The next big thing in music? Having a prettier vinyl player than the Joneses.
That’s at least what you could assume from a busy week for the luxury turntable market, which was capped off by a glimpse of President Obama’s White House vinyl setup.
As media reports love to tell us, vinyl is on the rise: a dead medium all but a decade ago, it's now everyone’s favorite form of antiquated media (and making money hand over fist). Accordingly, the market for turntables is starting to grow — traditional audio giants like Audio-Technica and Crosley are now even seeing competition from luxury goods makers from other sectors: think home furnishings, leather, watches and the like.
So, which one should you buy? Or more importantly, which one might you gift the vinyl junkie in your life? Let’s take a look below.
For the Casual Listener: Moore & Giles x Crosley Commonwealth C10
Best known for their retro “novelty” entry-level all-in-one record players, Crosley’s limited edition Commonwealth C10 sees the audio brand collaborating with American company Moore & Giles to outfit its most high-end deck with leather. Partnering with Pro-Ject Audio Systems, a highly regarded turntable manufacturer out of Australia, the C10 has been widely noted as Crosley’s new commitment to quality builds for the serious listener. This collaboration doubles down on that promise: customers have an option to choose between two choices of wood finish and leather, both laser-etched with artwork. The Commonwealth Collection is available for preorder now. MORE INFO HERE
For the Aesthete: Shinola Runwell Turntable
Hot on the heels of announcing its first hotel in the Motor City, this Detroit lifestyle brand’s got one more trick up its sleeve before the year is over: Shinola Audio. The Runwell Turntable, built in Detroit in partnership with audiophile-approved turntable makers VPI Industries, is the first in what’s likely to be many offerings through the brand’s new audio division. With its exposed belt and aluminum-steel construction, there’s no denying it’s a drop-dead stunning player. They plan to limit it to a 500-piece run, with a full release that includes bookshelf speakers to match. MORE INFO HERE
For the Audiophile: Technics SL-1200G
Back in ‘98, NPR called Panasonic’s Technics 1200 series turntable (the record player your correspondent has in his home setup) “the most important musical instrument of the last two-and-a-half decades,” and we were floored when the brand announced its plans to release an updated version earlier this year. That day is here. The Techincs SL-1200G is built for the fussiest DJs, and it’s got a the price tag to prove it. You won’t find a sturdier, more skip-resistant player on the market, featuring a triple-layer platter and iron-free direct drive motor that reduces vibration to an impasse. Not available for purchase online just yet, you’ll have to visit a local dealer for a full inspection. MORE INFO HERE