Finding a stereo with turntable built into it was a simple matter from the 1960s until the early 1980s when cassettes and CDs replaced vinyl records as the preferred media for recorded music. The home entertainment centers that were popular in the early stereo-record era began falling out favor in the 1970s and can only be found in the used market today. Before buying one of these large pieces of furniture, or the used component stereo gear that followed them, it's wise to confirm that it still functions. When shopping for new or used component audio gear with which to assemble a stereo with turntable, you can read archived reviews online that may help you identify the models and brands worth seeking.
Early in the stereo vinyl-record era, the typical home stereo system was housed in a large piece of furniture referred to as an entertainment center. You can sometimes find them being sold cheaply in thrift shops, flea markets, used furniture stores, and classified advertising. Before you bring the used stereo with turntable home, confirm that its various functions, or at least those that matter to you, work. When shopping, bring along a few test vinyl records, plus a cassette or 8-track tape if you plan to listen to those formats.
Most entertainment centers contain automatic turntables that allow stacking records for playback one after the other, but can be rough in how they handle the records. If you value your collection, consider a component stereo with turntable. New and used stereo receivers, amplifiers, preamplifiers, AM/FM tuners, and turntables can all be found in component form. Look for receivers or stereo amplifiers with low audio distortion and turntables with low wow and flutter specifications. Also be sure the turntable includes those speeds needed to play your record collection.
In response to a small, yet significant return to the vinyl-record format in the 1990s, a few specialty manufacturers have begun producing small stereo systems with built-in turntables and speakers. A number of consumer electronic brands also sell standalone turntables that can be connected to other component stereo gear. Some of these newer turntables include a Universal Serial Bus (USB) connection and analog-digital converter with which you can convert your music on vinyl to digital formats. Reading online reviews by experts and fellow consumers of all of these components, as well as stereo speakers, can help you to put together a stereo with turntable capable of high-quality music reproduction.