Best Turntables: Buying Guide

You have always been strongly attracted to the turntable : even if you have never owned one in the past and even if you do not consider yourself an expert audiophile, you find the idea of ​​playing records on a turntable and collecting vinyls particularly engaging. In recent times, therefore, you have decided to make this little wish come true.

Your curiosity soon led you to search the Net for more precise information on which are the best turntables currently on the market, in the hope of perhaps being able to obtain even more exquisitely technical explanations to direct your choice with greater knowledge of the facts. . Well, I must tell you that you are one step away from realizing your intent: I have prepared this article, in fact, specifically to illustrate its main features and help you guide your choice towards a model that best meets your needs.

You just need to dedicate a few minutes of your precious time to reading the next paragraphs and you will soon have all the credentials to identify your next turntable, possibly also taking advantage of the purchase advice that you will find at the bottom of the guide. So, are you ready? Perfect, in this case I just have to wish you good reading and good continuation.

Index

  • How to choose the turntable
    • Typology
    • Reading speed
    • Head
    • Arm
    • Chassis
    • Other characteristics
  • Which turntable to choose
    • Best budget turntables
    • Best vintage turntables
    • Best Bluetooth turntables
    • Best turntables with speakers

How to choose the turntable

To realize how to choose the turntable that best suits your needs, it is absolutely important to first learn all the essential characteristics of this type of device: in the next chapters, therefore, I will illustrate the various aspects to take into consideration when preparing to buy a new one.

Typology

First of all, it is appropriate to make a first distinction by type in relation to the starting mechanism , dividing the turntables into three main categories: automatic , semi-automatic and manual .

The automatic models , as you can easily guess from the term, basically have a play button which, when pressed, moves the arm of the unit towards the vinyl, placing the head at the beginning of the record . As soon as the last track ends, the system it is equipped with automatically blocks the platter, repositioning the arm in its housing.

In semiautomatic turntables , on the other hand, the start of the record must be performed manually by the listener, while the final repositioning is carried out automatically .

Finally, the manually operated turntables are controlled entirely by the user , both in the start-up and shutdown phase, but are still usually equipped with a simple mechanism that keeps the arm raised to facilitate the positioning of the cartridge and avoid causing damage to the vinyl. .

Another important element to take into consideration is that relating to traction : the latter can be a belt , which makes use of the use of a rubber band for the transmission of movement from the engine to the plate, or direct , in which such operation is carried out by a transmission shaft , without any further intermediary tool.

This discriminant is particularly important: on the one hand, in fact, turntables equipped with belt drive are much quieter and lend themselves to standard use, while those with direct drive are characterized by the possibility of bidirectional rotation , which makes them the ideal choice. for DJs .

Reading speed

The reading speed is another requirement to which special attention is good. As you probably already know, there are three types of vinyls, which can be distinguished based on the number of revolutions per minute necessary to be able to listen to them correctly.

  • 5 rpm– almost always, for convenience, these are referred to simply as 33 rpm or LP.
  • 45 rpm– mainly used for the release of singles.
  • 78 rpm– these are old records, produced before 1940, which were originally heard on what we can consider as the ancestor of the turntable, namely the gramophone .

The advice I want to give you, therefore, is to make the choice fall on a turntable model equipped with a selector for setting the rotation speed , which is able to allow the reproduction of the various types of vinyls you have.

Head

The cartridge is the terminal part of the arm , that is the one that goes directly into contact with the vinyl , and is characterized by the presence of a needle (or stylus ) made with industrial diamond, sapphire or ruby, which allows the sound engraved in the grooves of the record to be transmitted to the amplification system.

Any turntable expert will tell you that the choice of cartridge is crucial for quality listening, so I advise you to carefully consider the aspects you are about to tell you about. First of all, an essential distinction must be made between these two types.

  • Moving magnet head– in this system the needle interacts with a magnet positioned between two coils , the movement of which produces the sound which is then forwarded directly to the amplification system. This solution allows you to replace only the stylus as soon as it is worn out.
  • Moving coil head– the stylus, in this case, is connected directly to a coil , to constitute an electromagnetic system characterized by a rather low impedance which, therefore, requires a pre-amplification . In this case, moreover, it is necessary to know that it is not possible to replace only the stylus when it is worn out, but it is necessary to replace the entire head .

Having said that, if you are new to turntables, the advice I want to give you is to prefer a moving magnet system, as it is easier to assemble and less expensive from an economic point of view. Finally, it is also easier to find spare parts.

Arm

By tonearm we mean that component of the turntable which basically connects the frame to the cartridge . The main features to look for in this element are lightness and sturdiness , but it is also good to check that it is possible to replace the piece if it is damaged: otherwise, in fact, it is necessary to buy a new turntable.

The arm can be straight , S-shaped , or tangential . The first is the most widespread precisely because, by virtue of what is reported in the previous paragraph, it is more resistant and at the same time light and also particularly easy to install . The “S” arm, on the other hand, was structured in this way precisely to accompany the shape of the record and facilitate the positioning of the head.

Finally, the tangential one is found only in some very high-end models : its particular conformation and the mechanisms it is equipped with allow it to move in parallel to the radius of the disc , in order to obtain an extremely precise reading of the grooves and error free.

Chassis

Vibrations can be the weak point of many turntables: to limit their presence, a support structure for the platter has been specially designed, called the frame .

Also in this case it is possible to make a distinction: we therefore speak of a rigid frame when this is mounted in direct contact with the chassis of the appliance and of a suspended frame when, on the other hand, there is a separation between these two elements.

In the first case the movements are amortized thanks to the presence of suitable particularly light materials, while in the second case the same result is obtained by inserting elastic springs inside it: in both cases, these are equally valid solutions for the containment of vibrations.

Other characteristics

Let’s now pass to the examination of the other features that, according to your needs, could tip the scales towards a particular model.

The most recent and advanced turntables, in fact, have some additional features that deserve a dedicated chapter. The presence of a USB port , for example, is essential if you want to dump vinyl audio to MP3 .

Even integration with a Bluetooth module can be quite interesting to connect it to an amplification system without the need to use cables or, otherwise, to receive streaming from mobile devices.

If, on the other hand, you want a more portable and adaptable model to different situations, also consider the integration of the speakers on the chassis or, alternatively, the provision of separate speakers in a composite system, possibly also enriched by additional players for CD playback. or audio cassettes .

Which turntable to choose

Now you can safely consider yourself sufficiently knowledgeable on the subject and you have all the elements available to determine which turntable to choose . To make the task easier, however, I have prepared a thematic subdivision of those that I consider the most interesting models: in the next paragraphs, therefore, you will find some ideas on the best cheap , vintage , Bluetooth and integrated turntables with speakers .

Best budget turntables

Are you looking for a good compromise between efficiency and convenience or, being your first model, you don’t want to spend too much? If so, check out this selection of the best budget turntables on the market.

ION Audio MAX LP

To begin with you should consider the model Audio MAX LP of ION . It is an excellent entry-level , characterized by an elegant wooden finish , and equipped with a fair supply of outputs: there are, in fact, the RCA sockets for connection to an amplification system, the AUX IN for headphones. and a USB port for dubbing tracks in digital format to a computer. It allows, through a special selector, to reproduce vinyls in 33 , 45 and 78 rpm and integrates speakers that allow you to listen to music even without the need for an external amplification system.

 

ION Audio Max LP – Three speed vinyl turntable with speakers, output …

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Victrola PRO

With a little more effort you could take home this belt-driven and semi-automatic jewel produced by Victrola , PRO model , equipped with a diamond stylus, two-speed reading (33 and 45 rpm) and pre – amplification system . It has good connectivity, as, in addition to the RCA and USB inputs (it also includes software for converting vinyl to MP3), it has Bluetooth for wireless connection to an amplification system. Do not underestimate the presence of a dustproof acrylic lid.

 

Victrola Pro Automatic Turntable USB Vinyl to Mp3 Conversion, Re …

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DGC DT 210

If you also care about the stylistic aspect and, therefore, want to have a turntable that best suits your furniture, I believe that the DT 210 model from DGC could be for you. It is an automatic device with belt drive , equipped with an AT 3600 magnetic cartridge system and selector for 33 and 45 rpm. As for connectivity, I would like to point out the presence of an RCA connector and USB input with cable included and CD with the software for digitizing vinyls on PC.

 

DT 210 USB Schwarz with USB-Anschluss internem

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Best vintage turntables

Are you looking for a product that can evoke the style of a particular era and that can fit harmoniously into your decor? In that case, I have prepared a selection of the best vintage turntables especially for you : all you have to do is choose the one that best suits your aesthetic tastes and listening needs.

1 BY ONE 1-AD07DE02

This 1 BY ONE model combines an elegant and classic style with extremely modern technological equipment, able to meet any listening need. It is a device with belt drive , two-speed reader (33 and 45 rpm) and automatic switch-off , in which the arm integrates a counterweight system capable of perfectly balancing the sliding of the diamond-tipped stylus (made by Audio-Technica , a leading company in the sector) between the grooves of vinyl. The Bluetooth built-in speakers , finally, allow connection and music playback from external devices.

 

1 BY ONE Belt Drive and Hi-Fi Turntable with Built-in Speakers, …

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Majestic TT 47

What do you think of a retro model entirely in wood , but equipped with the most modern transmission and reproduction technologies? This is precisely the case of this Majestic model , which combines a particularly refined design, adaptable to any type of furniture, with an extremely complete audio system, which integrates DAB + radio , CD / MP3 player and audio cassettes with remote control included. You will also be pleased to know that in addition to traditional 33 and 45 rpm records, 78s can also be played. Finally, there is both the USB input for MP3 encoding of vinyls and Bluetooth connectivity to receive audio streaming from mobile devices.

 

Majestic TT 47 DAB – Turntable 33/45/78 rpm, Bluetooth, Radio DAB + and …

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Denver MCR-50

The MCR-50 model from Denver is another very valid vintage-style turntable with wooden chassis , also equipped with a very rich range of features: in addition to the possibility of playing 33, 45 and 78 rpm vinyls, and eventually recording them in MP3 thanks to the USB connectivity with a PC, there is a CD player , a cassette player (located in the rear side), a radio tuner and two 2.5 W speakers that guarantee a decent audio quality even in stand alone. Via the AUX portlocated on the front of the device, it is also possible to connect other music devices, while the RCA outputs allow connection to a more powerful amplification system.

 

Denver MCR-50 Retro design turntable. FM / AM radio. CD player and speakers …

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Best Bluetooth turntables

For you, the presence of a wireless connection is a must when choosing any device. Don’t worry, in this special section of the guide you will find the best Bluetooth turntables currently on the market. For more models and more information on choosing this type of product, I refer you to my dedicated guide .

Audio-Technica AT-LP120

If you want to play it safe and are looking for a model that can guarantee you maximum reliability and extraordinary performance, then I strongly suggest you consider this manual turntable from Audio-Technica , one of the most important audio equipment manufacturers in the world. world. The AT-LP120 , in fact, has excellent quality features: integrated phono preamplifier , direct drive , hydraulically cushioned S-arm with adjustable tracking force and lockable support, AT-VM95E Dual Moving Magnet cartridge (easily replaceable with any needle of the VM95 series), selector a3 reading speeds and Bluetooth connectivity . Furthermore, if you want to transfer your vinyls to MP3, there is also a USB port that allows you to easily connect a PC for encoding using any recording software. The package also includes a very useful set of cables for USB and RCA connection, counterweight, felt mat and removable cover for dust protection.

 

Audio-Technica AT-LP120 x BTUSB Direct Drive Turntable, Bluetoo …

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Digitnow M36

This model of Digitnow with belt transmission offers a particularly modern and complete playback system: in addition to the possibility of listening to 33, 45 and 78 rpm vinyls, its interface also allows you to play cassettes , and is equipped with an AM / FM radio tuner. . Through the AUX socket it is possible to connect any external device: the music will then be amplified by the speakers integrated in the system. Bluetooth connectivity , on the other hand, will give you the opportunity to start streaming from any compatible device, while the USB socket and the MicroSD readermake it possible to convert to MP3 on external media without the need for additional software: everything can be done directly from the turntable. The very rich equipment is completed by an LCD screen with backlighting and a convenient jack input for headphones.

 

DIGITNOW! Turntable with Stereo Speakers, Three Speed ​​Bluetooth …

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Jam Spun Out

The Spun Out model by Jam is particularly essential both in terms of the line and the functions integrated in it: if, therefore, you are looking for a simple Bluetooth turntable without any particular accessories, it could be the ideal solution for your needs. It is equipped with a traditional belt drive system , a three-speed selector (33.45 and 78 rpm), headphone jack and AUX input for connection to an amplification system. The USB port also allows connection with a PC for converting discs into MP3 format, while the integration of Bluetooth allows the playback of vinyls on any speaker equipped with compatible technology.

 

JAM Spun Out Turntable, Bluetooth Vinyl Turntable, Stereo System with …

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Sony PS-LX310BT

Even Sony has produced several excellent level turntable: the model PS-LX310BT , for example, can certainly be counted among the best Bluetooth turntable present on the market, thanks in particular to system pairing simplified which allows the immediate association of external speakers. It is a device with an automatic system (just press the Play button to start playback) and with a two-speed player (33 and 45 rpm), equipped with an additional switch for selecting the audio level of the disc. As for the other specifications, the transmission mechanism is belt-drivenand features a die-cast aluminum platter that increases movement stability .

 

Sony PS-LX310BT – Bluetooth Turntable, Integrated Phono EQ (Black)

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Best turntables with speakers

Would you like a complete system, equipped with integrated or external speakers, so as not to have to worry about the aspect of the amplification? No problem, to make your job easier, I have prepared a list of the best turntables with speakers here for you .

Crosley Voyager

Let’s start with a simple model, economical, highly portable and characterized by a vintage style that recalls the years ’60’ : This is the turntable Voyager of Crosley , which is also available in four different colors. Its particular case shape and the integration of a loudspeaker allows, as mentioned above, an easy portability , making it particularly ideal for travel. It is also equipped with Bluetooth input connectivity for listening to music from an external source and a three-speed selector (33.45 and 78 rpm), as well as RCA and AUX inputs.

 

Crosley Voyager – Washed blue

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Digitnow M504-2

If you are looking for a complete reproduction system, with external speakers capable of guaranteeing a good level of listening, in this case I suggest you consider this Digitnow model that integrates, in addition to the three-speed record player with ceramic cartridge and stylus in ruby, also CD and cassette player , a direct system of conversion to MP3 on USB support or SD card and a Bluetooth receiver that allows you to listen to music in streaming from mobile devices. Everything, then, can be controlled using the convenient remote control supplied.

 

DIGITNOW! Bluetooth Vinyl Record Player, CD, Cassette, AM / FM Radio and A …

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Lenco LS-300

The model LS-300 from Lenco offers an excellent solution combined with external speakers , available in versions 2 × 10 , 2 × 20 or 2 × 30 watts . It is a model with belt drive and 33 and 45 rpm speed selector, which integrates a convenient Bluetooth receiver for playing content from external devices such as smartphones, tablets or PCs. In the connection panel there are, in addition to the inputs for the audio cables of the speakers, also the RCA ports for connection to a separate audio system.

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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