Vinyl records are most certainly seeing a resurgence in popularity in the past decade or so. Neighbourhood record shops still exist with mint condition discs and first pressings going for hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds. Did you ever think you’d see the day?
Unfortunately, you can’t find turntables to be as ubiquitous as they once were. At one point not too long ago, walking into a hi-fi store and asking to see their latest stock of turntables would probably have been met with blank stares and a chorus of crickets. Thankfully, the online realm has changed the way we shop and vinyl records and turntables are enjoying a resurgence once again. Record collectors, rejoice!
If it goes around to make a sound... Today’s models of turntables really have made vast strides in comparison to the models our parents and grandparents might have once owned. Modern equivalents are more compact and technologically savvy than what you may have found 10 or 15 years ago.
You have your pick of professional DJ turntables for mixing together phat beats on the fly, high end platter spinners for those looking for minimum noise interference from a top notch piece of equipment and those who just want to convert that vinyl into digital form so that they might take those out-of-print titles with them wherever they go.
DJ decks: DJ turntables are specifically designed for being able to scratch, beatmatch, phrase and slip-cue without damaging the vinyl discs. These types of turntables will also have special arms, cartridges and drive belt systems that differ greatly from home hi-fi turntables. Usually, a DJ will employ the use of two separate turntables and use a mixer to mesh songs together seamlessly. Although you can find entire two deck/mixer combo boards through professional sound retailers, these two deck versions are usually very expensive and are only employed at clubs and music venues.
Standalone turntables: You can find standalone turntables with built-in speakers for those that don’t want to incorporate their device into an existing home hi-fi system. These types of models are great for a lounge, den, office or any other area you’re short on space and you’re not really focussed on high quality sound. Some standalone models also feature USB integration that allows you to burn your songs digitally to MP3. Look for a model that features output jacks in case you want to add an external set of speakers or eventually incorporate your deck into a larger entertainment or hi-fi system. Steepletone makes a large range of these types of turntables with retro styling - perfect for placing on a bookshelf, on a countertop or desk.
Hi-fi only turntables: You can usually tell these types of turntables apart from the others based on their plain and simple design. These models don’t tend to have a lot of bells and whistles, buttons and the like. The slim design ensures that they can fit easily on the top of your multi-deck hi-fi system with ease. Also, their price tag will instantly set them apart. High end brands like Pioneer, Audio Technica and Pro-ject can easily start at £200 and run up to thousands. Of course, with the high price, you usually get a higher quality device.
Of course, as with any purchase, do your research first! Figure out what functionality you want and how much you’re willing to spend. Then look for reviews on specific models to see what other consumers had to say.
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