• rjh_54 over 7 years ago

    rjh_54 edited over 7 years ago
    I'm a college student and really can't afford a super high-end turntable at the moment. For Christmas I got one of those Crosley Cruiser "portable" suitcase-looking record players and I returned it within a week seeing as after just three days any album I would play would play very slowly.

    I found a good deal on this 6-in-1 Nostalgic Entertainment Center. In addition to records, it plays CDs, Cassettes and there's an AM/FM radio. I wasn't seeking out a machine that had these functions, but they were added perks.

    The sound quality is pretty great, though that wasn't a huge selling factor for me as I've got limited space and can't set up an elaborate home theater system in the place I'm at. Don't get me wrong, sound quality IS a factor for me, but ultra-high-end isn't really in the cards right now. The thing is, I feel like the quality is slowly starting to diminish, though not as noticeably or as quickly as the Crosley one I got. I'm noticing my albums are playing slightly slow again.

    I'm thinking this one is also crapping out on me, I feel like I'm at a loss here. Can anybody recommend a decent quality turntable that's $100 or less? I know someone who has this Jensen record player that actually plays albums consistently and if the sound quality wasn't absolutely horrendous I'd just buy that.
  • ThomasP64 over 7 years ago

    rjh_54
    I'm thinking this one is also crapping out on me, I feel like I'm at a loss here. Can anybody recommend a decent quality turntable that's $100 or less? I know someone who has this Jensen record player that actually plays albums consistently and if the sound quality wasn't absolutely horrendous I'd just buy that.


    Probably not at $100.00 or less. The Audio-Technica AT-LP120 isn't bad. but it costs more than you want at this time. KAB offers a preowned, reconditioned belt-drive Technics for $169.00:
    http://kabusa.com/frameset.htm?/
    You might check eBay for used turntables. Beware: those inexpensive all-in-one systems generally don't do anything very well, including play records.
  • disneyfacts over 7 years ago

    If you keep looking around enough, you can find a decent used one for a good price (I got my Technics SL-1500 for $40) It'll be much better than anything you can buy new for cheap.

    Though the average price for them is more around $150 if you're willing to pay a little bit more.

    Check out the sidebar on http://www.reddit.com/r/vinyl , there is a lot of info there about turntables, and you can search the subreddit itself for numerous suggestions that others have asked.
  • Jarren over 7 years ago

    I think you're all forgetting that the OP will also need an amplifier and speakers as well as a decent turntable.

    I don't even know what the connections are like on those cheap Crossley turntables, do they take regular RCA cables or dedicated speaker wire connections?

    There's no point in recommending a turntable if the OP hasn't got an amplifier & speakers that are compatible.

    I'm too tired right now to go into recommendations, but I'm sure someone here can offer a helping hand to rjh_54.
  • Chanel89 over 7 years ago

    Yea you can go with those hipster all in one gramophone stuff. Pyle makes a lot of models, but it is mainly for show.
  • JungleWax-UK over 7 years ago

    You need to be buying second hand imo.
    Check out tips, clasified adverts, charity shops etc or put some adverts in shop windows etc. Also ebay for local pick up as they tend to go a lot cheaper.
    Try and go for a decent brand, imo 70s and 80s hifi turntables destroy anything you can buy new without spending several hundred pounds(dollars). You should be able to pick up a functioning amp and speakers for very cheap also. Ask about, everyone had a record deck and there will be plenty sat in peoples lofts and garages.
    At the end of the day those were the decades when everything was on vinyl and technology was at a point where high quality was affordable so therefore logic says there will be more available.
    80% of the population think vinyl died years ago so there are plenty about and if you are lucky you can make a killing.
    Avoid cheap dj decks and go for something with minimal functions but higher quality.
    As said avoid midisystems, they were cheap new and the turntables are usually pretty poor.
  • DetroitBootyBass over 7 years ago

    I second the recommendation to buy second-hand. An estate sale or garage sale might give you the opportunity to buy the turntable and any other components you need (like speakers and/or a receiver/amplifier). Pawn shops and resale shops might also be worth checking out. Online sites like Craigslist are also worth considering (though good deals, I mean price-wise, are relatively rare). Older family members might know a co-worker or friends that are aware of a 'no-longer-in-use' sound system (turntable, CD player, tape player, receiver/amplifier, speakers).
  • HotWaxRTC over 7 years ago

    As stated above, it is really going to be dependent upon a few aspects- your overall budget, space, use, and what you're really looking to get out of the system. If your total budget for the table is <$100, then presumably the remaining budget for speakers and amps if you do not already possess these is going to be a significant additional investment. You should look second hand, it is not uncommon to find decent equipment, especially for an introductory system at a goodwill or salvation army store. You should also check ebay and craigslist, as well as local yard sales/ flea markets.
  • Staff 3.4k

    nik over 7 years ago

    Yeh, I'd go for a 70's / 80's deck from a known brand that has good build quality, for example:

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Rotel-RP-400X-turntable-Hi-Fi-separate-belt-drive-record-player-/231443874099?pt=UK_AudioTVElectronics_HomeAudioHiFi_Turntables&hash=item35e3214133

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-Pioneer-record-player-turntable-PL-115-D-/181635639409?pt=UK_AudioTVElectronics_HomeAudioHiFi_Turntables&hash=item2a4a53e871

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Technics-SL-DD33-Direct-Drive-Two-Speed-Full-Size-Turntable-Record-Deck-Player-/251790164679?pt=UK_AudioTVElectronics_HomeAudioHiFi_Turntables&hash=item3a9fdd02c7

    If moneys tight but you have time, I'd go looking locally in thrift. charity, and junk stores, and also in local ads. Likely cheaper than eBay and no shipping.

    Make sure it is working ok. If you can't test it at the shop, ask if you can get a day or 2 to test it, and bring it back if not satisfied.

    Note the first thing you likely want to do is put a new stylus on it. I think most can be picked up online for about $20.

    You'll need an amp and speakers as well. The amp needs a phono input. Look for these in the same place, and the recommendations for era and brand are the same as well. The turntable is the most important thing to have reasonably solid though.

    Seems to me that new equipment divides into two categories - quality hi-fi stuff, and really super cheap and not good consumer stuff. The quality of the cheap stuff is the worst I have ever seen, they are churning these things out for the absolute minimum they can. You are actually better off buying one of these http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-Mickey-Mouse-Record-Player-Model-4420-No-Phonograph-Needle-33-and-45-RPM-/141540603769?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20f47a3779 :-)

  • JungleWax-UK over 7 years ago

    JungleWax-UK edited over 7 years ago
    What about that for something different?. I wouldnt buy it myself but it looks well put together, clearly a dj deck.

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/111568931094?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2648&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
  • ThomasP64 over 7 years ago

    ThomasP64 edited over 7 years ago
    JungleWax-UK
    OP something like this would probably serve you fine also.

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1970s-National-Panasonic-Stereo-Music-Centre-System-Retro-Record-Turntable-/400839544774?pt=UK_Sound_Vision_HiFi_Separates_Systems_Combos&hash=item5d53e60fc6


    You checked the postage terms? You're aware these need to be picked up in person? Unless the OP happens to live in the UK, very near one of these sellers, adding the cost of air travel makes these less attractive.
  • JungleWax-UK over 7 years ago

    JungleWax-UK edited over 7 years ago
    Thats the thing though, collection only items are potential bargains. You can set ebay to browse by location showing only local items. UK, US, Europe etc there should be plenty about.
    High end and collectable items will fetch good money but run of the mill more common stuff can go dirt cheap.

    Weve got a Garrard all in one thing in the lock up, regularly go for well under £50 on ebay. Its not amazing but it sounds very good and plays records fine. As someone that owns one of those portably plastic things for the usb output I can guarantee the older one is considerably better sounding.
    I do think though that a lot of the portable ones are for playing singles and not lps.

    Ofcourse there will likely be different brands in different countries but im sure Pioneer, Technics, Hitachi etc sold all over the world.
  • ThomasP64 over 7 years ago

    nik
    Seems to me that new equipment divides into two categories - quality hi-fi stuff, and really super cheap and not good consumer stuff. The quality of the cheap stuff is the worst I have ever seen, they are churning these things out for the absolute minimum they can.


    My favorite budget piece of trash: the Vinyl2USB(TM) Converter. At least they don't even bother to pretend it's actually good for listening to music. Because it's not a record player, it's a "converter."

    Price: $67, with free shipping.
  • JT_X over 7 years ago

    Try Craigslist and local garage-sale–style boards on Facebook. That's where I will be listing my father-in-law's old Dual turntable.
  • rjh_54 over 7 years ago

    Thanks for all your help everyone! I check the Goodwill / Savers stores in my area at least once a week if I have time, so I will continue to keep my eyes peeled.

    The suggestions are awesome! I do live in the US so I'll have to do some searching of my own for local deals. I'm also open to any suggestions for products from sites like Amazon too!
  • Elukkae over 7 years ago

    Remember to save some money for a new cartridge / needle, too. Worn-out needle will give you poor sound and spoil your records.
    After getting a replacement needle, a quality / price ratio of a vintage turntable can't be beat. The current cheapo turntables in gadgets like the "Entertainment center" don't have an adjustable needle weight, they press on the vinyl with several grams, almost grinding chips off the vinyl, and use sapphire styluses (instead of diamond) which wear out in a few dozen hours of play and are real vinyl destroyers after that.
  • Night0wl over 7 years ago

    Night0wl edited over 7 years ago
    His best bet would probably be an Audio Technica AT-LP60 or AT-LP120. Those are two of the top rated budget players. The Crosley's look nice, but I keep hearing how bad they really are.
  • ThomasP64 over 7 years ago

    Never mind, the comment I was responding to isn't there any longer.
  • avalon67 over 7 years ago

    nik
    Yeh, I'd go for a 70's / 80's deck from a known brand that has good build quality,


    I bought my current deck, a Pioneer, from British Heart Foundation for £5 :)))))))
  • Farjenk over 7 years ago

    A lot of excellent advice! I avoided this thread because I just knew it was gonna cost me several paragraphs of my time.
    In a nutshell... If you have enough courage and cash to take a few chances, thrifts and rummage sales are the way to go. You might get a crappy one but with the cash you save thrifting around you can always trade up.
    The second bit of advice I usually give is to simply look for a removable cartridge, generally a sign of higher quality tables. You want to have options when you need to replace that needle and if buying secondhand it's probably a good idea to replace the needle right off.
    I suggest looking for something that can be replaced relatively cheaply .... Shure SC35's are pretty reliable needle's that will only run you about $20 to replace... Of course you can spend over $300 on just a needle. Anyway, it can be a bit hard to look for stuff like this if you aren't familiar with the equipment but maybe you have a store or another place you can go look at things before your next thrift score.

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