Best Turntable 2017 Reviews – Top Budget Record Players
Are you looking for the Best Turntable? Read the turntable reviews & buying guide that will help you in choosing the perfect record player for you. Everyone seems to have forgotten about the turntable but surprisingly, it has not been phased out yet. No stranger to flea markets, turntables are considered a collectible treasure. The iconic turntable is known to be one of the earliest pioneers of classical music and has started to show signs of a grand comeback in the recent years. No matter how much music has evolved itself in the last decade, the turntable is considered a classic in its own right. The nostalgia of being able to spin records, or just being a reminder to us of how turntables started the DJ revolution, turntables aren’t phasing out anytime soon.
Top 5 Turn Tables On The Market
U-Turn Audio – Orbit Plus Turntable
S/N Ratio: 79 dB
Weight (lbs): 15
Speed: 33-1/3, 45, and 78
S/N Ratio: 50 dB
Weight (lbs): 23.5
Pro-Ject – Debut Carbon
S/N Ratio: 68 dB
Weight (lbs): 12.3
Sony PSHX500 Hi Res USB Turntable
S/N Ratio: 50 dB
Weight (lbs): 8.8
Music Hall MMF 2.2
S/N Ratio: 70 dB
Weight (lbs): 19
Our Best Turntable Pick : Audio-Technica AT-LP120
The Most Recommended is Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable, is a fan favorite for consumers and a dreaded opponent to competitors. This professional record player was perfectly designed to suit all types of customers, whether you’re a music enthusiast or a professional DJ, the Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable is a modern-day legend.
1. U-Turn Audio – Orbit Plus Turntable – Perfect Turn Table Under $500
Buying a turntable shouldn’t cause you headaches. The turn tables that you buy should be easy to use and sound great. While upper-end turntables are notoriously expensive, the U-Turn Audio – Orbit Plus Turntable isn’t. The U-Turn Audio – Orbit Plus Turntable gives you the good quality of a higher-end turntable at the faction of the price.
Features & Specifications
Exceeds Its Value: The U-Turn Audio – Orbit Plus Turntable is a clear example of a turntable where its value far exceeds its price tag. The U-Turn Audio – Orbit Plus Turntable was designed to lack nonessential parts while maintaining its classic audiophile components, and the result is a basic yet powerful turntable that spits out incredible sound.
Easy Assembly And Use: The U-Turn Audio is designed for easy assembly and use. This makes this turntable one of the most versatile ones in the market.
Play Like A Professional DJ: With high quality sound fit for all its customers, the U-Turn Audio – Orbit Plus Turntable will turn your room into a popular club
American-Made: This high performance turntable was assembled in the USA.
Crisp And High Quality Sound: The U-Turn Audio’s precision tonearm, machined acrylic platter, and manual belt drive helps read the data on vinyl records effortlessly, and as a result, is able to reproduce crisp, high quality sound.
Also Includes: The U-Turn Audio – Orbit Plus Turntable comes with a dust cover, RCA cables, felt mat, and an adjustable counterweight
One Year Warranty: The U-Turn Audio is backed by a one year manufacturer’s warranty.
Pros & Cons
Incredibly easy to set up
High audio quality
Great modern black design
Premium quality tonearms to enhance the music and sound
Great starter turntable for beginners
Constructed with high quality materials
Turntable is not automatic but shouldn’t be an issue
A built-in preamp is not included
Cartridge is very fragile and must be handled with care
Overall, the U-Turn Audio – Orbit Plus Turntable is one of the perfect turntables in the market for under 500. The quality that comes prepackaged along with the reasonable price tag makes this turntable one of the best bargains in the market. For the same quality and features you’d get in a high-end model, you get that with the U-Turn Audio – Orbit Plus Turntable.
2. Audio-Technica AT-LP120 – Best Turntable Under $300
One of the bestselling record player in the market at a generous price offering, the Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable is a fan favorite for consumers and a dreaded opponent to competitors. This professional turntable was perfectly designed to suit all types of customers, whether you’re a music enthusiast or a professional DJ, the Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable is a modern-day legend.
Features & Specifications
PC/Mac Compatible: Equipped with today’s standard technology, the Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable is capable of connecting to either PCs or Macs for easy synchronization.
USB Output + Phono Preamplifier: The turntable includes a selectable internal stereo phono preamplifier and a USB output that allows direct connection to your computer.
Frequency Response: It has a frequency response at 20 – 20,000 Hz with channel separation greater than 20 dB at 1 kHz.
Digital Output Audio Conversion: The Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB is capable of converting your vinyl records into digital output audio files and allows you to browse between different RPM speeds at 33, 45, or 78.
Beautifully Crafted: It’s designed to be anti-resonant with an aluminum platter and slip mat. Its S-shaped tone arm is lifted hydraulically for precision control and is able to lock its rest.
Trusted By Professionals: The Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable is a turntable trusted by many in industry as well as at home. It’s highly reviewed and considered one of the top selling turntables.
Passion For Quality: Audio-Technica’s passion for quality has made the Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable one of the best turntables out in the market.
Pros & Cons
Incredibly affordable for a professional turntable
Is able to spin the vinyl record at different RPM speeds
Easy 5 minute setup
Great customer support
May not sound the best when paired with other devices
Quality control is not very good
May emit motor noise after long use
There’s a good reason why the Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable is one of the most demanded turntables of all time. With professionally crafted quality at a price that would make most people non-believers, the Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable delivers and exceeds expectations.
3. Pro-Ject – Debut Carbon – Best Turn Table For The Money
Seductively designed and addictively curious, the Pro-Ject – Debut Carbon is a head turner. The Pro-Ject – Debut Carbon comes with a sleek red base with an all-black mat. It is highly reviewed and considered one of the best looking turntables that will flow with any club.
Features & Specifications
Increased Weight Capacity: The Pro-Ject – Debut Carbon comes with an 8.6” tonearm with an increased platter size to allow for more weight.
Well Crafted: Its precision belt drive is coupled with a synchronous motor along with a Sorbothane motor suspension and Ortofon 2M Red cartridge. The high quality arm and cartridge is an incredible combination that produces unrivaled tracking and recovery of music nuance.
Professional-Grade Quality: Combining all the parts together takes this turntable up a notch and places it alongside more professional turntables. Its rhythm and pace are consistent and will turn out music seamlessly with no interruptions or distractions.
Great For Beginners: The Pro-Ject – Debut Carbon is a great turntable for beginners as well as veterans. Enthusiasts will find an enhanced experience with the Pro-Ject – Debut Carbon without having to spend lots of money for other higher quality turntables.
Beautifully Designed: The Pro-Ject – Debut Carbon is highly coveted for its sleek and modern design.
Great Price: If you’re searching for an aesthetically charged turntable at a discounted price, the Pro-Ject – Debut Carbon is perfect.
Pros & Cons
Looks incredibly sleek and modern in its black and red design
Includes a dust cover
Includes a grounding cable
Reproduces high quality sound even at high volumes
Can only play 33” and 45” vinyl records
Set up can be difficult
Instructions are not very helpful
The best selling point for the Pro-Ject – Debut Carbon is hands-down its design and coloring. This turntable is equally impressive outside as it does inside. Its professionally constructed hardware allows it to play a variety of vinyl records with beautiful harmonic sound. If you’re looking for a turntable upgrade that both looks amazing and is cheap, the Pro-Ject – Debut Carbon is a great choice.
4. Sony PSHX500 Hi Res USB Turntable – Professional USB Turntable
A powerhouse brand name in and of itself, Sony is making their comeback in the turntable market with their Sony PSHX500 Hi Res USB Turntable. The turntable is a testament to their brand and design but the experience is much better. The Sony PSHX500 Hi Res USB Turntable has proved time and time again that it is a crowd favorite.
Features & Specifications
High Quality Audio: Their high quality audio playback is reinforced with innovative audio technology that guarantees premium playback.
Beautiful Sound: Durability and stability is supported through its integrative shell, which allows for precision focusing and euphoric sound.
Portability: Its lightweight form factor gives it mobility and freedom for any user.
Versatility: The Sony PSHX500 Hi Res USB Turntable supports both phono and line output to allow for a larger variety of audio playback.
High Quality Audio Sync: Modern technology has turned the Sony PSHX500 Hi Res USB Turntable digital, therefore allowing you to record and sync high quality audio into a PC or Mac via USB.
Vibration Reduction: The unique design of Sony PSHX500 Hi Res USB Turntable comes with an insulated structure for the purpose of eliminating vibration from its surroundings. This allows it to maximize the quality of audio playback without compromising at the mercy of outside vibrations.
Highly stable belt drive maximizes natural sound generation
Lightweight design enhances portability and stability
Compatible with many outside devices
Cartridge swapping can be difficult
Can sometimes have trouble connecting to PCs and Macs
Tech support not very helpful
Sony is a powerhouse brand name that has reached millions worldwide. The Sony PSHX500 Hi Res USB Turntable is a fine demonstration of their commitment to quality and memorable experiences. Built with high quality parts and installed with professional software, the Sony PSHX500 Hi Res USB Turntable is a secret gem waiting to be discovered.
There are many good reasons why people have gravitated towards turntables for musical creativity. The Music Hall MMF 2.2 is a strong mixture of old day nostalgia combined with modern day excitement. The high gloss finish turntable is a notable award winner that’s both aesthetically pleasing and is able to do its job just right.
Features & Specifications
Vibration Reduction: The Music Hall MMF 2.2 comes equipped with special vibration damping feet.
Precision Tracking: The Music Hall MMF 2.2 is built with an alloy tonearm that is excellent for tracking.
Less Noise, More Sound: Its high quality and fully manual belt drive design is architected to minimize noise and maximize sound quality.
Professionally Crafted: The stainless steel finish gives the Music Hall MMF 2.2 a professional weight and feel for its music enthusiasts.
Perfect For Anyone: The Music Hall MMF 2.2 is a must-have turntable for music enthusiasts at all levels. It’s easy to use and is designed to fit a majority of people’s tastes and preferences.
Warm, Addicting Sound: The Music Hall MMF 2.2 is known for creating warm, addicting, and euphoric sound.
Pros & Cons
Easy assemble and set up
Excellent customer support
Sound easily fills the room
High quality design maximizes vibration reduction
Does not come pre-build with an amp
Requires manual adjustment to switch between RPMs
Motor noise can be excessive
Like almost anything that has Sony imprinted on it, you almost simply cannot go wrong. The Music Hall MMF 2.2 is a beautiful turntable that not only looks great, but also sounds great as well. It is considered one of the best beginner turntables and is a step up from most entry-level turntables.
The golden question is: What is a turntable? At its most basic form, a turntable is simply a round, rotating platform of a phonograph. In the old days, it served as a device for playing sound recordings. People would place the best vinyl record player on the turntable and set the tonearm on the record and music would play. In more modern times, turntables can be seen at the disposal of DJs who use turntables to play records or even create scratching sounds. The turntable was cleverly used as a driving force for the evolution of hip hop music back in the 1980s. Today, the turntable is still used in all music venues across the world.
What Is The Difference Between A Record Player And A Turntable?
One of the most common questions asked, there are distinguishing differences between a good record player and a good turntable although many may consider them the same device. To illustrate simply, a turntable is a very basic device that does not come included with additional features or hardware, like amplifiers or speakers. The turntable is constructed with a platter, which is the platform where the records are inserted.
An ideal record player, on the other hand, is usually seen as an advanced turntable simply because it does have additional features and hardware that a turntable doesn’t have. To start, a record player most commonly contains speakers and an amplifier. When selecting a record play, it has pre-built in features that makes playing records incredibly easy. A main difference between the record player and the turntable is that the modern record player is a lot heavier, therefore making it less portable than a turntable.
In the end, although the two devices are often intermingled, there are noticeable differences. If the two devices were to be simply described to someone, one can say that a turntable is a stripped down version of the record player while the record player is like a smarter turntable. They can be considered siblings of one another where the record player is the older sibling of the turntable.
How To Use & Maintain The Superior Turntable?
Maintaining a turntable has come to the attention of many enthusiasts as more of an art than a chore. There is no secret to maintaining a turntable other than to not allow them to get dirty in the first place. While this task can seem mountainously challenging from the fact that dust collects and that fingerprints are inevitable, it is not as difficult as it seems.
Our first piece of advice, especially for someone that owns a lot of records, is to store your records vertically without crowding your space. Doing so will make it incredibly easy to insert an album into your record shelf without having the need to use strength. Once your vinyl turntable record is secured in place, they should neither lean left or right.
When playing a disk, remove the inner sleeve from the album cover and while having it horizontally in one hand, use the other hand to insert it into the sleeve, and adjust your hand until your middle finger comes from under the middle hole. This method of removing your record ensures that there are no fingerprints left behind.
While these are some of the simple tips we have for helping you maintain your turntable, the simple rule is to be incredibly careful. Committed care to your turntable will ensure that it is properly maintained and free of oily fingerprints.
Factors To Consider When Buying The Top Ranked Turntable
If you’re considering buying a expert turntable, there are a number of technical things that you’ll have to educate yourself on before making that purchase. There is a lot to get familiar with so the technical details can be overwhelming at times. However, we have compiled a guide on turntables, elaborately showing you the anatomy of the turntable that you should be familiar with:
The plinth is the turntables bottom, or their base, and it keeps all of its components together that help play your records. This base also helps isolate your records from unnecessary vibrations.
The platter is the spinning device that records rest on while they are in play. It’s generally sitting under a mat that helps prevent scratches and decrease vibrations.
A turntable’s lifeline is determined by their spinning ability. Turntables are designed to spin records at a consistent speed, therefore helping transform the data that are installed in the vinyl’s grooves into an electrical signal. Of course, the better the turntable, the more accurately it can spin and turn this data information into audible sound.
This device actually spins the platter using a pulley and elastic belt. This only occurs in a belt drive turntable. In the ultimate direct drive turntable, the platter sits on top of the motor.
The phono cartridge supports the stylus. It’s a mini sized electrical generator that creates voltage when the stylus is in motion.
The tonearm is the component that holds the cartridge and stylus as the vinyl records spins underneath it.
This refers to how easily a customer can upgrade their turntable. Many customers try to take advantage of this and one of the best ways to do this is by determining if there are detachable signal cords that can be easily replaced with higher quality cables.
Rotational speed makes a difference in a turntable. Any variance in record spinning speed can have a large effect on the sound quality due to the changing of the music pitch or simply causing a disturbance in the audible waves.
Manual Or Automatic
Because turntables have evolved at incredible speeds over the last several years, a spinoff of that revolution produced manual and automatic turntables.
Automatic turntables start and pause through the push of a button. By large popularity, best automatic turntables are among the most popular choices that consumers select, and are also considered the easiest to use. On the other hand, manual turntables are as they say manual. However, many old-school users do prefer a manual turntable simply because of preference. It’s been much known within the community that manual turntables are the preferred choice simply because all the extra hardware in an automatic turntable may reduce the sound quality of the vinyl record. Both these choices all boil down to preference.
Most decent turntables are incredibly affordable. Turntables come in all shapes and sizes and because of that, their price range varies. However, for many entry level turn tables, a good starting point in terms of price would be under the $500 range.
While these may be a lot of factors to consider when buying a turntable, all of this can be simplified very easily. When looking at the most important factors into purchasing a turntable, you will need to consider a few things: Speed variation, noise, playback speeds, manual/automatic, and price.
With the speed variation, as mentioned before, this accurately tells you how fast the turntable spins its platter. It is important to note that any issues with the record speed can alter its sound quality. Noise is important as well. You want the amount of background noise expected from the turntable to be lower than the music signal. This ensures that the music quality is high.
Playback speed is different from speed variation. For playback speeds, ensure that it is between 33.5 – 45 RPM. Lastly, both manual/automatic and price boils down to preference. If you’re more of an old schooler, a manual turntable may be for you. As far as price goes, that is completely left up to your discretion as to what type of turntable it is that you’re looking to buy.
Just remember that at the end of the day, a turntable just plays music. As long as it is able to play good music from the vinyl records, overspending on a turntable is not necessary.
How Does A Turntable Work?
Turntables have been around for a couple of decades and it is only in the last decade or two that we have seen them make a great comeback into mainstream media. With no shortage of music talent in today’s entertainment industry, becoming and staying unique can become a difficult task. We hope that our turntables reviews & comprehensive guide has helped outline to you what to look for and expect when buying a good turntable. Whether you’re a new artist or a veteran, a turntable will always stay a classic.