50s and 60s record players

60s HMV record player

Every teenager in the 50s and 60s wanted a radio and a record player. Pop music was sold via the singles chart and record players from that era were designed to play singles. Most were able to play stack of singles one after the other. Portable radios started out as bulky affairs with valves, but eventually the transistor took over the and shirt pocket radio became the 60s equivalent of the teenage mobile phone.

The popularity of music in the 50s and 60s ensured that the record player was just as popular as the radio. They were always referred to as "record players"; to use the old-fashioned term "gramophone" in the late 50s and early 60s marked you out as a member of the square, older generation. Record players had come a long way from the wind-up gramophones popular in the 20s. The most well-known make from the 50s was the Dansette. It was popular with the teenage market and was used to listen to the latest "rock'n'roll" hits.

This HMV, right, has the ubiquitous arm for playing several records one after the other. HMV was a pioneer from the horn gramophone days. Their symbol, featuring the famous dog Nipper, was a mark of quality. HMV players were considered some of the best available in the 60s.

Champion Stero record player c1960

Stereo record players

By the early sixties, stereo record players were available. This record player, left, by Champion, is from the early sixties. It is a portable set, but judging by the weight I wouldn't want to "port" it too far! The arm across the record allowed you to stack around five singles and play them one after the other.

This model has a BSR turntable. This was a common turntable used on record players at the cheap end of the market. More sophisticated stereo equipment was available, but aimed at a small, specialised market.

Can you buy a retro style record player today?

Zyon Wooden Retro Turntable

The Zyon retro style turntable offers the best of all worlds. It is a retro style wood finish record player, but you can also play CDs and cassettes on it. So if you have all three types of music then this is the ideal record player. It supports all formats of vinyl: 33rpm, 45rpm, 78rpm, LPs and singles. Also of compact dimensions it fits most spaces.

Can you buy genuine 60s style?

The answer is yes. Unbelievably, Steepletone make a wonderful looking sixties record player in black or red leatherette. It looks the part and has the arm mechanism for playing several records. At last someone has made a product that really looks like it could have been made in the sixties.

Annie Nightingale played her first record, Elvis's 'Hounddog' on the One Show using one of these record players players.

50s Jukebox style record player

If you prefer the 50s Jukebox look, check out this black and chrome finish beauty, right. It is also available in red and chrome.

This record player offers 3 speeds, and FM/AM radio and an MP3 player.

Buy old record players

A good place to buy old record players is the National Vintage Communications Fair. There is a good selection of stalls selling radios, record players and telephones. Unfortunately, it is only held once a year.

However, there is always a great selection of vintage record players on eBay.  Dansette record players are synonymous with the 50s and early 60s when Rock'n'Roll was still popular.  Other favourite makes were HMV, Philips, Ultra, Pye, Fidelity and Alba.

Condition is everything. Well restored and working record players can sell for £100 to £200. Look out for good quality leather cloth coverings and no missing trim.

Cheaper record players can be bought in working order for £50 to £80. Again look for overall good condition, but not perfect.  They might not be serviced. You will need to make your own judgment about electrical safety. 

Non working record players should be no more than £20 to £30.

Shop on eBay for:

Can you still buy vinyl records?

Answer, yes, there is a good selection on Amazon. You can get both new and used records. There are some classics there, such as Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, Rumours, by Fleetwood Mac, the Beatles White Album and Led Zeppelin.

See Vinyl records on Amazon

See also:

Add your comments on record players

">>> Everything I like " morgan 24/03/2010
"I have a major problem! Need to get hold of a'60s record player (or 50's) for stage use - play (community, non profit-making) opens tomorrow. It doesn't need to work, just look acceptable - could be an empty outer case! Can you help. I don't want to buy unless it's VERY cheap - hire would be fine.
I've been let down by somebody and am desperate!
Can easily collect.

Sue" sue baxter 08/06/2010
"Does any one remember seeing a portable Radio record player. The radio front dropped down to reveal a turntable which would take LP's. I think that it was a Phillips but not sure." Dereck Thomson 22/06/2010
"hi" what 06/07/2010
"hello, I have an old record player which has been in my family for over 25 years, it is about 3ft in height, wood finish, single turntable with multi coloured disco lights down the front of it. I cannot find a make or name on it (which i think is down to fading over the years)could you please try and locate what this model may be as we have searched on the internet to no avail. many thanks" jason bennett 08/08/2010
"I have a Beatles record player that works but the outside of the box is missing the photos and the inside has alot of small holes in the picture. I am looking for a restorer for this item. Any references would be greatly appreciated." Leslie Taylor 14/08/2010
"I have an old record player with roughly 100 old records, including Judy Garland, Eagles, Elvis, Led Zepplin, Steppenwolf and many many more. I absoltely love it, but times are hard and bills must be paid. I have tried researching it all day and can find nothing like it. It's quite big, maybe 5 feet long or so, with a lid so that items may set on top of it like a dresser. It's been well taken care of. It's probably from the 50's or 60's and says Theatron inside the lid. If anyone is interested or stumbles across any information on it on the net, please let me know!" Erin Broyles 19/08/2010
"I have a hmv record player model 209. the needle is fine, but the turntable is not turning. it does turn when i take off the record seat and look at the mechanism. the wheel does move when I hold the on button on the on poisition.
could anyone please help me with what i can do to rectify the problem. I am so excited to have it, and now it wont work.
many thanks
Simonne" simone Dale 21/08/2010
"I`ve just come into posession of my parents 60`s EKCO record player,what size fuse do i need for the plug,thanks." Dylan 08/09/2010
"i have found an old pioneer portable record player in the attic but can't find anything about it .its made in japan ,has a torquoise plastic casing .it's called a hawaiian for junior use .it's in very good condition .can you tell me anything about it please ." helen walker 22/11/2010
"i am interested in hearing by recordplayer and i like and love music" sivakumar 05/01/2011
"I have a Dansette record player, gifted to me at Christmas. I had one exactly the same as the one I have now many years ago. Back then I had removable screw in legs for it so that I could free stand it anywhere in the room.
My question is, are these screw in legs still available, and do you know where from?

Many thanks, Dave" Dave 06/01/2011
"my mum still has one of these" naomi 11/02/2011
"hi i just been given a stella record player it is in a green case with speaker in the lid it is from about the 1950s do you think it is worth anything" SALLY 26/07/2011
""You will need to make your own judgment about electrical safety."

Buyers of 1950s/60s record players should be aware that some of these used what is known in the radio trade as 'live chassis' amplifiers. The electrical safety of accessible metal parts such as the record deck and tone arm was 'assured' by the use of safety critical 'isolating capacitors' between the tone arm and the amplifier. These components are essential to the safety of the record player and are not easily checked for breakdown, or for degradation by contamination of decades of dust, etc., except by a skilled radio mechanic.

In general, if you cannot have the safety isolation competently checked, you should not today but a record player or the like, which may have a 'live chassis' design of amplifier. And, you should never use one in a damp or outdoor location." W. Riggs 03/09/2011
"I have a ferguson autochange record player
modal no. 3006. are thay worth anything?" Tom Peacock 16/09/2011
"Add on the record player I just mentioned is in full working order." Tom Peacock 16/09/2011
"I have inherited a 50's or 60's record rack table. The top looks like formica the rest is made of metal. I have no room for it so would like to sell it. Does any one know it's value please?" sandra fells 29/10/2011
"Hi got the dansette legs but one screw in bracket is missing so cant screw them on my record player. Has anyone got a spare bracket?thanks" Adri 11/11/2011
"Hi,

I'm looking for a record player that will play records without the centre hole taken out.
This is for my Granda for xmas, I know he is desperate to listen to his old records again. Any help greatly appreciated.

Many Thanks, Laura
(laura_allen2005@yahoo.co.uk)" Laura Hunt 15/11/2011
"(laura_allen2005@yahoo.co.uk) Hi laura Hunt, just look of a dual turntable/record player, as they are cheap to buy and usually have 3 speeds, 33, 45 and 78 speeds, look for, dual model, 1218, or the dual model 1219 or the dual model 1229. Thank you." Michael K 29/11/2011
"Hi,
Have a 1960's record player red vinyl case
similar design to a Dansette the name on the front is "Marc Niphone" with a G Marconni label on the inside lid, has Gerrard deck.

Can't find any info about it can you help?

Regards

Gary" Gary 12/12/2011
"Hi

Do you repair - or can you recommend someone who repairs - vintage record players?

I recently bought a 1970s portable record player (the brand is Brandt electronique - it's orange, the speakers convert into a lid and it has a carry handle).

However i cant get the turntable turning. There's no obvious "on" switch so I'm assuming the turntable is supposed to rotate automatically. However it isn't turning - even when a record is put on it or when the needle is moved onto it (which does cause an electronic humming sound). I've tried switching the spin speed - but it still isn't working.

Do you have any idea what the problem might be? Is it something you could potentially fix, and how much would it be likely to cost?

Would be a great help if you could help me find someone to repair this.

Thanks in advance.

Sabina" Sabina Smitham 14/12/2011
"Hi, I have an old Phillips Gramaphone / radio cabinet and would love to know more about it, when it was made etc. Can anyone help? or point me in the direction of who may be able to help? On the back it has MK 40065 which I am assumming is the model number. The item belonged to an Aunt and I beleive it is from the 1940's if not earlier.

I look forward to hearing from someone

Sara" Sara 02/01/2012
"I have an HMV Model 2106 record player (45 rpm only) and I need a drive wheel for it.

Any hope of getting one ??

Thanks

Ken" Ken Travis 10/01/2012
"have just bought a dynatron record player with radio and tape recorder in its original cabinet.i think it dates from the late 60s early 70s but i am trying to find out which model it is as there were several different types made.any help would be greatly appreciated." jo 17/01/2012
"Hi Jo,
Does this have a cassette tape reocder? I don't think that Dynatron started making models with casette until 1972. Does it have a model number anywhere? Best regards" Steven Braggs 18/01/2012
"i have a 1950s tall radio/record player for sale but nont know much about it maker is g. marconi" marie 19/02/2012
"I bought a Dynatron SRX26 record player with Garrard 2025TC turntable plus radio and cassette player last year in superb condition but it has now developed the following conditions, auto-changer has stopped working, L.H.speaker connection from player is crackley and doesn't always produce sound, a rumble/hum from remaining speaker when 78s are played, pick arm automatically returns to rest (yes automatically) and switches off when 2/3rds through play of record.
Can anyone help or put me in touch with a knowledgeable repairer. I live in Scarborough, North Yorks." Erich Hanson 05/03/2012
"i have a fidelety 70s record player the arm wont automatically move on to the record but it returns when finished. how can i fix this regards jeff." jeff 22/03/2012
"i have an original Red Marconi record player- it worked fine, when I put it in the loft, i have now fetched it down, and the records still play - but there is no sound from the speaker, you can hear it quietly on the turntable. Any Ideas ? thank you." sue 07/04/2012
"hi, i have a very old valve type record player made by PENNINE has anybody heard of this make.it has speakers either side of it where you open the doors for the sound to come out.i would be grateful for any info on it,cheers" mikey b. 18/04/2012
"hiyya i have a 1952 record player/raido KB dose any one no how much thy sell for, have pics off it" ryan 17/05/2012
"I have a toshiba SL 5 record plus 2tapes equaliser record player plus a national panasonic model g1010L DOES ANY ONE KNOW WHAT THEY ARE WORTH" kaiapoi 08/06/2012
"Hi im looking for a record player used in city schools during the 1960-1970,s to give to a lilttle boy who loves music, he is disable... Would like to get one with a cover and its portable desktop kind, one used in a class room setting.. thanks" jerry armstrong 20/07/2012
"i have fidelity record player model number H.E29.i think early sixtys but can not be sure ,anyone give me some info,tried all sources but can not find model H.E29" anne little 21/07/2012
"Hi Anne,
Are you sure the model number isn't HF29?
best regards" Steven 21/07/2012
"Hi Jerry,
I remember these record players from when I was as school in the 70s, but I guess they were older. They has a wooden box with a circular grill.

They were made by Clarke and Smith and do come up on eBay from time to time. Expect to pay around £100, though.

best regards" Steven 21/07/2012
"i have a hmv music centre model numb 2345. it looks like a coffin shape .the radio is working .there is sound out the record deck but wheel doesant go round .looking to sell it for 100 ono mobile 07597118786" stuart kay 10/09/2012
"Have found a old Dansette Transit battery powered record player is it worth cleaning up or is it a skip job ?" david nicolson 01/10/2012
"All of these record players mentioned from the 50's to 70's are worth holding onto and/or restoring... Vinyl records have never gone out of fashion despite what popular belief says. Try looking up retro turntables/record players and classic 1st press vinyl on e-bay sometime and click on the watch this itemlink and see what prices some of this stuff command. You might be suprised." Record King 16/10/2012
"does anyone want buy my bfs old ferguson minigram monarch player n it has 16/33/45/78 speeds.. it needs go due to moving house ..." jo 28/10/2012
"Hi i am kajal trivedi from gujarat i want to sell h m v hindi music player from 70s to 80s its total 2000 records pls reply if any body interested to buy contact with my email id kajal_223@yahoo.co.in" Kajal 06/11/2012
"i have a fidelity record player in a red and grey case which i have had since i was small this was in the sixties it does work and has been sat in my wardrobe for many years i am looking to sell it does any body have an idea what its worth" sarah 21/01/2013
"i have a sheraton hmv record player and radio in wooden cabinet. It worked on purchase and after bringing it home then when i moved it to another room it immediatly stopped working the turntable wont go round. I am having difficulty working out how to get iside cabin et as the wooden frame is not easily demountable have you any ideas?? cheers" anne 26/02/2013
"I am rebuilding a Garrad record player/GE stereo of the late 1950's that fits into a coffee table type cabinet. Thus I am in need of a shallow speaker, basically one that has an internal magnet: it is 8"; 8 ohm, 2 1/4 inch depth(or less) - anyone have or know where I can find a speaker?" Richard 08/03/2013
"i have a ferguson (solid state) drop down portable record player, model 3022.its in good condition and working order,but the volume is not as loud as it should be,anyone know how to fix it." norman horwood 23/03/2013
"i have been left an argosy record player it still works but needs a good clean." r. burnham 29/03/2013
"hi, i have a very old , but working perfectly HMV 2025 SERIAL NUMBER 038192, ANY IDEA HOW OLD THIS IS, AND IS IT WORTH ANYTHING...YOURS EVLYN" evlyn locke 07/06/2013
"Hi, Does anyone want to buy a hmv 2010 portable gramaphone? It works o.k. and is ina red /cream vinyl box. Its in reasonably good condition.
I am moving house and I don't want to keep moving it around as its not good for them." jason 23/07/2013
"Really interested in buying a working record player, please if you have a portable rp, then e-maill me a pic a info please.

Thanks
Ryan" Ryan 27/10/2013
"i have a hmv monarch record player in good working order can you give me some idea how much it is worth it is in good condition." June 18/02/2014
"I'm looking for a record player from the 1960s it's black on the bottom and the top is blue a childhood friend got me wanting that since she got me and my sister hooked on the Monkees" Christine 12/04/2014
"I have an old hmv 2025 record player for sale still has original 2 pin plug on it not sure of serial number or if working can send pics if needed if interested
Many thanx" matt 21/05/2014
"Hi, 2025
I have a Bush SRP52 player with a Garrard 2025 TC deck, the cartridge is a Acos GP93-1.
The stylus as broken and needs replacing,could you repair this?

Regards B C Thurtell." B C Thurtell 10/09/2014
"Try www.musonic.co.uk. Best regards" Steven 11/09/2014
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