itself describes the C62 as a “ready-to-go-sounds-darn-good-straight-out-of-the-box turntable system”, and we couldn’t think of a better way to explain it.

The Crosley C62 has a belt-driven turntable with low-vibration and two-speed capability (33 and 45 rpm), which sits on an audio-grade MDF plinth finished with faux walnut veneer for a sleek look. It comes with an aluminum tonearm and adjustable counterweight that is pre-mounted with a moving magnet cartridge.

In keeping with the modern age, the C62 has Bluetooth connectivity to allow users to play digital music through the system as well as vinyl records.

Unlike the C6, the C62 includes two matching MDF speakers, but you can connect the turntable to your own system with the built-in switchable pre-amp and RCA output. And finally, the super-minimal two-knob design is timeless, making the C62 a turntable that should withstand the test of time.

The Crosley C62 availability is spotty, currently, it is not available.

Crosley C8

If you were looking for the C62 and find it unavailable you may want to look into this model

The Crosley C8 has a belt-driven turntable, isolating the motor to help with vibration and sound quality. It has two speeds, similar to most of the others on the list it runs at 33 ⅓ and 45 RPM.

The Plinth is an audio-grade MDF that has a beautiful walnut finish. Although not as modern as some of the C models on this list it has more of a comforting look to it, making it a “reliable” choice for your decor.

Check out the Crosley C8 at Amazon

The adjustable tonearm has a counterweight, removable hard shell, and anti-skate control. This turntable has a pre-mounted moving magnet cartridge and stylus but it can be customized.

You can connect the C8 to your own sound system or speakers thanks to the built-in switchable pre-Amp and RCA output.

And the winner is ….

It’s hard to pick a favorite from the Crosley range because there is something for everyone, from complete vinyl beginners to seasoned record playing audiophiles.

The Cruiser Deluxe is great for having fun with records, especially for younger generations, and the C-series provides a range of stylish, affordable turntables for all ages.

Then there are other models by Crosley that haven’t been listed here, such as the Discovery, Voyager, Portfolio and Executive turntables (all similar to the Cruiser Deluxe), the T200 and T400, as well as many others.

The list above simply details an overview of the offerings from Crosley, but which one is the best? For a budget option that is also fun, we have to go with the Cruiser Deluxe.

However, for a more serious, grown-up turntable, the C10 has to be crowned winner as the best Crosley turntable.

Best turntable for Sonos

Remember when Hi-Fi systems used to sit in a unit with built-in speakers? They were often large, bulky systems that could play vinyl, CDs and the radio, and if you wanted to listen to music in the next room you had to crank up the volume.

The Best Record Player

For those too young to remember, this was before online music streaming went mainstream and the world shifted to digital technology – basically before the middle of the 2000s.

Today, it’s a completely different story thanks to WiFi and Bluetooth technology. Home audio systems can connect each room wirelessly, meaning you can play music from a device in the kitchen and listen to it in the bathroom.

My favorite turntable for sonos is the Audio-Technica AT-LP120 because of its USB connectivity. Check it out at Amazon.

Such flexibility is not just reserved for digital music consumption though and vinyl music fans can also take advantage of wireless speakers, with Sonos leading the way when it comes to modern home audio systems.

What is Sonos?

For anyone not familiar with Sonos, or wanting to know more, here is a quick overview.

Sonos was founded in 2002 and is based in Santa Barbara, California. It’s an innovative company that manufactures wireless speakers and smart home sound systems. It likes to think outside of the box and is constantly reinventing the audio wheel.

One of its signature designs is the multi-room wireless system that allows users to stream different music in different rooms around the house from multiple devices.

It’s a system built for the digital 21st Century and even incorporates an elegant design, resulting in a modern, stylish product.

Sonos is also focused on simplicity and credits itself with creating easy-to-use products and systems, as well as a trade-up program to recycle older Sonos products and provide customers with a discount for new speakers.

Right now, you may be thinking, “this all sounds great, but how does it work with a turntable?” Fear not vinyl fans. Sonos speakers may have been developed with digital music in mind, but they also operate well with vinyl, as long as the turntable can be connected.

Keep reading to find out how.

Turntables for Sonos – what to look for

For a turntable to operate with Sonos it needs a built-in preamp so that it can be directly connected to the speakers.

It’s important to remember that most Sonos products use WiFi, not Bluetooth, so be sure to choose a turntable with WiFi capabilities to connect the device wirelessly.

Another consideration is that newer, modern turntables tend to be more compatible with Sonos products, and for the optimum output, go for a mid-range turntable instead of a cheaper option to get the most out of an investment in Sonos gear.

With all of that in mind, the products below have been selected for their suitability (e.g. built-in preamp), as well as their stand-out features and overall performance as a turntable.

Best turntable for Sonos

U-Turn Audio – Orbit Special

U-Turn Audio is an independent American turntable maker based in Woburn, Massachusetts, and distributes within the USA and Canada. U-Turn Audio’s mission is to make great sound more accessible, and with the Orbit Special, it does just that.

Check out the U-Turn Audio at Amazon

With a hardwood maple or rift walnut base (sustainably sourced, of course), and an acrylic platter for speed consistency and improved acoustics, this turntable is as stylish as it is functional.

It features the award-winning Ortofon 2M Red cartridge and a cue lever (used to cue records) to provide an easy tonearm operation.

It has an external two-speed belt drive to reduce motor noise and ensure speed consistency (33/45 RPM), and a precision gimbal tonearm. It also has a built-in Pluto Phono Preamp – essential for Sonos compatibility.

Rega Planar 1 Plus

Rega is well-renowned among audiophiles for its exceptional design and sound quality. The name pops up on many top turntable lists, and for good reason, particularly when it comes to pairing a turntable with Sonos speakers.

For those that aren’t familiar with Rega, it is a British company that has grown from a small side project in the 1970s to a global brand with a reputation for manufacturing great audio products.

Check out the Rega Planar 1 Plus at Amazon

The Planer 1 Plus was released onto the market just two years ago and is the sibling of the Planer 1. With a new built-in stage, it can be connected to almost any audio system through the built-in preamp.

It comes with a Rega Carbon moving magnet, a 24v AC motor, and an aluminum pulley to ensure low noise and better speed stability. It also comes in two colors – gloss black or gloss white.

Pro-Ject Debut RecordMaster

Pro-Ject Debut Recordmaster Walnut Turntable with USB and Phono Preamp

Click on the image to see more information on Amazon.

Pro-Ject Audiosystems is an Austrian manufacturer of high-quality audiophile equipment. It was founded in the 1990s during the golden age of the Compact Disc to offer vinyl fans the best analog experience at reasonable prices.

All Pro-Ject products are designed and handmade in Europe and are shipped to more than 80 countries worldwide.

Check out the Pro-Ject at Amazon

The Debut RecordMaster has a walnut base with USB connectivity and a built-in preamp. It has button-control speed change (33/45 RPM) and an 8.6″ aluminum tonearm with a pre-mounted Ortofon OM5e Cartridge.

It has a heavy, large steel platter for smooth playback, and can be simultaneously connected to an amplifier via RCA, and a Mac or PC via USB.

The RecordMaster certainly ticks all of the boxes for functionality, ease of use, and design, and has been described as a “sonic pleasure” by Pro-Ject fans.

Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB

Another entry here from Audio-Technica – this time it’s the AT-LP120-USB. As an award-winning audio manufacturer, it’s no surprise that Audio-Technica has produced more than one turntable that can be used with Sonos, and this one comes with additional USB connectivity.

Check out the Audio-Technica AT-LP120  at Amazon

The AT-LP120-USB has a direct-drive, high-torque motor, and a die-cast aluminum platter with slip mat for reduced vibration.

It has an AT95E Dual Magnet phono cartridge and long-life diamond stylus, plus a balanced S-shaped tonearm with hydraulically damped lift control and lockable rest. And that’s not all – it also has playback controls with a stroboscopic platter, and a pop-up stylus target light for easier cueing in low light.

Reviewers regularly rate this turntable as great quality at an affordable price, which is synonymous with many Audio-Technica products.

Audio-Technica AT-LP60X

Audio-Technica AT-LP60X Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable (Black) with Knox Gear Vinyl Record Cleaning Kit

Click on the image to see more information on Amazon.

Audio-Technica is a Japanese company that designs and manufactures a range of audio products, including turntables. It has been around since the 1960s and has won numerous industry awards over the decades.

The AT-LP60X is a fully automatic belt-drive stereo turntable in sleek black. It is powered by a DC servo-controlled motor and comes with a built-in phono preamp for that crucial wireless connectivity.

Check out the AT-LP60X at Amazon

This is a flexible product that plays both 33-1/3 and 45 RPM records and features an Audio-Technica Integral Dual Magnet phono cartridge with a replaceable diamond stylus.

The platter is made from die-cast aluminum for anti-resonance and superior sound. Overall, this is a stylish device for the modern vinyl music fan that won’t break the bank.

Final verdict

The five turntables listed above are not a definitive list of the top turntables on the market, but they do represent a selection of the best products available to use with Sonos and a way to integrate vinyl music into the 21st Century.

There has to be a winner though.

The final verdict on which product is the best turntable to use with Sonos goes to the Rega Planer 1 Plus. Not only does it look great and ticks all of the right boxes, but many audiophiles and experts agree that Sonos and Rega are the perfect musical pairing for the digital age.

Best Speakers for Audio Technica LP60

For those new to collecting records and playing vinyl music, it can be tricky to know which turntable is best and what speakers will provide great sound quality without costing a fortune.

The market is crammed with different brands, styles, prices, and promises, and making a decision can be overwhelming. After all, our hard-earned money deserves to be spent wisely. My favorite is the Audioengine because of it Bluetooth connectivity and remote control. Learn more at Amazon

How to Clean Vinyl Records at Home - Drying Rack

If you recently purchased or already own the Audio Technica LP60 turntable, then you’re on the right track.

Audio Technica started in Japan in 1962 and is a worldwide group of companies specialized in audio equipment. It has won numerous awards and its microphones and wireless systems have been selected for the GRAMMY Awards and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.

Needless to say, Audio Technica is a brand that understands music, which makes its products a safe bet, especially for those new to investing in audio equipment.

The LP60 is a reliable entry-level record player. It’s easy to use and has a simplistic, lightweight design that will fit into most homes. It also has a built-in switchable phono preamp with RCA output cables so it can be connected to any self-powered speakers.

But which speakers are best for the Audio Technica LP60?

First, you want to aim for speakers that provide a high-quality sound, otherwise, all that effort of collecting records and purchasing a record player has been for nothing (well, maybe not nothing, but it’s always good to invest in something worthwhile).

Second, it’s important to remember that most speakers need to be a decent size to deliver deep bass, so look for medium to large-sized bookshelf speakers.

They are also easy to integrate into home design and, as the name suggests, they sit comfortably on a bookshelf or any other suitable surface.

And finally, what is the budget? Speakers that are suitable for the Audio Technica LP60 range in price from cheap to mid-range to expensive. As the turntable is considered an entry-level record player and won’t break the bank when it comes to price, we recommend you aim for the mid-range price point.

That way, you can guarantee a decent home audio system, the output will complement the authentic vinyl sound and you won’t have to scrimp and save to play your records.

Audioengine A5 Plus

Audioengine A5 Plus Classic 150W Powered Bookshelf Speakers with Remote Control, Built In Analog Amplifier - Black

Click on the image to see more information on Amazon.

Audioengine is a US-based manufacturer of wireless home speaker systems, including award-winning premium home Bluetooth speakers. It was founded in 2005 with the aim to “build products that sound great and make people want to listen to music every day.” With that in mind, let’s find out more about the A5 Plus speakers.

The A5 Plus are powered bookshelf speakers to create a home music system with bold stereo sound. They come with advanced Bluetooth wireless connectivity, remote control, silk tweeters, and strong aramid fiber woofers, and a subwoofer output.

The peak power output is 150W and it has a dual class-AB monolithic amplifier.

Check out the Audioengine A5 at Amazon

All Audioengine speakers are custom built in-house, and the A5 Plus demonstrates the level of craftsmanship put into Audioengine products. So, it’s no surprise that these speakers are often recommended by audiophiles and have been well-reviewed in many music publications and blogs.

As an additional extra, the A5 Plus speakers have a stylish, modern design, with the option for a bamboo finish – at a higher price.

Sony SSCS5 3-Way 3-Driver Bookshelf Speaker

These compact bookshelf speakers are a popular option from Sony and promise to “deliver an unprecedented and real audio experience, and with a soundstage so expansive you can feel the energy and passion of the original performance.”

That’s good news for audiophiles listening to vinyl in the comfort of their own homes.

As a result of the three-way and three-driver functionality, the Sony SSCS5 speakers provide enhanced clarity of sound.

The system also includes a rigid 5.12 woofer in Mica Reinforced Cellular (MRC) for dynamic bass, along with a 0.98 in tweeter and 0.75 in super-tweeter designed to reproduce High-Resolution Audio tracks.

The newly developed 5.12 in MRC woofer delivers a deep, stable bass by utilizing a foamed mica-cellular diaphragm, and the MRC fiber woofers are rigid to ensure they hold their shape even when moving at high pressure and speed, so music fans can turn up the volume without compromising on sound quality.

Check out the Sony SSCS5 3-Way at Amazon

Sony is a household name and is renowned for manufacturing high-quality audio equipment. The SSCS5 speakers are no exception and are even on the market at a decent price point, which means they won’t break the bank.

Micca PB42X speakers

Micca Electronics is a US-based manufacturer of audio equipment that is built with carefully selected components and rigorous design.

For anyone familiar with Micca’s products, the PB42X is an extension of the popular MB42X, with the added extra of high-quality amplification.

The PB42X speakers are well-reviewed on the market, particularly in relation to the price, but also for the performance of the built-in Class D amplifier, which features a UL-certified 18V/2A power adapter and 15 watts of clean power for each of its two channels. The result is a high-quality sound for home use.

Check out the Micca PB42X at Amazon

The PB42X speakers have been designed with simplicity in mind – from the design to the functionality – with both RCA and 3.5mm stereo input jacks.

Other important features include a balanced woven carbon fiber woofer for enhanced bass, a high-performance silk dome tweeter, and an optimized 12dB crossover for a balanced and dynamic sound.

Overall, the Micca PB42X speakers are a great mid-range option for those looking for high-quality sound within a certain budget.

Edifier R1700BT speakers

Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers - Active Near-Field Studio Monitors - Powered Speakers 2.0 Setup Wooden Enclosure - 66w RMS

Click on the image to see more information on Amazon.

Edifier is a Chinese manufacturer of audio equipment, including home audio systems and speakers, with the guiding principle of “a passion for sound.” After starting small in the mid-1990s, Edifier now distributes products to more than 70 countries worldwide and produces eight million units of audio equipment each year.

The R1700BT speakers have a classic wooden finish with built-in Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and Dynamic Range Control (DRC) to prevent distortion. They are equipped with a 19mm dome tweeter and a four-inch bass driver in each speaker, resulting in rich lows and clear highs.

Additionally, low frequencies are emphasized by the front-facing bass reflex port to provide more power to the bass.

Connectivity is not an issue with the R1700BT speakers as the system comes with two sets of RCA inputs, a durable power switch, and 100-240v full range power input to ensure compatibility with all voltages. A selection of cables are also included – 4′ RCA to RCA cable, 4′ 3.5mm to RCA cable, and 16-foot/5-meter speaker cable.

Check out the Edifier R1700BT at Amazon

These Edifier speakers are well-reviewed online and, as with the other speakers featured in this list, are an affordable option for vinyl fans looking to enhance their home audio system.

Klipsch R-15M speakers

US company Klipsch Audio Technologies has a long history of manufacturing audio equipment and was founded in 1946 in Arkansas.

Today, the company is based in Indianapolis, Indiana, and is highly rated around the world for its innovative and reliable approach to building audio systems, as well as the tonal quality of its products.

The R-15M may be compact and elegant in design, but that hasn’t impacted the sound quality of these bookshelf speakers.

Klipsch is renowned for its exclusive 90×90º Tractrix horn technology, which means the high-frequency energy that emanates from the speakers is aimed at the listener to reduce indirect sound bouncing off the walls and interfering with the overall quality.

Something all audiophiles can appreciate.

Check out the Klipsch R-15M at Amazon

That’s not all. The Klipsch Linear Travel Suspension (LTS) aluminum tweeter – a signature component of Klipsch speakers – reduces sound distortion through the use of Kapton in the tweeter suspension.

And the Injection Molded Graphite (IMG) woofer cones provide a low-frequency response with minimal cone breakup and distortion. The result is a speaker system with high efficiency and an improved resolution.

Again, these speakers won’t break the bank and with Klipsch’s reputation for building exceptional audio products, the R-15M is a great option for anyone looking to boost their home audio listening experience.

 

Best Dual Turntables

Dual is not a name that is frequently spotted in audio equipment stores or online today, but once upon a time it was the biggest manufacturer of turntables in Europe.

With a name taken from the pioneering dual-mode power supply technology from the early 1900s, Dual was first established in the years leading up to the Second World War when, like many other industries, the production of turntables came to a sudden halt.

Fast forward to the late 1940s and Dual’s founders, brothers Christian and Joseph Steidinger started up the business again and became so successful that at one point it was the biggest turntable company in Europe.

In the 1980s, newer and cheaper audio equipment reached the European markets from Japan, and Dual lost its reign in the world of turntable manufacturing before going bankrupt in 1982.

The company’s financial decline never stopped vinyl fans from using Dual turntables though, and the brand has become something of a cult audiophile product, complete with a European comeback in 2017.

As can be expected from such a prolific manufacturer of turntables, Dual has created several different models over the decades and some are still highly regarded within the music industry. This is mainly down to Dual’s reputation of manufacturing products that are built to last for people that are committed to growing a record collection and developing their knowledge of turntables.

What does this all mean for Dual turntables today? And what are the best Dual turntables for listening to vinyl music?

Let’s start by looking at what makes Dual turntables so unique.

Dual turntables

The name Dual refers to the technology that allowed gramophones to be powered from both mains electricity and a wind-up mechanism. As the 20th Century progressed and electricity became more mainstream, there was less need for the dual power system, but the Dual name and brand survived as the technology advanced.

Today, second-hand Dual turntables can be found online for around $200 to $300, and, as long they are still in good condition, the record players are still as dependable as most new mid-range models on the market.

Buying a used turntable is also an environmentally sustainable option and adds an extra dose of retro vibes to listening to vinyl music.

MTR-75

Reviewers have raved about the MTR-75 model, particularly about the automatic operation that allows the user to press start and simply watch while the turntable does the rest – lift the tonearm and position itself onto the record, leaving the listener to sit back and enjoy.

Then, once the music has stopped playing, the tonearm lifts itself up again and returns to the rest.

Other noteworthy features are a belt-driven twin speed motor at both 33 and 45 rpm, and a built-in moving-magnet preamplifier to directly connect the turntable to a speaker system for enhanced sound quality.

MTR-75 also includes a USB type B output to connect to a PC or Mac for the direct digital recording and an Audio Technica cartridge system.

The only downside to the MTR-75 is that the model has to be put together like flat-pack furniture (unless buying a second-hand model, in which case it should already be built), but the turntable is easy to assemble, and everything is provided in the box.

The black satin finish is not quite as authentic as with other models, but the sound quality and automatic operation will more than make-up for any shortcomings with the MTR-75.

CS 505

This particular Dual turntable hit the market in 1981 and even made it onto a 2018 What HiFi? List of the best turntables. In the words of What HiFi?, the CS505 is “a tidy, well-balanced performer that managed to bring a decent amount of detail to the table without exposing the entry-level kit it usually worked with.”

In other words, it’s a reliable, easy-to-use model that delivers the desired result of decent sound quality at an affordable price.

In 2019, the fourth generation of this classic Dual model was released and was highly praised by reviewers. Despite the CS 505 being a budget option on the turntable market, the CS 505-4 features a suspended sub-chassis, which reduces vibrations on the top plate for a smoother sound quality.

It also incorporates a semi-automatic operation that lifts the cartridge and switches off the motor at the end of a record, and the speed can be alternated between 33 and 45 rpm.

As a modernized version of the original CS 505, not much has changed in this latest model (apart from the price), but perhaps that’s because the design works and the sound quality is good. After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

1229

From a quick online search of the Dual turntables, a model that will repeatedly come up as one of the best is the 1229. Audiophiles have long praised the automatic design and low level of vibrations that come from the heavy platter. Some have even labeled it as one of the best turntables of all time.

So, what makes it so great?

The tonearm measures at 8.75 inches, which in the 1970s was the longest of any automatic tonearm. The 1229 also has a continuous-pole motor with radial elastic suspension, a non-magnetic, dynamically balanced platter, and can play records at 33, 45 and 78 rpm.

Basically, it’s a prime example of Dual’s superior craftmanship and ability to build a solid turntable with excellent sound output.

Today, second-hand models can be found online, especially in Europe, but due to the legendary status that the 1229 has garnered in music circles, these turntables are not usually found at budget prices. Sourcing replacement parts can also take some research, but for committed Dual fans, the extra effort is worth it for the enjoyment of playing music on a 1229 turntable.

1019

The 1019 is another popular Dual turntable and it was released before the 1229. Like the 1229, the 1019 is fully automatic and is also well-regarded in music circles, although it has never acquired the legendary status that accompanies the 1229.

Nevertheless, today it’s considered as a collector’s item, which means the design has withstood the test of time.

In comparison to more modern turntables, the 1019 is quite heavy and not a model to be transported around, but its solid structure is what has helped it to age gracefully. The 1019 is renowned for its ability to play at 78 rpm with a powerful torque from the idler drive.

On the downside, the 10-inch platter can omit vibrations (unlike the 1229) and it has been reported to have poor speed control.

Despite the minor misgivings, the 1019 is still regarded as a classic Dual turntable for its high-quality playback of 78s and authentic, wooden design. As the 1019 is now an antique, the model does require some TLC to keep it running in good order but is still giving out an excellent sound quality for music fans looking for a real vinyl experience.

Conclusion

The Dual brand has a long history spanning life-changing moments in history and technological innovation. In the post-World War II decades, Dual helped to make vinyl music more accessible by designing and releasing high-quality turntables, with a focus on strong craftsmanship that has endured to this day.

The Dual name is still synonymous with vinyl music, long after the company was closed and sold off throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

To get hold of a Dual turntable today, they can be found on popular online marketplaces, as well as in specialist music stores and antique shops. As the brand is from Germany, the older models are more readily found in Europe, but the classics are still available in North America as well – you may just have to dig a little deeper to find them.

But which model is the best? For ease of use and sound quality, the CS 505-4 ticks all of the right boxes, but for authenticity and outstanding craftsmanship, the crown has to go to the legendary 1229.

Best phono preamp under $200

Listening to music on vinyl is a different experience to listening via digital modes. There is something special about sifting through covers, looking at the artwork, and placing a record on a turntable. It’s tactile and more authentic than streaming music digitally. Best affordable record player with built in speakers
Some vinyl audiophiles would even argue that it brings them closer to the music. My favorite phono preamp is the Pro-ject because of its rich, dynamic sound. Check it out at Amazon.

The only problem with listening to music on vinyl can be the audio output from the turntable.

Most turntables today have a built-in preamp, but there are limits to the sound quality. That’s where the phono preamp (aka phono stage) comes in.

A phono preamp is an external device that transforms a turntable’s output to be compatible with modern amps. It’s basically an upgrade for the audio output and is a clever way to bring your vinyl collection into the 21st century.

As with most things in life, there are many different phono preamps to choose from, ranging from budget bargains to expensive investments.

You may even be asking yourself, what is a phono preamp and why do I need one? Let’s start there.

What is a phono preamp?

A phono preamp is a piece of audio equipment containing an electronic circuit to correct the amplification coming out of a turntable before connecting it to an external music system or power amplifier.

For most turntables, the audio signal coming from the needle is significantly lower than modern amplifiers use, but a phono preamp amplifies it so that it becomes compatible with other systems.

Why do you need one? Most modern audio systems don’t have an integrated phono input following the decline in popularity of vinyl records and the rise of digital music.

However, as vinyl continues to make a comeback, a phono preamp is an easy fix to make the most of your record collection without compromising on sound quality.

Now you know what a phono preamp is and why you need one, here are some of the best options available online that won’t break the bank – when I looked my budget was under $200.

Rega

From humble beginnings in the UK in the 1970s, Rega has grown from a small side project to an established company producing more than 2,000 turntables every month and selling to more than 40 export markets worldwide.

The Rega Fono Mini A2D is based on the Rega Mira MM phono stage’s integrated amplifier. The Fono Mini A2D is a high-quality phono preamp to be used with a moving magnet cartridge and can amplify the signal to match all line level inputs of an audio amplifier.

Check out the Rega at Amazon

It has also been designed with the modern music listener in mind and has a USB output to allow vinyl music to be transferred to a computer. With a simple design and an aluminum case, this is a user-friendly piece of kit that is compact in size and suitable for home music systems.

NAD PP 2e

NAD PP 2e Phono Preamplifier

Click on the image to see more information on Amazon.

The NAD PP 2e Phono Preamp allows vinyl fans to connect their turntable to most amplifiers and receivers. It provides high quality in a simple, compact design at a reasonable price and has a moving magnet input selector for different phono cartridge options.

As an added bonus, the PP 2e has an Auto Power Down feature to save energy consumption by automatically turning off the device when it’s not in use, which is great news in this age of environmental awareness.

Check out the NAD PP 2e at Amazon

NAD was established in the 1970s by a group of audio-industry importers in Europe, but its music-loving roots have since gone global with the development team now based in Canada.

The company has not lost sight of its original vision though to provide high-quality audio products that offer excellent value for money, and the PP 2e phono preamp is an example of quality manufacturing at an affordable price.

Rolls Bellari

The Rolls Bellari VP549 phono preamp is described as “bold” with the ability to take a rig to the next level. It has selective cartridge loading and the device had been built with thru-hole components, which is better suited to analog audio.

Rolls is a USA-based company specializing in audio electronics manufacturing since 1989 and all of its products are hand-built in Salt Lake City, Utah.

It has a company ethos that lives and breathes music, and the team spent hours listening to music before tweaking the design to ensure the Bellari VP549 would suitably enhance the vinyl music experience.

Check out the Rolls at Amazon

With its distinctive red color and retro look, the Rolls Bellari VP549 is sure to brighten up any music system and will complement a turntable set up to provide an authentic look and sound.

Fosi Audio

The Fosi Audio phono preamp has a unique appearance in comparison with the other items on the list with the matched tubes and metal fixtures, resulting in a stylish, professional look.

This tube phono preamp converts phono signals to line-level signals with low-noise integrated circuits and high-quality components. It has also been designed to remove low-frequency noise to provide a clear audio quality, and the tubes can be replaced to create a different sound.

Check out the Fosi Audio at Amazon

Fosi Audio has included a Gain Setting in its phono preamp with four levels of output (OFF/39/42/45 dB), as well as a preamplifier input and an MM input. As an added bonus, the phono preamp comes with an 18-month warranty and a 24-hour after-sale online service.

Fosi Audio prides itself on adhering to ISO9001 standards and aims to provide users with quality audio parts at reasonable prices.

Pro-Ject

Pro-Ject is an audio systems manufacturer based in Austria that was established during the CD era in the 1990s as a way to offer analog products at reasonable prices.

Not only are Pro-Ject products sleek and stylish. They are also award-winning, with a strong reputation for reliable manufacturing.

The Phono Box turntable preamp is no exception to the quality expected from Pro-Ject and the device accepts both MM and MC cartridges.

Check out the Pro-ject at Amazon

The output of the Phono Box can be easily connected to a line input of an amplifier, and the Phono box has a compact design with dimensions of just 10 x 10 x 10 cm and weighing less than one kilo.

Connecting the Pro-Ject Box to a turntable results in a richer, more dynamic sound, with a defined bass.

It’s a simple piece of equipment that can transform the sound quality of music being played on a turntable and bring your record collection back to life.

Nobsound

Nobsound T3 MM Phono Preamp Record Player Preamplifier HiFi Turntable Amplifier

Click on the image to see more information on Amazon.

Nobsound (Douk Audio) was founded in China in 2013 and is an innovative company focused on researching and developing Hi-Fi products, with the tagline Make Hi-Fi Affordable.

The Nobsound T3 MM phono preamp is designed for moving magnet (MM) home turntable record players and converts phono signals to line-level signals. It’s compact in size and has an aluminum case to prevent vibrations and electromagnetic interference.

Check out the Nobsound at Amazon

It has been manufactured with pure copper GND and gold-plated RCA terminals, low-noise integrated circuits and high-quality components to remove low-frequency noise. The result is clear sound quality and enhanced listening experience for home audio systems.

In keeping with the Nobsound philosophy, the T3 MM is also affordable, which means you will have more money left over to expand your record collection.

Conclusion

This guide to the preamp under $200 is by no means exhaustive, with many different brands and styles available online.

However, with high-quality audio equipment often coming with a high price tag, the seven phono preamps listed above represent value for money without not scrimping on quality and craftsmanship.

After all, collecting vinyl records is an investment in your time and money, and listening to them should be an authentic music experience. Purchasing a phono preamp can significantly enhance the audio quality, allowing you to listen to the music as it was intended to be heard.

Best Suitcase Record Player in the Digital Age

We may be living in the digital age but that’s not to say that the tactile world of vinyl records has disappeared. If anything, there is a resurgence in popularity, with record players and vinyl collections adding a retro touch to homes around the world.

There is something romantic and nostalgic about listening to music on vinyl.
best affordable record player with built in speakers
It harks back to a simpler time before Bluetooth speakers, Wi-Fi, and online streaming became the status quo for enjoying music. My favorite suitcase record player is the Popsky because of its cross between nostalgia and modern technology. Check it out at Amazon.

There is also something comforting about looking at a vinyl collection, sifting through and deciding which record to play. It’s the absence of screens and digital media that makes it so appealing – and what better way to do a digital detox than by listening to music on vinyl?

For those just starting out on a vinyl record journey, you may be wondering where to start when it comes to choosing a record player. One popular choice among audiophiles is the suitcase record player, renowned for its blend of functionality, portability, and retro style, as well as incorporating modern digital features.

Choosing a suitcase record player

A suitcase record player is exactly what it says on the tin – it’s a record player that sits in a suitcase. But what makes it better than a traditional record player?

First, it’s practical and convenient. Not only can you play great music on it, but you can also pick it up and carry it around – like a suitcase (although not while listening to music). This is handy for taking your music with you on the road, or simply into another room.

Second, the compact nature of a suitcase record player means it won’t take up too much space in the home. There is also no need for separate speakers, which makes it a more economical option for the bank balance.

Finally, they simply look cool, and with so many different brands and styles available, you can find one to fit in with your personal look and budget.

Now for the hard part. With so many suitcase record players to choose from online, it can be hard to know which one is best. To help you on your way, we have compiled a guide to the best models on the market right now.

Victrola Vintage

Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Suitcase Turntable with Speakers, Black

Click on the image to see more information on Amazon

The Victrola brand has been around for more than 100 years and has a distinctive, retro design with a strong focus on quality craftsmanship.

Along with a 3-speed belt-driven turntable, the Victrola Vintage suitcase record player has built-in stereo speakers and Bluetooth technology to provide the modern music listener with the best of both worlds.

It comes with a 3.5mm aux-in jack for playing music from non-Bluetooth devices, as well as headphone and RCA jacks.

Check out the Victrola at Amazon

The Victrola Vintage is basically an all-in-one music player that is portable and durable. As an added bonus, it is also available in a wide range of colors from hot pink, to a sleek black, a psychedelic multicolor design, and everything in between.

For those taking their first tentative steps into the world of vinyl records, the Victrola Vintage is an attractive option at a reasonable price.

Popsky Suitcase

The Popsky suitcase record player is a mixture of retro charm with modern technology. It looks the part with its wooden design that transports users back to the days before the internet, but it is also equipped with modern features, such as Bluetooth connectivity, and vinyl to MP3 recording.

The Popsky has a 3-speed belt-driven turntable for 7″, 10″, and 12″ vinyl records, plus a 45 RPM adapter. It has two built-in full-range stereo speakers and an Anti-Resonance Design to minimize vibration. And it comes with a 3.5mm aux-in, as well as an RCA, a USB, and a headphone jack.

Check out the Popsky suitcase record player at Amazon

With its classic wooden design, the Popsky suitcase record player is a stylish addition to any room and provides an authentic option for vinyl fans looking for a portable, convenient device.

Feir TP204

If you’re looking for a gift for a music-loving friend or relative, then look no further. This briefcase-style, lightweight, wooden suitcase record player by Feir ticks all the boxes.

With a choice of four colors for the case – black, white, red, and turquoise – PU leather wrapping, and a classic handle, this device not only looks the part, but it comes with a Feir TP204 3-speed belt-driven turntable and built-in speakers. It can play 7”, 10” and 12” vinyl records, as well as convert records to digital files. And it can support external speakers for those wanting to maximize the sound output.

Check out the Feir at Amazon

The Feir suitcase record player comes with a 12-month warranty to provide some extra peace of mind for your purchase – whether as a gift to yourself or for someone else.

Kedok Suitcase Player

Record Player Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Vinyl Turntable with Stereo Speaker, Belt Driven Suitcase Vinyl Record Player

Click on the image to see more information on Amazon

The Kedok suitcase record player comes in a pretty blue color and certainly has more of a feminine style to it. Picture it sat on top of a coffee table while entertaining guests or move it closer to the garden on warm days to enjoy that authentic, vinyl sound outdoors.

As with most devices, the Kedok is kitted out with a 3-speed vinyl turntable, full range built-in stereo speakers, and RCA jacks to allow you to hook it up to an external amplifier. It also has a built-in Bluetooth receiver and it has been designed to minimize sound vibration.

Check out the Kedok record player at Amazon

The color and design of this suitcase record player will no doubt provide an interesting feature in any room, and the portable nature of the unit means it can be taken anywhere or easily stored away when not in use.

Crosley Cruiser Deluxe

The Crosley name is synonymous with quality when it comes to playing music and the Cruiser Deluxe Vintage suitcase record player is no exception.

Coming from a brand that prides itself on being at the “forefront of the vinyl revolution”, the Crosley Cruiser Deluxe is as stylish as it is practical and is equipped with a 3-speed belt-driven turntable, built-in full-range stereo speakers, RCA and headphone jack outputs.

Check out the Crosley at Amazon

It has a Bluetooth receiver and an adjustable pitch control so that you can customize your listening experience. Not only that, but the wooden suitcase frame is wrapped in a choice of vinyl, suit fabric, or denim to ensure your suitcase record player matches your personal style.

The Crosley Cruiser Deluxe is also a great option for kids and the suitcase concept is a fun way to introduce the next generation to the beauty of listening to music on vinyl records.

Voksun Suitcase Record Player

With a sleek, black, PU leather finish, the Voksun suitcase record player has a timeless retro style. Black never goes out of fashion (hello, little black dress) and this record player would fit in any home, as well as looking good when on the move.

Check out the Voksun at Amazon

For traditional vinyl fans looking for some modern technological extras, or for beginners wanting to connect with vinyl music without losing wireless capabilities, the Voksun has it all.

With a 3-speed turntable, Bluetooth connectivity, aux in port, RCA jack, and a headphone port, it combines retro and modern features.

The Voksun suitcase record player is a stylish, classic option for anyone looking for an all-in-one portable music player, and with built-in dynamic full-range stereo speakers, the sound quality has not been neglected in favor of elegant design.

Byron Statics

The Byron Statics suitcase record player exudes sophistication. Imagine settling in for a relaxing night at home and placing a record on the retro-style player, before sitting back to chill out with an authentic vinyl sound.

With two built-in speakers, digital technology connectivity, and a 3-speed turntable, the Byron Statics is a good choice for people just starting out with vinyl records, or those looking for a portable option.

Check out the Byron Statics at Amazon

It even comes with a replacement needle so that your music listening experience will not be interrupted. The fine craftsmanship and durability of the design has resulted in a high-quality vintage record player, suitable for music fans of all ages.

Wockoder Suitcase Player

The Wockoder suitcase record player has a classic black vintage look and combines modern technology with retro style. The lightweight design of the Wockoder allows you to pick it up and take it with you on the go – a classic feature of the suitcase record player.

Check out the Wockoder at Amazon

It has a 3-speed turntable that can play 7”, 10” and 12” records, it has built-in high definition stereo speakers, and a high-sensitivity cartridge. In keeping with 21st Century demands, the Wockoder has Bluetooth connectivity, SD and USB lay function.

It also has a headphone jack so that you can listen to music in private and drift off into your own world of authentic vinyl sound.

The minimal, sleek design of the Wockoder suitcase record player gives it a timeless quality and it would look good in any home, or on the road.

How to Buy a Used Turntable: 5 Tips to Get You Started

One this I get asked for is tips on how to buy a used turntable. So I thought I’d address this in today’s post. So, stick around if you want to find out how to put together an awesome rig on the cheap.

I’m no expert, but my current rig is entirely made up of used audio gear. I’m thrilled with it! And the entire thing cost me $350.

[continue reading…]

Best Phono Preamp for the Money

If you’ve spent even 5 minutes trying to find the best phono preamp for the money, you already know there are literally hundreds of choices out there.

And chances are, you’ll end up making a choice that’s less than ideal for you if you’re not careful.

So before you make your final decision, check out my reviews below. You’ll find options for moving magnet and moving coil cartridges. And you’ll be sure to find the phono preamp that suits your wallet and your needs…

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you! Read my disclosure for more info.

Best Phono Preamps for the Money

Of the 9 preamps I’ve reviewed here, these are my top 3 picks…

Product (click to see at Amazon) Price Range MM or MC My Full Review
Emotiva Audio XPS-1 $$ Moving Magnet & Moving Coil (MM &MC) Emotiva Audio XPS-1
Pro-Ject Phono Box MM $ Moving Magnet (MM) Pro-Ject Phono Box MM
Rolls Phono Preamp VP29 $ Moving Magnet (MM) Rolls Phono Preamp VP29

Rega Fono A2D Mini


The Rega Fono A2D Mini doesn’t provide an adequate boost to be compatible with quieter magnetic coil (MC) cartridges.

But for moving magnet (MM) options, it delivers a good quality signal in an unbelievably compact case. It’s based off the MM phono stage of Rega’s Mira integrated amplifier.

In keeping with its compact design, the Rega Fono comes with two simple dials for level and balance. As well as RCA in- and outputs.

It also has a USB jack that allows you to convert those analog signals and save your vinyl to high-res digital files. Simply use free audio software like Audacity to monitor volume and balance. While using the dials to optimize recording quality.

Although, if you’re a DJ, this phono preamp is way too lightweight for a gigging rig.

Tec Turntable 753LC


The Tec Turntable 753LC is perfect for folks who play their turntables through powered speakers without a receiver.

The 753LC comes with an RCA/Auxiliary channel and a 3.5 mm RCA cable to connect audio devices that already hit a consistent line.

So if you’re someone who keeps having to switch out devices when you want to spin your vinyl to make room for your TT, then this phono preamp might be the one for you.

It’s also equipped with an input selector switch. And a 200pf phono impedance, but there is some hiss at the highest levels coming in at number.

From my research, opinions on this phono preamp’s performance are mixed. Overall users are happy, although some have experienced background noise or hissing.

Behringer Microphono PP400


The Behringer Microphono PP400 has a quarter-inch TRS output, which is handy if you want to feed your signal into an amplifier which doesn’t have inputs for RCA cables.

It also has standard input and output for RCA, which means you can use it with just about any amplifier.

Designed in Germany this preamp will convert your phono signal to line level. But it’s only suitable for moving magnet carts.

Some folks have complained about a low humming sound when hooking the Behringer up. If you experience this, make sure your deck is grounded via the preamp. And also that the grounding wire is not broken.

Pro-Ject Phono Box MM


The Pro-Ject Phono Box MM is intended for use with moving magnet carts. It’s smart wiring, and the metal case keeps noise and vibrations from affecting your listening experience.

It’s also super compact, so if you’re strapped for space, the Pro-Ject Phono Box MM is what you need.

It features gold-plated contacts and simple RCA in- and outputs. And offers balanced channel separation. Although, if you are a fan of bright sounds, you might be underwhelmed by the lackluster highs and lows.

TCC TC-780LC


The TCC TC-780LC can enhance the in-line level to just about any device. And supplies up to a 20dB increase.

It has the usual RCA, ins, and outs, as well as a pair of MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) connections. Making it perfect for gear like synthesizers, samplers, and computers.

A 3.5 mm jack at the front makes hooking up headphones, an iPod or MP3 player a breeze.

The preamp has a dial for level control. So you can even use it to have volume control between your line level source and a power amp that lacks level adjustment of its own. Although, some users have noted that the volume control is not accurate.

Musical Fidelity V90-LPS


The Music Fidelity V90-LPS offers RCA inputs for both moving magnet and moving coil carts.

This distinct division means you can optimize each channel for the most precise audio. It comes with a dedicated ground and an on/off switch.

Users report this preamp offers up a crisp and punchy sound. And it might just make you fall in love with your vinyl collection all over again.

Rolls Phono Preamp VP29


Looking for a preamp with easy setup and a straightforward answer to help you bring your favorite vinyl up to line level? Then the Rolls VP 29 is for you.

Although it won’t score any awards for its audio quality, it does offer heaps of volume and performs very well at a sensible price.

It features an LED power light as well as a quarter-inch output option. And it’s proudly made in the United States!

There’s also a dedicated grounding lug which I highly recommend you use to cut out any low humming, especially with older equipment.

Emotiva Audio XPS-1


The Emotiva Audio XPS-1 phono preamp can be used seamlessly with either moving magnet or moving coil carts. And offers unmatched audio accuracy.

The XPS-1 has precision equalization and operates within roughly 0.25 of the standard RIAA curve.

It boasts gold plated connectors. And Emotiva audio has gone to great lengths to design this phono preamp with low-noise power supplies.

Users report a bright and clear analog sound. And the dedicated grounding lug (also gold plated) will prevent any annoying hum from disturbing your listening experience.

Pro-Ject Audio Phono Box S


The four adjustable gain levels on Pro-Ject Audio Phono Box S are located on the underside of the unit. This makes for a sleeker, more minimalist design. and it’s compact size means you

This model works a treat with moving magnet or moving coil cartridges. And also boasts audiophile-grade amplification modules that maintain a high fidelity signal. It features impedance and capacitance switches and polypropylene capacitors.

It offers a very warm soundstage, with crisp highs and mids. You’re likely to notice much more detail in the music. And might need to take some time off work to listen to all your vinyl again from A to Z!

What is a Phono Preamp?

What is a Phono Preamp

A phono preamp converts a phono output signal to line level so you can hear the music.

In a nutshell, a phono preamp converts a phono output signal to line level.

Here’s how it works…

Your turntable generates a phono output signal. And this phono signal needs to be converted to a line level signal to work with audio equipment.

Most phono preamps on the market are designed to work with either a moving magnet (MM) or moving coil (MC) cartridge.

But the higher-end phono preamps will play nice with both MM and MC. Although they are usually at a higher price tag.

The difference has to do with the output. MM cartridges have a higher output at around 5 mV. While MC cartridges have a lower output at about 0.5 mV. Therefore MC carts need a higher degree amplification to bring them up to line level.

Why You Might Need a Phono Preamp

Why you might Need a Phono Preamp

There are 3 main reasons you might need (or want) a phono preamp

So if you’ve fired up your turntable for the first time and you’re not hearing anything. Or you hear the music but it sounds faint and distant-like, you need a phono preamp.

Here are some scenarios in which you might need a phono preamp…

Back in the day, most amplifiers (like my 40-year-old Sansui AU-217 II) came out with phono preamps already integrated. But, from the early naughties, manufacturers started trimming these out.

So if you have an older TT with a new stereo, you might need a phono preamp to complete your setup.

If you’ve bought or inherited a turntable that doesn’t have a preamp built into it, and you have a new-ish stereo or amplifier, you’ll most likely need a phono preamp to get your rig working.

Some decks have a preamp built-in. So, if you have a newer turntable and you’re not getting volume out of it, check the unit for a switch that’s labeled “phono.”

If you have a turntable, stereo or amplifier with a built-in preamp, but you’re not floored by the sound, an external phono preamp might be the answer to improve the sound you’re getting.

Bottom Line on the Best Phono Preamp for the Money

I’ve reviewed 9 great options for phono preamps to choose from.

My top 3 picks of the lot are as follows…

If you’re looking for a phono preamp that’s sensibly priced, works with MM cartridges and does a decent job I recommend the Rolls VP29 or the Pro-Ject Phono Box MM both can be found on Amazon.

And if you’re looking for a phono preamp that will play nice with your MC cartridge, you should definitely consider the Emotiva Audio XPS-1 from Amazon.

Whichever phono preamp you decide to go with, now you have all the information to make the best choice for your wallet and your needs!

Best Turntable with Preamp Built In

If you’re new to vinyl, you’re on a tight budget, or you have limited space available, opting for a turntable that has the preamp built right into it is the logical choice.

But, with so many choices out there, the chances of picking a turntable with an awful preamp are highly probable.

And what’s the point of a turntable if the preamp is subpar and does nothing to offer you the warm, mahogany sounds of your favorite records?

So save yourself the headache of making a crappy choice and check out these reviews of the best turntables with preamp built in.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you! Read my disclosure for more info.

You can check out my two favorite turntables with preamps built in on Amazon here (Crosley C200) and here (Fluance RT81).

Or you can check out the comparison chart below!

Best turntables with Preamps Built In – Comparison

Flip your smart device for the best view of this chart.

Product (click to see at Amazon) Price Range My Rating (out of 6) My Full Review
Denon DP-300F $$ ????? Denon DP-300F Review
Fluance RT81 Belt Drive $$ ???? Fluance RT81 Review
Crosley C200 Direct Drive $ ???? Crosley C200 Review
Crosley C100 Belt Drive $ ??? Crosley C100 Review

Denon DP-300F Fully Automatic Turntable

Denon DP300-F Best Turntable with Preamp built in

See the Denon DP300-F Fully Automatic Turntable on Amazon

The Denon DP-300 F is an entry-level, fully automatic analog turntable. And excellent in its price range.

Of course, the Denon DP300-F has a preamp built right into it. So you can plug and play this baby as soon as it’s unboxed.

And to make things even better, Denon gives you the option to switch off the built-in preamp and opt for an outboard one. So later, you can upgrade to something better in the preamp department. The switch is underneath the platter.

It’s intentionally constructed with a more substantial base which reduces vibration and offers superior performance. The turntable, which is sturdy die-cast aluminum, yields even rotation for and flutter-free performance.

The 55-millimeter thick turntable sheet has a hologram vibration analysis system to ensure stable hold.

But that’s not all…

It also has an integrated manual, lifter mechanism that you can use any time to cue any track you want to listen to allowing you to skip the other songs with just a touch of the start up button.

Also, once the record stops playing, its redesigned tonearm returns to the resting position. This fully automatic function has two significant benefits…

Because the turntable does everything for you, there’s less chance of accidental scratches to your records. Also, if you like to catch 40-winks while listening to music, you can do so resting assured that your stylus won’t get damaged by endlessly looping in the dead wax.

Furthermore, the tonearm features a standard mount removable headshell. This is another impressive feature because trying to replace a cartridge on a fixed headshell is palm-sweating-business. So a removable headshell makes the cartridge replacement hassle-free.

It’s worth noting that the standard moving magnet (MM) cartridge and stylus that comes with the Denon is not the best. However, since the standard mount headshell can take any standard MM cartridge, you should look to upgrade it at some point. I’ve seen feedback from folks that the Ortofon M2 Red works a treat.

This analog turntable has a DC servo motor and a belt drive system that runs at 45 rpm 33.3 rpm speeds. These speeds give you scope to enjoy listening to just about everything out there, except 78’s.

The DP300-F features a fitted dust cover that lifts up and down on the neck. And it features soldered non-removable power and RCA gloves.

Is the Denon DP300-F Worth it?

As I mentioned at the start of this review, the DP300-F is an entry level deck. And although it offers great design at its price point, you won’t get the high-fidelity sound like you would from a top end turntable. And it’s made from plastic which might be off-putting for some folks.

But if you’re looking for a turntable with the preamp built in already, with the option to switch to an outboard preamp if you desire. And you want to have the option to upgrade to a better cartridge. But you don’t want to hurt your wallet; the Denon DP300-F should be on your list of considerations.

See the Denon DP300-F Fully Automatic Turntable on Amazon

Crosley C200 Direct Drive Turntable

Crosley C200 - One of the Best turntables with the Preamp built in

See the Crosley C200 Direct Drive Turntable on Amazon

The C200 is Crosley’s first direct drive turntable. And takes its inspiration from the DJ turntables of the 70s and 80s. So looks and build-wise it fits the bill. Some say it’s the spitting image of the Audio Technica AT LP120.

Since you’re here looking for a turntable with the preamp built in, here’s my take…

For a built-in preamp, it’s pretty decent at the price point. Of course, everyone would like more power in their preamp. And Crosley knows this.

So they’ve given you the option to switch to an external preamp. You can do this by turning off the internal preamp with a handy switch at the back of the deck.

The C200 is a direct drive turntable, which means more accurate speed over time. Also, a direct drive turntable offers more power.

But deciding between a direct or belt drive TT is a matter of personal preference.

A belt drive does mean there’s less vibration that might affect the sound quality. But to be fair, that’s more of an issue with lower quality machines. And keep in mind that a belt will need replacing at some point.

I’ve used both belt and direct drive turntables, and although some audiophiles will argue to the death for belt drives, I’m loving my vintage direct drive Pioneer PL720 and have done so for several years.

Since this TT is DJ inspired, it is not fully automatic. No DJ alive (or dead) needs automatic cueing. So if you’re after something with automatic features, this turntable is not for you.

However, keeping with the DJ inspired features…

You can take total control of your vinyl listening experience with the adjustable counterweight and anti-skate settings. Pitch control that can be dialed-in with the help of the built-in strobe.

Crosley’s C200 does come with the moving magnetic cartridge installed and aligned at the factory. It’s most likely an Audio Technica AT 91, which isn’t the worst cartridge out there.

Although you might want to consider customizing your listening experience with a higher quality cartridge and stylus.

So when you do upgrade to something better, you’ll be happy to know that the headshell is removable. This might seem like a small feature, but it’s not…

Trying to replace a cartridge on a fixed headshell is a pain in the behind. So a removable headshell is something you definitely want.

The Crosley C200 plays back at 33 and 45 speeds with the push of a button. These speeds are all you’ll need to build and enjoy an extensive vinyl collection. It also comes with a dust cover attached which can close while your vinyl is spinning, making sure your wax remains as dust-free as possible.

Is the Crosley C200 Worth It?

Considering the C200 looks and functions like an AT LP120 with all the bells and whistles at a fraction of the price, the short answer is yes!

The respectable preamp built in so you can blast your vinyl right out of the box. Not to mention that you have the option to use an outboard preamp with the flick of a switch.

Also, you have the option to upgrade to a better cartridge which will take your deck into another class when you’re ready.

The C200 is not one of Crosley’s many turntable toys! It’s a bonafide turntable for someone looking for quality at a fraction of the price.

See the Crosley C200 Direct Drive Turntable on Amazon

Crosley C100 Belt Drive Turntable

Crosley C100 Turntable with built in Preamp

See the Crosley C100 Belt Drive Turntable on Amazon

Over the last couple of years, Crosley has upped their game by releasing higher-end turntables. The C100 is the entry level of their high-end range.

First off, the C100 is loaded with a built-in preamp, so it’s ready to rock with powered speakers. The preamp could do with a little more “punch,” but considering this is an entry-level turntable, the preamp is thoroughly acceptable.

However, you can hook up your own preamp and flip a switch to have music on your terms.

The C100 step up from their “novel” range to the next stage of vinyl experience. And with its sleek metallic body, it certainly looks the part.

Also, it’s got high-tech features that bring this analog player into a higher class altogether.

The curvy S-shaped tonearm means less of those annoying skating troubles. And you’ll be sure the deck preserves your sound and precious records.

The C100 also takes its inspiration from DJ-like turntables, so it’s a manual TT with no automatic functions. But don’t let that put you off, it’s got all the settings you need to tweak the sound just the way you like it.

Adjust the pitch with the help of the strobe light. While the anti-skate and counterweight give you the control you need for even more fine-tuning. Especially when it comes to upgrades to your cartridge and stylus.

Yes, even although this is an entry-level deck, you have the option to upgrade the stylus. It comes factory fitted with an audio Technica AT3600L, which I recommend upgrading.

The build of the C100 is big and heavy. This might seem unimportant, but it’s not…

A deck engineered to be stable is what you want because it means fewer vibrations and overall excellent build quality.

Unlike the C200, the C100 has a belt drive motor. And as I mentioned before, deciding between belt or direct drive is a matter of preference.

A belt driven machine will require a belt replacement at some point. And the speed is not as accurate as that of a direct drive. But the benefit is there are fewer vibrations since the belt acts as a shock absorber of sorts.

Is the Crosley C100 Worth It?

If you’re looking for an entry-level turntable that won’t cost you a chunk of your savings, you should consider the C100.

It has a removable headshell which is convenient for switching out a cartridge. But, keep in mind that the C100 is plastic, although it is high-grade, sturdy plastic.

See the Crosley C100 Belt Drive Turntable on Amazon

Fluance RT81 Belt Drive Turntable

Fluance RT81 is the Best Turntable with Preamp built in

See the Fluance RT81 Belt Drive Turntable on Amazon

Our last look is at the Fluance RT 81. If you’ve never heard of Fluance, you’re missing out.

The Canadian company has been around since 1999 and started manufacturing speakers. Over time, their passion grew into the wider arena of sound to include turntables.

And the RT81 model is their offering positioned at the upper end of the entry-level. And this turntable has a ton of offer for a more than reasonable price.

First things first, the RT81 is loaded with a built-in preamp ready to go. So you don’t need the hassle and expense of a preamp if you want to connect to a stereo that lacks a phono input.

However, they also give you a choice to amplify your sound with an outboard preamp by merely flipping a switch.

Fluance’s RT81 is factory fitted with an ATN95E cartridge from Audio Technica. It’s a diamond, elliptical stylus and well-regarded.

Although, I’d consider upgrading the cartridge to something better after about 500 hours of play. Something like the Ortofon 2M Blue or even Red should do the trick.

Fluance did an outstanding job of engineering a sturdy turntable in the RT81. And the Audio grade MDF is covered with a very high gloss, walnut finish. When you see this deck in real life, this is a very striking piece of equipment.

Aluminum platter and the plinth of this turntable is solid. The MDF plinth, the aluminum platter, the isolation feet, and the rubber mat work beautifully to isolate the cartridge from vibrations.

This gives you better audio playback and helps to prevent the cartridge from skipping.

The RT 81 is a two-speed turntable, and you can easily switch between 45 or 33 r.m.p depending on what speed your record has been cut at.

It’s also a belt drive model. The debate between belt or direct drive will continue for eternity. And boils down to preference.

A belt drive makes for fewer vibrations. But, at some point in the future, you’ll need to replace the belt.

If you’re looking for fully automatic functions (like auto return), this turntable is not for you. However, moving the tonearm to the start of the record will get the motor spinning.

And it doesn’t offer fine tuning with anti-skate or pitch controls. However, you do have counterweight options, which is essential if you’re going to upgrade the cartridge.

Is the Fluance RT81 Worth It?

The Fluence RT 81 is an attractive looking turntable and an affordably priced option if you’ve outgrown a starter record player.

Also, it offers exceptional sound for its price range. Also, upgrading the cartridge will have your Fluance RT81 punching in a different weight-class!

It’s aimed at budding vinyl collectors and makes it an especially great choice if you want to listen to vinyl over wireless, portable or mini sound systems that lack a phono input.

See the Fluance RT81 Belt Drive Turntable on Amazon

Bottom Line on the Best Turntable with Preamp Built in

Each of the four turntables reviewed here is loaded with preamps. And quality-wise they are similar too. So which one is the best or the rest?

Personally, I’d go with the Crosley C200 from Amazon as my first choice. the main reason is the direct drive motor. Over time I’ve grown very fond of a direct drive TT. I find it’s on target with speed, even for my 40-year-old Pioneer. And you don’t have the headache of replacing belts.

The preamp built into the C200 is more than enough to get you started. And you have the option to flip a switch and use an outboard preamp in the future.

My second choice is the Fluance RT81 from Amazon. And if you prefer a belt drive deck this is the perfect pick.

It’s got a powerful preamp and like the C200, you can choose to use an external preamp at any time by flicking the switch at the back of your turntable.

Whichever one you pick, now you have the information you need to make the best choice for your needs and your pocket.

What is the Best Way to Clean Old Vinyl Records

The worst thing you can do is NOT clean your records…

But if you’ve done any kind of research on the subject, you know there are as many opinions on the best way to do it as there are collectors.

[continue reading…]

How to Buy Used Vinyl Records

Updated: October 2019

I’ve said this before…

And I’ll say it again…

Collecting vinyl is addictive!

And expensive!

Like a lot of other collectors, most of my spare cash goes into buying records.  I’ll buy anywhere from 4 to 10 records per month.

To make vinyl collecting more affordable, buying used records is the way to go.

[continue reading…]

Best Turntable Isolation Platform

best turntable isolation platform

As simple isolation platform can do wonders to improve sound quality

Is there missing detail in the music you’re hearing?

There might be…

The ritual involved with vinyl collecting is addictive.  And at some point, our attention moves to improving the sound quality of the rigs we have.

It’s straightforward really, less vibration equals better sound.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you! Read my disclosure for more info.

And adding something as simple as an isolation platform under your turntable can make the music more alive.

You can check out my favorite isolation platform on Amazon because it over-delivers in terms of isolation and sound quality.

Or head straight to my Comparison Table

What to Consider When Buying

There are a few things you will want to keep in mind when purchasing your isolation platform besides how much it will cost.

  • Size- You obviously want something that is going to fit your turntable nicely. If you don’t know the dimensions off the top of your head you may want to break out the tape measure to see what the W x D x H of your deck is.

Then you can find a platform that will properly fit underneath it. It won’t do any good to have an isolation platform to absorb vibration if it doesn’t sit correctly on the platform causing it to make more noise than it did, to begin with.

Also when you think about the size you want to think about the profile or height of what you are purchasing.

Where you will be placing the platform with the turntable on it could mean the difference in what platform you choose.

In other words, will the turntable and platform be on the top of your bookshelf out of the reach of jam hands? Or will you need to find a narrow place just room enough to open it up in the little corner of the house you call your own?

  • Weight- Just make sure it can hold your turntable. If you are looking at something like a foam or rubber platform you may not want your player to be too heavy as it will not be cushioned properly and could cause the platform to become deformed.
  • Footers- Some platforms come with footers and some will require them to be purchased separately. You will want to decide if footers are necessary for your set up. Some people feel adding footers is necessary because you want to be able to eke out every bit of perfect sound you possibly can.

I mean if footers can give you additional protection from someone stomping around on the floor and you not missing a beat, you have to do it.

Whether or not you need or want footers can also go back to what I mentioned above about the height of your platform. It will change the size of your set up and therefore it may require you to find a new place to put it.

  • Material- this seems to be a somewhat obvious one. Like what don’t you buy that you think about what it may be made out of? Well, an isolation platform is no different. You have options such as rubber, wood, or foam.

Choosing wood opens it up to maybe choosing between maple or walnut. Both are considered to be durable hardwoods.

Also when deciding on the material you will take into consideration how heavy it might be. Obviously, something made of solid wood is going to be heavier than something made of rubber with a cork center.

That shelf you made in woodshop in 10th grade may not hold up to something made of solid wood and your deck. But you might be able to get away with a rubber platform. So material can literally make or break your set up!

Once you have taken the above logistics into account sometimes it is really just about aesthetics. Is your deck the star, is your platform, or do they make a complimentary duo?

Best Turntable Isolation Platform

Isolation platforms don’t have to break the bank, although some of them will!  Even the most modest ones will do a great job of cleaning up the background so your music floats and stands out with detail.

So here at RPP I’ve brought together the best ones on the market for you to compare.  You can start by checking out my comparison chart to see them side by side…

Best Turntable Isolation Platform – Comparison Chart

Flip your smart device for the best view of this chart.

Product (click to see at Amazon) Price Range My Rating (out of 6) My Full Review
Gingko Isolation Platform  $$$ ????? Gingko Isolation Review
Pro-Ject Isolation Platform $$ ???? Pro-Ject Isolation Review
Auralex Isolation Platform $ ???? Auralex Isolation Review
Butcher Block Acoustics Isolation Platform $ ???? Butcher Block Isolation Review

Best Turntable Isolation Platform

Pro-Ject Groundit Deluxe II Audio  Base

Pro-Ject is well known for its outstanding turntables and accessories.  And their Deluxe II Audio Turntable Base is no different.

Folks all over audio forums sing its praises.  And for good reason…

This base is designed to be heavyweight at 23 lbs.  This hefty weight gives it excellent isolation abilities.  It’s also filled with thousands of tiny granules that improve dampening to isolate your deck.

Ultimately this means more isolation.  And fewer vibrations on your TT equals better overall sound.

The Deluxe 1 ships out with 4 adjustable spike or feet.  These are placed under the base to decouple your TT even more from the shelf it’s on.

You can set it up with either 3 or 4 feet, whatever suits your needs.

The base measures in at 435 x 45 x 340 mm.  If you add the feet it increases the height to 65 mm.  So you’ve got a lot of flexibility when it comes to space and placement.

The base is finished off with a dark grey piano finish which looks gorgeous.

This platform by Pro-Ject offers high-end isolation.  Although I think it’s pricy, to say the least.

Unless you’ve got a ton of money to throw at an isolation platform, I think you can get the same performance from something a lot more affordable.

Check out the Pro-Ject Groundit Deluxe II at Amazon

Gingko Audio Cloud 11 Vibration Control Platform

Gingko Audio Cloud 11 Vibration Control Platform for Turntables - 18"x16

Click on the image to see more information on Amazon.

The Audio Cloud 11 platform by Gingko takes things to a whole new level.

The research and development that went into the design of this 18 x 16 x 2.5 inch platform is obvious.

It looks are pretty simple.  Two platforms with a bunch of balls in between.  But looks are deceiving because this is a masterpiece…

The bottom platform has deep dimples that can hold up to 9 balls. This Cloud 11 version comes with 5 balls.

Each ball can comfortably hold 10 lbs each so this isolation platform can handle even the heaviest decks.

In fact, it’s specifically designed for the heavy VPI turntables.  But of course, you can use it for any turntable.

The top platform rests on those powerful little balls.  And this design completely decouples a turntable from its surroundings.

And from big names like Michael Fremer from Stereophile, the results are exquisite.  And I don’t doubt it for a minute.

But…

Unless you have a state of the art turntable, or you’ve got plenty of spare cash to spend, this isolation platform is probably not worth it.

I’m not saying it’s not a great platform, because it is great.  But I’m not sure you’ll enjoy the true value of what it can do.

And there are other isolation platforms out there with a much lighter price tag that will get the job done.

Of course, that’s just my opinion.  There might be folks out there with a lower end of the high end gear that love this baby, and that’s great.

But for my modest rig and most regular rigs out there it just wouldn’t be worth the money.

Check out the Gingko Audio Cloud 11 at Amazon

Butcher Block Acoustics Isolation Platform

Butcher Block Acoustics Audio Isolation Platform - Edge Grain (18" x 15

Click on the image to see more information on Amazon.

The isolation platform by Butcher Block Acoustics may look like it belongs in the kitchen but don’t be confused. 

Hardwood is durable and known to act as a natural absorber of the energy that causes vibration. That means it doesn’t disappoint as an isolation platform for your record player. Making it a great option for audiophiles. 

Being made of solid wood with dimensions of 18x15x3 (give or take a bit depending on your choice) makes this platform a sturdy piece of work. 

This acoustic platform is produced in the USA by Wood Welded Companies. They have acres of space to allow the wood to air dry and season properly. This helps Wood Welded put the same craftsmanship into their acoustics that you would find in their kitchen products.

Its looks are pretty and simple. You can choose an isolation platform made of maple or of walnut. 

Either wood choice has a Durakryl 102 satin finish. This is a standard finish for Wood Welded wood products. This finish allows it to resist marring and moisture while cleaning easily with warm soapy water.

Both the maple or walnut blocks have an edge grain lamination. The laminated edges come together in unique patterns. The walnut is obviously darker than the maple so the decision is yours based on which goes better with your turntable.

Even though it is a solid piece of wood that naturally dissipates energy it also comes with anti-vibration pads. Footers can be purchased as accessories for the Butcher Block. This allows you a little customization as you can pick out the footers you want to go with your interior design.

Check out the Butcher Block at Amazon

Auralex Acoustics Turntable Isolation Platform

The Auralex Acoustics isolation platform is by far my favorite choice for turntables.  And it’s the best priced one too.

The platform is made up of an MDF platform that is well known for its acoustic abilities.  But it doesn’t stop there…

The MDF is covered with a material called Ozite.  Ozite is used in flooring products for its isolation properties.

Which makes it a great material for an isolation platform too.

The Ozite covered MDF is supported by a 1-inch thick ‘Platform’.

This design is made to separate your turntable from the shelf or stand you have it sitting on.

And if you’re strapped for space and have your TT sitting on your speakers this isolation platform is an absolute must.

According to Auralex the weight capacity of their isolation platform is 300 lbs.  So there’s no way it’ll collapse under the weight of your TT.

And if your deck stands on spiked feet they won’t make a dent in the isolation board.

The Auralex has decent dimensions of 14.2 x 17.5 x 2 inches.  So it’ll hold just about any sized turntable comfortably.

There aren’t many affordable isolation platforms that are also high quality.  But the Auralex fits the bill in both categories.

It’s not the most attractive looking platform.  But it’s by far my favorite pick as the best turntable isolation platform.

Check out the Aurolex at Amazon

Good Vibrations Turntable Isolation Pad

The Good Vibrations Turntable Isolation Pad is the lowest profile product on this list.

At only ¼” thick it doesn’t stick up too much from your shelf. Allowing you to put your turntable in a narrower spot than maybe some of the other isolation pads on this list.

Don’t let the low profile deter you, we all know it is really about the right material!

Both the upper and lower surface of this pad is made of natural textured rubber. Not only does the rubber help with the sound it also prevents slipping. Then there is a dense fiber center to keep it sturdy.

Having the rubber and fiber combined helps prevent turntable movement, feedback, and vibrations. This lets you turn up the volume without losing the music to distortion or other audio annoyances.

Also since this isolation pad is made of rubber you don’t have to worry about it sticking to surfaces, discoloring them or even damaging them like some isolation pads.

Good Vibrations is a Veteran owned USA company. So you can support those who have served and help the US economy. Win-Win!

Personally, I think the best design element is, really the only design, is the low profile. The pad will just slide under your turntable and doesn’t draw attention to itself.

Unlike the Butcher block above, that is a masterpiece of its own, this rubber pad will let your turntable be the star it is meant to be.

This product is also audiophile approved so you know that they are taking the sound of your music as seriously as you do!

Check out the Good Vibrations at Amazon

My Favorite Picks

Besides a decent deck, a cartridge that performs well and half decent speakers, improving the sound quality of your rig is pretty darn easy.

An isolation platform doesn’t have to cost the earth and even the most affordable ones do a fine job.

My First choice is the isolation platform from Gingko.  I rated well because I love the fact that it’s made from such high quality material so it’s acoustic abilities outdoes the Auralex.  And it looks beautiful.  Of course, this comes at a slightly higher price.  But if you have the extra greenbacks this is a great choice.

My second choice is the Auralex Isolation Platform.  I think it’s the perfect balance between price and performance.  Although I rated it VERY good but not perfect— I don’t think it’s particularly nice looking.  But your TT will cover up it’s basic look.

The Pro-Ject platforms are excellent.  Although I think they are pretty pricey for a regular rig setup.

Now that you know what’s out there and how each one performs, you can pick the best turntable isolation platform to suit your specific needs and won’t make your wallet sweat.

Are you in the market for a new TT?  Check out my review of the best ones under 400 bucks.

Or, if you’re looking for an affordable high performing cartridge check out the best ones for the money.

If you’ve got the extra cash to spend and looks are important to you then this isolation platform should be on your radar.

Best Turntable Cartridge Under 100

best turntable cartridge under 100 - Ortofon OM 5 E

My favorite cart the Ortofon OM 5E costs less than 100 bucks and performs like a champ!

A cheaper cartridge doesn’t have to mean a crappy one.

With a few exceptions, you can run a high-quality cartridge well within a budget of 100 bucks.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you! Read my disclosure for more info.

You can check out my pick of the best turntable cartridge, the Ortofon OM5e on Amazon. I like it for the value and sound.

Or head straight to my comparison chart.

Turntable Cartridges Under 100 Bucks – Comparison Chart

Flip your smart device for the best view of this chart.

Product (click to see at Amazon) Price Range My Rating (out of 6) My Full Review
Ortofon OM 5 E $ ????? Ortofon OM 5 E Review
Ortofon 2M Red $$ ?????? Ortofon 2M Red Review
Audio Technica AT95 E $ ??? Audio Technica AT95 E Review
Rega Carbon $ ?? Rega Carbon Review
Ortofon Omega $ ???? Ortofon Omega Review
Audio Technica AT 92 ECD Not Available at this time ? Audio Technica AT 92 ECD Review

The Best Turntable Cartridge Under 100

I’ve mentioned this before but here it is again…

The source closest to your vinyl is probably the most important thing to consider.  Then your tonearm and TT itself.  And then your amp and speakers.

So here at RPP I’ve brought together a bunch of the best cartridges that give outstanding performance and won’t make your wallet sweat bricks!

Okay, they are not perfect – nothing is!  So I’ll share the highs and lows of each one…

Ortofon OM 5 E

Best Turntable Cartridge Under 100 - Ortofon OM 5 E

See the Ortofon OM 5 E on Amazon

I love the Ortofon OM 5 E. It’s the cartridge I’m currently using on my old Pioneer PL 720 TT.

Sure it’s not Ortofon’s top of the range but it gives a great performance. And its price will suit any pocket.

The OM 5 E has an elliptical stylus which is ideal for tracking tightly in the grooves. And tracks at a recommended 1.75 g.  From my experience, it tracks damn well!

In case you are wondering, the ‘OM’ stands for Optimum Match. There’s a tiny weight plate tucked into the mounting bracket.

Which makes the entire OM series compatible with just about any tonearm. So even if you have a low mass tonearm this baby will play nice.

I’ll be honest, I was a little worried that the OM 5 E would highlight the imperfections on my older records.

But while I’m writing this, I’m listening to a vintage pressing of Jefferson Airplane’s ‘Bark’. And I’m pretty darn happy with its presentation.

To begin with, I tested it on a ’90s pressing The Doors. And to me, the sound was strained. Almost shrill-like on the highs (and you know how Jim liked to shout sometimes!).  The lows also had no definition.

I know The Doors is demanding music, so chalked it up to the suspension needing time to loosen up.

After breaking it in with about 20 hours of play I’m impressed! Especially for a price tag under triple digits.

Even something like Portishead which is bass-heavy has definition through all the ranges.

It’s really got a great range and good channel separation. And I’m in love with its warmth and depth.

Also, there’s no splatter in the semblance that I can detect. I listen to records every day and I can tell the sound is improving even more as time goes on.

Overall I’m loving the OM 5 E at the moment. It’s kind to my older records and my new pressings alike. Which is great since I loathe switching out carts.

I’m definitely going to go with the Ortofon OM 5 E as the best turntable cartridge under 100.

Sure, it’s not top of the range. But I think it’s value for money at the mid point of a budget. And offers damn good performance.

Audio Technica AT95 E

Audio Technica AT 95 E Cartridge

See the Audio Technica AT 95 E on Amazon

This cartridge from Audio Technica has a history spanning a quarter of a century. That’s a damn long time! And it still has an impeccable reputation.

You’ll find vinyl lovers all over the forums singing its praises as a go-to budget cart that still offers good performance.

Audio Technica’s AT LP 120 TT comes standard with this cart. And it’s easy to see why.

It’s a great choice if the cart on your lower end TT needs upgrading. You’re likely to hear a reduction in semblance splatter (any sounds the vocalist makes in the front of their mouth).

The recommended tracking force is 2 g. And for a cart in this price class, it tracks well.

Its highs and lows are outstanding. But you might be less satisfied with the mid ranges. Although they still do fairly well.

It’s very merciful on old records and tends to hide the impurities.

The output voltage is 3.5 mV so it tends to be quieter than other carts like the AT 100 E for example.

Some folks have complained that it’s tricky to remove the stylus from the cart body before mounting. But honestly, I’ve done this several times with no issues whatsoever.

It’s worth noting that some folks did complain about lousy packaging. Although, from my research, it’s the exception, not the rule.

If you have a higher mass tonearm the AT 95 E is likely the best cartridge choice under 100 bucks.

And if you’re playing older records you’ll like the performance from the conical stylus.

Rega Carbon

Rega Carbon Phono Cartridge

See the Rega Carbon on Amazon

The Rega Carbon is the cartridge that comes standard with Rega’s RP 1 turntable.

Considering that, you might think this cart is somehow special. But in fact, it’s a hybrid Audio Technica AT 91.

Basically it’s an entry level Audio Technica cart with a carbon fiber cantilever. Where the stock standard AT 91 has an aluminum tube cantilever.

The carbon cantilever performs well to offer up a velvety sound. And it tracks pretty well too. This makes it’s kind to older records with scratches.

The recommended tracking force is 2 g. But I’ve seen folks say 1.5 g to 1.6 g provides better sound.

It’s got good bass too. Although it’s got a sharpness to the treble you might not like.

The Rega Carbon has a conical stylus which I’m not fond of. But some folks love the highs it gives.

From my own experience I’ve found that the suspension on the AT 91 is weak and tends to fail quickly.

So for me, I don’t think the Rega Carbon is worth the money, even if it has a carbon fiber cantilever.

It’s not the worst cartridge out there. But I think for the price there are better options out there.

Ortofon Omega

Ortofon Omega Phono Cartridge

See the Ortofon Omega on Amazon

The Omega is a low budget cartridge from Ortofon. But don’t let its low budget rep fool you.

It sounds more than decent and performs well. And tracks like a bloodhound. Which is great if you have old records.

Ortofon is known for its low wear carts and the Omega is no different. So you can be sure that it’ll treat your new pressings with care.

Overall the sound is nicely balanced. Although the bass is not overwhelming if you enjoy more bass in your music you’ll love what the Omega has to offer.

You might be a little disappointed with the mid ranges though – they won’t stun you. But they are still clear.

Like with any cartridge, I do recommend a period of ‘breaking in’. With a minimum of 20 hours play to give the suspension time to loosen up.

It’s at this point you’ll start enjoying the sound from the Omega.

Some folks on audio forums are calling the Omega the deal of the century considering its performance and price.

And I don’t think they are far off. It’s a good choice if you’re ready to dip your toes into the higher quality cart but still want to stick to your budget.

It’s worth mentioning that Ortofon doesn’t offer a replacement stylus for the Omega. But you can pop just about any other Ortofon stylus on the Omega body.

Although, if you like the Omega and budget is important, you can pick up a new one for next to nothing.

I like the Omega as a cart that performs well in the sound and budget category.

The only downside is some folks have complained about their cartridge arriving in poor packaging. But luckily Amazon has a great return policy and you can have a new one sent out in no time.

The Omega by Ortofon is a more than decent cartridge and its price point is rather sweet. It’ll even leave you with enough greenbacks to buy a few records too.

Audio Technica AT 92 ECD

The 92ECD is not available so check out the Audio-Technica AT85EP at Amazon.

This cartridge from Audio Technica is specifically for P Mount tonearms. But with the help of an adaptor, it can be used on standard half mount decks too.

It’s got a bonded shank which means the stylus is glued onto the cantilever.

This will add a small amount of extra weight to your setup. But I don’t think this makes any difference when it comes to performance.

I like the fact that has an elliptical stylus. Which in anyone’s books tracks better and is kinder to records in general.

Audio Technica recommends a tracking force of anywhere between 1.0 and 1.5 grams.

It’s high compliance which means overall higher quality sound. But even at the lightest tracking force, the body rides low.

Because of this low riding body, I don’t recommend this cart for a standard half mount tonearm. The added weight from the adaptor could throw everything off.

So if you have a universal half mount tonearm, give this one a skip and consider other options like the Ortofon OM 5 E.  Or the Ortofon Omega instead.  And if you’re after a conical stylus which plays nice with older records then the Audio Technica AT 95 E is a good option.

Also, I think this cart is much better suited to a low mass tonearm. So if you have a mid or high mass tonearm this one should be avoided – in my opinion.

And if your turntable doesn’t have a setting to adjust the tracking force then avoid the AT 92 ECD. Anything heavier than 1.5 g will make the body scrape your records.

The AT 92 ECD offers balance over the sound spectrum. The bass is hefty and the mids aren’t muddy.

But like other Audio Technica carts you might find the highs very bright.

But if you like bright highs then you’ll be happy with its performance here. It does take time to break in and loosen up the suspension.

Other users have reported low surface noise, especially for a budget cart. And even with older records with surface scratches this baby performs well.

One downside to mention is that their overall lifespan is short. So if vinyl is your primary source of music, this cartridge might not be for you.

In my opinion, the AT 92 ECD is a great choice if you have a P mount tonearm. It’s sound quality is decent and it’s got an elliptical stylus which is a nice touch for a budget cart.

Ortofon 2M Red

Ortofon 2M Red Phono Cartridge

See the Ortofon 2M Red on Amazon

I’ve written about the Ortofon 2M Red before. So I’ll just touch on the most important features here.

If you want to dig deeper into this cart, check out my detailed review of the Ortofon 2M Red.

The 2M red will hit the top end of your budget. But it’s a worthwhile cart to consider.

It’s a bonded shank so it’s a little heavier. But with the light tracking force of 1.8 grams, it’s still super light.

And even although it’s light it tracks like a dream. But it plays best with low and ultra-low mass tonearms.

One of the main features I love about the 2M Red is you have some awesome upgrade options with its body.

If you’re like me and love to ‘feel’ the rhythm of tracks the 2 M Red will give you just that. It’s especially fond of guitar riffs.

Although some folks say the Ortofon range highlights flaws. Personally, I haven’t found this to be the case.

The Ortofon 2M Red is a budget choice in the higher quality cartridge category. And it should definitely be on your radar if you’re planning some upgrades in the future.

My Favorite Picks

Like I mentioned, I think the Ortofon OM 5 E is the best pick out of the bunch.  It performs well in the quality and price range.  Although it’s limited for upgrades.

If you’re planning some higher end upgrade for the future I’d say the Ortofon 2M Red is the way to go.

The Audio Technica AT 95 E and the Ortofon Omega fall into the same class in my opinion.  The AT 95 E is only slightly more expensive but it has a conical stylus.

The Omega has an elliptical stylus.  But Ortofon doesn’t offer replacement styli for it.  So you’ll need to buy a whole cart and stylus when it’s time for a new one.

The Rega Carbon is my least favorite of the bunch.  The cart itself is an AT 91, I think you can do a lot better for the price.

And if you have a P mount tonearm, the AT 92 ECD is a decent cart if your budget is under 100 bucks.

Now you have a pretty good idea of what’s out there to suit a budget of 100 greenbacks or less.  So making the right choice for your needs should be a breeze.

Keep spinning that wax!

eBay Vintage Turntable Finds 26 Sept – 7 Oct

This week’s roundup is almost devoted to the outstanding Pioneer brand.  With the exception of the Technics.

Here’s my quick breakdown.  But be sure to check out the pics below…

My favorite this week is by far the Pioneer PL 7.  Okay I’m biased because I run the 720 from the PL 7 family.  This one is in great shape, but you’ll need to replace the cartridge.

Next in the roundup is the Pioneer PL 4.  Again a superb offering by Pioneer.  And it’s got the same lightweight and smooth tonearm as it’s big brothers in the PL 7 class.  This one is well worth considering.

Of course, a roundup isn’t complete without throwing in the famous Technics brand.  The Technics SL 230 is a great sounding deck for the money.

(DISCLOSURE: Record Player Pro is an affiliate member of the eBay Partner Network.)

[ess_grid alias=”ebay-26-sept-7-oct”]

Please remember to do your due diligence before making any purchases.

Best Turntable Cartridge for the Money

How to Clean Vinyl Records at Home

Nothing beats the sound of a clean record!

I’ll admit it…

Listening to vinyl always gives me goosebumps.  And occasionally, tears in my eyes.

It’s all about the sound baby!!

Head straight to my comparison table.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you! Read my disclosure for more info.

If you’re in a rush, you can check out my favorite turntable cartridge, Audio-Technica VM530EN, on Amazon.

Or, check out a summary of my favorite picks.

Milking the best sound quality from your TT is all about the source.

What’s the source?

It’s the part closest to the vinyl – your cartridge and stylus.

Cartridge Buying Guide

Full disclosure, before researching this post, I had no idea it was called a cartridge and that it can make such a difference to your listening experience. My budget originally was about

Obviously, if you are more into vinyl therapy you probably did know.

Now that I have shown I may be a bit of a novice before we delve into the best cartridges. We need to discuss what you are looking for when considering purchasing a new cart for your turntable.

  • Stylus- The stylus is the little tiny piece on the end that actually touches the record and determines how the grooves read. You have a few decisions to make regarding the kind of stylus you want.
    • Construction- they come in a bonded or nude construction. The nude stylus construction is superior to the bonded construction because it allows for fuller frequency and less distortion.
    • Shape- There are three stylus shapes. Conical, elliptical and line contact.
      • The conical stylus is cheaper and more widely used. It has a rounded tip that touches the center of the record groove. You may miss some of the detailed sounds.
      • The elliptical has two radii, one being smaller and allowing more accurate tracking of the grooves. This also cuts down on the distortion.
      • The line contact is shaped to optimize high-frequency response. However, if you have older vinyl records that may have some surface damage a line contact stylus can amplify a lot of that.
  • Generator – there are two common types of generators.
    • Moving Magnet (MM)- This is the most common generator. This design has the magnets connected to the cantilever. The magnets move, as the name suggests, inside a stationary coil.
    • Moving Coil (MC)- has a coil connected to the cantilever and the magnet is stationary. This set-up allows the cantilever to move easier so it can pick up more detail. However, it has a lower voltage output.

This will require you to have more specialized equipment like a preamp.

  • Cantilever- This is the little arm the stylus is mounted on. As the stylus picks up the grooves it moves the cantilever which transfers the energy to your chosen generator.

It is important for the cantilever to be stiff and lightweight. The most common material for the cantilever is aluminum. Carbon and Boron can also be used sometimes.

  • Frequency range- You will find the base range to be around 20-20,000 Hz. Higher-end cartridges will have an extended range that goes higher and lower in Hz. As the range extends it is able to pick up more detail.
  • Mount- How the cart is secured to the tonearm is more about it fitting to your TT and less about how it will affect the sound like all the features above. There are three common mount options, standard, universal and P-mount.
    • Standard mount- This mount is secured by 2 screws usually about ½” apart. It also has four small post for connecting the leads.
    • P-Mount- This cartridge has four slender pins that plug directly into the tonearm that is specifically made for P-mounts. It is then secured with a single screw.
    • Universal mount- is created to be able to be used with either the standard or P-Mount.

Keeping all of this in mind, of course, you want the best turntable cartridge for the money.  Right?

So here at RPP, I’ve brought you a roundup of carts that’ll give you the most bang for your buck.

Use the Quick Navigation and be magically transported to a review of each cart…

Quick Navigation Menu

  1. Audio Technica AT 95 E
  2. Audio Technica VM 530 EN
  3. Ortofon OM 5E
  4. Ortofon 2M Red
  5. Ortofon 2M Blue
  6. Ortofon 2M Bronze
  7. Ortofon Omega
  8. Rega Carbon
  9. Shure M 44 – 7
  10. Sumiko Pearl

Best Turntable Cartridge for the Money – Comparison Table

Flip your smart device for the best view of this table.

Product (click to see at Amazon) Price Range My Rating (out of 10) My Full Review
Audio Technica AT95 E $ 6 AT 95 E Review
Audio Technica VM 530 EN $$ 9 VM 530 EN Review
Ortofon OM 5 E $ 7 Ortofon OM 5 E Review
Ortofon 2M Red $ 8 Ortofon 2M Red Review
Ortofon 2M Blue $$$ 9 Ortofon 2M Blue Review
Ortofon 2M Bronze $$$ 9 Ortofon 2M Bronze Review
Ortofon Omega $ 6 Ortofon Omega Review
Rega Carbon $ 5 Rega Carbon Review
Shure M 44 – 7 $ 7 Shure M 44 – 7 Review
Sumiko Pearl $$ 8 Sumiko Pearl Review

Best Turntable Cartridge for the Money

Audio Technica AT95 E

This cartridge from Audio Technica has a history spanning a quarter of a century. That’s a damn long time! And it still has an impeccable reputation.

You’ll find vinyl lovers all over the forums singing its praises as a go-to budget cart that still offers good performance.

Audio Technica’s AT LP 120 TT comes standard with this cart. And it’s easy to see why.

It’s a great choice if the cart on your lower end TT needs upgrading. You’re likely to hear a reduction in semblance splatter (any sounds the vocalist makes in the front of their mouth).

The recommended tracking force is 2 g. And for a cart in this price class, it tracks well.

Its highs and lows are outstanding. But you might be less satisfied with the mid ranges. Although they still do fairly well.

It’s very merciful on old records and tends to hide the impurities.

The output voltage is 3.5 mV so it tends to be quieter than other carts like the AT 100 E for example.

Some folks have complained that it’s tricky to remove the stylus from the cart body before mounting. But honestly, I’ve done this several times with no issues whatsoever.

It’s worth noting that some folks did complain about lousy packaging. Although, from my research, it’s the exception, not the rule.

If you have a higher mass tonearm the AT 95 E is likely the best cartridge choice under 100 bucks.

And if you’re playing older records you’ll like the performance from the conical stylus.

Check out the Audio Technica AT 95 E Cartridge at Amazon

Audio Technica VM 530 EN

Audio Technica VM 530 EB Phono Cartridge

See the Audio Technica VM 530 EB Cartridge on Amazon

2017 ushered in a total revamp of Audio Technica’s phono cartridges with the new VM series. And the beautiful VM 530 EN is the latest version of the AT 120 EB.

The ‘VM’ tech uses 2 magnets to match the left and right channels in the groove walls.

The VM 530 EN also has a nude stylus.  So the stylus and the shank are made from a single diamond.

This ‘nude’ design and ‘VM’ tech offer excellent tracking, channel separation, and frequency response.

One noticeable change is the 2 gram Vertical Tracking Force of the VM 530 EN.  In theory, the heavier VTF offers deeper bass.

From my research, I’ve found folks are floored by the smoother and more detailed sound than the AT 120 EB.

My previous cart was the AT 120 EB, which is the discontinued version of this baby.  I’ll admit it’s not merciful to older vinyls.  But with the improvements, I believe the VM 530 EB will perform better on weathered LPs.

The reduction of IGD is also notable, and the silences between tracks are also quieter.

Folks, did mention that the sound output of the VM 530 EN is much brighter though.  This can probably be chalked down to a new stylus not being broken in yet.

If you like bright highs or have ‘middle-aged’ ears, this shouldn’t be an issue for you.

The cart is a little on the pricy side.  But it’s well worth the investment. And in my opinion the VM 530 EN falls in the category of best cartridge for the money.

Check out the Audio Technica VM 530 EB Cartridge at Amazon

Ortofon OM 5 E

I love the Ortofon OM 5 E. It’s the cartridge I’m currently using on my old Pioneer PL 720 TT.

Sure it’s not Ortofon’s top of the range but it gives a great performance. And its price will suit any pocket.

The OM 5 E has an elliptical stylus which is ideal for tracking tightly in the grooves. And tracks at a recommended 1.75 g.  From my experience, it tracks damn well!

In case you are wondering, the ‘OM’ stands for Optimum Match. There’s a tiny weight plate tucked into the mounting bracket.

Which makes the entire OM series compatible with just about any tonearm. So even if you have a low mass tonearm this baby will play nice.

I’ll be honest, I was a little worried that the OM 5 E would highlight the imperfections on my older records.

While I’m writing this, I’m listening to a vintage pressing of Jefferson Airplane’s ‘Bark’. And I’m pretty darn happy with its presentation.

To begin with, I tested it on a ’90s pressing The Doors. And to me, the sound was strained. Almost shrill-like on the highs (and you know how Jim liked to shout sometimes!).  The lows also had no definition.

I know The Doors is demanding music, so chalked it up to the suspension needing time to loosen up.

After breaking it in with about 20 hours of play I’m impressed! Especially for a price tag under triple digits.

Even something like Portishead which is bass-heavy has definition through all the ranges.

It’s really got a great range and good channel separation. And I’m in love with its warmth and depth.

Also, there’s no splatter in the semblance that I can detect. I listen to records every day and I can tell the sound is improving even more as time goes on.

Overall I’m loving the OM 5 E at the moment. It’s kind to my older records and my new pressings alike. Which is great since I loathe switching out carts.

I’m definitely going to go with the Ortofon OM 5 E as the best turntable cartridge under 100.

Sure, it’s not top of the range. But I think it’s value for money at the mid point of a budget. And offers damn good performance.

Check out the Ortofon OM 5E at Amazon

Ortofon 2M Red

Ortofon 2M Red Phono Cartridge

See the Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge on Amazon

The Dane’s are die-hard vinyl enthusiasts and Ortofon never gave up on vinyl!  They still offer some of the best carts and styli out there!

The 2M Red is a budget cart by Ortofon.  But don’t let this fool you.

It’s not entry-level by any stretch of the imagination.

Like the AT 100 E stylus is bonded to the shank so it’s slightly heavier. But overall most folks do just fine with a tracking force of 1.8 grams.

The 2M Red works well with a variety of turntables.  But if you have a low mass tonearm, this baby will play very nice.  So it’s worth considering for those graphite arms.

One great benefit of the 2M Red is you have room to upgrade the stylus to the 2M Blue at a later stage.  Without having to shell out for a new cart.

From my research, the 2M Red offers a great deal more sound from the grooves.  Re-discover new sound is a phrase that pops up over and over.

But some listeners have reported that the 2M Red tends to highlight imperfections.  While other folks report almost perfect tracking and no inner groove distortion.

There’s definitely more rhythm from the Red.  And the sound comes across as warmer and clear.

If you’ve ever installed a new cartridge, you know how damn frustrating it can be.

One extra feature of the 2M Red I like is how easy it is to set up. Ortofon designed the 2M Red with threaded screw holes on top.

So you’re not fiddling to screw tiny nuts to the bottom of the headshell.

There was one complaint about a broken stylus within one week.  But I’ll bet that was due to poor handling.

Some folks have commented that the sound is muddy and dull. This could be due to poor alignment or just a personal preference.

Although, a stylus only really reveals it’s true sound after 20 hours or so of play.  So keep that in mind before making a call on the sound.

Check out the Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge at Amazon

Ortofon 2M Blue

Best Turntable Cartridge for the Money - Ortofon 2M Blue Phono Cartridge

See the Ortofon 2M Blue Cartridge on Amazon

The 2M Blue is the big bro of the 2M Red.  And another home run by Ortofon.

This one has a nude stylus, which is shaped from a whole diamond. This really opens up the sound spectrum.  So you’ll hear hefty bass without sacrificing on the crisp highs or mids.

The Blue performs really well on older vinyls and there’s a marked reduction in hissing from surface noise.

To fully enjoy the quality of sound, the cart does need at least 40 hours of break-in time according to Ortofon.

The Blue is a high compliance cart and does a superb job on a low mass tonearm.   And the 2M Blue is a great upgrade from the 2M Red.

A bunch of folks I know on forums are running the Ortofon 2M Blue stylus on their 2M Red carts.

It’s worth noting here that proper alignment is essential to get the most out of the Blue.

So I recommend hooking yourself up with a protractor from vinylengine.com.  They are super accurate.

Or pick up a stylus protractor off Amazon, which are dirt cheap.

It’s tough to find anything bad to say about this big boy.  But if I had to find a downside, it might be the price.

The Blue doesn’t come cheap.  But it’s a fantastic piece of tech.  And can definitely be considered the best turntable cartridge for the money.

Check out the Ortofon 2M Blue Cartridge at Amazon

Ortofon 2M Bronze

Best Turntable Cartridge for the Money - Ortofon 2M Bronze Phono Cartridge

See the Ortofon 2M Bronze Cartridge on Amazon

The Ortofon 2M Bronze is designed with a highly polished fine-line nude stylus.

This sleek profile means the stylus sits tightly in the grooves and tracks to perfection.  Or as close as perfect can get. Ortofon recommends an ideal tracking force of 1.5g.

The Bronze does a superb job of unearthing detail to the point where you can feel yourself standing inside the recording space.

It offers rich, deep bass and velvety midranges.  And the highs are detailed but not harsh.

As Ortofon puts it, this cartridge is perfect for “extremely demanding material”.  Think along the lines of Pink Floyd here.

And if you’ve got vinyl that’s seen better days, you’ll be happy to know that the Bronze is merciful on older vinyl.  So there’s less of that annoying hiss, even during silent periods.

If I had to pick a downside to this cart it would be the 100 hours of break-in time it needs before it really ‘sings’.

Yup, 100 hours!  But I think it’s worth the wait.  Besides, time is one of the beauties of vinyl.

Also, I’d say it’s essential to get this cart set up correctly.

So the 2M Bronze is not Ortofon’s flagship cartridge.  But some folks would argue that it outperforms Ortofon’s Black.

The Bronze is exceptionally pricey.  But that also depends on what you’re willing to spend.  Although, in my opinion, it’s one of the best for the money if you’re ready to make the leap into a different class.

Check out the Ortofon 2M Bronze Cartridge at Amazon

Ortofon Omega

The Omega is a low budget cartridge from Ortofon. But don’t let its low budget rep fool you.

It sounds more than decent and performs well. And tracks like a bloodhound. Which is great if you have old records.

Ortofon is known for its low wear carts and the Omega is no different. So you can be sure that it’ll treat your new pressings with care.

Overall the sound is nicely balanced. Although the bass is not overwhelming if you enjoy more bass in your music you’ll love what the Omega has to offer.

You might be a little disappointed with the mid ranges though – they won’t stun you. But they are still clear.

Like with any cartridge, I do recommend a period of ‘breaking in’. With a minimum of 20 hours play to give the suspension time to loosen up.

It’s at this point you’ll start enjoying the sound from the Omega.

Some folks on audio forums are calling the Omega the deal of the century considering its performance and price.

And I don’t think they are far off. It’s a good choice if you’re ready to dip your toes into the higher quality cart but still want to stick to your budget.

It’s worth mentioning that Ortofon doesn’t offer a replacement stylus for the Omega. But you can pop just about any other Ortofon stylus on the Omega body.

Although, if you like the Omega and budget is important, you can pick up a new one for next to nothing.

I like the Omega as a cart that performs well in the sound and budget category.

The only downside is some folks have complained about their cartridge arriving in poor packaging. But luckily Amazon has a great return policy and you can have a new one sent out in no time.

The Omega by Ortofon is a more than decent cartridge and its price point is rather sweet. It’ll even leave you with enough greenbacks to buy a few records too.

Check out the Ortofon Omega at Amazon

Rega Carbon

The Rega Carbon is the cartridge that comes standard with Rega’s RP 1 turntable.

Considering that, you might think this cart is somehow special. But in fact, it’s a hybrid Audio Technica AT 91.

Basically it’s an entry-level Audio Technica cart with a carbon fiber cantilever. Where the stock standard AT 91 has an aluminum tube cantilever.

The carbon cantilever performs well to offer up a velvety sound. And it tracks pretty well too. This makes it’s kind to older records with scratches.

The recommended tracking force is 2 g. But I’ve seen folks say 1.5 g to 1.6 g provides better sound.

It’s got good bass too. Although it’s got a sharpness to the treble you might not like.

The Rega Carbon has a conical stylus which I’m not fond of. But some folks love the highs it gives.

From my own experience, I’ve found that the suspension on the AT 91 is weak and tends to fail quickly.

So for me, I don’t think the Rega Carbon is worth the money, even if it has a carbon fiber cantilever.

It’s not the worst cartridge out there. But I think for the price there are better options out there.

Check out the Rega at Amazon

Shure M 44 – 7

Shure M 44-7 Phono Cartridge

See the Shure M 44-7 Cartridge on Amazon

Like I mentioned before the Shure name ain’t what it used to be.  But that doesn’t mean their carts are crap.

The one main thread with Shure carts is they’re merciful towards older vinyl with more surface noise.  And the M 44 – 7 is no different.

In fact, a lot of record stores use this cart on their TTs for customers to test LPs before they shell out.

Essentially it’s designed for DJ’s but it works a treat for the home Hifi setup too.  And it can handle some pretty demanding conditions.

It’s high in bass and treble which makes sense since it’s a DJ cart.  So if you’re not into a deeper bass sound, this cart might not be for you.

It’s a great cartridge though, but again, you might be missing out on the finer sound detail with the heavier focus on bass and treble.

From my research, I’ve found it tracks like a dream – between 1 and 3 grams – with little to no skipping.  And folks have reported low wear on their vinyls.

One drawback is the price of the replacement needle is steep considering the price of the cart and stylus combo.

Also there have been some complaints about the diamond tip giving up the ghost way too soon.  This is rather annoying and speaks to the poor QC complaints about Shure.

But this can also be chalked up to poor user handling.

The M 44 – 7 isn’t a bad cart by any means.  If you’re spinning old wax or deep bass gets your feet tapping, this cart is up your alley.

Check out the Shure M 44-7 Cartridge at Amazon

Sumiko Pearl

Sumiko Pearl Phono Cartridge

See the Sumiko Pearl  Cartridge on Amazon

In my opinion, the Sumiko Pearl doesn’t get the credit it is due.

Sumiko spends most of its R & D budget on their Moving Coil range. And that’s what they are best known for.

So, the Pearl is the flagship Moving Magnet cart by Sumiko.

Although, if you consider the mixed reviews on the performance you’d think it’s a hit-and-miss cart.

Generally, I’ve found that listeners rate the Pearl warm and capable compared to other carts in its price range.

It also offers low surface noise.  Which makes it a great choice for older and weathered LPs.

Although, some listeners find Pearl’s soundstage flat and lacking in depth.  And there’s a loss of sound on the highs which can disappoint and performance is not great on the low end.

You should keep in mind that any cartridge needs a minimum of 20 to 30 hours of break-in play.  So it’s tough to make a call from the mixed bag of opinions.

But if you’re after an understated cartridge in a  price class that suits your pocket, you might be pleasantly surprised by the Sumiko Pearl.

Check out the Sumiko Pearl Cartridge at Amazon

My Favorite Pick

My first choice for the best turntable cartridge for the money is hands down the Audio Technica AT 530 EN.  It’s a pretty high end cart, that performs exceptionally well.  And it’s great value for money.

The next choice is the Ortofon 2M Blue.  It’s a little pricier than the 2M Red.  But it has a nude stylus so it really opens up the spectrum of sound.  And it plays nice with older vinyls.

Audio Technica AT 95 E and the Ortofon Omega fall into the same class in my opinion.  The AT 95 E is only slightly more expensive but it has a conical stylus.

The Omega has an elliptical stylus.  But Ortofon doesn’t offer replacement styli for it.  So you’ll need to buy a whole cart and stylus when it’s time for a new one.

Rega Carbon is my least favorite of the bunch.  The cart itself is an AT 91, I think you can do a lot better for the price.

Personally, I would steer clear of the Shure carts.  Only because of the poor QC complaints.  Although if you get one that’s working perfectly and you like more bass to your sound, you’ll like either of them.

Conclusion

Okay, so you know what to look for in a cartridge.  And I’m guessing you have a clear idea of how to find value for your money.

Now you can shop with confidence and pick the best turntable cartridge for your money and your taste.

Keep spinning that wax!

eBay Vintage Turntable Finds 7 – 16 Sept

Here’s this week’s vintage turntable roundup on eBay.

Here’s a quick breakdown.  But be sure to check out the pics below…

It’s a week of mostly Technics TTs.  But my personal fave for the week is the Denon DP 62 L.  It was released at the same time the CD hit the market.  So it’s pretty under rated and got very little play time. But it’s a rare gem of a TT and a nice score.

Next in line is the Technics SL 1900 which needs no introduction as a flagship TT from Technics.  The SL 1500 is close behind as the home version of the SL 1500 MK2.

(DISCLOSURE: Record Player Pro is an affiliate member of the eBay Partner Network.)

[ess_grid alias=”ebay-roundup-10-17-sept”]

 

Please remember to do your due diligence before making any purchases.

Turntable or Record Player Difference

Whether you’re discovering the warm, analog sound of vinyl for the first time.

Or…

You’re a connoisseur, having the best record player or turntable is essential.

You’ll need one that is reliable, has all the features that you need, with good sound output and one that won’t damage your vinyl.

[continue reading…]

9 Best Turntables Under 400 to Rock Your Vinyl

turntables for under 400 bucks

A crappy turntable will destroy your vinyl

It’s all about budget baby!

If you’re looking for the best turntables under 400 to suit your budget you’re in the right place.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you! Read my disclosure for more info.

Vinyls are back with a bang!  And if you’re into them you’re part of a pretty elite group.

But, just like anything that’s beautiful, there’s a dark side.

Check out my number one pick on Amazon because of the features to cost ratio and Sony’s high quality as a brand.

You know, like every rose has its thorn and all that jazz. LOL!

Playing vinyl is a double-edged sword.

On the one edge, you have those rich mahogany tones that can’t be argued with.

And on the other, each play slowly degrades the vinyl.

So, whether you’re starting out with vinyl or you already have a growing collection, your first thought should be to protect your vinyl.

Besides cleaning and proper handling of your vinyls.  The most important way to protect them is by having the best deck you can afford.

Reviews of the Best Turntables Under 400

So here at RPP, I’ve reviewed 9 of the best turntables that fit my budget of under 400.

I’ll share the good, the bad and what can be improved.

I guarantee you’ll find at least one that’ll bring music to your ears. And you won’t need to bust up that piggy bank either.

Audio-Technica LP 120 USB Turntable

Audio Technica LP120 Turntable - Best Turntables Under 400

See the Audio Technica LP120 Turntable on Amazon

The Audio Technica LP 120 deserves mentioning here.  It’s a classic based on the famous Technics SL 1200.

And it’s everything you’d want in a high-end turntable, without breaking the bank.

It boasts a high torque direct drive, which is something most audiophiles don’t prefer.  But it’s reliable and robust.

It’s a great turntable, even if it’s not as good looking as some of the other turntables I’ve reviewed here.

And you have options for upgrades.  So you can take this mid-range turntable into the higher end with a few small tweaks.

But it’s just as great out of the box too.

Its S-shaped tonearm will reduce tracking errors.

The standard AT95E cartridge has a elliptical diamond head stylus. This means balanced playback with minimal distortion.

You have the option to select the internal pre-amp if you’re running active speakers.  But you can also hook it up to an amplifier if you have a set of passive speakers.

The Audio Technica LP 120 is one of the few higher-end turntables that allow you to rip your vinyl into MP3.  And it does a darn good job.

It also runs at 3 speeds so you can spin just about anything in your collection.  Although you will need something like the Shure M78S to protect your 78’s from damage.

See the Audio Technica LP 120 Turntable on Amazon

It’s worth noting that some customers have complained about problems with the left speaker channel dying.

But with a name like Audio Technica you can be sure of outstanding support.  And I’m pleased to see the manufacturer is very active on Amazon to help folks resolve issues.

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Turntable

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Turntable

See the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Turntable on Amazon

The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Turntable is attractive in its simplicity. And it sets the bar high in the affordable category.

The first feature I like is the carbon tonearm which plays a big part in reducing unwanted resonance during playback.

The platter size is slightly bigger at 12 inches and it’s weighted.  In my opinion, this is a great feature since it just holds vinyls better.

And with the isolation feet, there’s very little in terms of vibrations. Well, nothing audible anyway.

The DC power supply actually gives a more consistent speed.  There is the option to go for the Pro-Ject Carbon without the DC supply.

But there’s no difference in price.  So I’d go with the DC version.

Like other higher-end entry-level turntables, the Debut has some options for upgrades.

It comes fitted with the Ortofon 2M Red cartridge.  It’s elliptical which is preferred in audiophile circles.  But from my research, I’ve found that this might not be the best match for the Pro-Ject Debut.

You might find it lacks luster in the treble department.  Especially in the mid ranges.  But it’s still a damn good cartridge.

Although, if you’re itching to change it, an upgrade to the Ortofon Blue will do nicely.

The Debut is a 2-speed turntable – 33 and 45.  The switch is done manually.  This might be a fiddly exercise, to begin with.  But a handy tool is included to do this, so there’s not much to it.

Here’s a quick video to demonstrate how easy switching between 33 and 45 is…

And like most other higher-end turntables this design is purposeful to reduce stress on the belt drive.

The Debut doesn’t have an internal amp.  So depending on your receiver you might need a phono amp if your receiver doesn’t have a phono input.

This is an outstanding turntable if you’re just getting into vinyl and might want to upgrade components as time goes by.

But for the price tag, there are a few sticking points for me.

Firstly, I’d like to see better quality slipmat.  The one it comes with is a thin felt one.  So you’ll want to upgrade that first.

Secondly, some folks complained about a distinct humming sound. Considering the price tag, this should not be happening.

Also, some vinyls tend to stick to the dust cover if it’s closed.  This might not be a problem for you.  But if you like to keep the lid closed it’s annoying.

A quick fix is to loosen the screws of the dust cover slightly.  And then pull it towards you when closing it.

Not ideal, I know but it’s not a deal breaker.

See the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Turntable on Amazon

Sony PSHX500 Hi-Res USB Turntable

Best Turntables Under 400 - Sony PSHX500 Hi-Res USB Turntable

See the Sony PSHX500 Hi-Res USB Turntable on Amazon

This 2 speed turntable by Sony is the big daddy of the entry level PS-LX300 Turntable.  And it kicks some serious butt in comparison!

Sony designed the adjustable, lightweight tonearm with an integrated shell.

The tonearm is fully manual, so if you want to preserve your vinyls and stylus dozing off while spinning vinyl is out of the question.

The cartridge is elliptical and crafted by Audio Technica especially for this Sony, which does a pretty darn good job.

But the headshell plays nice with a bunch of other options too.  So if you’re into mods try out the Ortofon Blue for size.  Or maybe even the Sumiko Pearl or the Nagaoka MP 110.

Any of these will put your PSHX500 toe to toe with turntables like the Debut and the RP1.

So why should you get the Sony PSHX500 if it’s going to take another 100 bucks or so to get it in the ring with the big boys?

That’s where Sony’s high fidelity recording software comes in.  If you want to digitize those rare LP’s there’s nothing better on the market to do so.

16 bits is the lowest rate at which Sony’s DSD recording app will transfer your tracks.  That’s CD quality!  With more power under the hood of their software.

And yes, the software works great for both PC and Mac users.

But besides mods and crystal clear digitizing capabilities, this is a beautiful deck.

The acoustic grade MDF gives it a solid base.  There’s not much in the way of knobs and buttons.  Which gives it a minimalist edge.

It really is an understated turntable that’ll fit elegantly into any audio setup.

Out of the box, I’d say the sound quality is more than decent.  Okay, you’re not going to discover hidden tones you’ve never heard before.

But you won’t be disappointed either.  And like I mentioned, a small upgrade to the cartridge and you’re in a whole new class.

The PSHX500 also has an internal pre-amp with a line output.  So you can plug and play out of the box.  Or hook this baby up to an outboard phono amp.

For all its beauty and functionality, the PSHX500 is not perfect.

There have been complaints that the DSD app doesn’t always play nice with computers.  Even those running the latest versions.

Although, from my research, I’ve found that Sony’s support is up to scratch.  Both on Amazon and when calling into the call center.

Another point worth mentioning is that it can be tricky to swap out the cartridge.  The wires are really fine so detaching them from the cartridge is a fiddly job.

But it’s a common problem with these modern day turntables and not specifically with Sony.

See the Sony PSHX500 Hi-Res USB Turntable on Amazon

Music Hall MMF 2.3 Turntable

Music Hall MMF 2.3 Turntable - Best Turntables Under 400

See the Music Hall MMF 2.3 Turntable on Amazon

The belt drive Music Hall MMF 2.3 turntable comes in black, white and Ferrari red.  And in terms of looks, it’s more than aesthetically pleasing.

Like other serious audiophile decks, it plays at 33 and 45 speeds.  And the switch is made by manually moving the belt.

The tonearm is crafted from a single piece of alloy aluminum. And it’s the same tonearm you’ll find on the MMF5, which is the big brother of this deck  That’s a super upgrade right there and a nice touch.

The cartridge on this deck is the Music Hall Magic 2 MM phono cartridge.  It’s a rebranded elliptical Ortofon Super OM10.

And if you’re looking at mods, you can easily upgrade this to the OM20 at an affordable price.

The sound from this baby is far above what you’d expect for its price tag.

The bass is satisfying.  The midranges and even the peaks sound sweet.  And the vocals are crisp and clear.

Here’s what Absolute Sound Magazine had to say…

“The level of musicality offered by the MMF-2.3 is going to surprise a lot of people. It sounds far better than most of the entry-level turntables of yesteryear and is a wonderful introduction into the world of vinyl!”

The MMF 2.3 doesn’t have a built-in amp.  So you’ll need an amplifier or a receiver with phono inputs and a pair of speakers.

The Rolls VP 29 Phono Pre-Amp plays nice with the Music Hall MMF 2.3 Turntable.See at Amazon.

The Rolls VP29 pre-amp plays nice with most systems at a very affordable price.

If you’re lucky enough to have a vintage receiver from the 70’s or 80’s it should have a built in phono pre-amp.

Rock your audio system like a boss.

Dust covers are often a deal-breaker for folks.  And I totally get that.

I prefer dust cover too.  Keeping your deck dust-free just makes life so much easier!

You’ll be happy to know that the MMF 2.3 does come with a dust cover.  And in theory, you can spin your vinyl with the cover down.

But some folks have experienced their vinyls ‘sticking’ while the cover is down.

From my research, I’ve noticed this tends to happen with the newer 180 and 200-gram vinyls.

And yes, the MMF 2.3 plays 180 and 200-gram vinyls perfectly.  Except for the cover issue I just mentioned.

All that being said, there are a few things worth mentioning here…

Some folks have experienced a low humming sound which is not a grounding issue.

This can happen if the shipping screws of the motor have not been removed.  So make sure you remove those during setup.

It also tends to happen if the deck is not isolated properly.  The best spot for your deck is on a solid wood base like a wall unit.

But you can easily isolate it by placing it on a piece of MDF.  Also, grab a spirit level to make sure your deck is on a level surface.

Cracks and pops are part and parcel of vinyls charm.  But if you’re hearing too much of it your tracking force might be too heavy.

This will make your cartridge scrape the record.  In the instructions, Music Hall recommends a tracking force of 1.75 grams.

But, you might find that a tracking force of 1.5 grams solves the problem for you.

See the Music Hall MMF 2.3 Turntable on Amazon

TEAC TN-420 Turntable

Teac TN-420 Turntable Tie-Dye

See the Teac TN-420 on Amazon

The TEAC TN-420 Turntable is a beautiful deck.  Especially in the Tie-dye option.

It’s a manual turntable.  So the tonearm won’t return automatically and the motor won’t stop spinning at the end of a vinyl.

This is standard with any decent audiophile deck.  And means you’ll need to be around when the vinyl ends.

It runs at 2 speeds only – 33 and 45.  And switching speeds is manual, which is the norm.

Any half-decent audiophile deck is a manual switch.  Keeps stress off the belt and platter.

This baby comes with the AT95SE  Audio Technica cartridge. Which is pretty decent.

It has a standard mounting head through.  So you’ve got room to upgrade to a better cartridge if you like.

Although you can and probably should upgrade the cartridge.  If you’re looking for something better and affordable, try something like the Audio Technica AT 100E or the AT 120 ET.

Or if you want to splash out, the Shure M92E (on Amazon) and the Ortofon 2M Red are fantastic upgrades.

The platter is die-cast aluminum and the base is made from natural wood.  Both these features make for a solid deck with acceptable acoustic sound.

It’s got a built-in pre-amp so hook it up to your speakers and you’re good to go.

Although, you can turn off the internal amp.  So, I’d suggest investing in a decent outboard phono amp.

Or a receiver with phono output.  The vintage receivers from the 70’s and 80’s are great if you have one.

With the TEAC TN 300, you can rip your vinyl into digital format.  But the results are nowhere near the same quality as the Sony PSHX500.

The soundstage of the TEAc is pretty decent for the price tag.  The bass substantial and the midranges are dazzling.

But you might find the peaks strained.  Which you might find annoying.

Although, upgrading the cartridge will give nice separation in detail.

And if you’re like me and a dust cover is essential, you’ll be happy to know that the TEAC has one.

I haven’t come across any complaints about vinyls ‘sticking’ when the cover is down like with some other decks.

So you can keep your turntable dust-free even while you’re spinning vinyls.

For all its beauty and plus points, there are a few gripes…

From my research, I’ve come across a few complaints about the internal pre-amp kicking the bucket after 12 months or so.

This might be a deal-breaker but in my opinion, it’s not.  I suggest using an outboard phono pre-amp anyway and not even bothering with the internal one.

Inconsistent speed is another complaint that came up more than I’d like.

The first port of call is to ensure that the deck is on a level surface. Which is important for any turntable.

TEAC’s customer service is another frequent complaint.  And this is a deal-breaker for me.

Okay so the TEAC is not on the highest end of the price tag, but I still expect stellar customer service.

Which it seems TEAC doesn’t have.

See the TEAC TN 420 Turntable on Amazon

U-Turn Orbit Plus Turntable

U-Turn Orbit Plus Turntable

See the U-Turn Orbit Plus Turntable on Amazon

Orbit concentrated on designing the U-Turn plus with no bells and whistles.  But focused on high fidelity sound and affordability instead.

It’s 2-speed deck that’ll spin at 33 and 45.  And from my research, it gets pretty darn close to the perfect speed.

Speeds are switched manually.  This is standard with any deck that’s classed as audiophile quality.  Although the switch is tricky because the belt is overly sensitive.

The deck is fully manual so you’ll be doing all the cueing and you need to be around at the end of the last track.

A cue lever is not included.  But you can have it added by choosing the option at an extra cost.

For some reason, the cue lever will cause the tonearm to drift ever so slightly.  And it’s not very graceful at placing the arm smoothly.

So it’s a toss up really.  In my opinion, the cue lever is not all that important.  So save the extra money for an upgrade to the cartridge.

The U-Turn plus comes with the Ortofon OM5E cartridge.  Which is a big jump from the standard AT91B that comes with the regular U-Turn.

But if you’re looking for a more dazzling sound, the Ortofon 2M Red or Blue are both snazzy upgrades.

See the Ortofon 2M Red on Amazon as an upgrade cartridge

There’s no anti-skate setting options.  But if you follow the recommended tracking force of the cartridge you choose you’ll be good to go.

The sound on this deck definitely outperforms its price tag.  You’ll find it produces pretty high fidelity sound that’s clean, crisp and alive.

Most audiophiles will upgrade a platter to acrylic on other turntables. So I like the fact that the U-Turn comes standard with an acrylic platter.

The U-Turn Plus has no built-in pre-amp and no USB output for ripping vinyl.

But like I mentioned, it’s designed with performance and affordability in mind.  So there’s some sacrifice on whistles.

You’ll need either powered speakers with amplifiers built-in.  Or an outboard phono amp like the U-Turn Pluto.  And of course speakers.

If you’re lucky enough to own a vintage receiver from the 70’s or 80’s it should have phono inputs.

The U-Turn comes with a dust cover and I love that it’s made in the USA!

You’ll also be happy to know that you’ll have lifetime tech support. And from my research, it’s clear that Orbit giver excellent customer support.

Keeping all the plus points in mind.  This deck does not plug and play. You will need speakers and a phono amp like I mentioned.

So if your budget is super tight and you don’t want to shell out for the phono amp, I recommend the Audio Technica LP 120 or the Sony PSHX500  instead.

Once customer did have an issue with the platter making a weird ticking sound.  But he commended Orbit on their customer service to help resolve his issue.

See the U-Turn Orbit Plus Turntable on Amazon

Fluance RT81 Turntable

Fluance RT81 Turntable

See the Fluance RT81 Turntable on Amazon

The Fluance RT81 Turntable is at the lower end of the more upmarket turntables.  But it doesn’t lack in beauty!

One of the reasons I prefer the Fluance RT81 to the RT80 is the acoustic support from the engineered wood base and the solid isolation feet.

I also prefer an S-shaped tonearm that Fluance is designed with.  In my opinion, it sits better in the vinyl grooves.

It’s a 2-speed deck playing at 33 and 45.  And with this turntable, the speed is switched automatically using a dial.

This is way more convenient than switching the belt manually.  But it does add strain to the belt and the motor.

Another feature of the RT81 that other turntables I’ve reviewed here don’t have is an auto-stop function.

This means you don’t need to be near the turntable at the end of the side.  And if you doze off when listening to vinyl this is a great benefit for you.

The RT81 is fitted with the AT95E from Audio Technica.  Which is a pretty decent cartridge.

It plays back clear peaks and the bass is hefty.  Although I recommend upgrading to the AT 120 EB or the GRADO Prestige Black2 Phono Cartridge

It’s worth noting here that the manufacturer has not tested any other cartridge with the RT81.

But other customers are happy with the improvements in the sound the upgrade options make.

The Fluance RT81 comes with a built-in pre-amp which is great to get you listening out of the box.

The internal pre-amp can be bypassed by flicking a switch.  So you have the option of upgrading to an outboard phono amp at a later stage to bump up the sound quality.

The RT81 can’t rip your vinyl to MP3 format.  So if this is important to you.  The Sony PSHX500 might be a better choice for you.

It comes with a dust cover which is something a lot of folks want to see with a turntable.

And with the option of a few small upgrades, you can bump this turntable into a higher class.

One customer rates it in the same class as decks twice its price tag.  In all honesty, I wouldn’t go that far.

But the RT81 is definitely on the higher end of the lower price tag range.

For all its plus points there is one issue that keeps popping up…

Speed inconsistency.

From my research, I’ve found several complaints about the deck losing speed, which is a big problem.

Although I’m happy to report that Fluance has stellar customer service.  And they are active on Amazon to help folks sort out any issues.

It’s a shame about the speed issues.  Because the Fluance is a neat turntable that’s got a lot going for it.  But, I must admit, the complaints about speed inconsistency do concern me enough to avoid this deck.

See the Fluance RT81 Turntable on Amazon

House of Marley Stir It Up Turntable

House of Marley Turntable - Best Turntables Under 400

See the House of Marley Turntable on Amazon

The legendary Bob Marley’s son, Rohan Marley and The House of Marley offer something extraordinary with this turntable.

This Stir it Up Turntable looks so simple it’s gorgeous!  It’s designed using materials that can be sustainably sourced.

The plinth is made from Bamboo wood which is beautiful and also improves the acoustics.  The slipmat is made from upcycled silicon and it does a good job of keeping vinyls from scratching.

The natural wood accentuated by the black of the base and aluminum makes for a turntable you want to touch as much as you want to listen to.

I also love the silicon feet.  They are great for that extra stability and their vibration absorbing ability.

The platter and the tonearm are made from recycled aluminum.  And the platter is especially robust.

If you’re a beginner this is a great started turntable with options to improve on the system over time.

As a starter turntable, you can start out listening through the 3.5 mm headphone jack.  And invest in a decent set of speakers later.

It also comes standard with the Audio Technica ATN3600 cartridge and stylus, which can be upgraded.

And it has a built-in amp.  Which can be upgraded to a high-end external phono pre-amp in the future.

It’s a belt-drive unit which is the preferred design by audiophiles.  But it only plays 33’s and 45’s.  So if you’re a collector of 78’s this baby is not for you.

The Stir it Up turntable allows you to rip your vinyls into the 21st century.  And they’ll throw in the Legend Album by Bob Marley.

Although I don’t know how long this something extra will be available.

On the downside…

Customers have complained that the unit can be unreliable when spinning 45’s.

The internal amp could also be better.  So you might have to shell out for a better outboard one if you want fuller, richer sounds.

It does come with a dust cover made from Hemp.  But you can’t play records with it on.

See the House of Marley Turntable on Amazon

My Favorite Picks

My favorite picks for turntables under 400 bucks

My favorite picks for turntables under 400 bucks

Okay, so you’ve saved money like a squirrel stores nuts.  And you’re ready to get into vinyl or you’re dying for an upgrade.

So which turntable is the best for your $400 budget?

I can’t argue with the classic Audio Technica LP 120.

It’s a reliable workhorse with a solid brand behind it.  Okay, it’s not the most graceful turntable.  But the chrome and black design will fit into just about any home sound system.

It’s a direct drive which is not the preferred drive for audiophiles.  But it’s a great starter turntable with a host of upgrade options.

So it definitely makes it into the top 4.

The Sony PSHX500 is a definite contender for a spot in the top 4.  I mean you can’t go wrong with a Sony.

But it’s what it comes with out of the box that sold me.  For starters, the built-in pre-amp and Audio Technica cartridge means you don’t need anything else to get started.

Of course, you can upgrade the cartridge later if you like.  And even a small upgrade will move this deck into a different weight class altogether.

And if you want to convert your vinyl to MP3 this deck does that for you.  But it’s not just any old software.  Sony provides you with its DSD recording app.

So at a minimum, you’ll be converting at 16 bits, which is CD quality.

Next I’d say the Music Hall MMF 2.3 makes the grade.  What you get for the price tag is hard to beat.

For starters, the OM10 Ortofon cartridge is pretty decent.  But you can upgrade to the OM20 for better sound.

And I like that the tonearm is the same one used on the MMF5.  That’s a nice bump in quality right there.

The MMF 2.. doesn’t have a builtin pre-amp.  So you’ll need to shell out for that.

But considering the price of the MMF 2.2 even if you pick up the Rolls VP29 pre-amp – which is more than decent – you’re still under budget.

The House of Marley turntable makes it into my top 4 too.

Okay, I am biased to Bob – I love him!  But that’s not why the Stir it up turntable makes the grade.

The bamboo wood plinth works wonders to support acoustic perfection.  And the silicon slip mat and isolation feet do a great job to reduce vibrations.

It comes with the Audio Technica AT3600 cartridge which is acceptable.  But it can be upgraded to something better at an affordable price.

The built-in pre-amp and headphone jack are all great features for entry into higher-end turntables.

And you have the option to rip your vinyls into MP3 format.  Although the quality of the MP3’s is nowhere near that of the Sony PSHX500.

And I’ve got to mention the dust cover made from hemp.  It adds a unique style to a turntable that’s already understatedly beautiful.

Conclusion

Vinyl Records

Pick a turntable that’ll protect your vinyls and bring music to your ears

There are some fantastic turntable options if your budget peaks out at 400 bucks.

Shopping with confidence is always tricky, especially when there’s a budget involved.

And you want to make sure you’re not buying a piece of crap.

But now you know pretty much everything you need to choose from the best turntables under 400.  You can make the right choice for your pocket.

And pick one that will protect your vinyls and bring music to your ears for many years to come.

Do you know all the parts of a Turntable?  Check out the Anatomy of a Turntable here.

 

Best Affordable Record Player with Built in Speakers

best affordable record player with built in speakers

A good record player should be affordable and kind to your vinyls.

Let’s not kid ourselves…

Getting into vinyl is not cheap.  Sure, you can pick up some vinyls for a few bucks at a thrift store or garage sale.

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But what’s the point of collecting these works of art only to have a record player shred them to bits?

So if you’re looking for the best affordable record player with built-in speakers you’re in the right place!

If you’re in a rush check out my favorite record player with speakers on Amazon.

I still play vinyls on my dad’s old Pioneer KH 4455 which I restored.  It’s almost 40 years old.  It’s big and bulky and the speakers take a good amount of space.

So if I was new to vinyl I’d be on the lookout for a record player with built in speakers just to dip my toes into the whole vinyl thing.  And I’d want something affordable that won’t destroy my precious vinyls.

If you’ve done any kind of research yet you already know there are tons of options out there.  But not all record players are created equal.

So I’ve brought you 4 of the best affordable record players with built in speakers.  I’ll share the pros and cons of each with you.  By the end, you’ll know exactly what to look for in a record player.  So you can shop with confidence and pick one that fits your pocket and your needs.

Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Record Player

Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Record Player

See the Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Record Player on Amazon

Speed

This Victrola Vintage 3-Speed record player will spin your vinyl at 33 and 78 speeds.  It also comes with a 45 adapter so you can play those vinyls made for 45 speed.