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How do you determine the value of an old record player?

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Quick Answer

Online auction sites, physical auctions, Internet retail sites such as Craigslist and Etsy, and flea markets help people determine the value of old record players. An appraisal of a working or decorative machine relies on the make, model and condition of the piece. Since record players date from around the turn of the last century, the provenance of an antique or vintage player is less important for determining its value than its style and condition.

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Top-winding gramophones with big brass horns are the marquee items in old record player collections. While individuals and serious collectors seek out victrolas housed in fine hardwood cabinets for their decor as much as their novelty, it is a significant bonus for a piece to be in working condition. As of 2016, well-preserved pieces are worth between $100 to more than $1,000.

Rare editions and unusual designs, such as the 1949 Philco "Boomerang," have greater values when they are in good condition. Matching a phonograph to photographs on antique sites such as Collectors Weekly turns up working details and auction prices for the oldest and fanciest record players. Additionally, vinyl collectors may pay more for mid-century contemporary models that still play 78-, 45- and 33-rpm records.

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