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.


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.