It’s official. Vinyl is back. From Jack White’s uber-cool record-peddling music label to Letterman’s LP-raising band introductions, there’s more 12-inch love these days than at a campus Subway. Whether you’re an audiophile who insists on true sound reproduction or a hipster into music we’ve probably never heard of, vinyl records are your music delivery method of choice.
So what do you use to play your discs? When it comes to turntables in 2012, there’s not as many options as there were back in the day, but it’s getting better. Here we take a look at how to get your vinyl collection back into heavy rotation.
If you simply must have the very, very best of everything, you could splurge for the Modern Record Console by Symbol (pictured above). Handmade and costing more than my car, this incredible piece of audio engineering is really only suitable for the 1%.
For the rest of us, there’s Target, Best Buy and Drugstore.com.
Crosley Director CD Recorder Turntable
$231.09 at Target (includes free shipping)
3-speed turntable, one touch record-to-disc action, and it even has a tape deck. Looks like something you’d find and your grandparents’ house, if you’re into that kind of thing.
ionAudio – Vinyl Recording Portable USB Turntable – $89.99 at Best Buy (includes free shipping)
Perhaps not as ‘feature-rich’ as the Director, this one looks exponentially cooler. And if you’re okay with swapping cassette playback for record-box portability, this is your unit. Rip records to CD or MP3 or host your own little rave.
Crosley Radio Tech Series Turntable – $69.99 at Drugstore.com (includes free shipping)
This one combines a vintage look (but not too vintage) and the features a modern vinyl-lover needs. 3-speeds, one each for your albums, singles and…whatever the other one’s for, plus AM/FM radio. Note: this one can’t archive your music, it only plays it. But it does look good on your mid-century modern credenza.