A lot of first-time vinyl buyers are going to be asking themselves what to consider when choosing a player. There are lots of different options and plenty of various brands on the market.
Record player or turntable?
Many people think that turntables and record players are the same thing but it is not true. A record player is an appliance that consists of lots of different components such as amplifiers, speakers, and a turntable. The thing is that these devices can damage a vinyl record since their tracking force is often high. So, if you buy such an appliance for a low price, it is likely that your records are in danger. Meanwhile, a turntable bought the same cheaply as a record player, will have higher quality.
The first and most important thing is your budget. If you were trying to find a record player before coming to this website, then you already know that there are record players for about $100, and there are those that cost $1 000 and even more. When you will decide how much money you are ready to spend on a record player, you can pare down the list of suitable models.
Popular or under the radar?
It certainly makes sense to pay attention to a brand since most famous companies are reliable and their products have decent quality. There are some websites on the internet that create lists of the best-selling products. However, it is better to check the rates of a few different websites as they can vary a lot. Online forums can be very helpful as well because you can not only read the info there but also ask questions.
High-quality record player should be used with high-end amplifier and speakers
Does not matter if you have a great stereo system or just plan to buy one. Anyway, its quality should be matched with the quality of the player. For instance, a turntable for $500 is significantly better than a pair of speakers for $50. This means you will not get out the sonic potential of the turntable in such a combination. A record player with a much lower price than an amplifier and speakers will limit the technical ability of these units. Keep in mind that all the components should have similar quality.
One of the factors to consider is portability. Suitcase style players look aesthetic and beautiful, however, audiophiles know that classical ones provide noticeably better sound quality.
Should you choose a standalone preamp or bundled with a turntable?
You can buy just a turntable but there are plenty of models that have preamps included. Some think that the second option is more convenient as all-in-one products usually provide maximum comfort. Nevertheless, when it comes to the high-end market, standalone models are much more common among real audiophiles. The main advantage of such units is that they are upgradable over time.
You also have to decide whether you want to have a manual or automatic record player. The difference is that in the first case you will need to manually move the tonearm to the record to start listening to music. When the last track is played, the tonearm has to be moved back. If you use a turntable with an automatic setup, just press a button and the first track will start playing after the last one is over. At the same time, if you are not near the turntable when the music finishes playing, it will stop working automatically.