retro record players

Viva La Vinyl: Why We Can't Get Enough Of Retro Record Players

Published 2nd March 2021
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For most retro enthusiasts, record players are the pinnacle of audio technology. Whether we’re driven by nostalgia of the good ol’ days, rebelling against the drone of modern music, or simply drawn to the aesthetic, many of us can’t resist a throwback – and vinyl is the best place to start! 

Though we may not all have been there to witness the first wave of turntable fandom (in the balmy days of big hair, shoulder pads and lycra), we’re certainly making up for it now. With a collective love of warm crackles, evocative dynamics and full, rounded sound, it’s hardly surprising that they’re making a comeback today. Indeed, vinyl isn’t just music to your ears… it’s a feeling in your heart. 

Read on to discover why we simply can’t get enough of retro record players and who knows? You may invest in one yourself! After all, there’s really no better way to get into the groove.

Music... as it was intended

music vinyl

Perhaps the most obvious motive for using traditional turntables is the sound – there’s really no comparison. Aside from the rich, inviting tones that record players produce, people tend to find that they actually provide better approximations of live performances too, a huge bonus if you’re a fan of raw, unedited music. Yes, Live Aid here we come!

Instead of converting to digital formats which, in itself, leads to tone loss and compressed, tinny audio, vinyl reigns supreme in terms of authenticity. Their matchless analogue arrangement creates a deeper, more dynamic sound, exactly as the artists and music producers intended. From ageless classics like Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours and the Eagles’ Hotel California, to modern chart-toppers like Khalid’s American Teen and the Arctic Monkeys’ AM, there’s no better way to listen to all your favourite toe-tapping tunes.

This versatility is another major benefit to these pastime players. Unlike CD or cassette alternatives (if you can even remember what they look like!), turntables offer you the opportunity to play all your beloved albums (both old and new) in one place. It’s all the things we’ve come to love about MP3 and smartphone streaming, without the inferior audio.

Listening to used LPs can also be a fantastic way to give new life to old masterpieces. Each one carries and imparts an irreplaceable story that can live on to soundtrack lives across time. Plus, who doesn’t love the look of a fraying vintage record? We recommend a used version of the first ever Now! compilation album, released in 1983, as a great place to start your second-hand collection. You can thank us later!

The unique and timeless aesthetic

timeless record

As with many features of a record player, the exterior is just as distinctive as the individuals who choose to buy them. In other words, like people, no two are the same. One of the main things that sets turntables apart from musical alternatives is their unashamedly vintage look – you really can’t go wrong with brands like Shuman or iBox if retro style is your bag. Not only do they maintain a standard that makes them special, these comprehensive companions can really make a statement in your home, becoming the surprising interior décor spectacle you truly weren’t expecting.

The same can be said of vinyl sleeve-notes, and the remarkable, groovy artwork that comes with them. Notorious, celebrated designs like those on Dark Side of the Moon and A Night at the Opera only add to the classic charm of original LPs, and could be one of the reasons behind our love of everything vintage. After all, they certainly don’t make ‘em like they used to!

The modern additions

modern record player

Move over vintage record players, the modern varieties are in town! Yes, although we’ve obviously come to love the antique and archetypal aesthetic, there’s no harm in appreciating the advancements of newer tech. There are certainly a plethora of reasons to do so.

Many contemporary turntables now come with the option of added extras, including cassette decks, CD stereos and radios, which are great for seekers of diverse and multi-programmed sound. With an adaptable player like the DIGITNOW!, for example, you’ll never have to worry about separate audio systems again – all your music can be stored, recorded and broadcast in one handy place (without ever compromising on quality). 

Embellishments like Bluetooth capability is another reason why we simply can’t get enough of retro record players in the modern world. Allowing you to transpose LPs to an MP3 format, this feature can truly change your life if listening on the go is a must. It also means that you can play all your favourite songs wirelessly, from a variety of external devices. Other flourishes like headphone jacks, surround sound and extended portability are just some of the benefits that newer brands can bring to the (turn)table. Granted, they may not look as nostalgic or traditional as a vintage vinyl player, but they certainly make up for it in convenience.

Why not add external speakers and subwoofers to boost the bass of your music, or even amplifiers and preamps to enhance its overall sound?

More than just a player

searching for vinyl record

There really is no better feeling than laying a needle on a record. Not only satisfying but also strangely therapeutic, this methodical sequence is all part of the musical journey - from buying, to boogying, to cherishing! As with most things, everyone’s experience with vinyl is unique, and this is what makes them such a steadfast and necessary part of modern life. Most of all, they’re more than just players – they’re artwork and furniture, personal and private, a true source of pleasure for old and young alike. 

It’s a passion of many to plan whole room arrangements around their humble record player, and why on earth not? With a selection of comfy armchairs, a display table and some snacks, you can really set the ambiance of a relaxed and peaceful scene. If this isn’t possible, or you’d prefer to make LPs the star, why not exhibit them in a specially-designed storage box, stand, or case? These can help to ensure the longevity of all your valuable vinyl records, keeping you safe in the knowledge that they’ll never be lost or damaged again. 

For that extra piece of mind, it may also be worth investing in a record cleaning kit, to keep your singles spinning for years and years to come. Gentle brushes, microfibre cloths and proofer can all dramatically improve the condition of your soft tops, effectively removing everyday dust to prevent harmful penetration of dirt and other nasty stains. After all, if you look after your vinyl, your vinyl will look after you!

Let the music play…

play vinyl record

We hope that this blog has given you a small insight into some of the reasons why we adore the retro record player. If you’re interested in discovering even more about these vintage audio authorities, check out our latest guide on the Best Bluetooth Players for 2021. Whatever you’re into and wherever music takes you, OnBuy’s selection is sure to leave you spinning with delight. 

All that’s left to say is: what are you waiting for? Embark on a voyage of discovery… we promise you won’t regret it!

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