If you are searching for a good vintage record player, then you need an expert advice. There are a few things which you should consider before purchasing a vintage turntable. Take a look below:
Going for a modern turntable isn’t recommended at all because the geometry isn’t right and it kills a record if you run a cartridge with anything apart from conical stylus. It is rather advisable to go for a 70s or 90s turntable either direct drive or belt. The straight arm and S are brilliant engineering pieces. Highly low friction and very high precision bearings with resonance absorption and damping mark the best in a vintage record player.
Cost: You can surely purchase a turntable from craigslist or eBay. You may get it cheap, but it might make you spend some money on its repair, if you are not cautious. However, if you have electronic and mechanical expertise, then go on.
Arm: You have two types of arm, curved (J or S shaped) and straight. When they are engineered right, they sound amazing with the right cartridge. J or S arms have medium mass and work with plethora of cartridges and styli. While straight arms on the other hand are low mass and work with modern and high compliance stylus. Some come with T4P mounts. But, it is mostly seen on the entry level vintage record players.
Cartridge: One thing to take care of is that never buy any player with a ceramic cartridge. They track very heavily and will completely destroy vinyl in just three plays. You should rather go for a magnetic cartridge. If you are Joe Listener, then you should choose a moving magnet cartridge.
With that being said, spending a lot of money will not help you in getting better sound. There are two kinds of cartridge, T4P and ½” mount. The T4P cartridges abide by the standard for mass and overhang, so it eases cartridge setup. T4P is somewhat just like your plug and play systems. At present, you have more numbers of ½” mount cartridges accessible in comparison to T4P. A lot of vintage record players bought from Craigslist or eBay may have a cartridge with a non-functioning stylus. Hence, you can go for aftermarket style. Some are great while others just waste.
Where should you get your vintage record player from?
Well, you should consider buying it from a reputed refurbisher. You may have to pay a little more than eBay or Craigslist, but surely it will be worth the price. You will get a table that is perfectly ready to be spun, with a warranty and after sale support guarantee.
Buying a vintage record player requires some effort. Find out the store which sell it and then look out for the most reliable and reputed one. Find out what kind of sellers they are and then make your purchase. Make sure you get all your queries answered before you buy. Also find out about the return and refund policy of the store, in case you don’t want it.