Zenith was one of the first record player manufacturers in the United States, beginning in 1918. For years, they’d kept up with the rush of new record formats for years, producing everything from portable record players to full consoles.
Playing records on a vintage Zenith record player can be a surreal experience. Determining how much you’ll have to pay for that experience is another matter, which begs the question: how much is a Zenith record player?
In this article, we’ll dive deep into the factors that influence the value of a Zenith record player, as well as where you can get one for yourself.
How Much Is A Zenith Record Player Worth?
A Zenith record player can be worth as little as $30 or as much as $1,000. The reason for such a large price difference is due to a number of factors that influence the value of the record player.
A Zenith record player’s worth varies based on the following factors:
Zenith record players come in a wide variety of designs, each one more elaborate than the one before it. The more intricate the design, the more expensive the Zenith record player.
The Mid Century Vintage Zenith Record Player Console, which looks like a large table from the 1970s, costs just over $1,000.
The most affordable are the Zenith portable record players, which usually cost less than $100. These record players resemble turntables today. Keep in mind that if it’s a rare model, it may be a little more expensive, but it’s unlikely to cost more than $300.
There are also the Zenith Cobra-Matic record players, which are priced somewhere between consoles and portable record players.
In most cases, the more rare a product is, the higher its price. This applies to Zenith record players as well.
Zenith created hundreds of record players during its time. While there’s no way to know how many of them are still around today, it’s safe to assume that not many of them have survived.
For example, the Mid Century Zenith Record Player Console isn’t only vintage, but it’s also not easy to find, which adds to its price.
The condition of a record player can significantly influence its price. That’s why you may come across Zenith record players that are loaded with features, but only cost $50. The record player most likely has some issues and will require restoration, which will incur additional costs.
So if you happen to find Zenith record players that are still in mint condition, know that those are the ones to splurge on.
Another factor that influences the value of a Zenith record player is supply and demand. It’s the reason why a record player can fetch thousands of dollars at auction while another can fetch pennies on the street corner.
That said, as vinyl records and record players regain popularity, the demand for vintage record players has increased. As a result, most record players, including Zenith’s, may be more expensive than before.
Not to mention that most Zenith record players are extremely location dependent, which means that a model can cost $50 in one location and $200 in another if in pristine condition.
Because Zenith record players were discontinued a long time ago, only the record players that have been passed down survive. So it’s not likely that you’ll be able to find one in a department store.
Luckily, many people sell their vintage record players at garage sales. So if someone is having a garage sale in your neighborhood, it wouldn’t hurt to check if they have a Zenith record player.
You don’t have to wait for your neighbor to decide that they no longer need their Zenith record player, though. There are a variety of places where you can find Zenith record players, including antique stores and auctions.
You can also find Zenith record players on online marketplaces, such as eBay, Etsy, and Facebook marketplace.
That said, because there are so many options, it’s best to set a budget and criteria before scouring the Internet for your Zenith record player. This will help you stay focused and avoid feeling overwhelmed by the entire experience.
Once you’ve found the ideal Zenith record player, you should double-check the seller’s and the record player’s authenticity. What’s more, before you buy a record player, you should make sure it’s fully functioning.
Playing a record on a Zenith record play doesn’t require any complicated steps. Still, it’s crucial to follow the correct sequence of steps to avoid damaging the record or the player.
Here’s how to use a Zenith record player:
- Place the record on the spindle
- Move the pressure arm over on top of the record
- Make sure the cue lever is in the forward position
- Move the selector to the auto position, then release it
Your record should automatically drop and the tone arm should move into the play position.
If you want to stop the record player, here’s what you should do:
- Move the cue lever to the backward position
- Swing the tonearm into the rest and clip it down
- Raise the pressure arm and move it over the tonearm
- Place the selector in the off position
How do I find my Zenith model number?
Zenith usually places the model number along with the year of production on a slip of paper underneath the metal chassis of the record changer. To get to that slip, you’ll need to remove the back of the record player console.
However, given that Zenith record players are from before the 2000s, the majority of them will have moved around a lot. So there’s a good chance that this slip of paper fell off at some point.
Users also read: How much is a Victrola record worth?
You may need to find out your Zenith record player’s model number for restoration purposes. In that case, if you can’t find your record player’s model number, there are numerous online communities that’d be more than willing to help you find out.