If you have a love for vintage turntables, and you also have an affinity for Sony, then you won’t be surprised to know that vintage Sony turntables are some of the more impressive old school record players. So in this article, I’m going to share my favorite vintage turntables made by Sony, which should hopefully help you determine the right player you should try and track down on the secondary market.
Best Vintage Sony Turntables You Will Love
Let’s begin with the Sony PS-X50.
The Sony PS-X50 is an attractive piece of machinery. It’s certainly an old school record player that manages to look sleek enough to be modern, if that’s something that’s important to you.
The biggest worry you might have when seeking out at a vintage turntable is that while you’re okay with it having the appearance of being old, you never want your turntable to operate like an old machine.
That’s going to be your first surprise when you fire up the Sony PS-X50. In fact, when you press the Start/Stop button, you may be taken aback by how relatively slow the start up is for this record player. If you’re used to the super quick automatic functionality of modern day turntables, the PS-X50 may frustrate you at the beginning.
But if you can get over that, this is a really nice vintage player. In fact, I really like that this record player not only has some automatic functionality built into it, but it also manages to be a direct drive turntable too. So if you’re someone that’s not a fan of belt drive record players, you may want to look into the PS-X50.
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The great thing about a vintage turntable is that, if you get the right record player, and it remains in good working order, it can hold its value (and in some cases increase in value) as the days go on.
That’s one of the more positive things you can say about the PS-X70 by Sony, as it’s a turntable that can very likely be sold for $200 or even $300 on the secondary market—even if it’s not in complete working condition. That’s a testament to how well vintage tech can hold up in the modern age, and how many people covet the opportunity to restore something old and faulty rather than utilize something brand new and virtually perfect.
Like the PS-X50, the PS-X70 does include an auto start and stop functionality when it comes to the tonearm. Speaking of the tonearm, you get PUA-7 tonearm here, which is going to come shaped like a “J.” This is also a record player that will play at speeds of 33 RPM and 45 RPM.
The great thing about this vintage player is that if you’re willing to pair it with an impressive Moving Coil cartridge (if you want to keep your entire setup in the Sony family, you might want to try the Sony XL-55), you’ll likely find that it makes your records sing.
Overall, this is a beautiful old school looking record player that offers you the best of both worlds: easy and convenient playback of your records due to its automatic functionality while also being a direct drive player (so you don’t have to worry about replacing a worn out belt).
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Arguably the best looking turntable on this list (leaning more heavy towards the color black than silver) is the Sony PS-X600. But unlike the turntable above, not only is the PS-X600 not rocking a J-shaped tonearm, we now have the beloved Biotracer tonearm.
If you’re not familiar with the Biotracer arm, here’s a quick rundown. Using electromagnetic sensors to control various motions of the tonearm (such as the vertical or horizontal motions for the arm, as well as the queuing lever functionality), we have highly controlled and precise movements with the arm, allowing for great sound without the baggage of unwanted resonance.
Now the Biotracer tonearm wasn’t solely on the Sony PS-X600, as it could be found on models such as the Sony PS-X700 and the Sony PS-X75. But these two turntables, especially the PS-X700, are harder to track down than the PS-X600 on the secondary market, so I figured it would be better to highlight the PS-X600.
Of course, this turntable comes with automatic functionality, so you can rest assured that you can start the turntable, enjoy your music, and not have to stress about being present to turn off the record player.
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Might as well as lean further into the world of Biotracer tonearms, right? Well, if you pick up the PS-X800, you will own one of the best linear tracking turntables you can find on the secondary market.
I talked a bit about the Biotracer arm with the PS-X600, and of course that beauty returns here with the PS-X800. In fact, one of the huge benefits of this tonearm is its excellent dampening ability.
Why does this matter? Well, one of the most concerning things about playing vinyl records is having the turntable or tonearm get bumped or jostled, which can cause your stylus to pop out of its groove. When that happens, not only will you hear a harsh record scratch sound—your vinyl will suffer a literal scratch. Not to mention this can damage the fidelity of your stylus, as well.
So, with the Biotracer tonearm, you now have dampening technology that’s almost akin to driving in a bullet proof vehicle. Of course, something can always go wrong due to unexpected circumstances, but on the whole, you’re going to feel quite comfortable inside the vehicle when under attack.
That’s kind of how I look at the Biotracer tonearm. Whether you accidentally tap the headshell while you’re record is playing, a child bumps into the table holding your record player, or you simply chose to install a considerably low compliance (or high compliance) cartridge, the Biotracer tonearm will automatically compensate. This results in your tracking force remaining consistent, and thus, your music listening experience remains unmarred.
For a good example of how the tonearm damping works, check out the video below:
You’re unlikely to find a very good deal on not the Sony PS-X800 unless there is something seriously wrong with it. But, if you have the money and are willing to splurge, this is one of the more memorable Sony vintage record players you can find.
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The vintage Sony turntables we discussed today all offer something unique. They certainly serve up simplicity and convenience, as they feature automatic functionality that allows you to take a more laid back approach to listening to your music.
And yet, if you’re someone that deeply cares about his or her music, a couple of these turntables utilize the Biotracer tonearm to provide a pleasing, reliable, and accurate vinyl record listening experience.
Sony is one of the most trusted brands in the world of technology, and has been for decades. Their turntables are no exception to that rule.
With that said, these are vintage record players after all, so if some aspect of the player breaks or dies out, you just might have to go on a quest to find a replacement part. I’d highly advise doing your own due diligence to ensure that you’re buying a working turntable that’s in very good condition (or perhaps has even been recently reconditioned with new parts).
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