All Posts by Marco J

Boston’s Best Record Shops

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The City of Boston is also known as the capital of Massachusetts. This great city houses beautiful harbors, many magnificent museums, New England Aquarium, but it also shelters some of the best record shops across the entire United States.

Frankly, this city lacks the quantity of record shops, but that’s easily compensated for by the quality of record venues it can offer you.

The record shops in Boston offer budget records, premium-quality vinyl cassettes, cheap & used records, but you can also find rare editions, limited edition sales, and more. Let’s see which shops are Boston’s finest:

1. Cheapo Records

Well, the name says it all. Cheapo records offer vinyl records at an affordable price, and their stocks are filled with hand-picked rock, folk, jazz, country, oldies, and rarities. They’ve been around ever since 1954, and pretty much everyone in Boston knows about them. If you want to lighten your wallet a bit, this is a perfect place for a record hunt.

2. Nuggets Records

Nuggets Records have been selling records ever since the last century. There are still some old VCRs, and most kids won’t even know what this “silly tech” is. Anyhow, their stocks are quite large, as they feature classic-rock, pop-rock, blues, jazz, soul, R&B, and more. Furthermore, the cheap-records bin is literally a treasure throw which holds many surprises.

3. Undergroundhiphop.com

Undergroundhiphop.com is better known as UGHH.com. This venue is a rapper’s dream, and a hip-hop enthusiast’s paradise. However, there’s little for people who like other types of music. The UGHH.com offers various T-shirts, graffiti cans, watches, and other hip-hop merchandise. They also host occasional live performances from local rappers, so this is definitely a place to be if you’re into this music genre.

4. Weirdo Records

There’s a perfectly logical explanation behind the name of “Weirdo Records” – everything about it is unusual, to say the least. Now, Angela Sawyer (the owner of Weirdo Records) started out from her Somerville flat, and expanded the business in Central Square. The stocks of this record shop are fairly limited, as the focus is mainly put on foreign, experimental, and progressive music. It’s safe to say that everything here is rare, but you won’t find classics or oldies.

5. Armageddon Shop

With such a doomsday name, you simply can’t be mistaken – Armageddon shop is here for metal heads, punkers, hard-core people, and industrial fans. This record venue houses a wide selection of extreme music, and this is the place to be if you’re searching for Cannibal Corse, Metallica, Rammstein, or Crowbar.
You can find Armageddon records on the Eliot Street, Cambridge, or at armgeddonshop.com.

6. Newbury Comics

Newbury comics offer a wide selection of premium-quality vintage records. Their stocks are very versatile and well-kept, and literally every music enthusiast can find a piece of gold to call his own. Apart from the manifold of records, Newbury comics sell (you guessed it) – comics. New and old, popular and obscure, their stocks will never fail to amaze you, so pay them a visit next time you’re around.

7. Skippy White’s

Skippy White is the owner of this magnificent shop – he’s 78 years old, and his shop is 54 years old. They both mean business, and that’s the point they passed on to their customers for five decades straight. Skippy owns a shop that’s nowhere near organized, but this just gives you more reason to come and dig through the uncharted territory and undiscovered treasure of Skippy White’s.
This record store raised the bar and introduces hip-hop to Boston back in the day. The stocks, however, boast a versatile arrangement of blues, jazz, R&B, and, of course, rarest hip-hop finds out there. The prices are neat, so go get them.

8. Planet Records

Planet records’ fate was unlucky one – they survived floods, fires, the downfall of music, and more. This is what kept them alive, though – their staff know what it feels like to be down, but they’ve risen again so that you can enjoy their record stock selection.
Since Boston isn’t exactly brimming with record shops, it would be a shame if the Planet closed down. Their hard work and persistence were rewarded by the loyalty of their customers, and they work ever so hard to deliver the premium-quality service.

9. Tres Gatos

Tres Gatos (literally, “Three Cats”), is one of those shops that you don’t exactly know what they’re offering. This is a bookstore, a mini-restaurant, and a vinyl record shop. An ideal way to start a day is by eating while reading a book, after which you can dig through the boxes of vinyl records.

Denver – Record Venues You Simply Have To Visit

Denver is the largest town in the Colorado federal state, and it houses approximately 600 thousand citizens. Now, these people definitely know how to party – their botanic gardens are exceptionally beautiful, Colorado’s Ski Country is always brimming with life, and the Cherry Creek State Park is a wonderful place to visit.

As for the record shops, Denver is a home of some of the most beautiful record venues in all of the USA. We’ve compiled a list of the top shops you simply have to visit, so take a look:

1. Twist and Shout

Twist and Shout is definitely one of the best vinyl record shops that Denver can offer. This is store is massive, but it’s pretty well-organized – there are several long rows of hand-picked vinyl records, and it’s safe to say that most of the selection is quite old-school.

It’s not uncommon that Twist and Shout hosts in-store performances, but they also sponsor local gigs and shows. Their prices are quite affordable, so make sure to pay them a visit when you’re in Denver.

2. Wax Trax

Wax Trax may just be a true heaven for audiophiles, music enthusiasts, and vinyl record lovers. This record shop is brimming with musical obscurities, reissues, oddities, and some of the rarest vinyl records in the US of A. The staff of this magnificent record venue is friendly, knowledgeable, and extremely polite, and, occasionally, you may even bump into some famous stars, as they frequent this audiophile heaven.

3. Mutiny Information

Mutiny Information is the most versatile shop Denver has to offer. It’s practically a café, a record shop, a comic shop, and a premium-quality bookstore. People gather here all the time, as there are plenty of activities to choose from. The interior is very home-like, as it is inviting, warm, and quite beautiful altogether. Now, the only downfall is that there are not a lot of records to browse.

4. Bowman’s Vinyl and Lounge

Bowman’s is the place for writers, poets, and artistic souls. This place offers booze and vinyl records, and it’s safe to say that this combination is absolutely ideal. Apart from their vast vinyl record stock, there are a lot of different brands of booze to enjoy. The prices of Bowman’s Vinyl and Lounge are affordable, and their staff will gladly help you it if you’ve hit a tight spot.

5. The 52 80s

The 52 80s is another magnificent shop that you’ll definitely want to visit if you’re in Denver. This is a true nostalgic gem that will bring back memories faster than anything. A wide selection of rare vinyl records and other musical oddities & obscurities is at your leisure at a reasonable price.

The staff of 52 80s is well-acquainted with up-to-date music genres and trends, and they’re very, very polite. Simply ask them what you need, and they’ll show you around. As for their stocks, they don’t have a wide catalog of vinyl records, but the entire place is extremely well-organized, so you’re bound to find a thing or two to your liking eventually.

Here’s a fun-fact: The 52 80s also sell action figures and similar nostalgic gems and tokens of the past millennium, so make sure to check the entire place out before you leave.

6. Angelo’s CDs

Angelo’s can be found at various locations throughout USA. Angelo is more of an institution than a music shop, mainly because they’ve earned the trust of their beloved customers by providing premium-quality products and services.

We’ll stick with this venue since they’re somewhat of a rarity these days – vinyl records were thought to be extinct until recently, and Angelo’s is the first Vinyl Record Chain in quite a while. Even though they’re definitely among the best of the best, Angelo’s CDs offer more than just records and cassettes.

The stocks of this magnificent shop are filled with body-art accessories and jewelry for those with a taste in aesthetics, bongs for those who like to puff on occasions, throwing knives for people who like exotic things, and, of course, a wide variety of hand-picked vinyl records.

Considering the vinyl records and cassettes, you can find virtually anything here – from the oldest Beatles records, to the latest mainstream music genres. The staff of Angelo’s is professional, friendly, and well-acquainted with everything you may need, so feel free to inquire about the stocks, the shop itself, or whatever comes to mind. Their prices, however, are quite competitive, and they’re not among the cheapest, most definitely.

Toronto’s Finest Vinyl Venues

Toronto is such a wonderful place – the Canadian’s National Tower is a sight to behold, the distillery district offers the best beers and beverages, and the St. Lawrence Market is a heaven for every shopper. Apart from these marvelous sights, you should definitely make sure to check out the Toronto Islands since summer is coming.

Toronto is Ontario’s jewel, as it’s decorated with various beautiful structures, polite citizens, and, of course, some of the best record shops in the world.

We’ve prepared the list of best Toronto record shops you just have to visit if you’re anywhere near Ontario. The trip is definitely worth the time and cash:

1. Ric’s Recollections

This venue is the record shop of Toronto. Ric’s Recollections is the place to be if you’re searching for rare records, but you can also find everything you wanted and needed – their stocks are filled with 20000+ of the best rock, blues, country, pop, R&B, and other vinyl records, but they also sell a variety of utility items, including brushes, cleaning fluids, record player cartridges, and more.

Ric’s Recollections can be found in Mississauga, and you should definitely pay them a visit if you’re close by. Cheap records, rare finds, and, most importantly, premium-quality records and services are at your disposal at this marvelous shop.

2. Rotate This

Rotate this might not be a conventional name, but, hey – how do you even make it in the record industry if you go with the flow? This record shop houses a large stock of classic & recent releases of records, and, frankly, there are so many records that you’ll find what you need, even if you didn’t know that you wanted it.

Independent artists, independent music, and underground bands are a commonplace in this awesome venue, so, hipsters – charge. The staff of Rotate This is well-versed in the majority of music genres, and they’ll show you around the shop if you don’t know what you want at that very moment.

Classics, rock, pop, and indie music is in abundance, and it’s somewhat of a tradition that this shop houses the rarest releases before their modest competition. Anyhow, this is the place to be when you want the best of the best.

3. Cosmos records

Cosmos records will celebrate their 20th birthday sometime next year, and they’ve certainly earned their name and fame. Located on the Queen Street, Cosmos Records beautify the avenue with their exterior charm.

As for the stocks of Cosmos records, you can find the classics, rarities, and the newest releases with ease. Their records are well-organized in separate shelves and sections, so all you need to do is simply bring a wallet to spend some cash.

This awesome shop really likes to keep in touch with their customers, and the best way to do this is by directly selling and buying from them. They will gladly purchase any old collection of vinyl records from you, and they’re even up for an occasional barter, if you feel like it.

Their prices are quite affordable, and their old records section is really a bargain. Cosmos records is definitely a place to be if you want to spend less and get more.

4. Pandemonium

Pandemonium sounds otherworldly, and that word would best describe the situation in their store (most of the time). Their halls are filled with music lovers and audiophiles, as they’re one of the largest Toronto record venues, housing a variety of vinyl records.

They’ve been around for quite a while (ever since 2000, to be precise), and their shelves are filled with jazz, soul, metal, blues, classical, rock, and other types of vinyl records. They also sell a variety of CDs & DVDs, so that’s a plus.

5. Sonic Boom (Toronto)

Sonic Boom is the name that you might’ve heard before, and you wouldn’t be mistaken. There are various shops across the United States of America that bear the same name, but they’re not necessarily connected.

As for Toronto’s Sonic Boom, it’s one of the Canada’s best independent vinyl record shops. They can be found in Spadina Avenue, Canada.

The stocks of Sonic Boom are always readily available, and their staff is well-acquainted with everything that may interest you concerning the latest and the rarest vinyl records.

The prices of their records are modest, and the quality of their services are without equal. This is the place to be when you’re in Canada, so pay them a visit, and they’ll gladly provide you with the best records.

Finding the best record venues in Brooklyn

Brooklyn is actually a part of NYC, and it forms the Kings County with four other districts. The East River, Newton’s Creek, and Betts Creek are just some of the marvelous sights to behold in this piece of heaven.

Ever heard of the Coney Island? It’s one of the wonders of Brooklyn – an amusement park that will make your trip memorable. You can always visit the Brooklyn’s museum if you’re into history, art, and architecture, or simply take a stroll in the Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.

The Children’s Museum of Brooklyn is also a magnificent place to take your kids, but what if you’re looking for a record shop? Here’s where we step in.

Brooklyn is very beautiful in its own right, and the record shops that it houses only contribute to its beauty. Here we have a list of the best record venues in Brooklyn that you simply have to visit if you’re in Kings, NYC.

1. Rough Trade

Don’t be deceived by the name – Rough Trade is actually pretty fair, if we’re to take the name literally. They’re one of the best Williamsburg record shops, housing tons and tons of versatile records from various music genres.
The place itself is huge, and there are always hundreds of people, rummaging through the records in hope of finding a rare vinyl record.

Rough Trade’s interior is minimalist in nature, so don’t expect fancy lights or light shows. Even so, they’re always full, and their record stocks keep piling up, despite the fact that people literally “rob” them of records on a daily basis (since their prices are a bargain).

2. Co-Op 87

Co-Op 87 vinyl record shop is a record hunter’s paradise. This place may not be beautiful or attractive, but it’s brimming with rare & limited edition records. The shop is well-organized, and there are tons of boxes and crates with rare vinyl records.
Their prices vary from product to product, and there are some very expensive records, but you can always find a cheap record if you dig hard enough. They can be found at Guernsey Street, between Norman and Nassau Avenue in Brooklyn, NYC.

3. Heaven Street

Heaven Street is actually a Heaven of best records in all of Brooklyn. This marvelous shop houses only the best records, among which you can find the rare editions, the latest vinyl records, and cheap used vinyl records.
The shop owners were mainly interested in punk, post-punk, hardcore, industrial, and metal music, but there are classics & electronic records as well.

If you’re a hardcore, punk, or metal fan, there are no excuses – this shop is a must go-to for any metal head.

4.  Black Gold (Brooklyn)

There’s Black Gold in NYC, and there’s some Black Gold in Brooklyn. We’re mainly concerned with the latter, so let’s get right to it – this shop is found at Court Street, Brooklyn, and it just may be the best record shop in the US.
Basically, this is a coffee shop that’s filled with records. Personally, I can’t imagine a better combination. A freshly brewed cup of coffee, a relaxing atmosphere, and tons of records that are just waiting to be explored and bought.

The interior of Black Gold is purely amazing – it was tastefully decorated, and it has a soothing aura that makes you want to be there all the time. If you’re up to some casual coffee and record digging enjoyment, this is your place.

5. Record Grouch

Record Grouch is a treasure trove of used LPs, 70s jazz music, European metal collection, and more. Their prices are their forte. The used records bin is where you will find all those bargains that will help your wallet retain its width. There are also some rarities that will lighten the load.
The interior is minimalist, so you won’t have any distractions while you’re browsing for your records. Anyhow, Record grouch can be found at Manhattan Avenue at the Huron Street in Brooklyn.

6. Vinyl Fantasy

Vinyl Fantasy is one of those shops that will simply blow you away as soon as you enter. Their selection of vinyl records is insurmountable, and they are always full of mainstream, indie, and alternative records and cassettes.
What’s more, they also sell cheap comic books, graphic novels and more. The staff are polite, friendly, and well-versed in the latest music trends. They will gladly help you out if you don’t know what you should buy or get. With such a great selection, there are no reasons why you shouldn’t visit them, to say the least.

Record Player – Old turntables vs New turntables

First of all, we should get rid of any and all prejudice if we’re to pit old record players against new record player models. Most people think that “old” things (including record players) are sort of inferior to new. This statement is often backed by arguments such as:

  • New products are “unused”

Second-hand record players were used, obviously, and most people don’t want to think about their previous owners. There are even some minor defections and malfunctions that could have been duct taped (figuratively speaking), so they won’t be visible once you’ve felt the turntable out.

Is this statement accurate?

Of course, this statement also works in the opposite way. There’s a chance that the previous owner of the record player in question is an audiophile who augmented it with improvements, upgraded parts, and such.

  • New record players were manufactured using “advanced” technology

This one is pretty self-explanatory. As time progresses, the industry and science work hand in hand to create (and implement) advanced, superior technologies in the manufacturing process. Even though this matter is purely subjective, most people think that newer is better due to as much as a time gap in technology.

Is this statement accurate?

Even though the older manufacturers used simpler techniques to craft their record players, they were unhindered by the need for complex technologies. Simply put, these manufacturers relied solely on their skill, which explains why there are some older turntables that are greatly superior to the high-end, newer ones.

How do you spot differences between new and old record players?

If you think about it, this question is a good one, actually. Plainly speaking, there would be little (if none) differences between well-kept older record players and new ones Ceteris Paribus. Now, how can a layman spot the differences between these turntables? Let’s see the list of things that might be the cases:

Older record players have a peculiar sound output

The main reason why older record players are different from the new models is that they feature a peculiar, distinct sound output. Even though the sound quality should be a subjective matter, it’s hardly arguable that the older record players simply sound different.

The reason for this unique sound can be (and usually is) the use of different, sometimes even obscure technologies. Knowing that the Modern Era brought digital and electronic technologies, it’s somewhat of a standard nowadays. On that matter, the older record players relied on physics, superior engineering, empiric experience, feedback, and other non-electronic techniques and technologies.

Most old record players have the “old feel and look”

The reason why record players and nostalgia are synonymous is that record players gained massive popularity during the Pre-Modern Age era. Older models often remind people of things past. Furthermore, nothing is immune to the teeth of time, including record players.

No matter how much effort you’ve put in, record players wither. The preservation of your record player model, the construction will wear off at some point. The woodwork plinth might be the best example, as corrosion is hard to evade, which makes the base of your turntable extremely susceptible to exterior damages.

Old record players are usually sold standalone, while newer models are sold on a large scale

Even though this might not seem as a crucial difference, it is if you’re interested in antiquities. Vinyl record player collectors are usually prepared to pay top dollar for unique record players. In fact, dusty old record players are models that are usually cheaper and greatly superior in terms of performance.

Kids of today can never relive the days when record players got out. The time when it was a thrilling experience to sit by your cousins. The time to sit with your relatives on a family reunion event while turntable gently plays in the background. Most teens and young adults tend to remember these memories. On that matter, odds are that you would feel the same in that situation.

If that’s the case, no record player can reproduce the sound in the same way as that specific record player. All you need is the brand and the name of the model, and you might have luck finding it online.

Conclusion

Having said all this, it’s hard to say that there are any actual differences between old and new record players. Old models can easily surpass new ones in one field of performance while failing to do so in the other. In conclusion, if you’re ever considering a newer record player over the older model, don’t spend too much time looking for differences. The reality is – the perfect model might just be in front of you.

New York’s Finest Record Shops

New York is definitely one of those places that are on everyone’s bucket list – big lights, big stars, nightlife. Everything there is brimming with fast-paced life, and I will personally shake the hand of the gentleman (or gentlewoman) who claims that they’ve experienced boredom in the NYC.

There are a lot of great things to see there, but there are also a lot of great things to hear. New York is the birthplace of many great bands and performers, so it’s only natural that this city shelters some of the finest record shops on the planet.

Rare vinyl records are in high demand these days, and you’re in luck – New York is full of shops that offer a variety of rarities, but make sure to bring a fat wallet with you because the prices are not exactly a bargain.

We’ve composed a list of the finest record spots in the NY, so, if you happen to be there, be sure to check them out:

1. Academy Records

Academy Records is one of those hot spots that are actually very affordable, and not just for NY standards. They’ve been around for quite a while, ever since the beginning of the 80s, and their stocks include an impressive catalog of the best records, CDs, LPs, and more.

The store is beautifully organized, and there’s a lot of room to feel relaxed while you’re browsing. The staff are well-informed and polite, so it’s quite clear why Academy Records deserve the #1 spot in our list.

2. Black Gold

One would think that Black Gold is a place where you can inquire about the oil industry, business, and so on, but one would be mistaken. This magnificent store sells a variety of things, including coffee, vinyl records, and antiques, hence the name.

The store itself features a beautiful interior design, including the stuffed hyena, a deer head, and a beautiful black ceiling. You can find a lot of stuff here, ranging from the trashy grunge-rock, over classic rock, punk, and metal. All in all, they’re quite affordable, but they’re definitely not cheap.

3. Captured Tracks

Captured Tracks is one of those venues in Greenpoint that doesn’t exactly strike as a record shop. The interior is brimming with business-like motives – perhaps the owners wanted to show that they’re serious, and that they did.
Once you’re inside this store, you might feel a familiar feeling. The interior resembles a work place, that’s true, but the friendliness of the staff simply makes everything different.

Captured Tracks is one of the relatively younger record hot spots – they opened up in 2013, and they’ve been kicking it ever since. Their stocks are large and versatile, their staff are approachable and straightforward – everything checks out, so just go and enjoy yourself.

4. Deep Cuts

Deep Cut records sound edgy, and, let me tell you, they have a reason to be – New York is a place where competition is stiff. It doesn’t matter what you’re dealing with – baking bread, selling records, singing, dancing. Deep Cuts is a store that deals with various music genres and records, but they’re more metal than any other store we’ve come across. Black Sabbath, Slayer, Anthrax, Death – their vinyl records are first to pop out once you enter the store.

Everything is in perfect order, though – there’s a separate section for each music genre, and you can always ask for help if you get lost along the way. The staff of Deep Cuts are decent folk, and they know their way around things. If you’re searching for rare releases of Iron Maiden’s LPs, they’ll get it for you in no time.

5. Generation Records

Located in Greenwich Village, Generation Records shine like the brightest diamond. This magnificent store is filled with rare LPs, used vinyl records, but they also sell t-shirts, posters, and other band merchandise. Some people think that this province is quiet and mild, but that’s not the case with the rockers at Generation Records – there are dozens of extreme-metal vinyl records, punkers would be pleased to see “God Save The Queen” in the first rows, but any average Joe can find various whatevers.

The store is not aggressive, though – most people would simply walk by without even noticing it, but once you’re inside, it’s a totally different story. Their work staff are familiar with everything they need to know, and they’ll gladly share their knowledge with you. Reasonable prices, friendly faces, and tons and tons of great records.

Best Record Stores – Dallas

Dallas is one of the major cities of the United States of America (Texas), and it’s actually the 4th most populous areas in the US. It’s safe to say that there are a lot of people there, but there’s also a great number of vintage lovers – the number of record shops proves this.

It wasn’t always this good, though. Up until recently, the good old Dallas was a place where people struggled to find a decent record shop, and the reason is quite plain. Dallas was always a place that was ahead of its time, and business planners thought that vinyl records are outdated.

Luckily enough, the town received a massive boost to its tourism rate, resulting in a new type of need – records and vinyl stores. Soon enough, buildings were erected, and the number of record shops raised the bar. Now, we’re here with the list of the best record shop in Dallas:

  1. Off The Record
    off the record

Apart from the catchy and genuinely brilliant name, Off The Record offers a great variety of vinyl records for anyone who happens to love vinyl records, and more. Their stocks are brimming with the latest records made by superstars and top performers, and they virtually never run out – approximately 2000 decorate the golden halls of “Off The Records”.

There’s another reason why people love them so much – you can enjoy your time rummaging through record lines while drinking beer. This is, perhaps, one of the main reasons why people like them so much. This “mixed” store offers a wide variety of beers and premium-quality records at a bargain price.

  1. Spinster Records
    spinster records

Spinster is a large, hip record shop that deserved its name on the list of the best Dallas record stores with ease. Ever since it’s opening, the store received various cosmetic upgrades and decorations, and it’s now considered to be one of the best-looking record shop in the US.

Even though their stocks are quite versatile, there’s not much when it comes to “mid-time” records. The lines are filled with oldies and new-urban vinyl records, but 90s lovers would have a hard time finding their favorite vinyl. That’s actually pretty cool, though – if you’re feeling lucky, you can just rummage through the lines, and you’ll find something golden eventually.

  1. Mad World shop
    mad world records

The Mad World is located in Denton’s downtown, and it’s relatively new to the old DFW scene. It opened in the beginning of 2011, and it was like a breath of fresh air to Dallas. Since they are young on the scene, they had a promise to deliver, and deliver they did. Their stocks are virtually brimming with the latest trends and records, the interior of their shop is vivid and colorful, and the work staff is professional and super friendly.

Mad World features various records from various music genres, but their stocks can’t compare to the older generations of shops. Since they’re well acquainted with this flaw, they put a heavy accent on reliability, availability, and their nice staff. Overall, you should make sure to check them out if you’re close.

  1. Recycled Books
    recycled books records

The only downfall of Recycled Books shop is that most people get confused by the name. People expect books when they see “books” in the name of the label, but most people don’t mind being “fooled” in such a way. The surprise of finding a quality record shop is warm, even though you feel somewhat tricked. The whole point is precisely that – luring the people who’re into books.

Personally, I don’t know what was in the mind of the owners of Recycled books, but I’d say that they wanted to target the same group of customers. People who like books are obviously intellectuals who like records as well. If I’m correct, this is one of the best strategies for a good record store business.

  1. Good Records
    good records

By saying that Good Records are “Good”, we’re actually lying. Good is an understatement here, especially if we take into consideration all the facts that revolve around this magnificent shop. It would be more fitting if they named their store “Perfect Records” or “Premium Records”, but let’s just say that the owners are being modest.

You can expect great deals and offers, premium-quality vinyl records, brand new and used records, and more. Most of the time, you can even catch a bargain – Good Records offer used records at a reduced price, but don’t fret – these records are well preserved and priced accordingly.

How to Buy the Best Turntable and Stereo System for Your Records

Introduction – A word about turntables and stereo systems

Some people think that record players are a thing of the past. That may be true, as modern technology has given way to much advancement in the stereo-system sphere, but record players are all but forgotten.

Recently, the world has experienced a resurgence of record players. People have remembered how these nostalgic contraptions can sound and make you feel so real – the one thing that modern systems lack.

Record players are, and were, the heart and soul of contraptions that reproduce music, so finding the best one is quite hard. The market of record players and stereo systems is huge, and there are a lot of manufacturers, brands, and models. The sole purpose of this article is to help you find the best record player without having to pay a fortune.

Record Player Types

First of all, you want to settle for one record player type. There are a lot of styles, and it’s hard to say what is a standard record player these days, mainly because the modern manufacturers have innovative workforce and superior technology (when compared to the times when the first record players surfaced).

Record Player Types:

  • All-in-One record player

These record players are usually quite big and quite expensive. The All-in-one record player features various features, including a radio, wireless connection, the Bluetooth feature, CD/DVD feature, USB connections, and more.

These record players usually don’t excel in the field of aesthetics, but they’re extremely versatile.However, these record players usually cost quite a lot, so be prepared to pay top dollar if you consider buying this type of record players.

  • Compact/Portable Turntable

Compact record players focus on portability. If you want to enjoy music wherever you go, this might be your best option. Now, these turntables are often either small or lightweight, but they can’t compare to versatile and high-end record players when it comes to performance. They’re not extremely expensive, though.

  • Record players with AM/FM Radio

Record players with AM/FM radio are often good as home variants. People who enjoy listening to radio will like these turntables best, as they’re capable of reproducing vinyl records, and they come with a built-in radio. This is one of the basic types of record players – usually cheap, with a solid performance.

  • Record players with wireless connection

If you’re out of room for your turntable, Wireless record players are absolutely ideal. You can put them virtually wherever you want, as the remote method of operation comes in handy in these situations. Wireless record players are often supplied with additional features, such as CD/DVD drive and USB connections.

  • Record players with audio ripping software

If you’d like to throw a party with vinyl records and you lack the corresponding amplification device to pump up the volume, these record players are definitely for you. Record players with audio ripping software allow you to convert your vinyl records to MP3 format which you can later reproduce via your PC or Laptop.

Things you should look out for

Now that you’ve settled for a type, you should be aware of certain things concerning these record players. One of the most obvious factors is the price. However, there are expensive record players and stereo systems that are definitely worth the cash. People usually call them high-end record players, as the value ratio between the price and performance is decently balanced.

Furthermore, you should look out for the features. There are brands that offer similar record players, and the only difference is in the parts. Some record players are pretty plain and basic, and these turntables come with a modest number of parts. This can be good, if these features are exceptionally good at what they’re intended to do.

Lastly, you should always compare the models you have in mind. First of all, the price is easy to compare, but the features are a different category altogether. If the record player you’re interested in fulfills the criteria, you’ve found your turntable.

The Final Verdict

Finding a record player of any sort is easy. The market is vast, and the manufacturers offer their products globally and locally. Now, finding the best record player isn’t such an easy task, so make sure to take everything into account. The type of a record player you like in, the prices of various models, the features they come with it, and so on.

How Does a Turntable Work – Record Player’s Method Of Operation

Introduction – what are turntables and record players?

Phonographs were the first devices that we used to receive written (programmed) sound. Their invention can be linked to Thomas Edison, Eldridge Johnson, and Emil Berliner. These people literally made the history of music by inventing this remarkable wonder.
Shortly after the invention of phonograph, the first gramophones were made – improved variants of sound-producing units. Gramophones were superior to phonographs in virtually every possible aspect, but they paled in comparison to turntables – the record players we all love and cherish.

Record Player’s Basics

Simply speaking, record players produce sound through data transmission. The vinyl record (which is placed on the record player) transmits data to the record player which tracks it down and reproduces it in the form of a sound.

Each part of the turntable does a specific job – a motor runs the show, the tonearm holds the cartridge and the record player needle which grazes the records, ultimately, producing sound. It’s hard to describe the parts and functions of a standard record player as there are different models, each being supplied with different parts and different method of operation.

It’s important to note that there are also different types of record players, such as versatile record players, all-in-one record players, portable record players, AM/FM record players, and more. Each of these models come with special features and characteristics.

Record Player & Mechanics – Motor

There are different types of record players, and don’t be surprised if you hear the word turntable, as it, basically, mean the same thing. Furthermore, record players come with different motors. These motors are the engines (same as with a standard car), and they run the entire mechanism.

Motors usually run at 45 RPM (rotations per minute), but some record players come with selectable speeds – 33, 45, and 78 rotations per minute.

Why is this speed important? The faster the engines run, the faster the process will be. However, this is in tight correlation with the stability of your record player. Some turntables will skip, scratch, or even malfunction if the speed surpasses the stability. For instance, a turntable with a fast motor should have a heavy platter if you wish to avoid potential problems.

Understanding the basic parts of a record player

Once we understand the parts of a record player, we can easily understand how these contraptions work. Each part is tightly connected with the other. We can see how a record player functions when we know the role of each part as a standalone factor.

There aren’t many parts, so let’s just mention the key elements of every turntable – The Base, The Needle, The Arm, and the Cartridge.

The Base

The base is also called the plinth of the record player. This term is relatively new, but it definitely means the base of the construction. The base of a turntable holds the parts together, and it serves as a sheltering box for other parts. The base should be heavy if it’s to provide stability to the construction. However, there isn’t a rule that will state what the material should be.

For instance, some manufacturers make record player plinths from wood, die-cast aluminum, metal, and other parts.

The Needle

The needle is located on the record player tonearm’s end. This is what actually makes the sound. It grazes the surface of the record and deciphers data written on it. This data is converted into small vibrations (which are later converted to music).
The needle is actually very small, and it’s hard to consider it as a main part. It’s basically a sub-part of the turntable Tonearm, and it can easily get damaged, but it’s also very simple to replace. People still consider it as one of the key elements of a record player because it serves a vital function.

The Arm

The arm (or the Tonearm) of the turntable is often found on the rightmost side of the turntable plinth, and it’s often locked in place – this was done to avoid unnecessary risks of damage, lest it wanders when unused.

The Arm contains the cartridge and the needle. These two parts are crucial for the functions of a record player, as they track down music data from the record player, and convert it to music at a later point. As with the needle, the entire arm is also replaceable, but the price might not be as affordable as the needle itself. Anyway, the tonearm is also a vital element.

How To Get The Best Sound From Your Record Player: A Step-By-Step Guide

Step # 1 – Check everything before you proceed

Preparation is the key, so it’s quite obvious why checking for possible errors and malfunctions is the very first step. There are times when your record player under performs because there’s something missing.
Other situations include warped, dirty, and damaged vinyl records. Apart from that, there are cases of damaged parts, wrong turntable positioning, bad ratios of anti-skating and cartridge tracking force, and such. If you want to get the best sound, you should check everything before you proceed to other steps.

Step #2 – Upgrades, replacements, and parts

Most people are quite content with how a record player sounds when they make a purchase, but what if you can get even further? There are cheap ways to improve the overall sound quality of your record player, and we recommend purchasing upgrade parts.

The record player needle that’s attached to your record player can easily be replaced – more specifically, you can upgrade it by replacing it with a superior one. Furthermore, you can replace and upgrade nearly any part (with the exception of plinth, but that can be done too, even though it’s not highly recommended).

Step #3- Positioning your record player

Where you put your vinyl record is of much importance when it comes to the sound quality of your vinyl records. A hard surface will ensure the stability of your turntable while a soft surface will provide more resonance. There’s also the matter of weight of your turntable, and the question of the overall construction.
There are a lot of things you should consider when positioning your record player, such as the record player plinth construction, is there any special material at the bottom, and such. Most record players come with a rubber mat at the bottom, in which case you won’t need to worry about the stability.

How your record player performs is also influenced by the things you put on top – more precisely, the lack of things on top and near your record player. Turntable emits sounds and vibrations, so the noise will deflect of any material and object in the vicinity. Make sure that the room you make for your record player is isolated if you want to get the best sound.

Step #4 – Adjust the Anti-Skate System (Bias)

The groove of your vinyl records travels slower on the inside when compared to the outside. There’s a force that performs a pulling motion toward the centre of the record – this force requires an offset and compensation, else the vinyl might pop out.

The Bias (or the anti-skating system) compensates for this pull, but it won’t do much good if you simply turn the power on. You’ll have to tweak the anti-skating system a bit if you want the best sound of your vinyl records and your turntable.

To do so, you should adjust the tracking force of your turntable cartridge. What we’re aiming here at is the correct ratio between the cartridge tracking force and the anti-skating force. They should always be near, but the cartridge tracking force should be stronger (by a bit).

If the cartridge force is set at 2.00 grams, the anti-skating force should be set at 1.75 – 1.8 grams, and if the cartridge force is set at 1.75, the anti skating should be set at 1.5 grams, and so on. This will greatly improve the sound quality of your vinyl records.

Step #5 – Adjust the VTA – Vertical Tracking Angle of the Turntable Stylus

If you’ve done everything correctly so far, the overall sound of your record player is improved greatly. Anyhow, there are still things you can do to further improve the sound quality of your vinyl records and your turntable.

The VTA (as in Vertical Tracking Angle) represents the angle of your record player stylus when placed in the groove (perceived from the side). Most people think that simply inserting the stylus in the groove will suffice, but that’s not entirely accurate. Loosen the bolt in the tonearm’s base, and the height will increase (or decrease). The angle you’re looking for should look parallel when you compare the surface of the vinyl and the arm tube.

The main reason why this is the final step is because some record players don’t allow this option. The VTA adjustment is only possible when you can easily loosen the bolt without affecting the overall construction. Those record players that offer this option will have this explanation in the user’s manual.

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