The best turntable for music fans: a complete guide

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The love of vinyl music knows no bounds, and a quality turntable is crucial for the perfect listening experience. But with so many available options, choosing the best turntable can be a challenge. In this article, we will explore the key features to consider when looking to buy a quality turntable, and take a look at the best designer turntables available on the market today.

What is a turntable, and how it works

A turntable is an electronic device for playing music recorded on a vinyl record. The turntable works through a needle, which is placed on the groove of the vinyl. When the vinyl rotates, the needle follows the groove and translates the information on the record into sound. The sound quality depends on the turntable and stereo system quality.

What to consider before buying a turntable

Before buying a turntable, there are some essential features to consider:

  • Type of drive: there are two types of industry, direct drive and belt drive. Direct drive is considered better in speed and accuracy, while belt drive is quieter and produces less vibration.
  • Platter material: the platter is the part of the turntable on which the vinyl is placed. The most common materials are metal and acrylic. Acrylic is considered better for sound quality, but metal is more robust and durable.
  • Head and stylus: The head and stylus are the parts of the turntable that translate the information on the vinyl into sound. The quality of the cartridge and stylus affects the sound quality. There are moving coil and magnet cartridges, with the former generally considered higher quality.
  • Speed control: a good turntable should be able to play vinyl at different speeds, so you can listen to all your favourite albums without having to remaster or digitally edit them. Most modern turntables can play at 33, 45 and 78 rpm.
  • Turntable arm: the turntable arm is the part that holds the cartridge and stylus and allows it to move on the vinyl. A good tonearm must be rigid, robust, light and precise to ensure accurate sound reproduction.
  • Design and materials: turntable design and materials can affect aesthetics and sound quality. More expensive turntables often use high-quality materials such as solid wood or aluminium, which can reduce vibration and improve sound quality.

Another exciting feature to evaluate is the presence or absence of the built-in preamplifier. Many modern turntables include a built-in preamplifier, which converts the vinyl’s analogue signal to a digital signal for playback on a current stereo system. If your stereo system does not have a phono input, choose a turntable with a built-in preamplifier.

The best brands of turntables

There are many brands of turntables to choose from, but some are considered the best for their quality and reliability. Among the most popular brands are Audio-Technica, Rega, Pro-Ject, Technics and Denon. Each of these brands has a wide selection of turntables, from the cheapest to the high-end, so there is always a turntable to suit your needs and budget.

The best turntables on the market

Among the best turntables on the market, there are several options worth considering for their technical features, build quality and the fidelity of the sound they can deliver.

best vintage turntable

The SeeYing HP-H0056 is a timeless product that combines the retro charm of the vintage turntable with the conveniences of modern audio technology. This turntable offers good sound quality due to its belt drive, which reduces unwanted vibrations during vinyl playback. Built-in connectivity allows the turntable to be connected to external devices such as speakers or headphones, expanding listening options and enabling versatile music enjoyment. In addition, the adjustable counterweight ensures accurate and balanced playback, keeping the needle in the correct position on the vinyl groove. Price 170€.

Buy it on Amazon

best cheap turntable

The Sony PS-LX310BT is considered one of the best entry-level turntables on the market because of its solid construction and ease of use. The product is a direct-drive turntable with a USB output for digital vinyl recording. It features a MM phonic cartridge, an aluminium tonearm and a pressed aluminium platter. In addition, this turntable has Bluetooth connectivity, making it easy to connect wireless devices and listen to music through its speakers. Excellent value for money of €280.

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best entry level turntable

TheAudio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB-BK is a direct-drive turntable with a built-in phono preamplifier and an Audio-Technica AT-VM95E cartridge. This versatile turntable allows the vinyl to be played at different speeds and has a height-adjustable arm and anti-skating adjustment, which improves playback accuracy and stability. In addition, the AT-LP120XUSB features a USB port for digitizing vinyl and a removable dust cover. Price 335€.

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best quality price turntable

The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC is another middle-level turntable that offers excellent sound quality at an affordable price. This belt-drive turntable features a carbon fibre tonearm, a carbon steel platter and an Ortofon 2M Red diamond stylus, all combined for faithful and detailed reproduction. In addition, the Debut Carbon has a solid construction, a sleek and modern design, and easy adjustment of counterweight and anti-skating. Price €555.

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best professional turntable

The turntable
Pro-Ject Debut Pro
is an excellent choice for vinyl enthusiasts looking for a high-quality turntable at an affordable price. The solid MDF construction, the use of high-quality materials, including a carbon arm, and the precision of the belt-driven motor makes it one of the best turntables in its price range. In addition, the crisp and detailed sound makes it an excellent choice for discerning listeners. Price €880.

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best turntable ever

The Clearaudio Concept is a high-end turntable with high-quality construction and excellent sound. This direct-drive turntable features a carbon fibre tonearm, a thin aluminium platter and a Clearaudio Concept MM cartridge, ensuring faithful and detailed reproduction. In addition, the sleek and modern design of the Clearaudio Concept makes it a design object for any home environment. However, its high price makes it suitable only for those looking for a high-end turntable and willing to invest in a high-quality product. Price €1600.

Buy it on Amazon

How to take care of your record player

Taking good care of your turntable ensures high-quality audio playback and long device life. Here are some tips for record player maintenance:

  1. Keep the turntable clean: vinyl can accumulate dust and debris that can interfere with sound quality. It is essential to clean the turntable and vinyl before playback. Use an antistatic brush to clean the vinyl and a microfiber cloth to clean the turntable.
  2. Replace the stylus: The turntable’s stylus is one of the most critical parts to ensure high-quality playback. It is essential to replace the stylus periodically, depending on how often the turntable is used.
  3. Change the belt: if the turntable has a belt-drive, it is essential to change it periodically. A loose or worn belt can cause problems with speed and sound quality.
  4. Keep the turntable level: the turntable should be placed on a solid, stable surface, preferably on a suitable stand. In addition, it is essential to check that the turntable is level to avoid speed and vibration problems.
  5. Please turn off the turntable after use: after using it, it is essential to turn off the device and remove the vinyl. This prevents premature motor wear and protects the turntable from damage.

By following these simple tips, you can ensure your turntable’s long life and high-quality audio playback.

conclusions

In conclusion, choosing the best turntable depends on each individual’s needs and tastes. However, these five models are among the best on the market and offer excellent performance, high-quality construction, and outstanding sound. Before buying a turntable, it is essential to consider your needs and budget. Still, with these high-end options, you can make an informed choice and ensure a high-quality listening experience.

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