Record Turntable Buying Guide

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Record Turntable Buying Guide

Record turntables are very popular with retro enthusiasts and audiophiles of all ages. Record players offer a warmer, more natural sound when compared to the often cold, clinical sounds produced by a CD or MP3 player. Buyers first need to decide which type of turntable they are interested in. This decision is based partly on budget and personal taste. There are very simple machines that are inexpensive, but have a very long lifespan, such as the manual record turntable with few moving parts. This turntable is suited to almost anyone. More complex turntables that offer extra features are available, such as programmable record turntables that allow listeners to choose the order that their tracks are played. Some record turntables can hold up to six records at once, playing one after the other.

When buying a record turntable, it is helpful to consider why it should be chosen and the types that are available. Buyers can find record turntables in home entertainment shops and electronics shops. There is a large range of record turntables available on eBay of all types, including vintage models and the very latest technology.

Why Choose a Record Turntable?

Many people, particularly the young, wonder why a buyer would choose a record turntable rather than a CD or MP3 player. While considered old fashioned by some, record turntables are much loved for the sound and tone that they produce. Record turntables and vinyl records produce a natural, warm tone that many audiophiles adore. The buyer using the record turntable at home has a special audio experience. For DJs, a finely tuned, good quality record turntable gives them unsurpassed control when spinning tracks, which cannot be equalled by a computer or CD. Vinyl records, from timeless classics to contemporary pieces, are usually very inexpensive unless they are rare collectables. The album and sleeve artwork is larger, bolder, and more engaging than can be found on CDs.

The vintage aspect of some turntables is hugely popular for those who want to recapture the past, and is considered by many to be the epitome of cool. Equipment can also be upgraded and individually tuned. This provides very personal sound balance. Changing the stylus can help to create a different sound. Speakers can be changed to further alter the audio, for instance, adding a heavy emphasis on bass or on high frequencies.

Types of Record Turntable

There are different types of record turntable available. Some are more suited to use in the home and others are well suited to DJing. Buyers need to know the difference between the models so that they can purchase the right type to meet their requirements.

Manual Record Turntable

Manual record turntables are the most basic type available. These turntables have a manual tonearm. This means that the listener needs to physically move the tonearm to place the stylus on the record to make it play and then they need to lift the tonearm away when the record finishes. This requires a steady hand to avoid scratching the vinyl record, which can create errors in the grooves. Manual record turntables allow listeners to choose where to start or finish a record. So, for example, the listener can start a record at the third or fourth track if they do not wish to listen to the whole record. Manual record turntables are mechanical devices that have fewer components than other turntable types, meaning that there is less chance of a component breaking or needing replacement. They cost much less than some other turntables, but have a long lifespan.

Semi Automatic Record Turntable

Semi automatic record turntables are very similar to manual models. The listener is still required to manually move the tonearm to place the stylus carefully on the record. Like manual turntables, semi automatic models need a steady hand to make sure that the stylus sits correctly in the grooves without damaging the vinyl record. The automatic action comes at the end of the record, when the tonearm automatically lifts up and returns to its original position. The listener can still end the record whenever they wish, but ideally the tonearm should be left to return on its own to avoid damaging its mechanics or the vinyl record. Semi automatic turntables can be difficult to find as they were largely a product of the late 1970s and the 1980s, but there are some very good vintage models available.

Fully Automatic Turntable

Fully automatic turntables move the tonearm to place the stylus on the record and remove it automatically, without the listener needing to physically touch the tonearm. There is a start button that needs to be pressed to activate the tonearm. Fully automatic turntables require little effort from the listener. They do not allow the record to be stopped and started at will. Physically moving the tonearm can damage it easily, as well as the vinyl record. Stopping the tonearm by cutting the power can also damage the vinyl record. The increased complexity of fully automatic turntables means that there are more moving parts, so there is an increased likelihood of it breaking down if not carefully maintained.

Linear Tracking Record Turntable

Linear tracking record turntables are easy to use, but must be on a completely level surface to work safely without damaging the vinyl record. The stylus runs across a horizontal track that keeps it straight all the time. Linear tracking record timetables are more expensive than some other types, but they are popular because less wear is placed on the vinyl record or the stylus. This reduces the frequency with which the stylus needs to be replaced, and also increases the longevity of the vinyl record.

Programmable Record Turntable

Programmable record turntables allow listeners to choose the order that the tracks on a record are played. Some versions have remote controls that allow listeners to skip forward or back throughout the record without damaging either the tonearm or the vinyl record. Some older programmable record turntables do not have a remote control, but instead have buttons on the plinth to skip forward or back. Some programmable record turntables can be programmed in advance to play tracks in a set order. These turntables are expensive, but still remain popular because of their convenience.

Multiple Play Record Turntable

Multiple play record turntables can hold multiple records at one time. Aside from the ability to hold multiple records, they are very similar to fully automatic turntables. Multiple play record turntables have a very long spindle in the centre of the platter. The vinyls are stacked one on top of the other. The top most record is played and is then automatically lifted out of the way, and the next record is played. These turntables usually hold a maximum of six records.

How to Buy Record Turntables on eBay

eBay has a range of record turntables available for purchase. Buyers can search for a record turntable from the eBay homepage by using a phrase such as, "record turntable". They can browse the results before narrowing them down using the filters that eBay offers. These filters help the buyer to choose the most appropriate record turntable and include price range, condition, and features of the turntable. Buyers can save time by using these filters, and they can be assured that the product that they purchase fits their specific requirements as closely as possible. Buyers should read the item description carefully before making a purchase. If there are any questions for the seller they can be contacted directly through eBay.

Feedback on eBay

The feedback of a seller allows the buyer to see what previous customers have thought of the seller's service and products. Feedback is left for a seller once the transaction has been completed and it can be positive, negative, or neutral. By looking at the feedback of a seller, the buyer can see whether the transaction will be smooth and straightforward. Some sellers who have a high percentage of positive feedback are known as Top-rated sellers.


Record turntables are a timeless piece of audio history that are still very popular today. There are several different types available that have a number of different features. Buyers need to consider the different features, their budget, and the qualities that they desire in a turntable.

Manual and semi automatic turntables require a steady hand to physically move the tonearm. These are less expensive than many other models and have a long lifespan as they have fewer moving parts that are likely to break down. Fully automatic turntables are more expensive, but do not require any physical manipulation of the tonearm. Linear record turntables are easy to use and put less stress on vinyl records and the stylus. Programmable record turntables can play the tracks on a vinyl record in any order, and some have a remote control. Multiple play record turntables have a long spindle that can hold up to six vinyl records and have a fully automated action. After deciding which record turntable is their best option, buyers can find it on eBay at an excellent price.

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