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

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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

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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 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 a 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 from 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. The 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…]

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.

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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…]

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.)

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Please remember to do your due diligence before making any purchases.

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.)

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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…]

17 of the Coolest Album Covers You Should Own

how to buy used vinyl records - finding dealersOne of my favorite things about collecting vinyl is the album art.

As much as I enjoy kicking back to enjoy the mahogany tones of a well kept record long after the sapphire tipped cutter has etched the sound into what was once a blank vinyl disk…

The experience wouldn’t be half as engaging without the visual stimulation of art.
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4 Easy Ways to Rock Your Turntable Audio Setup Like a Boss

Easy turntable setup and the way you go about setting up the audio depends largely on what equipment you have. Whether you have an internal or external preamp, a built-in amplifier, active speakers or if you’re hooking up to your pc and the age of your turntable, there’s an easy turntable setup to suit you.
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Anatomy of a Turntable: A Beginner’s Guide

To provide more convenience to our listening experience, there have been many digital music formats introduced during the past few decades, but many would agree that the demise of the venerable vinyl record has been greatly exaggerated.

Before we dive into the anatomy of a turntable, let’s look briefly at why, despite popular belief, vinyl records have not and will never die a silent death…
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13 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Vinyl Crate Digging Etiquette

Crate Digging Etiquette

Show Courtesy When Crate Digging for Vinyl

Crate digging for vinyl is an intimate addiction. Perhaps it’s the hunt for that classic from your childhood or that rare musical gem to add to your growing collection.

Or the thrill of coming across an album you’ve never heard of or the allure of the magical artwork. Whatever your ‘poison’ like any addiction, it will have exquisite highs, grinding lows and will puzzle most other people.
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