Any starter turntable recommendations for a five year old?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by mantis4tons, Apr 19, 2013.

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  1. mantis4tons

    mantis4tons Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Denver, CO, USA
    My almost five year old daughter is graduating from kindergarten for a few weeks. She loves music and is fascinated by my turntable and vinyl. Thankfully, she's also very respectful and careful around my collection and gear; I've been able to involve her by letting her "push the button" to start the platter spinning, but she knows not to go anywhere near the tonearm or any vinyl.

    My wife and I have talked about getting her a starter turntable and a stack of 45s (or old picture book and 45 sets) as a preschool graduation present - something small and self-contained, much like the turntables that I'm sure many of us had as young kids.

    I've been looking at vintage Fisher Price 825s as an option, but I've also heard that old Califone briefcase-style turntables may be a better option. I won't allow her to play my records on her gear; instead, I'll start picking up cheap 45s of songs she likes so that she can have her own collection.

    Has anyone done something similar for their kids? Any opinions on the right gear to get?
    noahjld likes this.
  2. adamdube

    adamdube Forum Resident

    Elyria, OH USA
    Wow.....fantastic idea....teaches quite a few values missing in many kids out there today. I applaud you for this.

    I might stay in the 33 1/3 space if it were me....less changing of media might aid in issues. Go with something fully automatic of course. You could always do 45s with it. I found a real cheap aiwa on craigs list for 5 bucks a while back that was new in the box.....

    Go for it man....and way to be a great dad#!
  3. Jtycho

    Jtycho Forum Resident

  4. MilMascaras

    MilMascaras Musicologist

    Los Angeles, CA
    A vintage Fisher Price Turntable from the 70's? (ebay) are cool... the new one's are definitely different technology, yet still cute
  5. vinyl anachronist

    vinyl anachronist Senior Member

    Tigard, Oregon
    Gene Rubin wrote a great article about this many years ago on his website:

    Scroll down to the bottom and read "Parenting for Audiophiles." FWIW, I taught my kids how to properly cue a record when they were about 6 or 7.
  6. mantis4tons

    mantis4tons Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Denver, CO, USA
    Thanks everyone for the suggestions.

    I'm confident I could teach my daughter how to use nice gear... it's her friends I'm worried about.

    Right now, a vintage Fisher Price 825 is my top choice, for my own personal nostalgia if nothing else (I had one as a kid).
  7. noahjld

    noahjld Der Wixxer

    Cool idea.
  8. jupiterboy

    jupiterboy Forum Residue

    Buffalo, NY
    Might try one of the box players that will handle 33 and 45, and include a set of headphones. I took to headphones very early.
  9. edb15

    edb15 Forum Resident

    new york
    My kid is three and a half and I'm pretty sure I could start him cueing the VPI right now. He loves records and is VERY respectful of the turntable. I have three wands for it and one has a lesser cartridge which I use when playing vinyl with him (every morning we listen to a side or two).

    I just started letting him put records on the platter with my help. That seems harder than cueing with a lever because of the size. So far I'm only letting him handle dupes, though I've realized that many of my dupes are worth $10 or $20. I have a whole shelf of records that are "his."

    I've thought of giving him his own turntable and I'm sure he could handle it, but my worry would be that he would be playing ball or goofing around and something would hit the table and ruin the cartridge, or worst case, arm. Horsing around is verboten around the big system and he is disciplined with that. Still, I probably will if I sense he wants it and is ready.

    You just have to ask yourself how would you handle it if he/she scratched a record or damaged a cartridge. For me, the joy and pride he gets from access to the turntable is worth it, even if he ruins a Denon 103, which I don't think he will. My dad never let me at the old Thorens/Shure, and I think it was a mistake. Instead of sharing he seemed miserly and small.

    I would be perfectly comfortable getting a cheap "real" turntable from the 70s and putting a low-end cartridge on it.
  10. Jim T

    Jim T Forum Resident

    How about a little Crosley suitcase model...about $100. You could find use used 45's or lps she might like. Maybe there is a Dora the Explorer sings the hits out there.
  11. edb15

    edb15 Forum Resident

    new york
    If you're gonna drop $100, why get a piece of crap?

    As for music, my son likes Jonathon Richman, Chuck Berry, Raffi, the Smiths, Spoon, Wire, Talking Heads, the Rolling Stones, Persuasive Percussion, Flatt and Scruggs, Ella Fitzgerald, Sinatra. (note: a number of these perform Old McDonald, a good gateway.) So I'll say the same thing with regards to music.
  12. Danglerb

    Danglerb Well-Known Member

    Orange, CA, USA
    Could be your daughter likes and is fascinated by anything you like, and might prefer some shared time with you over some device to use by herself. Spend the money on some records she likes and listen to them with her on your system. Try one record and see if that isn't closer to the real target.
    Spek likes this.
  13. atbolding

    atbolding Forum Resident

    Austin, TX
    Technics SL 1200. I mean if a DJ can manage it, I'm sure it'd be no sweat for a 5 year old. :hide:

    (That's only kind of a joke. With a DJ cart, they're pretty darn indestructible.)
  14. kevintomb

    kevintomb Forum Resident

    Does she have a CD player?

    Honestly, at that age, it seems she might just be liking "What you like" since you are her parent. I know when I was a kid, pretty much anything my parents had or did was interesting, but it was cause they were showing attention.

    At 4 years of age, its hard to determine, what they truly like, are just fascinated by for a while, or are merely interested in cause mom or dad is also.
  15. kevintomb

    kevintomb Forum Resident

    I hate to say this, but any little kid, is not able to easily operate a turntable, nor really is there a need for one in this day and age.

    Why risk breaking somthing, when a little kid has no idea why you want him to like records even?

    If its music, let them listen on the comp, get a CD player or so on. I dont think its worth the hassle, nor do small kids have the coordination to handle records, when there is no need that they do, other than you might get a thrill out of seeing them play records etc.

    Not trying to rain on your parade, but it wanting them to be into music per se, or is it THEM LIKING WHAT YOU LIKE?
    Spek likes this.
  16. mantis4tons

    mantis4tons Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Denver, CO, USA
    Thanks guys. My daughter already has a CD player, an iPod Touch, and her own taste in music. She's asked for a record player a few times. It might be a short term interest, but I want to encourage it anyway as it opens up things we can do together. The idea of regular daddy/daughter trips to the record store makes me happy, so that's also a factor.

    I'm going to try to track down a few of the suggested solutions in this thread and figure out what works best for my kid.
  17. ZootAllures

    ZootAllures Forum Resident

    Just get a good condition, working deck from craiglist...
  18. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore

    That's very true. At eight, my daughter loved spinning records, but now that she's 13 she only wants to listen to her iPod.
  19. kevintomb

    kevintomb Forum Resident

    I didnt mean to come off as harsh, but ive been round the block 2 times with a son and daughter, and how fickle a little kids "likes" are. Even things they seem to love at older ages, they can drop like a bomb almost instantly, its unreal:D
  20. gd0

    gd0 Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies

    Golden Gate

  21. Mikey679

    Mikey679 Forum Resident

    Worcester, MA
    I had one of those vintage fisher price turntables when I was a young kid in the 80's. My parents had a bunch of 45's that were all kids' songs and some LP's that had stories on them pretty cool stuff and certainly something that I remember well. I always liked that I had my own turntable, seeing as the nice one was off limits to me!
  22. Maybe that guys sister has another Bose Sound Wave.
  23. Stump

    Stump Forum Resident

    Adelaide Australia
    Tamco Soundwagon

  24. jupiter8

    jupiter8 Forum Resident

    NJ, USA
    I bought a $10 used kids record player at the flea market and am on the constant lookout for roached out 25-cent 45s my son will like-I'm sure some day he'll be on some digital player but for now he loves the mechanics of it all. The Urban Outfitters turntables crack me up-makes me think that the Goodwills of 2020 will be filled with chewed up copies of $30 Grizzly Bear vinyl that some hipster used these to play them on..
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