Record Player Evolution

There is no doubt that record players have evolved, from being huge simple devices, to those which are portable and sophisticated. Edison and Berliner are considered the pioneers of record players, or in a general term, phonograph. It is from their humble inventions, that we are now able to enjoy the fruits of the magical record players.

It has taken several technological advancements over a number of years to reach this point. Below is a chronological line-up from 1874 up until the 21st century that shows how the record player has evolved. It has indeed taken ingenious leaps forwards to reach this far.

1874

The record player is a device that can play sound by reading vibrations from a record disk. Thomas Edison invented this wonderful piece of technology. Unknown to him, this device would end up revolutionizing the face of the music world that we have come to know to date. Today, our home radios, our high-end iPods, and our fast-paced computers all started as medium-size boxes, where a needle moved across groves in tinfoil paper to create noise, which was amplified through a small speaker.

1887

In 1887, the music world was treated to yet another invention, this time, the gramophone. It was designed and made by Emile Berliner, using Edison’s original player design. In fact, the gramophone was simply an upgrade of Edison’s record player with better features. One unique feature of the gramophones was that it played music and recordings, but did not use the foil to play. It was during this period that the vinyl concept was introduced. On its side was a crank designed to spin the vinyl, which in turn created the noise.

19th Century Vinyl

Vinyl records, created a huge uproar. Records were designed specifically for the gramophones. The record was a disk that was twice the size of a regular CD. It would then be placed on top of the gramophone, and a needle placed on top of the record. As the vinyl spins, the needle scratches on the surface and produces sound vibrations, which are later amplified through its speakers.

The Turntable

The turntable era was not much of a hit, but it was credited with bringing to limelight of the disc jockeys who we simply refer to as DJs. The turntables were the brainchild of one Daniel Leland Cooley in the 1930s.  The disc jockeys used the turntable to play a wide variety of songs at various events including parties, concerts and more.

As the use of turntables increased, DJs came up with and mastered the art of scratching which involves the moving of the vinyl back and forth. In the years to come, the turntable became a massive hit for many people, especially party lovers. The DJs took it to a whole new level, which led to the rise of arguably the best DJs of that time.

Transistor Radios

The invention of the transistor radio was huge especially in the mid-1900s. It completely changed the face of how people listened to music. Moving from a heavy non-portable system to pocket-friendly devices was an unprecedented change. This radio was pocket sized and very portable. The radio started with an AM channel-based tuner and offered listeners an opportunity to listen to their favorite jams played by disc jockeys. This was further made possible through radio towers.

Long-playing Records

Long-playing records were another type of record disk altogether, and allowed music lovers to have all songs on an album on just one disk. With long-playing records, the artists would record a whole album. After recording, music companies would later make many copies of that recording on long-playing records and then sell them to customers who later listened to the music via gramophones.

Compact Cassette-1960s

The compact cassette, was created by a Dutch group known as the Philips Company. It was more of a record player than it was a transistor radio except for the size. It was small and rectangular in size and shape, and had the capability of playing up to 60 minutes of music or recordings. Similar to a record disk, the compact cassette had to have its wheels spin in order for sound to be produced. They were played using cassette players.

iPod Era-2000s

The iPod was an instant hit. Apple come onto the scene and created one of the best devices ever seen before, which was an immediate hit for music lovers. It was similar to the cassette player, but it had an LCD screen that allowed one to see the music he or she was listening to. It had a USB port that allowed its users to be able to transfer music to and from the iPod. It was portable and pocket-sized. Apple would later develop the iPod Touch with touch screen capabilities.

Smartphone Era

In recent years, mobile companies have developed high-end smartphones that have the ability to play music of various formats including MP4 versions. The record players of these mobile phones have been well integrated and made user-friendly giving music lovers a whole new experience of listening to music alone at any given time and place using one’s earphones.

Conclusion

Technology, both analogue and digital, now makes it possible for us to be able to create a memorable musical experience that cannot be replicated through live performances. It has enabled us to be able to record musical events for later use, and also to be able to create it in a way that surpasses the true feel.

Edison and the like focused on creating record players that were capable of capturing enough information to make it recognizable.

However, their successors upgraded this as they sought to create captivating music that was devoid of noise and any distortion. This has given musicians, producers, and music composers full control of the music-making process and to determine the output.

Record Player Cartridges: What Are They and Why Do I Need Them?

While digital music and the internet have taken listening to a completely new level of affordability and convenience, many lovers of music have long decried the loss of sound quality in many compressed music files. They have for so long yearned for the great richness and depth of old turntable stereos, but they have been forced to enjoy such luxury by listening to their jams through Hi-Fi systems.

One crucial part of the turntables that have long made these music beasts great are the cartridges. Their status in terms of quality and proper maintenance will ultimately define or rather determine the quality of music. This makes buying of turntable cartridges an integral affair.

When buying turntables, it is imperative to choose the best ones on the market and to do this one must be well armed with enough information related to turntable cartridges. There are a number of top turntables cartridges available in the market.

Cartridges are available in different shapes and sizes. However, these great devices are powered by two principle technologies: Moving Coil (MC) or Moving Magnet (MM). In simple terms, the former is more advanced than the latter, which makes it more expensive to purchase. In terms of sound quality, the two cartridge designs are excellent. However, the MC variant takes it a notch higher to audiophile heights.

So what is a turntable and a cartridge? A turntable or phonograph is a device that plays and records music by reading waveforms carved into a rotating disc. In order to play recorded music, the turntable must read the information engraved on a disc using a pickup system, in this case, the cartridge itself.

A cartridge is the part containing the stylus tip or needle, which reads the information on the record and sends it to the entire system. It is at the cartridge where the sound vibration from the vinyl record is converted into electric signals ready for amplification by the amplifiers.

A Selection of Record Cartridges

Ortofon MC 20 cartridge

The Ortofon MC 20 cartridge is a 1970s model. It has undergone numerous upgrades up until today. Its latest model has very nicely built features including a light aluminum casing,  NOS head shell and overhang adjustments. Its sound mechanism is highly refined, with resolution ability excellently crafted. Its price is worth the buy. This cartridge is pricey, but it is worth every penny as it delivers without fail.

Dynavector 10X5

This is an entry-level cartridge and has several features. The flux dampening and magnetic technology reduces distortions by adding small iron strips that are permeable in design. Several ratings state that this cartridge is quite resilient when playing intense musical pieces. It also displays rhythmic qualities without delays.

Shure M97xE

The Shure M97xE cartridge has received five-star ratings on many sites. This device has a magnificent mid-range and bass, but lacks a well-designed treble line. Its overall design is no doubt a masterpiece. To reduce rumbling of discs, the device is fitted with a carbon fiber dynamic stabilizer. The suspension is also well designed to lower what is known as frictional drag, thus minimizing the wear and tear effect.

Rega Carbon

This cartridge does not sacrifice anything. It has excellent sound quality, with quality bass and upper midranges. Its set up is quite easy and relaxed compared to other expensive cartridges. It also comes at a fairly inexpensive and affordable price.

Grado prestige black

Although not the best cartridge on the market, this Grado model does not sacrifice sound quality for anything. If you desire a great music sound experience at a low price, then this is the best option. Similar to other Grado cartridge models, the prestige black offers excellent midrange tone. Its vocals are clear and warm, and can play pop, jazz and classical music.

Audio Technica AT110E

It has received great remarks on various leading tech websites. It is not that excellent compared other cartridges, but it surely has something to bring to the table. Its sound abilities are great and the price is affordable especially for those who do not wish to invest a lot but would still like to experience a great musical time. It features linear crystal oxygen-free copper wire, which is designed to improve the signal’s transfer efficiency, thus producing a linear and hi-fidelity sound even for very low signal levels.

Goldring 1042GX

This may not be the sharpest cartridge on the market it surely the best in its own right. It has had positive reviews for its good, clear sound abilities, excellent highs and an outstanding tracking ability. Furthermore, it is suitable for playing all types of music: jazz, classical and pop among others. The good thing about this cartridge is that it comes at a very affordable price that anyone can afford. The Goldring 1042GX will definitely give you value for your money.

Grado Prestige Gold 1 Cartridge

This cartridge has won a number of accolades owing to its excellent features. Users have given it 4-star ratings due to its dynamic, smooth and warmth sound output. It also features a light stylus that is more responsive, which makes it produce great and accurate sound. This Gold 1 cartridge has copper wire coils that are oxygen free and a 4-piece OTL cantilever system. The copper wire coils do not have many turns and this allows for faster signal transfer, which also reduces sound distortions.

Conclusion

Despite the numerous advancements made in the audio technology world, many music enthusiasts still prefer the high quality sound produced by record players. The depth, quality and resolutions associated with turntables cannot be compared to portable music players of the modern era.

At the heart of this great machine, is the cartridge that performs a very crucial function of reading information on records. To achieve great music quality, the quality of the cartridge you choose to use should be nothing less than top notch. Purchase your cartridge from recognized dealers and electronic outlets so that your choice may not be compromised.

Record Player Speakers 101

Every day we all listen to music either from our Hi-Fi systems, iPods or even our very own smartphones. The experience is always magical and this is made possible through the speakers.

Have you ever tried listening to your favorite jam with a low quality speaker? It’s awful and irritating to say the least. So we owe our good musical experience to the speakers. True music lovers will tell you that a good speaker system equals great music.

They are the part of the system that reproduces the sound. So it is imperative to ensure that you purchase great quality speakers and keep them in top shape to guarantee you a good musical time.

How the speakers work

Speakers generally work like the human ear. What the ears perceive as sound is just a mass of numerous vibration waves. When a sound is made by an object, vibrations are created in the air that results in the air particles colliding, creating what is known as soundwaves.

The eardrum is inside the ear and it vibrates when it immediately perceives these incoming soundwaves. In turn, it sends this information to the brain, which interprets it as sound. The speakers for record players use this same principle to work.

A speaker simply converts the electronic information contained on records and digital compact disks into physical vibrations. It creates soundwaves from electronic information.

Speakers have a driver that is cone-shaped and houses a diaphragm. The diaphragm is designed in a manner that allows for back and forth vibrations, thus creating the physical vibrations that get to the ears to create sound.

Types of speakers

The Infinity Primus P252

This floor speaker model has received numerous awards for its outstanding features.  It features a black vinyl veneer with a wood grain and magnificent metal tone rim. It also has two 5.25-inch metal matrix diaphragms with a crossover of up to 1500 Hertz.

This speaker’s sound quality does not disappoint, as it brings out precise musical elements, with good detail, enough dynamic range and an excellent deep bass.

Sony SS-B1000

Sony has been renowned for some of the best devices and gadgets in the world from smartphones, radios, DVD players among others. When it comes to speakers, they do not fail in their standards as they have proved in this Sony speaker.

Editors have made these speakers to stand out from the pack due to the numerous positive reviews they have given it. It has a sturdy outer case that is well polished. Its sound quality abilities are just top drawer.

The 1-inch Nano fine balanced dome tweeter, coupled with a polypropylene cone woofer, delivers a clear and smooth sound with a well-balanced bass. To add to the gloss, the speakers come at an affordable price tag.

Klipsch RB-51

This speaker has some outstanding features: a 1-inch tweeter, great drivers and a very effective motor structure made of neodymium. Other attached features include a 5.25-inch subwoofer that delivers great sound output. The Klipsch-RB-51 speakers use a bass reflex design, which means it has a rear side port. This speaker comes at a very good price, and anyone can afford it with relative ease.

Ze Audio Omen

The Zu Audio Omen are stereo speakers which have highly been recommended by CNET’s Audiophiliac. They are strong and powerful for large-sized rooms with a wattage capacity of up to 200 watts. The outer layer is well finished and polished, with the inside being a work of breathtaking art.

Its output is high with no crossovers or filters on the drivers. Its sound ability is unrivalled as it delivers the best bass which is well balanced and easy on the ear. They are available on premium as they have a high price tag.

Dayton B652 Speakers

Not many be quite familiar with the Dayton Audio Company, but this company manufactures some of the finest speakers including the B652-type speakers. The speakers have an excellent and affordable price tag and anyone can afford it.

Its sound system capabilities are superb as it delivers smooth, clear and well-balanced sounds, with a fully refined bass. Its outward appearance may not be eye catching, but it delivers a great crispy sound that no doubt sets a new quality benchmark.

Wharfedale Diamond

This bookshelf speaker is by far the best on the market. It is one of the entry-level speakers in the diamond series of the Wharfedale Company. The Audiophiliac loved it for its outstanding features.

A 5-inch Kevlar woofer, 1-inch silk dome tweeter and a baffle with a mouthwatering high gloss finish. When it comes to sound, it clearly delivers without any doubt. It produces a deep bass and very lively dynamics. Its vocals output its clearly the best.

What to consider when buying speakers record players

Before purchasing speakers for record players, it is important to consider some elements. Price tops the list. Be sure to go for a set of speakers that you can totally afford. They should also match the record player components. The wattage of the speakers should match that of the amplifier for the smooth working of the record player.

Another important factor to consider is that of the speaker’s sound quality output. This should be excellent and compatible with your sound needs. Users should also buy speakers due to their tastes and preferences. What may be pleasing to one customer may not please another.

Conclusion

Speakers will continue to be an integral component of the stereo system. They are the sound reproducers, as they produce sound based on a series of vibrations. Good speakers will guarantee music listeners a good listening experience. Buyers can make their choice from various speaker types including sub-hoofers, bookshelf, floor, in-wall and satellite speakers.

Users of stereo systems should ensure they go for speakers with great sound quality. They should be aware of the various elements to consider before purchase that include price, brand name, tastes, preferences, type of speakers among others. Buy your speakers from selected outlets.

Record Player Accessories

Now that you have an interest in vinyl record players, it is only natural that you will come across a few especially if you have a collection of vinyls. However, you need to ensure that the record player lasts long, which you can do by using accessories. Most equipment that you buy comes with its own unique accessories to complement their use.

The record player, too, has its own accessories, which are important for use. They keep the record player in top shape. Therefore, it is best for you to own a few, if not all, of the various accessories available. Here are a few of them.

Platter mats

It is very essential to choose the right mat as it will enable you to achieve improved sound quality through reduction of friction, avoiding a build-up of static and dampening vibrations. A good platter mat will enable firm grip of both the record and the platter to prevent slipping off during spinning. The material from which the mat is made should contain excellent sound characteristics.

Most platter mats are made using various materials such as cork, leather, rubber, acrylic and felt, each with different sound properties. Mats made from rubber are good at vibration dampening, while those made from cork are good for opening the sound spectrum and are popular with audiophiles. To ensure it serves its right purpose, you should keep the mat clean and dry at all times.

Slip mats

While platter mats are meant for holding records firmly, slip mats allow the record to slip over the rotating platter to allow for scratching and cueing as well as enable the DJ to control the vinyl record without causing unnecessary damage. Slip mats are mostly made using felt and they are only necessary if you are a DJ. If it’s just for listening, then platter mat is enough.

Record clamp

Record clamps consist of weights designed to fit on a record player’s spindle to ensure vinyl stability allowing for better tracking. With the clamp in place and the platter flat, unwanted needle movements and resonance are at a bare minimum. The clamps are made of heavy metal that puts weight on the record to keep it stable.

Cartridge alignment protractor

Aligning a cartridge can be a very hard job, especially for an amateur. This is where the protractor comes in as it help to align the cartridge to improve sound quality and to give the stylus longer life. The protractor is made of plastic material and is calibrated with lines of tangency and null points.

Isolation feet

These accessories are those you fit or install on the record player for enhancing sound quality. These feet and pads have excellent vibration-dampening qualities. Stiff and strong isolation feet and pads are used for heavy record players, while the less heavy ones are suitable for use in light record players.

Carbon fiber brush

For record lovers, the carbon fiber brush is necessary. It is used to remove dust particles from the record player and should be used prior to and after use of a vinyl record to avoid dust building up. If dust is allowed to build up, then the sound quality is compromised. The brush is designed in a manner that allows cleaning even in-between the record grooves.

Stylus cleaner

The stylus of a record player is a very sensitive part and should always be kept clean. To do this, you can use the stylus cleaner to remove dirt and dust. A dirty stylus can compromise the sound quality of the record player and it is appropriate to clean it on a regular basis. Turn off the record player or mute it off when cleaning the stylus.

Lint-free microfiber cloth

From all the available record player accessories, this lint-free microfiber cloth is inexpensive. It is made up of woven small lens-like fibers which can pick up even the minutest dust particles. A good microfiber cloth performs exceptionally well to absorb oil and moisture from the surface of the record. The super feature of this cloth is that it is non-abrasive and therefore cannot damage the record surface.

Precision bubble level gauge

A perfectly set-up record player will deliver good music. Therefore, it is important to ensure you set it up correctly and this starts by mounting it on a flat surface. To achieve this, one can use a precision bubble level gauge. If it is placed on a leveled surface, it will prevent sloping, thus ensuring you listening to good free-flowing music.

Brush pads and kits for record cleaning

For a fast deep cleaning, these accessories come in handy. They are used for wet cleaning or dry record cleaning. They come with soft cleaning pad and specific cleaning solutions that have the ability to clean the deep grooves, removing dust particles leaving your entire record player clean.

45 RPM adapter

This adapter is also known as the 7-inch adapter. It is made of small plastic or metal insert that perfectly fits in the middle of a 45 RPM record so it can be played on the spindle of a record player.

Inner sleeves for records

Before storing your beloved record away, you should keep it inside the casing to prevent it from being damaged. For this purpose, you can protect your record by putting it in inner sleeves. If the sleeves are weak or old, you can have them replaced. The inner sleeves are made of either plastic or paper material; both are good either way.

Dust cover

If you bought your record player without a dust cover then it is important to get one. This will protect your player from dust particles or any other unforeseen damage when not in use, hence prolonging the playing time. With the dust cover in the place, the delicate parts of the record player such as cartridges, tone arm and others will be protected.

Conclusion

There are numerous record player accessories out there on the market. New ones are being made to replace older models. Either way, it is essential to own a few accessories for your record player to ensure it serves you right. Try to ensure that you purchase these accessories from selected and authorized dealers to avoid fake or inferior items.

Record Player Needles: A Guide

Turntables have really come a long way from simple versions to today’s modern and sophisticated models. They have revolutionized the face of the entertainment industry and have proved to be among the crucial gadgets in modern times.

It is a disc jockey’s favorite tool when it comes to making music. But for us to enjoy the sweet music that comes from this wonderful equipment, we need to understand, or rather have a better knowledge of its inner workings and what components are crucial to its proper working.

One crucial part is the needle. Though small in size, this part plays an all important role as it is from it that the music or sound we hear coming out from the speakers starts. We are going to cover a few tips on how to handle and maintain your record player needle in top shape.

What role does it play?

The vinyl record has grooves running all round its surface. It is within these grooves where the music or sound content is stored in the form of numerous vibration waves. Once you have placed the vinyl record on the turntable and the tone arm over it, the whole process of music or sound creation starts.

As the vinyl record spins, the needle runs within the grooves picking up those vibrations, converting them into electrical signals that travel through a set of wires located in the tone arm until it reaches the cartridge where they are converted into sound waves.

Turntable Needles

Turntable needles, or in more technical terms the stylus, come in different shapes. They are never created equal. The needle needs to be as much in contact with the surface of the record as possible. The principle or rather science behind is simple.

Large surface areas are more preferred over small surfaces because it is convenient. Turntable needles that achieve a high degree of contact with the groove reduce stress. The vinyl record moves very fast and hence a needle with a large surface area is preferred as it minimizes stress.

It also prevents or reduces the wear effect on the groove, ensuring your records last much longer. They are mostly made of different materials, but most users prefer diamond-made needles, as they are strong and durable.

Maintaining and replacing a record player needle

This is a very delicate component in a record player, and hence should be well protected and maintained at all times. Ensure always keeping the needle clean. How? By cleaning it gently with a brush. Make sure that as you clean, you do not use force or any solvent, as this may make the cementing material weaken, leading to the needle becoming detached.

Try to use a magnifying lens when observing the needle. Turntables that have their tone arms easily lifted are the best. The needle should be cone shaped, with a smooth and perfectly round end. It should also not contain any chipped surfaces as this can greatly interfere with vibration pick up and conversion.

In the event you wish to replace the needle from your record player, you can use these easy steps. First, remove the stylus by pulling straight out, in the opposite direction of the tone arm. Then, replace the needle with a similar and compatible needle. If you do not have a replacement needle, then you will have to replace both the tone arm and the cartridge. Finally, slip in the new needle and lock it in place. Play the music and see if plays nicely.

Things to consider before buying a needle for your record player

There are a number of things one needs to consider before purchasing a needle for a record player. This part is very delicate and should always be treated as such. So here are a few tips to help you.

  • The shape of the turntable needle will determine the contact level between it and the grooves on the surface of the vinyl record. The greater the contact, the greater the sound. Do not go for conical or spherical shaped needles, but rather go for the elliptical shaped ones as they fit well in the grooves.
  • Type of material. The material that the needle is made of matters a lot. Most record player needles on the market nowadays are made of diamond, as it does not have tendency to wear out the surface of the records. Any other material should be avoided.
  • Size of turntable needles. This is also an important factor to consider. Small-sized needles are best as they fit perfectly well in the grooves. This will result in good sound quality. With large-sized needles, they will not fit well at all and the sound quality output will be poor. Some vinyl records have a capacity of 78 RPM, and will require a needle size of about 2.5-3 mil. So they vary in size and choosing the perfect size is very imperative. The sizing for the needle is measured in mil and will be listed as 0.3 x 0.8 or something there about.

Summary

The needle is a very delicate component in a record player. It performs a very crucial function, that of picking up vibrations and converting them into electric signals. It is made of diamond, which has been the primary material in recent times.

The needle needs to be well maintained and regularly cleaned. In case it is broken or old, it needs to be replaced. Before buying it, one needs to consider several factors such as material, size and shape.

The preferred one is diamond, small and elliptical made. The best turntables on the market are most likely to already come with a high quality, if not very high quality, turntable needles.

However, vintage turntables are likely to have their turntable needles replaced. Ensure spending the right amount of money and buying original and long-lasting needles from authorized dealers. Give your record player an upgrade today, and get to enjoy sweet, smooth music.

1byone Belt Driven Bluetooth Turntable with Built-in Stereo Speaker

Playing music on record players can be heartwarming for some but nobody has the time or patience to use record players anymore. However, they aren’t just the crappy old music boxes of the past.

Manufacturers have put quite a bit of effort into blending modern technology with the turntables. As a result, you can enjoy your old vinyl records, but also play music through your phone, tablets, and even computers at the same time.

You can play the music through the built-in sound system, or even attach additional speakers. The possibilities are endless. One of the companies that have made its name in the business is 1byone, with its fantastic line of retro-looking turntables with modern features.

Features

  • The record player from 1byone features the traditional solid wood appearance and also comes with a dust cover.
  • The selectable 33/45/78 RPM speed settings allow you to configure the speed as you see fit.
  • This record player also allows you to record audio from vinyl records to MP3 files. This allows you the option of easier playback later on, using mobile devices too.
  • This device features full range stereo speakers. The active 2-way stereo system of this unit provides clarity and optimized sound for every genre.
  • Bluetooth and plug&play are among the best features of this device; you can play music from your mobile devices, MP3 players and other compatible devices through this turntable’s speakers.

Pros

  • This turntable has been designed with utmost care in order to provide the best possible sound for all genres of music.
  • It’s a wireless device, and you can also use Bluetooth connectivity to play music through your phone or tablets.
  • While the built-in stereo system is pretty magnificent, you also have the option of adding external speakers using RCA Line-Out.
  • The classic retro design is bound to take you back in time but it’s not just a cool looking turntable; it also includes modern technology making it perfect for modern household.
  • The ability to convert music from vinyl records to MP3 files make it easy to play your favorite tracks on the go on mobile devices.
  • This device features auto-stop, which means that the record player will automatically stop when a record ends. This also works for the USB flash drive.

Cons

  • There have been complaints about the needle skipping the parts of the first track, probably because of the tension being too tight.
  • There have also been few complaints about the power button not working, which is probably not a major issue and the case of faulty products being shipped from the company.
  • Another case of faulty products has been an issue with the speakers; customers have complained about the speaker not functioning as soon as a week after purchase.
  • The loud humming sound this machine makes when being switched on can be irritating for some.
  • The controls seem to be non-intuitive and quite clumsy too. The poorly written instruction manual doesn’t help much either.
  • The build quality and the sound quality are decent enough, but the product has been constructed with a few cheap parts including a plastic patter and ceramic cartridge.
  • The MP3 files this product records are of low quality, and might even sound like AM radio.

Conclusion

This record player from 1byone is definitely one of the most fascinating products in the category. The product features fantastic retro, classical design, but it’s not just all about its looks. Its modern features, like AUX cord and Bluetooth connectivity, make it very different from traditional turntables.

This device is capable of converting records into MP3 file, but there have been complaints about the quality of such MP3 files. The dust cover is one of the handiest, thought-out designs.

It protects the device for years to come helping to maintain its newness. The sound quality is amazing with the active 2-way stereo system. For all its features, it’s not even priced much. Overall, it offers great value for its price tag.

Comparison

Regardless to say, 1byone isn’t the only record player manufacturer in the world, and there are quite a few equally worthy competitors for this product. DigitNow! Bluetooth Vinyl Turntable and Audio Technica AT-LP60USB Turntable with USB Port are two equally amazing products on the market.

Of course not every product is the same, and there are bound to be differences in features, appearance and price tag. Make sure you properly study the features, pros and cons in order to make an informed decision.

Verdict

This 1byone record player is one product that stands out over most similar products because of its wide range of features and more than reasonable market value. It features the classic retro look of the traditional record player and has been equipped with a variety of modern features. The dust cover featured on this device also helps to protect this product. It is definitely one of the best products in its category.

DigitNow! Turntable is the cheaper alternative for anyone who wants to own a traditional looking vinyl record player. The company offers 3-speed settings, Bluetooth function, analog AM/FM stereo radio, slots for USB/SD/MMC and so on. For the price category, there is hardly any other product that can match its features.

A third alternative for you could be the Audio Technica AT-LP60USB Turntable from Knox. The product features a superb sound system and can also be connected to your computer. You can do everything from encoding your records to MP3 files or just enjoying the superb records in outstanding sound quality.

The 1byone record player is the best one here. While the turntable from Knox is comparable in terms of features, it’s still cheaper than the product from Knox. You won’t be regretting your purchase with this one.

Pyle PTCD56UBGR Record Player Stereo System

Turntables are one of the longest serving musical gadgets ever built. Their relevance has continued to grow in leaps and bounds to date and are still being produced in large numbers. The compact cassette, the digital compact disks, iPods,  and MP3s, among others, have attempted to outdo this monster but to no avail, as it is still loved by a group of folks, especially the older generation guys who still value and can place a premium on the turntables. It is one of the longest lasting technologies.

It always feels nice to have these record players close to us so that we can continue to listen to fresh and authentic music all the time. The Pyle PTCD56UBGR record player stereo system is one turntable that that can help reminisce old times while enjoying that which is modern.

It has the classy style yet with modern features such as Bluetooth connectivity; ability to connect to computers, tablets and other digital devices; can convert vinyl to MP3; has an audio jack; and can support USB.

Features

  • Blends the vintage crafted sound system with classy turntable style with a modern touch. It has a sturdy finish.
  • In built stereo speakers that are full range.
  • Stereo speakers built on Bluetooth wireless technology allow for transfer of files through streaming.
  • Has audio streaming abilities.
  • USB flash reader port.
  • Compatible with other devices including tablets, iPods, Android smartphones, laptop and even desktops.
  • 3-speed vinyl turntable with a range of 78RPM – AM/FM.
  • Radio Aux with 3.5mm jack port.
  • In built CD player
  • Speakers that are inbuilt RCA (L/R). This allows one to connect the turntable with external speakers for an increased sound output.
  • Ability to undertake recordings, save and share files.

Pros

  • Has a beautiful sturdy design that creates an aesthetic appeal which matches well enough with any interior decor. It has a classic look that just shouts antique.
  • It is blended with a mix of both old and new technology giving it a solid performance.
  • Its ability to connect with other devices allows you to not only listen to music on vinyl records but also from other sources such as laptops and smartphones.
  • Its Bluetooth wireless technology allows for easy connection with other gadgets. The set up is quite easy.
  • Has a decent sound ability that allows you to enjoy the music.

Cons

  • The volume of this record player does not increase any further after a certain limit and this can lead to you not really enjoy your music. To aid this, it has the option for external speakers to be connected.
  • It is heavy in weight as it weighs close to 23 pounds. This makes it very difficult to move around.
  • The tone arm for this record player is a little bit light can break with additional weight or force. It needs to be handled with care because if not it can disrupt the sound quality when the vinyl record is playing.

Verdict

This turntable is a mix of old and new technology and satisfies both worlds.  It allows one to enjoy the old times, with a feel of new technology. Its outer covering gives one a feel of the old times as it is sturdily made with nice finishing that can match any decor. It is a good turntable in terms of sound abilities. It also stands out with its ability to connect to other devices giving you more options to listen your music apart from only vinyl records.

To add a touch of modern technology, it has wireless Bluetooth connectivity that is relatively easy to set up. On the down side this cannot be a turntable for the noise lovers, as one cannot exceed certain volume levels, hence the need to connect external speakers. It is a pricey device by its own standards, but  worth every penny.

Comparison

There are many turntable models out there. Some are excellent compared to others and each having its unique features. Therefore, it is best to compare them to allow you, the customer, to make a wise decision before you purchase. We will compare this Pyle PTCD56UBGR record player stereo system turntable, with two other turntables, the Electrohome EANOS502 Wellington Wood and the Gadhouse Brad Vintage Record Player.

Summary

The Gadhouse Brad Vintage Record Player is a small record player in terms of size, but is sure to give you a heavy dose of music output whenever it is used. It has a distinctive old vintage look that has great matching abilities with any decor.

It plays vinyl record on a belt-driven 3-speed turntable, with the ability to play from 33 to 78RPMs. To connect to other devices, it uses Bluetooth wireless technology allowing one to stream music straight from the phone.

For privacy purposes, one can plug headphones into the 3.5mm jack port. Other additional features include volume adjustment knob, pause and play button coupled with a function knob for easy usage. It relatively cheap compared to the Pyle PTCD56UBGR record player stereo system and therefore would be a good choice if you want to spend less but with similar features.

The Electrohome EANOS502 Wellington Wood record player is another lovely model found on the market. It has some excellent features that include a 4-in-1 retro vinyl turntable. It has a mahogany built casing that is strong, durable and well polished, with a semi-vintage look.

To produce excellent sound, this turntable has a diamond tip needle that prevents distortion. It also has inbuilt speakers encased in a wood acoustic casing, USB port to allow connection to other devices, ability to play CD and AM/FM radio, MP3, recording ability and a 3.5 auxiliary input. If you want this wonderful piece of gadget, be prepared to fork out a little more cash, but it will be worth every penny.

You will be spoiled for choices when it comes to choosing turntables, but in this case go for the Pyle PTCD56UBGR record player stereo system as it has great features. You can boost your sound levels by adding external speakers.

It also has a USB flash reader and can share files from the record player to an external device and vice versa. This Pyle PTCD56UBGR record player stereo system has the ability to play all kinds of music formats both old and new.

It can convert vinyl to MP3, has a radio and a CD player. It has more features than the Gadhouse and it is cheaper than the Electrohome EANOS502 Wellington Wood.

Best All-in-One Record Players

Record players are among the few things from the past that are still with us. These days, there are a variety of different devices used for playing music, and yet record players have managed to hold a place in people’s hearts. Manufactures have produced various different types of record player in terms of design, features, build quality and price. Most popular modern-day record players are those with a wide variety of features other than the basic function of being able to play vinyl records.

Some of the modern day features included in record players these days are Bluetooth connectivity, USB connectivity, built-in stereo system, and so on. These features aren’t just fancy additions, they are in fact must haves for this generation. There can be only a handful of people who choose to use just vinyl record players as the ultimate means of listening to music. The rest of us, however, choose to mix things up with this and that.

These complete record players are usually also referred as all-in-one record players. As the term suggests, record players labeled as all-in-one shouldn’t be limited to just being able to play vinyl records. Features like being able to digitize your records without having to connect the turntable to your computer are always handy.

With proper research, you can find pretty much every kind of record player you want. You need to be sure of what you want and the budget you can spare to even begin your search, or you will just end up getting lost and confused.

We have prepared a list of some of the best all-in-one record players for you on the market.

TEAC LP-R550USB CD Recorder with Cassette Turntable

This is one of the best all-in-one turntables with a fantastic design and stacked with a wide variety of features. This traditional looking turntable from the company comes with a CD R/W drive, USB port, 2-speed settings, cassette player, headphone output and remote control. And, it doesn’t end there. With the RCA audio input and output you can plug in external speakers for more enhanced sound. The dust cover that has been included with the product for its protection is well thought-out.

Pyle Home PVNP4CD Vintage Phonograph

You can’t help but fall in love with this magnificent record player. The design is so classy that you’ll feel like it’s a gadget from 1900s. And, the device isn’t merely for show either. The extra playing speed of 78 rpm will come in handy. Along with the traditional vinyl playing ability, this turntable also features an AM/FM tuner, AUX-in jack and a CD drive. You can really enjoy all kinds of music with this vintage looking record player. The bright horn is remarkably easy on the eye, and it’ll definitely be turning some jealous heads.

Electrohome Signature Retro Hi-Fi Stereo System with Record Player

Electrohome is one of the best manufacturers of record players and the company has managed to maintain its reputation with his product. It’s a great stand-alone product from the company that features a hi-fi stereo system. The retro woodgrain finish is remarkable and definitely easy on the eye. Along with playing vinyl records, you can also tune the AM/FM radio, play CDs, and convert vinyl record players into MP3s via USB or AUX input with this amazing product. Also, when not in use, you can close the lid of this device for protection from dust and any accidental spills.

Crosley CR6003A-CR Echo Portable USB Record Player

Crosley is one manufacturer that offers wide varieties of color and style in their all-in-one record players. This one in particular comes with three speed settings (33/45/78). Along with the ability to play vinyl records smoothly, this product offers AM/FM radio, RCA out jacks, AUX input, USB connectivity, headphone jacks and so on. Just remember that, because the speakers are at the rear, it might not give the best performance depending upon where and how it’s placed. But overall, it’s great value for money.

Audiology 3 Speed USB Turntable with Built-In Stereo Speakers

This one features classic 50s styling with its sharp wooden box edges. It comes with a dust cover. As for the features, it has a 3-speed turntable that can play 7, 10 and 12 inch records. Converting vinyl records to MP3s is a breeze with this belt-drive turntable. The built-in stereo system gives out a fantastic sound. Additionally, it includes modern day features like USB connectivity, built-in volume control and is compatible with both Mac and PC. You will be astonished at the low price of this product. It’s a bargain.

Crosley Radio Cannon Sound System with Turntable, CD Player, Radio, Cassette Player

This is another fantastic record player from Crosley with a full range stereo sound system that is able to play 7, 10 and 12 inch records. It’s 3-speed and also comes with CD and cassette players. AM/FM radio capability is another benefit, and you can plug in your devices via an AUX 3.5mm jack input. The best thing about this all-in-one record player is that, despite all its features, it’s still reasonably priced. The sound quality is excellent and you’ll definitely be falling in love with this turntable.

TEAC LP-P1000-CH all-in-one Speaker System with Bluetooth

This is one of the most complete music systems out there. This all-in-one setup features built-in Bluetooth connectivity allowing you to stream music from mobile devices. It features classic styling and comes with an auto-returning tone-arm, 3 speed functions and even the ability to play CDs. The speakers are powerful with amazing clarity. If you’ve been looking for a true all-in-one record player sound system, this is it. You can’t go wrong with this purchase.

Pyle PTCD4BT Bluetooth Classic Style

With the vinyl craze catching on, you may want to join in and listen to your vinyl collection or get a new collection. That means you will need a good record player, which you can use to indulge yourself to the clear sounds of a vinyl record. The Pyle PTCD4BT Bluetooth Classic style is such a record player.

Its classic look says it all. It has a vintage design that will bring back those old memories, and as for the current generation, it is an antique worth adding to your décor.

And it doesn’t stop there. The record player will help you relive the 80s with its cassette player and to enjoy current generation music using the CD player and MP3. Talk about having all music generations in one!

Features

  • Classic style and vintage design with its wooden box
  • Bluetooth enabled and can pair with Bluetooth-enabled devices such as smartphones, tablets and computers.
  • Built-in CD player
  • Cassette deck located on the side, slot in.
  • AM/FM radio
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • Button controls that are easy to operate.
  • Auxiliary input Jack, 3.5mm
  • 3 speeds at 33 1/3, 45 and 78 RPM.
  • It comes with auxiliary and RCA connector cables, headphone jack and 45-RPM adaptor.

Pros

  • The first thing that comes to mind when you see this record player is its design. It has an antique design that can fit well with any décor based on the wooden box. Place it in your living room and it will make a good conversational starter.
  • Other than the vintage look, the record player is modern. It has a CD player, a cassette player, AM/FM radio, and you can play music from your Bluetooth-enabled devices such as tablets, smartphones and computers by wirelessly streaming it using Bluetooth.
  • You can listen to music from an MP3 or CD player even if it’s not Bluetooth enabled by connecting it using the auxiliary input. Therefore, you are not limited to only listening to music from vinyl, cassettes, CDs and Bluetooth devices, but you also can connect other external devices.
  • The record player comes as one unit including the built-in stereo speakers. If you are satisfied with the volume they produce, then there is no need of connecting additional speakers, although this is possible using RCA input.
  • It comes with the required cables. After you purchase the record player, you do not need go back to the market to look for the required cables. It comes with the auxiliary and RCA connector cables, 45 RPM adaptor and a headphone jack.
  • It is easy to operate since it has button controls such as tuning, volume, choosing program, repeating songs and other operations.

Cons

  • The inbuilt speakers produce sound enough for ordinary listening but not for parties. If you are looking forward to entertaining, then you may have to include additional speakers. Also, the sound is not for audiophiles.
  • Because it does not support USB, you may have to transfer the music in your USB to a device such as the computer or tablet and play it from there, either by Bluetooth streaming or connecting the device using a cable.
  • It does not support the conversion of the vinyl music to MP3.

Verdict

Go back in time by listening to vinyl records using this modern, yet vintage looking record player. Not only that, the Pyle PTCD4BT Bluetooth Classic will enable you to also listen to digital music from your CDs and MP3 from your Bluetooth-enabled and non-enabled devices. It allows you to enjoy music from all generations all in one device. And if you don’t like the volume of the speakers, you can plug in external speakers.

When you purchase, you get the record player and cables you may need to connect external devices, removing the hassle of looking for them. The only thing you may not do is to convert your vinyls to MP3. With all these features, this record player is worth the money.

Comparison

Before making a final decision to purchase, it would be prudent to check out other similar products so that you can make an informed decision. The market is flooded with record players ranging from analogue to digital and with different features. Two of these include the TEAC LP-P 1000 Turntable Stereo system and the ProduTrend VinylPal Turntable.

Summary

The Pyle PTCD4BT Bluetooth Classic style is no doubt the best considering its features and price. You can play your vinyl records, cassettes, CDs, MP3s, dial up the radio, while at the same time improving your décor with its classic style. However, the sound may not please an audiophile and it does not allow for conversion of vinyl music to MP3.

This is where you may consider the features of its counterpart, the TEAC LP-P 1000 Turntable Stereo system. If you are not stuck on with an antique design and you are willing to pay more, then this can be a good option. It supports Bluetooth, can play CDs and has an AM/FM radio. Some of the features that set it apart is the LCD display, the use of remote control, the two external speakers it comes with, and the auto return tone arm. To reduce vibrations, it comes with a rubber mat.

If price remains an issue, then you may consider the ProduTrend VinylPal Turntable. With its 3 speeds as well as a headphone jack and auxiliary input and RCA output, you can play your vinyls and also connect your MP3 player or phone. However, you will not get the antique design or Bluetooth connectivity.

Pyle PTCD4BT Bluetooth Classic style remains the best record player because while it has almost the same features as the TEAC LP-P 1000 Turntable Stereo system, it is not as expensive with TEAC being three times the price.

Although a little cheaper, the ProduTrend VinylPal Turntable does not have the antique look and does not have Bluetooth connectivity. With Pyle, you can enjoy your music, whether old or new, even using wireless technology.

Best Record Player Brands

New and advanced technology usually causes older generations of technology to fizzle out. However, vinyl records are one product that has managed to stay in business even after a massive upgrade in the world of musical devices. The sense of wellbeing from playing LP records on a record player is almost immeasurable. And, unlike the days of hi-fi systems, record players aren’t so expensive now.

To someone who knows nothing about vinyl records and record players, every device might look the same, with a few tweaks in design. However, there is much more to record players than the obvious tone-arm and platter. There are different technologies used in making a record player; belt drive and direct drive models are two examples of difference in the use of a motor to drive the platter.

There are other factors you need to take into consideration, so you must remember that sound quality is extremely important. Don’t be tempted by a good looking record player available cheaply. By trying to be too cheap, you might cause serious damage to your vinyl records later on.

And, going for quality can cost a buck. The turntables that cost over $500 are obviously quality without a doubt. You don’t even need to second guess these products 9 out of 10 times. If you can spare the dough, you won’t regret the purchase.

However, for the rest of us, that kind of budget isn’t something we can spare at will. Getting the best value for your money should be a priority, and it might involve some compromise. But, in today’s competitive market, you can find some amazing record players within your budget.

Various factors that affect the price of record players are design, features, size, speed settings and the brand. You don’t necessarily need to be brand conscious when purchasing a record player, but it doesn’t hurt to be assured that the product you’re purchasing is from a company that’s reliable and has been around for a while.

After an extensive amount of research, we have prepared a list of some of the best record player brands on the market.

Audio Technica

Audio Technica is one brand that has been around for a while with an amazing line of turntables. This is one brand that has really taken customer satisfaction seriously. They seem to sell products just right for everyone. If you want to spend some big bucks, then you’ll find some amazing designs, build quality and features. However, if you’re looking for something under $100, you won’t be disappointed either. They offer amazing quality at surprisingly reasonable prices.

Audio Technica LP60 and Audio Technica LP120 are two of the best selling record players from the company. The LP60 costs under $100 while the LP120 is priced under $300. Both of these products are amazing in their own right but it goes without saying that the LP120 is better equipped in terms of features.

It’s more powerful and comes with features like built-in USB connectivity, precision quartz controls for pitch, automatic electronic brake and much more. The LP60 is just a toned down version of the 120, so you won’t regret purchasing either one of these items.

Electrohome

Electrohome is another fantastic brand when it comes to manufacturing record players. It’s not just about being able to play the vinyl records with this company. Electrohome takes the design of their products very seriously and, as a result, you get to experience the most amazing build quality and classic designs at a reasonable price.

The EANOS502 Retro Vinyl Turntable Record Player from this company is one of their highly affordable products. Not just within the company, but this particular brand is one of the best out there in the price category.

The sound quality is just amazing and the trademark “diamond tipped” ceramic needle used by the company sets it apart from the rest. Plus, you get USB connectivity, AUX input and much more.

Also, you can easily digitize your vinyl records at an incredibly low price. There are plenty of other products from the company if you’re looking for something more. You will be able to find better features if you’re moving up the price category.

Pyle

This brand is renowned for their cheap yet highly effective turntable record players. The company has produced a range of record players under $100, but they are by no means lacking in quality. In fact, they are even better than some overpriced turntables on the market.

If you’re looking for a low profile record player for your vinyl, this is the one to go for. Keep in mind that if you choose inexpensive products, the features are also going to be limited.

Pyle PLTB1 is a turntable from this company that’s belt driven and offers a variety of features, including dual playback speeds, start/stop switch, anti-skating function, and a durable dustcover. The company has even offered a year’s warranty with the product. The only thing that’ll make you hesitant to purchase this product is how little it costs. Also search for other Pyle products to meet your needs.

Final Words

All three brands mentioned above are superb and, even though no product is perfect, you’re more likely to come out satisfied by choosing one of them. It all comes down to your budget and what you want. You might need to make few sacrifices.

For instance, sacrificing the design work for better sound quality might be worth it if you’ve found a budget record player. Needless to say, these aren’t the only record player manufacturers on the market.

Some other noteworthy brands in the business are

  • 1byone
  • Stanton
  • Victrola

Do not to hesitate to do thorough research and compare the pros and cons of each product you have shortlisted in order to make an informed decision.