One of the better sounding "vintage" record players that are available today. It's also extremely affordable, which makes it a great buy.
Type of drive: Belt
Tonearm operation: Manual
Tonearm shape: Straight
In-built phono preamp: Yes
Reverse play support: No
USB interface: No
iPod dock: No
Recording types (33s, 45s, 78s): Yes, Yes, Yes
Dimensions in inches (length x height x width): 16.69″, 4.17″, 15.3″
Weight (pounds): 20 lbs
The Studebaker SB6051 is one of the better vintage record players that you can find on the market nowadays. It has a great-looking case that’s made out of pressed wood instead of the cheaper plastic. All types of vinyl sizes (33s, 45s and 78s) can be played perfectly well. Some of the reviews have complained about the slightly tinny sound that this record player produces but from a personal viewpoint, that’s actually more of a retro sound that you will certainly not be able to find in today’s modern versions of this device. If you just want to experience the nostalgia from the olden days, along with the occasional crackles or pops that many of the old vinyl scratches have, this is by far the best device that is capable of doing all of that.
Feature-wise, it’s pretty basic so don’t expect to have additional utilities like a USB port or an iPod dock on the player. Surprisingly though, the Studebaker SB6051 does have an in-built radio, which further enhances its aura of what a true record player from the golden days ought to be like. That, along with its classical looks is just the perfect combination.
It has an internal phono preamp so you don’t really need to plug in a set of external speakers to be able to hear the music that’s playing on it, but you certainly have the option to do so. There have been certain complaints about its maximum volume level, but I can’t imagine what that’s all about because to me, the volume can go pretty darn loud. Sure, it’s not blaringly loud that you can hear the music being played clearly throughout the entire house (unless you have an open floorplan) but it’s certainly adequate to be heard from another room away and that’s sufficient for me.
Just in case you’re wondering through, the Studebaker uses a belt drive for its motor (again, this is the classical way) and the tonearm has to be operated manually, without any form of auto-return. That’s the only downside that I could think of. It weighs at around 20 lbs, which is really rather light and this makes it easy for you to lug it around the house. Some of the modern turntables can weigh about twice as much at approximately 40 lbs, so you might want to keep that in mind.
For the price that you can get the Studebaker SB6501 at ($80 or so), it’s definitely an excellent deal. This is even more so if you’ve been looking to get a record player that has a classy vintage look to it. Out of all of the available “vintage” record players on the market, the SB6501 is definitely one of the best in terms of the audio quality that you can get out of it.