Should you buy a vintage turntable?

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Vintage audio is definitely fashionable. Vinyl is experiencing an incredible renaissance, so much so that it has encouraged an entire industry to make new turntables, preamps, phono cartridges and other components. And it seems to have had a ripple effect on other old-school playback formats. interest in CD and Audio cassettes are also experiencing resurgences (although not on the same level as vinyl).

But it’s not just listening to vintage audio formats that many hi-fi enthusiasts love – it’s listening to them on vintage components and machinery. Any purist will tell you that “they don’t make them like they used to” and that’s actually true in some ways. The look, feel and nostalgia of a old fashioned turntable Where recipient is simply incomparable.

The good news is that if you’re looking for a vintage turntable – like an old-school Rega Planar 3 or a Thorens TD-125 MK II – they are the low. It’s not really hard to find a vintage machine. But buying one and getting it working might not be as easy as you think.

The benefits of buying a vintage turntable

Vintage turntables are nostalgic.

The main reason someone would buy a vintage turntable when there are so many modern turntables available (which are easier to buy and use), is nostalgia. Most turntables from previous decades are quite large, made of high quality woods and metals, and harken back to a time when vinyl was truly the best and easiest way to listen to music. And let’s be honest, the current influx of modern turntables just doesn’t have the same vibe.

Most vintage turntables are surprisingly affordable.

It might seem a bit counter-intuitive when it comes to vintage hi-fi, but you can buy vintage turntables – on online marketplaces like eBay, Reverb, Amazon, Sweetwater or Craigslist – for quite a reasonable price. For example, you can find old-fashioned turntables from Marantz, Pioneer, Technics, and others for a few hundred dollars (or less).

But it’s for a reason…

The cons of buying a vintage turntable

Most vintage turntables will need some serious TLC.

If you’re seriously considering buying a vintage turntable, the first thing you need to know is that there are many sellers of vintage audio equipment – including turntables from the 60s, 70s and 80s – but most of what is sold won’t be in perfect working order. In fact, many vintage turntables are sold for parts (mainly belts, tonearms, and motors); meaning they are designed for people restoring a vintage turntable they already own.

Unless you’re serious about what you’re doing, we recommend finding and contacting a local hi-fi store and asking them what they think of the turntable you’re buying and if they can help you out. to repair it. The hardest thing about restoring vintage audio is finding old-school parts, and they might tell you that restoring the model you’re considering might not be that easy.

Most vintage turntables will not sound as good as modern turntables.

The reality is that even though vinyl is an old school audio format, there have been a lot of technical advancements in the way it is played. Modern turntables have more sophisticated components (tonearms, motors, belts, cartridges, circuitry, etc.) and are thus able to produce a more precise and warm sound than turntables of decades ago. So if you’re building a hi-fi system around a vintage turntable, you’re probably doing it for the project and the nostalgia rather than the final sound quality.

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