12 Best Vintage Turntables In 2022: Our Honest Review

Best Vintage Turntables

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The vinyl record is a fascinating animal – the hottest thing on the market these days, records outsold even digital music downloads by a healthy margin last year, and yet they have an undeniable vintage appeal that makes them feel – and sound – so very last millennium.

Given vinyl’s combination of undeniable old-school vibe and astounding popularity right now, it’s totally understandable that so many people are not just looking for a new turntable or record player, but really want one with a similar vintage appeal.

And that’s what we’re here for – to find the 12 best vintage record players and turntables you can buy today, with a brief description and review of each choice.

If you’re in a hurry, and just want to see my recommendations, here are the six top picks:

What Is a Vintage Turntable?

It definitely could be argued that all turntables and record players made today are “vintage,” since they, well, you know, play records. 

I totally get this, and agree, and I think that even some of the most beautiful, futuristic turntables you can get – like the superlative Rega Planar 3, as one example – are at their hearts retro products – thrillingly high-tech, leading-edge, avant-garde retro products, in the case of the Rega, and with sound quality that is nothing short of stunning, but yeah, still old school.

And so you can really look at any turntable or all-in-one record player as retro, but in this article, we’re going to have a bit more fun with it, with a few products that are not just well built and great sounding, but with real flair and a kind of yesteryear style that really sets them apart.

Who Makes the Best Vintage Turntables?

The answer to that question really depends on what type of turntable we’re talking about, and I’m actually going to include two basic types of retro turntables in this buyer’s guide:

Record Players – this is a turntable, but also a complete stereo system. At a minimum, a record player will include stereo speakers – most often built into the single chassis, but sometimes separate – and an inbuilt amp many of the coolest retro record players will also have radios, CD players, and/or cassette decks, and a host of digital options as well, like USB connectivity and Bluetooth wireless.

Despite their often surprisingly high-tech leanings, though, these all-in-one systems are quite frequently very nice vintage in styling and are as beautiful looking as they are great sounding. They make a great gift for Christmas, birthdays, or any other occasion, and an especially thoughtful and unexpected wedding present.

Turntables – the more properly audiophile option, a turntable will not have speakers and is just made for one thing – playing records. This they do with often extraordinary effectiveness and accuracy, and even though many record players sound great – especially for their price – turntables will always offer significantly better sound quality.

More expensive than most all-in-one record-playing systems from the get-go, turntables need to be connected to a stereo system – like an amplifier or receiver with speakers, or a suitable wireless powered speaker – and so the overall cost is higher still.

But again for the sound quality, and for really taking care of precious records, a good turntable is always worth it to hi-fi enthusiasts, avid record collectors, and music lovers.

If we’re asking who makes the best vintage record players, we are really spoiled for choices, and here at Speakergy we love and often recommend, many of the inexpensive but excellent products by a few wonderful companies like Crosley, DigitNow, and ByronStatistics, but we are particularly enamored of the brilliant product line from Victrola.

The real leader in the vintage-style-meets-high-tech game, Victrola makes a wide range of beautifully crafted and uniquely styled retro record players, all of which sound great – often unbelievably good for their price. I’ll include a couple of my favorite Victrola record players below, but you can check out their full line on the Victrola Products Page.

When it comes to turntables, the best vintage turntables are – not surprisingly – from the same companies that made the best and most popular turntables back in the 70s and 80s, like Audio Technica, Technics, Thorens, the aforementioned Rega, and a few others.

These typically superb turntables can range from surprisingly affordable to super-pricey, and while they might not always have the most obvious retro styling, all of my choices have that kind of basic look, design, and functionality of the best product from back then, but with improvements that come from decades of design refinements and advancing technology.

So let’s take a closer look at my top 12 choices for the best vintage record players and best vintage turntables on the market today.

The Best Vintage Turntables and Record Players in 2022

Best Budget Vintage Record Player

Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Portable Suitcase Record Player with Speakers

  • Type: Record Player with Speakers
  • Speeds: 33, 45 & 78
  • Includes Cartridge? Yes

I have played with and listened to a lot, lot, lot of cheap record players, and the overwhelming majority of them feel and sound as cheap as they are – in fact, usually even cheaper.

But the Victrola Vintage, which is still among the least expensive you can get, is a wonderful exception, with real material quality, solidity and reliability at a very, very low price – not to mention a super-fun retro look.

And it’s not just the look and feel of this amazing little suitcase record player, but the sound quality as well. In fact it’s quite amazing how good the sound is from this Victoria Vintage record player and included stereo cartridge and stylus.

Though this is in many ways a very basic machine, the Vintage also features Bluetooth streaming, so you can play music from your phone or other device through the Vintage’s surprisingly excellent speakers, and an auxiliary output as well, if you want to connect it to a larger stereo system or powered speaker – though with the way this all-in-one sounds, you may not want to. 

Is the Victrola Vintage record player the perfect gift? Absolutely – just don’t let them know how much you spent!

Best Budget Vintage Turntable

Audio-Technica AT-LP60X Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable

  • Type: Turntable – No Amp or Speakers
  • Speeds: 33 & 45
  • Includes Cartridge? Yes
Sale
Audio-Technica AT-LP60X-BK Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable, Black, Hi-Fi, 2 Speed, Dust...
  • Experience the high fidelity audio of vinyl
  • Fully automatic belt drive turntable operation with 2 speeds: 33 1/3, 45 RPM
  • Anti resonance, die cast aluminum platter
  • Redesigned tone arm base and head shell for improved tracking and reduced resonance
  • Ac adapter handles AC/DC conversion outside of the chassis, reducing noise in the signal chain.

The Audio-Technica AT-LP60X belt drive turntable looks pretty much exactly like one of those super-popular budget hi-fi turntables from the 80s, the ones that all budding audiophiles wanted – all you need are some Flock of Seagulls and Human League records and you’re all set!

Flash forward 40 years and we find that this incredibly well made and beautiful sounding Audio Technica turntable is indeed the dream for younger audiophiles today, as well as the go-to ‘table for any real music lover on a budget, and is one of the most popular and highly rated affordable turntables on the market.

With a low mass tonearm and a highly musical AT phono cartridge with diamond stylus for better tracking and less record wear, outboard DC conversion, high quality DC motor and belt drive for reduced noise, and stiff, stable and acoustically deadened components throughout for the lowest possible resonance, the LP60 is built more like high end audio gear, and is a true high fidelity piece at a very low price. And the built in phono preamplifier means it will work with pretty much any stereo system or powered speaker out there.

Ok, maybe it’s not the prettiest or most exciting looking turntable, but the Audio-Technica really is so reminiscent of the best budget hi-fi products of the early 80s, and for sound quality and overall quality it’s the very best turntable I know at this price. But, even with all of that, if it’s still not quite retro enough, I have just two words for you: Duran Duran!

Best Budget Vintage All-In-One Record Player

Victrola Nostalgic 6-in-1 Bluetooth Record Player & Multimedia Center with Speakers

  • Type: All-in One System with Speakers
  • Speeds: 33 & 45
  • Includes Cartridge? Yes
  • Includes Record Player, CD Player, Cassette Deck and Radio
Sale
Victrola Nostalgic 6-in-1 Bluetooth Record Player & Multimedia Center with Built-in Speakers -...
  • 6-in-1 ENTERTAINMENT CENTER – With vintage looks on the outside & modern features inside, listen your way; vinyl records, CDs, cassettes,...
  • NO STEREO SYSTEM OR EXTRA EQUIPMENT REQUIRED. Get it up and running in minutes. Retro looks combined with the convenience of modern...
  • THREE SPEED BELT-DRIVEN TURNTABLE – This 3-speed (33 1/3, 45, 78 rpm) record player features UPGRADED PREMIUM SOUND QUALITY with minimum...
  • EXPANDED CONNECTION OPTIONS – Extend the sound by connecting external speakers or an amplifier via the RCA Line outputs (cable included)....
  • Compatible devices: Bluetooth enabled Devices

Back to Victrola for a fantastic all-in-one music system – really all in one, in fact, since the Nostalgic includes not just a nice record player, but also a CD player, a cassette deck, and an FM radio. You can even stream Bluetooth devices like your phone, and play your digital files or internet music on its nice stereo speakers.

And talk about vintage! The nice brass and wood finish, the classic analog radio dial, the grill cloth and the big hinged lid all look just right, and the premium fit and finish make this a really beautiful piece.

But great looks aren’t enough to make the cut in this buyer’s guide to the best retro record players and turntables, and the Victrola Vintage is a beautiful sounding machine as well, with great clarity and musical energy, rich tone and surprising bass, and is built to last – highly recommended!

Great Vintage Turntable for Archiving your Records

1 BY ONE Belt Drive Turntable – Bluetooth, Phono Preamp, Digital Output

  • Type: Turntable – No Amp or Speakers
  • Speeds: 33 & 45
  • Includes Cartridge? Yes
Sale
1 BY ONE Belt Drive Turntable with Bluetooth Connectivity, Built-in Phono Pre-amp, USB Digital...
  • Bluetooth Connectivity: Pair with Bluetooth speakers or headphones for an amazing, wire-free experience; Even better, no receiver needed
  • Magnetic Cartridge Stylus: The diamond-tipped stylus cartridge is designed to produce rich sound and outstanding clarity, tracking your...
  • Adjustable Counterweight Force: Get perfect playback every time using the tonearm counterweight and advanced anti-skating system; These...
  • Great Connectivity Options: Enjoy vinyl playback with any amplifier using the built-in Magnetic type Preamp; This turntable includes both...
  • Vinyl Recording via PC: Connect this turntable to your computer via USB and encode vinyl audio into MP3s for digitalized storage and...

The 1 by ONE belt drive turntable, with its glossy wood finish, lovely chrome buttons and platter, and classic straight-arm design, is to me the perfect minimalist vintage piece, and would look as at home plugged into a big stereo receiver from the late 70s as it does sitting next to a sleek Bluetooth smart speaker of today.

And it’s ready for either, with all kinds of both classic and modern connectivity options – standard wired phono and line outputs for any stereo system and both wired and wireless digital outputs for Bluetooth speakers or headphones or pretty much any other device. The 1 by ONE even makes it super easy to make digital recordings of all your precious vinyl records, and can connect effortlessly to any PC.

But what I love about it – and what so many customers also rave about – is the sound – that perfect balance of high-definition accuracy, detail and clarity and lovely analog warmth. The stable and low resonance base, low mass tonearm and excellent included Audio-Technica cartridge will get the most from any record, and will make sure all of your precious vinyl lasts as long – and sounds as good – as possible.

The 1 by ONE belt drive turntable is a versatile, well made and reliable product that will offer incredible sound for the money, and has a simple vintage style that is really heightened by the quality of materials and overall fit and finish – a great turntable and a great value!

The Coolest of the Cool, and Useful to Boot!

Crosley Dansette Bermuda Bluetooth Portable Turntable with Aux-in

  • Type: Record Player with Speakers
  • Speeds: 33 & 45
  • Includes Cartridge? Yes
Sale
Crosley CR6233E-TN Dansette Bermuda Bluetooth in/Out Portable Turntable with Aux-in, Tourmaline
  • Bluetooth connectivity lets you easily play your vinyl on your favorite wireless speaker, or stream your music wirelessly to the built-in...
  • Belt driven turntable mechanism plays two speeds: 33 1/3 and 45 RPM records
  • Adjustable pitch control
  • Portable audio ready with auxiliary input
  • Portable turntable comes complete with matching stand

I really just want to say that the Crosley Dansette Bermuda record player is cool, and leave it at that. I mean, just look at it!

But in fact this is a serious record player in so many ways. First of all, it sounds fantastic, with that wonderful analog warmth and musicality we all want, and with surprisingly high definition for an affordable all-in-one record player – really striking clarity, detail and definition, lovely vocals, sparkling highs and surprisingly deep and powerful bass.

And while the Bermuda is a basic record player in the best old-school way, with no additional functionality whatsoever, it does include some nice and super-useful connectivity options – a simple auxiliary wired output for connecting it to a bigger stereo and – probably even more important to many of us – two-way Bluetooth wireless streaming, allowing you to play music from your phone or other device on the built-in stereo speakers and to stream your records to a wireless speaker, or even to your PC for archival digital recording.

There are all-in-one stereos on our list of best vintage record players that do a lot more, and there are separate hi-fi turntables that may sound better, but for retro flair and overall style the Crosley Dansette Bermuda is easily my favorite, and is a well made and great sounding record player as well – an easy recommendation!

Unique Styling and Sweet Sound

LuguLake Retro Record Player with Copper Horn

  • Type: Record Player with Speakers – and a Horn!
  • Speeds: 33 & 45
  • Includes Cartridge? Yes
LuguLake Record Player Retro Turntable All in One Vintage Phonograph Nostalgic Gramophone for LP...
  • 【2-Speed(33/45RPM) Vinyl Record Player Turntable With Sophisticated Details / Support Vinyl Record Of 7"/10"/12"】Featured fine and...
  • 【Offering High Quality & Richer Stereo Sound - A 10W Tweeter and 2 x 20W Full-range Stereo Speakers】The brass horn equipped with a 10W...
  • 【A High Spec Phonograph Turntable - Belt Drive Turntable with Ruby Stylus & Brass Horn】In order to offering this gramophone with best...
  • 【Also Can Act As A Vintage Look Music Player & Bluetooth/Aux in】 This gramophone can not only stream your favorite music from your...
  • 【Quick and Easy To Set Up/Support Remote Control】Simply install it with a very easy understanding manual within 10 minutes, no skill or...

I have a friend who got a LuguLake record player for his den, and invited me over to see and hear it – and I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive, expecting it to be a bit cheesy and to not sound so great. But when I got there and spent some time with it, I was frankly amazed.

Not only is it a strikingly designed piece, with its big copper gramophone horn and antique styling, it is a truly high quality piece as well, with beautiful wood and metal, styling that is ornate and yet very tasteful, and very nice fit and finish in all regards – and, it must be said, it makes a bit impact.

The LuguLake record player also amazed me with its sound – which is far more important to me. The horn actually plays music, utilizing a remarkably clear and musical midrange/tweeter that has great presence and dynamic energy, and there are two full range stereo speakers on the side that also have beautifully clear and musical sound. The overall presentation is rich, full and surprisingly powerful, and gives an excellent stereo image.

The LuguLake record player also has Bluetooth wireless streaming and wired inputs, so you can use the wonderful amp and speakers to play music from all kinds of other devices, but I think my friend really just got it because of its amazing style – the useful tech, the superb fit and finish and the beautiful sound were all just bonuses.

If you love the way it looks, don’t hesitate – you’re sure to love the way it sounds even more!

A Boss All-In-One Bookshelf Stereo (Really? Boss?)

Jensen JMC-1250 Stereo Turntable Music System with Cassette & CD

  • Type: All-in One System with Speakers
  • Speeds: 33 & 45
  • Includes Cartridge? Yes
  • Includes Record Player, CD Player, Cassette Deck and Radio
Jensen® Bluetooth® 3 Speed Stereo Turntable 3 CD Changer Music System with Dual Cassette Deck,...
  • Belt Drive 3-Speed Stereo Turntable - 33/45/78 RPM
  • 3 CD Changer/Player with Motorized CD Tray
  • Bluetooth 3.0 - Supports A2DP, HFP
  • MP3 CD and CD-R/RW Compatible
  • Auto Stop Dual Cassette Deck

If you were to walk into any dorm room, den, workshop or man cave in the 80s, you would very likely see a stereo that looks just like this retro Jensen bookshelf record player / stereo system – and chances are pretty good it was a Jensen!

Well, actually a college student would have to be pretty lucky to have such a boss system – this Jensen JMC-1250  does, after all, have not just one but two cassettes, and not just a CD player but a 3 CD changer, as well as Bluetooth streaming – ok, in the 80s the Bluetooth would have been pretty useless, and quite mysterious, but nonetheless, with tons of power, tons of bass, programmability, built-in EQ, remote control and a sweet LCD display this would be the dream system for sure.

And for all its retro form and functionality, and real vintage look and appeal, the Jensen JMC-1250 is also just a great sounding stereo, with bigger, more dynamic sound than you would ever expect from a bookshelf system, plenty of detail and real clarity and a nicely warm and musical sound overall.

I’ve already mentioned Victrola plenty of times – here and everywhere else – and they also have some of the best all in one stereo systems with record players you can buy – the Victrola Aviator 8-in-1 Record Player & Multimedia Center is one excellent choice, with a look so vintage it’s essentially antique. But for a (slightly) more modern vintage look and – though I hate to say it! – markedly better sound, the Jensen JMC-1250 is a fantastic choice.

A True Modern Classic

Audio-Technica AT-LP120USB  Direct-Drive Turntable

  • Type: Turntable – No Amp or Speakers
  • Speeds: 33, 45 & 78
  • Includes Cartridge? Yes
Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB-BK Direct-Drive Turntable (Analog & USB), Fully Manual, Hi-Fi, 3 Speed,...
  • Experience the high-fidelity audio of vinyl
  • Direct-drive, DC servo motor with selectable 33/45/78 RPM speeds. Damped base construction for reduced low-frequency feedback coloration
  • Fully manual operation featuring adjustable dynamic anti-skate control, variable pitch control with quartz speed lock, and balanced S-shaped...
  • Convert your vinyl records to digital audio files by downloading and using the free Mac- and PC-compatible Audacity recording software (or...
  • Includes: USB cable, detachable RCA output cable (dual RCA male to dual RCA male), AC adapter, 45 RPM adapter, counterweight, felt mat, and...

The Audio-Technica AT-LP120 not only has the distinction of being perhaps the most popular and iconic turntable in its price range, and possibly the finest sounding, but also the ‘table that looks most like ones from the heyday of vinyl playback some 40 years ago.

With the familiar curved tonearm, DJ speed control and strobe stripes on the side of the platter, this beautiful piece could have been lifted directly from a hi-fi system or club from the 80s, but in fact was first introduced only about 12 years ago, and now stands as a true classic among not only old-school disc jockeys but also audiophiles, record collectors and music lovers looking for the very best sounding, affordable turntable.

Built to last, and designed and engineered to not only make your records sound as good as possible, but to also really take care of them, the Audio-Technica AT-LP120USB is also a brilliant choice for anybody who wants to convert their vinyl to digital files, with its excellent onboard analog to digital convertor and USB wired connection. For even greater convenience, you can also opt for the Bluetooth wireless version, the AT-LP120XBT.

Either way you go, the Audio-Technica AT-LP120 is not just the best vintage turntable you can get at this price, it is one of the best values in consumer audio today. Yes, I do think the Rega P2, below, is better, and it’s my personal favorite, but all things considered (including price) the AT-LP120 gets my nod for the best vintage turntable overall.

Beautiful Retro Styling meets Modern Tech

Victrola Jackson: 7-in-1 Record Player / Music Center

  • Type: All-in One System with Speakers
  • Speeds: 33, 45 & 78
  • Includes Cartridge? Yes
  • Includes Record Player, CD Player, USB Player and Radio
Victrola Jackson: 7-in-1 Music Center, Espresso
  • Belt Driven, 3-speed Turntable (33 1/3, 45, 78 RPM) plays all of your favorite vinyl records
  • Wirelessly stream music from your Bluetooth enabled device, up to 33 feet away
  • Features CD player, USB player, FM radio, 3.5mm aux-in, and headphone jack
  • Powerful, 40 watt stereo speakers
  • Remote control included

Ok, I admit it – this has turned into a bit of a Victrola love-fest. But for the best vintage record players, with advanced technology and capabilities and amazing sound for the money, it really is about our favorite company here at Speakergy – and definitely so at the lower price levels.

And the Victrola Jackson is not just all that – great sounding and surprisingly advanced in tech and functionality – it is also a knock-out piece in terms of styling.

Its long, slender (and surprisingly sturdy) legs and its large, beautifully finished cabinet, with a nice complement of wood, metal and cloth surfaces, reminds you of one of those wonderful mid-century modern console stereos we imagine our grandparents sitting around, probably listening to Buddy Holly, Frank Sinatra, Brenda Lee, or – if they were as weird and wacky as my grandparents – maybe some Spike Jones or Miles Davis.

A three speed (33, 45 & 78) record player, CD player, USB player and FM stereo radio all sound just amazing through the Jackson’s big speakers. With so much power it will play as loud as you want and still sound fantastic, but low volumes and more intimate music sound equally full and rich. Advanced tech means that you have Bluetooth streaming and can play digital music files, and yet the Jackson is incredibly easy to use – both the simple and well-labeled front panel and the included remote control.

A truly premium product that is still quite affordable, and easily one of the best values on this list of best vintage record players, the Victoria Jackson is an ideal complete music system for any home, and a very impressive one on every level. Besides, the name sounds like the star of some prime-time drama series from the 80s – how retro can you get?

And Spike Jones? If you don’t know, check YouTube – you won’t be sorry!

My Favorite Vintage Turntable

Rega Planar 2 Belt Drive Turntable with Rega Carbon Cartridge

  • Type: Turntable – No Amp or Speakers
  • Speeds: 33 & 45
  • Includes Cartridge? Yes
Rega Planar 2 Turntable with RB220 tonearm, Glass-platter and Carbon Cartridge (Gloss Black)
  • Re-designed feet - New improved foot assembly to increase stability and reduce vibration transfer.
  • Carbon cartridge - supplied as standard on all Planar 2’s for simple plug and play convenience.
  • Motor cover tray - with integrated cooling.
  • Optional lid / plinth protectors - supplied to prevent marks on the plinth and keep it looking its best.
  • Instructions - Easy to use multi-lingual quick start guide for easy set up.

How could this sleekly beautiful, modernistic turntable, the Rega Planar 2, possibly be considered vintage, retro or anything other than the way of the future?

Simply because the newest Rega Planar 2 is a direct descendant of the original, and classic, Planar 2 made 45 years ago. Even then, the Planar 2 had a truly futuristic look, and a very similar super-cool glass platter, and by the mid 80s – still almost 40 years ago – the Planar 2 looked very much like it does today.

So if you ever had – or perhaps more likely ever dreamed of having – one of the original Rega Planar 2 turntables, the newest incarnation may look more familiar than futuristic, and even have a vintage vibe that really takes you back. I once owned a mid-80s Planar 2, with the nice green logo, and this newest model is a real sentimental favorite for me personally.

But much more importantly, the original Rega Planar 2, and every single iteration since, have been pure and unquestionable classics, truly among the most important turntables ever made, and – while not cheap – widely considered to be perhaps the very best values in audiophile record playback.

It is hard now to understand the impact of the original late 70s Planar 2, but suffice it to say that the P2 proved without a doubt that a budget – or at least not carelessly wealthy – audiophile could experience the very highest levels of performance – superb resolution and retrieval of information, superior acoustic and electrical isolation, incredible phase coherence and unreal imaging, and the lowest noise floor this side of 5 figures.

Really, the Rega Planar 2 is so close to the best – and by “the best” I really do mean ‘tables that can sometimes cost literally ten times as much – that it was nothing short of a revolution.

And whether you find it so very vintage, or futuristic to the extreme, the newest Rega Planar 2 turntable is exactly the same in this respect – a revolution in high-end audiophile value – and a continuous, and continuously delightful, revelation every time you listen to it.

We’ve got a couple of even pricier products yet to cover, but for me this is it – the finest sounding product on this list – especially with the supplied Rega RB220 tonearm and Carbon cartridge – and the best vintage turntable most of us can afford.

There Are Classics, There Are Legends, and Then There Is the 1200!

Technics SL1200 MK7 Turntable

  • Type: Turntable – No Amp or Speakers
  • Speeds: 33 & 45
  • Includes Cartridge? No

Lots of turntables out there, including a few on this list of best retro turntables in 2022, look very much like the best turntables from the 70s, but the legendary Technics SL1200 is different – it actually was one of the best turntables in the 70s.

Originally released 50 years ago, and continuously improved and refined ever since, the 1200 is now in its seventh generation, and is widely acclaimed as perhaps the very finest DJ turntable in the world, and one of the finest sounding and best made direct drive turntables for audiophiles and music lovers as well.

Most of the money, engineering and design of the SL1200 MK7 has gone into the finest materials and components, including a very low noise and exceptionally stable coreless motor, a low resonance tonearm that is especially sweet sounding with the (not included) Audio-Technica AT-VM95SH Dual Moving Magnet Turntable Cartridge, and exceptional physical and acoustical dampening throughout, leading to the most accurate and high resolution record tracking and playback possible.

Expensive 50 years ago, and expensive still today, there is no doubt in my mind that the Audio-Technica AT-SL1200 MKK7 is one of the best values in all of audio, and one of the finest turntables you can get, and has not just a fantastic vintage look and feel, but fantastic vintage genes.

Please note that the SL1200 MK7 does not include a cartridge, and while I do love it with the VM95 I mention above, which is possibly the very best sounding choice for this ‘table, many DJs would prefer the Ortofon OM Q.Bert – another true legend.

The Most Beautiful Vintage Turntable on the Planet

Thorens TD 1600 Reference Stereo Turntable with Tonearm (High Gloss Walnut)

  • Type: Turntable – No Amp or Speakers
  • Speeds: 33 & 45
  • Includes Cartridge? No
Thorens TD 1600 High-End Sub Chassis Turntable (High Gloss Walnut)
  • Thorens TD 1600 combines the brand’s tradition of the past with 21st century’s technology. Externally quite similar to former famous 160...
  • The conical springs for sub chassis are not mounted on top board any longer but standing on the bottom. Additionally, a small but strong...
  • Stabilized sub chassis on three conical springs. Polished precision belt.
  • Two part platter. Adjustable belt tension. Electronical controlled motor.
  • balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) output. Thorens precision tonearm TP 92 9“.

Ok, full disclosure here – I have spent a total of maybe 30 minutes listening to the impressive Thorens TD 1600 turntable, and can’t really make any qualified assessment of its sound. I can say that it is one of the most beautiful audio pieces I’ve ever seen, as solid and finely finished as any turntable I’ve encountered and an absolute joy to use.

And it is perhaps the most vintage – or at least the most importantly vintage – turntable on our list of best retro record players and ‘tables, seeing as it is the direct descendant of the absolutely legendary Thorens TD 160, which looked so traditional and yet contained so many revolutionary advances and innovations – and was by many accounts the most high resolution, warm, musical and beautiful sounding turntable in existence in the 70s – or, for that matter, in the 80s or 90s.

A good TD 160 can be had for around a thousand dollars, though they can go way up from there, and so is this stunning new TD 1600 worth the extra money? It is, after all, just shy of four grand… 

Again, I cannot say personally, although the listening I did was amazing, revealing a truly superb playback system with top-tier dynamics and expressivity, warmth and tonal beauty and astonishing retrieval of detail. And I can say without a doubt that if you want the most beautiful looking and most finely crafted – vintage or otherwise – turntable made today, the Thorens TD 1600 gets my vote.

Friends tell me that it is an astonishing turntable in all other regards as well, and does everything just right, with the lowest noise floor, the best isolation on all levels, the purest phase response and amazingly extended frequency response, and a sound that is more beautiful than you can possibly imagine – and so beautiful because the table itself is so very neutral and transparent.

So, though I don’t like to endorse or recommend products I’m not that familiar with personally, I would have to say the Thorens TD 1600 is not just worth the money, but is one of the best and most beautiful pieces of audio gear ever made, and one of the very best sounding as well – it is reputedly the equal of high-end turntables that cost several thousand of dollars more, and is unquestionably prettier than any of them.

Keep in mind that the Thorens TD 1600 does not include a cartridge – I listened to it with a Thorens TD 1600 moving coil cartridge, which seemed like a wonderful match, but it’s reported that this turntable has a truly magical synergy with the acclaimed Sumiko Songbird High Output MC Phono Cartridge.