a gallery of record decks and players suitable for 78rpm records

this page first published by John Wright, 16 March 2002
last updated 7 Nov 2009vintage@r2ok.co.uk

How can I play 78's?


It's now the 21st century. Gramophones are collectors items and can rarely be bought for under 50, and anyway repeated playing with steel needles is probably not in the best interests of disc preservation. Thankfully electric turntables can still be found, indeed some are still being made to satisfy the record collector, the LP audiophile as well as the 78 hoarders. Some of the new turntables being made today are expensive but bargains can be found on Ebay e.g. Stanton STR8-80 and Numark TT-2 models which have 78 speed.

There is a very inexpensive way to play 78's - second-hand turntables that were made during the 1960's - 1970's. Models made 1965-1975 usually featured 3 or 4 speed turntables including 78rpm, some were variable so you could adjust the speed down to say 72rpm which corrected some 1920's discs that were obviously recorded at the wrong speed - to make the dancers charleston faster!

So, what turntables should we be looking for? Quality varies. For UK collectors I classify these as follows: