Buying Your First Turntable? Here’s A Guide On What To Look For

  • March 19, 2024
  • 6 min read
Buying Your First Turntable? Here’s A Guide On What To Look For

There’s something about music that inherently resonates with all of us, and when it is a physical thing that you can hold in your hand, it can become a truly immersive experience. Vinyl records really deliver on this experience, but when it comes to actually play it, quality matters. If you get the physical experience, but can’t match it with the listening experience, the immersive experience is ruined.

If you are getting into records for the first time you’ve probably noticed just how many options are available to you out there. You’ve probably been asking yourself whether to get an all-in-one system because it’s a time saver, but you lose quality, or if you should just dive in headfirst and get a full set-up with speakers and an amp. The latter of the two can seem quite intimidating but could be better for you and your needs.

To help you choose, we’ve put together a guide of a few things to keep in mind and what to look for when buying a turntable.

What is Your Budget?

As is the case with most things, especially more costly things, you need to set a budget before you go out shopping. The more money you have available to put towards one of the Top Record Players. If you are planning on purchasing a turntable as part of a hi-fi system that you are putting together, then you should probably spend upwards of 50% of your budget on the actual turntable itself. This is where your sound quality actually comes from. Even the best speakers will have difficulty making a poor-quality turntable sound good.

Sound System

As we said above, you might wish to buy a sound system. This is purely dependent on your individual circumstances. Hi-fi systems can be quite complicated and bulky. This is why many modern buyers opt for turntables that have speakers included. An additional sound system comes at an additional cost which will need to be included in your budget.

All in One

There are a few turntables out there that come standard with everything needed to play a vinyl record as well as hear them. All of the electronics, including speakers, are neatly hidden inside a single shell. You buy it, plug it in, turn it on and it is ready to go immediately, no additional installations are needed. This makes it an incredibly appealing choice to many, but newer machines are not as good as older options. When going this route, it is much better to look for a second-hand option as newer ones are questionably built and parts are of poor quality. They are super convenient, but sound quality takes a hit.

New or Second-Hand?

The possibility of scoring a complete bargain when buying second-hand is always out there. Buying second-hand and online is however a bit tricky and comes with all of the risks associated with lower prices. You could find a gem from the ’80s that would have been extremely expensive then, and due to age is relatively cheap, but that’s a long time for something to age. As a beginner, you have to be very sure about the quality of your second-hand purchase before you hand over any cash. You need to have done your research or even have someone with you who is familiar with the device, in order to inspect the condition of the device. As a first-time buyer, it’s a safer and better option to buy new.

Where Is It Going To Be Placed?

This is important and a point seldom considered until after a purchase has already been made. You need to have a plan of action about where it is going to go. Some turntables are bigger than others, requiring a large designated area, and some are designed to be moved around and stored away easily. If you don’t have a lot of space, consider an option that is easily stored when not in use.

Crosley-Type Suitcase Deck

If you do not have a huge budget, then this is a good choice. It is a very useful entry-level option. This shape is the first one that comes to mind for a lot of newcomers, but you need to do your research. Don’t just go for a specific design. Check build and sound quality.

How Difficult is it to Set Up?

Some turntables tend to look as if they are quite complicated. Because of this, people tend to think that they are difficult to set up. Some can be more complicated than others, for the most part, most newer devices tend to be quite user-friendly and ready to go. In the case of older devices, you would likely have to set up the cartridge, install and set up the arm, and do a variety of other things. Most modern devices have been set up by the manufacturer, so the intimidation of setting up a new device is gone. The at-home setup only takes a few minutes.

Modern Devices

Modern turntable devices can do a lot more than just play vinyl these days. There are plenty of features and designs out there that add to the capabilities and functionality of the device. It is important that you make yourself familiar with these products before you decide to make your final purchase. Some devices come with the addition of a headphone socket, while others might add a phono amp.

This is a specialized amplifier that increases the signals from the turntable’s needle and is usually found in the main amp. This means that you no longer have to lug around an additional amp and can just plug the turntable directly into powered speakers. It means that you will use less space, so definitely something to consider when you have a small, or minimalist space. Some turntables even come with a USB port to allow for additional features such as vinyl “ripping” to a computer and much, much more.

First Turntable

A turntable doubles as a stylish piece of décor that is also functional. Now that you have an idea of what to look for and a few things you should consider before making your purchase, search and find the right one for you.

About Author

Andrew Lewis

Andrew Lewis is an expert web content writer and freelancer who is an expert in writing engaging articles in Business, General, Social Media, Tech, and Marketing and many more other categories. He has been serving our website for a few years. Andrew is a family man. When he isn’t writing, he loves to cook for his kids and spend time with them.

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