Turntable Vs Record Players: Which Is Right for You?

Record players may have been a thing of the past, but now they’re making a comeback. With vinyl records being in high demand, it’s no surprise that record players are coming back into style. But there is a new edition to this classic instrument – the turntable. 

So turntable vs record players, what is right for you? The answer depends on your needs. If you want something with more features or just prefer modern technology then go with a turntable. However if you’re looking for something simpler and less expensive then go with a traditional record player. We‘ll look at all the details below.

What Is A Record Player?

A record player is a simple, electrically operated device that turns the energy from a vinyl record into sound. The record spins on a turntable while electrical devices send out impulses through needles to produce sound waves. They are usually powered by an electric motor and have speakers attached directly to them for amplification of the sounds produced. The sound that comes out of a record player is often preferred by those with more vintage tastes, and the simplicity of the device is often appreciated as well.

Different Types Of Record Player

There are actually different types of record players, based on how they work. The earliest ones were acoustic phonographs that could only produce sound if the needle was placed in the grooves of the vinyl itself. Later versions included other features, like automatic playback and noise reduction technology to make them more user-friendly for casual listeners.

Most models will allow you to play 45’s, 33’s and 78’s although the type of record you can play will depend on whether it has a belt drive or direct drive turntable. Belt drives are more recommended for playing fragile records like discs while direct drives produce better sound by using heavier material in their construction.

turntable vs record player

Understanding How A Record Player Works

Record players work using the technology of a phonograph. The vibrations from an audio signal on a record player turn into pressure changes that can then move through cones and produce sound waves which we hear as music. A stylus, or needle, will pick up those signals and translate them into electrical impulses to be sent through speakers. Variations in the size of vinyl records produce different sound frequencies.

What Is A Turntable?

Turntables are similar to record players, but they come with several more features that make them modern devices. A turntable has the same components as a record player but it also allows you to connect your device through Bluetooth or an aux cord for amplification of sound. Additionally, most turntables have pitch control and multiple speeds, allowing you to change the speed on which the record spins.

Different Types Of Turnable

There are different types of turntables based on the materials they are made of. Portable turntables are lighter and more modern but may not be as durable or sound as good as the other kinds. Audiophile, DJ, and high-end turntables will have better quality components that make them expensive but also produce a superior sound. Below is a breakdown of all the types.

Plastic Portable

This is typically the most affordable type of turntable but that doesn’t mean it is necessarily poor in quality. In fact, some plastic portable turntables are good enough to be used in recording studios and similar areas where better components might be overkill. However, because of their affordability they tend to be less durable and may not last forever.

Wooden Portable

While most turntables are plastic, wooden portable devices still exist. These tend to be more expensive than their plastic counterparts but also make better sound quality. They are made with materials like real wood veneer, mahogany, or teak for a better sound.

Audiophile

These turntables are made specifically for those who want high-quality sounds and components. They usually include: higher torque to make the device start and stop faster, more precise calibration of speeds, and more wattage output from their speakers. However, this type of turntable is also the most expensive.

DJ

This type of turntable is built with studio, club, and even radio broadcast settings in mind. They are designed with extra features like: a slate cue tone for beat matching and scratching, a mixing board or audiophile grade pre-amps, and digital display screens. The DJ turntable also has a much more durable design.

High-End

These turntables are generally used by audiophiles and professional sound engineers and musicians, and as such they tend to be much larger and heavier (they will definitely need their own carrying case). They usually include: heavier platters which produce better sound, multiple speeds for different records, and better quality components.

turntable vs record player

Understanding How a Turntable Works

A turntable is electrically powered and turns the energy from a vinyl record into sound. Placing the needle on the record starts up an electric current that begins spinning the platter where the record sits at a speed of 33 1/3 or 45 RPM (revolutions per minute). The tone arm holds part of an electrical circuit along with a diaphragm and a needle at the end, which vibrates from the sound waves being produced by the record player. The vibrations move across an electromagnetic coil to produce electrical signals that are then transmitted through speakers for amplification of sound.

Turntable VS Record Players: Which Is Better?

If you want high-quality sound or are simply looking for an easier way to listen to vinyl records, then a turntable is probably the right choice for you. Turntables are more expensive than record players, but they also provide better amplification of sound and more versatility. While many people like the classic feel that comes with using a record player, you can get the same sound quality with a turntable.

Turntables are also perfect for modern homes because they allow you to connect your device to amplify sound. If you’re an avid vinyl collector looking for ways to play your records on the go then a turntable is exactly what you need.

Pros of Turntables:

– Easier to connect your device for amplified sound

– Headphone jack for personal use

Cons of Turntables:

– More expensive than traditional record players

If you’re looking for something simple that won’t break the bank then a traditional record player is perfect. Many people like the classic look and feel of these products, making them a popular choice for people who enjoy vintage music and instruments. The sound quality isn’t quite as good as a turntable, but many customers still consider it high-quality when compared to other record players.

Pros of Record Players:

– More economical than turntables

– Classic appearance

Cons of Record Players:

– Lower quality sound than turntables

– Limited features

How To Set Up A Turntable

Turntables are fairly easy to set up. Every turntable comes with its own instructions for setup, which you can find online or in the box that your product arrives in. The main thing to keep in mind is that you need to have it plugged into an electrical source so your record player has enough power to run the motor that turns the record.

If you’re not entirely sure about how to set up a turntable then it may be smart to hire someone who does know what they’re doing. They can hook up your new device and help you get started so you don’t need to stress yourself out trying to figure out the process on your own.

How To Set Up A Record Player

Setting up a traditional record player is also fairly easy. Like turntables, they come with their own instructions for setup that you should find inside the box. Most of them only require the connection of one or two cords, then you’re all set to play your records!

If you have any problems setting it up then you can always look online for tutorials that will walk you through the process. Record players are fairly straightforward, with only a couple of components needed to get it running smoothly.

turntable vs record player

Methods Of Caring Turntable And Record Players Longer

Record players and turntables are great instruments, but they can also deteriorate over time if not properly maintained. Making a few small changes in your daily care routine can prolong the life of your record player or turntable and make sure it’s working when you need it to.

Here are a few methods of caring for your record player or turntable that will help you keep it in great shape for longer.

Cleaning Your Units

Both record players and turntables need to be cleaned regularly in order to function properly. Dust is the enemy of these instruments because it keeps the needle from working, which can cause irreparable damage if not taken care of in time. To clean your record player or turntable, you’ll need to use a special brush designed specifically for the job.

Make sure that you dust off your unit first before using the brush attachment. This gets rid of any large particles of dust that might be stopping the needle from moving. After that, use your brush gently to remove any dust or dirt that is stuck on the record or turntable.

Cleaning The Needles

Both record players and turntables need to have their needles replaced after a certain amount of time in order to maintain quality sound. This part of the unit can become dirty over time which might affect the sound quality of your record player or turntable. To clean it, use a small piece of cloth to wipe off any dirt that has accumulated on your needle over time.

Many people think they need to replace their needles when they are actually just dirty. A quick cleaning with a special brush will remove any dirt that is stopping the needle from playing your music accordingly.

turntable vs record player

Putting Your Unit Away Properly

When you are done using your record player or turntable, it’s important to put them away properly so that they can stay in great condition for longer. Many people just stack their record players on top of one another after use even though this can cause damage to the internal components.

Instead, you should unplug your device before putting it away so that you aren’t struggling with wires while packing it up. You should also never put records or turntables into storage without dusting them first because this can cause irreparable damage. If you wait for dust to accumulate then it’s impossible to get off and it can ruin your unit.

Both record players and turntables are great instruments that can be used for years if properly maintained. Taking care of them doesn’t take that much time, but the results will last much longer than not caring for them at all. Keep these tips in mind before attempting to care for a record player or turntable and you’ll be able to use them for a longer period of time.

Turntable Recommendations

Bestseller No. 1
Audio Technica AT-LP60XBT-WH Bluetooth Wireless Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Turntable 33/45 RPM Speeds with Phono Preamp Includes Dust Cover and Dual Magnet Phono Cartridge (White/Black)
  • High-fidelity audio with Bluetooth wireless technology
  • Connects wirelessly to speakers and other devices equipped with Bluetooth wireless technology or to wired audio systems and powered speakers via included dual RCA output cable
  • Compatible with aptX codec
  • Fully automatic operation with two speeds: 33-1/3 and 45 RPM
  • Anti-resonance, die-cast aluminum platter
SaleBestseller No. 2
Yamaha TT-N503 (MusicCast Vinyl 500) Turntable with Bluetooth, AirPlay and Alexa compatibility, Black
  • Wirelessly connect to any MusicCast device for seamless listening; Straight tonearm contributes to sound transparency and openness
  • Expand to a multi-room audio setup by syncing with Music Cast wireless speakers in other rooms
  • Stream music services with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Airplay or Spotify Connect
  • Belt drive turntable; Perfect for the audiophile or beginner vinyl collector
  • Wi-Fi built-in including support for 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands; Built-in phono preamp gives you flexibility to connect any audio system
SaleBestseller No. 3
Crosley Voyager Portable Bluetooth Turntable, Black
  • Belt driven turntable mechanism
  • Built-in full-range stereo speakers
  • Plays 3 speeds 33 1/3, 45 Plus 78 rpm records
  • Built-in Bluetooth receiver plus Bluetooth transmitter
  • RCA output, headphone jack and cueing lever

Record Players Recommendations

Bestseller No. 1
Audio Technica AT-LP60XBT-WH Bluetooth Wireless Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Turntable 33/45 RPM Speeds with Phono Preamp Includes Dust Cover and Dual Magnet Phono Cartridge (White/Black)
  • High-fidelity audio with Bluetooth wireless technology
  • Connects wirelessly to speakers and other devices equipped with Bluetooth wireless technology or to wired audio systems and powered speakers via included dual RCA output cable
  • Compatible with aptX codec
  • Fully automatic operation with two speeds: 33-1/3 and 45 RPM
  • Anti-resonance, die-cast aluminum platter
SaleBestseller No. 2
Crosley Lancaster Entertainment Center Turntable with Bluetooth, Paprika
  • Belt-driven turntable mechanism
  • An antique-styled cabinet with handsome grillwork
  • Dynamic full-range speaker
  • Plays 3 speeds 33 1/3, 45 and 78 RPM records
  • Includes integrated CD player, cassette player, AM / FM radio, and auxiliary input for your portable devices
Bestseller No. 3
Audio Technica AT-LP60XBT-BK Bluetooth Wireless Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Turntable 33/45 RPM Speeds with Phono Preamp Includes Dust Cover and Dual Magnet Phono Cartridge (Black)
  • High-fidelity audio with Bluetooth wireless technology
  • Connects wirelessly to speakers and other devices equipped with Bluetooth wireless technology or to wired audio systems and powered speakers via included dual RCA output cable
  • Compatible with aptX codec
  • Fully automatic operation with two speeds: 33-1/3 and 45 RPM
  • Anti-resonance, die-cast aluminum platter

Factors To Consider When Choosing Turntable VS Record Players

There are many factors to consider when choosing a turntable or record player, and it’s important to understand all the pros and cons before making a purchase. Some of these considerations include.

Price

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to find the cheapest product on the market, but rather one that is most suited for your budget. If you are on a tight budget, consider looking for the best player under 100 dollars. If you are looking at sound quality, make sure to look for a minimum of three stars on review-based websites.

Output

There are different types of output connectors on the market, but manufacturers usually package these players with RCA outputs. It’s important to consider if the standard cables that come with the player will be compatible with your sound system or receiver.

Appearance and Design

Another thing to consider is the overall appearance of a turntable or record player. Some players have a vintage vibe, while others look more technical and futuristic. If you are looking for something that fits with the rest of your home entertainment system, then you should look at design as well as output quality.

Sound Quality

It is true that you can get the best sound quality while using a turntable or record player together with a receiver or an amplifier. However, if your main goal is to listen to music and records through headphones, then there are other factors such as weight and appearance that become less important than output quality.

There are many factors to consider when choosing a turntable or record player, and it’s important to understand all the pros and cons before making a purchase. Some of these considerations include.

Frequently Asked Questions

– What is the best way for me to store my records after playing them?

It is best to clean your records after you are done playing them, but if you don’t have time then it’s recommended that you at least dust them. You should choose a better way of storing your records if you can because they can get easily damaged in poor conditions. It’s also worth noting that it’s not recommended to stack records on top of each other.

– What is the purpose of needle cartridges?

The needle cartridge is a small component that collects information about the record, and then sends it to your amplifier or sound system. It’s essential that this part is in good condition because if it isn’t, you won’t be able to properly enjoy your records. If you are having issues with your needle, try cleaning it or getting a new one.

– How do I clean my record player needle?

Before attempting to clean your record player needle, make sure that you have removed the old cartridge by following the user manual. It’s recommended that you use isopropyl alcohol and lint-free cloths in order to avoid causing any damage to your record player.

– What advice can you give me about styluses?

The stylus is the needle that plays the music on your records, and it is important to take care of it properly in order for it to last longer. If you are experiencing playback problems while using a turntable or record player, then there is a good chance that the stylus needs to be replaced.

turntable vs record player

– Can I fix a broken record player needle?

If your record player has a faulty or a broken needle, you should look for replacement parts before attempting to repair it yourself. The type of damage depends on which part is damaged, and replacing this component can be quite costly depending on the record player.

– Why should I use a stylus cleaning brush?

Stylus cleaning brushes are affordable and they will extend the life of your stylus. It’s recommended that you get one before attempting to clean your records. You can also get more expensive brushes for an even better experience.

– What is the best way to store my records?

Although it’s recommended that you keep your records in a record case, you can also choose to store them on a shelf. Avoid stacking your records on top of each other, and always ensure that they aren’t in direct contact with the sun or any other source of light.

– How do I clean my vinyl record?

You should always look for an instruction manual before attempting to clean your records. If you are using a machine, make sure that it comes with the necessary accessories. Many players come with an automatic cleaning function so you don’t have to do it manually. It’s always better to clean your records manually using a cotton cloth and record cleaning solution.

– What is the best way of storing my vinyl records?

You should choose one of many record storage options, such as crates or shelves. It’s recommended that you keep your collection in a dry place away from heat sources. Storing your records vertically can cause warping issues so you should keep them upright. You can also put your records in a paper or plastic sleeve to protect the record and sleeve even further.

– How do I clean an old record player?

It’s recommended that you start by checking your user manual to see if there is any information about cleaning the specific model. It’s possible to replace parts on older models, but it can be quite costly depending on the components. If you don’t have a plan of attack, then doing some research and finding out how others did it might help.

– Why is my record player needle not working?

This issue can occur if your needle is dirty, damaged or broken. If it doesn’t look like there is any damage to the cartridge, then you might want to clean the stylus. If there are no visible signs of damage, then replacing the needle should fix this problem.

– Where can I find replacement parts for my record player?

If your needle is faulty or it’s damaged in some way, then you might want to change the cartridge. It’s also possible to buy an additional stylus and replace the worn out one. If there is a specific part that needs to be replaced, then you might want to consider buying a new record player or a used one instead.

– What kind of record player accessories should I use?

There are many accessories on the market that can be used to protect and maintain your records, including dust covers and slipmats. Depending on your preferences, you might want to get different accessories for a better experience. You can also choose to buy a record player with some of these accessories already included.

Here is a video on the differences between an entry level and high end turntable. 

Turntable Vs Record Player: Conclusion

While turntables are the way of the future, record players are still popular products to this day. It all boils down to your personal preference and what you want to get out of your purchase. If you simply want something that looks vintage then a record player might be more up your alley. If you’re more of a modern person with an eye for quality then turntables are probably more appealing.

We love both turntables and record players around here, but if we were forced to pick one it’d be turntables since they can do so much more. However there’s no denying how classic and beautiful some record players are. Pick the one you like more and happy listening.

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