Five Great Record Players

Whether you’re looking to replace your old record player or want to buy your first one, here are five great options.

Audio-Technica AT-LP60

This fully-automatic turntable features two speeds — 33-1/3 and 45 RPM. It has a professional aluminum platter, a switchable pre-amp and integral dual-magnet stereo cartridge with a replaceable stylus.

Sylvania STT102USB Portable

If you’re going to a party and want to share your awesome music with friends, a portable record player is a great idea. You can play your tunes right on the system with built-in speakers. It also has the capability to convert your vinyl into digital tracks. In addition to having three speeds — 33-1/3, 45, and 78 RPM — the turntable also includes volume control, an RCA AUX out jack, and a USB power jack.

1byone Belt-Drive 3-Speed Portable Stereo Turntable

Another option for a portable record player, this one also offers a choice of three speeds — 33-1/3, 45, and 78 RPM. It has a dynamic, balanced tone arm with soft dampening control and front-facing built-in stereo speakers. There are also RCA and headphone jack outlets and a line-in port on the side. This turntable is easy to operate and supports multiple playback modes.

Electrohome Archer Vinyl Record Player Classic

Do you prefer a more retro vibe? Then this record player is for you. It’s a 1960’s inspired 3-in-1 portable suitcase turntable that not only plays vinyl, but also mp3s through a USB or 3.5mm AUX input. The built-in stereo speakers have a full-range, high quality sound and the all-wood acoustic cabinet for optimal audio performance. A “diamond tipped” ceramic needle also provides increased audio performance. This fully-automatic belt-driven turntable spins 7, 10, and 12-inch records at speeds of 33-1/3, 45, and 78 RPM.

Pyle-Home PVNT7U Retro Style Turntable

This retro-looking turntable has a wooden cabinet with a plastic dust cover and a ceramic stereo cartridge. It plays in three speeds, 33-1/3, 45, and 78, and the two built-in front speakers give full range audio. There is also a stereo RCA output and a USB cable included for vinyl-to-mp3 conversion.

6 thoughts on “Five Great Record Players

  • June 3, 2016 at 12:10 pm
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    Re: AT-LP60

    My first turntable (I was a cassette kid growing up) was the AT-LP60. I would never recommend it. Yes, it was cheap, but I upgraded the belt and the stylus. Sound quality was okay-ish but if you looked at the thing wrong, it would skip. There’s no anti-skate or counterweight so even the slightest of scratches would cause it to skip. Hell, even brand new pressings, right out of the jacket and lovingly placed on the platter (the felt mat would always stick to the records), would skip. The whole thing just felt flimsy.

    I dealt with it for about a year then changed to the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon. Don’t regret my decision for a minute. Now granted, after upgrading to the acrylic platter and adding the speedbox, the purchase wasn’t cheap, but it wasn’t supposed to be.

    I guess it’s a decent starter table since it’s got the built in preamp, but spend the extra $200+ and get something else. But that’s just my $0.02.

    Reply
    • June 3, 2016 at 3:25 pm
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      Fair enough! Thanks for your input.

      Reply
  • June 3, 2016 at 5:45 pm
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    No offense was intended, just so we are clear. Anyone buying a $100 turntable should already know its not going to be as good as $500+ unit. Just felt compelled to give my review based on my experience.

    Hey, if it gets more people into vinyl, who cares what they buy 🙂

    Reply
    • June 4, 2016 at 10:06 am
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      No offence taken! I enjoy hearing peoples’ experiences. It was rated pretty high when I did my research and wasn’t terribly expensive (my two conditions for what I included on this list…recently a student, old habits die hard), so I put it down. 🙂

      Reply
  • June 4, 2016 at 1:02 am
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    $99 and $199 “Great Record Players”? No. Turntables aren’t like CD players. Any CD player, even a cheap one, will sound at least okay, and won’t wreck your CDs. Cheap turntables don’t sound good, and damage the records that are played on them. That’s one reason people gave up on LPs and 45s when CDs came out. They didn’t get all scratchy-sounding after a few plays.

    A good modern turntable with a good cartridge will play records hundreds of times without damaging them, and will reveal details in the music that you can’t hear on a CD, but none of those listed will do that. Two are even listed as having ceramic cartridges, something found on only the cheapest turntables.

    In the bad old days, we’d play our only LPs once, to record them onto cassette tapes. Then they’d be put away and we’d listen to the cassettes, which lasted much longer. When I spent the money and got a good turntable a few years ago, I finally heard what the audio magazines had been talking about: great sound. And I had all these old played-only-once records that still sound excellent.

    Please do some research and make a list of good turntables that will show how fine vinyl can sound. They’ll cost more than $200, but real music fans deserve to hear the music properly, and as many times as they like, not just the first play.

    If money is tight, a good used Technics SL-1200 is an excellent choice, and there are other turntable bargains to be found. Don’t waste money on cheap junk that ruins records.

    Reply
    • June 4, 2016 at 10:11 am
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      Thank you for your comment. I did research this quite a bit. My two conditions for what I included were that the turntables were A) rated at least 4-stars and B) reasonably priced. Of course the more expensive you go, the sound quality (usually) gets better! In the back of my mind I was thinking for people who don’t necessarily want to or are able to spend a lot of money (recent college graduate, so I’ll admit to a slight bias).
      I appreciate learning new things from commenters, though!

      Reply

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