Vintage Turntables

June 21, 2011 | 1 Comment

bossa novaSo, you are a turntable enthusiast who is ready to buy a new vintage turntable, but not quite sure how to go about it? Well, that is understandable. Buying vintage audio gear is really an art all in itself, and it is not surprising that you are seeking information. Fortunately, you came to the right place.

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  • The first step to successfully locating a nice vintage turntable is to realize one thing that if you have $100 to spend on it, you can generally find one that will suit both your needs and your ears. Do not fall into the trap of believing that if it’s not $1000 it’s not truly vintage: this is nonsense. There are turntables out there to be had, and if you watch your step, you can find one.

    What will you be using your turntable for? Will you be archiving to digital with it? Will you just be listening to it for your own pleasure? Will you be very critical of the sound, or is it more the novelty of it? These are all questions you will need to answer before you begin your search for a vintage turntable.

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    If you are a bit lazy or distracted, than you might want to acquire a turntable that has a semi-automatic table that will lift the arm after the record is done. Also, remember that if you want to use a lot of cartridges, then you should get a table that has an arm that will interchange standard headshells.

    As far as quality is concerned, look for the Dual 1000 and 1200 series. Or, any Elac Miracord tables will be worth the money in good condition. BIC 900 series tables are also of great quality, so look those up before you make your final choice. If you are looking for more high-end players, try searching for old Dual CS series players, Thorens, Empires, and even Technics. These players will be more suitable for things like archiving, and will allow great low noise playback.

    You might want to avoid pressed metal record changers. These include V-M, BSR, or even any of the older lower end Garrard changers. These were not typically used in portables. If you like to collect this kind of thing, than it is a different story, but for quality purposes, just avoid them.

    If you are looking for belt drives, than try looking for old Empire 108s, 298s, or 398s. These can generally be found bought and modified so that you can use a modern tonearm, which is a great addition. You should avoid light-weight belt drives, especially the ones built by Technics or Dual.

    Always look for a guarantee, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Remember that if a seller won’t answer questions, than there is probably a reason for it. Just move on and save your money for the next one. Also, higher end players that you will use for like digital archiving, will probably more expensive, but it is definitely worth it if you find a jewel.


    5 Comments so far

    1. Lois Clark on June 11, 2013 11:49 am

      My husband wants to replace the set he got in the 70’s(?) It has the turntable on top with the dual cassette recorders and radio underneath, all in one “oomponent set”.(He records from vinyl to cassette tapes.)He had the switch fixed so it would be noiseless when he drops it down to record.
      He’d love to have one a little more updated that has the “RCA level output” or whatever to link to another component in case the turntable or the cassette players go out.
      Any ideas where to find such?

    2. Lois Clark on June 11, 2013 11:51 am

      Any advice or information would be appreciated.

    3. kevin mcdaniel on July 12, 2013 5:20 am

      I,m seriously looking for a PHICO model M-15 record player/turntable. I,v restored a PHILCO radio/phonogragh that the M-15 was made to retrofit that model from a 78 to 33 1/3. you can also call @ 1815 510 or 1815 341 0129

    4. Russell Raymond on March 31, 2014 8:04 pm

      I need my 1964 Magnavox Stereo Console restored does anyone know someone in or near Michigan?

    5. mike Schulte on April 6, 2014 8:45 pm

      I need a cartridge for a fisher st29d turntable. Help, thanks,mike 317_287_4625

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