People are turning to vintage turntables as an alternative to modern turntables at a startling rate. No one person has the same reason for preferring to go old-school, but the overall ‘feel’ of retro goods, the prospect of getting one of the best vintage turntables for a great price and the thrill of the hunt for a second hand bargain are all key factors.
Vintage turntables are an excellent option for high fidelity audio at cheap cost. If you have the patience to find a vintage turntable, learn about it, buy new parts and refurbish it, then you can get an amazingly cheap and cool record player. If you prefer the ease of off the shelf good quality turntables, then vintage turntables probably aren’t for you.
One of the top reasons for buying vintage turntables is their ability to play 78 RPM records, commonly referred to as ’78s’. The 78 is an old form of record that was around before the LP was invented in 1948. Even after the LP, bands still released 78 singles, but the single tracks are usually available on LP as well. 78s, both 10 inch and 12 inch, from the early to mid 20th century feature jazz, classical, blues, holiday songs and other styles of music typical of that era. Keep in mind that the audio quality will generally be quite poor, even on the best turntables, due to inferior recording technology and the age of the vinyl. The old-timey feel to it has a certain charm about it that some people love.
Are Vintage Turntables Cost Effective?
Is the same amount of money better spent on vintage turntables compared to the entry to mid level best turntables around currently? The answer is a matter of debate. Arguments against vintage turntables describe them as “collector’s items” that are more prone to added sounds such as rumble and breakdown frequently. Arguments for describe unique sonic quality of some vintage turntables as well as the beautiful retro feel. If you happen to find a good vintage turntable in working order for low cost, then it’s probably worth purchasing. Some people have multiple turntables and switch them in and out according to their current taste in music, declaring some turntables better for bebop and some better for reggae.
If you are serious about your vinyl but have not yet picked up your first vintage turntable to restore, consider dipping your toes in to the vintage turntables world. There is a plethora of resources online on how to refurbish your vintage turntables which can be a great weekend project.