If you’re hopping onto the vinyl train, which has been running at full speed for the last few years, then you’re going to have to buy a good turntable (also known as a record player). What better place to buy one from then the pioneers of the machine itself? We’re talking about Victrola, the original producers of the record player that brought music to the ears of millions.
It’s entirely okay that you’re not up-to-speed with the ins and outs of the turntable, such as the difference between a direct drive turntable or a belt drive turntable, or understanding the various speeds of vinyl records and what you should look out for when purchasing a vinyl record player of your own – explaining all of these things is what this article is for. But remember, choosing the right Victrola record player often boils down to personal preference, your needs, and your budget. Here are six tips that will help you make a selection.
#1 Identify Your Needs
It’s important to determine what your needs are before choosing the perfect machine. Some important questions to ask yourself before choosing a record player are:
- What exactly are you going to be using this device for?
- Are you an audiophile, or a DJ?
- Do you care if it has the bells and whistles of new machines (Bluetooth, USB compatibility), or are you particularly fascinated with analog?
- What’s the budget you have for your record player or turntable?
#2 Understand Speeds (Playback Speed)
Vinyl records come in three different types and each is played at a different speed. This speed is measured in RPM (revolutions per minute). If your record collection consists of a certain type of record, then you need to note this. The breakdown goes as follows:
- A seven-inch record rotates at 45 RPM
- A 12-inch record rotates at 33 RPM
- A 10-inch disc (the oldest of records) rotates at 78 RPM
Every turntable can play records at 45 and 33 RPM, but only “3-speed” record players can support 78 RPM. For instance, this 2-speed machine isn’t going to be able to play 78 RPM (note this if you’re collecting older records) but this 3-speed machine will. By understanding what kind of records you’re going to play, you avoid any mistakes in the purchasing process.
For more information about vinyl record speeds, read our related post.
#3 Choose an Aesthetic
One of the most alluring facets of the turntable is how it looks. You just can’t beat the boxy design, the tonearm, and the finish. It’s like looking at an elegant piece of record player history. In which case, when choosing a Victrola unit, you’re going to have to choose between:
- The Wood Finish: a sophisticated antique-looking turntable that is as nostalgic as it is attractive.
- The Suitcase: if you’re interested in having a portable record player, then the suitcase is your go-to. There’s nothing like breaking one of these portable turntables out at a business meeting, listening to some tunes, getting in the groove, and setting the mood.
- The Retro: if you’re someone that adores the 60s and all things retro, this is definitely the record player for you.
- The Modern: there’s nothing wrong with going modern, especially if it suits the décor of your home. There’s also nothing different about the functionality of these modern turntables either.
How the turntable fits in your home and what you’re using it for will contribute to the choice above, and it’s one of the many exciting parts about buying a vinyl player.
#4 Are Cassettes A Priority?
Maybe you’re feeling extra nostalgic and want to start a cassette collection or play the ones still lying around from the late 1990s. If that’s the case, then you should be aware that Victrola offers an 8-in-1 retro record player that not only plays cassettes but also offers AM/FM radio.
This offers everything you could want from a record player, especially if you’re not only limited to vinyl.
Also, there’s something incredibly unique about owning a cassette collection alongside your epic vinyl records.
#5 Make A Budget
If you’re new to the vinyl space, then make a budget for how much you’re willing to spend on a record player. Maybe you’re not entirely sure if you’re going to use it, or if you’re even going to become an enthusiast. In that case, then try one of the more affordable options Victrola offers (under $100).
Likewise, if you’re someone that wants to buy the best Victrola has to offer, then know that upping your budget is going to produce better sound quality. This is particularly important if you’re going to become a collector. You’ll want a unit with a sound that can complement your vinyl collection, not detract from it.
Consult our vinyl record price guide to help you make a budget! Of course, however much you decide to spend on a vinyl record player depends on tip #1.
#6 If You’re Unsure, Reach Out
The Victrola team is there for a reason and they’re waiting to hear from you. If you’re confused about a certain product or want to understand more about the functionality of record players (perhaps you have a certain setup in mind or want to know how a vinyl record is made) before you buy a turntable, then reach out to the audio experts and they’ll be glad to answer any and all questions. This is their passion. If new to the vinyl world, read Victrola’s Tips for Starting a Vinyl Collection blog post!
You can contact Victrola’s customer service line at 1 (877) 483-2497
If you prefer written communication, then shoot them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Buying A Victrola Record Player
When making a Victrola purchase, you’re tipping your hat to the very history of record players and a unique way of listening to music. They pioneered the turntable and have continued to thrive as a business, uphold an amazing reputation, and remain affordable. Hopefully, these tips helped you select the perfect Victrola record player for you and your listening experience!