Finding the right record player stand is common sense. That’s quite a relief after dealing with tracking angles, phono stages, decibel levels, the relative merits of passive and active speakers and all the other technical elements of an audio equipment.
Click here for info on turntable stands from Crosley, Line Phono, Darla’Studio, Novogratz and Victrola
That said, there are many things to think about when researching and shopping for a turntable stand for your equipment and, perhaps, some or all of the vinyl records you own.
Shopping for a turntable stand clearly is not as fun and glitzy as shopping for technology. It is vital, however. This platform, after all, must fit into your home while providing adequate shelf space and, most importantly, a solid foundation upon which some very sensitive equipment will operate. In fact, the quality of one of the most sensitive and vital operations–the angle at which the stylus rides within the vinyl’s groove–is impacted by the stability and level flatness of the table upon which the turntable or record player sits.
The ability of the record player stand to expand is less of concern in the short term if the equipment is an all-in-one record player with a set footprint, not a component system in which elements likely will be changed out and/or added with fair regularity. If the later is the case, make sure that there is ample room to accommodate the audio gear you may buy in the future. For instance, adding a tube preamp improves sound and looks cool. The space it takes up must be accounted for, however.
Also think about where you will place the system: Do you want it in the living room, where a change in size in the system may have ripple effects? Would the den or spare bedroom offer more flexibility?
Where the Records Will Go is a Key Decision
Most record player stands come with vinyl storage space. The amount can vary greatly between tables. It’s possible to store more often listened to records near the device and the “archives” of the vinyl enthusiast’s collection elsewhere. How this will play out is something to consider.
Records stored in the unit next to or abreast of the turntable or record player must be evenly distributed. Weighing down one side even a bit may create a tilted surface and reduce fidelity by shifting the angle at which the stylus sits in the grooves. I am no expert, but it seems possible that even a slight imbalance could degrade record player fidelity. A great imbalance potentially could harm the disc or the cartridge. It also seems that flimsy record player stands may be more vulnerable to this problem. So think of the relationship between how your record turntable platform is configured and how you actually use your vinyl collection.
When shopping for a record player stand, a key consideration — perhaps the most important — is to choose one that offers the sturdiest surface. Consider buying furniture in which the bottom is entirely on the floor (as opposed to spindly hairpin legs). This is especially true of lower-priced tables that are not likely to be designed carefully or be made of high quality wood. If you buy a stand with hairpin legs, make sure that they are adjustable.
It’s really not a bad idea use a carpenter’s level (the little metal tube with the bubble display) to make sure that the unit is flat. This also is a good step if you are repurposing a piece of furniture that you already own. Any imbalance can be fixed. A slightly off kilter surface of course is not the end of the world, but all things being equal flat is better and not particularly hard to achieve.
Again, it’s common sense. Buying a record player cabinet with a surface area barely able to fit today’s system may be limiting going forward. You will be forced to either buy a new turntable stand or improvise with a second table. This may work out fine–or it may be awkward.
Make sure a multi-level unit has adequate openings in the back panel or shelves for cable management. Drilling into something you just dropped a good deal of money on is distasteful–as is having cables all over the place. This is particularly important if you buy something not expressly intended to be used for a turntable or record player.
Selecting a record player stand seems innocuous and, certainly, the temptation to pick something cheap will be great. It’s a bit misleading, however. It’s important to select a platform that provides solid support for the turntable and convenience for vinyl storage.
And, of course, get something that complements your record player and most importantly the decor and looks of the room. I am about the worst person possible to provide useful insight on that.
5 Candidates for Best Turntable Stand from Crosley, Line Phono, Darla’Studio, Novogratz and Victrola
Note: All images are courtesy of the manufacturer. Hover over images for a closer view (in most cases). Vendors have unique short hands for specifications. I’ve more or less left these unchanged, so the capsules are a bit inconsistent. The paraphrased comments are subjective (and, indeed, sometimes contradictory). Folks sometimes use equipment incorrectly and then complain. Problems mentioned may have been addressed by the manufacturer. I also in most cases leave out “cons” based on poor delivery times (which may not be the fault of the manufacturer) and the criticisms that the devices didn’t function properly. If of course is entirely possible that the critique is correct. It also is true that in many cases people set things up wrong or don’t follow instructions.
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Crosley Furniture’s Everett Record Stand
Line Phono Turntable Station
These are two models of the Line Phono Turntable Station. One is extra high, topping out at 7 feet. It also is designed for larger amplifiers. The turntable stands come in four cols and accommodate most turntables and has a footprint of 2.6 square feet.
Line Phono says that the piece has vinyl storage for 100 records and has steel and rubber feet that can be individually leveled. It also offers a accessory shelf.
Darla’Studio 66 Cherry Stained Turntable Stand
The unit has dimensions of 2″ (H) x 19.75″ (W) x 15.25″ (D). It holds about 60 records and comes fully assembled.
Novogratz Brittany Turntable Stand
The Novogratz Brittany is a walnut turntable stand is a retro unit made of wood veneer with angled real wood legs. It has a walnut finished There is a separate drawer for remotes and cables.
The legs of the Novogratz Brittany make the unit a bit reminiscent of old time TVs. It supports as much as 50 lbs. and the lower cubby can support 40 lbs of albums. The dimensions are 30” (H) x 19.8” (W) x 17. 72” (D).
Victrola Entertainment Stand with Record Holder
It is rectangular and stores more than 130 records. This is the most of any of the record player tables we saw listed at Amazon.