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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
So if you need an good electric player for your 78's, how much do you want to spend? Make your choice:
LEVEL 0 = £10-£20
LEVEL 1 = £20-£30
LEVEL 2 = £30-£80
LEVEL 3 = £80-£600
Now you've decided what you can afford, where can you get the turntable or record player? Well you could walk from all your local second-hand shops up to the professional hi-fi specialists and maybe find what you want, but this is the internet and you are likely to find a better choice today on E-bay.co.uk or E-bay.com. Before I take you to ebay UK take a look at this gallery of turntables and record players. Machines like these are being auctioned every week! I bought my Stanton STR8-80 and Numark TT each for £50, and my Goldring Lenco GL75 and my Garrard SP25 Mk III for under £50 each.
Maybe you might see on this page the turntable that suits your pocket and your record room.
Lets start at the top level and work our way down:
|LEVEL 3||top of the range decks, generally well looked after and usually equipped with good cartridge, for which the 78 stylus can still be bought or made|
|this Garrard 401 in a wooden plinth, can cost £500|
|this is an older Garrard 301, fully working and in a plinth can cost £300|
|this is a Thorens 124, may be bought for just £100|
|here is an EMT model, can cost £400 maybe more|
|LEVEL 2||these are very good decks, the Stanton and Numark are both just 3 years old, the others may be 30 years old but they usually have been well looked after and have a decent cartridge. A 78 stylus can be bought or made (Musonic, Garage-A-records, Expert Stylus, Shure etc and again these styli, cartridges, headshells etc can be got via Ebay).|
|this is a Numark TT-2 deck, variable speed|
|this is a Stanton STR8-80 deck, variable speed|
|this is a Goldring Lenco GL75 deck, variable speed|
|this is a Dual|
|this is a Phillips 202|
|these are FONS decks|
|LEVEL 1||'hi-fi' models|
|a Ferguson hi-fi|
|a Dynatron hi-fi|
|a Bush hi-fi, complete with cassette recorder and radio|
|a portable Fidelity model|
|a Pye record player|
|these are Dansette models, may be difficult to connect to a PC. I'd say these were more suited to rock'n'roll 78 collectors!|
|an old HMV player|
|an old Philips|
|an old Bush|
|and an old BSR|
|this is a fine looking Pye model, connectability to PC unknown|
also see the phonographs/gramophones auctions
Go to 78rpm Equipment source page, including stylus and cartridge
Go to FAQ10 How can I record 78's on to my PC?
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