The 7 Best Vintage Turntables (2022)

Vintage turntables have their nostalgic charm for music lovers, as the sound and feel of a classic vinyl record takes you back to the time of the songs. Thanks to the vinyl records’ easy-to-read linear tone and authentic feel, they are getting more popular each year.

If you want to jump onboard to the unique world of vinyl and vintage turntables, you are lucky as there are many vintage-style turntables for any budget today.

My top pick is the Fluance RT81, a popular choice among vintage turntable lovers thanks to its great sound quality, user-friendly design, and high-quality construction.

For tighter budgets, I recommend the Audio-Technica AT-LP60X-BK, a simple turntable focused on sound quality and performance rather than extra features.

The 7 Best Vintage Turntables (2022)

1. Fluance RT81
Top Pick - A great vintage turntable with rich sound quality and solid, attractive cabinet.
2. Audio-Technica AT-LP60X-BK
Budget Pick - A great entry-level vintage turntable with an affordable price and good sound quality.
3. Pioneer PL-30-K Audiophile
A great vintage turntable for audiophiles focused on great sound rather than extra features.
4. House of Marley Stir It Up Turntable
A great looking vintage turntable with the eco-friendly, high-quality construction.
5. 1 BY ONE Turntable
An all-in-one vintage turntable with high-quality construction.
6. Denon DP-300F
A basic vintage-style turntable with good quality construction and beginner-friendly design.
7. ION Audio Air LP
A feature-packed turntable with handy features and a great price.

Let’s compare these in more detail.

1. Fluance RT81

Top Pick
A great vintage turntable with rich sound quality and solid, attractive cabinet.
View Price at Amazon

Fluance RT81 Elite is one of the best vintage record players with nice modern touches elevating the performance. It features high-quality parts and construction with a simple, user-friendly design, delivering high-quality sound and performance.

Pros

  • Great sound quality
  • User-friendly simple design
  • High-quality construction
  • Built-in Texas Instruments preamp
  • Different color options

Cons

  • Fairly simplistic design

The two-speed belt-driven turntable has a pre-fitted cartridge and a heavy platter along with the MDF plinth and large isolating feet, resulting in high-quality sound without interference from vibrations.

The S-type tonearm is an excellent addition as it is not common in a turntable in this price range. Furthermore, the built-in Texas Instruments preamp does a great job of providing a clear sound. The wooden cabinet has three different color choices with piano black, white gloss, and natural walnut, all equipped with a plastic dust cover.

The turntable has a simplistic design without many extra features. The RCA outputs and cable come in the package to connect the turntable to external speakers.

Power SourceAC Power Adapter
Signal FormatAnalog
MaterialWood
Extra FeaturesRCA line output

Overall, Fluance RT81 Elite is a great record player for the price range. I recommend it to every music fan and audiophile after the best sound quality for a relatively affordable price.

2. Audio-Technica AT-LP60X-BK

Budget Pick
A great entry-level vintage turntable with an affordable price and good sound quality.
View Price at AmazonView Price at Guitar Center

Audio-Technica AT-LP60X-BK is a great vintage turntable for the price with its simplistic entry-level design and high-quality construction. The sound quality is quite good with a vintage feel along with warm and rich low frequencies.

Pros

  • Great value for the price
  • High-quality sound with a vintage feel and warm bass
  • Fully automatic system
  • Built-in switchable phono pre-amplifier

Cons

  • Plastic construction
  • No 78 RPM

The belt-driven turntable is fully automatic and works with two speeds, 33-⅓ and 45 RPM. The parts are also high-quality with a die-cast aluminum platter and integral dual magnet phono cartridge with a replaceable diamond stylus.

In addition, it features an integrated switchable phono preamp, so you can connect it directly to your home stereo.

Of course, as a budget-friendly entry-level vintage turntable, Audio-Technica AT-LP60X-BK has limited features and details compared to other vintage turntables. Also, the case is plastic which makes it lightweight yet fragile and low-quality.

Power SourceAC Power Adapter
Signal FormatAnalog
MaterialPlastic
Extra FeaturesRCA line output

Audio-Technica AT-LP60X-BK would be a great choice for a first vintage turntable with its affordable price and simplistic design to get the job done without any hassle.

3. Pioneer PL-30-K Audiophile

Premium Sound, Simple Design
A great vintage turntable for audiophiles focused on great sound rather than extra features.
View Price at Amazon

Pioneer PL-30-K Audiophile is a minimalistic vintage turntable that focuses on delivering high sonic performance rather than extra features of modern record players. It has a great build quality with high-quality parts, enhancing the performance of the fully-automatic turntable.

Pros

  • Great construction
  • High sonic performance with minimalist design
  • Built-in Phono Equalizer and Preamp

Cons

  • A bit pricey

PL-30-K has an auto start-stop button, a built-in phono equalizer and pre-amp, a high-performance cartridge, a rubber mat, a die-cast aluminum platter, and metal double-layered chassis. Plus, the platter is center-weighted, preventing any skipping issue.

Of course, as this is not one of the most affordable vintage turntables, the lack of features may be a drawback for some people. But, the Pioneer PL-30-K Audiophile is focused on one thing; playing your vinyl records with the utmost sound quality possible without damaging them, and the device succeeds on that.

Power SourceAC Power Adapter
Signal FormatDigital
MaterialMetal
Extra FeaturesRCA Line Output

In short, if you want a vintage turntable with great sound quality and do not care about fancy modern features, Pioneer PL-30-K Audiophile would be an ideal choice.

4. House of Marley Stir It Up Turntable

Eco-friendly, Great Look
A great looking vintage turntable with the eco-friendly, high-quality construction.
View Price at Amazon

House of Marley Stir It Up Turntable is an eco-friendly vintage turntable with a stunning look and good sound quality. It is a fully automatic, belt-driven turntable with a built-in pre-amp and USB connectivity for converting vinyl records to digital files.

Pros

  • Eco-friendly design
  • Smooth, warm, and dynamic sound
  • Looks great
  • Digital recording feature

Cons

  • No hardcover
  • The sound can get a bit distorted in high volume

The sound quality of the Stir It Up turntable deserves its name as it produces warm and dynamic bass for playing genres like reggae. The sonic performance is overall quite balanced and punchy. However, it gets slightly distorted in high volumes.

One of the best aspects of this turntable is its eco-friendly construction: It is how Bob Marley would have wanted it to be. Plus, the design looks quite stunning. The only missing thing is a hard dust cover, as the turntable only features a soft cloth for protecting against dust.

Power SourceAC Power Adapter
Signal FormatDigital
MaterialAluminum
Extra FeaturesUSB port, RCA Line Out, Headphone Jack, Aux-in

In short, House of Marley Stir It Up Turntable is a great vintage turntable with good sound quality and stunning design.

5. 1 BY ONE Turntable

Versatile, Feature-Packed
An all-in-one vintage turntable with high-quality construction.
View Price at Amazon

If you want a vintage-style turntable with some modern features, 1 BY ONE Turntable may be the right choice for you. It comes with a magnet-type cartridge and counterweight adjustment features for serious vinyl record playing along with Bluetooth, USB, and Aux-in ports to use the device as a speaker.

Pros

  • High-quality parts
  • Beautiful look
  • Bluetooth, USB, and Aux-in
  • Good quality sound

Cons

  • Low watt speakers
  • Hard to adjust and start using

The built-in speakers sound decent, but the overall volume is not loud enough for a big room. That is why you have the option of an RCA line out to connect the device to external speakers.

The belt drives motor works in 33 1/3, 45 speeds, and the high-quality Audio-Technica Moving Magnet-type cartridge and needle provide a rich sound. Plus, there is the option to adjust the counterweight for optimal sonic performance and protect your vinyl records.

The look of the turntable is also great with the combination of wood and metal in a vintage-style design. The high-quality construction can be felt in the aesthetics and the sonic performance.

Power SourceAC Power Adapter
Signal FormatAnalog
MaterialWood and Metal
Extra FeaturesBluetooth, Built-In Speakers,  Aux-in port

In short, 1 BY ONE Turntable is a great all-in-one turntable allowing for versatile use with its feature-packed design. The adjustments and extra features can be overwhelming for some users, like adjusting the counterweight, but it is a great turntable for experienced users.

6. Denon DP-300F

Beginner-friendly
A basic vintage-style turntable with good quality construction and beginner-friendly design.
View Price at Amazon

Denon DP-300F is a fully-automatic vintage-style turntable with a slim and sleek construction with a heavy base. The design prevents any vibration for a clear and high-quality sound. The simple minimalistic design makes it user-friendly for beginners in the turntable world.

Pros

  • High-quality phono preamp
  • Easy to use
  • Fully automatic playback

Cons

  • The cartridge is not amazing
  • Limited features

The turntable comes with a high-quality built-in preamp and equalizer, which allows you to connect it to an amplifier. However, the cartridge and the stylus are not great, decreasing the sound quality. You can upgrade the parts easily if the sound does not satisfy you, either.

Denon DP-300F is a basic turntable that does not have the modern features of new turntables, such as USB or Bluetooth connectivity, which can be a drawback for users who want an all-in-one style record player.

Power SourceCord
Signal FormatAnalog
MaterialAluminum
Extra FeaturesRCA Line Out

In short, if you are an entry-level vinyl enthusiast looking for a user-friendly automatic turntable to play your vinyl records through your high-quality speakers, Denon DP-300F would be a great choice. With its automatic, beginner-friendly system, it does all the job while protecting your vinyl, and you can upgrade the parts easily to have a higher quality device later.

7. ION Audio Air LP

Versatile, Budget-Friendly
A feature-packed turntable with handy features and a great price.
View Price at AmazonView Price at Guitar Center

With its feature-packed versatile design and affordable price tag, ION Audio Air LP features an excellent value for the offered price. The vintage-style turntable comes with many handy features such as Bluetooth connectivity, USB and Aux-in port, headphone jack, RCA line out, and EZ Vinyl software to convert vinyl records to digital.

Pros

  • Lightweight design
  • Feature-packed with RCA, AUX, headphone jack, USB output, and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Can play 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM records
  • EZ Vinyl Software
  • Great value for the price

Cons

  • Plastic construction

It has a built-in phono stage allowing you to play your vinyl as easily as it can be.  The sound quality does not impress, but it is adequate for the price range. The belt-drive turntable can play  33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM records, but you will have to buy a separate stylus to play the 78 RPM records as the sapphire coated stylus is not suitable for it.

The drawbacks are the plastic construction which makes the turntable lightweight yet fragile, and the conversion quality of the vinyl to the digital world.

Power SourceAC Power Adapter
Signal FormatDigital
MaterialPlastic
Extra Features1/8 inch headphone out, Bluetooth, USB, 

Suppose you are a music lover on a budget and looking for a versatile vintage-style turntable to play some vinyl recordings without the need for premium-quality sound. In that case, ION Audio Air LP  is a reliable choice to get the job done.

How does a vintage turntable work?

A vintage turntable spins the records while the stylus tracks the record grooves sent to the cartridge to be turned into electrical signals. The preamp powers up these low voltage signals to be ready for the speakers. Finally, the signals are boosted to a line level by an amp.

So, besides the turntable, you need a phono preamp in your setup, either built-in the turntable, the powered speakers, the A/V receiver, or as a separate outboard component. Also, you need to use an amplifier, which is different from a pre-amp. You can use a separate amp, an A/V receiver, or powered speakers that have built-in amps. 

And finally, you need speakers as the final output source of your setup. If you go for active speakers, you can skip the amp part. But, if you use passive speakers, you need an amp to get the signal ready for speakers.

What is the difference between a vintage and a modern turntable?

Vintage turntables and modern turntables work with the same principle. The difference is that modern ones have extra features such as Bluetooth, wireless, and USB connectivity, making them more versatile. Vintage turntables require more maintenance and are harder to fix when damaged.

A genuinely high-quality vintage turntable probably is a better choice than the modern models in terms of sound. The vintage ones are the winner when it comes to ease of use as they are more straightforward without extra features and complications.

At the end of the day, you want your turntable to work with a good sound and get it fixed if something goes wrong. So, modern turntables are better choices here. But, the best is to go with a vintage-style new turntable which combines all the good aspects of both worlds.

Why go for a vintage turntable?

Vintage turntables are more affordable, easier to use, and look much better with a nostalgic feel compared to modern turntables. Also, the sound of a high-quality vintage turntable is better. The problem is the maintenance and repair process if things go wrong.

What to look for in a vintage turntable?

When buying a vintage turntable, you should look for a high-quality cartridge, playback speed options, general quality, price, and extra features.

Cartridge

The cartridge is where the sound vibrations are turned into electrical signals before they travel to the preamp. The tonearm is connected to the cartridge, located on the opposite side of the stylus.

A turntable with a good quality cartridge, tonearm, and stylus not only provides a high-quality and clear sound but also protects your records from getting damaged.

Playback Speed and Motor

Another critical factor is the motor and the playback speed, as different vinyl records require different playback speeds. If you want to play all types of vinyl, you need a turntable that supports 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM speeds. Often, the 78 RPM speed requires a different stylus.

There are two types of motors that turntables use; belt-drive and direct-drive motors. The direct-drive turntables are a newer technology that spins the platter with a standalone mechanism, while belt-drive motors are older and use a belt system to spin it.

Quality

The general construction quality is another vital point as the turntables are not always easy to fix. Purchasing a sturdy built turntable with high-quality parts is key to having a turntable with a long life.

Price

And, finally, of course, you should consider your budget. You can find excellent turntables with a vintage design at a great price. You can sacrifice the extra features to have a good-sounding turntable with high-quality parts if you have a tight budget.

Verdict

Vintage turntables are the ideal gear to get the warm sound and feel of old vinyl records. There are many great options in the market today as vintage-style turntables meet with the great features of modern technology.

I recommend you to check out the Fluance RT81, which shines with its ease of use, great sound quality, and sturdy yet elegant design.

If you want to go with a more budget-friendly option, the Audio-Technica AT-LP60X-BK would be an ideal choice, as it offers great value for the price with its automatic system and high sound quality.

Berk Öztuna is a handpan player, percussionist, and guitarist. He has been playing multiple instruments over the last 10 years. He started his music career as a guitarist, playing with several bands before putting his main focus into playing the handpan.

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