Do I have any vinyl guys, gals or non-binary pals? I think kiddo wants to get a record player. What kind of setup do people these days get? I don't know what is normal. Not an audio person.
@alex hahaha ok fine by me. I think he would be plenty happy with the audio quality on a small all-in-one unit. Also he doesn't have a lot of space in his room
@InternetEh basically all turntables are going to have RCA outputs, even 70s ones. Those are the classic red and white stereo connections in everything from CD players to game consoles.
I would avoid players with built in speakers. The speakers are often terrible and you often have to pass through the bad electronics of the speakers even to use your own. The great thing about turntables is that even old ones are modular in the way that new ones are, and compatible with the same parts
@InternetEh like if you get a cheap turntable without speakers you can upgrade all the parts in the future. The main thing with turntables is that their audio output is extremely quiet—they expect you to have something in the chain called a “preamp” that boosts the volume to that of a normal source. Most new turntables have a built in one. If so, you want one that can be switched off with a switch on the bottom
@InternetEh yes! That will make it work with any speaker with a line-in, even like a modern Bluetooth speaker that has a line in Jack
@alex oh so then he could sync it to his headphones? Because honestly that is probably what he'd do most of the time
@InternetEh if you get a beginner model with a built in preamp (that has an off switch for the preamp) if he gets really into records he’ll be able to upgrade the cartridge (the needle part) and get an external preamp, and it will upgrade with his listening if he wants without ever having to buy a new turntable (or at least not until he’s 30 and gets into audiophile nonsense like me lol)
@alex this started bc he pet sat for some older friends of ours who keep everything and have an extensive vintage record collection
So what about speakers? How do I know what's good?
@InternetEh I would go with well-reviewed computer speakers, and use their line-in port. And use one of these to get from turntable to speakers: RCA on one side, 3.5mm (the familiar “aux” or headphone) on the other
@InternetEh I would just look at like OfferUp or Craigslist for turntables, google the model to see if it’s got a preamp, and buy a replacement cartridge when it arrives. The needle on any used turntable is worth replacing
@InternetEh hi I'm not a fanatic, but have a little practical knowledge and would be happy to share!
What's kiddo's goal with their vinyl - just because it's fun, wanting the experience of dropping the needle and listening to an album, audio quality, rip to mp3... ?
@InternetEh Then yeah just go for the all-in-one units - probably worth checking reviews for info about sound quality, just to make sure you're not getting one that'll make the music sound weird (tinny, too much bass, etc). It's certainly easier than having to buy all the components, and likely cheaper without a major sacrifice in audio fidelity for most ears.
Hope he gets a lot of joy from it!
@InternetEh i have one like that, the quality is pretty solid and a big big big plus is how little space it takes up. I'm sure hardcore audiophiles would object, but that's not who this is being discussed for
@InternetEh Also plenty of folks in these comments who disagree with me, but that's been my experience. It simply doesn't sound bad to me.
@InternetEh Built-in speakers tend to have poor sound quality, especially in the bass range, but I'd check the ratings, might be good ones out there. If you want to use old speakers, adapters tend to be relatively cheap but you have to look around a bit.
@InternetEh My next one will probably be something more robust and a bit chunkier than my current one and with a wider range output jacks. Philips, perhaps. Also a 2.1 system will work just fine. Get something with easy-to-acquire replacement parts (needles, ideally also the driving belt). Bluetooth for headphones is another nice treat some of the modern ones come with.
The players you get at Target have a built-in phono amp.
Component players usually don't and would be connected to an amp (the systems I had back in the combined an amp and radio receiver.)
Audio-technica makes a serviceable all-in-one turntable you can plug into computer speakers, headphones, or play over bluetooth.
@InternetEh honestly if you're just looking for a simple one that sounds good and gets the job done I would recommend one of the Audio Technica ones. They may not have to clout of other brands but they sound crisp and are like 80-150$ based on the model. Hook that up to a decent amp and some bookshelf speakers and you're good to go!
@InternetEh also don't use internal speakers, they're always bad, even a cheap Bluetooth speaker plugged in via aux would sound better (I've used the oontz angle 3 2020rev on my gfs trash player and it sounded alright) the main thing with the cheap ones is how much bass you want. Cheaper ones just don't have needles that can get you the bass you need, and you'll find yourself having to replace needles a lot. Also dont get a crosley, they look nice but can really fuck up your records with their needles.
@InternetEh If Kiddo is under 14, go for a crosley suitcase table. They don't sound great, but they're like $60 and you can get them at walmart.
Problem with this option: Sound quality, manual table (which makes it easier to damage the records)
If kiddo isn't under 14, I would recommend an audio technica LP-60 and a pair of nice powered speakers. (No need to get extra fancy on the powered speakers, just something that'll fit on a shelf and has it's own amp.)
That'll run about $200 total.
the LP 60 will sound better, and be easier to upgrade down the road. Plus, they're automatic tables, so it's push button operation.
Lemme know if you have any questions, happy to talk about it.
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