Buying Your First Record Player
If you’re reading this, it means that the vinyl bug has officially bitten you. It also means that you’re looking at buying your first record player, which happens to be your biggest hurdle in the world of retro music listening.
First Things First
The options for record players are virtually endless, as are the price tags these units sport, and as such, the features that they come with. We’re assuming that you’re ready to invest in your OWN, brand-spanking-new turntable, so we’re not going to elaborate on what to look for when buying a used record player here.
Instead, we’ll show you what to focus on, and then show you a few examples of the best turntables for beginners.
Considerations Before Buying
This is your starting point, and something you might want to keep in mind is that old saying of ‘you get what you pay for’. Want to know a secret? You DON’T need the fanciest of setups out there or a high end record player. Remember, your first record player is where your new lifelong passion begins, it doesn’t have to be top-off-the-line.
That being said, steer clear of anything sub $100, since these record players usually sacrifice sound qualify for a lower price tag. Aim for anything between $300 and $500 if you want to invest in something that’ll see you through your first few rookie years (not to mention the fact that these units sport awesome features).
Since we just mentioned features, we might as well state the case here: Your record player’s features will make or break the experience. Try and opt for a unit that comes with a USB port, which makes it possible to connect to your PC and digitize your old LP’s, but keep in mind that most new vinyl records do come with download cards which eliminates the need for a USB port if you’re purely a listener that needs great sound quality.
3. Upgrading Your Components
This is going to be a big deal once you get pulled into the world of LPs whole-heartedly. You need to make sure that your record player’s components such as the cartridge, tonearm, belt, and slip mats are upgradable, unless of course you plan on splashing some more cash in the near future to invest in a new record player altogether.
Good Turntables for Beginners
We’ve told you what to look for when you’re purchasing your first record player, now it’s time that we showed you some great options for beginners and audiophiles alike…
Best Bang for Your Buck
Crosley’s CR8005A-GR is a great option for newbies on the LP scene since it’s one of your cheapest options that still bring quality to the table. You won’t get any multimedia functionality here, but it does come with speakers and sets up very easily.
A Step Up
The Crosley CR704C-PA is probably all a rookie will ever need in terms of a music media device. Its main focus is playing records of course, but it also functions as an FM radio and plays cassette tapes (Stone Age we know, but still pretty impressive!). This unit, unlike our first pick, comes with built-in speakers, which makes it a better choice for sound quality.
Audio-Technica’s AT-LP120 packs a lot of cool into a rather small package. Its super durable, built solid, runs on a direct-drive motor, and comes with a USB drive. Audi-Technica is one of the market’s biggest names, so you can sit back and relax knowing that you’re buying into superior quality.
We’ve shown you exactly what to look for when you’re shopping for your first record player, and we’ve show you three great options for beginner turntables, all you need to do now is decide how much you’re willing to spend.