Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I (finally) bought a turntable!

I've been in the market for a turntable for a while, but I'm a little bit of a commitment-phobe. I would decide on one, and then change my mind. I've spent hours researching on the internet, and bugging my friend Matthew (who's the closest thing to a vinyl expert I know) about what to look for and avoid. I had the basics figured out, and I knew I didn't want a Crosley (they're beautiful but can absolutely ruin your records! No thanks!), but I was just starting to look seriously into buying one. Then I ran across this beauty while thrifting with some friends a couple weekends ago:

I know, right? 1956 Magnavox. Mid-century, mustardy-gold goodness. Only a couple slight problems: I could find absolutely zero information on the quality of the turntable online, and that little red tag up there said that it needed a new belt. My brother tried to talk me into buying it, because he's really mechanically inclined, but I just wasn't sure. So I left it.

Then I kept thinking about it all week.

So last Friday, my brother and I went back to look at it again. I was even less decisive than I was the first time, even though I was in love with the console regardless of the turntable. So I left it again. But the more I thought about it, the more I was convinced that I wanted it--and so were quite a few of my friends on Instagram when I posted that picture! Haha. I figured, hey, even if the turntable isn't fixable or is just really crappy, I can always remove it and use the cabinet to keep a new turntable when I buy one. I really didn't think I'd be able to buy a little vintage end table for what I paid for this (it was a steal, you guys), much less one that I could store stuff in! So I grabbed my husband and made him go look at it with me.

This time it ended up in our living room. 

My brother came over the next day to use our internet, and he brought a little wax, polished it up, and started tinkering.

Neither of us is really sure what he did exactly, but it went from running slowly to running normally!

So we enjoyed a little Steve Miller.....John Denver......Simon & Garfunkel.......Genesis (I have a bit of a soft spot for Phil Collins)....and some old Mexican love songs from a record that came with the table. It's still not at 100% just yet, but with a few more tweaks, it will definitely do for awhile! I'll probably end up upgrading the turntable eventually, but for now I'm super stoked that I can actually listen to these records I have laying around.


  1. I am positively in love with it! I want to find a good old one, just to 'display,' once I have enough home space for one!

    I have a Crosley - my parents got it for me for Christmas a few years back, and Blake has one (except a different model), as well. Blake has never had a single problem with his, but mine is little hit or miss every now and then (the speakers aren't always the greatest), and I should probably get the needle replaced. It's never ruined any records (except the Barton Hollow track on the Civil Wars won't play!), but I have heard of that happening!
    Anyway all that to say - I don't necessarily think that Crosley's are the worst for records, but if you're going to shell out some cash for a record player... go with something else!

    Whew. Sorry, that is a wall of words. ;)

  2. I think Crosley's are BEAUTIFUL....especially those portable ones they've come out with. Have you seen the floral one? Swoon. I wish there were other alternatives with the same quality aesthetics.

    From what I've seen & been told by people who are super-serious about their vinyl, the damage Crosleys do accumulates over time. They use a ceramic cartridge, and they actually track heavier than most DJ turntables. Good because vibrations won't cause them to skip, but bad because the extra weight pushes the needle deeper into the grooves of the records, ruining them over repeated plays. If you only listen to your records occasionally, probably not such a big deal. I'm one of those people who pretty much always has music playing, though, and I rarely ever "retire" an album. Sounds like you've had good luck with yours so far, though! I just have several vintage albums and some that my dad owned, so I don't want to take any chances. :)


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