Hey everyone, it’s Michael from Devoted to Vinyl. And in this video, we’re going to be talking about the top 5 reasons you should consider buying an automatic turntable.
So if you’re in the market for a new turntable, then you’re probably also grappling with what kind of turntable you want to buy. And if that’s the case, then you’re really thinking about one of two options.
Either an automatic turntable, or a manual one.
Now I use the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon as my everyday turntable, but, I used to use an automatic record player, and so, I understand why somebody would actually be drawn to that type of turntable.
So if you’re unsure about which record player to get and why, I’m going to present you with my top 5 reasons for actually going and getting an automatic record player.
- If you’re in the market for a brand new turntable, please check out the interactive guide below, where you can compare some of the best record players available:
Photo Model Price Rating Key Feature
U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus $$ ★★★★ Machined Acrylic Platter
Audio Technica AT-LP60 $ ★★★★ Fully Automatic
Audio-Technica AT-LP120USB $$ ★★★★ USB Direct Drive
Crosley C200A $ ★★★★ Direct-Drive Turntable
Audio Technica AT-LP1240-USB $$ ★★★★ USB Direct Drive/DJ Table
Marantz TT-15S1 $$$ ★★★★ Solid Plinth Belt-Drive Design
Music Hall MMF 1.5 $$ ★★★★★ Built-In Phono Preamp
ProJect Classic $$$ ★★★★★ Metal/MDF Chassis
Music Hall MMF 7.3 $$$ ★★★★★ 2-speed (33/45 rpm) pulley
Pro-Ject Essential III $$ ★★★★ Ortofon OM10 cartridge
Rega Planar 1 $$ ★★★★ RB110 tonearm
Pioneer 990 $ ★★★★ Full-Automatic Operation
Rega Planar 2 $$$ ★★★★ 10mm Float-Glass Platter
Now before I get started, I think it’s important to talk about what it means when I say “automatic.”
“Automatic” really means either fully automatic or a semi-automatic record player.
Now a fully automatic record player is sort of what it sounds like. At the push of a button, the tonearm will lift out of its rest and place itself down onto the first track of the record.
Once the stylus goes into the groove, the record will play all the way to the end and then the tonearm will pick itself back up and then go back into its arm rest.
And at that point, the turntable will usually turn itself off.
Pretty simple, right?
A good example of this kind of record player is the Audio-Technica AT-LP60.
Now, with a semi-automatic record player, you will usually have to be involved in picking up the tonearm and placing it onto the first track of the record.
Alright, now with all that said, let’s jump right into it.
Why did I do that?
Okay, now coming at at number one is probably the most important thing that we all factor into the equation when it comes to buying record players, and that of course going to be money!
Now turntables can range very dramatically in price, especially when you’re talking about automatic and manual record players but, when you start getting into fully automatic record players, you can usually find them for about $150 or less.
Although, to be fair, semiautomatic turntables, like those made by Thorens and other companies, can cost quite a bit more than their fully automatic cousins.
A good way of thinking about it is that, if a manufacturer is trying to make your life more convenient when it comes to playing records, then you’re probably going to pay a little bit less. And that’s because the parts that they use are going to be cheaper plastics and things that can easily be manipulated so that the automatic mechanisms can function properly.
There’s really no question that quality is gonna be sacrificed for your convenience. But if your goal is to save money and that’s really it, then an automatic turntable—and specifically, a fully automatic turntable—is the way that you should go.
Now coming in at number two is the idea that you might be an obsessive multi-tasker. Now let me explain before you bring the pitchforks out.
Listen, we all multi-task, there’s really no question about that. But if you’re somebody that likes to play music, and specifically, you want to play vinyl records while you do other things—cook dinner, get your kids ready for school, do homework—then you’re probably somebody who wants to get an automatic record player.
Or maybe you’re somebody that just considers music to be something that should be in the background. Something that you really shouldn’t pay all that much attention to.
Shame on you.
If you’re worried you’re going to be pre-occupied doing too many other things outside of being able to monitor whether or not your tonearm needs to be lifted back into its armrest, then you’re probably somebody that really, really, really, REALLY, should invest in an automatic turntable.
Alright, now coming in at number three is somewhat similar to number two, and that’s falling asleep.
If you’re somebody that knows that they want to fall asleep while listening to records, or, if you’re somebody that works so much that you’re really, really worried you’re gonna just accidentally fall asleep while listening to records, then you absolutely need to get an automatic turntable.
At the end of the day, you don’t want your records spinning for hours and hours and hours and hours and hours while you’re sleeping. And so, if this is a serious concern for you, you really should consider getting an automatic turntable which will automatically—
You see what I did there!
Turn off your turntable once your records finish playing.
Okay, now coming in at number four is the idea of making the complicated very, very simple to use.
The truth is that, if you get a manual turntable, you’re going to have to worry about everything from cartridge upgrades to anti-skate control to tracking force adjustment.
And if any of what I just said makes your head hurt, then you probably really do need to get an automatic turntable.
Now, the downside to this, is that you’re not going to be able to control a lot of how your music is going to ultimately sound. You’re not necessarily going to have the best musical experience when it comes to sound. But the fact is that, automatic turntables are geared towards people who love convenience.
And so, if you really don’t want to be bothered with all of these extra things that you have to control and adjust and potentially buy, then just get an automatic turntable.
Nummmmmber five! Number five!
Okay, now coming in at number five is the idea that you really, at the end of the day, simply don’t plan to play a lot of records.
Shame on you.
Now this is very much a personal choice. Nobody but you knows how often you plan to spin your records but, if you’re somebody who knows that you’re not going to be able to play your records very often, or you really just don’t have an interest in playing them regularly, then it really does not make sense to pay a lot of money for a manual turntable.
And so if you’re perfectly content buying an automatic turntable because you feel it meets a lot of your needs, then that’s exactly what you should do.
So that’s it guys, those are my top five reasons for buying an automatic record player. Hopefully you found it to be a little bit helpful and if you did, I would love it if you could hit the like button down below. It really helps other people find this video and I would really appreciate it if you could take the time out of your day to do that.
And before I get outta here, I wanted to leave you all with one question. If you’re somebody that’s been spinning records for lots of years, do you remember you very first turntable, and if so, what was it?
If you’re somebody that’s relatively brand new to vinyl records, did you begin with an automatic turntable, and if so, which one?
Make sure you leave your answers and your reasons down below. I’ll be down there commenting and replying to as many people as I can. And once again, thank you for watching. And I will see you next week.
Shame on you.
I need that—I need that bell.
- If you enjoyed reading this video transcript, please subscribe to my Devoted to Vinyl YouTube channel, as well as “like” my Devoted to Vinyl Facebook page! We hope to see you again.
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