Vinyl Heads: Round and Round

DJ Sun's turntable buying advice

Obviously, buying vinyl does no good if you don't have something decent to play it on. For aspiring DJs, DJ Sun says that conversation begins and ends with Technics, makers of the industry standard 1200s.

"They're like tanks," he says. "I've had my turntables since 1993 and they're still working fine. You've gotta clean them, take them in for occasional repair, but that's 14 years for one pair of turntables."

Sun's Technics have withstood having speakers dropped and drinks spilled on them, but he says people who just want to listen to records in their living room should find something suitable at Sound Exchange or any pawnshop. (Sound Ex­change does turntable repair as well.) Be mindful, he says, that these turntables need a new belt every couple of years and some may require brand-specific cartridges (needle housings). Be sure the tone arm is properly balanced, Sun adds, and please, please don't try to play DJ.

"If you have these wild notions of 'maybe I'll scratch this record,' I wouldn't advise it," he says. "The Technics have a little engine in them which allows us to put our hands on it, stop it and even pull it back. Belt-driven turntables don't work like that."

 
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