Indeed, MP3 or CD players are the most convenient gadgets for music listening. However, if the music is not used just as a background and the listener pays attention to the sound quality, it’s important to own the best vintage turntable.
The information below is about the vintage turntables that feature outstanding sound quality and precise engineering. They allow listening to an uncompressed sound that is heard just like the singer or musician sends it. It’s impossible with streamed audio content, as the devices producing it can deliver only compressed sound resulting in tone loss. Only vinyl can provide warm sound, perfect dynamics, and create a live-performance effect.
Besides, the vintage turntable is the necessary device for jazz lovers making it possible for them to enjoy such specific content as, for example, jazz songs from the 1930s that haven’t been converted to digital format yet.
Certainly, many record players that are developed in the hi-tech style are also able to provide great sound at the same price. However, the vintage turntables are remarkable for their retro design and look cozy with their wooden floorboards, antique furnishings, and other elements.
Best Vintage Turntable Under 200
While searching for the best all-in-one vintage turntable, this model deserves close attention. It’s an 8-in-1 device that can play vinyl, CDs, cassettes, and accept radio waves. It also comes with USB, two AUX inputs, Bluetooth, and two 5W stereo speakers.
The AM/FM radio sounds clear even in the apartment building. It’s also possible to record from vinyl, CDs, and tapes to a USB flash drive for listening content on MP3 players or on a computer. The details of the recording process are clearly outlined in the manual.
This model provides just a decent sound that needs improvements. To that end, it’s possible to connect external speakers via either the headphone jack on the front or the RCA jacks on the rear panel of the device. The unit is also compatible with Bluetooth for wireless connection with a speaker or smartphone.
This vintage turntable can play 33, 45, and 78-speed LPs whether they are old or new or recorded in stereo or Hi-Fi format. The platter doesn’t skip and the needle reads clearly. The ceramic needle is good for casual vinyl players and it keeps the records safe.
The turntable is flat and it doesn’t wobble while playing. It’s made of hard plastic with wooden covering. The metal platter has a rubber layover to protect the vinyl. Consider its quite large dimensions (20.4 x 12.1 x 12 inches) and weight (16.5 pounds) when installing the player in the room.
- It comes with 3 extra replacement needles in a plastic cover and audio cables.
- This model has the adaptor for the 45 and 33 RPM records in the package.
- The turntable comes with a remote control.
- Some audio quality is lost if plugging in a Bluetooth receiver to the headphone jack.
- The radio’s tuning dial lacks light to see the channels.
Video Victrola Navigator
The Victrola 50’s holds a strong position on the list of the best vintage turntables. It comes with 3 speeds — 33, 45, and 78 — to fit all existing records.
This model features a good range of sound volume. If it seems to be not enough, the unit has Bluetooth to use it for pairing it with Bluetooth speakers or streaming music from an MP3 player or phone. It will enhance both volume and sound quality, especially low frequencies.
The Victrola 50’s features a 3.5 AUX-In and headphone jack. It has a USB port, but it’s not designed to plug a flash drive in it. This port connects the turntable and the computer/laptop for transferring vinyl to MP3 format. Thus, it’s possible to make records if the recording software on the computer is installed first. The device has a microphone on the front panel making it possible to connect a speaker to an AUX input.
The unit runs on electricity via a power cord that is about 30 inches long. This retro styling turntable is mostly plastic with chrome accents. It’s 13 inches wide from side to side and 15 inches from front to back. Its height is 6.8 inches and has 18 inches when the record player’s lid is opened.
The needle can be replaced with the brand stylus, but any diamond tip will work. The turntable’s arm isn’t completely automatic. The unit comes with a lever that lifts the arm but the users place the needle on the record by themselves. The record player will return the arm automatically though.
- The needle has a dust cover.
- The record player receives FM/AM radio stations.
- It comes with the built-in CD player.
- Decent stereo sound at this price point.
- No adapter to play 45 records.
- The unit wobbles whilst working.
Video Victrola 50’s Retro
The record player is a good model of vintage turntable technics. It has adjustable speed and comes with an adapter to play 45-RPM records that is located inside of the player in the upper right corner. The auto shut-off is present, but the arm is completely manual (it doesn’t return to base automatically).
The only outlet to plug anything in is one for an MP3 player. The unit lacks the earphone jack making it impossible to hook up an external speaker to it. However, the item can be used with a smartphone via Bluetooth or to play music through the Bluetooth speakers.
Besides, it has the right and left brand build-in speakers (8 Ohms, 5W, and 3.5 inches in diameter) that can play stereo and they are loud enough to provide good volume in a small room. It’s also possible to connect this device with the computer if a user runs an AUX cable from the computer’s headphone jack to the line-in jack on the back of the turntable.
The device has AM/FM radio, but the reception isn’t perfect. There’s a wire hanging down the back of the turntable and it’s necessary to move it around to find the right spot.
The unit is a bit bulky (it’s 17.12 inches from side to side and 12.48 inches from front to back), rather high (9.84 inches) and heavy (16.7 pounds). It has a sturdy housing that is made of real wood.
- The tape and CD deck work well and produce a nice and clear sound.
- This model comes with an extra needle.
- No opportunity to record from the turntable to a flash drive.
- The red track number display in CD mode is out of the retro design.
Video Crosley CR704D-PA
Speaking about the best vintage turntable technics, the SeeYing Nostalgic LP should be mentioned, as it provides smooth, clear, and dynamic sound due to its high-quality two built-in stereo speakers. Nevertheless, to obtain a better sound, one can hook up the separate speakers via RCA output jack.
It comes with 30, 45-RPM speed and can play 7, 10, and 12-inch records. No skipping is noticed. The shock absorber damps vibrations contributing to the clear sound. The device plays radio through the built-in FM wire antenna that ensures perfect signal if it’s untangled and extended for stronger reception.
The turntable is compact (12.36 x 10.86 x 4.92 inches) and lightweight (4.85 pounds). The removable plastic cover is transparent. It’s possible to play records while the unit is covered except for the 12-inch albums (they hang over the sides hindering to close the lid).
- The unit can be paired with the Bluetooth headphones and the Bluetooth connection is fast and flawless.
- The auto stop feature is onboard.
- A slight hum from the motor is audible.
- It doesn’t play the 75-RPM records.
Video SeeYing Nostalgic LP
This vintage style turntable comes with plenty of different options. It accepts AM/FM radio via analog tuner, but the quality depends on the area of residence. This model has a tape deck for playing cassettes. However, it supports the fast forward mode but not the auto reverse.
This device plays one record at a time. It’s necessary to manually put the needle on the record, and when it finishes the record the arm lifts off it automatically. However, the user has to manually return the arm on its place.
There is an output jack on the rear panel to copy the record to USB flash drive and then transfer music to the computer. It’s possible to hook up speakers to the RCA port at the back, but the signal still needs separate amplification.
The sound is tinny when playing records, but CD’s and cassettes produce a clear sound. In any case, the unit needs more bass.
The device has a large size of 17.9 x 13.1 x 9.2 inches. It weighs 18.35 pounds due to its natural wood cabinet. The turntable has a small digital display to show the selected options, track number, etc. The unit doesn’t come with an anti-static slip mat but there are four hard rubber feet that are about 1 inch wide and 0.5 inch high.
- The turntable can shut off automatically when the tonearm reaches the end of the album.
- It’s possible to connect the device with the soundbar that has an analog stereo input.
- The sound is loud enough for all paired devices.
- Bluetooth only works for input but not output making it impossible to listen to the records and CDs through the Bluetooth headphones.
- Sometimes, CDs skip the track.
This turntable with the vintage design is both a nice and affordable addition to an existing audio system and a great standalone device. It supports 33/45/78-RPM selectable speed for playing records of any size (7, 10, and 12-inch LPs). The unit comes with a speaker onboard.
It’s possible to hook it up to one or two external speakers via audio cable for better sound. Besides, the record player can be connected with the phone via Bluetooth, but it’s not compatible with the Bluetooth speakers. It’s also impossible to record plates on the smartphone or to save them on a computer.
The unit has no anti-skate protection and the cartridge’s weight is fixed. The only way of avoiding the needle’s skating is to clean the affected record thoroughly and adjust stylus when using the lever to lift and lower the needle.
This vintage portable turntable is lightweight (4.7 pounds) and quite small (14.2 x 13.66 x 5.7) that’s why it’s easy to carry around and takes up little space. Its cabinet is made of plastic and laminated with wood-looking covering. The device is designed with a removable acrylic lid. The player has a durable stylus and a shock absorber. The latter is located at the base of the platter to offset vibrations and prevent skipping.
- When a record is playing, there is enough room to keep the top down if desired.
- The unit produces warm and full sound.
- The plastic lid is sturdy and can withdraw heavy loads.
- No extra needles in the package.
- The turntable lacks radio.
Video WOCKODER KD-2008BL
This model is a good vintage turntable at a low price. It’s a belt-driven construction meaning its good resistant to vibrations. It’s designed to play 33, 45, and 78 RPM records and it comes with the 45 adapter. The AM/FM radio is accepted – the signal is strong, stable, and clear. The turntable comes with four built-in speakers providing natural and crisp sound and good bass when listening to either LPs, tapes, or CDs.
The unit has one headphone socket. The AUX jack is here and the record player can be hooked to the home surround system. This model doesn’t support the Bluetooth speakers or earphones, but it’s possible to connect it to a smartphone/tablet via Bluetooth that works quickly and without interruptions. In addition, the device can play music from the USB drive.
A solid wood cabinet is thick and sturdy that’s why the turntable’s weight is 18.52 pounds. The unit has an average size (16.93 x 14.49 x 11.5 inches), so it’s easy to decide where to place it. Besides, this model makes a great addition to a room with its stylish nostalgic look.
- The unit has a convenient front panel with playback controls.
- On the front panel, there is an LCD display with a clock.
- The sound has different loudness when listening to music from various models of smartphones. For example, the volume is considerably lower on the iPhone 7 than on the iPhone 6.
- There’s no way to adjust the tone, as the device lacks treble/bass controls.
Video 1byone Nostalgic
The list of the affordable turntables with the vintage design would be incomplete without the Popsky device that has three speeds to play both new and old vinyl on. The Bluetooth function is onboard that allows playing music from the smartphone or tablet.
This model has built-in speakers. The sound features true Hi-Fi tonalities and it’s loud enough without the external speakers when it comes to the small studio apartment. The bass has too many low frequencies preventing from getting the full-spectrum sound.
The unit has a solid wood base in retro style and detachable hinged dust cover. Having a size of 17.2 x 15.5 x 7 inches, it doesn’t take much space. It is not heavy weighing just 8.55 pounds.
- It’s possible to hook the unit up to a receiver via the RCA jack and the RCA cable is included in the package.
- The Popsky provides the automatic stop feature.
- This turntable has RCA outputs to connect directly to a digital receiver.
- Some noise from the built-in speakers is audible even if you turn the volume down.
- The package doesn’t include extra needles.
How to choose a Vintage Turntable?
First, consider the record players’ base to choose the best vintage turntable that can be made of steel, aluminum, wood or plastic. Steel models feature great vibration resistance, but their motor runs out faster. Aluminum devices contribute to a top-quality sound, but they are mostly overpriced.
Plastic turntables are the cheapest ones and it doesn’t always mean their low-quality, as it’s seen from the reviews above. However, wooden turntables look truly vintage, but they weigh much more than plastic models.
The turntable’s size is meaningful when installing it in a small room or moving it from place to place.
One can choose the device among belt-driven and direct-drive models. The belt-driven vintage turntable’s replaceable parts let the unit work longer. The direct-drive model usually comes with more advanced specs.
Concerning the record players’ features, the choice depends on the records that will be used. For example, if a user owns cassettes, the tape deck will come in handy. Besides, those who want to convert vinyl into digital sound should focus on the models that can boast this feature.
How to choose a Vintage Turntable?
Automatic models are great for novices since their tonearms drop on the records and lift off at the end of each record automatically when pushing a button or moving a lever (it depends on the model). It provides the optimal force by default, preventing the damage to records and letting the users get rid of monitoring when the song ends. However, such models are pricier and might decrease the sound quality.
Semi-Automatic devices make it necessary to put the stylus on the platter by hand, but they still lift the needle off the record automatically. Note that it’s rather challenging to find the semi-automatic unit with a suitable value for money on the market.
Manual turntables mean both of those options should be done manually. It might seem to be quite difficult to make correct adjustments or to be always around a turntable for watching the end of the record. However, the lack of additional attachments ensures high-quality sound.
It should be noted that there are some automatic tonearm lifters on the market that can be installed on the styluses without any tools to make the manual record players more convenient. It’s important to consider its compatibility before buying this device – the distance between the tonearm and the platter, the type of the tonearm (whether it’s linear or pivot), etc.
Each of the vinyl records comes with its own speed – the number of rotations per minute (RPM). It might be 33, 45, or 78 RPM. The first phonographs were slow and only with the advent of the electric turntables, fast records’ speed (78 RPM) became possible.
At the same time, slow records continued to be released, as they were still popular among listeners due to their low price. That’s why many people own collections of 33 RPM records even nowadays.
Anyway, the higher the speed is, the better sound quality the record has. Bear in mind this parameter since even the best vintage turntable brands have models within the series that can match only 1 or 2 of those speeds.
However, the final choice largely depends on the intention. For example, there’s no need to look for the turntable with 78 rotational speed for listening only old records. If somebody is going to purchase new records regardless of their rotations per minute, it’s better to pay attention to the versatile 3-speed devices.
By the way, many 45-RPM records come with a big hole in the middle that requires using a dedicated 45 adapter to play them on the small-spindled turntables.
Hi everyone! I’m Thomas Moody, also known as Guitarzan.
All my life, the guitar has always been my real love. I played as a featured guitarist in several bands over the years.
My extensive experience of teaching lessons and blogging taught me to write useful texts. I tried to keep as many notes about musical instruments as possible. So stay tuned—new articles are coming.