Audiophiles who know the value of great sound always look out for the best vintage turntable. They see them as the best of their kind. This desire is not just about the sound though.
It’s also about the fact that vintage turntables are widely regarded as a symbol of music history. They’re seen as being high-quality, probably because of the period in which they were produced. For most audiophiles, vintage turntables give them a feeling of nostalgia which is indescribable.
But, first things first:
What is a Turntable?
A Turntable is a music-playing device that plays LP (Long Play) records. LPs are also known as “vinyls.” Turntables operate through a needle tracing the engraved waveforms from record and vibrating to reproduce the recorded sound waves.
Turntables may also be referred to as “record players” or “phonographs”. Turntables that are used with a mixer as part of a DJ’s set up are often known as “decks”. Using turntables in this way to manipulate sounds and create music is a modern art known as “Turntablism”. You can read more about “Turntablism” here.
Turntables are very popular with audiophiles as it is widely accepted that they produce a better sound quality than other digital music sources like CDs (Compact Discs). Besides their greater sound quality, turntables are also popular with music enthusiasts because of their historical significance in the world of music.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Vintage Turntable
If you’re in the market to buy a record player, you’ll find the following suggestions useful. It can be daunting but follow the recommendations.
Check Record Compatibility –Most vintage turntables will play all LP record formats (33RPM, 45RPM, 78RPM and 16RPM) however some models may only play the more commonly used 33 and 45RPM speeds. It is strongly recommended that buyers check the turntables record compatibility prior to buying to ensure the most successful purchase possible.
Check Needle Compatibility –Almost all vintage turntables have interchangeable needles (styluses) so that if one should break, it can simply be replaced with another. It’s always advisable to check the turntables needle compatibility with the seller or manufacturer prior to purchase.
Manual or Automatic –Vintage turntables are often available in both manual and automatic. Automatic turntables feature a tonearm which is capable of moving records over automatically. Manual turntables however have a tonearm which must be moved over to the records manually. Generally speaking, audiophiles prefer manual turntables as there is less parts to cause vibration which interferes with the sound.
Best Vintage Turntables 2018 Comparison Table & Reviews:
This item, manufactured by Electrohome, has an old-fashioned look with a dimension of 15 x 12 x 21 inches. The item weighs 25 pounds with a shipping weight of 19.7 pounds.
You don’t require batteries to operate this record player, just plug it into a wall socket. It comes with a 12-month Full Manufacturer’s Direct Warranty.
You can use it for LPs 33, 78 and singles 45. It takes CDs and USB, so you can copy from vinyl or CD to MP3.
It comes with extensive set-up instructions. It’s actually detailed and might require you to do a bit of studying to understand. The manual is usually within the box the product is shipped in.
I’ve used it several times with all the media options and really enjoy it. If you are considering it for playing records, the sound is very good.
I love the fact that I can plug into exterior speakers. Ours is hooked to a set of Bose through an auxiliary cable.
I like the fact that this product plays all sizes: LPs (33 RPM), Singles (45 RPM) and 78 RPM. Also you can play CDs and music from a USB stick.
It was easy to set up. Instructions are clear, some of them are even on the turntable so you can’t make a mistake. I wish I could describe how beautiful the sound is. I have not listened to an LP in many years. In all honesty, I didn’t realize what a crazy, emotional moment it would be. I’m sure I will enjoy the other features as well, but for the time being, I will listen to all those LPs I’ve been saving, and likely begin collecting some original rock ‘n’ roll records next. Nostalgia and technology together in the same good-looking unit. Hope and expectations exceeded.
It doesn’t play cassette tapes. It does record CD, radio, and USB though
This unit records to USB intermittently; sometimes, I have to play the record more than once to get it done
There is no start and stop button on this machine. You have to pick up the arm manually, but it is very easy to do and I have yet to scratch a record
When recording a record to mp3, it records the entire side as only one mp3. It doesn’t automatically break them up into individual songs. However, you can use software like Audacity to break up the file into individual songs. You would need to stop the recording and start again after every song if you wish to record each track separately.
There’s no Bluetooth transmission. Transmission can only occur or can be sent by wireless components like iPads, cellphones, and even computers. It has a standard 3.5 mm audio in port (same size as the headphone jack in the front), so you can plug a mobile device or MP3 player into it.
Electrohome Wellington Record Player Retro Vinyl Turntable
The package consists of a belt-driven Turntable mechanism, CD player, Cassette Deck as well as a plug for your MP3 player or other portable audio device. It plays 3 Speeds – 33 1/3, 45 And 78 RPM Records.
It’s made in the USA by Deer Park Distributors. It has a dimension of 17 x 12.5 x 10 inches and weighs 16.7 pounds with a shipping weight of the same volume.
Even though this product doesn’t have handles to carry it, it is self-contained with speakers and can be moved without disconnecting components. It isn’t compact.
It has a One year Crosley Factory Warranty as well as RetroVisions FREE Extended Warranty.
It comes with everything necessary to play vinyls, cassette tapes, CDs and the radio. Nothing else is needed.
Just place the record on the turntable and play.
The sound on this machine is great. Our house is not huge, but the sound fills the room that the record player is in, and can also be heard quite clearly both upstairs and down. There is absolutely no need for external speakers.
I received this player as a Christmas present. I have never previously owned one nor do I know much about them, but I love it. The sound is great and it’s been working smoothly for about a year now. It’s easy to work and gives you plenty of options for how you want to play your music.
If you want to use an external speaker, just know that you can’t hook up a speaker to it. There are no places for the larger cords that go with external speakers. But you really don’t need to. It plays plenty loud.
This unit has an AM/FM radio though the reception isn’t great. There’s a wire that hangs down the back of the machine that you have to move around to find the right spot. I’m sure there’s a way to take care of that, but I’m not tech savvy enough to figure out what it is.
I keep a small flashlight with the unit. It is difficult to see the the various buttons since they are embedded into the metal. You will want the unit at a good height to see even with the flashlight. The unit has a great sound–have tried CD’s, a cassette and the radio so far and the sound is good.
Crosley CR704D-PA Musician 3-Speed Turntable with Radio, CD/Cassette Player, Aux-In and Bluetooth, Paprika
This item is available in color black, silver, blue and red (at different price points).
This is a fully automatic 2 speed turntable offering 33 1/3 and 45 RPM. It comes with a professional aluminium platter, a switchable pre-amp, and connectors: RCA Phono and RCA Line (preamplifier). It has an integrated dual magnet stereo cart cartridge with replacement stylus. It is made in China.
It has a dimension of 17.8 x 15.9 x 5.9 inches and weighs 8.6 pounds with a shipping weight of 8.5 pounds. It comes with a needle.
Very easy to setup. I was really glad to see that it came with a couple of different cable adapters, which saved me a trip to the store. Sound is good… though I am probably someone who couldn’t tell the difference in sound between a $100 unit and a $300+ one. I haven’t noticed any skipping or other issues. The automatic start button is wonderful
There is nothing to install or assemble, just plug it in and push “start”. Great sound. It’s very easy to use. To play a 33, just change the size and speed. When you press play, the turntable does the rest for you. No need to place the needle or anything. We are very happy with this purchase.
For the money, this is a great buy. I’m still using this turntable weekly over 5 years after purchasing it. Couldn’t blame someone for wanting a bit better sound quality, but this is a great beginner turntable that you can work like a mule.
Records can not be stacked to drop when one is finished; it only plays one record at a time.
The first one, after 2 months of use, began playing records at an abnormal speed not controllable by the manual speed functions. The company replaced the first unit with another almost immediately and this one works perfectly fine. Good looking and functional product.
You can’t directly play your turntable through a computer. What you can do is connect it into the microphone jack, then record the sound on the Mac using software such as Audacity or any recording software that you have, then save it as a mp3 file. That’s how you can directly convert your vinyl to mp3. Otherwise you’re going to have to plug your turntable to a pair of speakers using the RCA cables or the stereo jack.
If you want to listen, you will definitely need either speakers with some sort of amplifier to attach to or speakers that have a built in amplifier. They will be plugged into a home socket. This Turntable has no built in speakers. I would not recommend buying a turntable with built in speakers since they tend to be made with very poor quality
Not as solid as I would like. Mostly plastic.
Set up is easy, directions are clear, and really as long as you have your stereo and speakers all good to go, you should be listening within minutes. The ONLY drawback is the length of the RCA cables. I would have liked them to be longer so I didn’t have to get an extension (I think they are like 2 feet from the table), but really the length may have been standard for most others’ setups. Go buy one! Vinyl is making its comeback!
Audio Technica AT-LP60 Fully Automatic Stereo Turntable System
If you want a Turntable that has the potential for Audiophile Grade sound, I suggest you get Rega Turntables. They are quite elegant, simple and clean. The Rega – RP1 Turntable is available in 3 colors, namely: Titanium, White and cool gray. It is designed, built and manufactured in England. It has a dimension of 17.5 x 15 x 4 inches with a shipping weight of 11.2.
The Cool gray has 3.7 out of 5 stars rating with 30 reviews (as at the time of writing). It has a dimension 17.5 x 15 x 4 inches with a shipping weight of 11.2 pounds. It has a dimensions of 17.5 x 15 x 4 inches with a shipping weight of 11.4 pounds.
There’s a dust cover to protect Turntable.
The RP1 Turntable package comes with
Brand new Rega RB101 tonearm
Precision main bearing and sub-platter assembly
High quailty low vibration motor
All new Phenolic resin flywheel effect platter for excellent speed stability
Rega Carbon moving magnet cartridge
Sounds fantastic playing nice records in good condition.
Has real magnetic anti-skate that works.
Cue is super smooth and a joy to use.
Looks really nice, solidly built heavy plinth.
Tonearm height not adjustable
Stock counterweight is maxed out with the included (very light) cartridge
Tracks well but not well enough to not need additional tracking weight, which you can’t apply
Rega Carbon included cartridge is just an AT-91B
Have to take platter off to change belt from 33 to 45
Actual speed is closer to 34 rpm
Dust cover hinges are bendy plastic
Great manual turntable, finally a decent turntable in a decent color that matches older vintage equipment in style without being ho-hum black. Definitely upgrade though to an acrylic platter. Platter it comes with does have a tendency to wobble and mat is very poor but table works great. Cartridge is okay for the average person, you can go crazy with cartridges as many options available, all depends on what type of audio enthusiast you are.
I was really excited about getting this product. When it came, I unpacked it and was quite disappointed. The quality is quite cheap for what you pay for. I could probably have spent less money on an Audio Technica and received a TT that was of better quality.
Overall, I’d recommend the Rega RP1 to anyone wanting to get more out of their music. Pair it up with a nice phono amp since your newer receiver probably won’t have an amplified and balanced input for a turntable. Throw some good stereo speakers into the mix and prepare to be impressed.
Made by Rega, this product has a 3.5 out of 5 stars rating with a shipping weight of 2.4 pounds. It’s available in color black.
Get a Lot More Music from Your Rega TT-PSU 2 Turntable
Lower Your Noise Floor
Change Speeds at the Touch of a Button
Increase Speed Stability
P25 anti-vibration motor drive feeds a P9 24V AC synchronous motor
The quality of sound production using the TT-PSU 2 is great.
After manually grounding it, my sound system is once again dead silent. The TT-PSU2 does appear to do what it claims, after being properly grounded, that is. I may just still be in the “new-toy-excitement phase”, but my occasional “pitch” problems seem to be gone and lows seem a little cleaner/defined. The inclusion of the 33/45rpm switch was my 2nd biggest reason for investing in this Turntable
If you have a Rega with the older 12v motor, you need to do all three (white belt, 24V motor and PSU). If funds are tight then save up for the PSU and add that later. This will be one of the best (if not THE BEST) upgrades for the money you will ever do for your system.
I don’t know how they can claim that it “lowers the noise floor”, while it simultaneously introduces a hum/buzz to your music because of one major oversight… GROUNDING!!! 24v adapters (which the TT-PSU uses) are not grounded. Internally, there is a grounding wire that connects to the metal chassis, but where does the chassis ground? It doesn’t.
Your turntable and receiver/amp should be silent when powered on and idle. When I connected the TT-PSU to my turntable and amp, a faint but still fairly audible hum/buzz emitted from my speakers and was FAR more audible over headphones which is how I do much of my listening at night. This hum disappeared whenever I touched the TTPSU, which pointed to an obvious grounding issue. Inexcusable.
I’m obviously now pleased with my TTPSU, though can’t give five stars to something that requires me to void my warranty (opening the chassis voids the warranty). According to others I spoke with at various turntable message boards, this buzzing is a common problem and Rega was made aware of it long ago and has yet to do anything about it (such as simply including a grounding wire). For those reasons, I refuse to give it more than 3 stars.
Overall, I’d recommend the Rega TT-PSU 2 to any one who wants to enjoy good music on your own terms.
If you’re a music purist who’s got the cash to splurge, you may want to purchase one of these high end turntables. They all cost over a $1000 and take sound production to the next level.
If you are a music purist, you are going to love this table.
The package consists of the following:
Low-Resonance High-Density Acrylic Chassis and Platter Floating Motor Mount Construction.
Asynchronous AC Motor
Belt Drive System with Endless Silicon Belt
Anodized Aluminum Straight Type Tone Arm
Magnetic Type Anti-Skating Mechanism
This Marantz product has a dimension of 16.5 x 14.2 x 5.4 inches and weighs 1 pounds with a shipping weight of 22.8 pounds.It is made in germany by Marantz.
It is a phenomenal table which they love. The motor has 2 slots, top one for 33 bottom for 45.stretch the belt over the desired slot to switch between 33 and 45 rpm.
I’ve owned this Turntable for several years now. It’s awesome. Extremely well made, excellent sound quality, looks very cool. The included cartridge is fantastic. You will be hard-pressed to find a better deal that sounds better than this, and it outperforms many turntables costing 2-3 times as much. The Cartridge alone sells for around $900. This table is actually made by Clear Audio, which makes some of the best high end turntables available. There is nothing Marantz about it except the name on the front of it. It is one of the best if not the best table you will find for under $2500.
This is a great turntable and none of the high-end turntables come close, even with an automatic lift for the tone-arm. Don’t let the fact that the tone arm is manual stop you from buying it. It’s an amazingly good turntable, and the tone arm and the cartridge that come with it would cost you more to buy separately than the price of the TT-15S1. Love this table plus it is way under-priced.
Unbelievable performance quality and beauty that you can dream of. Pure audiophile turntable. For reasonable price. I really love it period.
Very pleased with this. Assembly was no problem and it has worked flawlessly always. Operation is absolutely silent and the sound is wonderful. I have tried other brands of high end turntables. None compare. Give this model your consideration.
I’ve had this table for about 1 year now and still love it. There is nothing Marantz about it except the name on the front of it. It is a Clear Audio table. So simple to setup, it comes with an extra belt. The only thing bad I can say about it is the record clamp that comes with it, it’s pretty much useless. Buy the cartridge alone and you’ll spend about $900. The tonearm is about $1000. So you are getting a great performer with solid value.
I concur with the other 5-star reviews. I am an “audiophile-in-training” and a bit obsessed with vinyl and high-end audio. I’ve upgraded turntables several times in the past 5 years, always looking for the next best thing. It had no issues and has been impressing me since day one. Highly recommended!
Even though it’s not mounted, the motor is very stable when running, when you turn off or on the motor pod shifts and needs to be re-positioned . I simply use a two-handed technique, holding the motor in place with my right thumb, and flip the little rocker switch with my other hand. I was worried that it would be an annoyance, but I’m totally used to it now, no problem.
This turntable doesn’t stop automatically when the LP ends. It is 100% manual.
It does not come with a dust cover. You have to buy it separately.
One has to assemble the entire turntable pretty much from scratch which looked harder than it ended up being except the belt – although a simple construction – is a pain to put on and keep on correctly. The unit looks great, aesthetically very pleasing.
Marantz TT-15S1 Reference Belt Drive Turntable with Cartridge
This item has dimension of 13.2 x 18.2 x 5.5 inches. Item weighs 28.1 pounds with a shipping weight of 27.9 pounds. It is manufactured by Music Hall.
The package contains the following:
Dynamically balanced alloy platter with soft felt mat and screw-on record clamp
High quality gold RCA connectors with detachable phono cable
Low noise fully manual belt-drive design
Comes with pre-mounted Mojo cartridge
Dust cover and 45 rpm adaptor included
This is a fantastic sounding turntable, which works not only on both the 110V and 220VAC.
It’s a strictly manual turntable though. You have to pick up the arm at the end of the record and manually turn it off via the switch. A very good turntable for someone looking for a pleasurable vinyl experience and quality built, but if your looking for a true automatic, you have to look at other models.
The turntable has an anti-skate weight to avoid needle damage. This setup is very typical of higher-end turntables where you sacrifice convenience for sound. The good news, unlike some other high-end equipment, is that it is very easy to set up.
I love the fact that I can install another cartridge. Mine came with a very good pre-installed Mojo but the seller upgraded it cartridge and it is awesome!
I have been listening to Vinyl for the last five or six years almost exclusively. I have changed cartridges and I have changed speakers, receivers, and Blu Ray players. Nothing has made the difference that this turntable made. I am in awe of the sound quality! People are amazed when they hear this setup and realize it is a record.
Seems like even some of my dirtier Vinyl benefitted greatly from this turntable! This is a must own if you can swing it.
Quality is outstanding. Spent way more than I really wanted to, but not disappointed. Looks like a piece of art and sound is better than I expected. Not an automatic turntable, all manual, but if I wanted that I would stick to CD’s. Started to collect new vinyl and old vinyl again.
I really like this turntable but you have to consider the biggest weakness – you need to turn off the power every time you change or flip the vinyl
I had high expectations for this turntable since reviews were very complementary. My observations of the external packaging suggested that it wasn’t subjected to abuse or rough handling during transit and the turntable packaging appeared to be unopened since it left the Music Hall factory. However, once I started to unbox and assemble the turntable, in accordance with instructions in the manual, I encountered several disturbing quality problems, both manufacturing and packaging, that didn’t speak well for Music Hall.
Overall I believe this turntable would have suited my needs and served as a nice upgrade for my system. The output from the turntable, equipped with the mojo cartridge, met my expectations. However, the quality issues I encountered, the unknown damage or latent defects that might have been caused by stress to the split-plinth, and the two large transport screws loose inside the turntable bag gave me confidence that other problems might surface later on.
Music aficionados know the turntables based on older designs rely more on solid engineering rather than marketing. To be fair, some newer designs can be solidly engineered but it is very difficult to be ascertain since thorough specifications are very rarely published and professional reviews are not supported by measurements. In other words, they are very subjective.
But, if you want a turntable with an older design that relies more on solid engineering, you’ll find one in the Thorens – TD240-2- Automatic Turntable.
This item has a 4.0 out of 5 stars rating with a dimension of 17.3 x 14.2 x 4.9 inches. It weighs 0.3 ounces with a shipping weight of 16.3 pounds. It is manufactured by Thorens in Black Forest, Germany.
If you purchase this product, you will receive a Turntable with timeless elegance. This fully automatic record player, has a classic design. It’s made of high-quality materials and equipped with the new TP 19-1 tonearm and an extremely silent running precision belt drive beneath the platter, so that the other technical qualities are also most evident.
This is a beautifully designed product. It produces great sound and is easy to adjust for maximum performance.
What can I say, if you like analog audio, buy one.
This is a great Thorens Turntable with no Chinese belles and whistles (yeah!!!) It may seem pricey, but consider the quality. I have an older DUAL that I have had for years, and this is of the same if not better than the 1257 DUAL. The only problem I had was the set up. The instructions are not thorough.
I design my own tube amps. As an engineer, I know a reasonable amount about audio, recording and HiFi, and not the bs “audiophile” nonsense, but real audio.
To be fair, any turntable is never going to sound as good as a good digital source, not ever – period. However, this turntable surprised me through and through. I bought some new vinyl to play on it and it has given me immense pleasure – playing records, listening to a whole side of an album in one go. The quality is very good, played back through a valve amp and Yamaha preamp, the amp I made 25 years ago, the preamp I bought 35 years ago. I also have a Thorens 318 and this turntable easily rivals it for quality, in fact it sounds way better than I ever remember the 318 sounding.
This turntable delivers, it’s great quality, works flawlessly and the wood finish option I went for is really high quality. Thoroughly recommended.
Bought one earlier in the week (the wood version) and returned it because of damage caused by ineffective packaging by Thorens (in my opinion). Plinth and dust cover were both scratched, the tone arm was loose and free to jump around in the box, implying the packaging could not withstand the rigors of shipping, and lastly the cartridge alignment tool was broken.
If your budget is under $200, you’ll find the TechPlay 3-Speed Turntable useful. It has a 3.6 out of 5 stars rating with close to 70 reviews. It has a shipping weight of 13.4 pounds.
The package includes a direct USB/SD encoding for CD, Turntable, Cassette, FM Radio & Auxiliary IN. It also has a clock / sleep / timer function LCD display with blue back-light.
You can record from the turntable to a USB/SD Card. Then download music to my computer for burning a CD.
It does have a cassette player; located on the side of the unit. But it is only a player, not a recorder. The wattage of the speakers is 5 watts. While the entire unit is 15 inches tall (when open). It is made in China.
With LP album on turntable width is 13.5″ Same on depth with cables installed. You need 15″ clearance to fully open the cover over turntable. Cassettes load from the side so you will need more width if you wish to use cassette player.
The radio has a digital tuner and many presets.
This product is durable. I’ve had it for a little over a month and it’s been great! Been wanting a “does it all” stereo system for a while and was hesitant at first to purchase but I’m glad I did. And for the price it was worth the risk.
Awesome for the price! The sound quality and volume is quite good in my opinion. As a bonus, the entire unit runs for a 12VDC wall wart, so we could run it from a car battery if we wanted to take it to a beach party.
I love this thing! I was looking for a turntable to feed my latest passion for 80’s vinyls and I got so much more.
It isn’t huge but it isn’t too small either. Sounds beautiful, and the fact that I can also plug my iPhone in and listen to music is a huge plus! You can easily connect your iPhone through the Aux In located in front of the unit to achieve this. This item plays just about anything, except an 8-track.
This media recorder can take the place of MUCH more expensive units. It works well. I tried recording CD’s, tapes and records; it does a good job with all. It arrived fast, was well-packaged and setup was easy. I do recommend this seller.
It plays one album at a time. There is no way you can stack 5 or 6 albums at the same time. The sound is great though.
Don’t bother with this unit. It broke within a month.
You can’t use a microphone with it. There is no Mic. input jack
Over all, I’d recommend the TechPlay ODC28SPK-WD 3-Speed Turntable with CD / MP3 if you want the best turntable under 200.
TechPlay ODC28SPK-WD 3-Speed Turntable with CD/MP3
Whether you are a DJ who wants a good turntable for an analogue setup or a casual music listener who wants to experience your vinyl in high quality, you can get the Stanton T92 USB.
This Turntable has fantastic features. There is a Direct Drive Motor (which seems high powered and extremely accurate); 33, 45, 78 RPM speeds; 2 Start/Stop Buttons; Strobe light with Pitch Control, Key Control. Really Great Tone Arm mechanism. However, the arm does not automatically lift at the end of a record. The tone arm is 100% manual. Steady hands are required to manually place the needle on/off the record.
It’s simple to set up and calibrate the tone arm though. It has a great metal/plastic construction, kind of heavy. Feels like a real, old school Hi-Fi turntable.
It has a dimension of 20.5 x 7.3 x 17.4 inches and weighs 22.4 pounds with a shipping Weight of 22.5 pounds.
It comes with a dust cover that is made of fabric. This record player is not portable; it weighs at least 22Ibs. It is of professional quality. It is made in China.
It comes with its own cartridge (Audiophile-quality Stanton 500.v3 Cartridge Pre-mounted on Headshell) but you can easily change it to your favorite brand.
Really been enjoying this turntable. Looks good, sounds great. The sound coming out of this machine is amazing. I wanted one that was direct drive so I got this. I don’t use it often, but when I do, it is great. Old records bought in the 1960s still sound good.
If you want to DJ without breaking the bank, this will work great.
For listening to vinyl, I’m finding this turntable to be flawless. I suspect some negative reviews might be due to the occasional bad unit or not understanding proper setups.
This is the first real turn table I’ve owned and I was blown away. I couldn’t believe how heavy it was when I picked up the box. The sound quality is great, I have used both the phono and line options.
I recommend replacing the stylus in this unit. It is quite noisy. Try the Shure mx97e.
My complaint is about the lack of a needle light. If you play in a darker room it might pay to invest in some miniature LED lights.
I made a mistake of purchasing an open box product. Although there was nothing wrong with the turntable, the head shell and cartridge weren’t in the box. I returned the Stanton T92 and purchased something else.
Pickup is poor. One has to turn the volume to maximum to get adequate volume, and still the sound quality is inferior.
Overall, I’d recommend the Stanton T92USB USB Direct Drive DJ Turntable if you want the Best Turntable Under 300. It is a solid A- consumer grade turntable.
This item is available in 6 colors namely Black, Cherry, White, Natural, Red and Torquoise.
The colors differ according to price points as well as components.
Out of the box, the Black system comes with a Manual Belt-drive Turntable supporting 33/45 rpm, a USB output for transferring music from vinyl records to your Mac or PC as well as a Built-in Phone Equalizer (LINE/PHONO switchable).
The Cherry also has a Manual Belt-drive Turntable supporting 33/ as well as a USB output for transferring music from vinyl records to your Mac or PC. While a built-in Phone Equalizer (LINE/PHONO switchable) completes the ensemble.
The white teac also has a manual Belt-drive Turntable supporting 33/ as well as a USB output for transferring music from vinyl records to your Mac or PC. While a built-in Phone Equalizer (LINE/PHONO switchable) completes the ensemble.
The Natural system has a manual belt-drive turntable supporting 33/45rpm, a USB output for transferring music from vinyl records to your Mac or PC as well as a Built-in phono equalizer LINE/PHONO switchable. Unlike the black, white and cherry systems, it comes with an Audio-Technica MMVM type phonograph cartridge AT95E as well as Gold plated terminals for oxidation resistance.
Just like the cherry, black and white systems, the Red teac also has a Manual Belt-drive Turntable supporting 33/ a USB output for transferring music from vinyl records to your Mac or PC as well as a Built-in Phone Equalizer (LINE/PHONO switchable).
The Torquoise has components that differ from the systems already mentioned. It comes with a USB digital output for transferring music from vinyl to Mac or PC as well as an authentic belt-drive turntable / Cabinet with glossy piano finish. The package also includes a Manual arm lifter for analog playback / Static balanced straight type tonearm and an Anti-skating system prevents tracking errors / Built-in phono equalizer amplifier for MM type cartridge (Line/Phono output switchable). While a 2-speed turntable including 33-1/3 and 45 RPM for LP/EP record playback completes the ensemble.
It has a shipping weight of 16.4 pounds.
It’s been a great player so far. It came with a plastic cover when I bought it. It looks decent but the table looks much better without it.
One of the features I like about this turntable is the fact that I can turn the preamp off. This means you can turn off the phono preamp that’s built into this turntable to use a high quality one.
This turntable looks fabulous. It feels solid and well-made. Old school flash back. Right on point. You may find cheaper models but this is worth every penny of the price.
It can connect to your computer using USB so you can transfer music from vinyl to digital format
It doesn’t come with audio recording/burning software. You have to purchase or download your preferred recording software through the Internet. If you are using Windows, you could download Audacity (free) from the web to record from the USB interface.
Most factory supplied USB cables run about 3-4 feet. You can always purchase a longer and higher quality USB cable.
This turntable does not have an auto-return feature. it’s 100% manual! This means there is no auto-stop mechanism. When the record is done playing, the turntable keeps spinning. You have to manually move the needle and stop the turntable to flip over the record. This doesn’t bother me but may bother other people.
It doesn’t it play all 3 speeds. The turntable supports 33/45rpm speeds. Not 78 rmp.
Overall, I’d recommend the TEAC TN-300 Analog Turntable with Built-in Phono Pre-amplifier & USB Digital Output if you want the best turntable under 400.
TEAC TN-300 Analog Record Player with Phono EQ and USB White
This item has over 1500 reviews. It has a 4.5 out of 5 stars rating. It’s available in 2 colors: black and silver and available in 2 styles, namely AT-LP120-USB Turntable and AT-LP120-USB R-MIX Software Bundle.
Style 1 comes with the following features:
Selectable internal stereo phono preamplifier and USB connection to your Mac or Windows computer alongside a Direct-drive, high-torque motor.
Professional cartridge and head-shell.
Selectable 33-1/3, 45, and 78 rpm speeds; +/-10 percent or +/-20 percent pitch adjust; high-accuracy quartz-controlled pitch lock
S-shaped tone arm assembly with adjustable counterweight, anti-skate adjustment, tone-arm height adjustment and lock
Includes USB cable and Mac and PC-compatible Audacity software, Switchable built-in preamplifier with line-level RCA output cables
If you are purchasing the product for a sales area outside the U.S., you should consider purchasing the turntable from your sales region. This unit is set to operate on 120V AC.
It has a dimension of 13.9 x 6 x 17.8 inches and weighs 23.5 pounds with a shipping weight of 27.8 pounds.
Style 2 comes with the features below:
ATLP120 USB Turntable Bundled with Roland’s R MIX audio processing software
USB output connects directly to your computer for plug-and-play use
Mac and PC compatible
Audacity software digitizes your LPs
Direct drive high-torque motor
If you are purchasing the product for a sales area outside the U.S., you should consider purchasing the turntable from your sales region. This unit is set to operate on 120V AC.
It has a dimension of 21 x 8 x 17 inches and weighs 27.5 pounds with a shipping weight of 27.6 pounds. To use this, you need an amp or receiver. Make sure that the equipment has a turntable jack for it, or you can’t use it.
Secondly, you do need a good speaker system. And good speaker wires too.
Actually, it comes with a internal preamp that has a LINE and PHONO output.
The cartridge is actually the best thing about this turntable. It’s of good quality and my classical records sound great with it (on a Technics turntable).
This turntable has an internal preamp with line output (doesn’t require amplification) and a phono output (requires amplification). A lot of people argue about phono being better than the line output. For a casual listener who is not an audiophile, they’re both great. The cartridge and needle on this turntable are really good and do justice to a collection.
I purchased this turntable for the main purpose of digitizing my gramophone and vinyl records and I am very pleased with it.
Even though the turntable has a built-in phono preamp, I like the fact that I can switch it on or off. I didn’t like the quality so I bought a different phono preamp.
I finally tried out the USB and it works well. However the USB cable is a little short. I need a 16 foot one to get to my computer without having to move the turntable. You can also leave it hooked up to your system and USB at the same time so you can hear the album as it records. If you need tips on how to use Audacity, just search for videos on You Tube. Having radio experience with digital studios makes Audacity a breeze but Cool Edit Pro is better (but a lot more complicated).
I knew as soon as I lifted it out of the box that the AT-120-LP-USB was going to be a heavy duty, play forever turntable. It is so solid, so sturdy, so mechanically excellent.
Turntable is solid and professional looking. The cover works very smoothly so it won’t interrupt your music when closing. It is removable as well. All controls are obvious and easy to use.
Regardless of the price, this is a really nice turntable. The deck is heavy and straight, the motor is strong, everything works perfect and there are no issues. It came packed great in the factory box. Lots of nice and useful features, quartz lock being one in case you accidentally slide the speed adjuster. The components are not cheap and “plasticy”, just a nice pro level set for an incredible price. Order with confidence.
This turntable does not have internal speakers. This may seem like a hassle but typically internal speakers aren’t very good. What this turntable does have is it’s own built in pre-amp. A pre-amp is required to convert the sounds off the record, into any receiver. Since this turntable has a built in pre-amp, it allows you to hook it directly to speakers. This helps you save the money you’d otherwise have used to buy a pre-amp. I couldn’t recommend this turntable more. It’s the best for its price range, and I’ve loved using my own.
One MAJOR pet peeve of mine is the fixed cables. I’d much rather have female phono connectors on the back of the unit and use my own high quality cables. The included cable is small gauge and quite short. Quite an oversight for something built this well.
I would skip this turntable all together. It’s loud; doesn’t sound good. The chances of you getting a defective turntable is around 90%. If you have a bose system, get a pro ject essential or a carbon. I have the carbon and it sounds like a 1000 dollar turntable.
Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable
This product has a 4.2 out of 5 stars rating with 16 reviews at the time of writing. It weighs 12.4 pounds and has a shipping weight of 14 pounds.
It comes with the following features:
8.6″ carbon tonearm
Built-in precision Speed Box with switch on upper side
Heavy non resonant acrylic platter
Magnetic cartridge options from Ortofon 2M red
The Carbon DC Esprit SB comes with an acrylic dust cover. It’s a great turntable. The Pro-Ject Audio website states the following product dimensions: with the lid closed 415mm x 118mm x 320mm (WxHxD). In inches, that’s approximately 16.34″W x 4.65″ H x 12.6″ D.
This turntable only comes with a Ortofon 2M Red phono cartridge. The cartridge intended for playing 78 rpm records requires a separate purchase. It only has 33 and 45 speeds.
Comparison of the Debut Carbon, the Debut Carbon DC and the Debut Carbon DC Esprit SB
The Debut Carbon is the base model. It has a steel platter and you’ll need to manually change the drive belt to a different pulley to switch between 33 and 45 rpm records.
The Debut Carbon DC is a step up from the base model. It has an upgraded power supply that provides better speed stability and less operating noise. The end result is that this table will sound slightly better than the base model. It also has a steel platter.
The Debut Carbon DC Esprit SB is the top end of this model range. It has a button that allows for two playback speeds (33/45), as opposed to manually switching the belt to a different pulley. It also includes the uprated power supply that provides better speed stability and reduces playback noise. Finally, it includes an acrylic platter, which is an upgrade of the steel platter included in the lower models.
This item is easy to set up, sounds great; there’s no hum, no static issues. It’s beautiful in appearance and sound! The extra cost over the Debut Carbon is a no-brainer considering the cost of the upgrades far exceeds the cost difference between the two machines.
This turntable is beautiful to behold and amazing to listen to. Very easy to set up and comes with a highly recommended cartridge installed from the manufacturer. The speed control is a great feature and hard to find at this price point. If you are considering this turntable, purchase it without hesitation for a new vinyl entry level unit or a seasoned veteran. It will be all you need for many years to come.
One of the best turntables I’ve ever owned!
It was delivered on time and in perfect shape. The package was nicely double boxed.
The turntable sounds terrific, both through my Monitor Audio AV speakers and, even better, through the NAD T748 AV receiver’s high quality headphone output. Basically, after careful listening, I would rate the value for this record player through the roof! Please note, I have not tweaked or checked cartridge alignment yet, but everything sounded so good out of the box, so much so that I am delaying this extra step!
This item hums like crazy. Build is very nice though. But I’m sending it back. If you can live with the hum, then by all means buy it. It’s very nice and the red 2m cartridge is okay.
Set-up manual has some omissions! (probably can be overcome with online video tutorials though!)
Phono-connection wires included – although good sounding – had some loose connectors which caused me to loose my right channel a few times! (will tighten or upgrade this phono cable soon, for this reason!)
Overall, I’d recommend the Pro-Ject Audio Debut Carbon DC Esprit SB with 2M Red Cartridge if you want the best turntable under 1000. Quality is good, materials are gorgeous, fit and finish are similar.
Pro-Ject Audio Debut Carbon DC Esprit SB with 2M Red Cartridge
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Best Vintage Turntable Reviews 2018 – Buyer’s Guide
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