Analog Revival Much Bigger Than Numbers Indicate
New turntable and vinyl sales are highest in decades, but real action is in pre-owned market
The author’s vintage Thorens TD-160
February 13, 2013 by Robert Archer

Depending on his workload, Archambault can service an old turntable and ship it back within a few weeks to a month. Customers that want a fully restored Thorens or AR turntable can “custom order” what options they would like their turntables outfitted with and these options include custom wood plinths or after-market tonearms for example. Customers can expect Vinyl Nirvana to fulfill their “custom turntable” orders within eight to 10 weeks. 

For those not willing to spend several hundred or a couple of thousand dollars on a 40-year-old turntable there are many used Dual and Garrard turntables that provide a nice alternative. These brands are still well respected today and they can be bought and serviced for a reasonable sum of money, while giving vinyl fans a vintage feel for this vintage audio format.

Regardless of whether it’s an old Thorens or Dual, another attractive element of a classic turntable is the amount upgrade options these products provide. There’s not much you can do to upgrade a CD player itself; but analog enthusiasts will often over time, in the holy grail quest for better performance, address everything from their turntables’ output cables to phono cartridges, tonearms, tonearm wiring and platters with upgrades/modifications they deem as worthwhile. Many turntable owners will also upgrade cosmetic aspects such as plinths and dust covers. These upgrades are comparable to what car enthusiasts do to their 1969 Camaro or Mustangs, and in many cases, these are upgrades that cannot be done on a modern product.

Not surprisingly, many enthusiasts will also swear that their classic ’tables will outperform expensive, modern turntables. Of course, it should also be noted that just like the vintage instrument market, those classic turntables may serve as a financial investment over the long haul too.

Analog Audio Here to Stay

At some point the vinyl category will plateau in terms of turntable and record sales, but considering how enthusiastically younger generations are adopting the format it will continue to be a popular medium for music listeners. This is important for fans of vinyl, because it ensures the format won’t go the way of the Dodo Bird and eight-track. And with plenty of options for classic turntables and record hunting, the used market may just be hitting its stride to fuel the format’s future.



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Robert Archer - Senior Editor, CE Pro
Bob is a dedicated audiophile who has been writing about A/V for Electronic House sister publication CE Pro since 2000.

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