Vintage turntables are often seen as a collector’s item. They are incredibly popular and thanks to a resurgence in vinyl’s popularity over the past couple of years, vintage turntables are a hot item. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re buying a vintage turntable. We here at Mort’s TV & Video are experts in vintage audio repair, so if you end up buying a used turntable and it needs some TLC, we’re here to help with all of your vintage audio repair needs!
Vintage turntables are popular not just for their retro feel, but also because they can play 78s, which are records that are played at 78 RPMs. Most of the time, 78s were made before 1940, so you’ll find a lot of old music on them – classical, blues, jazz, etc. Trustworthy vintage audio repair is especially needed for these older record players!
These older turntables are usually made out of plastic, steel or aluminum. A plastic turntable is generally less expensive than steel or aluminum. They became popular in the 1980s, and they usually have weak-running motors, no mats and a plastic plinth and the plastic arms generally won’t have any counterweight. Turntables used to be made out of steel because they were less costly to make, but it also resulted in more unstable motor speeds, which were then more pronounced when one listens to a record. An aluminum turntable was generally more expensive but it has a much higher sound quality, and these turntables were topped with rubber. There was less friction and noise because ball bearings or roller bearings were used in the spindle.
Another thing to look at is the drive type of the turntable. A belt drive system uses a less expensive motor than an idler-wheel drive system, but it still absorbs a lot of the vibrations and motor noise. An idler-wheel drive system was the most common type until the 1970s. This was a rubberized drive system that wore down and decomposed over time, which could mean that if you buy one, vintage audio repair might be in the cards for you later down the road! A direct drive system is usually one that you see in DJs turntables, not audio turntables. These caused the motors to vibrate, which would then cause the entire record to vibrate. So these types of turntables are not produced that often anymore.
When you buy a vintage turntable, maintaining it is key. Finding a reputable and trustworthy vintage audio repair shop is your first step.
So when you need vintage audio repair, call or visit Mort’s TV & Video. Call us at 215-945-8381 or Contact Us to learn more about vintage audio repair.