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10 great-looking vintage turntables / record players you can buy today

At CMF Radio, we love vinyls. This physical music format is all the rage, not only among hipsters (we’ll dedicate another article to retro cassettes) and you might be looking for the perfect turntable / record player to spin your records.  We’ve curated a selection of great-looking vintage turntables / retro record players which you can find on Amazon, all under £200. Victrola, Magnavox and Crosley are the main brands in the selection.

All old school record players presented in this selection will play 33 & 45 RPM vinyls (some will even play the old 78RPM), they will convert your precious records into digital files (great to play MP3s on all devices), connect to external gear via Bluetooth and also to a pair of speakers (RCA output) if you want to boost the sound volume and get the – retro – party started!

Some of these old school record players will be reminiscent of the Golden 1960s, other ones of the early days of vinyl, the Art Deco 1930s, with a wood or a bakelite finish. We also have a few contemporary suggestions with a discreet vintage touch. There are some retro turntables with legs and other retro record players in vintage suitcases. 

Simply pick one of these gorgeous retro turntables to bring back the good old vibes of vinyl records. Best enjoyed with a glass of wine or a cup of tea! 

vintage turntables image_cut
vintage turntable

Are old record players worth anything?

Old doesn’t mean passe. You can still get a lot of value from actual vintage record players, if they’ve been properly maintained. I would strongly encourage you to search ebay and other marketplaces for good old school record players deals. A good pair of Technics SL1200 (first launched in 1976), a Marantz TT100 or a Garrard 301/401 are absolute gems still worth their full price in 2022. 

How can you tell how old your record player is?

First of all you should know that the oldest record player ever – the Phonograph – dates back to 1877. So your record player can’t be older than that. Edison released a perfected version of his Phonograph 11 years later, in 1888. It came in a wooden box and was powered by an electric motor. It used wax cylinders. Emile Berliner introduced the Gramophone in 1888, using a flat disc. Together with Werner Suess, Berliner introduced an improved version of their Gramophone in 1889. It featured a large horn connected to the diaphragm, as pictured on the illustration featured on this page. The first celluloid records were introduced in 1900. Celluloid was one of the first forms of plastic but it was very fragile. Shellac was an alternative material (a form of organic plastic) used to manufacture the early 78rpm records.  

The first Juke Box machine was launched in 1906, called the Automatic Entertainer. The same year, Victor introduced their iconic Victrola, featuring an internal horn, beautifully presented in the shape of a fine cabinet. 

In the early 1920s, record players were used to provide sound playback to the first talking movies. This process was later replaced by a more effective sound-on-film recording. 

The first fully electric record player was launched by Brunswick in 1925. Edison introduced the 12 inch 40-min Long Playing record in 1927. 

The RCA Victor company launched a small affordable electrical turntable in 1934, the Duo Jr ($16.5 at that time), which you had to plug into the family radio. 

By the mid 1930s, coin-operated Juke boxes were the default entertainment appliance in most dance and drink establishments in the US.

The first vinyl records, as we still know them today, were introduced by Columbia and RCA just after the second World War, in 1948. Columbia invented the 33 1/3 rpm vinyl disc whereas RCA introduced the 45rpm LP. 

So if you own a record player which only plays 78rpm discs, it definitely belongs to a pre-1948 era. Record players compatible with all three formats usually date back to the 1950s when there was still an overlap between 78rpm and 33 1/3 – 45 rpm discs. 

What are vintage record players called?

Multiple names have been used throughout history to identify record players: it all started with the Phonograph, invented in 1877 by Thomas Edison at the Menlo Park lab. The name evolved into the Gramophone (a trademark since 1887). The name “record player” appeared in the 1940s. 

What was the original purpose of the Phonograph?

Originally the Phonograph was invented by Thomas Edison to record and then replay sounds, starting with the human voice. The recording of the Phonograph was captured on a sheet of tinfoil wrapped around a cylindrical drum. But the public lost interest in the original purpose of the invention and the product moved on to be mainly used to play mass produced recordings, paving the way for the advent of phonograph records, first 78rpm then 45rm and 33 1/3 rpm. 

How did people listen to music before the Phonograph?

Before the invention of the Phonograph in 1877, you only had one simple option to listen to music: attend live concerts. Or if you had the talent to play an instrument, perform the music for your own pleasure and the delight of your potential audience.

Phonograph icon vintage record player
Phonograph icon - vintage record player

How much is an old Phonograph worth?

The earliest models of the Phonograph (invented in 1877) can be found in auction sales for up to $7,000. Depending on the condition of the item, you can find some in the $2,000 to $5,000 range. Very often the horn is missing and has to be replaced with reproduction, which you buy for less than $100. 

Edison Phonograph, c. 1899
Edison Phonograph, c. 1899

What is the difference between a Phonograph and a Gramophone?

Thomas Edison’s phonographs were invented to record and replay sounds, using wax cylinders. The product later evolved to use flat spinning discs. The Gramophone, launched in 1888, immediately adopted the flat disc format. 

Edison Phonograph - Wax Cylinder
Edison Phonograph - Wax Cylinder

Our selection of vintage record players

If you’re in a nostalgic mood, here’s a great selection of 10 vintage turntables. Scroll down for our curation of vintage turntable stands.

white & yellow wood, with dusk cover, incl. RCA output

stylish suitcase-style vintage record player, 33 and 45RPM vinyls

feel like a royal entertaining friends in the 1940s with this retro gear

this vintage-looking turntable can become a piece of furniture

Crosley’s take on the iconic Bermuda turntable. Gorgeous!

you can play 33 and 45RPM vinyls and convert them into digital files

For less than £200, you can enjoy the full audio experience

another full hifi centre presented as an audio gem from the 1930s

this could be a gorgeous retro addition to your interior

If you love the 1950s style of massive American classic cars

Vintage record player stands

We’ve sourced a few great looking vintage record player stands, perfect for your retro turntable. Some of them can also safely store your beloved vinyl albums. 

This Mahohany record player stand holds approximately 75 albums. 

This open vintage record player stand holds approximately 20 records. It’s the perfect style match for Crosley retro turntables. 

another full hifi centre presented as an audio gem from the 1930s

this lovely orange 1950s industrial nightstand can also serve as a perfect vintage record player stand

Gorgeous triangle-shaped wooden turntable stand with space for up to 50 albums 

teppaz oscar advertising vintage record player
Original Teppaz Oscar advertising for the UK market, dating back to the 1950s. Marcel Teppaz (FR) sold millions of record players all over the world. Luvanis bought the Teppaz brand in 2010 with the aim to launch a new range of Teppaz record players.

if you’re looking for the iconic Fisher Price record player vintage, it’s also available in limited quantities from a few sellers on Amazon

Let’s finish this series of vintage record players with a turntable presented in a classic wooden retro suitcase