Record Player Reviews: A Buyer’s Guide

A Record Player never gets old

Some things never go out of style no matter how old they get. Same is the case with turntables. They have been popular amongst audiophiles for decades now. Even after the advent of cassettes, CDs, and the latest MP3 players, there is something about turntables that can never be replaced. Its warm sound and faithful reproduction has its charm and probably always will. This is probably why records and turntables have gained increased popularity, even in this age of technology. It’s always good to go back to the old days by playing the records and reminding yourself of the simple times. The vintage turntable is considered to be the crux of a vinyl and is responsible for actually turning the records. Today we will talk about the three steps to picking out your very first record player.

Record Player Reviews : What Is Your Budget?

It should come as no surprise that the first step is determining your budget as the range of price of a record player can be quite extensive. Since it does not come cheap, it is always a good idea to get the best value for your money. You can get your hands on a reliable vintage record player at the best price at most online auctions and stores that specialize in records and record players. However, you should keep in mind that modern versions are a bit pricey since they are only manufactured for the high-end audiophiles, and it is a small market.

Record Player

Record Player Reviews: Should You Go with a Belt Drive or Direct Drive?

The platter on which the actual record rests can be rotated using two methods. The first one being a direct drive method in which the motor is located below the platter. The other is the belt drive in which the motor is placed on the side of the platter.

Belt Drive

Most audiophiles prefer a belt drive vintage turntable since the rubber belt minimizes shock waves and vibrations by absorbing them. This, in turn, helps reduce noise in the electrical signals sent to the speaker.


Direct Drive

Normally disk jockeys prefer turntables with direct drive since the platter can be rotated forward and backward without causing any harm to the turntable itself. They also offer a consistent and rational speed as compared to the belt drive.

Marilyn Monroe with a record player

Manual or Automatic?

There are two types of turntables: manual ones and automatic ones. This difference depends on the process that is used to set the tonearm onto the record player. The difference is quite obvious between the two as you have to physically lift the tone arm onto the record in the manual turntable, while the automatic one does the job for you.

Most enthusiasts appreciate a good manual record player since it minimizes the chance of vibrations and there is a certain charm in doing the job yourself. Automatic tonearms can play the record with just the push of a button. The tonearm rises from its place of rest, moves to the side, and onto the record. When you switch it off, it makes its way back to its position of rest. It does provide ease to the process and is good for novice users.

Types of Record Players

Record players are a combination of some simple components. These components usually include a turntable and a cartridge. The turntable just rotates the record, while the needle reads the grooves and translates them into beautiful music. The sound can be produced via digital systems or traditional analogical systems depending on the record player type. The main difference between older models is mostly the operation of the turntable itself, which divides them into four main types.

Idler-Wheel Drive

Idler-wheel drive is considered to be one of the oldest forms of turntables that exist. It was amongst some of the first ones to be invented and holds great sentimental value. Its operation is relatively simple. It uses a rubber wheel that is turned by a synchronous motor, which can be altered to monitor the speed at which the record is to be played. These vintage turntables were exceptionally popular in phonographs in the late 70s and 80s, though it has its fair share of problems. The rubber wheel used to turn the record can get worn out and cause vibrations, which reduces the quality of the sound it produces.

Belt Drive

The second in the list of record player types is the belt drive. After the problems faced with the idler-wheel drive, the belt drive was introduced to take its place. It came with an elastomeric rope that was used to turn the record. This was not only easier and cheaper to build but also helped improve sound quality since the belt absorbed any vibrations produced by the motor, thus generating a cleaner signal and better music.

Direct Drive

The direct drive system skips the part of using a wheel altogether as the turning of the record is incorporated inside the working of the motor itself. This significantly reduced the hassle and made the process simpler. However, there was a need for a very precise motor that would turn the record at just the right and continuous speed.

Digital Record Players

Then came the modern record players. There were considered to be one of the best in performance. They can be either portable record players or built into other systems. The main feature of a digital record player is that it has digital readouts and controls for both volume and speed. These were all the different types of record players that you can find in the market.

We took the liberty of reviewing some of the best record players in the market for a music lover like yourself. These record player reviews will help you choose the best record player than you can get according to your needs and preferences.


Record Player Reviews: Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable review



Number one on your list is a simple professional turntable that is easy to use and comes with connectivity ports, additional accessories, and a powerful sound quality. It has everything that a DJ can ever dream of in a turntable.

Special Features

It Comes with a USB Port

When you think about it, almost every digital device you can get your hands on has a USB slot, but when it comes to turntables (an item known for its antique look), getting a USB port is like getting electricity in the late 1800s. Unlike most devices you connect to your computer, a turntable does not require any software installation. This makes it all the more desirable since you can have a vintage record player with a slight touch of modern technology.

It Comes with a High Torque Motor

The second best thing that could possibly happen to a turntable after a USB port is probably a high torque motor. The fact that this one has both of those components makes it ideal for individuals who are looking for a modern twist on a turntable. Since most vintage record players have a belt or idler wheel drive, a DC motor with three different speed variations just seems like the cherry on top.


  • It comes with a 4 x 0.7mm elliptical diamond stylus.
  • Its three-speed feature allows you to run your vinyl records of all sizes at three speeds
  1. 33-1/3 RPM
  2. 45 RPM
  3. 78 RPM
  • The frequency response range on the turntable is 20Hz – 20kHz along with a channel separation of above 20dB at 1kHz
  • The record player consists of quartz control pitch lock to ensure the precise speed of seven and twelve-inch records
  • It also comes with a high-performance phonograph cartridge
  • It contains a professional head-shell offering protection from dust and dirt.
  • The pitch can be adjusted within the range of +/- 10 and +/-20 percent.
  • Comes with a pop-up stylus light and stroboscopic speed indicator
  • The cast aluminum platter is designed to absorb and minimize vibrations
  • 2-year warranty

Now let’s move onto the pros and cons of the record player.



  • It is considered to be an extremely versatile record player
  • With its cast-aluminum platter, it creates zero vibration sound waves that are free from any disturbances
  • It is compatible with all modern speakers available in the market these days
  • Its USB connectivity added to the audacity software only adds to its undeniable appeal


  • Since the product is fully automatic, it makes it less appealing to people who like the simple, semi-automatic versions
  • It can be considered a bit pricier that other models available
  • The assembling process of a direct drive turntable is different from others and can prove to be confusing if used for the first time

Record Player Reviews: Audio Technica AT-LP60USB Fully Automatic Belt Driven Turntable with USB Port review

In the audio world, the name Audio Technica needs no introduction. Its modern craftsmanship and rich sound quality speak for itself. This particular model offers the ultimate music experience by being lightweight, affordable, and compatible.

Audio Technica AT-LP60USB Review

Special Features

USB Port Along with Mac and Windows Compatibility

Audio Technica has always been known for its fancy installations in its gadgets. It is the brand that makes everything sound more tech oriented, even record players. The reason behind its specialty is not just its high-tech features but also the price at which these features are offered. The price of this product with all its fantastic and reliable features is just $150. This is probably the reason behind its increasing popularity amongst audiophiles. If you are in the market for a modern version of a record player, this would be your best choice.

The fact that it is so light and compatible with numerous modern devices only adds to its appeal. It is most commonly used as a portable turntable that you can connect to your PC, laptop, MP3 player, smartphone and tablet.

Built-In Preamp and Stereo

Built-in preamp and stereo, or also known as phono switchability, is another added feature of the AT-LP60USB. You can connect it to your home stereo system and enjoy amazing sound quality via phono level and magnetic level outputs. The high-performance phono cartridge used in the record player can produce a sound that reaches an output level of 2.5mV to 1kHz. So if you already have some excellent high-powered speakers, it is time to get your hands on a record player that can bring out their true potential.


  • Comprises of a high-speed DC servo motor, maintaining a smooth and precise speed
  • Vibration-absorbent aluminum turntable platter for smooth, vibration-free belt driven spins
  • Magnet phono cartridge makes sure your vinyl records stay scratch free
  • Fully automatic and works at the speeds of 33-1/3 and 45 RPM
  • Lightweight at six and a half lbs
  • Portable and can be connected to head gears for music on the road
  • Additional accessories include
  1. USB cable
  2. 45 RPM adapter
  3. 5mm mini-plug stereo cable for the adapter
  • Two-year warranty


  • It offers multiple connectivity options at an optimal price
  • The cast aluminum platter is anti-vibration and produced noise and disturbance free sounds
  • The built-in stereo feature added to the phono-preamp and professional phono cartridge makes it compete with the leading speaker brands in the business
  • The fully automatic diamond stylus makes it close to impossible to scratch your vinyl record
  • The USB compatibility and availability of Audacity makes it an ideal product for all your recording needs


  • The record player only offers two speeds as compared to the three provided by other vintage record players. It may be a source of concern to some audiophiles and music enthusiasts
  • This model has RCA wires that are considerably shorter in length and hence, require you to place the turntable close to the receiver.

This was the introduction, I hoped you guys enjoyed and stay tuned, because more Record Player Reviews are coming your way!