Best Turntables

Best Turntables: Audio Technica AT-LP60-SX

The Audio Technica LP60-SX is one of the most popular turntables. It was released in 1993 and it was designed by Kenwood Corporation.

It is known as the first true high fidelity turntable. It uses a cartridge made by RCA called the LPsound P1 which features a magnetic motor and moving coil system. It offers a wide range of sound quality from clear and accurate to warm and rich. Its stylus is specially developed for vinyl records. The LP60-SX comes with a tonearm made by Technics, but it can easily be replaced with any other type of tonearm.

It is very easy to use the Audio Technica LP60-SX turntable because its controls are well laid out and simple to operate. It has a built-in phono preamp, so you don’t need to buy another preamplifier.

The LP60-SX can play both 45 RPM and 33 1/3 RPM records. You can also adjust the speed of your vinyl record according to your preference. If you want to listen to music at different speeds, simply connect the included stereo cable between the turntable and your stereo system. For best performance, the turntable should be placed on a sturdy, level surface away from noisy equipment and direct sunlight.

The Audio Technica LP60-SX has an AT95E cartridge which requires no adjustment and comes properly aligned. It offers great sound quality and is very durable.

You will have to replace the cartridge when it wears out. For a turntable at this price, the LP60-SX offers a great value. It is relatively easy to use and has great sound quality. The only complaints about the AT95E is that it produces a bit of noise when the track is starting and stopping, and some DJs don’t like the lack of adjustments.

Compared to other models in its price range, the Audio Technica LP60-SX is an excellent choice. It is durable and can last for many years, especially if you take good care of it.

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It uses magnetic technology which results in clear and accurate sound. It is not a professional-use turntable, but it is great for casual listening and recording.

If you are a beginner and you are interested in recording your LPs to your computer, then the Audio Technica LP60-SX may be a good option. It has a built-in preamp so you can plug it right into your computer’s soundcard.

This turntable is very easy to use and offers lots of flexibility. It is also very affordable and should last a long time with proper care.

Best Turntable Under $200

Pro-ject Debut III

The Pro-ject Debut III is a great choice for an audiophile looking for a quality turntable under $200. This model was released in 2003 and has received many positive reviews since its release.

It is manufactured in the Czech Republic. This turntable is the top choice for vinyl enthusiasts thanks to its excellent sound quality and solid construction. The Debut III has a sleek, understated appearance that will look great in any home. It comes with an Ortofon OM-10 cartridge which offers great sound quality.

The Pro-ject Debut III’s plinth (or base) is made of MDF, and it comes with a durable and attractive vinyl wrapping. Its chassis is made of heavy non-resonant steel which helps eliminate unwanted noise.

The belt drive design of this turntable minimizes noise and allows for consistent rotation. It also uses a DC motor which further reduces noise and increases torque. This results in better sound quality. The Debut III has a built-in pre-amp, so you can plug your phono outputs right into your audio system or computer.

The main downside of the Pro-ject Debut III is that it requires more maintenance than some other turntables. You will have to regularly clean the vinyl wrapping and the platter to minimize noise.

Some people also report having issues with the dust cover falling off.

Overall, the Pro-ject Debut III is a great turntable for the vinyl enthusiast on a budget. It is durable, offers exceptional sound quality, and is very easy to set up.

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If you are looking for an audiophile-quality turntable without breaking the bank, then the Debut III is a great choice.

Best Turntable Under $500

Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB

The Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB is another excellent option if you are looking for a high quality turntable under $500. Like the Pro-ject Debut III, it features a sleek design and excellent sound quality.

This turntable was designed in Japan and features a heavy MDF wood construction for extra durability. The Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB comes with an integrated dual magnet cartridge which provides great sound quality. It does not come with a preamp, so you will need to either purchase one or integrate it into your existing home theater system.

The AT-LP120-USB uses a USB output so you can convert your records to digital files on your computer. It can also play at both 33 1/3 and 45 RPM.

The Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB is well built and designed to last for many years. It is a great option for the audiophile that has a bit more to spend. It is also a great option for a home recording setup.

The Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB is an excellent choice for the audiophile on a budget. It provides exceptional sound quality, is very durable, and is very easy to set up.

This turntable can last you many years and give you hours of enjoyment.

BEST USB TURNTABLE – PIONEER PLX-1000

The Pioneer PLX-1000 is a direct drive turntable that offers exceptional sound quality and a sleek design. The PLX-1000 is an updated version of the wildly popular PLX-1000, which has been praised by countless audiophiles.

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This turntable has a high-torque torque motor which allows for speed stability. It can play at speeds of 331/3, 45 and 78 RPM. The Pioneer PLX-1000 also features a sleek, classic look with its black finish and metal trim.

This turntable has a USB output so that you can convert your vinyl records to digital files on your computer. It also has a stereo line output enabling you to connect it to any home audio system or amp.

The PLX-1000 has an MDF chassis that isolates vibrations and helps minimize audio interference. The Pioneer PLX-1000 is a quality record player at a reasonable price.

The PLX-1000 has a sleek, classic design and features exceptional sound quality. It can be connected to any home audio system, which makes it a great option for the audiophile on a budget.

It also offers a USB input so that you can convert your records to digital files on your computer.

BEST TURNTABLE FOR THE MONEY – VICTROLA VIVI-BAR52

The Victrola Vivi-Bar52 is a great option if you are on a very tight budget. It is affordably priced and provides great sound quality.

It has a stylish antique wood finish and an aluminum tonearm, which provides smooth playback. The Victrola is a belt driven turntable which reduces wear and tear on the motor. The motor is fairly strong and features a start/stop switch. This allows you to place the needle at the beginning of the record without cutting the power.

The sound quality of this turntable is great considering the low price. It can also play at speeds of 331/3 and 45 RPM.

The Victrola has an audio cable that is attached to it, which means you will have to permanently keep it attached to your speaker system or use a pair of scissors to detach it. It also does not have a preamp, so you will need to buy one in order to boost the sound quality.

The Victrola is a great option for an entry-level turntable. It provides excellent sound quality and is very durable.

It is affordably priced and does not require any major setup.

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BEST USB TURNTABLE – VICTROLA VTE-200

The Victrola VTE-200 is a simple turntable that is very easy to set up. It features fully manual operation so you can adjust the playback speed of your records.

This turntable is very easy to move from room to room. It has a stereo audio output and comes with an audio cable which you can plug directly into any speaker system or receiver. The sound quality of this turntable is quite good and the stylus never gets stuck in the record.

This is a cheap, basic turntable that does exactly what it is supposed to do. It allows you to play vinyl records through a speaker system or headphones.

The Victrola VTE-200 can be connected to any home audio system because it has a standard 3.5mm input. The only major issue with this turntable is that the speed of the record can decrease if it is not placed on the platter correctly.

BEST TURNTABLE FOR DIGITAL DOWNLOADS – VICTROLA VH-55

The Victrola VH-55 is a great option if you want to take your vinyl records and transfer them to digital files. This turntable features a USB port that allows you to connect it to your computer.

You can then transfer your vinyl files onto your computer where you can edit and export them as MP3s. This is a great feature if you want to preserve your old vinyl records or want to put them on a device that does not play vinyl, such as an iPad or iPhone.

The Victrola VH-55 is very easy to use. You just plug it in, place the record on the turntable and hit “record” on your computer.

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The sound quality of this device is not the best, but it gets the job done. This is a great option if you want to digitize your vinyl collection, but don’t want to spend a lot of money.

BEST TURNTABLE – VICTROLA VIVI-20

The Victrola Vivi-20 is one of the most user-friendly turntables on the market. It comes with a built-in speaker and an audio cable that can plug directly into your home entertainment system.

The controls on this device are very easy to use. You can adjust the volume and switch from record to radio mode.

The major selling point of this turntable is that it is very easy to set up. You can place this device on any speaker system or home entertainment system.

The sound quality of the Victrola Vivi-20 is amazing for such an inexpensive turntable. This is a great option if you want to listen to your vinyl records without having to buy or connect another speaker system.

Victrola is an American company that has been making high-quality and affordable audio devices since 1897. They are most famous for their record players, but they also make a wide range of other devices such as boom boxes and speakers.

Victrola is known for their classic, vintage look and sound quality.

Victrola record players are designed to be placed in the middle of your living room for all of your friends and family to see and hear. They are perfect for parties and get-togethers.

Most of their turntables feature a front-facing speaker and a vinyl record player all-in-one unit. This means that your records can be played without having to connect them to another audio device. They also come with AM/FM radio and many other modern features depending on the model you choose.

Victrola has perfected the art of making great-sounding record players for an affordable price. Their products are intended for consumers who want to relive the nostalgia of vinyl without having to deal with the issues of obsolete technology, such as records skipping or getting stuck.

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Their record players are also great if you have a lot of parties and get-togethers because everyone can enjoy the music.

Still, Victrola is a great option if you want to listen to your vinyl records in private. You can plug in your headphones into the 3.5mm audio jack that is available on most of their models.

If you are looking for a record player that has great sound quality and that has a modern look and feel, then the Victrola is a great brand to consider.

What to Look for in a Vinyl Turntable

There are three main types of vinyl turntables and they all have their own unique sound quality. Learning about the different types of record players available can help you decide which one is right for you.

Here is a brief overview of the three main types of turntables and their features.

Belt-Driven Turntables

Belt-driven turntables are the most popular type of record player. The name “belt-driven” comes from the fact that there is a rubber belt that connects the motor to the turntable platter.

This allows the platter to spin at a consistent speed, which is necessary for the proper playback of vinyl records.

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The main benefit of a belt-driven turntable is that it has a low buzz. Many audio enthusiasts believe that a low noise floor results in a richer sound.

Belt-driven turntables are also cheaper than their direct drive counterparts, so if you are on a budget, then this is the type of record player you should look into.

Direct-Drive Turntables

The main benefit of a direct drive turntable is that it is very precise. The platter on this type of record player rotates at a constant speed of 9,000 rotations per minute.

This ensures the album is always spinning at the right speed, which results in less vinyl distortion and a clearer sounding record.

The downside to a direct drive turntable is that it can cause excessive wear and tear on your records. The high rotation speed of the platter can also cause vibrations, which results in a tinny sounding record.

Many audio enthusiasts believe that vinyl albums sound best on a belt-driven turntable.

Step-Up Gears

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Some record players are sold with step-up gears. Stepping up the speed of the platter makes it easier to play 78rpm records.

Most new record players can play both 33 1/3 rpm and 45rpm records. If you want to play 78s, you will need to make sure your record player has a step-up gear.

Aesthetics

There are many different types of record players on the market. You can find them in all shapes and sizes.

Many have a classic look that complements any home entertainment system. Some are very plain, while others have unique designs. If you want your record player to stand out, then you should look for one with a unique design.

If you are buying a record player for a child, then it probably doesn’t make sense to spend hundreds of dollars on a unit that they are just going to abuse. If, on the other hand, you are a serious audiophile with a large record collection, you probably don’t want a record player that is built cheaply.

As with most products, you get what you pay for. If you only have a small budget, it might be best to buy a cheaper unit. Just realize that you will have to replace it in a few years. If you have a larger budget, then you can opt for a higher quality record player that will last many years.

The Brand

Just like with most products, some record player brands are better than others. Before you buy a record player, it is a good idea to learn as much as you can about the different manufacturers.

By doing investigative work before you make a purchase, you can avoid buying a record player that is not very durable. You also run the risk of buying a unit that sounds poor or is difficult to operate.

Some well-known brands include Audio Technica, Crosley, Cambridge Audio, Pro-Ject, Numark and Victrola. Each of these manufacturers has a variety of different units to choose from.

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The better quality record players usually have price tags that are several hundred dollars. Before you spend over $1,000 on a turntable, you might want to make sure you are getting your money’s worth. Do some research on the model you are thinking about buying. Customer reviews can be very helpful.

The Technology

The technology that goes into a record player can drastically alter the sound quality that you get from your unit. The most basic units have one speed and don’t offer much control at all.

Most consumers, however, prefer units with multiple speeds. The standard speeds that you will see are 16 RPM and 33 1/3 RPM. 45 RPM records are no longer in production. When they were, they were a little slow and played at 45 RPM. The standard speed of most records is 33 1/3 RPM. The technology that allows a turntable to play at all these different speeds is known as a vari-speed or belt drive system.

If you are looking to buy a new record player, you will have to decide whether you want a unit with a built-in speakers or not. Most units have them, but they can sometimes be of low quality.

If you want better sound, you can always buy a separate speaker system. Look for a unit that has a line out RCA jack so that you can connect your record player to your own speakers. Also look for a unit that allows you to adjust the tonearm. There are two types of tonearms that you will commonly see. They are the straight and S shaped tonearms. The S-shaped tonearm is supposed to offer the best sound quality. It conforms to the curved side of the record. If you start looking for second hand record players, keep in mind that most pre-owned units do not come with a cartridge or needle. These must be purchased separately.

The Needle

The needle or the cartridge is known as the heart of your turntable. The right needle can make your records sound balanced and smooth or it can demolish the sound quality altogether.

There are two types of needles typically available. The two types are the spherical and the elliptical. The spherical needles are the most common type and the least expensive. If you want to take your sound quality to the next level, you will need to shell out more money for an elliptical needle. These can sometimes cost over $100.

If you are just getting started, you can buy a new record player along with a couple of new records. Don’t spend too much money at first.

As you get more involved, you can start investing in better equipment. If you are looking to digitize your vinyl collection, look for a CD burner that has a USB port. You can then easily transfer the music from your records to your computer.

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When choosing a record player, you have two main options. You can either buy a new record player or you can buy a used one.

A new record player will obviously feature better sound quality, but it will also cost more money. A second hand or used record player will allow you to get into the hobby without breaking the bank. However, the sound quality won’t be as good.

If you are just getting started, I would recommend that you buy a new record player along with a few new records. As you get more involved in the hobby, you can start buying second hand vinyl.

In general, it is not recommended that you buy really old vinyl records. These are likely to have serious damage and will be unplayable. Also, if you are looking for specific old vinyl records, then this will be difficult to find.

Other Accessories

There are a few other things that you might need. If you are looking to digitize your vinyl, then you will need a computer and some recording software.

Most new computers come with everything you need. You can also buy recording software separately if you need to.

Another thing that some new vinyl junkies will need is an amplifier to power their speakers. These are not necessary if you are just starting out, but as always, your choice.

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You might also want to buy some cleaning tools. If you take good care of your vinyl records, they can last for a very long time.

If you neglect them, then the sound quality will suffer and they are more likely to get damaged.

Finally, don’t be afraid to buy used gear. Most of the time you can buy a quality used piece of equipment for much less than the retail price.

Of course, this requires that you know what you’re doing. You should test the equipment before you buy it to make sure it works.

Summary

When choosing a record player, you basically have three options. You can either buy a brand new record player, buy a used record player or build a kit.

If you buy a brand new record player, you will get the best sound quality, but the price will be much higher. If you buy a used record player, the price will be lower, but the sound quality won’t be as good. When buying a kit, you can get into the hobby for less money, but it will take time to build and your initial results might not be satisfactory.

Finally, once you have your record player, you need to buy records. These come in two formats: new and used.

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New records will obviously be more expensive, but they will be brand new. Used records can be bought very cheap (and sometimes for free) from either thrift stores or online sites like Ebay.

Other Accessories

Once you have your basic record player and a few records, there are a few other things that you might need or want. The most important thing is recording equipment if you want to digitize your vinyl records.

If you don’t need this feature, then you’re set. Otherwise, see the recording equipment section to learn about various devices and software.

Another accessory that some people like to use is an amplifier. These can improve the volume of your record player, but they aren’t really necessary.

If you want one though, see the amplifiers section to learn about various devices and software.

A last accessory that some people like to use is a stereo system. These systems involve additional components such as receivers or amplifiers and speakers.

If you want a system like this, then see the system sections to learn about various devices and software.

Sources & references used in this article:

Two turntables and a social movement: Writing hip-hop at century’s end by J Kun – 2002 – JSTOR

Wheel alignment rack with adjustable turntables by JJ Castoe – US Patent 3,875,672, 1975 – Google Patents

From Turntables to Mashups by K McLeod – The Routledge companion to remix studies, 2014 – books.google.com

Sensitivity of Phonograph Turntables to Normal Loads by TS Cole Sr – Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, 1967 – aes.org

Men, women, and turntables: Gender and the DJ battle by M Katz – The Musical Quarterly, 2006 – academic.oup.com

Drive mechanism for phonograph turntables and tape mechanisms by HL Hartman – US Patent 2,625,827, 1953 – Google Patents

Truck construction for turntables by HM Geo – US Patent 1,386,060, 1921 – Google Patents

Hydraulic indexing mechanism for foundry turntables by WA Hunter – US Patent 2,967,440, 1961 – Google Patents