Join the vinyl revival, and spin some records on a state-of-the-art turntable! Here’s your guide to the best new record players.
Blame the hipsters for bringing back #oldschoolcool. Give credit to the artists for making modern music that sounds like old classics. Whatever the reason, the vinyl revival is in full swing.
Sure, MP3 players with mega speaker systems are number one (we’re in the digital age, after all). But, in a strange reversal of what happened in the ’90s, record players are replacing CD players as the home entertainment system of choice.
THE TOP-END OPTION
The Crosley Troubadour (R3 499.95, Incredible Connection) beautifully captures that throwback spirit, with its built-in speakers and wooden jukebox styling. But there’s plenty of cutting-edge tech hidden behind those retro wood panels. The Troubadour has USB/SD slots which seamlessly convert your vinyl records into digital files, saving you the hassle of working through complicated computer programs. With a CD player, FM radio and cassette tape player (remember those?), together with an aux jack for your mobile device, this is your all-round music solution.
It ain’t cheap, though. The next model down is the Crosley Musician (R2 999.95, Musica). It has the same CD/tape/radio/aux functionality as the Troubadour, can also play three speeds (33⅓, 45 and 7rpm) and also takes different record sizes (7-, 10- and 12-inch). Only difference is that the Musician doesn’t do the seamless vinyl-to-digital conversion.
The Lenco L-85 (R2 499.95, Musica) does offer USB direct encoding, but it’s purely a record player. No CDs or tapes on this one.
SPINNING ON A BUDGET
Finally, you’ve got the Crosley Messenger (R1 799.95, Musica), which is a pack-up-and-go portable turntable and feels like it’s trying to be a Walkman (seriously, remember those?). It’s flexible, playing 7-, 10- and 12-inch records at all three standard speeds. The durable hardware, headphone jack and shoulder strap are its main selling points.
If you’re going to carry your turntable around (and even if you’re not!), you’ll want to invest in some maintenance equipment. A Crosley record cleaning/anti-static brush (R349.95, Musica) and Vinyl Styl stylus cleaning kit (R399.95, Musica) should be at the top of your shopping list.
GROWING YOUR VINYL COLLECTION
Also on your shopping list? Some actual records. Once you’ve plundered your dad’s/uncle’s/own LP collection (remembering, of course, to give a nostalgic nod to the old Pop Shop compilation albums), you’ll want to expand your selection with some new albums. Be warned: new vinyl isn’t cheap. But your RCS Card will help you stock up on something new, like Ellie Goulding’s Lights (R299.95,Musica); something recent, like Amy Winehouse’s instant classic Back To Black (R359.95,Musica); or a perfectly remastered version of something old, like The Beatles’ Abbey Road (R479.95, Musica) or Miles Davis’ immortal Kind of Blue (pair it with something equally timeless on the 2 for R500 rack at Musica).
PLAY THE HITS!
Be your own DJ, and invest in a quality turntable. Your RCS Card makes it possible, giving you access to the RCS shopping network of over 23 000 retailers.
* Prices were correct at time of publication, but are subject to change.