If you are looking forward to owning a record player, you may want to know the prices of record player. Usually, prices will differ based on various factors. For instance, there are different types of record players. Secondly, each kind has its specific features. The size and design also dictates the price of a particular record player.

Record players can cost a hundred dollars to hundreds of dollars.  By understanding the various factors that determine the prices of record players, you can make an informed decision on the one to buy.

Direct drive vs. belt drive

One of the most common differences between record players is the manner in which the turntable drives the platter.  Most players will have either a belt drive or a direct drive mechanism.  A platter that is run by a belt-drive mechanism sits on top of the bearing, while the motor is located at its side.  The motor is connected to the platter through an elastic belt.  The belt prevents vibration and noise from the motor from getting to the platter. Consequently, this bars noise from being transmitted to the tonearm and to the audio system.

In direct-drive models, the platter is located on the motor, which means that it does not need a belt. The design is preferred by DJs since it offers flexibility. However, it does not prevent sound distortion perfectly. These two variations vary record player prices.

Automatic vs. manual operation

Some turntables or record players use a manual operation whereas others use an automatic.  The latter are the most convenient record players.  All you need to do is to place your record on the platter and push the button.

By itself, the turntable will move the tonearm up, get it to the record’s groove and start playing.  When the album has completed, the turntable returns the tonearm to its place.

On the other hand, manual record players give you the experience of the traditional phonograph. You have to manually place the tonearm on the record grooves and stop it when the record completes. To aid this function, most record players of this nature will come with a cueing mechanism.

Although the automatic models are convenient, they do not cost as much. You can find one at a relatively inexpensive price. However, manual models retail under the tag “vintage turntables” and can get very expensive. Many argue that the manual designs provide a better sound.  But, if you are looking for convenience, stick to automatic turntables.

External or internal phono preamp

The tiny vibrations produced by the needle of a record player, as it moves through the grooves of the record, have to be amplified to make music.  Most audio systems feature a circuit system for amplifying the minute frequencies.

However, some of the modern receivers do not have the inputs to allow you to connect a turntable directly.  Where your receiver lacks the phono input, you will have to select a record player, which comes with an inbuilt phono preamp.

Alternatively, you can choose one with an external preamp. The integrated phono preamps are affordable while the external phono preamp can escalate the price of the record player. Hence, the type of phono preamp present determines record player prices.

Cartridge

The cartridge consists of a bundle of wires and magnets, which is attached to the edge of the tonearm. The needle tracks the grooves found on the surface of your records. While this may seem simple, the level of precision that the stylus is able to do will determine the quality of the playback.  The cartridge that comes with most record players will offer just enough performance.

However, if you want the best playback, then upgrading to an advanced model is paramount. It is recommendable to replace cartridges after 500 to 1,000 hours of use. Ideally, cartridges have a long lifespan and they protect the condition of your records.

Normally, cartridges come in two groups: moving coil and moving magnet.  Moving magnet cartridges produce a sound signal when the needle touches on a tube which has magnet attached to it and moves within a field of fixed coils of wire.

On the other hand, in the moving coil designs, a coil goes around within a series of fixed magnets to develop a music signal. Moving magnet models are cheaper and are compatible with most audio receivers and amplifiers.  Moving coil cartridges are said to produce clear sound.  They are also more expensive than the moving magnet.

USB interface

This is a hard to come by feature in a vintage record player. Nevertheless, you will find it in some modern turntables. The significance of having a USB interface in your turntable cannot be overemphasized. First, it enables you to record music from the record player to your computer for storage.

Some turntables can connect directly to the PC whereas others copy music to a USB stick.  Others may come with software to help you edit your record player music into various formats to enable various audio receivers to play it. The availability of a USB interface feature can raise record player prices.

Playback speeds

Another specification, which regulates the prices of record players, is playback speeds. It is important that you have a turntable, which provides excellent rotation speeds for the records you want to play.  Most record players provide RPMs of 33 and 45.  Others have higher RPMs, for playing special records. The more the rotation speed the higher the price of the record player.  Furthermore, these record players are also rare.

Signal-to-noise ratio

Last but not the least, another feature that affects the price of record player is the signal-to-noise ratio. The idea is to select a turntable that has a higher figure. This means that it will produce more sound than noise.

When it comes to record player prices, a number of factors come into play. Is it manual or automatic? Does it run on a belt drive or direct drive mechanism? What kind of a phono preamp does it have? All these and other features regulate the overall price of a particular record player.