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Comic book geeks have Free Comic Book Day and music geeks—at least the ones who are into vinyl—have Record Store Day. And that’s on Saturday. No free vinyl, but record shops across the U.S., Canada, and Europe will be holding special events and carrying a wide range of special releases. You can check out the details, including a full list of Record Store Day 2018 releases, on the official website.
If you’re new to record collecting, or have a beginner record player that’s ready to be upgraded to a turntable that’s a little more capable of making the most of your Record Store Day purchases, I have a few suggestions from the many I’ve reviewed in the past few years.
1. Fluance RT81
This is a great first turntable or upgrade from a starter record player. It’s affordable at $249.99 and includes ease of use features like an integrated pre-amp and switchable speeds. But it also looks good and with a pre-installed Audio Technica AT95E cartridge, it sounds good, too.
2. Crosley C20
When you hear Crosley, you probably think of the colorful “record player in a suitcase” portable models the company popularized. They have been a big part of the vinyl resurgence. But Crosley also makes a great upgrade turntable for when you’re ready to get more serious about audio quality. The Crosley C20 was made in collaboration with Pro-Ject, and that includes high-quality Pro-Ject components like a solid acrylic platter and an S-shaped tone arm with sapphire bearings. It’s also equipped with a high-quality Ortofon OM 10 cartridge. Besides sounding fantastic and offering an easy upgrade path (the stylus and cartridge can both be swapped out for higher-end versions if you choose), it looks stylish with its wood veneer plinth. I’m particularly fond of the Zebrano wood finish of my review unit. You can currently pick one of these up for $499.95 on Amazon. You will need a system with Phono input, or a pre-amp for this one, though…
Don’t forget; Saturday, April 21 is the big day for vinyl collectors. See you there!