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Record players first came out in 1887 as a phonograph. However the record player style that we know and love today was released commerically in 1895.
Although you are unlikely to have a record player that is over 125 years old if you have one that looks pretty old it would be nice to know its exact age. Doing some digging and finding out an exact age of your record player can be difficult, especially if you don’t know what you are looking for.
So how do you find out the age of your vinyl record player?
The best way to find the age of your record player is to check on the brand and unique features to see when it was made. Most vintage record players will have unique features that will give you an idea the year or years when that model was made.
Most record player styles were only made by a specific company for a specific number of years so that is the best place to start. You can look at the brand and see when they put out record players. Once you have done that the next thing is to look at the different styles of record players that they released in different years.
For example, some RCA record players were only made during a specific year. So if you have an RCA record player and you find a picture of that model then you will know exactly what year your record player was made.
If you would like to know more about how to find out the age of your record player, please keep reading!
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Record Player Values (What Affect It?)
There are many things that determine how valuable a record player is besides just how old it is. The biggest one might be something that is entirely out of your control… the demand.
Vinyl record players have made a bang in the music scene recently. A decade back, they were virtually extinct, but they have made a comeback in recent years. The increase in sales has changed the perspective of how people used to look at the vinyl record players.
We all have witnessed a resurrection of the old analog music player. The numbers kept on going up and ended at 16 Million records sold in the year 2018 alone.
The vintage vinyl record collectors realized that now is the perfect opportunity to make a profit. The markets are flooded with the vinyl record players, some of them are 50 years old and some were made in recent years.
Regardless of age, vinyl record players are not as cheap as you think. The older they become the more valuable they become.
The value can also depend on the condition of the vinyl record player as well. If they have been handled poorly, then obviously they are going to be worth less than a record player that has been taken care of.
In average terms, a new vinyl record player could cost around $300, while some of the vintage ones can go up to $3000. If you have a vinyl record player in your house, then it is time to bring that out.
Below I will go into some of the best ways to determine the right value for your vinyl record player, so you can restore it or simply sell it.
1. Condition Of The Player
There is no doubt that vintage record players sell for a higher price. However, if they are in poor condition then it is going to not be valuable except for a decoration piece. If you want to fix your old vinyl record player then you should pay a visit to the local vinyl retailer.
If you do this, you might just be in luck.
Try to avoid using the old vinyl record players if you are not sure whether it works perfectly or not. Oftentimes, the old record players can damage your vinyl records if they are not working properly.
We all know it is not easy to replace the records once they get damaged.
If you don’t know much about vinyl record players then there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First of all, check the base of the record player. It should be flat, so the vinyl record can spin easily.
Second of all, check if there is any friction on the base. It could happen if you have kept the vinyl record player stacked away in the storeroom, and the dust particles have managed to slip on the base.
Do not clean the base with a paper towel. This is one mistake that many people make. You should instead invest in a carbon fiber brush and then clean the base with it.
They are not that expensive, and you can find them online and in record stores. You can also use the carbon fiber brush to clean the vinyl records as well.
If the overall condition of your vinyl record player is good, then you should be able to sell it for a higher price.
2. Brand Of The Player
Like in all musical instruments, vinyl record players are no exception when it comes to brands. There are some of the brands that are expensive as compared to the locally manufactured record players.
There are also some brands that are considered as the pioneers of the vinyl record players. Some of those include Kenwood, Garrard, Micro Seiki, Dual, and Thorens Linn.
If your record player is made by these brands then you will be able to sell it for more than the market price.
It also depends on the model of your record player. If you are using LP12 (Linn Sondek) then you can easily sell it for thousands of dollars. You have to understand though that the condition of the record player is directly proportional to the brand/model.
Even if you have a cheaper model from 40 years ago, but it is kept in a good condition then you should expect a higher price for it.
Some of the vinyl record collectors do not care about the brand/model, when they look for the value of the product. There is no way that they would be able to buy a new version of the same record player today, and they know that.
These vintage vinyl record players can serve as the perfect addition to their record player collection.
3. Unique Design Of The Player
In the previous century, companies used to spend their entire focus on improving the quality of the sound. However, there are very few companies that worked primarily on the design of the record player while having a decent sound.
The more unique design you have of your vinyl record player, the more value it has in the market.
There are vinyl record collectors that don’t care if the record player works or not. They care more about the design, as it will always look good being a decoration piece.
If you think your vinyl record player has a unique design, and it doesn’t follow the same design pattern as the new versions, then you should aim for a higher price.
It is even better if you manage to have that record player in a good condition. There are very few sellers that have a vintage record player in good condition.
People always go for their value-for-buck, and what is better than a uniquely designed vinyl record player? Well, a perfectly working vinyl record player that has a good design.
You could also put your vintage record player up for an auction so that the selling price could increase even more.
Record Player History
A phonograph, in its later forms also called a gramophone (as a trademark since 1887, as a generic name in the UK since 1910) or since the 1940s called a record player, is a device for the mechanical recording and reproduction of sound.
The sound vibration waveforms are recorded as corresponding physical deviations of a spiral groove engraved, etched, incised, or impressed into the surface of a rotating cylinder or disc, called a “record”. To recreate the sound, the surface is similarly rotated while a playback stylus traces the groove and is therefore vibrated by it, very faintly reproducing the recorded sound.
In early acoustic phonographs, the stylus vibrated a diaphragm which produced sound waves which were coupled to the open air through a flaring horn, or directly to the listener’s ears through stethoscope-type earphones.
The phonograph was invented in 1877 by Thomas Edison.
We have learned that there are a couple of ways to check the age of your record player and to see how much your record player might be worth. Check the brand, condition, and unique design to find out how much your record player is worth.
The age of your record player also makes a difference for the value of your player. This is why by using the same thing to find the value will also help you determine the age.