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Vintage vs. New Record Player: Which is Best for You?

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Vintage vs. New Record Player
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There is a never-ending debate when it comes to vintage vs. new record player. Both sides have valid points, but which one is the best for you? In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of both sides and help you make the best decision for your needs.

What is a vintage record player?

A vintage record player is a turntable that was manufactured during a specific time period. The term “vintage” usually refers to turntables made in the 1950s or 1960s or 1970s although record players from the 80’s and 90’s are sometimes also included.

Dual 1219

Vintage record players are often considered to be of higher quality than newer models, and they can be more expensive. However, vintage turntables may not be compatible with all modern audio equipment, and they may require more maintenance.

What is a new record player?

New record players are digital devices that play music from CDs, DVDs, or other digital formats. They are typically more expensive than vintage record players, but they may offer technological advances that vintage players do not.

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO

as of May 10, 2024 12:40 pm

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Entry level modern record players often have built-in speakers, Bluetooth connectivity, and other features that make them more convenient to use.

Types of Record Players

Types of Record Players

Manual Record Players

Manual record players are the most common type of record player. They are simple to use and can be found at most stores that sell electronics. All you need to do is put the needle on the record and it will start playing. You can also find manual record players that come with a built-in amplifier so you can plug it into your speakers.

Automatic Record Players

Automatic record players are similar to manual players, but they have a mechanism that automatically puts the needle on the record. This can be convenient if you don’t want to worry about placing the needle correctly.

In addition, many automatic record players has an auto stop once the dead wax of the record is reached.

However, automatic players may be more expensive than manual ones along with more things to break.

Drive Types

When looking into drive types for a turntable, there are two main categories, belt and direct drive.

Belt Drive

Belt drive turntables use a belt to connect the motor to the platter. The belt helps to reduce vibration and noise from the motor.

Belt drive turntables are typically more expensive than direct drive turntables, but they offer better sound quality. In addition, belt drive turntables are less likely to damage your records.

Direct Drive

Direct drive turntables have the motor directly attached to the platter. This eliminates the need for the belt.

Mint Dual 1219 Turntable

as of May 11, 2024 8:15 am

This is a mint Dual stereo turntable in perfect working condition.

Direct drive turntables are typically used by DJs because they offer more control over the speed of the platter. In addition, direct drive turntables are less likely to drift from the desired speed.

Differences between vintage and new record players

Differences between vintage and new record players


Vintage record players can often be found for a fraction of the cost of a new one. You can often find them at garage sales, thrift stores, or online. New record players, on the other hand, will cost you anywhere from $100 to several thousands.

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At the same price point, you will be able to get a higher quality vintage deck than a new one. The increased cost of new models is due to buying new vs used in addition to features and an increase in the “cool factor.”

Sound Quality

Most people think that vintage and new record players sound the same. However, there are some key differences between the two:

– Newer record players tend to have a more accurate sound, due to advances in turntable technology.

– Vintage record players often use higher quality materials compared to a similar priced new player. This can result in a warm vintage sound.

– New record players often have features that reduce vibration and interference, resulting in a cleaner sound.

– A vintage deck may require more maintenance and care than new models. To get the best sound it may just need a replacement belt but other times a full restoration.

Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference as to which type of record player sounds better. Both can produce excellent sound quality that make records sound realistic and lifelike.


Newer record players often come with features that vintage players do not, such as:

– Bluetooth connectivity

– USB ports

– Built-in speakers

– Preamps

– LCD displays

Vintage players are not created equal but a quality vintage turntable can make up for the lack of technology by offering you a premium vintage table with amazing sound that rivals and beats many new turntables.

What to look for in a vintage record player?


When you’re looking for a vintage record player, one of the things you should look for is a cartridge. The cartridge is the part of the player that holds the needle, and it’s what actually touches the record.

A great turntable cartridge will make a big difference in the sound quality of your player.

There are two main types of cartridges: moving magnet and moving coil. Moving magnet cartridges are more common, and they’re generally less expensive. Moving coil cartridges are less common, but they tend to produce better sound quality. If you’re looking for the best possible sound quality, you’ll want to look for a player with a moving coil cartridge.

Another thing to look for in a vintage record player is a good tonearm. The tonearm is the part of the player that the cartridge is mounted on. A good tonearm will be made of high-quality materials and will be well-balanced. A well-balanced tonearm will tracking the record evenly, which will produce better sound quality.

When you’re looking at vintage record players, pay attention to the details. The little things can make a big difference in the sound quality of your player. A good cartridge and tonearm are two of the most important things to look for.

Playback Speed and Motor

When you’re looking for a vintage record player, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. One of the most important is the playback speed and motor. Make sure the player you’re considering can play at both 33 1/3 and 45 RPM. You’ll also want to check that the motor is in good condition – a worn out motor can cause your records to sound distorted.


When you’re looking for a vintage record player, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First and foremost, you want to make sure that the player is of good quality. This means that it should be made of sturdy materials and have a well-made turntable.

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Additionally, the sound quality should be good. You can test this by playing a record and listening to see if the sound is clear and distortion-free. Finally, you’ll want to make sure that the player is in good condition overall. This means that all the parts are in working order and that there aren’t any cracks or chips in the casing.


Of course, you’ll want to take price into consideration when shopping for a vintage record player. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay more for a player that’s in better condition. You may also want to factor in the cost of accessories, such as needles and replacement parts.

Replacement Parts Availability

When you’re looking for a vintage record player, one of the most important things to consider is the availability of replacement parts. If a particular model is no longer in production, it may be difficult or impossible to find replacement parts if something goes wrong.

You might be able to find some parts online, but they may be expensive. It’s important to do your research before you buy a vintage record player to make sure you’ll be able to keep it running for years to come.

Which is best for you?

Vintage record players have a certain charm that new ones don’t. They can be beautiful pieces of furniture in your home, and they often have a warm, rich sound that newer models don’t. On the other hand, new record players are often more technologically advanced, with features like Bluetooth connectivity and built-in speakers. They’re also usually more affordable than vintage models. So, which is best for you? It depends on your needs and preferences.

Pro-ject Debut Carbon EVO Vs Vintage Turntable (Dual 1219)

To do a comparison of a great brand new turntable to a classic vintage table, we chose the Pro-ject Debut Carbon (which is a great starter turntable that many people use as their first “real” table) and did a comparison to a classic “vintage turntable”, the Dual 1219 Turntable.

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO

as of May 10, 2024 12:40 pm

Both can be had for around $600 (new for the Pro-ject and used on the Dual). We kept the default cartridge on the EVO deck, the Ortofon Red and our dual was equipped with a vintage Shure M91 cartridge. Upgrading the turntable cartridge on either makes a huge difference to the sound. I have used an Ortofon 2M Bronze with both tables and they both take cartridge upgrades perfectly.

For both we used a Musical Fidelity MX-VYNL phono preamp stage. The Musical Fidelity preamp is very transparent and does not color the sound at all.

Differences Between The Project DC And Vintage Record Players

There are many differences between the Project Debut Carbon (DC) and vintage turntables. The DC is a more modern turntable that is designed for use with vinyl records. The DC is a straight forward belt drive turntable without a lot of bells and whistles that is easy to setup and play your record collection.

Pro-ject Debut Carbon EVO Vs Vintage Turntable

Style and Design

The firth thing you will notice between the two are the looks. The DC has a modern, sleek design that would look great in any home. The Dual 1219 on the other hand has a more classic, vintage look that some people prefer.

The DC also has a dustcover included, which is a nice touch. The vintage Dual was missing the dustcover but I was able to find a replacement online for around $30-$40.


Kind of an apples to oranges comparison but I did not have a vintage belt drive up and running at the time of the test. I normally would have picked my Thorens TD – 165 to compare to a higher priced modern turntable but it was being serviced in the shop. Maybe another time but today, we have the belt driven DC vs the direct drive Dual.

Both maintained a perfect speed during the test and on the test system I did not notice any different. I have in the past noticed some rumble from direct drive turntables on higher end systems and typically prefer belt drives for this reason.

Modern Turntables vs Vintage Turntables Sound Quality

The first thing you notice when spinning a record on the Dual 1219 is the speed stability. It feels like it’s locked in and just sits there rock solid, allowing the stylus to follow the record groove perfectly. You can hear this immediately in the sound, as there is much less noise coming from the stylus/record interface and the music just flows out of the speakers with ease.

There is a slight trade-off with the Dual 1219 in that it can be a bit edgy sounding on some recordings, but when you find a good pressing of a record, it can sound absolutely amazing. The highs are extended and airy, the mids are smooth and detailed and the bass is tight and well-defined.

The Pro-ject Debut Carbon EVO on the other hand, sounds very smooth and refined. It’s not as edgy sounding as the Dual 1219, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The detail and resolution are very good and the soundstage is wider and deeper than the Dual 1219.

The highs are extended and airy, but not as much so as the Dual 1219. The mids are smooth and detailed, but again, not as much so as the Dual 1219. The bass is tight and well-defined, but not quite as much so as the Dual 1219.

So, which turntable sounds better? It’s really a matter of preference. If you like a smooth, refined sound, then the Pro-ject Debut Carbon EVO is the table for you.

Similarities Between Vintage Turntables And The Debut Carbon

There are many similarities between vintage turntables and the Debut Carbon. Both have a sleek design, are easy to set up, and have a wide range of features. The Debut Carbon is a great choice for those who want the classic look of a vintage turntable with the added benefit of modern technology.

Pro-ject Debut Carbon EVO

Advantages Of The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon

There are many reasons to consider the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon when shopping for a new turntable. Here are some of the biggest advantages:

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO

as of May 10, 2024 12:40 pm

– The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon is significantly cheaper than many high-end turntables, making it a great option for budget-minded audiophiles.

– It is very easy to set up and use, even for those who are new to vinyl.

– Features a very sleek and stylish design that will look great in any home.

– Has a very smooth and stable sound, thanks to its low-resonance platter and excellent isolation feet.

– Easy to update the cartridge. Choosing one of our picks for the best turntable cartridges under $200 easily takes this modern deck to the next level.

If you’re looking for a great turntable that won’t break the bank, the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon is a great option to consider.

Advantages Of Vintage Turntables

Vintage turntables offer a number of advantages over their more modern counterparts. For one, they tend to be much more affordable, especially if you’re willing to buy one that needs a little bit of work.

They also tend to have a warmer, more natural sound than many of the digital options on the market today. Finally, they’re just plain cool. There’s something about the look of a vintage turntable that can really add a touch of class to your home.

Why Get A Project-Debut Carbon

If you’re looking for a high-quality, entry-level turntable, the Project Debut Carbon is a great option. It’s a big step up from entry-level models, and it offers a lot of features that you’ll appreciate as you get more into vinyl. Here are some of the reasons why we think the Project Debut Carbon is a great choice:

– The carbon fiber tonearm is extremely lightweight and provides excellent tracking.

– The included Ortofon 2M Red cartridge is a great all-rounder that sounds great with a wide variety of musical styles.

So, if you’re looking for a high-quality turntable that won’t break the bank, the Project Debut Carbon is a great option.

Why To Get A Vintage Turntable

There are many reasons to get a vintage turntable. For one, they are built to last. They are also usually very easy to set up and use.

Additionally, vintage turntables often have a much better sound quality than newer models. Finally, vintage turntables can be a great conversation starter and add a touch of class to your home.

Wrapping Up Vintage vs New Turntable

So, which is better? Vintage or new? The answer, of course, is that it depends on your needs and preferences. Both are capable of producing great sound, but each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, the best decision is the one that’s best for you. Thanks for reading!

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