A curious thing happened yesterday at Tenacious Sound. We had three separate customers walk in the door several hours apart and ask for replacement parts for the very same brand of turntable. We’re not going to mention that brand by name–let’s just say it’s one of those turntables that are made almost completely from plastic, where more thought is put into the USB port than the stylus.
Each time, we were careful not to bash the turntable in front of its owner. By the end of the day, however, we came to the conclusion that this particular brand didn’t make turntables, they made toys. And if you’re really into your music, you shouldn’t use a toy to listen to it.
We totally get it. The vast majority of people buy these products because they’re “just getting started” in vinyl. Even the most basic turntable, one that is well-built and competent at what it does, costs at least a couple of hundred bucks. When you see a turntable selling for $99 complete, it’s tempting to just buy it and start listening to LPs. But there’s a problem with that.
First of all, if you’re getting into vinyl it should be because you want to enjoy that warm, musical, realistic analog sound, a cheap plastic toy can’t do that. The secret to a great-sounding turntable is that it can spins records at an exact and precise speed, that it can minimize vibrations from the motor that can muck up the sound and that it has a needle that can accurately track everything that’s in the grooves.
A toy can’t do any of that.
While the finest turntables can cost $5000, $10,000, $100,000 or even more, Tenacious Sound does carry a selection of well-made, musical turntables from brands such as Denon, Rega and Thorens that can deliver music to your ears in a believable, musical way, and for a reasonable amount of money.
We’re not a toy store. We’re a store that will help you discover how good LPs can sound.