18 Dec Christmas gift ideas for vinyl enthusiasts & turntable lovers #vinyloftheday
It’s the festive season and Christmas is just around the corner! There is no better time than now to shop for amazing gifts. So this year we at #vinyloftheday picked out the best Christmas gifts you should get for vinyl enthusiasts and turntable lovers. It’s all here so you don’t have to waste time searching the web.
1. Ghostly x Stokyo Record Runner
Japanese audio company Stokyo are known for their famed Record Runner (originally called the Soundwagon), the world’s smallest portable vinyl record player. Small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. The van comes equipped with a motor, amplifier, speaker, and an Audio Technica stylus and cartridge system. Drop it on any 33 1/3 rpm vinyl record and let it lap around the grooves, picking up and projecting sounds from a built-in speaker. This is a Christmas gift anyone would absolutely love.
For more info and to buy the Ghostly x Stokyo Record Runner click here.
2. MORT GARSON – Mother Earth’s Plantasia (Chlorophyll Splatter Colored Vinyl)
Originally released in 1976, Mort Garson’s Mother Earth’s Plantasia has been labeled “warm earth music for plants . . . and the people who love them“. The album has gained a cult following in recent years despite its long-standing rare status. Built from Garson’s warm Moog melodies, the album runs the gamut of moods, from charming and serene, haunting and sinister, to playful and surreal. Garson rose to prominence as a composer, bandleader and songwriter of rock singles in the late 1950’s before becoming an early adopter of the Moog synthesiser.
This 2019 Turntable Lab exclusive pressing comes on “chlorophyll splatter” colored vinyl, complete with full reproduction booklet, and digital download (printed on plantable seed paper) courtesy of Sacred Bones. Highly recommended, click here to buy the record.
3. Keith Haring Slipmat
This is probably the best time to get a pair of slipmats for yourself or a loved one. The Turntable Lab x Keith Haring Record Mats were originally released in 2017. Now, back by popular demand, they are available in the original black colour-way, plus several new Keith Haring Foundation-approved iterations. Get this Christmas gift for a Keith Haring fan.
For more info and to buy the Turntable Lab x Keith Haring Record Mats click here.
4. Joe Hisaishi – My Neighbor Totoro – Image Album Vinyl LP
For fans of Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki, My Neighbor Totoro hardly needs an introduction. The simple tale of two young sisters that get help with their life struggles from a few surprising creatures, is easily one of the Studio’s most touching works.
Joe Hisaishi was tasked with soundtracking the film, but before that happened, an Image Album (not to be confused with the soundtrack) was made. Like other Image Albums, these songs were created before the animated film was completed. But rather than being based off concept art or comics, Hisaishi-san was instructed to create these works with the concept of “making songs which children really want and can sing out loud with their mouth widely opened.” For anyone who has seen the film, those instructions could not have been more perfect.
This limited edition reissue comes complete with a 16-page booklet with drawings, sheet music, obi strip, and illustrated cover by Miyazaki. Just like it did back in 1987. A perfect Christmas gift for any Ghibli fan. Without delay click here to buy the My Neighbor Totoro – Image Album Vinyl LP before it sells out.
5. Audio-Technica LP 120
The Audio-Technica LP 120 is surely one of the most popular turntable in the market. Given that it is modelled after what is probably the most iconic turntable of all time, the discontinued Technics 1200. Mark Steinberg the chief technologist, and turntable specialist at B&H Photo and Video states that he’d recommend the LP 120 to any customer.
Especially to those newer vinyl collectors who want something a little nicer to play their records on. According to Steinberg, the player’s key feature is the magnet-powered “direct-drive”. Which is evidently only found in professional-grade turntables or other, more expensive units. Comparatively a direct drive will seldom if ever, need service. The player can handle records of all sizes without any fiddling under the hood. Including a built-in preamp. So the only other thing you need to use it is a powered speaker.
Also, the unit features a USB output that allows you to connect it to your computer in case you want to archive your vinyl. Priced at just over $200, the LP 120 is the best bang for your buck. Recommended as a Christmas gift for someone looking to dip their fingers into the world of turntables and vinyl. Head here for more info and to buy the Audio Technica LP 120.
6. Audio-Technica AT-LP60X-BK Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Vinyl Player
This lower-priced Audio Technica model features a belt-drive and can be considered an entry-level serious turntable. Priced at $99, the model also has a built-in preamp.
Unlike the LP 120 and most of the other record players on this list. The LP 60 does not feature a replaceable cartridge (the part of the turntable that holds the needle). Which means you won’t be able to upgrade that part if you get more serious about your hobby down the line. It is important to note that the LP 60 is fully automatic. Meaning with the push of a button, the tonearm moves into place to start the record and then the arm lifts off on its own at the end. This feature could be great if you’re new to vinyl. Making things a little easier, but purists will likely prefer the feel and ritual of manual operation.
Interested in buying the Audio-Technica AT-LP60X-BK Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable? Head over here.
7. Sony PSLX300USB Fully Automatic USB Stereo Turntable
Music journalist Jessica Lipsky suggests this Sony belt-drive turntable for record collectors who are starting out. She says she received one ten years ago and still uses it. “I’ve stuck with this because it’s simple,” she says. This turntable comes with a handy dust cover and it’s easy to plug into any system you want in the future. Like the LP 60, it’s also fully automatic. But unlike that model, this one comes with a USB output at no extra cost.
The Sony PSLX300USB Fully Automatic USB Stereo Turntable can be purchased here.
8. Music Hall mmf-1.3 Stereo Turntable
If you’re in the market looking for something a little sleeker, this minimalist Music Hall turntable is recommended. The brand’s roots are in the audiophile-grade market. Music Hall’s entry-level model is very well regarded. This would be a great place to start if you’re looking for something more serious. The Music Hall mmf-1.3 Stereo Turntable looks clean, sleek and would fit perfectly alongside your furniture. The turntable is powered by a belt-drive and it includes a built-in preamp. Also it can play 78s, while most belt-driven turntables (including all the others on this list) can only handle 33s and 45s.
Music Hall mmf-1.3 Stereo Turntable is available for sale here
9. Audio-Technica AT-LP3 Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable
This Audio-Technica model is a more stylish version of the brand’s LP 60 or LP 120. Whilst it does have a cover, it’s less technical-looking than its sister turntables. Still it includes a built-in preamp. The LP3, however, does not feature USB or Bluetooth connectivity.
To buy the Audio-Technica AT-LP3 Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable and for more info head here.
9. Pro-Ject Audio Systems Essential III Turntable
Pro-Ject turntables are known for their minimalist build, streamlined look, and high-quality materials. Most of their models are priced in the thousands. In that case this a great choice for someone looking to get into the higher-end market. It includes a cartridge made by Ortofon. A company that has a long history of producing audiophile-approved components. Listeners who are more particular about their sound systems may prefer it to the other turntables on this list. Particularly because it does not come with a preamp built-in. Giving them more flexibility when it comes to the sound system they hook this turntable up to. Nor does this have USB or Bluetooth, which vinyl purists may also appreciate.
Pro-Ject Audio Systems Essential III Turntable can be bought here.
10. Technics SL-1200MK7 Direct Drive System
In any case, the discontinued Technics 1200 is the biggest icon in the turntable world. Eilon Paz, photographer and the author of Dust and Grooves: Adventures in Record Collecting calls the Technics 1200 a “workhorse.” In fact after it was discontinued, there was a big outcry in the record-collecting community. So the above model is Technics’ answer. Although it features slightly updated parts than those in the original 1200. It’s not too many changes. Like other high-end turntables, this model also doesn’t have a built-in preamp. This is the grand daddy of Christmas gifts.
Technics SL-1200MK7 Direct Drive Turntable System is available here