Choosing The Best Vintage Record Player

You do care for style and thereby you love some nostalgia. With everything around you being carbon or polyester and clinically designed, you would like to stand out. Obviously you can buy a new high end Stereo system but modern electronics do not represent your personality. A turntable does have that nostalgic look and will for sure bring character along with that. But choosing the right Vintage Record Player can be tough, so we’ve put together this resource a-one-stop-shop, all-inclusive guide to help you find the right model that fits your style.

Types of Classic Record Players

basic vintage turntablevintage phonographThere are many ways to divide record players in different categories. Pre amp vs power amp, belt driven vs direct drive etc. Those are more technical ways of discriminating between turntables. Most people visiting this blog are choosing between a gramophone (the one with the big brass horn) or a turntable model (without a horn). Although these terms are not officially selecting for with/without horn, everybody understands the difference.  We are not going to get in debate which is better. They both clearly have specific benefits.

  • Drawing attention. The big shiny brass horn immediately draws attention, this can be an advantage if you do like to show the gramophone. Some people however consider it too much of a presence in their room.
  • Cleaning. With an ordinary record player being easy to clean, the horn does need some attention. In order to make is shine or at least keep it clean, you will have pledge some sweat.
  • Space. Without a horn you can close the record player and put for instance some records on it. With the horn, there is no way that you are using that space.
  • Sound. With the sound coming from the horn it does sound even more characteristic. All record players have that vinyl sound, but the horn can even add some vintage touch to that. Not all new gramophones however do really use the horn for musical output.

Reviews of the 5 Coolest Vintage Record Players


Vintage record player

The Pyle-Home is one of the most characteristic looking gramophones. With  the handmade high quality wood veneer cabinet and prominent horn this is one of the top selling record players on Amazon. The horn is not only there for charm and elegance, it really does amplify the sound giving it a rich sound quality that will fill your room.

Additionally this classic vinyl record player is capable of playing a wide variety of music.  You can experience your vinyl records, CDs, cassettes, or tune into AM/FM radio. On top of that, the 3.5mm aux-in port can also handle you music from Ipod or MP3 player. The USB port gives you the opportunity to connect with your pc and record music straight to you hard disk or external drive. In short this well designed and fully equipped classic vinyl player will bring both excellent style and high quality music to your room.

best record playerWellington Nostalgia

One model that could for sure not be forgotten: The Electrohome Nostalgia.
With the massive wooden chest, this item has a classic look. But also the inside is attractive. With this 4-in-1 model, you also get a CD function, an USB recording option and FM Radio.


Why are Old Fashioned Record Players so Popular again

At the moment, vintage is hot. A beard, an old fashioned bike or retro design furniture, all are being popular at the  moment. And the same is true for musical instruments and in this case turntables. Therefore mostly not the characteristic sound but more the looks of the record player that are the reason to place a turntable in the room. And not only the old-school record player, also the vinyl albums are being seen everywhere again. With big events like Record-Store-Day the vinyl hype is only getting bigger!

Belt Drive or Direct Drive

In every turntable, a motor is spinning the platter. This motor can be attached to the platter in two different ways. The motor can be placed next to the platter. An elastic belt is then used to connect the motor and the platter. This way of spinning the platter is called belt drive.  An advantage of this system is the belt dampens the noise (vibration) of the motor.

An other way to drive the platter is not placing the motor besides the platter, but under it. Thereby the platter can be directly attached to the motor. In this process there is no dampening of the noise, but there is a more stable speed.

Old fashioned models almost all the time have the belt driven technology. DJ’s do prefer the direct driven models. When you are planning on creating sound effects as a DJ, the direct drive is your type. But for most people that buy the instrument to listen to music, belt driven is the way to go.

Manual or automatic tonearm placement

With a manual model, the user is required to lift the tonearm and place it on the platter with the album. For a automatic type, this is done by the device. Way more models are manual compared to automatic. The reason for being more common is not for technical issues or price. The main purpose of listening music from these instruments is the experience. Part of that experience in placing the needle carefully in the grooves.

Semi automatic models are becoming also more popular. Hereby the tonearm with stylus is placed above the plate, but not lowered. The lowering is done automatically by the push of a button. Thereby providing both the feeling of placing the stylus and preservation from the album.

Recording and USB functions

Nowadays most music is stored digital on hard disk or cloud. This ensures high quality and durability. With recording music from a USB turntable to a hard disk or laptop you can store your old school albums. With the recording being done really from the LP, the characteristic sound is also stored. With this recording therefore you have the sound of vinyl on a digital medium. This is making an excellent way to both store old music and giving an extra touch to your digital collection. Be sure to checkout if the model is suited for recording all LP sizes. With albums being produced on 33′, 45′ and 78′ size, there are a number of models that do not support all the formats. There will be no problem with 33 and 45, but 78 can be a problem for some recording players.

Best Record Players in 2016