I need to buy a record player
December 30, 2012 10:05 PM   Subscribe

What record player should I get my partner for his birthday?

My partner likes music a lot and has always wanted a turntable/record player, but it's one of those things that he's just never gotten for himself. I would like to get him one for under $200. I would prefer that it is portable - I've seen some that come in suitcases, and that's pretty cool - but I have no other preferences. What's the best combination of quality and affordability out there?

posted by goosechasing to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I have the Crosley Spinnerette. It's one of those all-in-one portable suitcase models. I've had it since March, use it pretty frequently, and it's still in perfect shape.

The only thing I don't like about it is that it only has one speaker, so it's Mono, and it doesn't have an RCA cable output. You can plug PC speakers into it, but you can't hook it up to a stereo setup.

That said, my dad has this Crosley model, and his has RCA cable output.
posted by Sara C. at 10:26 PM on December 30, 2012

If I were spending $200 on a turntable, I'd see if I could get a Rega RP 1 used. You might watch Audiogon or Ebay.
posted by professor plum with a rope at 11:52 PM on December 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

If 'portable' is an absolute requirement (and, honestly, 'portable turntable' means a lot of compromises, so I kinda hope it isn't), you might consider the Vestax Handy-Trax and the Numark PT-01.

Otherwise, I'd suggest a used budget-audiophile option like Pro-Ject, Music Hall or the good professor's Rega.

(Does your partner already have speakers and a receiver/amplifier with a phono input?)
posted by box at 5:49 AM on December 31, 2012

Just wanted to suggest a direct drive turntable instead of a belt driven one. That's important for longetivity. Look for that.
posted by oceanjesse at 8:09 AM on December 31, 2012

I used to be the guy who spent $200 on turntables but after two of them broke down surprisingly quickly, I upgraded to a Pro-Ject Debut Carbon. The difference in sound is drastic, and the build quality is great. That or the Rega RP1 should do you nicely, if you can spend the extra amount. Make sure to budget for a phono preamp as well.
posted by naju at 8:24 AM on December 31, 2012

There are a million used silver Technics tables on Craigslist. You can get one in good working order for under $100, and that plus a $70 Shure M97XE cartridge from amazon will get you some incredible sound.
posted by Slinga at 8:30 AM on December 31, 2012 [3 favorites]

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