Zenith had been manufacturing record players since the 1950s before it went out of business in the 1990s. However, its players remain highly sought after, with more people purchasing them despite their age. So, what’s so unique about the players? I reviewed the Vintage unit to find out. Maybe I may even be convinced to buy one. Let’s see.

Zenith Vintage Record Player Overview

The Zenith Vintage record player is a classic unit that plays 16, 33 1/3, 45, and 78 rpm records. It features built-in speakers, a tonearm, control knobs, and a ceramic cartridge. Not to mention AM/FM capabilities for radio broadcasts. This unit is available for $350, but the price could be lower or higher, depending on its condition or the vendor. Most reviews on the player normally outline its nostalgic charm and warm sound. However, others have noted reliability issues and the need for maintenance due to the player’s age.

Technical Specifications

These are the features the player offers:

  • Multiple speed options-16, 33 1/3, 45, and 78rpm
  • AM/FM radio
  • Built-in preamp
  • Tonearm with adjustable tracking force
  • Ceramic cartridge

You can agree with me that this vintage unit has some nice features. By accommodating multiple record formats, the player ensures the varying preferences of users are met. I love the inclusion of AM/FM radio as it gives the device a unique touch. So, you can tune in to your favorite radio stations and listen to music or talk shows alongside your records for a versatile audio experience. The ceramic cartridge is another plus; it potentially offers improved tracking ability for good audio quality during playback. However, some users may not like the absence of modern features like Bluetooth/USB connectivity.

Zenith Vintage Record Player Drive Mechanism

The record player uses the belt-drive mechanism. In this setup, a rubber belt attached to the motor transfers motion to the platter. The aim is to reduce the amount of motor noise captured by the record for an enhanced listening experience. The only bad side of this mechanism I think you should be concerned about is the slower response time compared to direct drives.

Is Zenith Vintage Record Player Automatic or Manual?

A typical vintage player from Zenith features a manual mode where you move the tonearm at the start and the end of playback by hand. This is supposed to give you more control over the playback process. However, some versions may have the auto start feature that automatically places the tonearm on the record when you switch it on. You are required to move the arm back to its resting position manually, though.  

Usability and Portability of Zenith Vintage Record Player

Vintage is generally user-friendly as it requires minimal setup and adjustments. You can start enjoying your vinyl collection almost immediately without the headache of complicated installations or configurations. The controls for selecting speed and starting playback are also straightforward.

I don’t consider this unit to be portable. This is because the player and its components are housed within a strong wooden cabinet which is relatively big and heavy. While you can move it around the home, it’s obviously not designed for regular transportation or on-the-go use.

Zenith Vintage Record Player Design & Build

I love the record player’s overall look. The wooden cabinet, with a vintage-inspired finish and classic detailing, is simply stunning. It elicits an appealing and nostalgic aesthetic reminiscent of the 60’s and 70’s when music was celebrated in style. Enclosed within the cabinet is the record player itself, the amplifier, and the speakers. As such, these components are protected from moisture, dust, and physical damage. Vintage is more than just an audio equipment, it’s a cherished heirloom that can add charm to any living space.

Connectivity & Sound Performance of Zenith Vintage Record Player: Great and…

Vintage uses analog wiring connectivity, featuring RCA (phono) cables for audio output. This enables you to connect the player to external speakers or amplifiers. It also has wiring connections for AM/FM radio antennas. As a vintage version, this record player doesn’t support Bluetooth/USB connectivity.

The sound quality is fairly decent. As one user says, “The player still cranks out the beats like a champ despite being over 3 decades old.”

Main Technology Perks of Zenith Vintage Record Player

This player applies analog technology, enabling it to generate a warm and authentic sound that many audiophiles love. The AM/FM radio allows you to switch to radio stations when not listening to vinyl, adding versatility to your entertainment experience. 


Vintage costs around $350, which I consider fair given its ability to give you that old-school vinyl experience.

How to Setup & Use Zenith Vintage Record Player?

The Zenith Vintage Record player comes preinstalled, so there’s little to do when it comes to setting it up. Follow these steps to start the installation process:

  1. Examine the device first for signs of damage or wear. Also, ensure that the power cord is in good condition.
  2. Put the record player on a stable surface and plug the power cord into an appropriate power outlet.
  3. Turn on the power switch.
  4. Set the speed for the record you want to play.
  5. Place the record on the spindle and then move the pressure arm over on top of the record and release.
  6. Ensure that the cue lever is in the forward position and move the selector to the auto position and release. The tonearm should automatically move onto the record to start playing. If you have the manual player, gently move the arm over the edge of the vinyl and gently lower it on the surface.
  7. Enjoy your music! 

For a better listening experience, ensure the records and the player are always clean. Also, keep the device away from speakers since the vibrations produced might distort the unit’s sound output. Don’t expose the player to sunlight, moisture, or heat sources as these can easily damage it or warp your records.

Overall Impression About Zenith Vintage Record Player?

I would say that Vintage is generally a good player capable of bringing out the details in your record. However, the wooden enclosure is relatively big and may take up much of your space.


Easy to set up and use, good sound, aesthetically appealing, and budget-friendly.


No Bluetooth/USB connectivity and too large.

Who Is It For?

Both newbies and audiophiles will appreciate this record player.

Final Verdict

While I prefer the latest record players due to their enhanced features that make the vinyl listening experience more fun and exciting, I must admit the Vintage player holds its own uniqueness. It delivers where it matters most—sound. It also looks really nice and can add a touch of elegance to your space if you have room to spare.