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Sharp RP-114 Turntable - Stand up for the 80s

The 1980s was a fun time to be interested in technology. Integrated circuits were the big thing and consumer electronics manufacturers were busy dreaming up new and inventive ways to use them. Somewhere along the way build quality got forgotten about - but hey, never mind the quality feel the width and you can upgrade to the new model next year when this one breaks.

The Sharp RP-114 doesn't have much width, but that was the point, going vertical was a way to shrink down the footprint of a turntable. Sharp even used this vertical design to make a Ghetto-blaster with a built in turntable.

In 1982 I was lucky enough to hear one of the first CD players in the country. My friend's father sold commercial aircraft around the world and brought back a Sony CDP101 from a business trip to Japan. At the time it seemed to me like just another cool gadget, and it would take many more years before it became the standard format for pre-recorded music. In 1983 when this Sharp RP-114 was made, records and cassettes ruled.

Of course CD is old hat now, and turntables have again become a trendy item to have in your house. The Sharp RP-114 falls awkwardly somewhere between the two. What was once seen as hi-tech is now just tacky. The modern turntable owner often prefers a purer and more tactile experience. Vinyl records are bought by collectors and enthusiasts who want to take things a little bit more leisurely. They don't want to skip tracks at the press of a button or hide the record away in an ugly plastic box. They prefer to turn their vinyl over by hand and most certainly don't want to risk scratching it up with a cheap stylus.

Back in 1983 I would have thought that the RP-114 was the coolest record player on the market - now I just think it's a fun curiosity that typifies the aspirations of a very different time.

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Reader Comments (12)

Hi Mat, a lovely bit of nostalga this. When I was a kid, this seemed a very cool gadget indeed and I wanted one! But at the time I couldn't afford one, or anything that came close to one, and by the time I could afford one, they had been rapidly superceded by CD's, so in effect it became obsolete.

It's amazing that you found one brand new out of a box and clever thinking with getting the replacement belts.

Out of interest how much was it and where did you get it from?


June 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDaz

It was a one-off from ebay and cost a bit more than I should have spent on something like this. I was hoping that I'd really like it - but the more I used it, the more I realised how cheaply it was made. Like an old Amstrad midi-system. It's really more of a curiosity than a proper piece of hifi equipment.

June 9, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Wow, that triggered a memory. I had a vertical record player when I was young. A quick search showed it to be a Sharp VZ 3000.
It's probably still in my Mum's loft along with my AT-AT walker. I wasn't big on vinyl. It was too much messing about for a teenager who had access to sturdy cassettes. I made my first cassette player from a dictation machine I found in a skip. It was meant to have a foot pedal board to control it but that wasn't there. After a bit of messing I managed to force it to play. The Sharp VZ 3000 was the replacement. Bought it from a boot fair, mainly for the cassette player but I did buy a few records to show the player off. Those are probably in my Mum's loft too. Might have to venture up there and see what else I forgot about.

June 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEvilution

Nice video and well spotted - they are normally a bit battered by now. Funny - even at the time, I didn't realise it did track skipping which is rather cool. Pity you aren't that impressed as it doesn't look too cheap in the video. Is the sound quality rubbish? Didn't someone make one where the stylus moved to the other side of the record rather than having two? Can't remember now. Also, having done a quick ebay search for one I did discover a whole load of portable/hybrid models from Sharp that I had totally forgotten about.

While I am on about it too, was this just something I did? Going into Dixons and Currys to check out all the latest ghettoblaster types you would never be able to afford and as part of the quality assessment of each product press the eject button for the cassette? The slower it came out = higher quality product!!

June 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterIan

It wasn't just you....but Laskys was the place to be. They were like a high end Dixons. Less Amstrad and Sansui and more Technics and Pioneer. Laskys often had the slowest eject mechanisms around. I'm pretty sure that one of the doors I ejected back in the 1980s will still be slowly opening now.

June 15, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

hello, i obtained same turnatable and all it need is the new belt. Can someone please tell me dimenssions of the original belt for this nice peace of equiptment?

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEdDY

Here's a link to the one I ordered and used in the video

September 10, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

its says that it wont ship to my coutry. All i need is lenght of belt

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEdDY

Hi there I have been looking everywhere to buy one that play's both side's of the vinyl but can't find one do you no were I can buy one is the one you showed for sale .....don't care if it's second hand as long as it works.....I had one in the 80s but got broken and no longer have it......thank you .....

January 15, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDavid.ciliA

Quick note to say the belt of the 114 can be replaced quickly (once you've got the hang of it!) without having to remove any of the components - it took me a few hours to work it out, but when you get the hang of it, it takes 5 mins. The back has to be removed then you work the belt around the platter from the front - there is a small gap in the metal cover around the platter to pull the belt through. It's very fiddly but not compared to the hassle of removing half the components!

September 30, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterChris taylor

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