Like many people I have an extensive collection of vinyl records dating back to my school and college years. Also my old Record Player is showing signs of age and there is always the fear that a misaligned stylus might damage the old vinyl. Perhaps you even have some of the modern vinyl records? Yes they are still being manufactured; retro vinyl is making a limited comeback. Then of course there are all the CDs that we have accumulated over the years. So rather than mess around with various different pieces of equipment to play all these, why not get a combined Record Player and CD Player? You can even go for that retro record player look if you want to.
There are a number of possibilities. Some are simple stand alone ‘music centre’ units. Perhaps I am showing my age by using that term. Then there are units that need a separate amplifier and speakers. Another is a unit that you can connect with a USB cable to your computer and create a digital copy on your hard disk. Others now even include a docking station for an i-pod or MP3 player.
Perhaps like me you prefer a simple plug it in, put on a record and sit back and listen to the music. At least that avoids another spaghetti mess of cables strewn around the lounge or den.
What particular points do you need to look out for? My ideal solution needs to have the following features:
1. All in One, Single System in a box
I simply want to be able to switch between playing my vinyl records (mostly LPs), playing CDs and cassettes from my old collection. I also like to listen to my favourite AM/FM radio stations although in some countries they are moving over to digital (DAB). Another feature that I like to have is to be able to play my digital music collection through the USB port, or connect possibly any other audio source that's compatible with a standard 3.5mm jack.
2. It must have a 3-Speed Turntable
This means a 3-speed turntable that is compatible with vinyl playing at 33-1/3, 45, and 78 RPM. Once you have a good record and CD player you will start to find all manner of old interesting singles, LPs and old 78s that you want to play. Ideally it should have a quality ceramic stereo cartridge with auto return for record playing convenience and to help preserve your vinyl records from unnecessary wear.
3. CD Player a single disk type is fine
All you need is a standard front-loading drawer-type CD player which will play one disc at a time. Ideally this should be compatible with CD-Audio discs, CD-R and CD-RW discs, and also discs that have MP3 files burned on them.
4. For the Apple iPod lover a built-In Dock
This will allow you to play music from your Apple iPod or iPhone by making use of the built-in dock. A remote control might also be useful.
5. A facility to record via USB
It is good to have a USB encoder because that will allow you to record your old vinyl or other aux-in audio sources, such as compact cassette tapes onto a flash drive through its USB socket in MP3 formats. This facility will also let you play your digital music files (MP3 and WMA pre-stored on your USB drive or MP3 player) through the USB port.
One product well worth considering is the Pyle Home PTCDS2UI AM/FM Radio/CD/Cassette/USB Classic Turntable with iPod Dock
Not only that if you like that old fashioned retro look, you can now retain the look of a classic phonograph but have inbuilt all the technology of the 21st century. Also you don’t need to worry about that spaghetti mess of cables. The vintage looking authentically wood-crafted cabinet includes a three speed turntable, an AM/FM radio, CD player, cassette deck and an aux-in jack for your MP3 player. There is also an iPod dock which provides a full spectrum of playback options plus a remote control unit. Not only has that it comes with a set of built-in speakers which sound really good. It looks and sounds great and at about $172 it won’t break the bank. Follow the link and read the reviews and make your own decision.
Another less expensive option is the Oak Anders Nicholson® System
This also has that nostalgic retro look but again with most of today’s technology and sound quality. The 3 speed turntable unit plays LPs, 45s, 78s, as well as cassettes, CDs and even iPods or MP3 players. So this Anders Nicholson's unit combines nostalgic home stereo with yesterday's classic look together with modern advanced technology. Never mind if you want to listen to the radio or your latest favourite CD, this Record and CD Player fills the room with terrific sound. It has an oak finish wood case. According to the sales literature it can record to a PC or Mac but I suggest you read the reviews on this carefully if you really need to use this feature, personally I prefer the Pyle unit.
Personally I would still go for the first unit the Pyle Home PTCDS2UI AM/FM Radio/CD/Cassette/USB Classic Turntable with iPod Dock. As far as I am concerned it ticks all the points on my initial checklist.
Hopefully you found this interesting and whatever combined Record Player and CD Player you eventually purchase just keep my initial list of requirements in mind. Have a browse of these units on Amazon.com, there are new products coming out all the time, usually at very competitive prices.
Dust off those old vinyl singles and LPs, even 78s, enjoy them again, happy listening.