Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


The Best Vintage Turntables That You Can (Maybe) Still Buy – Gear Patrol

Every product is carefully selected by our editors. If you buy from a link, we may earn a commission.
Why would you want to buy a vintage turntable? The aesthetic, the nostalgia and the price.
We’re living in a vinyl renaissance — there’s no doubt about that. Vinyl sales continue to break year-over-year records (and have done so since 2005); its popularity has grown so much that more and more vinyl pressing plants are opening up. Audio companies are going back to analog, too, making new-age hi-fi components like amps, preamps, receivers and, of course, turntables.

But they don’t make them like they used to, right? At least not with the same charm and nostalgia.
If you were to ask a true hi-fi lover or audiophile, they’d likely tell you that the golden age of vinyl was in the ’70s and ’80s. It was a time before cassettes, CDs and the digital audio revolution, when a vinyl record was the easiest and most popular way to listen to an album. It was a time when there was an abundance of turntable manufacturers, too, such as Technics, Luxman, Acoustic Research, Linn, JVC, Denon, Pioneer and Sony (just to name a few).
Today, some of those hi-fi names aren’t in business anymore. Others have shifted their focus elsewhere, like to headphones or home theater. And some, well, they’re getting back into hi-fi and vinyl, releasing new audio components as well as reissued and reimagined versions of their classic models. The Technics SL-1200 turntable series is one such example.

There are definite pros and cons to buying a vintage turntable. The main reasons why you’d want a vintage turntable are its aesthetic, its nostalgia and (most likely) its price. Most modern turntables don’t have the same texture and charm as their forebears, and you can actually typically get a really good deal on vintage turntables.
Vintage turntables are generally more affordable because they’re typically not in working order. So after you buy one, it’s most likely going to be a project to get it back up and grooving. It’s going to take time because a lot of these parts aren’t that easy to find. And it’s going to cost you a lot more to repair the turntable than you originally paid for it.
It’s also worth pointing out that a vintage turntable, even if you do restore it to its former glory, most likely won’t be able to play records as well as a good modern turntable. There have been quite the advancements in basically everything and most modern turntables play a warmer, more accurate and generally better sound.

Shopping for vintage hi-fi equipment — including vintage turntables — isn’t as straightforward as shopping for something modern. You’re going to need finesse, persistence and a bit of luck to find the vintage component you’re looking for. Remember, these turntables aren’t made anymore and they don’t often become available. Especially if they’re popular among enthusiasts.
When shopping for a vintage audio component, third-party sites like Craigslist, eBay and Facebook Marketplace are going to be your best bet. is another great option. As previously stated, a lot of these turntables won’t be in working order — in fact, a lot are just being sold for parts — and will most likely need to be refurbished in at least some capacity. It’s common for vintage turntables to have their belt stretched out or their tonearm broken, for example, or even need a new power supply.
This is why we recommend talking to the seller extensively so that you know exactly what you’re buying. It’s also worth reaching out to a hi-fi shop near you to see if, once you buy it, they’re going to be able to restore it to its once former glory. And if they, how much it’s going to cost and how quickly they’re going to be able to do it.
A note: This isn’t a definitive or exhaustive list of the best vintage turntables — there’s too much subjectivity there and room for debate. Instead, this is a list of some of the most beloved vintage turntables that were first released in the 70s and 80s and are still sought after. If you have suggestions for additions, please leave them in the comments and we’ll potentially upgrade this post in the near future.

Original release date: 1976
Price: ~
Rega is one of the biggest names in modern turntables, but its origins in turntables date back to the early 1970s. The Planar 3 (or RP3) is one of the British hi-fi company’s most iconic and beloved turntables — in fact, a modern version of this original classic is still in production (see here). The original was immensely popular because it was one of the first turntables to have a glass platter. It was also pretty affordable at the time, and thus was largely regarded as an entry-level turntable for budding audiophiles.

Original release date: 1972
Price: ~$1,875+
Thorens is one of the oldest and most revered turntable manufacturers, with a history that dates back to the late 19th century, and the Swiss hi-fi company (now relocated to Germany) continues to make turntables today. The Thorens TD-125 MK II is one of its most iconic turntables. It was one of the earliest turntables to have electronic speed control (as was its predecessor, the Thorens TD-125). And today, it’s still popular among enthusiasts.

Original release date: 1972
Price: ~$2,200+
The ​​Linn Sondek LP12 is one of the most well-loved turntables among audiophiles — and its original model is still highly sought after today. It was introduced in the early ’70s and has become iconic for its suspended sub-chassis design, which is also pretty modular and upgradable, but it’s just known for delivering really accurate and true-to-life sound. Linn makes modern interpretations of this turntable today (see here). The downside? These are quite expensive.

Original release date: 1970
Price: ~$550+
The Technics SP-10 is one of the most important turntables out there. It was the world’s first direct-drive turntable ever and, when it was introduced in the early 1970s, it was considered to be the pinnacle of hi-fi. It’s obviously a really sought-after turntable, but it also paved the way for SL-1200, which was essentially a more affordable model and one of the best-selling turntables in history.


You May Also Like


Acid techno crew Liberator DJs celebrate 30 years this weekend in London · News RA  Resident Advisorsource


Get local news, offers & more…lobal music authority Billboard revealed that previously announced Billboard Latin Music Week superstar panelists Camilo and Maluma, will also...


New Gideon Schwartz book explores the history of turntable design · News RA  Resident Advisorsource


Guaranteed mood lifters There are times when we could all use a little pick-me-up. Life can get you down: work struggles, relationship strains, global...

Copyright © 2022-2024 Traxtion All Rights Reserved