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Cheap record player advice

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by ChrisChopping, Jan 14, 2022.

  1. ChrisChopping

    ChrisChopping Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Newport
    My wife bought me a record player but it was faulty and I’m having to return it to Zavvi. They didn’t have a replacement so I’m getting a refund.

    After the issues with the first one I’m reluctant to just buy the same model from another store. I’m thinking of getting myself a slightly nicer one but at the same time I don’t really have much of a budget.

    Can anyone recommend basically the cheapest record player that will actually work and not damage my records?
     
  2. Bingo Bongo

    Bingo Bongo Music gives me Eargasms

    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Lots of great sounding vintage players out there.

    My wife got me a Dual 505 at a garage sale for $30, and I spent a whole $100 on a needle/stylus.
     
  3. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    Location:
    USA
    What is your actual budget? What stereo/audio equipment do you currently have? What part of the world are you located in?
     
  4. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Fish tacos.

    Location:
    San Diego
    Aside from finding a vintage TT, the Audio Technica LP60X is probably the cheapest. It won't damage your records and actually sounds pretty decent (My sister has one with some powered speakers). Plug and play. Built in phono preamp. Automatic operation. Decent AT3600 cartridge. Price has gone up a bit to $139.
    AT-LP60XFully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2022
  5. Turnaround

    Turnaround Member your mama warned you about

    Location:
    New York
  6. TerryB

    TerryB Forum Resident

    Location:
    Calais, VT
    I'm helping a friend through this right now. He did the same thing, ordered a $200 table for his wife, they boxed it right back up before Santa was out the driveway. His initial budget was $250, I offered a few suggestions that came in around there or a smidge over. Any less and I'm afraid you'll have to go vintage with all the refurbishing, setup, and maintenance knowledge you'll need to not waste your money. I offered these as suggestions:

    Music Hall mmf1.3
    Pro-Ject T1
    Fluance RT-81

    Do you need a phono preamp, too?
     
  7. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Turntables don't ruin records. If maintained properly with necessary stylus replacements even the cheapest record player won't ruin records. That being said cheap record players have sapphire or ruby styli which last maybe 60 hours. A turntable with a magnetic cartridge typically have a diamond stylus that require less frequent replacements.
     
    vwestlife and Bingo Bongo like this.
  8. ChrisChopping

    ChrisChopping Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Newport
    I’m in the U.K., my budget about £150. I already have speakers. The record player had an inbuilt preamp and was plug and play, I’m looking for similar. It was a Lenco-85
     
    Mark Shred likes this.
  9. Mark Shred

    Mark Shred Fiery the angels fell..........

    Location:
    Pendle
    My step Daughter just got one of these. They are actually pretty OK for a first TT.
     
  10. Mark Shred

    Mark Shred Fiery the angels fell..........

    Location:
    Pendle
    I'll private message you.
     
  11. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    What brand / model turntable didn't work out for you?

    You said you want something "nicer" but nicer than what? If you tell me you returned a 1200GR for instance, my answer could be different. One person's "cheap" is another person's end game.
     
  12. ChrisChopping

    ChrisChopping Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Newport
    Yeah I was a bit vague: I guess all I really meant by nicer is that I don’t want the same problems I was having. The Lenco turntable had an issue where the arm kept returning to its rest position before even touching the vinyl or playing any music.
     
  13. nosliw

    nosliw It's a hairstyle, not real cat ears :P

    Location:
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    If you want something that's remotely quality, then 150GBP for a turntable with a built-in preamp won't cut it. You'll need to up the budget and/or seek a used 80s Japanese turntable and buy a receiver/amp with phono inputs.
     
    patient_ot likes this.
  14. ChrisChopping

    ChrisChopping Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Newport
    So what would you say is the minimum outlay for something half decent?
     
  15. vwestlife

    vwestlife Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    I echo the recommendation for the AT-LP60X. As for how its sound quality compares to a vintage turntable, here's a direct comparison between the original LP60 and a Technics SL-1900:

     
    ChrisChopping likes this.
  16. nosliw

    nosliw It's a hairstyle, not real cat ears :P

    Location:
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    Up it to 300GBP to 500GBP at the minimum, I'd say. If you're going for a used 80s Japanese turntable, budget the money accordingly for either a third-party replacement stylus or a whole new cartridge altogether.

    I don't recommend the Audio Technica LP60/LP60X as they're generally not well-made players. It's lightweight, prone to skipping on well-mastered albums, limited upgrade options, speed problems, etc.
     
    Technocentral likes this.
  17. Technocentral

    Technocentral Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2022
    nosliw likes this.
  18. Technocentral

    Technocentral Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    Agree, on the Irish vinyl FB page I'm on a lot complain about records skipping, I have the exact pressing of some and they never of course skip, a lot of these people have atlp60s
     
    nosliw likes this.
  19. Crab33

    Crab33 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Technocentral and ChrisChopping like this.
  20. vwestlife

    vwestlife Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    As someone who has actually owned both the LP60 and LP60X, I haven't had any of those problems. The original LP60 did tend to occasionally skip on some poorly mastered, excessively bass-heavy records, but the tonearm of the LP60X was redesigned to reduce resonance and improve tracking of these records. The LP60X also has a voltage-regulated motor for better speed stability.
     
    Boltman92124 likes this.
  21. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Fish tacos.

    Location:
    San Diego
    That's a loaded question in this forum. Spend $150 and see if you enjoy it and get back into vinyl records. If you do, make it a hobby and upgrade. If not, you didn't lay down too much money.
     
    Jacob29 and ChrisChopping like this.
  22. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek I’m a ray of sunshine & bastion of positivity

    Never fails for someone to suggest items that are more than 3X the specified budget.
     
    vwestlife, WDeranged and Boltman92124 like this.
  23. ChrisChopping

    ChrisChopping Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Newport
    What makes those models better?
     
  24. ChrisChopping

    ChrisChopping Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Newport
    The current turntable is the second failed one I’ve had. The first jumped and skipped all the time. It had a red cartridge that I was subsequently told was a mark of a cartridge so cheap it didn’t really work properly.

    I think this is the problem, there’s clearly a market for vinyl as it’s in vogue and there are people like me who want a player but have no expertise but in HMV or Amazon you can buy record players with built in speakers that cost barely more than £50 and aren’t really fit for purpose.

    I’m not expecting to get a state of the art sound system with incredible sound quality I just want to listen to my records without skipping or the player breaking and I can hopefully upgrade in the future.
     
  25. nosliw

    nosliw It's a hairstyle, not real cat ears :P

    Location:
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    While it does use a better tonearm and can switch cartridges around, the motor is not all that great, which is the same as the LP60 with its poorer specs in terms of speed fluctuation and wow/flutter. It also has a cheap, lightweight plastic feel, too.

    At this point, if you want brand new, I'd settle with a Rega P1 for 299GBP at your local hi-fi shop.

    Then you can buy a DJ ARTPRE II phono preamp from Juno.co.uk: ART DJ Pre II Phono Preamplifier at Juno Records.

    If you're planning to buy the said phono preamp, you can buy any good turntable with it. Even a demo turntable from a local hi-fi shop is another option to consider.
     

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