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Buyers Guide & Information

Best Vintage Turntables With a Classic Look

Use this guide to buy a high-quality turntable with traditional charm and design.

by

Buyers Guide & Information

Best Vintage Turntables With a Classic Look

Use this guide to buy a high-quality turntable with traditional charm and design.

by PITeam

by PITeam

Vintage turntables are a product of Thomas Edison from 1877. Edison first created the phonograph, which was the first device that could reproduce sound that had been previously recorded. Also known as a gramophone or record player, the turntable became a staple for music lovers. The turntable that we know and love today came into existence in the 1950s and reached their peak quality in 1980.

Now, vintage turntables are making a resurgence in the popular culture because many people have rediscovered the joy of putting on vinyl records and listening to your favorite music. Many people believe that vinyl sounds better than the new modern standard: digital.

Both digital and vinyl can sound great, but many people find that vinyl records (particularly anything mastered earlier than 1985) contain greater depth and texture.

For the vinyl enthusiast who loves that analog sound, we recommend purchasing a vintage turntable. Recapture the essence of a bygone era and simpler times while listening to vinyl records that were meant to be played on turntables. This is our roundup of the best vintage turntables for the most sophisticated audiophile.

How Vintage Turntables Work

Vintage turntables work by taking Edison’s phonograph and removing the attached horn but adding in the new electromagnetic component that transmits sound vibrations into sound via connected amplifiers and speakers. Vintage turntables use a stylus that runs over the vinyl disc.

It finds the small grooves in the disc and transmits the responses to the electromagnetic component (the cartridge) and creates a signal. This signal is what is heard by the amplifier and shared with everyone in the room. Some record players will use this cartridge system while others will use an electrical coil and magnet system.

To use a vintage turntable, set-up the turntable on a flat surface. Your turntable should be plugged into an outlet. Now, choose a vinyl record and place it on the turntable.

Next, turn on the power and move the tonearm over to the outer section of the record and then use the cueing lever to place the tonearm on the record. Now, you can listen to your music while enjoying the retro vibe and aesthetic.


Vintage Turntable Drive System Types

  • Belt Drive
    The direct drive is typically the preferred drive choice for vintage turntable enthusiasts. A belt drive is an elastic belt that is attached to the turntable's motor. Belt drives are precise and reliable. The elastic belt won't be affected by vibrations. They tend to last longer but offer less accurate playback (when it comes to speed) compared to direct drive turntables. That said, they tend to provide higher-quality sound playback. The belt on belt drives also might need to be replaced later on.
  • Direct Drive
    The direct drive is typically the preferred drive choice for people who value convenience and power. This is because the direct-drive turntable connects the platter directly to the motor. Direct drive turntables are faster when beginning to play music and are also more powerful. They also tend to be more consistent when it comes to speed. However, the vibrations are difficult for direct drives to handle and can create additional noise that requires shock absorbers to stop.

Benefits of Vintage Turntables

Many people start with the feeling that owning a vintage turntable gives them. They can own a nostalgic piece of history and create a classic vibe in their home. Many people also enjoy having physical copies of records they adore. It’s fun to decorate your home with vintage records because most of the artwork covers are unique and original compared to the CD cover versions.

Vinyl also has a warm sound that many audiophiles report enjoying more than digital record players. Vintage turntables are great musical devices for playing your favorite songs at home and appreciating the high-quality sound of vinyl.


Choosing Top-Quality Vintage Turntables

Usage

Most vintage turntables are best for home use and are not meant to be used to DJ parties. If you plan to move your turntable frequently, choose a brand and model number that specifically mention portability as well as adaptability. 

Turntable Type

Belt drive involves higher-quality sound playback and more reliability. However, direct drives are easier to use and have more power. Manual, semi-automatic, and automatic turntables offer different types of needle movement.

Manual turntables must have the needle placed on the record and lifted off of the record after playback. Semi-automatic turntables must have the needle placed on the record but will lift the needle off the record after playback. Automatic turntables automatically place the needle and remove it.

Cartridge Type

There are two cartridge types with vintage turntables: moving magnet and moving coil. Both are small electromagnetic generators but have different benefits. The moving magnet coil is the most common and has two magnets at the end of the stylus.

These are easy to remove and replace when necessary. However, they are heavier and can’t move as fast on vinyl. A moving coil uses two coils rather than two magnets to maneuver the stylus. Moving coil provides superior sound and weighs less than a moving magnet, but it often requires an additional head amp to work properly.

Tonearm

There are two tonearm options for turntables: s-shaped and straight. Both tonearm options are great options with neither one being the clear winner. S-shaped tonearms can skip, but they also aren't as hard on vinyl. S-shaped tonearms also tend to have a clearer sound. Straight tone arms skip less but tend to wear out much faster and can break down vinyl grooves faster.

Phono Preamp

It's more convenient to purchase a turntable that has a USB outlet and built-in preamp. However, you can buy an external preamp to use with your turntable. External preamps tend to be more customizable and offer better sound quality but also cost more.

Sound Quality

Signal-to-noise ratio or S/N measures how much background noise will be present with the record. The higher the number, the more music you will hear, and the less you will hear annoying background noise. We recommend choosing something at 65db or higher. Damping helps to improve sound quality because it minimizes the vibrations present. Most users will want to buy a damping kit to improve audio sound at home.

Storage & Portability

Portable turntables are designed to be easy-to-move and can be brought along to DJ events or to play at parties. The most portable record players tend to have more inferior audio quality compared to more structurally sound turntables not meant to be moved frequently.

Build Quality & Design & Style

There are many different types of turntable designs and styles. The biggest difference in quality comes from the material used. Cheaper turntables will feature almost exclusively plastic parts. Design varies with vintage turntables typically going for an old school retro vibe, but some models are more sleek and modern.

Extra Features

Vintage turntables sometimes come with built-in USB ports, RCA cords, integrated lights, Bluetooth connectivity, and headphone sockets. They typically always have grounding, stylus, and platters as part of the turntable. These three pieces, however, can often be replaced or upgraded.

Price & Warranty

Most turntables offer one to five years of limited warranties. The more expensive the turntable, typically the greater the warranty.


8 Best Vintage Turntables Reviewed

1. Marantz TT-15S1

Top of the range

Turntable Type

Belt drive with manual tonearm

Tone Arm Type

Precision mechanical straight tonearm

Playback Speeds

33 ⅓ & 45 rpm

Cartridge/Phono

Yes, built-in phono cartridge

Key Feature

MM stylus

Warranty

three-years, as long as purchased from an authorized retailer

The Marantz TT-15S1 is a high-quality vintage turntable and the best on this list for users who want luxury. The belt drive system has an endless silicon belt that creates precise sound and a warm, authentic tone. The AC asynchronous motor has the power required to create consistent sound, and the heavyweight platter helps avoid vibration problems.

The Virtuoso MM cartridge comes with a diamond stylus and built-in cartridge damping. The build material qualities on this vintage turntable are in the luxury category. If you want a premium turntable, this turntable can't be beat. 

This vintage turntable has three aluminum feet that make it easy to set-up on various surfaces. The motor and drive system creates a noise-to-signal rating of 80db, which is top-of-the-line. An anti-skating system helps keep the belt drive in check and uses magnets and weight for clean and clear audio.

This system also has a strong cartridge damping system that eliminates vibrations that could muddy the audio. Clear, clean, vibrant sound is guaranteed with the Marantz TT-15S1.

If you want luxury and the best build materials, then the Marantz TT-15S1 is for you. High-quality build material and a strong vintage belt drive system create an authentic warm, deep, and textured sound quality that everyone can enjoy.

Pros

  • High-quality build materials, very few plastic parts
  • Incredible N/S rating of 80 dB
  • Adjustable feet so the turntable can be placed on many different surfaces

Cons

  • Belt works well but can be a bit difficult to set-up properly.
  • On/Off switch is located on the back rather than the front or sides of the turntable

2. Goldship 3-speed

best inexpensive vintage turntable

Turntable Type

Direct drive with automatic tonearm

Tone Arm Type

Straight tonearm

Playback Speeds

33 ⅓, 45, 78 rpm

Cartridge/Phono

Yes, built-in phono cartridge

Key Feature

All-in-one; has everything you need

Warranty

Not available

The Goldship 3-speed vintage turntable is the best inexpensive vintage turntable on our list. This turntable is one of the cheapest turntables available, but it also comes with the most inferior build parts. The dual built-in stereo offers strong sound, and there is also a headphone jack for users who want to listen on their own. The system is belt-driven and has a built-in preamplifier. All of the build-ins make this a great plug-and-play unit for new users.

One aspect of this turntable that users are sure to love is the vinyl to MP3 capabilities. This is built-in to the turntable and allows users to convert vinyl records to MP3's that they can then listen to anywhere. This is an excellent way to back-up records and own both a vinyl and digital version of your favorite albums. The turntable also offers an adjustable weight tonearm and a direct drive for convenience. 

When you want a vintage turntable that will offer a decent sound experience at low prices, you want the Goldship vintage turntable. It's also a great option for new users who want to purchase a small compact portable unit with lots of built-in options.

Pros

  • Vinyl to MP3 capabilities built-in
  • Most affordable option for users who want a vintage turntable
  • Highly portable

Cons

  • Cheap build quality
  • Lower audio quality compared to other vintage turntables

3. Fluance Elite

best value for money

Turntable Type

Belt drive, semi-automatic

Tone Arm Type

S-shaped tonearm

Playback Speeds

33 ⅓ and 45 rpm

Cartridge/Phono

Yes, there is a built-in phono cartridge.

Key Feature

Stylus uses 2.0 grams of tracking force for better audio quality

Warranty

Yes, two-year limited warranty

The Fluance Elite vintage turntable is one of the best vintage turntables on the market at an affordable price point. If you can't afford to throw down a lot of cash, but you still want a high-quality audio experience, then this is the machine for you.

With a diamond-tipped stylus, tracking is accurate and specific, creating an unparalleled audio experience — a belt-drive aids in this delivery with continuous speed. However, the turntable speed is not always stable with this turntable, and it occasionally slows down to a speed below the recommended rate. This was one of the only issues we could find, and at this price point, this is an incredible steal.

Fluance also offers two color choices: piano black and walnut. Both aesthetics use high-quality materials. A stable signal-to-noise ratio at 67db provides high-quality sound. The preamp is excellent for novices, and the gold plated outputs ensure that the receiver recreates warm tones. An aluminum platter protects your records. A rubber slip map is included to keep vibrations at bay and ensure that the sound reminds unmuddied.

If you want a solid belt drive vintage turntable that is affordable and includes built-in parts, then you want to purchase the Fluance Elite vintage turntable. We believe it is the best vintage audiophile turntable for the money. 

Pros

  • Belt drive creates higher-quality sound
  • Solid signal-to-noise ratio at 67db
  • One of the best tonearms on the market

Cons

  • Turntable speed is not always stable
  • Semi-automatic may not deliver the manual vintage feel that some users want

4. 1byone Wooden

nostalgic Design

Turntable Type

Belt drive with automat

Tone Arm Type

Straight tonearm

Playback Speeds

33 ⅓, 45, and 78 rpm

Cartridge/Phono

Yes, built-in cartridge phono

Key Feature

Customizable media selections

Warranty

Yes, two-year warranty

The 1byone Wooden vintage turntable is the best nostalgic vintage turntable because of its aesthetic. The design is an old-fashioned retro look unlike most record players on the market. Made with real wood, the design bears a resemblance to original turntable models and old radio players.

The design also includes built-in front-facing speakers for great sound quality right out of the box. There are also AUX inputs for your headphones if you prefer to listen on your own.

There are three playback methods, the standard 33 ⅓, and 45 rpm as well as the rarer 78 rpm. The platter can hold 7, 10, and 12-inch size records and the belt drive produces a warm tone.  Its solid construction helps avoid unwanted vibrations.

This record player also comes with an easy-to-replace replaceable stylus, which means that you can continue using this turntable for years to come. It is also one of the most media-friendly turntables available with Bluetooth capability, USB output, CD and cassette outputs, and an AUX jack for your smartphone or tablet.

However, we wish this unit could adjust equalizer settings and had a remote for added convenience. The speakers are also a bit weaker than other models, but this won't be a problem for most homeowners. If you plan to use this unit in a large room or at an event, we recommend purchasing separate speakers.

If you want a retro look and customizable media selections, we recommend the 1byone wooden vintage turntable.

Pros

  • Can play three speeds: 33 ⅓, 45, and 78 rpm
  • Built-in front-facing speakers
  • Easy-to-replace replaceable stylus

Cons

  • Speakers are weaker compared to other built-in speakers
  • No remote
  • No equalizer settings

5. D&L Vintage Record Player

best vintage turntable under $200

Turntable Type

Belt drive with automatic tonearm

Tone Arm Type

Straight tonearm

Playback Speeds

33 ⅓, 45, and 78 rpm

Cartridge/Phono

Yes, built-in cartridge phono

Key Feature

Old-time nostalgic look

Warranty

Detail

The D&L vintage record player has Bluetooth capabilities and can play vinyl at three different speeds: 33 ⅓, 45, and 78 rpm. Although this unit has a cheaper vintage aesthetic compared to the 1byone wooden vintage turntable, it is also significantly more affordable.

The belt drive is continuous and keeps the authentic warm tone turntable enthusiasts love. The three-speed belt can play 7, 10, and 12-inch records. An automatic tonearm is convenient and means you won't need to get up to start or stop the tonearm.

A stereo RCA connector makes it easy to connect to external speakers to boost sound. This speaker also offers fun media options with FM radio, a CD player, cassette player, and vinyl records. Front-facing speakers help with sound; however, the speakers could be stronger.

We recommend purchasing external speakers if you want additional volume. The classic vintage vibe resembles an older turntable and radio player. The aesthetic includes unique gold and yellow elements that other turntables lack.

If you want a vintage aesthetic but want a more affordable record player than the 1byone wooden vintage turntable, we recommend picking up the D&L vintage record player.

Pros

  • Three speed options: 33 ⅓, 45 and 78 rpm
  • Authentic old fashioned design aesthetic
  • Front-facing speakers

Cons

  • Speakers could be louder and have greater reach
  • Internal build components could be higher quality

6. Victrola Navigator

best Bluetooth Record Player

Turntable Type

Belt drive with automatic tonearm

Tone Arm Type

Straight tonearm

Playback Speeds

33 ⅓, 45, and 78 rpm

Cartridge/Phono

Yes, phono cartridge is built-in

Key Feature

Five different style options

Warranty

Yes, one year limited warranty

The Victrola Navigator is a classic style vintage turntable perfect for users who want to not only play vinyl at home but feel as though they are in another era. This record player looks the part with solid wood construction. The real wood construction creates a sturdy and vibration-free turntable.

This is also one of the best options for homeowners who want to match the turntable to their home decor. You can choose from five options: black, white, brown (espresso), dark brown (mahogany), light brown (oak).

This record player also has several media options built-in including Bluetooth connectivity, USB option, FM radio, CD player, and a cassette player. A remote control makes it easy to play vinyl records from across the room. The automatic tonearm works with a simple click of the button.

It also can record vinyl records to digital versions via USB so you can take your records with you digitally wherever you go. This unit doesn't have the loudest speakers, and we recommend purchasing external speakers unless placed in a small room.

This unit has also been known to break down within a few years and require replacement pieces. That said, the Victrola Navigator is an affordable retro option, and the automatic tonearm, as well as the remote, make it convenient to use.

Pros

  • Comes in five different color options to match your home decor
  • Bluetooth connectivity, USB option, FM radio, CD player, cassette player media options
  • 3-speed turntable with 33 ⅓, 45, and 78 rpm

Cons

  • Speakers are not robust
  • Not as reliable as other options, build components prone to degradation

7. ClearClick

Comes With USB Options

Turntable Type

Belt drive with manual tonearm

Tone Arm Type

S-shaped tonearm

Playback Speeds

33 ⅓, 45, 78 rpm

Cartridge/Phono

Yes, phono cartridge built-in

Key Feature

Suitcase retro style look

Warranty

Yes, full three-year warranty

The ClearClick Vintage Suitcase Turntable is one of the most unique vintage turntables on our list. It brings retro style to your home in the shape of a suitcase! It also has a circular shape that matches the shape of the record. Simply plug into the wall with the included AC wall adapter, and you're ready to listen to your favorite vinyl records.

This vintage turntable also comes with audio recording software so you can save your favorite songs by recording them digitally. A handy aux-in port lets you play music from your smartphone or tablet. The ClearClick Vintage Suitcase Turntable also plays all three standard speeds of 33 ⅓, 45, and 78 rpm. This unit also comes with Bluetooth connectivity. The unit is also one of the cheapest vintage turntables you can buy.

The most significant drawback of this vintage turntable is that it is made with cheap parts that won't hold up over time. Although, ClearClick does offer a three-year limited warranty as peace of mind that the turntable will last at least three-years. The materials are thin and unreliably assembled, but the sound quality is good.

If you want a cheap retro turntable that can easily travel, then you want the ClearClick Vintage Suitcase Turntable.

Pros

  • Unique suitcase style
  • Highly portable turntable
  • Manual tonearm gives it a classic feel

Cons

  • Parts are low quality and made with cheaper materials, but this is what makes it affordable
  • Unreliable assembly

8. Electrohome Winston

best vintage turntable under $1000

Turntable Type

Belt drive with automatic tonearm

Tone Arm Type

Straight tonearm

Playback Speeds

33 ⅓, 45, and 78 rpm

Cartridge/Phono

Yes, built-in phono cartridge

Key Feature

Backlit rotary turner dial and knobs

Warranty

Yes, one-year warranty

The Electrohome Winston turntable is a vintage turntable with an elegant style. This retro design is sleek, detailed, and includes wooden speaker cutouts. The original wood design will add an element of classic elegance to your home. The belt is fully automatic and plays at all three speeds of 33 ⅓, 45, and 78 rpm. This turntable comes with a 3-in-1 system meaning that it can play vinyl records, CDs, and has its own AM/FM radio.

A headphone jack allows you to listen privately as well. This vintage turntable has a belt drive with an automatic tonearm, which is perfect for users who don't want to move the tonearm after each song manually. A nice detail is the padded feet on the bottom of the unit to prevent scratches.

One thing that we do recommend keeping in mind is that the tonearm is cheaply made on this particular unit. It won't matter for users who want to save money, but if you want premium parts, then you will want to look at one of our other options. We also recommend purchasing a separate platter mat for padding because this unit has a hard platter without any padding. However, you can’t beat the sound quality and price on this turntable.

If you want an affordable retro look with a more elegant style, then you want the Electrohome Winston turntable.

Pros

  • Intricate, detailed, elegant retro style design
  • Stronger speakers compared to other classic retro designs
  • Backlit rotary turner dial and knobs

Cons

  • Tonearm is cheaply made and may need to be replaced quickly
  • Record platter is hard without any padding

Vintage vs Modern Turntable Comparison

Both vintage and modern turntables are great options for audiophiles who love music. Many audio enthusiasts have preferences for vintage or modern turntables based on sound. Modern turntables tend to sound clear, crisp, and clean while vintage turntables offer a warmer, textured, authentic sound.

Vintage turntables tend to be audiophiles' favorite option because they offer that warmer sound. However, everyone has a different ear, and everyone will have a different preference. Vintage turntables also have a great aesthetic look that fits with the retro vibe many people enjoy.


How to Set Up a Turntable

To set up your vintage turntable, you want first to find a flat level surface. This area should be twice as big as the actual size of the turntable. Once your turntable is set up on the table, you want to position your speakers. It's important to keep your speakers at least 12 feet away from your turntable. Speakers that have deep bass capabilities or subwoofers need to be kept apart.

The next step is to install the belt. If you have a motor is located directly below the platter, then you will want to install the belt first and then add the platter. If the motor is located on the left or right side of the platter, then you will want to install the platter first and then the belt. Once the belt and platter are both installed, give the platter a soft spin, and the belt will adjust itself.

From here, you want to place the mat on top of the platter. Then you will want to set the tracking force, which is something that will differ among turntables. Follow your specific instructions for your turntable brand. The final step is to connect your turntable’s cables to the correct receiver input and to your power supply. Now, you’re ready to listen to your favorite vinyl records.


Operating a Vintage Turntable

To operate your vintage turntable once it is set up properly, make sure that the player is not turned on. Then add your vinyl record on the platter. Now you can switch the platter to "on." Some players will require that you choose a specific speed. Most vinyl records should be played at the standard 33rpm. If you have an automatic turntable, you can start the turntable without starting the platter.

Once the platter is in motion, it’s time to engage the tonearm. The tonearm can often be lifted on its own with a “cue switch.” Your turntable may or may not have one. If you do not have one, you will be responsible for lifting the tonearm and placing it on the record itself. Make sure that you place the tonearm at the beginning of the record. This is where the needle needs to be to play the soundtrack properly.

Sometimes, you may want to convert your vinyl record to a digitized format via USB. As much as you might love your vintage turntable, you can’t bring that music with you when you go out. What will you listen to as you sit on the subway or drive in your car? To be able to take your music with you, you can digitize your records.

Unfortunately, the method for digitizing your records varies based on the type of vinyl record player you own. If your record player has a built-in USB output, then you can easily convert your vinyl record into a digital file. If you want to digitize your records, we recommend purchasing a vintage turntable that has an integrated USB output.


Vintage Record Player Maintenance & Care Tips

It’s important to keep your vintage turntable in great condition. There are many working parts in a turntable, and without proper care and maintenance, your turntable will begin to fail. You'll need to replace pieces and parts to get your excellent sound quality back, which can be costly. The most important care tip is to avoid getting dirt in your system. Dirt and dust can get on your records and in the grooves of the platter.

When you aren't using your records, store them in covers. Make sure that you frequently dust your vintage turntable. In addition to dusting, we also recommend purchasing a stylus cleaner so that you can gently brush the stylus to get rid of dirt and dust.

We also recommend replacing your belt after about five to seven years of use. For more information on how to properly clean your stylus and cartridge (a bit trickier than simple dusting), we recommend watching this YouTube video by Travis Doucette.


Hooking Up the Vintage Turntable to Your System

When you purchase your vintage turntable, you will want to hook it up to its own set of speakers. To connect to the speakers you want to use, you will first need to set the receiver to “phono.” Then you can use your built-in phono preamp or purchase an external phono preamp, and hook this preamp up to the receiver. Now, you want to attach the cables. Use instruction manuals and follow the color codes.

If you want to hook up your turntable to your computer, first connect the turntable to the phono input on your amplifier or receiver. Then connect the amplifier or receiver to your computer. When you connect your vintage turntable to your computer, you will be able to record your favorite vinyl records and preserve them to listen to digitally later on when you’re not at home with your turntable.


Common Issues & Fixes

One of the most common issues that we see with vintage turntables is a non-spinning turntable. Without a spinning turntable, there is no sound. To fix this issue, the turntable often only needs oil lubrication around the turntable's spindle. Using a cleaner regularly can help to prevent this problem.

Another common problem that we see are cracking noises and odd static sounds. Most of the time, this takes place because dust has buildup over time. Using an anti-static cloth to clean your vintage turntable regularly can help to avoid this problem.

Another common problem that we see is when a record will spin on the turntable, but no sound will play. Unfortunately, this problem isn’t an easy fix. This happens when the needle on the tonearm has become damaged and needs to be replaced. Taking your turntable to a professional for a repair is the next step.


Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect from a vintage turntable? Do they sound better?

You can expect a warm, vibrant, deep, and textured sound from your vintage turntable. Although sound quality is comparable to modern turntables, the vintage element does tend to lend a more authentic sound that audiophiles appreciate.

What causes static noise in vintage turntables? How do I avoid static noise?

Static noise on vintage turntables can come from dirt and static electricity. It's essential to regularly clean your vinyl records to ensure that this won't happen.

Does vinyl sound better on vintage turntables?

Many audiophiles say that vinyl sounds better on vintage turntables because it has a warmer, more authentic sound as well as a deeper and more textured sound. Nevertheless, modern turntables deliver a similar sound quality. If you want a retro aesthetic, however, vintage turntables are your best option.

Do vintage turntables come with a warranty?

Yes, most vintage turntables come with a warranty. Warranties vary by brand and manufacturer, but one to five years are the most common warranty lengths. To protect yourself from damage, make sure you purchase your turntable from an authorized retailer.

Where is the best place to buy vintage turntables?

The best place to buy vintage turntables is Amazon.com. Amazon has a wide selection of vintage turntables that can be delivered directly to your door. They carry the best vintage turntable brands, including Electrohome, ClearClick, D&L, Victrola, Marantz, Goldship, 1byone, and Fluance.

What are the most popular brands of vintage turntables?

The most popular brands of vintage turntables are the following: Electrohome, ClearClick, Garrad, D&L, Victrola, Thorens, Marantz, Goldship, 1byone, and Fluance.

Which is best: Automatic, Semi-Automatic or Manual Vintage turntables?

Automatic turntables are the simplest vintage turntable to use at home. You simply place the record on the platter and press a button. From here, the tonearm lifts on its own and sets itself back in the resting position when the album has ended.

For people who want a simple “press and play” machine then the automatic turntable is perfect. Semi-automatic turntables need you to place the tonearm and needle on the record to start the recording but automatically move the tonearm to the resting position afterward.

This is great for people who enjoy placing the tonearm and beginning the recording themselves. Manual vintage turntables require you to set the tonearm and lift it after the record has ended. An automatic turntable is the best option for a beginner vinyl novice.

Semi-automatic and manual vintage turntables are great for audiophiles and experienced vinyl enthusiasts. All three are equally great choices, and the best option comes to a matter of personal preference.


Conclusion

Vintage turntables will take you back to a bygone era and give you a warm, authentic, vibrant sound for your favorite records. You can collect your favorite music on vinyl and celebrate with that classic record player sound.

The best vintage turntable for you ultimately depends on your needs. If you want the best vintage turntable with premium audio quality and luxury build materials, then we recommend purchasing the Marantz TT-15S1.

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