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Which Audio-Technica model is the best choice

It is hard to choose between the Audio-Technica models. This brand is one of the more high/end brands in the field of turntables. Audio- Technica is always aiming for superb quality and excellent sound. Therefore their models always perform and satisfy customers. But with multiple models available, there is a choice to make:

Which Audio-Technica Record Player is most suited for you

In this article we will review three models, all with at least a 4.5 star review on Amazon! (We already said that they made good stuff..) In this article there will be no “bad buy” all the models are great but there is a range in price,  features and excellence. Therefore we do not select a ´best model` but the models that fit your needs. In summery, these are the models to choose between.

Top Model

$399
$399
  • Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USB
  • 4.5 Stars on Amazon
  • 50+ Reviews
  • 33/45/78 RPM
  • Direct Drive
  • Pre-amp "PHONO": 2.5 mV nominal at 1 kHz, 5 cm/sec (HP-4005) Pre-amp "LINE": 150 mV nominal at 1 kHz, 5 cm/sec
  • PC- and Mac-compatible Audacity® software
  • Professional DJ Quality

Best Value

$249
$249
  • Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB
  • 4.7 Stars on amazon
  • 800+ Reviews
  • 33/45/78 RPM
  • Direct Drive
  • Pre-amp "PHONO": 2.5 mV nominal at 1 kHz, 5 cm/sec Pre-amp "LINE": 150 mV nominal at 1 kHz, 5 cm/sec
  • PC- and Mac-compatible Audacity® software
  • Professional DJ Quality / Amateur Audiophiles

Budget Model

$99
$99
  • Audio Technica AT-LP60
  • 4.4 Stars on Amazon
  • 1200+ Reviews
  • 33/45/ RPM
  • Belt Drive
  • Pre-amp “PHONO”: 2.5 mV nominal at 1 kHz, 5 cm/sec Pre-amp “LINE”: 150 mV nominal at 1 kHz, 5 cm/sec
  • No software
  • Amateur Audiophiles

As you see, we will review the following models:

  • Audio Technica AT-LP60 Fully Automatic Belt Driven Turntable
  • Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable 
  • Audio Technica AT-LP1240-USB Direct Drive DJ Turntable

Why Would You Buy an Audio Technica Model

For the superb sound quality. That is. Not for the looks nor the nostalgic reason. The AT players are famous for their excellent sound. We Will therefore review the models on their:

  • Sound quality
  • Durability
  • Connectivity
  • Recording
  • Accessories

Review of Crosley CR42C-PA Lancaster Musician Entertainment Center

Crosley CR42C-PA Lancaster

Pros: Beautiful design with solid woodwork, capable of playing CD, Cassette,  USB/MP3 and FM radio. The quality of the sound is satisfying.

Cons: Does sometimes stop before the end of the record is reached. No weight control on the stylus, so it is hard to balance the needle.

If you have been browsing our site, you know that we particular do love the more retro styled record players. That is also the main reason for reviewing this model, we could not resist the old school design. So let us start with that:

Crosley CR42C-PA Lancaster closedStyle and design

The number one reason why one would be attracted to this item. The wooden chest is looking solid and from dark, paprika red with a nice wood grain. Striking is also the big and impressive bras plate that contains the switches and analog display. With the CD player integrated in the design and the cassette player on the side, it is clear that the main purpose for this item is vinyl.

The speakers go nicely with the wooden cave end the display as a impressive open face grill work, making the whole item smoothly balanced. When closed, the model is less clear recognized as a vinyl player. It is still looking vintage though and for sure worthy of a view. The rear view is not that impressive, making it wise to place the model with the back out of side. The player is named after the Lancaster Pennsylvania, the oldest inland U.S. city. The architectural heritage of this city has been the inspiration for this model.

<<Check out the HUGE discount for this model on Amazon>>

Sound quality and volume

  • The sound is decent, quite good for an item in this price range (only one hundred bucks, making this a steal). Do notice that this model is not designed for parties and big beats.
  • The job of bringing atmosphere in a room with guests or visitors is however what it can and will do. If you need more sound you can hook up external speakers (jacks) for more volume.

Recording and other features

An interesting extra feature is the MP3 function. With nowadays more and more common on turntables, this feature is a nice extra but not something exclusive anymore. It still is however a nice extra, giving you the ability to also listen your Ipod or MP3-player music on the Crosley player.

With the player also equiped for both CD and Cassette this model is a whole Entertainment center. When you also take the FM Radio in account, one could say that this item is pretty all-round.

With which players should you compare this model

With the design being the most prominent characteristic, other retro models can be a competitor for this item. If you consider this Crosley, other models with similar price and design are the Aviater and the Nostalgia:

victoria vinyl record player
Victoria
Electrohome nostalgia
Electrohome Nostalgia
Aviator Wooden Music Center
The Crosley Aviater

Other customers about this product

As is said in the pro/con session, the model is beautiful designed and has a nostalgic vintage character. In customers reviews this is clearly the main reason for buying. With the decent sound quality and extra features, most customers are happy with their purchase. Giving it just under four stars. One point that is brought up, is that the stylus could be better balanced, therefor the owner has to pay attention that the LP itself will not wear out.

One of the comments on amazon that made us smile was posted by Jennifer: “Buying this record player was truly a turn of events in our household. My daughter is usually the one who is technologically gifted. She programs all of our dvd players, cell phones, you name it. But when she opened the record player, she asked, “Daddy, how do you work this?

<<Read more reviews  for this model on Amazon>>

The overall conclusion from customers was the same as our impression; a decent quality item with the most attractive feature being the retro design.

Verdict

Yes you would be happy with the Crosley CR42C-PA Lancaster Musician Entertainment Center if you aim for a old school and nostalgic player. The model will provide both the classic looks and the vinyl sound that such an item should supply. This model is not designed for the excellent sound experience, for the price however the sound is quite okay. Features as the MP3 and Radio function make this device all round and well equipped. When you aim for superb sound quality it is better to check out the Audio Technica AT LP120.

<<Check out our comparison chart for vintage models>>

Review of the Aviator Wooden Music Center

Aviator Wooden Music Center

Pros: There is no denying this is a world class item. Innovative Technologies is bringing one high-end model to the table. With the ability to record music, play CD/Cassette and FM Radio, this model is well equipped. Combine with that the solid design of the chest and warm, full range sound and this turntable is both retro to look and modern in performance.

Cons: The manual is quite hard to understand. Innovative Technologies could have done a better job with that, the model now has a bit off a learning curve before one could operate the recording function smoothly.

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Sound and speakers

If you would like to purchase a record player, one of the main concerns is for sure the sound it will produce. Although the models are more and more style items, the basis for purchasing is still the vinyl sound.  And that is one aspect that is covered with great care. The sound is good and warm with enough volume to fill a room. The speakers from the Aviator Music Center itself are not big enough for hosting a party, with high volume the bass becomes of lesser quality. For that you will need to hook up external speakers (which can be done easily). The volume can be compared with that of small radio, good for the background or some more atmosphere, but not designed for loud beats.

Looks and design

Aviator Wooden vinyl record player

 

Vintage, retro and old school. Those are the terms to descripe this particular Aviator model. The impressive wooden chest with prominent speakers and analog meter is giving is an 40’s appearance. The white buttons and rotary knobs contribute nicely with the design. The small display is giving extra information about the recording or track.

One detail that is showing the thoroughness for this model is the really old school switch that is needed to turn on the player.

<<Check Out This Model On Amazon With Huge Discount>>

USB recording function

This is the part most of the reviewers on Amazon talk about, this is what is making this item unique. There is no PC or laptop needed for recording, your whole vinyl collection can be put immediately on CD. Making it suited for bringing your vinyl collection to the car for instance, or another stereo system. Do notice that the manual needs to be followed very precise to get high quality recordings! An interesting extra option is the recording of cassette, also these can be converted to CD.

Extra Features and Amazon Reviews

Beside being able to handle LP’s, CD’s and cassettes, the player also is receiving FM radio, making it an all round Music Center. Supplied with the item is the remote control that is giving you the opportunity to control the model from your chair. With over 30 5* reviews on Amazon, reviewers do agree on the good sound and retro looks of the vinyl player.

Verdictvinyl player

We did like the design, sound and recording function. Also the extra features as FM Radio and CD function are adding value. With the “nod-PC-needed” recording option making this player unique, this is an interesting option. The price of around $150 is one in the mid-range. Thereby this item has a good price-quality balance. These points combined are making this Innovative Technologies Aviator Wooden Music Center a decent choice for consumers that look for a retro designed record player without going for the top (priced) items.

<<Read More Reviews on Amazon for this Christmas Present>>

How To Store Your Vinyl Records

vinyl record storage

record cases

When being the proud owner of not only a record player but also being in possession of some nice albums, you want to store your vinyl records safely.

Not only can the LP’s be damaged by sun or toppled cups of coffee, good storage can also prevent your records from inflecting and bending. And last but not least, decent storage will allow you to gather your records properly, without a big pile of vinyl under your stand. Giving you the chance for both finding your records easily and maintaining a neatly house.

What are the options for vinyl record storage

You can go for storage cases, the cases are capable of handling around 20-50 albums and are available in many styles, colors and seizes.  You can also go for a record crate/shelf, these can hold around the same amount of records. And for people in need for bigger storage, there is the record cabinet or storage system. Because there are so many choices, we decided to list the most popular items in a table.

Deciding witch option is fit for you

When in need of storage for your LP’s, there are multiple options. Therefor these questions can help you decide which is fit for you.

  • Transport: Is your collection in need of transport, maybe in your house or to some friends? In that case you might consider a record storage case, these a fit for easy transport.
  • Collection size: This is one of the main concerns, how many records do you haven? With  a case capable of handling up to 40 records and a case being a match for 20-80 albums these two are the smaller options. With a collection of over 100 records, you need to aim for multiple crates/cases or a cabinet or rack. Both a rack and a cabinet can be found with room for hundreds of albums.
  • Attention: Is your collection your prime piece, then it might be good for you to show your collection. In a box or crate the records may have lesser notice. A cabinet or a storage rack that can be placed on the wall is an option that will provide more glances.
  • Style: When aiming for a particular style, you have lots of options. Both crates and cases are supplied in many styles. The same goes for cabinets and racks. When you go for a specific style and atmosphere, all options are open.

Pros and cons of storage casesmodern record case

cases for LPStorage cases are an easy fit for your room. Because the easy format and broad range of styles, you will always be able to integrate them in your room. With a capacity of 20-60 records, someone with a starting collection can hold all his/hers albums in one case.  Also interesting is the price, which is usually under 30 dollars.

Finally a case is great for transport, both the weight and size make is easy to move. More modern cases are therefor used by DJ’s.

 

The Storage Crate

lp crateMuch of what hat been said for the cases is also true for record crates; lots of sizes and styles. Mostly crates do have a bit more body and therefore are more present in the room and taking a bit more space. Many models are made of wood, making them a perfect vintage item.  But they are heavier compared to crates, making them less fit for transport.

 

A record storage Rack/Shelf or Cabinetcabinet

crosley storage for lpThis is one option that can be suited for a bigger collection. Although there are also racks suited for smaller collections. Up to 500 albums can be stored in a decent sized cabinet. Of course these will take some space. This is giving you the opportunity to really use your vinyl collection to catch some eyes. Racks can be hang on a wall, cabinets can be placed in corners or against the wall.

 

A record player stand as storagerecord player Stand

 

Also, stands designed for holding you player can hold some albums. These stands go nicely with the style of your instrument. Up to 50 LP’s can be stored in these items. This is giving you the opportunity to integrate your collection and hold everything together.

 

Review of the top 5 items

This will not be an in dept review like we do for the musical instruments themselves. We simple say what is good about them and what good be better.

 

Produce Your Own Vinyl

production of lp

 

Vinyl is back on track. With the old school music carrier back on the radar of young and hip people, the tuntable is on a rise again. With increasing sales and production of music on lp, the vinyl business is flourishing. Also artist have discovered the nostalgic instruments again, lots of album are released again on lp. Giving artist a change to create once again those iconic album covers.

Back from history: The Record Player

So, a product that had a market share of less than 0,1% is on the way back.Lots of  the production facilities have therefor been disabled.  Therefor new production factories are build, in order to supply hipsters and nostalgics.

Creating a vinyl LP

The process of creating a vinyl record however, have not been changed for over 40 year. The basis is still a vinyl plate in which grooves are cut.

In this video is explained how this process works:

Make your own vinyl recordings

But would it not be great to create your own lp’s? Your sound on classic vinyl.

The process of listening from a turntable can be reversed engineered. Instead of making the needle vibrate by the grooves and than transfer these vibration to a membrane which will transform the vibrations into sound (vibrating air), you could reverse this process. Thus, let a membrane vibrate by vibrating air (sound) transfer these vibrations to a needle and carve the vibrations into a vinyl plate.

In this video is explained how this can be done in your own house:

Building your own vinyl player

It is possible to not only make your on lp’s, you can even build your own player. The key is to let a needle vibrate by the grooves, this vibration then needs to be amplified to the air will also vibrate, making sound:

One step further, a record player without electricity

Technically, electricity is not needed for an record player. The vibrations need to be amplified, this can also be done on an other way. For instance with a horn. In the next video, the turntable is operating completely without electricity:

 

Vintage record player

What Vintage Record Player fits your needs

You are someone living in the 21st century. You care about both style and functionality. But that does not mean that you do not appreciate beauty from the past. In fact, all that modern dime a dozen electrical stuff does not reflect your personality. You know how to value a fine piece of work, both from history and the present. Obviously, for the jet-setting mind, vintage is the way to go. Classical design with that timeless sound full of character. However, finding the best vintage record player can be though. So, we’ve put together this resource, this all-inclusive guide to help you find the turntable that fits your style.

Ultimate Vintage Record Player Comparison Guide

PictureModelExtra'sPriceRating
Electrohome Wellington 4-In-1 Nostalgia Real Wood Stereo SystemUSB / MP3 / CD Player / FM radio$$4.3
PYLE-HOME PVNP4CD Vintage PhonographUSB / MP3/ CD Player / FM Radio$$$4.0
Studebaker SB6052 Real WoodUSB / FM radio / CD / Cassette$$4.4
Crosley CR44CD Console with CD Player and AM/FM TunerFM radio / CD
$$$$4.1
Victoria GDI-TW3USB 7-in-One Stereo Entertainment Center, PaprikaUSB/ MP3 / FM Radio / Cassette Player / CD Player$$3.9
Pyle Home PNGTT1R Classic Horn Phonograph with USB-To-PC Connection and Aux-In (Mahogany)USB / MP3 / FM RAdio$$3.7
Crosley CR6019A-BK (Black & White)USB / Portable Model$4.0
Crosley CR6010A-Re (Red & Cream)USB / Portable Model$$4.0
Pyle PVNP30BT Bluetooth Classic StyleUSB / FM RAdio / MP3 / CD Player / Bluetooth$$$$4.0
Crosley CR40-RE Mini (Red & Cream)Portable Model$4.1
  • Model picture
  • Brand and name/model – (click to view more details or to purchase)
  • Extra’s: other ways for playing music and extra’s functions
  • Price – Theprices from Amazon.com.  These change frequently based on availability, special promotions, and more.  Generally speaking: $ = under $50, $$ = $50 to $100, $$$ = $100 to $200, $$$$ = $200 to $500 and $$$$$ is $500+
  • Rating – The average user rating on Amazon, the opinion of others about this instrument.

For the storage of your albums we refer to our record storage guide.

Types of Classic Vinyl Instruments

These musical instruments come in two varieties: phonograph and turntable style. There is no better type, it is a matter of personal preference. Both models possess that classic look and produce the characteristic sound.

vintage record player

 

This is an example of phonograph type, the brass horn is providing personality to the player. When put to action, the sound comes from the horn, this gives both volume and is affecting the nature of the music produced.

 

This is an example of a model with the turntable look. This type has Electrohome nostalgiano horn and is therefore more modest in appearance. Most specimens have a lid which can be put over the record in order to protect it from dust and disruption during the play of the vinyl. The cap also gives character to the player.

(scroll down for vinyl musical albums)

Why choose for a nostalgic musical instrument

  • You ‘re classic. Modern technology is great, a high end stereo system does provide a decent sound. You however, desire for more than only functionality. And do not forget, all those great vinyl albums you still have.
  • You like to stand out. Everybody has got a MP3 player and a Spotify account. But when you are throwing a party or show your house to some friends, you do like to be unique. A piece that reflects your identity is therefore what you like to surround yourself with.
  • You love the sound of vinyl. Let’s face it. Music is just better when played from vinyl. The sound has character and the music is swinging a bit extra.
  • You do not like a lot maintenance. If, for example you would choose to get a second handed model from 30 years ago, it would probably break down a lot of times. With a vintage model you combine both quality and nostalgia.

Best vintage vinyl players

Pyle-Home PTCDS3UIP Classical Trumpet Horn

This Pyle Home is one that will definitely draw some attention. The prominent brass horn and wooden cabinet draw the attention of everybody’s eye’s within seconds. And that is before you place a record on the platter. This Pyle-Home Classical Trumpet Horn Model  is not the be placed in the corner behind some plants.

When placed on a decent spot with maybe some album covers close to it, it will bring a classic look to the whole chamber. Imagine a nice Classic record playerevening with some friends (or maybe that one girl or guy) and instead off plugging in an Ipod you grab a few vinyl records and let your audience between some classic rock. Rihanna and your Laptop are for sure no match for The stones and the Pyle-Home PTCDS3UIP. And when you would like to cheat a bit, you can also plug you USB stick in it or put on the radio. So even modern songs can be heard with that vinyl like sound.

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Pyle PTCD4BT Bluetooth Classic Style  Instrument with CD Player, Cassette Deck and USB Flash Drive Reader

This particular model does not have the prominent brass horn. With the cabinet entirely from wood and the deep cherry red color it does however breaths nostalgia.

With the ability to connect to your phone or laptop with Bluetooth you do not even have to put a record on it. Also FM radio and a USB are combined within this Pyle PTCD4BT Bluetooth Classic Style product. But do not mistake this classic item for being something else than a vinyl instrument. With the stereo speakers you will be able to fill the entire room when you are playing a record. Even when that room is filled with people. Add to that feature the classic, elegant look and you now that you have a new trophy in your room whit this musical instrument.

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 Why buying a old fashioned Instrument?

  • The best music experience
  • The looks 
  • The characteristic sound

The best music experience. Having a record player is not only about the music and sound, but also about the device itself. Listening to music from vinyl is just different compared to listening to a home cinema system. Because of the experience of the sound also the player itself is important. The whole process of selecting a record and placing the needle on it ads value to the music.

The looks. Maybe it is not the sound that you are focusing on, maybe you are more interested in the looks of an item. Especially in this case an old-fashioned look can be just what you are searching for. A classic (looking) piece can really add some value and atmosphere to your room. Both older players and new vintage players can have that classical look, with the older players a bit more expensive and sometimes a bit harder to operate. Modern vintage copies can therefore offer an great alternative.

The characteristic sound. Together with the classic look, the main for reason for desire. Everybody will notice the extra “cracks and swings” in the sound. The music is a little bit more alive as it seems. Maybe this is not of notice with modern House but with rock or pop music this will for sure be the case.

Thoughts on vinyl

Who has not some memories that dated a long long time ago. Those moments you’re young and adventures. Late evenings and ever during nights with a song on the background. Some dance and little chat. Maybe even some romance but for sure sweet thoughts. These moments can be a Sunday afternoon on which your parents used to listen to their favorites. The Stones, some Beatles, Bob Marley, Michael Jackson or Queen. All those big artist shared their feelings and emotions with you on vinyl. And that was in those old years. Putting the needle back on an album or adjusting cartridge is still alive and kicking. The snoring of the platter is for sure not gone. There is even a revival of this way of experiencing music and moments.

New Music on Vinyl

Not only the old artist love this music carrier. Nowadays more and more artist produce their music again on this medium. The big album covers are an extra way for expression of art and inspiration, covered with big photo’s and fat lines of text. Instead of uploading the track on YouTube, singers found out again that both the music and the emotion connect better on a real physical album. The newest from DeadMouse,  Amy Winehouse with “Back to Black” and Beyonce are all produced on this the old fashioned way again. Both Hipsters and conservatives already discovered that vinyl is back, and is here to stay. Dust off the old collection.

Some of the Best Music on Vinyl

Amy Winehouse-Back to Black
This is a classical piece. The combination of a raw voice and jazzy music makes a high quality soul album. Back to Black from Amy Winehouse is a masterstroke of Jazz-crossover. With being both retro and timeless. Enough is said about the alcohol and other abuse that led to such dramatic actions. In this album the artist is going back tot roots of soul, producing a collection that combines razorsharp singing with textbook 60s  swing. Epic songs as “Rehab” and “Me and mr. Jones” continue to dominate hit list and download bestselling positions. This piece is the collection of real emotional experiences of a young women. There will be nobody in your room be untouched when playing her songs from this album.

Bob Marley-Legend

Mr. Reggae cannot be left out in a list like this. With inspiring millions of people with his songs about love and piece, this artist is a true hero figure. But not only the lyrics he used and the situations he was singing about were legendary. A big part comes from the beauty of the music. With producing With over 600 5 star reviews on Amazon there is no doubt, this music did affect people and did bring some change.

Daft Punk-Random Access Memories

Modern style meets old technology. With a proven concept as the LP, Daft Punk has broad his Random Access Memories to a whole new audience. These artists not only experiences with music but also with style. And such an iconic modern artist, bringing his songs on old school LP’s does show his love for the characteristics sound. The music is a love story to the 70s, the discovery of the roots of house music. Not only did listeners provide this with over a 1000th(!) 5* reviews, also the producers themselves call this “giving live back to music”. This particular back to the roots album has provided them with numerous extra fans and had brought them an iconic status. Not bad for a Frenchy..

You know how to Listening to music from vinyl is not only about the sound, but also the looks of the instrument are important.Very important. With more and more old fashioned copies on the market there is really some choice, vintage is making a big comeback. Most of the big brands also produce  one (or mostly even more) vintage devices. That is giving you as someone with style two options.

-You can buy a second handed item

– You can also buy a model with new technology but old-fashioned looks

With all the trust-able and reasonable priced new vintage models, we are going for the the second option.  We list here some top models with there cons and pro’s. With these items you are sure that will have that characteristic vinyl sound, modern technology but that vintage look.Nostalgic Crosley model