A Beginner's Guide to Record Players and Turn Tables

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A Beginner

Record players and turn tables are fantastic music-playing devices that produce a high quality sound. Both music components are popular with audiophiles (those seeking a higher than usual sound quality) as their sound is generally considered to be of better quality than that of most digital music sources such as compact discs (CDs).

Record players and turn tables are available in many different types, styles, sizes and designs to cater for the difference in individual tastes, desires, requirements and preferences.

The purpose of this guide is to inform the reader all about record players and turn tables. The guide will also examine how to purchase these items on eBay in the most efficient and safe way possible.

Record Players

Record players are for recording and reproducing (playing) the sounds that they record. The recordings played on record players consist of waveforms (the shape and form of a signal) that are engraved onto a disc or rotating cylinder. As the disc or cylinder rotates, a needle (also known as a “stylus”) traces the engraved waveforms from the disc and vibrates to reproduce the recorded sound waves.

These music-playing devices may also be called “phonographs” as any device that is capable of recording sounds and reproducing the recorded sounds can be labelled a type of phonograph. The phonograph was invented by Thomas Edison in 1877.

Turn Tables

Turn tables are record players that are typically used in conjunction with a mixer as part of a DJ set up- they may also be referred to as “decks” when used in this manner. Turn tables work in the same manner as record players; a needle is put on the record to produce music.

Turntablism is the art of manipulating sounds and creating music using phonograph turn tables and a mixer. People or DJs who consider themselves as turntablists use techniques on the turn tables like beat mixing, beat matching, scratching and beat juggling.

The history of turn tables dates back as far as the 1930s when experimental composers used them to sample and create music in the same way that many modern DJs and producers still use today.

Record Player and Turn Table Components

It’s strongly recommended that anyone interested in purchasing a record player or turn table has a basic knowledge of their components. The majority of record players and turn tables have the following components:


Also known as the base, the plinth is the foundation of the turn table that supports the rest of the components. Plinths are made from a range of materials from plastic and wood to metal. Plinths typically feature feet on the bottom to provide extra stability (this also helps produce a greater sound).


The tonearm is an arm that swings out over the record and permits the needle to make contact with the record as it spins. The tonearm is also responsible for maintaining a constant speed and sound on both the inner and outer circumference of the vinyl.

The component that holds the tonearm is known as the cueing device and it is this mechanism that lowers and lifts the tonearm. The job of the cueing device is to provide a smooth initial contact with the record without any lateral movement (which will scratch records). This cueing device can be automatic (where users simply press the start button and the record player does everything on its own) or manual (whereby the owner simply places the tonearm over the vinyl).


The platter is the component that the record rests and spins upon whilst it is playing. This component is powered by the motor hidden beneath it and often covered with a slip mat to protect the record (and dampen the vibrations). Generally speaking; the heavier the platter; the better the sound is (as there’s less vibration produced).

The platter can be set at different speeds (33RPM, 45RPM and 78RPM) to match the cut of the record. Whilst most turn tables and record players will play both 33 and 45RPM, a modification kit is often required to play the older 78RPM format.


The stylus is also commonly referred to as the needle. The casing unit that supports the stylus is known as the cartridge. These are two very important components which is why audiophiles regularly update and upgrade them in an effort to increase the quality of the sound produced. Most turn tables and record players feature a good quality stylus and cartridge however these components are generally the most-changed in record players and turn tables.

How to buy Record Players and Turn Tables on eBay

The choice of record players and turn tables online greatly outnumber those that can be found on the high street and in electronic retailers, with numerous amounts that can be reviewed and compared alongside each other aligned with the buyer’s individual tastes, requirements and preferences.

In this respect, eBay is perfect for presenting a quick, easy and effortless route into searching for record players and turn tables on the internet.

For the most successful purchase when shopping on the website, use the following advice for efficient and safe shopping on eBay:

· Search – In order to start a search on the website, enter “record player” or “turn tables” into the search toolbar. Then, using the menu on the left-hand side of the screen, select “Electronics” followed by “Audio”. And then finally select the subcategory “Record Players/Home Turn tables”.

· Brand – Many people have a preference or a favourite when it comes to electronics brands and manufacturers because they have previously purchased products from them that were of good quality.

· In this case, eBay has an extensive range of record players and turn tables from top of the range branded electronics manufacturers like Mbeat, Akai, Technics, Pro-Ject, Denon and Garrard to name only a select few.

· Shop Safely – In order to have the most successful purchase shopping on the website; always read the product description through thoroughly (in order to re-confirm exactly what is being purchased), review the postage details and payment options prior to purchase. Buyers can always contact the seller if they are unsure about any part of the transaction.

· Use PayPal – Although eBay accepts a range of payment methods, PayPal is generally considered as the safest way to make online payments. PayPal allows shoppers to send payments securely and quickly online using a credit card, bank account or PayPal balance.

· eBay Deals – Don’t forget to check out the latest deals on record players and turn tables by looking in “Audio” section of the “Electronics” department. Many fantastic additional discounts can be found here along with free postage costs.


There are many issues to consider and factors to take into account when purchasing record players and turn tables. However with the essential information and careful considerations outlined throughout this guide, coupled with eBay’s highly detailed and easy to use website, buying record players and turn tables is quick and easy.

Buying on eBay should be considered not only due to the potential of finding a good deal; but due to the extensive range of record players and turn tables that the website provides.

Buyers must always keep all personal information and banking details safe and secure by using payment authority PayPal to complete transactions with eBay sellers.

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