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Record Players

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record players through the ages.

Record Players vs. Turntables

The common saying amongst vinyl aficionados is that it's not the record player, but the needle. As far as we can tell here at RCR, this is true. You can get a good cheap record player for about $100, such as the very fine Audio-Technica PL50, available at any Circuit City, and get a really nice Shure stylus for $50, and you're good to go. That said, there's nothing wrong with dropping $800 on a really nice turntable. Keep in mind, though, that what you're paying for are things you don't really need to just simply play a record. What you're paying for are the accoutrements that a DJ or turntablist would utilize. And it is these people that would argue that it's not just the needle, but the record player (and the mixer with the cross fader). What we recommend here at RCR is that if you don't want a fancy expensive DJ turntable or the sufficient and cheap Audio-Technica record player, then you get a good used record player that plays 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM records, because who knows when you might want to start collecting 78s. Or what if you stumble upon by "Wow" by Moby Grape with the song "Just Like Gene Autry: A Foxtrot" by Alexander Skip Spence which, unlike the rest of the record, can only be played at 78 RPM? It's better to be safe than sorry.

Where to Buy Vintage Turntables

Sound Well logo and link to their Web site

The Sound Well in Berkeley is the greatest place in the Bay Area to take your record player to be prepared. The guys who run the shop are nice and extremely knowledgeable about vintage audio equipment. They're only open from Friday to Sunday, so you must plan around their schedule. They always have great equipment for sale, and you'll usually see a record player that you'll want to buy.

Oak Tree logo and link to their Web site
I know we're a bit Bay Area-centric here at RCR, so for those of you who don't live in this area, here's a place you all can check out if you're interested in buying vintage record players. We've never bought anything from them, but they sure do seem to have some nice ones.

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