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5 Needle Doctors Alternatives You Need To Know Today

There is a different yet stimulating feeling that takes over your body when you hear a vinyl record. The warm sound and intimate ambience draw a lot of people in getting their vinyl and record players. It goes to say that vinyl has seen both the best of times and the worst of times. Through it all, vinyl lovers frequent the services of their ‘Needle Doctor.”

After four decades of offering audio equipment services to record and vinyl lovers, Needle Doctor had closed its doors to many people.

What started out as a stand-in job for wanting to buy a stereo for himself, Jerry Raskin has paved his career for a successful turnout. Raskin had sold turntables and audio equipment that had paved his way to expand his business for life.

When Raskin turned 62, he decided that he wanted to pursue art and he discontinued the services he offered as the Needle Doctor.

needle doctor alternative

Who is Jerry Raskin?

In 1979, at a small and dingy shop in Dinkytown, Jerry Raskin took his chance in selling turntables and vinyl equipment to people living near his place. Raskin’s entrepreneurial skills go way back to his middle school years.

In middle school, Raskin only has a weekly allowance of 25 cents. With his allowance, he would buy the latest candies fresh out of the market. Then, he would sell them to his classmates and friends with the price a little bit higher for his profit.

In college, Raskin’s entrepreneurial skills made him famous among his classmates and friends. At the University of Minnesota, Raskin sold cassette tapes to other students in between his classes. By selling those blank cassette tapes, Raskin managed to pay rent and save for his allowance.

Raskin is an entrepreneur. He knew how to make his own way in the world. He has this ingenious idea of profiting from his passion, which is to sell turntables and cassette tapes. Indeed. Raskin carried his entrepreneurial skills until the end of his days.

How It All Started

Jerry Raskin has a small and dingy shop in Dinkytown. Before the emergence of online stores. Raskin sold his turntables and audio equipment from his shop’s counter. If some passersby would come by. Raskin would convince them to buy his style and turntables from his shop’s counter.

During the height of mass-market stores and retailers that sell audio equipment. Raskin almost gave up his business. It almost shattered his dreams of pursuing his audio equipment store. Most of these mass-market stores sell services and audio equipment at a lower price.

This is when Raskin knew what he would do with his small business. Raskin noticed that these huge stores do not sell customized and high-end audio equipment. Raskin knew this was his competitors’ Achilles heel.

Vinyl record on Vinyl player
Vinyl record on Vinyl player.

From then on, Raskin specialized in high-end audio equipment. From styli to turntables, Raskin made his products with such finesse that he started to gain avid customers. When online stores heightened. Jerry Raskin, ever with his entrepreneurial mindset, took a shot in the online business industry.

Now. Jerry Raskin is known as the Needle Doctor. His humble beginnings paved the way for a successful and massive audio equipment business. Raskin is the man not just of the hour, but throughout his lifetime.

Jerry Raskin’s Legacy as the Needle Doctor

A screenshot from hifihaven.org
A screenshot from hifihaven.org showing the Needle Doctor shop.

Getting your stylus from the Needle Doctor is a necessity for vinyl lovers and enthusiasts. Listening to that warm and genuine tone can only be made possible from the hands of the Needle Doctor.

Raskin was the epitome of entrepreneurship. His business survived when the cutthroat competition in the turntable and audio equipment industry had been too tough in the market. Raskin knew what he needed to do. He advertised and maximized his business network.

Raskin noticed that most of his competitors focused on audio equipment; not on high-end audio equipment. This is the gap that Raskin bridged through his specialized business. This is why Raskin reached out to magazines in creating a mail order for his business.

Through time. Raskin took the opportunity of the online world. He branched out his business in the virtual world. As a matter of fact, Raskin gained 90% of his earnings from his online customers.

Indeed, creating an online store for his turntables and high-end audio equipment has been worth the risk. Now. Raskin’s business echoes everywhere. He even sold audio equipment outside the country. Raskin even had avid audiophile customers from Japan and Germany.

The Needle Doctor’s online visibility is their utmost strength. Try to search turntables and styli in Google. For sure. Google would recommend the services of the Needle Doctor. This is the magnitude of Raskin’s business that made it survive through time.

Jerry Raskin left an indelible legacy among audiophiles and vinyl enthusiasts. Through all of the success and triumph. Raskin remained humble and genuine. He knew where it all started. From a small shop in Dinkytown and now to a massive online store business. Jerry Raskin is one of a kind.

A look to the Needle Doctor’s store.

Jerry Raskin’s Battle Against Cancer

At the age of 62, Raskin had lost his life to cancer. The Needle Doctor had died last January 3. 2021. To the world, Raskin was known as the Needle Doctor. Raskin always loved listening to music especially music produced from vinyl.

In an interview for a magazine in the year 1994. Raskin said that when he listens to music, he always plays his records. His wife. Brigid. recalled how Raskin gave her a Denon turntable at his shop when Brigid walked to his store.

Raskin’s brother, Ken, recalled how Jerry would join his crew and employees during lunchtime. Raskin is also fond of walking around his Chihuahua dog named Lulu. Some of these beautiful memories were shared by Raskin’s wife and brother to the media and to all of his loyal customers.

Jerry Raskin has further inspired a lot of people to love and enjoy vinyl. He even teamed up with Electric Fetus to influence most of the younger people in loving vinyl records. Truly, Raskin wanted to share his passion with the younger generations.

One time, Raskin’s brother, Ken, shared a story when Raskin was in the company of doctors. While those doctors talk about a patient they had at the hospital, one doctor asked Raskin if he was also in the medical field. Raskin humbly replied that yes, he is a doctor, the Needle Doctor.

7 Alternatives to Needle Doctor

Nowadays, most mass-market stores offer audio equipment products and services. Some of these stores sold their products online. You can choose among those ample products and services that you want to avail yourself of.

These stores even offer modern audio equipment, turntables, and styli fora lot of customers. But, if you want to buy Needle Doctor-like audio equipment, you will not likely find the same quality of high-end equipment from the Needle Doctor.

This is an outright fact. Some of these online stores have products and services that are incomparable to the Needle Doctor.

Now if you are an audiophile and you want to have that stimulating listening experience, we curated some of the best alternatives to Needle Doctor. Most of these options are available online.

Let us check each alternative.

1. Audio Advisor

Audio Advisor
Homepage of Audio Advisor’s website.

With over one million avid customers worldwide, Audio Advisor is one of the biggest manufacturers of high-end audio equipment in the market. This was founded in 1981 by Wayne Schuurman.

Audio Advisor has been offering audio equipment from famous quality brands around the world. For 40 years, this business has garnered the trust and loyalty of millions of users. Since 1981. Audio Advisor has been part of the Greater Grand Rapids Better Business.

Aside from this, Audio Advisor has been associated with Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, Professional Audio Retailers Association (PARA), and American Catalog Mailers Association (ACMA).

These partnerships with local and regional organizations prove the quality of high-end audio equipment products and services this company has to offer. They offer modern amplifiers, stereos, turntables, and parts of audio equipment.

Just like the online website of the Needle Doctor, Audio Advisor has the same online business ambience compared to the Needle Doctor. Most of the products featured range from AC Infinity to Woo Audio that they offer to various customers worldwide.

Expert Tip: More than this, Audio Advisor is recommended by countless magazines and periodicals. Some of these magazines involve Stereophile Magazine, Hi-Fi Magazine, The New York Times, and Time Magazine.

Audio Advisor has a television presence as well. It has been featured in channels of CNET-TV and CNN. All of these memberships and partnerships speak a lot of the quality and trusted brands of high-end audio equipment Audio Advisor has to offer.


2. Amazon

Since 1994, Amazon has been a successful manufacturer and online retailer store. On its website Amazon.com, this company offers a range of products from books, electronics, and music. Jeff Bezos emphasized that Amazon is not just a retail store but a technological powerhouse.

Hence, Amazon offers various audio equipment available to millions of users worldwide. If you want to buy a turntable stylus from Amazon.com, there are several items that you can choose from the website.

Some of Amazon’s audio equipment products include Audio-Technica items. But, Amazon also has generic audio equipment brands, turntable styli. and cartridges you can try

Audio-Technica AT-VM95E Dual Moving Magnet Turntable Cartridge Green

One of the best finds you can try if you are an audiophile is Audio-Technica’s dual moving magnet turntable cartridge from Amazon.com. This audio equipment is durable and is easy to mount in your vinyl. You have the option to buy the cartridge only or you can buy it with a headshell as well.

This dual magnetic turntable cartridge offers a high voltage that gives you the best listening sound experience. To mount this cartridge, you only need two screws and then everything is done.

Sumiko Blue Point Special EVO III High Output Moving Coil Phono Cartridge

Another option Amazon.com offers is the Sumiko Blue Point Special EVO III. This one has a moving coil and has a phono cartridge. This is one of the best options you can try from Amazon.com.

Before purchasing audio equipment online, make sure that you know what you want. It is important to know the model that you need for your stereo or turntable at home. Most people say that Amazon.com is one of the best alternatives to Needle Doctor.


3. Music Direct

Music Direct
Homepage of Music Direct’s website.

This is one of the best alternatives to Needle Doctor. Music Direct boasts a long list of high-end audio equipment manufacturers and products. You can choose among these various brands and products that suit your style and model.

Some manufacturers of Music Direct include American Records, Audio Technica, Big Crown Records, Warner Bros. Records, and Sony Electronics. These are some of the trusted manufacturers under the Music Direct company that offers quality and trusted audio equipment and products.

Most of the audio equipment you can purchase from Music Direct includes phono preamps, turntables, disc players, speakers, and phono cartridges. Music Direct also has available record care equipment you can try and purchase. This includes record cleaning equipment and cleaning machines perfectly fit for your record and vinyl maintenance.

On their online website, most of the hand-picked favorites of customers include audiophile rock, audiophile jazz, and roots and country records. More than this, Music Direct has been rated with a 5-Star Customer Favorite, Ten Bands One Cause Pink Vinyl, End of Year New Mofi, and AudioQuest DragonFly.

Indeed, Music Direct has a varied collection of turntables, styli, and high-end audio equipment. If you are looking for your money’s worth of a great listening sound experience. Music Direct is one of the best alternatives to Needle Doctor.


4. LP Tunes

LP tunes
LP tunes’ website.

Since 2000, LP Tunes has been persistently providing and offering high-end audio equipment and services for its millions of users. LP Tunes boasts its record players and turntables that attract many audiophiles and vinyl enthusiasts alike.

On their online website store, you can see that LP Tunes specializes in providing cartridges, needles/styli, belts, turntables, headphones, and speakers. Some of the brands of these hand-picked cartridges are Audio – Technica, Ortofon, Shure, and Denon.

LP Tunes also have fine-tuned needles/styli fit for your record players. Some of the brands offered range from Grado and Tonar. Their top seller stylus is Audio – Technical ATN440Mlb stylus. What is good about LP Tunes is that you can freely avail of their stylus-matching service if you are in doubt of which stylus fits your record player.

Expert Tip: If you are also looking for turntable belts, LP Tunes has selected brands that can replace your broken turntable belt at an instance. Their belts come from brands like Stanton. Akai and Soundesign.

LP Tunes offers an ultimate turntable package at a price of $449.00. Their phono cartridge model Nagaoka MP-500 ranges from a price of $949.00 An Audio – Technica cartridge costs $440.00 while some of their smaller cartridges cost $99.00. Their record care kit starts at a price of $39.00.

Since LP Tunes is relatively a new player in the audio equipment industry, they do not provide an extensive collection of turntables, needles/styli. and cartridges. But. they offer a care and maintenance kit good for your record players.

As their industry expands, so do their audio equipment products and services. LP Tunes continues to select and add various brands of audio equipment with good quality available for audiophiles and avid customers alike.


5. Elusive Disc

Elusive Disc
Homepage of Elusive Disc online store.

As the company’s name suggests, Elusive Disc specializes in rare and special collectibles for your high-end audio equipment. Just like the Needle Doctor. Elusive Disc specialized in quality and high-end audio equipment.

Elusive Disc is not a new player in the audio equipment industry. Since 1989. Elusive Disc has been known by audiophiles and vinyl enthusiasts as an online store that sells elusive and rare vinyl and record players.

At first, this company specialized in music, Elusive Disc had sold numerous albums of famous artists recorded in history. Over time, they branched out into the audio equipment industry.

Some of these in-stock items include a Pink Floyd, The Dark Side of the Moon hybrid multi-channel, and stereo SACD. Now, if you want to restore your old vinyl records. Elusive Disc had the equipment for you. These items include a KirmussAudio KA – RC-1 with an ultrasonic record and restoration system.

Expert Tip: Elusive Disc is also known to ship its audio equipment products with extra care. They make sure that you receive your items in a much better condition. Elusive Disc hand-packaged their items before shipping them to the customers.

If you are an audiophile and a vinyl enthusiast, getting rare and special audio equipment and collectibles has never been easy and accessible with Elusive Disc.


6. Crutchfield

Crutchfield
Crutchfield online store.

Crutchfield is known as a multi-retailer of audio and consumer electronics. This company was founded in 1974 in Charlottesville. Virginia, the United States by Bill Crutchfield. Unlike the Needle Doctor. Crutchfield specialized in-car audio and video equipment.

This company is slightly different when compared to Needle Doctor alternatives since it offers items such as car amplifiers and subwoofers. Other than this. Crutchfield sells personal electronics, headphones, and wireless audio equipment.

When you search on their online website, you will easily get a list of search results in their online store. Crutchfield has an Amazon-like online mechanism where a product is also categorized by brand, price, and model as well.

Despite their limited audio equipment such as turntables and vinyl records. Crutchfield boasts its competitive customer service and technical support. They have quick and responsive technical support right at a moment’s notice.


7. Turntable Needles

Turntable Needles
Turntable Needles.

This is one of the best alternatives to Needle Doctor. Turntable Needles offer audio equipment that ranges from phonographs, turntables, record players, and consoles as well. This company even has an available listing of audio equipment that dates back to the 1940s.

In 2008, Turntable Needles released the “Find my Player” feature on their online website. All you have to do is type in the item or product that you want to purchase in the online store. Then, it will redirect you to over 140.000 results and solutions.

There are also specialized pop-up buttons that you can use when you search through the Find my Player search box. Turntable Needles ship their items and products from Oregon. Some of their items include a vinyl record brush at a price of $9.75. Their vinyl record cleaning kit starts at a price of $19.00.

When you visit their website, they have the Frequently Asked Questions button where you will be directed to commonly asked questions about cartridges and turntables. If you have any queries about some products of Turntable Needles, the FAQs section will likely have an answer for your questions.


Final Words

The Needle Doctor has truly left an indelible mark in the high-end audio equipment industry. Raskin’s business has been frequented by audiophiles and vinyl enthusiasts alike. It set the benchmark high in providing quality audio equipment for varied customers.

Today, there are various Needle Doctor alternatives you can choose from. These stores offer cartridges, phonographs, turntables, needles/styli. and more. All you need to do is to assess if these stores fit your preference and style.

About Maggie Holding

Hello! My name is Maggie and I am a proud Editor/Author for PlayTheTunes. Coming From South Carolina, USA, my whole life I've sang and played the guitar and flute! I love music with a passion, and am ecstatic to help others in their own music journey!