Discover which turntable best suits your needs

Record players could be found in most households up until the 1980s, before the needle and groove technology was replaced by smaller, more compact devices such as cassette tapes. This stereophonic device impacted how people listened to and enjoyed music in the 20th century, and is still influential today.

Over the past few decades the turntable has made a comeback in the recorded music scene. Despite the evolution of cassettes, compact discs and MP3 players, vinyl records and turntables are back in style.

 Kurt Villanueva, owner of the Audio Room, a company specializing in hi-fi speaker technology in Calgary, could not be more excited about the turntable’s resurgence.

“People want that perfect sound, perfect ambience, and perfect vibe,” says Villanueva. “It is still a niche market but it is awesome to see a younger generation becoming involved.”Kurt Villanueva, owner of the Audio Room, says he is glad to see another generation appreciating the distinct sound quality that vinyl records offer. Photo by Devon Henry

He says the rise in popularity of the turntable is due to the mass production of music, thanks to the help of Apple’s iPod and iTunes technologies.

With quick and easy access to all genres of music, Villanueva explains that people are now more invested in the quality of sound they can achieve with these turntables, and younger millennials are the driving force.

“Millennials want perfection, they want to experience real life through technology. They are addicted to always having the best quality.”

Turntables and audio equipment can range in price from as little as a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands. For this very reason, The Calgary Journal explored some of the basics an emerging vinyl enthusiast needs to know.

Villanueva suggests three different turntable models. He reminds music fans that the purpose of a turntable is to lessen the vibration on the record, so the differences between turntable models are the multiple components that inhibit vibrations. But at the end of the day, you must first listen to the turntable in order to make a genuine decision.

Project Elemental ($280)

The Project Elemental is the starting point for any new audio enthusiast. It’s start-and-go design means that after purchase all one needs to do is take off the wrapping and plug it in. What makes this model a great bang for your buck is there is no plastic. This is key to reducing vibrations. Photo by Devon Henry

Thorens TD 209 ($1600)

Thorens is the longest running manufacturer of turntables, and for that reason they are the most respected brand on the market today. The carbon fibre tone arm and dual acrylic aluminum platter are specifically designed and developed to ease the vibrations on the record. Photo by Devon Henry

Scheu Timbre (3300-$7000)

The Scheu Timbre is the top of the line turntable. By the time you move up to the higher end Scheu you already know the quality that you are looking for. It will give you the most realistic sound. The price of the Timbre is based on the additional features you can choose to enhance the quality of sound. Photo by Devon Henry

Thumbnail image provided by Devon Henry

dhenry@cjournal.ca

The editor responsible for this article is Jodi Brak, jbrak@cjournal.ca