We've seen many retro items make a comeback in the last few years, and the classic record player is no different. Record players might be vintage, but they still offer a great way to enjoy some music while also contributing to your interior décor. We've put together some of the most elite record players of 2021 that are excellent at playing your favorite tracks while also providing you access to modern features! Whether you are a music fan yourself or giving a gift to a vinyl lover you know, record players are a great option, sure to please anyone who appreciates music! Also, if you are looking to equip your living room or bedroom with a record player, get one of these good boys we've reviewed - they're budget options and sure to light up your room with an ornamental addition!
If you have a love for old vinyl records, then you definitely need to invest in a record player. Owning a record collection is a great way to appreciate music in a different way than digitally downloading it. With so many choices out there, we know that finding the right record player can be a challenging task, so our buying guide is here to help you make sense of everything you need to know.
How Does a Record Player Work?
The most important part of a record player is actually not the record player itself but the record. When you put a record on a record player, you place the player’s needle on to the record. As the record spins, the needle will align itself into the groove. The movement along the groove causes the needle to vibrate. These vibrations are then sent to the cartridge that converts them into electrical signals. The signals are then diverted towards an amplifier that again turns these electrical signals into sound signals and you get that really nice, unique sound through the built-in or external speakers.
What are the Different Types of Record Players?
There are three main types of record players: manual, automatic, and semi-automatic record players. The difference comes in how the needle is put on and removed from the record.
Manual Record Players
Manual record players require that you place the needle on the record. This happens by lifting up the arm to place the needle onto the record and lifting up the arm to remove the needle from the record.
Automatic Record Players
On an automatic record player, you won’t ever have to touch the needle. Placing it on the record and removing it from the record is as simple as the touch of a button!
Semi-Automatic Record Players
With a semi-automatic record player, you’ll only need to do half the work. You’ll be responsible for placing the needle on to the record, but once it’s done playing, the needle will automatically lift off the record on its own.
Record Sizes and Speeds
With any type of record player, you’ll encounter a speed switch that will allow you to play different types of records.
Having a speed switch is important because different sized records play at various speeds, which are measured in revolutions per minute (RPM). There are three main sizes of records; seven inches, ten inches, and twelve inches.
Seven-inch records have a speed of 45 RPM. Each side can fit approximately five minutes of music, so these records will mostly have singles on them.
Ten-inch records are not as common today, so if you find a record player that won’t play this size record, it’s not a deal breaker. For reference, they play at 78 RPM.
These records spin at 33 RPM. They can store up to 44 minutes of music on it, 22 minutes of playtime on each side, which is the perfect size for an album. Most vinyl records that you come across today are twelve inches in size.
Nearly every record player will play at 33 and 45 RPM, which equates to seven and twelve-inch records. If you’re looking for a record player that can also handle the ten-inch records at 78 RPM, you’ll need one that has “three-speed” support.
That’s all the types of record players and records that you need to know about, but keep reading for the average price of record players and more tips on using your record player!
How Much Do Record Players Usually Cost?
Prices can vary depending on the record player you get. If you’re committed to vinyl records and love this old-fashioned form of music, then you’ll want a record player that reflects that interest. If this is you, you can expect to find a record player within the range of 200 to 400 dollars. But you don’t have to break the bank in order to enjoy a record player. For those dipping their toes into the world of vinyl records, you can get a good-quality record player for around 80 to 100 dollars. If you go for a less expensive model, you might consider making sure it is upgradeable so that you can enhance your record player’s features later on down the road if you so choose to. The most important thing, however, is to make sure you’re aware of your budget before you make any final decisions on a record player.
Tips for Using a Record Player
If you want to get the most out of your record player, it’s best to know a few things beforehand.
It might seem obvious that you need to place your record player on a sturdy surface. This is worth repeating, though, because record players work off vibrations, which means that they can also pick up external vibrations. If you’re not careful, it might interfere with how your music sounds. On top of making sure you place your record player on a sturdy surface, make sure it is away from any potential interferences.
Handling your record
When you pick up a record, you want to handle it by the edges. This will minimize the grease and dust that gets on the surface, which could affect the sound quality that is produced when you play it on your record player.
You also want to be gentle with the record when you’re placing it on and taking it off of your record player. Make sure to line up the holes you see on the disc with the spindles on your record player. When you’re done listening to a record, place it back in the sleeve to prevent damage from occurring to it.
Handling the needle
If you have a manual record player, you want to place the arm and needle on the outer edge of the record. Be sure not to scratch the needle across the record to try and get it to play.
People Also Asked
Q: Can I attach speakers to a record player?
A: Yes, you can attach speakers to most record players. However, more often than not, your record player will have stereo speakers built-in. Still, if for some reason you require a speaker extension, many record players will give you access to that feature through either a Bluetooth-out function or an aux output.
Q: What is the point of having bluetooth in a record player?
A: Modern record players aren't like those vintage record players. They may look the same but right now, offer modern means of connectivity like aux and Bluetooth. Not only is Bluetooth used for streaming music from your smartphone through the record player but in some record players, you can also send the signal of your record player through external Bluetooth speakers via the Bluetooth output function.
Q: Can I upgrade my record player?
A: While some are easier to change than others, you can always replace your record player's platter - a heavier platter is better since it reduces vibrations. You can also introduce a platter mat for additional dampening. Moreover, the tonearm and stylus are also replaceable. The stylus should be replaced after every 1000 hours of playing. The tonearm has a great role in determining the accuracy and consistency of how the record rotates.
Within the city limits of NOLA, you may find Camilla hammering away on her 88, playing anything from old jazz to modern country music. Camilla's goal is to one day open a piano studio in New Orleans where she can teach the black and whites and other common jazz instruments to enthusiastic students. Ms. Haywood hopes to bring instruments to old and new musicians alike, reviewing pianos, orchestral instruments, and other products that make her tap her fingers to the beats.