Jukeboxes may be a thing of the past, but their unique charm and ability to play classic tunes still captivate music lovers today.
However, with the scarcity of traditional jukeboxes, many people are turning to modern jukebox technologies, such as turntables, to experience the same thrill of hearing their favorite songs played randomly.
But can you play jukebox records on a turntable?
The answer is yes, and in this article, we’ll explore how you can do it and why it’s worth giving it a try.
So sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of jukebox records and turntables.
Can You Play Jukebox Records On A Turntable
Jukebox records are the same as the ones sold in record stores, so they can be played on a turntable. However, there are some things to consider before doing so.
Firstly, jukebox records come in different hole sizes than standard records. To play them on a turntable, you’ll need to get an adapter for the different hole sizes. Some turntables even come with one supplied in the box.
Secondly, jukeboxes were designed to play 7-inch records with a speed of 45 RPM. Most turntables have the ability to play 7-inch records, but you’ll need to make sure your turntable can play at 45 RPM. Some turntables have a switch to change the speed, while others require you to manually adjust the belt or motor.
Lastly, jukeboxes were known for their ability to shuffle and play songs randomly. While modern turntables don’t have this feature built-in, you can still create your own random playlist by shuffling your jukebox records and playing them in a random order.
Understanding Jukebox Records
Jukebox records were a unique type of vinyl record that were specifically made for use in jukeboxes. In the US, commercial singles had large holes, while jukebox singles had small holes. These small-hole jukebox records were not available for sale in stores and were made specifically for jukebox operators.
Despite the small hole size, jukebox records are still playable on a turntable. As mentioned earlier, an adapter for the different hole sizes may be necessary to play them on a standard turntable. It’s important to note that jukebox records typically have a wider grove spacing than standard records. This means that the needle on your turntable may need to be adjusted to avoid skipping or damaging the record.
Jukebox records were typically 7 inches in diameter and played at a speed of 45 RPM. Most modern turntables have the ability to play 7-inch records, but it’s important to make sure your turntable can play at 45 RPM. Some turntables have a switch to change the speed, while others require you to manually adjust the belt or motor.
Differences Between Jukebox Records And Regular Vinyl Records
While jukebox records are the same as the ones sold in record stores, there are some differences to note. Jukebox records were specifically designed to be played on jukeboxes, which means they have a larger center hole than standard records. This is to prevent the record from getting stuck on the spindle of the jukebox. To play jukebox records on a turntable, you’ll need to get an adapter for the different hole sizes.
Another difference between jukebox records and regular vinyl records is the size. Jukebox records are typically 7 inches in diameter, while standard vinyl records can range from 7 inches to 12 inches in diameter. This means that if you’re using a turntable that can only play 12-inch records, you won’t be able to play your jukebox records on it.
Lastly, jukebox records were designed to be more durable than standard vinyl records. This is because they were meant to be played repeatedly on jukeboxes and withstand the wear and tear that comes with constant use. Jukebox records are made with thicker vinyl and have deeper grooves than standard vinyl records. This means that if you’re playing jukebox records on a turntable, you’ll need to make sure you have a stylus that can handle the deeper grooves.
Compatibility Of Jukebox Records With Turntables
As mentioned earlier, jukebox records can be played on a turntable, but you need to make sure that your turntable is compatible with the different hole sizes and speed of the records. Most turntables can play 7-inch records, but you’ll need to check if your turntable can play at 45 RPM.
One important thing to note is that jukebox records are not different from the ones sold in record stores. There are no special pressings made for jukebox use. The only difference is the hole size, which can easily be solved with an adapter.
It’s also worth mentioning that some turntables may not be able to handle the weight of jukebox records. Jukebox records are often thicker and heavier than standard records, so make sure your turntable’s tonearm can handle the weight.
In terms of sound quality, jukebox records should sound just as good as standard records when played on a compatible turntable. However, keep in mind that jukeboxes were designed to play music in noisy environments, so the sound quality may not be as high as a modern hi-fi system.
How To Play Jukebox Records On A Turntable
If you have a collection of jukebox records and want to play them on a turntable, it’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure they play correctly. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to play jukebox records on a turntable:
1. Check the hole size: Jukebox records have smaller holes than standard records. You’ll need an adapter to play them on a turntable. Some turntables come with adapters included, but if yours doesn’t, you can purchase one separately.
2. Check the speed: Jukeboxes were designed to play 7-inch records at 45 RPM. Most turntables can play 7-inch records, but not all can play at 45 RPM. Make sure your turntable has the ability to play at this speed, either through a switch or manual adjustment.
3. Set up your turntable: Once you’ve confirmed that your turntable can play jukebox records, set it up as you normally would for any other record. Make sure the tonearm is properly balanced and the stylus is clean.
4. Select your record: Choose a jukebox record from your collection and place it on the turntable. Make sure it’s centered and secure.
5. Play your record: Turn on your turntable and carefully lower the tonearm onto the record. The music should start playing. If it doesn’t, adjust the speed or check for any other issues.
6. Shuffle your playlist: While turntables don’t have a built-in shuffle feature like jukeboxes do, you can still create a random playlist by shuffling your jukebox records and playing them in a random order.
By following these steps, you can enjoy your collection of jukebox records on your turntable with ease. Just remember to take care of your records and equipment to ensure they last for years to come.
Benefits Of Playing Jukebox Records On A Turntable
Playing jukebox records on a turntable can offer several benefits. One of the main advantages is that it allows you to enjoy vintage songs that may not be available in digital format. With the resurgence of vinyl, many classic artists are re-releasing their music on vinyl, including songs that were originally only available on jukebox records.
Additionally, playing jukebox records on a turntable can provide a unique listening experience. Jukeboxes were designed to play music in public settings, such as diners and pool halls. This means that the records were often mastered with a louder volume and more dynamic range to cut through the ambient noise. Playing these records on a high-quality turntable with a good amplifier and speakers can provide a powerful and immersive listening experience.
Finally, playing jukebox records on a turntable can be a fun and nostalgic way to enjoy music. Many people have fond memories of listening to jukeboxes in their youth, and playing these records on a turntable can bring back those memories and create new ones. It can also be a great conversation starter when friends come over and see the unique records you have in your collection.
Tips For Maintaining Jukebox Records And Turntables
If you’re considering playing jukebox records on a turntable, it’s important to maintain both the records and the turntable itself to ensure the best sound quality and longevity.
To keep your records in good condition, it’s essential to practice good record care. This includes using a vinyl record brush to remove small dust and dirt particles, using a cleaning solution or record cleaner to remove smudges and fingerprints, wiping clean with a microfiber or cotton cloth, rinsing with water (avoiding the central label), drying off, and storing properly in a sleeve.
In addition to record care, it’s important to maintain your turntable to prevent skipping issues. Dust is one of the biggest enemies of turntables, so it’s important to keep both the turntable and records as clean as possible. Avoid touching records with greasy fingers or storing them in a way that could cause warping. Consider using inner record sleeves lined with anti-static plastic to prevent dust buildup.
Replacing parts is also an important aspect of maintaining your turntable. If you have a belt-driven model, make sure to replace the belt every five years or so. If you’re experiencing noise or distortion, you may need to replace the stylus. Upgrading your setup by choosing a different stylus shape or cartridge type can also improve sound quality.
By following these tips for maintaining jukebox records and turntables, you can ensure the best possible sound quality and longevity of your equipment.