You might be tempted to purchase a cheap record player just so that you have one, but here’s why saving up to get a decent one is worth the wait
If you're a record collector, chances are this has happened to you: You've spied an inexpensive turntable at a rummage sale, on eBay, or maybe on the impulse-buy table at Urban Outfitters, and felt a little tempted. After all, what's the worst thing that could happen if you snag a bargain-bin record player -- other than wasting a few bucks?
It's hard to say just when and where your hard-earned dollars should be invested when it comes to audio gear -- especially when record player prices can range from $20 to $150,000. And higher price tags don't always correlate with higher quality. Today we'll fill you in on the reasons you should buy a decent record player -- and share some tips on what to look for.
A decent record player protects your investment
If you're playing a dusty crate of classical music records you pulled from your grandmother's attic (e.g, records that didn't cost you anything and are worth very little on the resale market), you probably don't need to worry about breaking the bank on a high-end turntable. But if you've invested even a little bit of money, care, and time into growing your record collection, it makes sense to take care of it.
A crap record player can actually damage your records. That's because many cheap record players are built without counterweights, which means that the record itself is responsible for supporting all the weight of the tonearm and cartridge. In case you didn't know, that's too much of a burden for a delicate vinyl record. The weight will grind down your record's grooves. In time, the album's sound quality will suffer.
A record can't sustain too much weight -- and it also needs the support of a full-sized platter. Otherwise, it will bend and warp slightly with each play. No matter how cheap and tempting it may be, don't ever buy a turntable without a full-sized platter and counterweight.
A decent record player gives you better sound
A high-quality turntable comes with the bells and whistles that translate to better sound and a better listening experience. An adjustable counterweight and anti-skating features allow you to customize the setup for your cartridge and stylus. They'll also have lower speed deviation and lower motor noise, so the sound quality will be better overall. And depending on how hard you geek out over record players (pro DJs move to the front of the line), you may appreciate additional features such as pitch control sliders, an option for 78 RPM speed, and cool LED displays.
A quality record player will retain some resale value
Obviously, any material good will depreciate in value the minute you buy it. But if you've done your research and purchase a solid new mid-tier ($300 to $1,000) record player, it could potentially serve you for decades. Plus, if you keep it in good condition, you should be able to resell it down the line.
Ultimately, vinyl collectors spend years researching record players and their components. The more you know, the better prepared you will be to invest in a turntable that will bring you listening pleasure for a lifetime. In the meantime, if you have any questions, don't be afraid to bring them to Mushroom New Orleans’ staff. We're always happy to let you give our record players a listen, too. See you soon!