Best Rated Turntables

How To Choose A Record Player

Rega Planar 2 Turntable Red
Rega Planar 2 Turntable Red

One of the most important decisions you are going to make, if you want to be a serious vinyl record collector, is to decide on which type of turntable to play the records on. With so many manufactures of turntables you just might get lost on which entry level turntable to buy. Or, if you are an avid vinyl collector, to upgrade your existing turntable. Your worries are now over. The best rated turntables has done a lot of research for you and will provide a list of the best turntables on the market. Whether if you are new to vinyl collecting or an old pro.

Before presenting the top turntables, there are three major areas you will need to decide upon before you go shopping for your turntable. These three main criteria are:

  • Budget
  • Features
  • Options

Each of these will be discussed below.

  1. Budget – You need to determine exactly how much you are willing to spend on a turntable. The good turntables will cost anywhere from $200 to $1000 or more. You must decide on how much you are willing to spend for a turntable. This area is the most important as it will determine the next two criteria. Note: Some of the turntables below come with a pre-amp setup. This allows you to only connect the speakers to the unit. However, some of the models don’t come with the pre-amp, you must have an amplifier and speakers and both must be connected before playing your vinyl.

Once you have decided on the amount, your next focus will be on the turntable features.

  1. Features – Speeds. There are three basic speeds of vinyl today and they are 33 1/3 RPM (LP’s), 45 RPM (45’s), and 78 RPM (78’s). Determine what type of records you will be playing on it. This will determine what speeds the turntable should have. Note: If you are considering playing 78 RPM records on the turntable, you cannot use the existing stylus that comes with the unit. You must allow for the purchase a stylus that is made specifically for playing 78’s. Check with the manufacture first before purchasing the unit by contacting their customer service department and determine if they are available and how much they cost.
  • Pitch. Once the decision on speed is made you can focus pitch. By controlling the pitch you manually can increase or decrease the speed of the turntable while the record is being played to achieve optimal sound. For entry level users, focus on the speed. As you get more experienced, you can upgrade to turntables that control the pitch of the sound.
  • Backwards. Unless you are a DJ, playing records backwards is not an option to worry about.
  • USB. Determine if you are going to export any of your music to a computer or any another device. If you are, be sure the turntable chosen has the USB feature. Adding this feature will up the cost of the turntable. You can save anywhere from $50 to $100 without this feature.
  1. Options – Can it be upgraded? – As a more experienced vinyl collector, being able to upgrade the stylus, mat, counter weight, and bypass the pre-amp are very important options of a turntable. For entry level users you may want to consider any or all of these options on your selection. This means by spending a little more now you will not have to purchase a newer model turntable later that has these options. Just order the parts needed for upgrading your existing turntable.

As you can see, you must make some very important decisions first even before considering which turntable to buy. Of all of the decisions mentioned above, the budget is the most important. By knowing how much you have available for a turntable, will help you in deciding which turntable and options you can afford. Just review the turntable comparison chart below. You can list which turntables are within your budget range. You can list the options and then make your decision.

If you plan on playing 45’s, some of the models below do come with a 45 adapter.

Turntable Comparison Chart

The information and prices listed in this chart are as of June 12, 2018. They are provided for comparison purposes only. All prices are subject to change without notice. Many of the turntables in this chart are good entry level tables for the beginner in vinyl collecting.

Also note that when purchasing any of these turntables you must have speakers and an amplifier to play your records. If your unit comes with a preamp, you only need speakers.

Brand Model Price Speeds Color Stylus Weight (Lbs) USB Drive Mat Auto Pre-Amp
Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB $328 33/45/78 Black AT95E 26.5 Yes Direct Felt Manual Yes
Audio-Technica ATLP120-USB $279 33/45/78 Silver AT95E 23.5 Yes Direct Felt Manual Yes
Audio-Technica AT-LP60-USB $149.99 33/45 Black AT3600L 9.29 Yes Belt Felt Auto No
Audio-Technica AT-LP60 $119.99 33/45 Silver ATN3600L 9.55 No Belt Felt Auto Yes
Audio-Technica AT-LP60BK $89 33/45 Black AT3600L 8.5 No Belt Felt Auto Yes
Flaunce RT-81 $249.99 33/45 Walnut AT95E 14.1 No Direct Rubber Auto Yes
Music Hall Music Hall MMF 1.5 $399 33/45/78 Walnut Music Hall Melody 17.4 No Belt Felt Manual No
Music Hall Music Hall MMF 2.2 $299 33/45 Black Music Hall Magic 2 41.8 No Belt Felt Manual No
Pro-Ject Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC $399 33/45 Black Ortofon 2M Red 12.25 No Belt Felt Manual No
Pro-Ject Pro-Ject Essential III $299 33/45 Black OM10 11.02 No Belt Felt Manual No
Rega Rega Planar 1 $475 33/45 Black Rega Carbon MM 9.2 No Belt Felt Manual No
Rega Rega Planar 2 $675 33/45 Black Rega Carbon MM 12.12 No Belt Felt Manual No
Rega Rega RP3 $999 33/45/78 White Elys 2 8.82 No Belt Felt Manual No
Rega Rega RP6 $1,995 33/45 Black Exact 2 16 No Belt Felt Manual No
U-Turn Audio U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus $379 33/45 Black Ortofon 2M Red 12.25 No Belt Felt Manual Yes

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