Records and the turntables that spin them have had a resurgence in recent years both among audiophiles and casual listeners. We’d bet this has something to do with the superior sound records provide, nostalgia, or the need for music to be tangible again. Whatever your reason, I’m sure you’d like one that looks as good as it sounds! We’ve made this buyers guide for minimalist record players to help you find that perfect turntable.
Sony’s PS-HX500 is our #1 modern record player pick. Not only is it a minimalist turntable by design, but it also received a five star rating from What Hi-Fi for superior sound quality. This is an excellent player for those with a Scandinavian design motif, or just want something simple. Another aspect that sets this turntable apart is it’s USB output in addition to standard RCA.
Why would you pick a new record player over a classic one?
The nice thing about a modern record player that holds to a classic minimalist look is you get the best of both worlds. For instance, with the USB output you could hook it up to any computer and easily convert your records into a digital format, or even listen through the speakers on your computer. This can be really helpful if you don’t have a stereo amplifier to accompany your new record player (yes you will need an amp of some sort with most other record players).
Are older record players any good?
Absolutely! The sound quality is still unbeatable on many old record players, and as you will see next there are some that embody the minimalist design ideals in a way that has never been emulated since. If style is your priority, read on!
Bang & Olufsen Beogram, classic minimalist record players (that started it all)
In 1972 Danish industrial designer Jakob Jensen created the first truly minimalist record player. One that redefined the way turntables should look. It was the Beogram 4000 for Bang & Olufsen, and with it sleek, stylish, and uniquely modern record players were born. Bang & Olufsen went on to create a whole series of minimalist turntables that embodied swiss design right down to the Helvetica type. They range from modern minimalism, to classic complete with wooden finishes. But one aspect they all share is attention to detail, sleek design, and slim form factors.
Designed to be timeless, today’s demand shows they accomplished this with ease.
These record players were designed with such care that they are still relevant and highly sought after even today. Beogram’s are no longer manufactured, but are available on ebay. Used prices range from $200 all the way to $1,000+ depending on model and condition. That’s a lot of money for a classic, but hey, we get it. These things are serious conversation pieces that can complete your classic minimalist look (and sound good)!
Check out this excellent Beogram history blog post on ebay if you’d like learn more.
REGA Planar 2, high gloss contemporary minimalist record players
The REGA Planar 2 or “P2” is a unique find that is available in black, white, or red and finished with a clear acrylic platter. It has an almost futuristic look with its strong shapes, and gloss finish. This is a highly rated record player in both form, function, and most importantly sound.
With great sound quality and an ultra minimalist look (no messy looking buttons or dials), this could be the perfect record player for a contemporary setting.