What You Need to Know About Vintage Tube Record Players

Finding the right vintage tube record player can help liven up a room and let you listen to music on vinyl. You can find a wide range of designs and styles of vintage players on eBay. Here is some information to consider before selecting a vintage tube record player.

What types of tube record players are available?

The following are some of the available types:

  • Single-ended amplifiers: This type uses a single tube for each channel of output. These are designed with a low amount of distortion in a narrow operating band.
  • Push-pull amplifiers: This style uses two tubes for each channel. Each tube is designed to handle half of the wavelength. These types are setup to allow for smaller tubes with a higher output and a greater variety of tubes.
  • Hybrid amplifiers: These tube record players use tubes for pre-amps or in the output stage of the player. These end up producing a tube-like sound to the music when played. These also make use of a solid state design for lower power usage.
What types of records can vintage tube record players use?

Record players can generally play up to two different sizes of discs. Long Play records, or LP, are 30 centimeters in diameter and are designed to spin at 33 revolutions per minute to play the music properly. Both sides of the disc can store music with each side having up to 30 minutes of play time.

What are some of the parts of a tube player?
  • Stylus: The stylus consists of a metal lightweight bar and a tiny crystal. The crystal usually consists of either a sapphire or diamond that is attached to the end of the bar. The crystal will vibrate as it passes over the grooves of the vinyl disk.
  • Cartridge: This component is also attached to the end of the metal bar. The cartridge consists of an electromagnetic device that has an piezoelectric crystal. The cartridge translates the style vibrations into an electrical signal.
  • Turntable: These consist of a spinning wheel that is powered by an electric motor and gear combination. A belt controls the turntable so that the proper speed can be adjusted. Some turntables will have the addition of strobe lights or reflective studs for added style.
  • Amplifier: This part of the record player helps the record output the desired type of sound. In short, it amplifies the sound.