Need Gift Suggestion for Record Player or Turntable

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yosh303
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Need Gift Suggestion for Record Player or Turntable

Post by yosh303 » 12 Nov 2019 16:42

Hey all, first post here. My wife expressed a while back that she'd love to start collecting vinyls and get a record player. I know next to nothing about this world so I've been researching options, but I'd love to get some opinions here from people with actual experience!

Really we just need a basic no-frills set up that plays vinyls with decent sound quality. An all-in-one record player is appealing because of their simplicity but the popular models seem too cheap to be good quality with all the features they pack in. I'm open to a turntable with a decent set of external speakers as well, but I'm unclear as to whether a receiver or external amp is also required.

I'd like to keep it under $400 and get something that's pretty basic as far as features but good quality. We don't need lots of customization or features like USB, cassette player, etc. She also leans toward classic style as opposed to something that looks really sleek and modern. But she's only 32 so the really retro 50s-type styles would not be interesting to her either. I'm hoping there's just a good quality, nice-looking system out there for a person who loves music but isn't concerned with features or playing with equalizers and such. It also does not need to be portable since it'll stay in one place, but we don't have a good spot for anything large.

What have you got for me, vinyl enthusiasts?!

Thank you in advance! :D

spensar
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Re: Need Gift Suggestion for Record Player or Turntable

Post by spensar » 12 Nov 2019 21:49

Lots of vintage options, and as long as you get a reliable one that has been serviced, that is a great way to go. My preference for new users is a decent direct drive from a maker like a Technics 1400 or 1600. I set up a new to vinyl person with a JVC QL-A2 direct drive that is pretty bullet proof to.

For a new user, suggest getting a table that at least lifts the arm when the LP has finished playing and avoid a full manual as you need to lift the arm when the LP is finished.

There are some good new options like this Audio Technica which is in the middle of your budget.

https://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-A ... B01N6YK1GA

yosh303
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Re: Need Gift Suggestion for Record Player or Turntable

Post by yosh303 » 12 Nov 2019 23:10

Thank you, Spensar! I'll take a look.

yosh303
United States of America
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Re: Need Gift Suggestion for Record Player or Turntable

Post by yosh303 » 12 Nov 2019 23:41

Issues, I think I'd like to stay away from vintage for the sake of ease of use and purchasing. I'm handy and I tinker but I'd rather be hands-off for this particular item - I have too many projects already! haha. I started with wanting a full set-up for around $400 but as I've researched and gotten suggestions I'm changing that to $400-$450 for the turntable including a preamp and I'll add speakers from there. This gift has a special meaning so I'm willing to spend some extra and get something of decent quality (for a casual listener, that is).

nat
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Re: Need Gift Suggestion for Record Player or Turntable

Post by nat » 13 Nov 2019 00:03

I see you added that you'd like to stay away from vintage so these comments may be not as useful as I'd hoped.
You'll need a preamp/amp or integrated or receiver along with the turntable and speaker (and if the previous items don't include a phono section, you'll need one). And speakers. Given that, 450 may not be enough for new equipment. So vintage might make sense.

There were a variety of serious all-in-one kind of systems made in the 60s and 70s which can sound quite nice, and are relatively uncomplicated, and usually aren't too expensive. KLH pioneered the genre with its various models - the 20 and its variants, and while the Garrard turntables in them aren't great, the sum is greater than the parts in this range, which goes from almost opulent, with walnut veneer speakers on fluted pedestals to a suitcase system that looks like a suitcase.
After KLH, many other companies jumped into the game. Good ones I've seen include Harmon Kardon, Scott, Altec Lansing, Sony, Pioneer, and so on. B&O has something similar, but at an entirely different price category, and maybe(?) a different quality category.
The problem with all used equipment is that it may not work well, or it may not work well long term (though who knows how long new less expensive audio equipment sold now will last - probably not long at all). But if you can find something that has been refurbished, it might be fine over the long term.
You can also find individual components for every part of the system, but that requires some knowledge of the equipment and system matching, if you want the best bang for your buck.
There are a head swimming number of possible approaches to solving your problem, and none of them is cheap, easy, and risk free. If you know any audiophiles who could advise you, asking them to help would be a good idea. Craigslist, Ebay, tag sales (and, in the unlikely event that there is an actual bricks and mortar audio store near you, a retail establishment that has a used section) and so on are potentially very useful, but confusing as hell and a crapshoot in terms of quality and longevity.
Posting your general location might be a useful move.

vinyl master
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Re: Need Gift Suggestion for Record Player or Turntable

Post by vinyl master » 13 Nov 2019 01:49

Yes, yosh...Even though I don't like the word "vinyls", either, I will not nitpick with you on that particular word in this case...It's not a word I use, but I also understand that people are coming at this hobby from many different levels of experience...from none at all to being a hi-fi hotshot, component exponent and general all-around technical wizardry wiz...Now, with that said, as previously mentioned, knowing your general location might help us to reveal a few great options locally that won't break the bank...I know you are not much the vintage fan, but many of these machines are still running YEARS after they were initially made...Even if you are not the tinkerer, getting one serviced at a local hi-fi shop or vintage audio headquarters might be just what the doctor ordered...Even for the price paid, you would have a hard time finding that kind of quality in today's market...I have found many a quality turntable by being patient and waiting for the right ones to come at the right prices, too...I can also recommend some very good audio shops in your area, if again, I knew your general location...With that said, though, if you are looking for something new that has a classic sound and look, maybe the latest option from Fluance might be up your alley...Take a look at their RT-85...In fact, all my favorite online channels have reviewed this turntable...








It has an Ortofon 2m Red, but an upgrade to the 2m Blue might be a good idea...

They all seem to have some nice things to say about the Fluance, too...I personally vouch for vintage myself, as vintage turntables can be found almost anywhere at almost every price point, although you need to spend a little bit of $$$ to get something of better quality...Plus, I can get a lot more bang for my buck by spending less money on the initial turntable, so I can spend more on things like the cartridge, stylus and maybe a spare headshell or two and other assorted accessories...Still, you could do much worse than the Fluance if you want to go new...

Still, if I knew your location, I could probably find you some more options, as well, if you want to see what's out there locally...There is something to be said for buying local and it can't hurt to look, right? :-k

yosh303
United States of America
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Joined: 12 Nov 2019 16:29

Re: Need Gift Suggestion for Record Player or Turntable

Post by yosh303 » 13 Nov 2019 18:46

Great info, thank you both! Doesn't hurt to look at vintage - I think it's just intimidating since I don't know what to look for. I'll certainly take suggestions and look in to them. I'm in the Denver, CO metro area (southwestern side).

Chiltern
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Re: Need Gift Suggestion for Record Player or Turntable

Post by Chiltern » 13 Nov 2019 23:46

One to consider perhaps if looking at new, Project Jukebox E, has a built in amp (50w/ch), just needs speakers.

If it's a gift, always nice to have something new, boxed, warranty etc.

no connection with Project except as a satisfied customer (Project Experience comfort, now 12 years old, no issues).

Alan

lenjack
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Re: Need Gift Suggestion for Record Player or Turntable

Post by lenjack » 14 Nov 2019 01:10

Problem with the Fluance rt85, which I agree, is a great choice, is that it eats his entire budget. He still needs an amp, with phono, and speakers.

vinyl master
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Re: Need Gift Suggestion for Record Player or Turntable

Post by vinyl master » 16 Nov 2019 04:22

Hmmm...OK, I also saw this one on my local Craigslist...

https://detroit.craigslist.org/wyn/ele/ ... 26647.html

I saw this review of it...

https://www.avsforum.com/review-monopri ... cartridge/

It costs less than the Fluance, but what do you guys think? :-k Anyone out there have one? :-k

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