Saturday, October 1

Brief guide to give a record player for Reyes and 3 models to get it right

2020 was a strange year when it came to the music industry. For the first time since 1986, the RIAA (American Music Industry Association) advertised that vinyls had generated more income than CDs.

The one that was the preferred format during the last decades lost 47% of its turnover to 129 million dollars; vinyl records were over $ 232 million. A curious milestone considering the confinement in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to PROMUSICAE, in Spain this effect has not been produced, but vinyl has come to occupy 40% of the physical music market, so this format can no longer be about a particular occurrence or taste, but practically half of the music shelves in our country.

But what if we have not yet joined this trend? Choosing a turntable can be a difficult task, especially if we are completely unaware of what we need to look at.

At ConsumoClaro, we have prepared a short guide (and some recommendations) to start enjoying music on vinyl.

Dish type

The first big difference between models from different manufacturers and budgets is the “plate”. This is the piece on which the vinyl is placed and the sound quality will depend on it (among other factors). You can distinguish between:

  1. Leash. They are the most economical, but they break easily and take a little longer to reach the nominal speed – which we will explain later what exactly it is.
  2. Direct drive. Without mechanical parts, they are the most expensive of the three. They take a long time to break down and are the quietest, so they are especially recommended for those who want to spend the day listening to vinyl.
  3. Pulley. Cheaper than direct drive, they are more easily damaged and not as easy to repair. But they take almost no time to reach nominal speed, although it can give some background noise.

Technicalities to keep in mind

Once we know the types of turntables, what more specific questions do you have to look at before buying a turntable? They are not few:

  • Needle. The needle, as it is commonly known, is actually called a pickup capsule. There are two models: the magnet ones, which are usually less accurate and cheaper; and those of moving coil, more expensive and more precise.
  • Arm. The arm is precisely what holds the capsule. At this point there is not much mystery: there are automatic ones, which are placed on their own, and manuals, which we will have to lower ourselves. The former make it easier to use, but can damage the vinyl more easily.
  • RPM. Revolutions per minute or, in other words, the (nominal) angular speed at which the platter is moving. The most common values ​​are 33 and 45 RPM, but there are also 162/3 and 78 RPM models. Depending on the vinyl record we have, the turntable must be compatible with one of the speeds.
  • Disc diameter. Vinyl records can be 7, 10 or 12 inches in diameter, so it is very important to determine what sizes our turntable accepts.
  • Weight. The weight of a record player is very important. Turntables are greatly affected by the weight of the equipment because of their operation: the heavier it is, the better it will absorb movements and the less it will affect the sound. While the lighter ones, they can suffer some damage.

Final considerations

Once all of the above has been clear, what is missing? Buying a turntable, in many cases, is buying “the whole turntable.” Therefore, you have to look at whether it comes with some extra options or if, on the contrary, you will have to buy them separately:

Speakers. The most common is that the turntable, if they are not chains, comes without a speaker. Some models, especially the cheaper ones, may come with a complete kit of not very good quality. But in the high ranges the different elements are bought separately.

This is important if we want to listen to vinyl making the most of its quality, since then we will need matching speakers. In addition, in most cases, we will need an amplifier if the turntable does not have it integrated, something common in the high ranges.

This means the acquisition of new devices and an increase in cost. The recommendation is, if we are going to buy a good turntable, do the total calculation of what it can cost together with the amplifier and the speakers.

Another alternative is to get a mini system with audio input from an auxiliary, since it will act as an amplifier with speakers and will provide a CD player. In this article we explain how to choose a mini system and we recommend 5 models. Remember: the stereo must have RCA audio input to connect the turntable.

Connectivity Despite being an old format, some models have new features in terms of connectivity. We can find turntables with Bluetooth connection, USB ports, jack, etc. The connections expanding their possibilities.

Multifunctions. Many current turntables also have the option of having a radio tuner and even an optical disc reader to put CDs. This is not the case in the more “pro” and “top” models of the range, but contemplating this option can be interesting, especially for multiplatform music lovers.

Three models to choose from


Aiwa is a classic Japanese brand specializing in sound equipment that has managed to catch up with turntables where the quality-to-price ratio is remarkable. On this vintage-looking model, we find a solid three-speed chainring along with a ruby-tipped ceramide capsule stylus.

It does not contain separate speakers, but it does contain small 5W embedded speakers that can serve as a fix while we look for an amplifier or a mini system. In addition, it has a Bluetooth connection and a 3.5mm jack port, 2 RCA outputs and a slot for SD and USB.

🕺🏻 This model is on Amazon for 299.99 euros

2. Audio-Technica AT-LP3BK

But the previous model may be a bit short for those who seek the highest fidelity to reproduce their vinyls and assemble a stereo to their liking. For 249 euros, the Audio-Technica AT-LP3BK is a high-quality turntable with a modern design.

It has a belt plate, which lowers its price, compatible with speeds of 33 and 45 RPM and sizes of 7 and 12 inches. Regarding the pickup capsule, it is a magnet -although it can be changed for a coil one- and has an automatic arm.

Of course, we will need an amplifier and good speakers to get the most out of it, which will raise the price considerably.

Audio-Technica also features with the At-LP5X, the model “superior” to the previous one. For 420 euros, adds a cushioning mat, 78 RPM support (plus 33 and 45), and a dual magnet needle. For amateurs only, “very” amateurs.

🕺🏻 This model is on Amazon for 249.00 euros

3. Viflykoo

If we want something attractive and aesthetic for little money. -135 euros- this complete model, with equalizer and speakers, can be a very interesting option. It is a record player with a Hi-Fi system with speakers of 15 watts each, enough to sound a room.

On the other hand, the minimalist three-button design makes it easy to change the speed, increase the volume, adjust the height of the sound and switch to the integrated Bluetooth receiver, if we want to stream music from our favorite digital playlist.

The plate, with three speeds and diameter for all types of discs, works with a transmission belt. It is therefore a nice piece of equipment for people who are not listening to records all day but only occasionally.

🕺🏻 This model is on Amazon for 148.76 euros

* ConsumptionClaro’s team of journalists and experts rigorously and independently recommend products and services to our readers. Every time you buy through some links added to this text, receives a commission.

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