5 Best Vintage Turntables (Modern Meets Retro)

Last Updated on

Best Vintage Turntable

It’s true that vintage never goes out of style, whether that be for clothing, cars, or classic vinyl records.

Audiophiles have long enjoyed the superior quality and unique sound that you can only get from vintage vinyl, but the secret’s out.

If you’ve been looking for an attractive record player that can do justice to your favorite vinyl, we’ve pulled together the best vintage turntables on the market.

These include quality units that are designed for highly detailed sound and vintage-looking players that match the aesthetics of your vinyl.

No matter your budget or experience level, we’ve got the perfect vintage turntable to suit your needs.

Quick List: Top 5 Vintage Turntables

  1. Marantz TT-15S1Most Expensive
  2. Denon DP-450USBBest Overall
  3. ClearClick Vintage Suitcase Turntable
  4. Victrola Vintage Record PlayerCheapest Option
  5. LuguLake Record Player

Researching Vintage Turntables

We put in the hard yards to find the best vintage turntables available on the market today. Our number one priority was quality, so we focused our efforts on turntables that have proven excellent sound and durable construction, allowing you years of reliable use.

For those of you looking to invest in your playback, we looked for the best quality premium turntables that are optimized to bring out the details of vintage vinyl. We made sure to find units with innovative design, high end construction, and attractive aesthetics.

If you are looking more towards the budget or mid-range end, we also discovered the best quality vintage-look turntables that can give you reliable playback and look great doing it.

We know that some of you have different playback needs, so we also looked for the best vintage turntables that include different options like Bluetooth wireless, in-built speakers, and even FM radio.

For those of you that want to preserve the sound of your precious vinyl forever, we included the turntables with intuitive recording functions that allow you to convert vinyl into a digital format.

No matter what your specific vintage turntable needs are, we’re sure that we have them covered in this comprehensive breakdown. So, let’s get down to it!

The Best Vintage Turntables in 2020

1. Marantz TT-15S1 – Most Expensive

The TT-15S1 by Marantz is a premium investment for audiophiles who are serious about bringing out the best sound from their priceless vintage vinyl.

✔️ What we like: A premium reference level turntable that does due justice to vintage records.

What we don’t like: Difficult counterweight adjustment.

👌 Standout Features:

  • Anti-vibration design
  • Premium cartridge and stylus
  • Value for money

The focus of the TT-15S1 is clearly on sound quality, with Marantz understanding what is needed to bring out the best from your vintage vinyl. It’s constructed to minimize vibrations and resonance, so that you have as smooth playback as possible. This is achieved by a floating motor mount and a heavy acrylic composite chassis and platter.

The turntable also has its AC motor inside a die-cast housing that suppresses its vibrations and doesn’t allow any transfer of movement. This ensures a smooth rotation of your vintage vinyl, contributing to the warm analogue sound that is such a drawcard.

Marantz’s turntable also features a superior cartridge and stylus design for excellent tracking that picks up all the details of classic vinyl. The cartridge includes an ebony body, diamond stylus, and aluminum cantilever that are all lightweight but durable. A cartridge damping mechanism further allows for silent operation that doesn’t interfere with the purity of the sound.

While the TT-15S1 is a serious investment at its price point, it is also excellent value for money considering what you get. If you were to buy the turntable and cartridge separately, it would cost you at least $500 more, making this vintage turntable an absolute steal.

Our only criticism is that it can be difficult to set the position of the counterweight and a lot of force is needed. However, if you’re looking to invest in a vintage turntable that has the highest quality audiophile-standard sound, you can’t find better than the Marantz model.

2. Denon DP-450USB – Best Overall

The DP-450USB by Denon is our pick for the best overall vintage turntable, with its user-friendly features and excellent sound quality.

✔️ What we like: A well-rounded turntable that helps vintage vinyl sound its best.

What we don’t like: The included cartridge.

👌 Standout Features:

  • Semi-automatic tone arm
  • Direct vinyl to digital recording
  • In-built phono equalizer

The DP-450USB can easily support all your vinyl, including those vintage records that need 78RPM. You can switch easily between playback speeds using the simple dial, without the need to lift the platter. It also features a user-friendly tone arm that has superior tracking to pick up all the details of warm, vintage sound. The S-shaped arm has an optimum tracking angle, sturdy construction, and reduces harmonic distortion for the cleanest possible sound quality without distortion. 

This excellent sound quality is enhanced through your external speakers with an in-built phono equalizer. It expands the soundstage of the music without compromising on the original sound, immersing you in a full audio experience.

The turntable is also highly user-friendly, including semi-automatic operation and simple controls. The tone arm includes auto lift and playback stop at the end of your record, perfect if you’re forgetful and don’t want to damage your vinyl in the long run. Once the stylus is lowered into the groove of your record it also automatically starts, taking out unnecessary effort.

If you are looking to preserve your precious vinyl sound forever, you can easily do so directly from the USB port of the turntable. Paired with the super easy installation of this turntable, you will never feel stressed or annoyed when using the Denon turntable.

Our one complaint is that while the included cartridge is good, it isn’t great. Thankfully, it’s easy to switch it out for a higher quality brand, which we recommend if you want to take full advantage of the excellent Denon turntable.

3. ClearClick Vintage Suitcase Turntable

The Vintage Suitcase Turntable by ClearClick is the perfect combination of nostalgic aesthetics and thoroughly modern sound, all for a low price.

✔️ What we like: A stunning vintage-style record player with modern audio technology.

What we don’t like: Low maximum volume through in-built speakers.

👌 Standout Features:

  • Attractive vintage suitcase design
  • Multiple connectivity
  • Budget friendly

The ClearClick turntable has a gorgeous vintage appearance that matches perfectly with the aesthetics of your vinyl. The outer is a real wood and faux leather suitcase design that is exceptionally durable and looks like a treasure chest. It’s also pretty lightweight at just over 7 pounds, allowing you to take your vintage turntable on the go and show it off to others.

While the ClearClick has a vintage appearance, it has very modern connectivity and playback options. These include wireless Bluetooth connection, AUX, and in-built speakers that can comfortably fill a room with sound. The turntable supports three playback speeds as well, allowing you to enjoy the entire range of your vinyl collection.

The turntable includes simple, user-friendly controls, including the option to easily convert your vinyl to digital through recording software. The ClearClick turntable is modern without complicating your life, making it suitable for everyone from children to the elderly.

Our sole criticism is that the volume from the in-built speakers is only loud enough for personal listening. However, you can easily connect to external speakers for a volume boost of warm, balanced sound that does justice to your favorite vinyl.

If you’re looking for a budget vintage turntable with attractive aesthetics and modern connectivity, you can’t go wrong with this suitcase offering by ClearClick.

4. Victrola Vintage Record Player – Cheapest Option

The Vintage Record Player by Victrola is our pick for the cheapest vintage turntable that doesn’t compromise on sound quality or attractive design.

✔️ What we like: A blend of vintage and contemporary aesthetics and sound.

What we don’t like: Bass is lacking from the in-built speakers.

👌 Standout Features:

  • Value for money
  • User-friendly controls
  • Anti-vibration design

The Victrola record player is a wonderful blend of vintage and contemporary, from its attractive appearance to its audio technology. It stands apart from other suitcase record players due to its wide variety of colors and patterns that can be matched to your personal style. It can work well as an attractive statement piece in your home or is easily transported if you’re always on the go.

The record player has modern playback capabilities, including Bluetooth wireless, headphones jack, line input, and RCA connections for external speakers. It includes in-built speakers that are more than enough for personal listening, and the inclusion of a tuned preamp ensures excellent sound quality at higher volumes. The turntable itself supports 3 playback speeds, which is perfect if you have a comprehensive vinyl collection.

This is a perfect turntable for beginners due to its super simple controls. These include an input select knob, power/volume knob, and an automatic stop that stops spinning at the end of your record. The suitcase includes sound-isolating feet at its base that minimize vibrations and ensure smooth playback, meaning it’s super simple to get great sound quality from the Victrola unit.

The in-built speakers are not the greatest quality and are a little light on their bass response. However, considering how affordable the Victrola turntable is, it’s a minor complaint that can be resolved if needed with high quality external speakers.

5. LuguLake Vintage Record Player

The LuguLake Record Player is a vintage turntable with a difference, featuring a gorgeous gramophone and powerful speakers.

✔️ What we like: A show-stopping gramophone turntable with an impressive sound.

What we don’t like: No 78RPM playback.

👌 Standout Features:

  • Solid copper gramophone
  • Powerful volume
  • User-friendly controls

The LuguLake player draws upon mid-century aesthetics with its vintage gramophone that is in a copper petal horn design. The turntable portion sits upon a handcrafted and hand painted wooden base that adds a further artisanal element to the overall design. This record player is definitely a statement piece, designed to be shown off in your living room to all friends and family.

You definitely won’t be wanting for volume with the LuguLake player, with the gramophone horn that naturally amplifies sound, and the inclusion of powerful in-built speakers. These include a 10W tweeter and dual 20W stereo speakers that reproduce balanced sound and rich bass at a powerful volume.

The turntable portion of the record player is reliable, with 2 speed playback that can support 7, 10, and 12-inch records. The turntable belt absorbs shock and minimizes vibrations for smoother playback and the sturdy metal tone arm has improved tracking for detailed sound quality.

This is a highly user-friendly unit, with the option to control the record player directly or from remote control. It also supports Bluetooth, AUX, and even FM radio playback for a diverse audio experience.

We wish that this LuguLake record player also included 78RPM playback so that it supported all vintage vinyl, but it’s still an excellent mid-range option with gorgeous and memorable design.

Guide to Choosing a Vintage Turntable

old vintage turntable

How experienced are you with vinyl?

If you’re starting out your vinyl collection and new to the world of turntables, it’s important that you choose a user-friendly unit. This could include automatic features with tone arm placement, auto stop at the end of the record, and auto play. Many units also include easy controls to switch between playback speeds and modes, simpler installation, and high quality sound that doesn’t need heavy adjustments.

However, if you’re an experienced audiophile, there are excellent high end vintage turntables with manual controls and adjustable sound. The tone arm may include some automatic features that can make your life easier, but assembly and general use is completely in your control, allowing you to find the best sound for your vintage vinyl. If you have a comprehensive record collection, it’s also definitely choosing a 3 speed system that can accommodate all your vinyl.

What’s your budget?

The amount that you’re willing to spend is particularly important when searching for a vintage turntable, because it determines the kind of player available to you.

At the budget end, there are attractive record players with vintage-style aesthetics and modern sound. They are a great combination of nostalgia and practical functionality, allowing you to pair your vinyl to a unit that reflects its image.

If you have a little more cash to splash, there are great mid-range options that combine vintage aesthetics with higher quality sound. These units include audio design that maximizes smooth playback, detailed sound, and serious volume.

If the sky’s the limit, you can find yourself an audiophile-grade turntable that is designed to bring out the best of your vintage vinyl. These turntables have superior design, durable construction, customizable sound, and will provide you with years of high quality sound.

What extra features do you need?

If you’re simply looking for a high quality unit that can do justice to your vintage vinyl, it’s worth investing in a turntable that focuses its efforts on superior sound quality. Some premium units also include vinyl to digital recording but are unlikely to have in-built speakers.

However, at the budget and mid-range price points, many units include in-built speakers with the option to connect to external entertainment systems. These turntables may also support multiple playback modes like Bluetooth wireless or FM radio, giving you control over a diverse audio experience.

The Best Vintage Turntables for All Budgets

They say that everything that’s old is new again, which is true for how popular vintage vinyl continues to be in the modern age.

Beginners and experienced audiophiles alike can delight in the superior sound and nostalgic quality that vinyl records bring.

It’s important to invest in a unit that can bring out the best of your records, so we’ve compiled a list of the best vintage turntables for all budgets and needs.

Whether you’re looking for a high quality unit that can pick up all the details of your vintage vinyl, or an attractive vintage-style record player, we’ve got you covered.

Avatar for Author at The Sound Junky

I have spent enough time around musical instruments & musicians to pass on some useful information. When I'm not rocking out to a sick beat on my stereo, you will find me sitting on a bean bag with a guitar trying to emulate the prowess of the great Mr Eric Clapton.