The 5 best vinyl players that’ll spin your home audio to new heights

We go on the record about our favourite turntables…

It is often life’s mundane minutiae that brings about the greatest pleasures. Take the sharp, precise shutter click of a Canon film camera, for instance; the weighty feel of a biannual magazine; or perhaps the static crackle when the needle hits the record – and when it comes to the latter, few retro technologies have seen as much widespread popularity in recent years.

Since finding global traction following the launch of the first commercially available LP, in 1930, the medium was left for dead in favour of CDs and digital downloads. But, owing to a newfound love for the warm sound that turntables offer and the ritual of thumbing through crates of dust jackets on a Saturday morning, the vinyl has been getting back into its groove for over a decade now. So, even though there is a degree of truth to Bob Dylan’s belief that the times are a changin’, this ritual of throwback simplicity seems as though it’ll long continue in the current age of ephemerality.

Here are five of our favourites… 

Naim Solstice Special Edition

For almost half a century, Naim Audio has been hand-building glorious music systems in Salisbury, and the name of this special-edition creation – limited to 500 units – is inspired by Stonehenge, which sits north of the city. The main draw is its appropriately voluminous yet slender profile, as evident in the highly polished aluminium platter, and any superfluous details are circumvented, with functionality the priority. Specs include an Equinox MC cartridge, a self-calibrating motor-drive system, and it also comes with a phono stage and dedicated power supply.

The 5 best vinyl players that’ll spin your home audio to new heights

Naim Solstice Special Edition

£16,000.00

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Crosley C3 Turntable

Appearing more drone than music player, the ‘C3’, at £50, is one of the more accessible options on the market – but it’s low-price point belies an accomplished setup. The MDF plinth on which it is built has an original yet balanced shape that provides stability, and the tonearm features an adjustable counterweight – we recommend pairing it up with some luxe speakers in order to give it a premium boost. 

Fender x MoFi Precision Deck Limited Edition

With a shell designed by master builder Yuriy Shishkov, this collaboration between Fender, maker of some of the most recognisable instruments in the past century, and record label MoFi is defined by an iconic three-colour sunburst pattern in which yellow and orange bleed into black. The build also draws upon the same ash wood and treatments used on the legendary Precision bass guitar, and a ten-inch Ultra tonearm and anti-vibration feet allow for smooth, stable sonics. 

The 5 best vinyl players that’ll spin your home audio to new heights

Fender x MoFi Precision Deck Limited Edition

£3,000.00

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TEAC TN-4D-SE

TEAC’s labour of love is perhaps the most refined, elegant option in this list, a player with a low-profile aesthetic that makes it appear more design object than tech. A brushless DC motor facilitates smooth, easy rotation and rids of cogging and an S-shaped tonearm allows for a quick-and-simple cartridge-changing process for circumstances when the user wants to play around with the sound. 

Pro-ject VT-E

Another leftfield design, what has the appearance of a conventional film recorder can be positioned upright, saving space if your abode is tight on square footage, and it comes with a clamp to make sure your records are secure. A simple setup means it’s plug-and-play easy, there are two versions – for both left– and right-handed users – and it arrives with brackets so you can display it as though it were wall art. 

Want more tech? We brought three of the best classically-styled cameras into focus…

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