Category Archives for best turntable under 500

Record Player & Skipping Problems – Fixing The Problem

Record Players are amazing, but they sometimes malfunction, and it’s up to us to determine the best course of action when they do. Now, some people don’t bother too much – replacing an old record player is a solution too.
anitique vinyl modelOther people (who don’t possess handyman skills) simply take their record player for repairs. This is definitely highly recommended if your record player doesn’t work at all, but skipping isn’t that much of a problem, now, is it?

We’re here to discuss the matter of skipping turntables – everyone can do it at their homes, so you don’t ever have to pay extra for repairs anymore.

Step 1 – Recognizing the problem

It’s not hard to recognize a part when your turntable skips, but the real problem might be somewhere else. Is your record player old? Some record players are simply beyond repair, and if your model is really old, you might want to consider purchasing a new turntable.
intirior record playerBy simply recognizing the problem you’ll know what you need to fix. There are virtually limitless possibilities of what could’ve gone wrong, from simply positioning of your record player, over bad vibes, to hardware malfunction. Once you know what’s wrong, you can proceed to step 2.

Our Recommendation:

You should search the web for the inlay of your turntable. Memorize where the parts are, how they look like, and how they perform. Search for anything that goes out of the pattern, and you’ll find what you’re looking for in no time.

Step 2 – Isolate your record player

Sometimes, there are cases where the problem is not so obvious. There’s a chance that your record player will continue skipping, even if you’re already performed everything in your might to avoid this situation.

Sometimes, the vibrations are the problem. Turntables produce massive vibrations when they work, so you should definitely isolate yours before you proceed with more aggressive approach.

You can easily isolate your record player by placing it on anything heavy (preferably, on anything that can snuff out excess vibrations, such as metal or firm wood).

Our Recommendation:

You can easily skip this part if your record player is extremely heavy. These record players seldom skip because they’re badly isolated, so you should search for other signs of malfunction.

Step 3 – Level your Record Player

Every record player functions in a similar way – by tracking the vibrations and re-sending them through the emitter (woofer, speaker, etc.). You want to level your turntable to reduce the risk of defective tracking.

You should always make sure that the surface and the base of your record player are in parallel. If they’re not, however, your record player might skip, or even malfunction after extended periods of time.

Our recommendation:

Most record players come with a straight surface, so you will naturally assume that they’re evenly leveled. Now, even if that might be the case, you should still consider checking the level – this might be the problem you’re looking for.

Step 4 – Check the Needle (Turntable Stylus)

You might’ve already known this, but every record player produces sound in a very simple way – the record player needle (or, the record player stylus) grazes the record, sending vibrations that are later converted to sound.
turntable needleNow, this needle is very, very fragile, and any damages done to it can hardly be perceived by naked human eye. You don’t need to search for microscopes – if you’ve already done everything and your turntable still skips, it’s the stylus that’s bugging you.

Our Recommendation:

If you have settled for the solution where the record player needle is the problem, there’s not much you can do apart from buying a new one. Record player needles are always quite cheap, and you can get a replacement one for a budget price.

Step 5 – Check for damages on records

Even though this is rare, it’s not a rule that the skipping of your record player is caused by a defective part. Sometimes, it’s the records that are making all of the fuss. Most people would assume that by playing several records, you can simply deduce that they’re not the problem. That’s not necessarily true.

After prolonged exposure to sharp needles, your vinyl records can be damaged. Records are, basically, round-shaped data discs that will lose some information after they’ve been grazed by a needle that doesn’t support a certain type of LP.

Our Recommendation:

Always make sure to play records that your record player can support. For instance, some record players can reproduce 7”records, but can’t 8” records.

Lathe Cutting Your Own Records – Beginner’s Guide

What is lathe cutting and why should you consider doing it?

Lathe cutting is, basically, a technique to make or modify vinyl records. A lathe is, basically, a tool that can be used in various different ways, and it will help you to produce (or modify) music records.
Lathe cutting isn’t too hard, but the learning curve is quite steep – if you’re talented, you can master it easily, but there are quite a lot of things you’ll need to know.

First of all, record modification and production are reserved for professionals, so laymen might have a hard time grasping the jargon and terminology. We’re here so that even the beginners feel comfortable about lathe cutting.

Why should you consider it? Not only is lathe cutting profitable – it’s also a hobby that’s both rewarding and enjoyable.

The sound difference – Lathe Cut Records VS Pressed Records

If we’re to compare the sound of lathe cut records and (hard) pressed records, we could easily spot some major differences. First of all, lathe cut records are filled with more bass. The bass resonance in these records is superior to hard pressed vinyl records in all aspects.

The only downfall is that lathe cut records sound less in terms of overall volume. A professional lathe cut artist (if he did everything by the book) will cut into the record so that the distortion is minimal, but this often has less volume as the result.

Furthermore, a quality cut often means that the overall sound quality of the vinyl record is superior to a hard pressed vinyl record.

The preparation difference – Lathe Cut VS Pressed Vinyl

Lathe cutting often requires weeks while pressing vinyl records requires months. This is one of the main reasons why people prefer lathe cutting over pressing.
People who do their cutting with lathe tools and by hand are often pressed for this solution because of the lack of equipment needed for hard pressing vinyl records. Pressing records often requires the use of professional machines which are expensive and automated, which means that you have less control over the outcome.

Tools you need to lathe cut your own records

You’ll need several tools to lathe cut your records, which include:

  • Polycarbonate Discs

Polycarbonate discs are much thicker when compared to standard issue records (three millimeter thick, to be precise). These discs feature superior durability, and they’re less inclined to environmental damage, warping, and such. They’re usually cheap, so you can buy them in bulks.

  • Lathe Cutting Needles

Needles are one of the crucial elements for lathe cutting records. There are different types of lathe cutting needles, such as cone shaped needles, triangle shaped needles, crystal needles, and sapphire cutting needles. We recommend triangle shaped needles, as they are very durable, and you can lathe cut approximately three hundred records before they degrade.

  • Lubricants

Polycarbonate discs are thick, so they’re often too firm for lathe cutting. You’ll need to use a lubricant to soften the overall surface of discs. This will minimize the friction, so your cutting process will be easier. To apply the lubricant properly, only use it on the side you want to cut.

How to lathe cut your records

Lathe cutting involves the conversion of a record track format onto a polycarbonate discs using a lathe cutting needle. You’ll need your song in a certain format (usually it’s a .WAV format) for mastering, at the standard sample rate (usually, 44.1 kHz).
You’ll need a mastering machine (a simple 8-channel panel will suffice), so that you can easily adjust the soundstage at a later point.

If you’re a complete beginner, we recommend that you pay attention to how your vinyl records sound when played at your own turntable. You want the outcome to look something like that.

Tips & Tricks for beginner lathe cutters

Lathe cutting is quite hard, as we’ve previously mentioned, so there are things you should look out for. We’ve compiled a list of things that could help you during your very fist lathe cuts:

  • Before you playback your lathe cut records, clean them thoroughly using microfiber cloth & static brush. A record player pad can be very useful too;
  • The weight of your tonearm should be approximately 1.75 – 2.5 grams;
  • Always lower the record player tonearm with your hand;
  • Distortion means that the record player needle isn’t placed properly in groove. If this happens, reset the record player needle;
  • Pump up the record player volume. Lathe cut records are usually quieter;

Warped Records – Three Easy Methods To Fix This Problem

Introduction

Vinyl records are made of plastic, and it’s quite obvious that this material can bend, break, or warp quite easily. Records may be cheap or expensive, but they have sentimental value for most owners – there are special editions, rare & limited editions, and records that you first bought, and so on.
There’s no need to toss away your warped records, as we’re here to show you three easy ways to fix these problems easily.

What happens when a record warps?

Well, warping is easily spotted, even with the naked eye. Most people would refrain from playing these records, as it’s quite obvious that they won’t sound good (they may not even play in most cases).

In other cases, warped records will usually have inferior sound quality, and, in some extreme cases, you’ll even hear a lot of static, buzzes, and such.

How do records get warped?

Plainly speaking, records may get warped over time. Records are usually pretty old by themselves, mainly because they are considered to be a thing of the past (as CDs, Blue-Rays, and DVDs were introduced on the music market).
Some records are more than 50 years old, and time can easily warp the plastic which composes the construction of these records. There are, of course, other ways how a record can warp.

For instance, prolonged exposures to heat or extreme cold can seriously warp or even damage your records. If you don’t storage your records properly, there’s a chance that sheer physical pressure of another object may warp it too.

Anyhow, all is not lost, as you can easily fix the warping problem if you follow the steps we’ve described below.

Method #1 – Using physical force of heavy objects

The first method (which is usually the most logical one) requires you to use the physical force of other heavy objects. Sandwiching your warped vinyl record between two heavy objects will often yield positive results.
Basically, all you need to do is simply find two objects that are heavier than the vinyl records itself, and put the record between them. As vinyl records are usually lightweight, two books should do the job quite well.

These objects have to be larger than the vinyl record, as the entire surface of the record needs to be covered. Once you’ve sandwiched your vinyl, all you have to do is simply wait for a few days.

Method #2 – The heat & pressure combo

This method requires you to “cook” your vinyl record (figuratively speaking). You will need two sheets made of glass for this method, as you’ll sandwich the record between them. Once you did this, you will have to heat the oven at 79-degree C. Put the record in the oven, but make sure that it is inside for the maximum of three minutes.

The glass needs to be kept at the room temperature, lest it shatters. The heat will smooth out the surface of the vinyl, and it will make the plastic softer. Just make sure that the record isn’t inside for more than three minutes, lest it melts, rendering it unusable.

Method #3 – The combination of Methods #1 & #2

There are extreme cases of vinyl record warping where both of these methods won’t yield positive results on their own. In these cases, we recommend that you combine the two methods we’ve previously explained.

Heat up the record for three minutes at the 79-degree C, after which you will sandwich the record between two heavy objects. The combination of these two methods will definitely help you fix the warping problem.

General Prevention

The best way to fix a warped vinyl record is to avoid the warping altogether. As we’ve mentioned earlier, if you don’t storage your records properly, there’s a chance that they’ll warp (eventually). Always keep your records away from direct sunlight, lest the excess heat warp the plastic.

The same goes for extreme cold. Those places where the temperatures are below the standard room temperature can be dangerous for storage of your vinyl records. The heat and cold are very dangerous for plastic objects, including vinyl records.

Furthermore, you should also be careful with how you handle your vinyl records. The sheer pressure of a hard grip can sometimes be enough to damage your vinyl records.

This being said, if you’re careful with your vinyl records, if you storage them properly, and if you shelter them away from significant heat and cold, your records will be just fine.

Best Modern Turntables

Modern Turntables – Key points and notable features

Turntables have been around for quite some time, and it’s only natural that modern manufacturers decided to reinvent and improve their older designs. Surely enough, the purpose remained the same – record players are there so you could enjoy your music.

Most people like record players simply because they’re “old”. Vintage items gain in value as they age, and the same goes for record players. Modern turntables are actually “old record players with an improved performance and design”, and some of the most notable features a modern record player should have are:

  • A special, unique design

Older versions of record players look pretty plain and straightforward, but that may, or may not be the case with modern record players. Some manufacturers who have been around for quite some time keep them simple even up to this day. A perfect example would be Crosley – they literally invented the “modern” turntables, but the design of their record players is as simple as it gets in most of their products.

However, younger brands like to experiment, and they add extra layers in finishes, plinths, colors, and even add additional bases and connect them throughout.

  • Improved sound output/performance

The record player industry is ever expanding, and it was pretty natural that some brands have partnered up with brands that manufacture speakers, woofers, and similar items. This had an increase in sound output and sound performance as a result. When you search for your modern turntable, you should try out several models, as some excel in these fields while others are purely cosmetic.

  • Various outstanding features

Simplicity is the key when it comes to vintage record players, but when we speak about modern turntables, it’s completely opposite. Specific method of operation, exquisite materials, high-end cartridges all increase the complexity.

Why should you consider owning a modern record player?

First of all, a modern record player is usually more expensive than a standard turntable. However, comparing vintage and modern turntables would seem like comparing apples to oranges. Vintage record players are valuable simply because they look “old” and because they have a certain sentimental ring to them while modern record players need to prove themselves in the fields of performance.

Old-school people who collect vintage items might not like modern record players as much as vintage ones, but that’s the only exception. The benefits of owning a modern record player would be:

  • They’re built to last;

These record players are often quite expensive, but they’re highly durable, and every model is a keeper. That’s one of the reasons why people have only one record player at home. With the sky-high prices, it’s practically unimaginable for you to hoard several models, but that only points us to the conclusion that these beauties are manufactured in a way that they will last us for a lifetime.

  • Extremely beautiful and outfitted with high-end hardware;

While some vintage record players are purely cosmetic, modern turntables look beautiful and perform great. The absolute must for this type of turntables is that they can satisfy the needs of an audiophile without sacrificing their beauty and charm.

  • High-tech features

Conversion of your vinyl records to MP3 format (and such) is something that most modern record players are capable of. Bluetooth (and wireless) connection, versatility, AM/FM radio – these are just some of the high-tech features that modern record players can offer you.

Best Modern record player reviews

Marantz TT-15S1 Reference Belt Drive Turntable with Cartridge

standalone record player

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A short summary:

Marantz TT-15S1 record player is a belt driven turntable that looks absolutely stunning. As for the sound performance, it definitely falls in the top 5, but it’s not the best of the best, unfortunately. It’s a well-rounded record player that belongs to the moderately expensive price point category.

Details, description, and features:

Marantz TT-15S1 turntable sports a Low-Resonance High-Density chassis that snuffs out unnecessary vibrations and keeps the sound steady. The floating motor unit features a Mount construction (AC motor), and the belt drive system sports the “Endless” belt.
turntabe

Pros:

  • Low-vibration – the Low-Resonance High-Density chassis keeps vibrations at the minimum;
  • Magnetic Anti-Skating mechanism – this mechanism preserves your record player and your vintage records;
  • Floating motor unit – a powerful Asynchronous motor is supplied to this record player;

Potential Flaws:

  • Doesn’t come with a dust cover;

Value for the price:

Marantz TT-15S1 is beautiful and powerful, but very expensive. It’s very valuable for the cash, however.

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Thorens TD240-2 Automatic Turntable

best record turntables

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A short summary:

A fully automatic record player that’s supplied with high-end features and capable of reproducing your vintage records at three selectable speeds. It’s decently affordable (for a modern record player), and it’s pretty valuable altogether.

Details, description, and features:

Thorens TD240 automatic record player features a precision belt driven method of operation, and it has three selectable speeds – you can enjoy your records at 33, 45, or 78 rotations per minute. The size of the platter is 12 inches, it weighs 1.5 pounds, and features a nonmagnetic aluminum build. The AT95E moving magnet Audio Technica cartridge is one of the best features this modern record player is supplied with.
new phonograph

Pros:

  • Selectable speeds – you can enjoy your records at 33, 45, or 78 rpm;
  • Fully automatic method of operation – no belts, no replacements. This is the easiest way to enjoy your music;
  • High-end cartridge- the AT95E moving magnet Audio Technica cartridge is one of the most popular cartridges on the market;

Potential Flaws:

  • The hinges on the lid are troublesome, to say the least;

Value for the price:

Thorens TD240 record player is actually pretty affordable for a modern turntable. Great features, decent reliability, and huge value for the price.

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Teac TN-550 Black Marble record player

record players chicago

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A short summary:

If you wanted a modern turntable that excels in looks and durability, Teac’s TN-550 might be your best bet. It’s not too expensive (but it’s not cheap either), it’s very reliable, and it sports a set of amazing features.

Details, description, and features:

Teac’s TN-550 record player looks ravishing. It’s made from premium-quality MDF and marble stone materials which give it a huge level of durability. It’s a decently versatile turntable that has two selectable speeds, acrylic platter, anti-static base with carbon coating, and high-precision spindle.
where can i buy turntables

Pros:

  • High-quality features – Acrylic platter, High-precision spindle, Anti-Static base with carbon coating, and more;
  • Extremely accurate – PRS3 platter Servo system gives maximum accuracy;
  • Very durable – it’s made of High-density MDF and marble stone;

Potential Flaws:

  • Not exactly versatile – it comes with two selectable speeds – 33 1/3 and 45 rotations per minute;

Value for the price:

Beautiful, sturdy, and powerful – this is a plain description of Teac’s TN-550. It’s not exactly cheap, but it’s definitely not expensive for a modern record player. Great value for the cash.

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Music Hall IKURA Black Turntable with Ortofon 2M Blue Cartridge

home stereo with record player

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A short summary:

This might be the most beautiful modern record player on the market. Music Hall’s Ikura is exceptionally powerful and astonishingly beautiful. It’s one of more expensive turntables, but it’s definitely worth the cash.

Details, description, and features:

Music Hall’s Ikura features a gloss black design, a platter made of MDF with high-gloss finish coating, three rubber feet, and medium-density fiberboard. Every single part of this beautiful contraption is premium-quality, including ABEC 7 bearings, 9” tonearm, Teflon coatings for noise-free operation, and more.
admiral phonograph

Pros:

  • Noiseless method of operation – the Teflon coatings isolate unnecessary sounds and vibrations;
  • High-end features – the 9” tonearm, ABEC 7 bearings, medium-density fiberboard, rubber feet, and more;
  • Extremely beautiful – just by looking at Ikura, you can easily come to a conclusion that it’s one of the most beautiful turntables on the market;

Potential Flaws:

  • Only the price – it’s quite steep;

Value for the price:

This is how quality looks, sounds, and feels like, so if the price is not an issue for you, don’t think twice. This may be the best modern turntable that money can afford.

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Music Hall MMF 9.1 2-Speed Audiophile turntable with cartridge

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A short summary:

Music Hall’s MMF 9.1 is a big, triple plinth, high-performance modern turntable. It’s heavy, it’s durable, and it’s great when it comes to audio output, but it’s, sadly, extremely expensive.

Details, description, and features:

Music Hall’s MMF 9.1 has a triple base construction, a one-piece tonearm (9”), isolated 50Hz motor, Gyger II contact stylus, a mounted cartridge, inverted main bearing made of ceramic, and a dust cover. It’s pretty versatile and extremely strong, and it comes with two selectable speeds.
panasonic portable record player

Pros:

  • Beautiful and sturdy – the triple base construction looks pretty neat, but it also adds durability to this turntable;
  • A powerful motor – isolated, recoupled, and powerful (50Hz);
  • The set includes – a dust cover, a 45rpm adaptor, instruction manual;

Potential Flaws:

  • Only two selectable speeds;
  • Needs to be assembled;
  • Extremely expensive;

Value for the price:

Even though it costs quite a lot, Music Hall’s MMF 9.1 might be the best modern record player that money can afford. Great value for the cash.

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Best Audiophile Turntable under $500

Introduction

Audiophiles – the people who really value high-quality sound above all else! You should know that these beautiful contraptions often come at a very steep price.

So, you might be wondering – are they all that expensive?

Luckily, no.

We’ve compiled a list of best audiophile record players that are high-quality and yet are affordable. By our means, the perimeter for this is a maximum of $500.

Best audiophile turntable under $500 models reviewed:

Akai Professional BT500 Premium Belt-Drive Turntable

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Details, description, and design:

Akai’s professional belt-driven BT500 record player features the wireless Bluetooth connection that could easily be connected with any speaker that supports this feature. It’s a beautiful turntable with the walnut finish, brushed aluminum settings, and the low-mass aluminum tonearm. You can adjust the counterweight of the tonearm for accurate tracking.

Pros:

  • Extremely durable – Die-cast aluminum platter makes this record player very durable;
  • A beautiful turntable – Akai’s Professional BT500 record player has a beautiful walnut finish;
  • Genuine sound output – with the low-mass aluminum tonearm and the premium-quality cartridge, you can expect quite a lot from this turntable;

Potential Flaws:

  • Simple controls – most audiophile record players have a full set of various controls;

Value for the price:

This audiophile record player is extremely valuable for the price, mostly because it’s pretty inexpensive.

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Pioneer PL-30-K Audiophile stereo turntable with Dual-Layered Chassis and Built-in Phono Equalizer

phono record player

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Details, description, and design:

Pioneer’s PL-30-K audiophile record player features the fully-automatic method of operation. The chassis has two layers that are equipped with 4-millimeters thick plates. The low gravity center point provides accurate and stable playback.

With the built-in equalizer and high-performance cartridge, this record player has an amazing sound output.

Pros:

  • Beautiful and simple – this record player features a very simple and straightforward design;
  • High-quality sound output – the MM mounted cartridge and the built-in equalizer makes sure that you can hear literally everything;
  • Original Rubber mat – the 5-millimeter thick mat is made from rubber, and it suppresses any external vibration;

Potential Flaws:

  • The dust cover of this record player is not exactly durable;

Value for the price:

Pioneer’s PL-30-K record player holds a tremendous value for the price. It’s quite cheap, it’s sound performance is amazing, and it’s pretty durable altogether.

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Music Hall – MMF-2.3 Black 2-Speed Manual Audiophile Turntable

crosley turntable sale

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Details, description, and design:

This audiophile record player is one of the best turntables in the price range. It has a beautiful, matte black design that looks absolutely astonishing. It’s capable of music playback at two variable speeds – either 33 1/3 or 45 rotations per minute. The premium-quality 8.6-inch fiber tonearm features an aluminum headshell.

Pros:

  • Two variable speeds – you can enjoy your music at 33 1/3 or 45 rotations per minute;
  • High-quality features – the 8.6-inch fiber tonearm comes supplied with an aluminum headshell;
  • A stable construction – the adjustable feet damp any and all vibrations;

Potential Flaws:

  • Lacks in versatility – most audiophile record players can play music at 3 variable speeds;

Value for the price:

This record player is absolutely the best thing that an audiophile can have. Its sound output is phenomenal, the features it comes supplied with are exquisite, but it’s not exactly versatile. Anyhow, it’s very valuable for the cash.

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Pro-Ject Debut Recordmaster Walnut Turntable with USB and Phono preamp

phonograph recorder

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Details, description, and design:

Plain and simple – Pro-Ject makes their record players this way, and that’s one of the reasons why they’re one of the best. This record player can play your songs at three variable speeds – 33 1/3, 45, or 78 rotations per minute. The features it comes supplied with are awesome, to say the least – a premium-quality built-in preamp, USB connectivity, and the OM10 pre-mounted cartridge.

Pros:

  • An incredible design – This record player features an extremely simplified design which makes it attractive;
  • State-of-the-art features – The built-in preamp, USB connectivity, OM10 Cartridge, and the Dust cover;
  • Three variable speeds – you can enjoy your records at 33 1/3, 45, or 78 rotations per minute;

Potential Flaws:

  • Very low possibility of sound customization;

Value for the price:

Pro-Ject’s Debut Recordmaster has an exquisite value for the cash. It’s a well-rounded turntable that’s capable of satisfying the needs of any audiophile.

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Crosley C10A-MA Hardwood Turntable with Low Vibration Synchronous Motor, Mahogany

vintage stereo turntables

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Details, description, and design:

Well, it’s safe to say that Crosley is the best of the best. Their record players reinvented music, and this model is not an exception. The C10A-MA is an audiophile record player that features Hardwood construction, a Synchronous motor with low vibration, and the mahogany finish.
buying record player

Pros:

  • A set of amazing features – the 8.6-inch tonearm with the sapphire bearings, Ortofon OM5E pre-mounted cartridge, and the low-vibration synchronous motor;
  • A great construction – this audiophile record player features Hardwood construction with mahogany finish;
  • Two selectable speeds – you can enjoy music at 33 1/3 or 45 rotations per minute;

Potential Flaws:

  • The only problem is that the original C10A-MA costs $100 less. Mahogany is quite overpriced;

Value for the price:

It’s a Crosley, and we should leave it at that. Simply saying that it’s very valuable would be an understatement.

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DENON Full Auto Player System Premium Silver DP-300F-SP 100V 50-60Hz

record player to usb

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Details, description, and design:

Now, Denon might not be as famous as Crosley, Audio-Technica, or similar brands, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve a place among the best. DP-300F-SP is an incredibly beautiful construction, full-auto motor, and a refined exterior.

Pros:

  • Pretty affordable for an audiophile record player – this record player belongs to the affordable price point category;
  • An absolutely beautiful exterior design – Denon’s DP-300F-SP looks ravishing;
  • Japanese construction – this record player is very durable. Built to last;

Potential Flaws:

  • The record mat only supports records that are 17 or 30 cm;

Value for the price:

DP-300F-SP is an incredible audiophile record player, and it boasts a great value for the cash.

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Marantz TT42 Fully Automatic Belt Drive Turntable with Cartridge

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Details, description, and design:

Marantz TT42 features a fully automatic method of operation. This belt-driven turntable works with a DC Servo, and it features a moving-magnet cartridge. Its exterior design is absolutely beautiful and compact.

Pros:

  • An amazing cartridge – a moving-magnet cartridge works like a charm;
  • A beautiful design – a black exterior design with a matte black tonearm make this audiophile record player extremely attractive;
  • Very inexpensive – This record player belongs to the cheap price point category;

Potential Flaws:

  • The dust cover that comes supplied with this record player is transparent, but not exactly durable;

Value for the price:

Marantz TT42 is a fully automatic DC belt drive record player, and it has a great value for the price. Phenomenal audio output, beautiful, and quite durable.

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U-Turn Audio – Orbit Plus Turntable

record player with speakers built in

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Details, description, and design:

U-Turn Audio’s Orbit Plus record player is a high-performance turntable that features a precision tonearm, the Ortofon OM5E turntable cartridge, a machined platter, and more. You can play your vintage records at 33 or 45 rotations per minute, it’s very simple to setup, and the whole set includes a dust cover, a pair of RCA cables, a felt mat, a warranty of one year, and the adjustable counterweight.
stand alone turntable

Pros:

  • Two selectable speeds – U-Turn Audio’s Orbit Plus record player can play your vinyl records at 33 or 45 rotations per minute;
  • A set of high-quality features – this audiophile turntable comes supplied with a precision tonearm, the Ortofon OM5E turntable cartridge, a machined platter, and the belt-driven manual mechanism;
  • The whole bundle – this set includes a dust cover, a pair of RCA cables, a warranty of one year, and the adjustable counterweight;

Potential Flaws:

  • This model does not come supplied with a cue lever (however, the original does);

Value for the price:

U-Turn’s Audio Orbit has an incredible value for the cash. Great performance, phenomenal design, and a set of outstanding features.

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The 7 Best Pro Ject Turntables

Introduction – Pro-Ject

Pro-Ject is one of the prominent leaders in the high-end turntable industry. Their catalog of products includes Musical Instruments, amplification devices, various other electronics and hardware. They deserve the reputation for being one of the best-sellers of high-quality.

They are very serious about their business. Their record players are not made randomly, and most models come in series. Some of the famous generations are Carbon, Carbon DC, Xpression, Debut Carbon, and Espirit.

Pro-Ject products are very reliable and are made of the finest quality materials. When it comes to the budget, consider this brand as middle upper-class. To keep things in reach, we focused on the models that for sure are an investment, but never cross the $500 bar.
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The high-quality features of Pro-Ject’s record players

You can recognize the Pro-Ject’s quality by several features. Their record players are always made from the high-quality materials (such as Eucalyptus or Rose Wood). On top of that, they have a pretty straightforward (and beautiful) design. It’s safe to say that this manufacturer values simplicity and reliability above all else:

  • High-end materials included in the manufacturing process

You simply can’t find a Pro-Ject turntable that’s made of low-quality materials. Their record players have a high durability rating that does not impede upon the quality of sound. The acoustics are also phenomenal, so you can expect a clear, pure sound for the best listening experience.

  • Plain and straightforward design

As we mentioned earlier, simplicity is one of the main attributes of Pro-Ject’s turntables. Their design is straightforward, and it’s one of the key factors that augment their outward appearance.

  • Simple, yet reliable features

The features are (same as with the design) also quite simple. Few buttons and knobs here and there, a high-end turntable stylus, and the record spinner are usually all you get with their turntables.

  • A steep price

Quality, sadly, comes at a price. However, this is not necessarily a flaw.  Pro-Ject’s turntables might be very expensive, but almost all of their products come with a (limited or a lifetime) warranty.

The best Pro-Ject turntable models reviews

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC (Black)

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A short summary:

Debut Carbon DC is one of the most affordable Pro-Ject turntables. With this package you get an 8.6” tonearm, Sorbothane suspension, a high-quality cartridge, and the belt-driven motor.

The detailed description and features:

Pro-Ject’s Debut Carbon DC arrives with the 8.6-inch tonearm (carbon) that’s very accurate. The platter size is increased when compared to similar products so that the weight and stability are increased. On top of that, the precision belt-drive synchronous motor is outfitted with the Sorbothane suspension. One of the best features of this record player is the Ortofon 2M cartridge.

Pros:

  • A high-quality turntable stylus – 8.6-inch tonearm offers a precise sound quality;
  • An increased size of the platter – adding more weight to the construction of this record player had an increase in stability as a result;
  • Precision belt-drive motor – the motor of this turntable provides a great level of reliability while not consuming too much electrical power;
  • Sorbothane suspension – this feature enables the motor to run with an increased performance;
  • Ortofon 2M cartridge – one of the best cartridge models on the market;

The potential flaws:

Value for the price:

Being one of the least expensive Pro-Ject turntables, this model has quite a value for the price. Also, a decent set of features, high durability, and a modest price gave a high value to this record player.

The final verdict:

There are better Pro-Ject turntable models, that’s for certain, but here’s the breaker – there aren’t any in the same price range. You’d find it very hard to believe that there’s actually a record player that’s capable of high-quality, precise sound for such a budget price.

Pro-Ject Essential II Turntable – Matte Black

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A short summary:

Essential II is much alike to the Debut III (review is just below).  It has a set of premium-quality features. It’s very affordable, it has a beautiful, simple design that looks exquisite and elegant.

The detailed description and features:

Essential II turntable features the Ortofon OM 5E phono cartridge, a DC-powered motor, it operates without making too much sound in the background (apart from the song you are playing), and it sports a lightweight chassis.
buying a vinyl record player

Pros:

  • A beautiful outward appearance – Essential II looks simply amazing;
  • A lightweight and compact design – this turntable is very lightweight;
  • A set of premium-quality features – Ortofon OM 5E phono cartridge, 8.6” turntable stylus, bronze brushing Teflon bottom;

The potential flaws:

Value for the price:

It’s pretty affordable, and it holds an amazing value for a budget record player.

The final verdict:

You simply can’t go wrong with Essential II. It’s a great budget turntable with a great set of features. It looks elegant and it’s very lightweight. However, the original model comes with  USB connection, so the overall value of this model is great, but not perfect.

Pro-Ject- Debut III Matte Black Turntable

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A short summary:

We’ve mentioned some of the greatest Pro-Ject’s models including those with the highest performance ratings, the cheapest ones, the best models. Pro-Ject’s Debut III Matte black is definitely the most elegant and beautiful one, but it doesn’t lack in the field of performance.

The detailed description and features:

This record player is features the Ortofon OM-5E phono cartridge and a felt-covered platter. In addition to that, you also get the chrome-plated axle & brass housing, the aluminum tonearm, and the silicone-damped arm-lift.

Pros:

  • The ravishing outlook – Debut III has the elegant Matte Black design;
  • All-around performance – it has a great level of performance in nearly all fields;
  • Very cheap – it belongs to the modest price point category;

The potential flaws:

  • Frankly, there’s not a single apparent flaw in the overall design of this turntable;

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Value for the price:

Simply amazing. This turntable has the greatest value among the seven in our review. It has a terrific price also the features are all very amazing, and it’s as reliable as it can get. There are no apparent flaws in the design of this record player. It’s safe to say that it’s simply the best turntable that money can afford.

The final verdict:

Here’s the deal. By saying that this is the best budget turntable we’ve mentioned so far, we’re being completely objective. It features a great all-around performance rating, it’s very inexpensive, and it has the set of amazing features.

Surely, there are other, more expensive models that have premium features, but we can’t just compare them. There are record players that have a class on their own, and this is just one of the best Pro-Ject’s turntables that is the most cost-effective.

Pro-Ject RM-5.1 SE Turntable with Sumiko Blue Point No.2 Cartridge

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A short summary:

Pro-Ject’s RM-5.1 belongs to the RM series (same as Pro-Ject’s RM 1.3 which we will review soon enough), which is famous for the Pro-Ject’s signature simple design and high-performance rating. It’s a great little turntable that’s one of the cheapest high-end turntables that money can buy.

The detailed description and features:

This record player features a Piano lacquer type of a plinth. Further, it can reproduce records at 33 or 45 rotations per minute (with the optional 78 rotations per minute), and sports a Sumiko Blue No. 2 cartridge.

Pros:

  • A phenomenal price – it’s one of the cheapest high-end turntables;
  • A beautiful design – Dark Gray lacquer plinth;
  • Great cartridge – Sumiko Blue No. 2 Cartridge;

The potential flaws:

  • The overall performance rating of Pro-Jects RM 5.1 SE is inferior to some of the models we’ve mentioned in our review;

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Value for the price:

You would have a hard time finding a better record player for the money. A phenomenal value for the price.

The final verdict:

Pro-Ject’s RM-5.1 SE is a record player that owns up to the name of this reputable brand. It has all the features that a classy turntable needs to have in order to call it a “high-end” one, and it’s really cheap overall.

Pro-Ject 2Xperience SB Turntable (Eucalyptus)

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A short summary:

2Xperience SB turntable features a plinth that’s made of eucalyptus, a great level of performance, and the precision control over the high-speed motor. The carbon tonearm is a great improvement over the previous models. The main problems of this turntable are its lack of versatility, and its very steep price.

The detailed description and features:

Now, we’re looking at a belt-driven record player hat has an electronic turntable stylus. Inverted bearings (ABEC 7), Sumiko Blue pre-mounted cartridge also come as standard. On top of that, you also get two variable speeds (33 and 45). The 300mm platter MDF and stainless-steel main bearings provide a great durability rating.

Pros:

  • High-performance turntable – a belt-driven record player with some of the greatest features a turntable can have;
  • Very durable – stainless-steel bearings and high-quality platter and plinth are very durable;
  • A straightforward design – the simple design is one of the Pro-Ject’s trademarks;

The potential flaws:

Value for the price:

Now, Pro-Ject’s 2xperience record player has a very steep price and it’s only capable of 33 and 45 Rotations Per Minute playbacks. However, every other feature is impeccable, so the overall value for the price is quite great.

The final verdict:

Here’s the deal – you probably won’t like the part about the cost, that’s for sure. Pro-Ject’s 2Xperience record player is very expensive, however if you take into account all of the exquisite features that it offers, its a great record player. Great value, but a steep price.

Pro-Ject RM 1.3 Turntable – High Gloss Black with Pearl Cartridge

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A short summary:

With RM 1.3 record player, Pro-Ject practically reinvents their usual (plain) design. This turntable features an improvement in stability, and it brings a wonderful set of features. It’s not very expensive, so you might want to take a look at what it can offer you.

The detailed description and features:

The usual straightforward design was replaced with a more urban one. Features include single-piece head-shell S-shaped turntable stylus, the pre-mounted moving magnet Sumiko Pearl cartridge, and the Resonance-Optimized MDF mat platter.
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Pros:

  • Incredible performance rating – the pre-mounted moving magnet Sumiko Pearl cartridge and the resonance-optimized platter provide the great sound output;
  • A stylish turntable stylus – the S-shaped tonearm of Pro-Jects RM 1.3 is both fashionable and great when it comes to sound;
  • A modest price – you can get this turntable at a nearly-bargain price;

The potential flaws:

  • This record player does not excel in any particular field of performance;

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Value for the price:

This turntable is definitely one of the cheapest Pro-Ject’s turntables, and it’s more than capable of delivering clear, pure sound, so it holds a great value for the price.

The final verdict:

Now, here we have a well-rounded record player that you can get at a bargain price. The features it offers are great overall, but the product itself is not too versatile. However, it offers a high reliability rating, it’s durable, and the sound output is phenomenal.

Pro Ject RPM 9 Carbon Turntable SuperPack with Connect-It/Sumiko Blackbird Cartridge

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A short summary:

Pro-Ject’s RPM 9 Carbon turntable is, perhaps, the most expensive turntable out of the 7 we’ve mentioned in our review. Now, this is a flaw, that’s for sure, but keep in mind that this record player set can offer you something that only a few products can.

The detailed description and features:

Pro-Ject’s RPM 9 Carbon record player looks very urban and modern. Further, it sports a heavy chassis with CNC machined plate that’s comes with a hard-coated steel. It’s safe to say that this is one of the most durable Pro-Ject’s models, but that’s not all. It also features the variable speeds of 33 and 45 rotations per minute, a 9” EVO turntable stylus needle, and the carbon-fiber arm-tube. The Sumiko Blackbird cartridge provides a high-fidelity sound.

Pros:

  • A set of premium features – The EVO 9-inch turntable stylus, Sumiko Blackbird cartridge, heavyweight chassis with the CNC machined plate are just some of the features this turntable offers;
  • Extremely durable construction – hard stainless-steel bearings and a heavyweight chassis provide extreme durability rating;
  • Sumiko Blackbird cartridge – this is one of the best turntable cartridge models;

The potential flaws:

  • Extremely expensive – this record player belongs to the extremely-expensive price point category;

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Value for the price:

Pro-Ject’s RPM 9 Carbon Turntable is very expensive, but it’s also one of the best record players this brand has to offer. Magnificent value for the price.

The final verdict:

Sure, Pro-Ject’s RPM 9 Carbon record player is very expensive, however, it features a set of extraordinary features that make it one of the best models in the Pro-Ject’s line. Anyhow, the price practically makes it reserved for audiophiles and people with deeper pockets.

Best Belt Driven Turntable Reviews 2017

Introduction – What is a “belt drive turntable”?

A belt drive represents the connection between the bearings and the record spinner of a turntable. Audiophiles all around the globe have a dispute about whether Direct or Belt Drive is better, but let’s settle for the latter at the moment. A belt drive offers a great deal of advantages of which them most important is the “space for a cheaper motor”.

Why is that?

A belt drive does its part by serving the function of a bearing, complementing the motor’s power. You don’t need to pay extra bucks in order to pump up your record player – these turntables are powerful as they are.

Best Belt Driven Turntable models in 2017

Audio-Technica AT-LP60 Fully Automatic Stereo Turntable System

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Summary:

A fully automatic stereo turntable that comes packed with a set of amazing features and a beautiful design. The whole set includes adapter cables, mini RCA adapter, and a dust cover.

Features:

Now, Audio Technica AT-LP60 comes supplied with some of the best features a turntable can have. It’ a fully automatic contraption with a belt-driven method of operation, it can playback songs at 2 speeds (33 1/3 & 45 rotations per minute), it features the anti-resonance die-cast platter made of aluminum and the internal magnet cartridge with a diamond stylus.
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Pros:

  • Fully automatic stereo turntable – a belt-driven method of operation, this machine can playback at 2 speeds (33 1/3 and 45 rotations per minute);
  • High-quality platter – Anti-resonance, die-cast platter is made of aluminum;
  • Integral phono cartridge – dual magnet cartridge with a diamond stylus;
  • Built-in phono preamp with RCA cables – you can switch this feature if you don’t like the current sound output;

Potential Flaws:

The RCA cables are extremely short, and most of the time, they’re not long enough to reach the adapter.

Value for the price:

Here’s the deal – Audio-Technica AT-LP60 doesn’t cost much at all and it has some very good features. Great value for the price.

The Final Verdict:

The design of this magnificent turntable isn’t flawless, but it’s perfect for the cash.

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1byone Belt Driven Bluetooth Turntable with Built-in Stereo Speaker, Vintage style Record Player

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Summary:

You might have heard about 1byone, but in the case you didn’t – they’re serious manufacturers of TVs, TV antenna models, cables, and turntables. This model is one of their best, so let’s see what’s inside of it.

Features:

This turntable model has a simple, old-school design that makes it really attractive. A simplified method of operation was made possible by the plain control panel, and essentially, the plinth, the platter, the support legs, and the cover lid comprise this turntable.
turntable players

Pros:

  • Old-school design – 1byone turntable looks traditional and vintage. It’s made of solid wood, and it has a classic dust cover;
  • Variable speed setting – this turntable model can playback records at 33, 45 or 78 rotations per minute;
  • Vinyl-to-MP3 feature – you can convert the audio from your vinyl records to MP3 so that you can enjoy it later on your mobile device;
  • Bluetooth and high compatibility – this turntable is compatible with most modern devices;

Potential Flaws:

The overall sound volume is nowhere near loud. Some people prefer it this way, but the vast majority of people like to actually “hear” their music. You could get rid of this problem by attaching exterior speakers.

Value for the price:

It might not appear at first sight, but this turntable is actually quite cheap. Compare it to other turntable models, if you will, and you will come to the conclusion that this is a bargain price.

The Final Verdict:

Well, this turntable is good, and maybe it’s great. However, it’s not perfect, so here’s the deal – if you want premium quality, you won’t find it here, but if you want great quality for a decent price, this might be your best bet.

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Fluance High Fidelity Vinyl Turntable Record layer

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Summary:

This Fluance turntable model comes supplied with premium features and components that allow for high-performance sound output. The music from your records will be clear and precise. You may be wondering – “How is this turntable so popular? It looks pretty basic”. The answer lies in its simplicity – it looks vintage, it sounds great, and it doesn’t cost too much.

Features:

A simple plinth style is decorated with a diamond turntable stylus for absolute precision and accuracy, the S-type tonearm makes sure that it rests deep in the record, and the overall design is made from high-quality wood.
retro looking record player

Pros:

  • High-quality components – premium belt-driven turntable model that comes supplied with only the finest materials;
  • A powerful cartridge – packed with a diamond turntable stylus, the cartridge which was integrated into the design of this turntable provides outstanding sound clarity.
  • A balanced S-type aluminum turntable tonearm – your records will sound absolutely clear;
  • Thick, high-quality wood – The wooden design gives this turntable great outward appearance, durability, and isolation;

Potential Flaws:

Some instruments would either be inaudible or could sound off. Most people report that instruments with high sustain (such as, for example, a piano) suffer from this issue, but that’s quite normal when belt-driven turntables are in question.

Value for the price:

The cost of Fluance turntable is quite standard for a high-quality model, and the features are able to compromise for it. Great quality, great price, a terrific value.

The Final Verdict:

This turntable is definitely one of the best belt driven turntable models on the market. Sure, it has its flaws and it definitely is not perfect, but it’s a great piece of state-of-the-art technology. Here’s the deal, if you’re out searching for a belt-driven turntable, give this one a try, and we guarantee that you will be satisfied.

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Ion USB Turntable with Built-In CD Recording

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Summary:

ION USB Turntable represents a perfect mixture of modern technology and traditional sound. It looks quite Sci-Fi for a record player, but don’t let that dissuade you – it comes supplied with everything a turntable needs, and more.

Features:

This turntable belongs to the category “all-in-one” – it’s a record player with a CD compartment, the USB connection, a built-in speaker set, and the package also includes a special EZ Vinyl Converter software and Audio Converter for computer recording.
player vinyl

Pros:

  • All-in-one turntable – packed with a manifold of various features;
  • Copy or Mix your own CDs – this record player features settings that allow you to copy your CDs or make a custom mix;
  • Very versatile – it can work as a standalone record player or as a turntable connected to a PC;
  • Free software – the set includes the EZ Converter 2 and Audio Converter software that let you edit audio;

Potential Flaws:

The price is ok, but let’s get it straight – you could get a cheaper belt-driven turntable with similar features.

Value for the price:

Now, Ion USB Turntable is pricey, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not valuable. This record player is extremely versatile, and it boasts quite a value for the cash.

The Final Verdict:

Ion USB Turntable comes supplied with a lot of features, and it might take a while before you get accustomed to the manifold of options. It’s decently durable, highly versatile, and it’s very valuable.

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ION Profile LP Vinyl-to-MP3 Turntable

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Summary:

This ION turntable is substantially different from the one we’ve mentioned earlier. It features an improvement in design, the performance and audio output went up, but the versatility leaves a lot to be desired.

Features:

Ion Profile LP features a beautiful, exquisite design, it is compatible with both PC and Mac, you can easily convert your records to MP3, and you don’t require a preamp as it can easily play your records on a stereo device.
vinyl records turntables

Pros:

  • Amazing software features – you can easily convert your records to MP3 with the complementary software;
  • A beautiful design – The outward appearance of ION Profile LP is astonishing;
  • A decent price – it’s not cheap, but it’s definitely not expensive;

Potential Flaws:

This belt-driven record player lacks the versatility of its sibling Ion USB turntable.

Value for the price:

As we’ve already mentioned, ION Profile LP is not too expensive, now here’s the breaker – if you take into account all of the amazing features it comes supplied with, you could come to a conclusion that it’s a bargain.

The Final Verdict:

A belt-driven record player usually makes space for a cheaper motor – this was not the case with ION Profile LP. A powerful motor did not increase the price, and the only problem you could have with this turntable is that it lacks versatility. Anyhow, it’s a great piece of art, and you should definitely try it out.

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How to make a Turntable Plinth

Introduction – What is a turntable plinth?

The “plinth” is a word that’s gained popularity only recently. Originally, a “plinth” was used to describe a construction in architecture which was used as a base on which several other components should be placed (atop).
which record playerThe turntable plinth is actually a turntable base, and there are several reasons for the substitution of the name:

  • Some people confused the word base with “bass”

While most audiophiles and people who really love record players can’t make this kind of a mistake, regular people could find themselves in a confusion – the “base” and “bass” actually sound pretty much the same.

Record player’s function is audio playback, and it would only be natural that, at some point, someone mentions the record player soundstage.

  • A turntable base can also refer to the entire turntable design and construction, or the material underneath the record player

Some people label things as they see fit – the base of a turntable could easily be a wooden plank that supports its stability, it could be the entire record player, or it could be something else entirely. The main reason for changing the name is because the “original word” wasn’t enough specific.

  • It’s easier to distinguish from the rest of the components

The functions of a turntable plinth

lp vinyl record player
A turntable plinth serves two functions – the first is concerned with practicality, and the second is concerned with aesthetics.

  • Holding all of the pieces together – practicality

Most record player models feature a manifold of small electronic parts that can be easily damaged if they’re not guarded. The primary function of a turntable plinth addresses this matter – it provides a storage compartment for these small parts so that the risk of them being damaged is minimized.

  • Looking good is also one of the functions of a turntable plinth – aesthetics

The first thing that we notice on record players is their design and outward appearance, but most people don’t know that it’s actually the plinth that catches our attention. The base takes up most of the turntable’s design, so if it’s well-built – we will like it more, and vice versa. It’s imperative that the durability doesn’t suffer for the aesthetics, though.

Can turntable plinth be bought separately?

There are several answers to this question. Here’s the deal, if you want to build your own record player, you should either buy or make your own plinth. If you already have the electronic parts, you should definitely buy a turntable plinth as well, but there’s a certain case in which you can’t purchase it separately – when the electronics are permanently affixed to the construction.
turntables and record playersYou might be asking yourself – “Why can’t I purchase a turntable plinth separately in this case?”

The answer is simple – there’s a great chance that you will destroy or damage the electronics that are housed inside the turntable’s base. Here’s the breaker – you could buy a separate turntable plinth in this case, but you wouldn’t be able to do anything with it if you lack the knowledge to properly dismantle the electronic components and put them back together.

Can you make it yourself?

Sure, with a little know-how you could make a turntable plinth yourself. This isn’t a trivial task, though – you will definitely need a lot of time and effort, you will need specific tools, and a lot of optimism. Now, it’s almost definite that your first hand-made turntable plinth won’t cut it, but you should not be discouraged – after a couple of tries you will get the hang of it.
record players usbYou might be asking – “Why should I even consider making it myself when I can buy it?”

It’s fun, and it will save you a lot of cash. Now, we’ve already mentioned that it won’t be easy, but we’re here for you. We’ve compiled a list of several easy steps on “How to create your own turntable plinth”:

  • Gather up the necessary supplies

You will need specific supplies – a couple of wooden planks (it’s up to you which material – rose nut, eucalyptus, etc.), a cutting tool, a sanding tool, some wood glue, some screws, a screw-gun, and the measuring tape.

  • Take all the measurements you need – you only need to determine the measurements of a single layer of the plinth. Afterward, you could easily cut out more and simply stack and glue them.
  • Cut the wood to the measurements you’ve previously determined
  • Attach the parts with a screw-gun and the wood glue;
  • Paint and finish

Turntables with special plinth design

Music Hall MMF 9.3 Turntable with 1-piece Carbon-Fiber Tonearm – Triple-Plinth

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Music Hall’s MMF 9.3 has a unique plinth design – it features a triple-plinth construction. A triple-plinth construction increases the stability and durability of this turntable, but it also looks absolutely ravishing.
lp vinyl player
The only downfall of this base construction type is that it adds weight as well. Anyway, this won’t be a problem once you’ve setup your turntable.

Music Hall Ikura Split-Plinth Design Belt-Driven Turntable

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Ikura is (by far) a turntable model that made “split-plinth design” famous. Music Hall got much renown by implementing the exquisite types of design, and the “split-plinth” was one of their greatest inventions.
gramaphone record playerIt simply adds to the appeal of the turntable, leaving everything else as it is. Which makes for a very good looking product overall.

Rega Planar P1 Turntable

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Rega Planar P1 features a single-plinth design which is pretty common, but the curious thing about it is that it has a double-finish design.
3 speed record playerThe manufacturers of this magnificent turntable grazed, sanded, and lacquered this model several times so that the surface of the plinth is durable, stable, and good-looking.

Rega - Planar 1 (Black)
List Price: $475.00
Price: $475.00
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What are the Best Looking Turntables of 2017?

Introduction

The looks are one of the attributes that are imperative for turntables to have. The vintage design is one of the first things most people notice about these beautiful contraptions, so it’s only natural that people demand beautiful turntables.

Some of the very first models looked pretty plain at the time they were manufactured, but they age like wine – the older the model, the more people like it.

Elegance, beauty, and Nostalgia – Why beauty matters

The best-looking turntables have different designs – some are elegant and straightforward, others are rather delicate, some are quite big and decorated with various small ornaments. We can’t put a precise definition of these turntables as people have different tastes of aesthetics.

Anyhow, we’re here to help you in your search. By putting an accent on elegance and beauty we don’t want to skip the other features that are supplied with these models – you would hardly have any use of a turntable that could do nothing but look good.

So why exactly does elegance matters?

Turntables aren’t supposed to provide you with music alone – they’re a piece of decoration that breathe life in your home, bringing some sweet nostalgia along the way. Some people really like to reminiscence by simply sitting next to their turntable even if the record isn’t spinning. You will know it when it happens – some music is supposed to play silently.

What to look out for

As we’ve mentioned before, there’s more to a turntable than looks. There are some features that you should look out for if you’ve settled for a turntable model that looks just the way you want it – these are:

  • Your turntable should also be at least decently durable

You could look at it this way – a turntable that isn’t durable is more likely to break, and all of its beauty would have been for naught. Check the record compartment, see if all the parts are in place, and, obviously, see if any parts are missing.

  • Keep in mind how much effort is needed for the maintenance process

We couldn’t label a person as “lazy” if he (or she) didn’t want to bother with the cleaning and maintenance of a turntable. Some of the largest models and those which are equipped with various delicate parts are extremely hard to clean, so you don’t want them to gather dust in the corner.

  • The price is obviously high, but you might want to avoid an overkill

Manufacturers who offer best-looking turntables have put much effort to make them, and it’s certain that they will set the price above average. Anyhow, don’t just go with it if you deem a particular turntable model to have the best looks you’ve ever seen. There are a lot of models that look ravishing and which do not cost too much, actually.

Best Looking Turntable Reviews

Best Looking Turntable Reviews

Reloop RP-7000 Quartz Driven DJ Turntable with Upper-Torque Direct Drive

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Turntable models used by DJs are usually different from the standard ones – they look modern, they’re supplied with more buttons, and they’re usually supplied with a special turntable stylus. Reloop RP-7000 is one of the most beautiful representatives. With a black base, flashy buttons, and fashionable record plate, it just might be one of the best-looking turntables that money can buy.
record players vinyl

Pros

  • Adjustable torque;
  • Capable of running at three different speeds;
  • Direct connection for increased stability;
  • Quartz driven;

Cons

Crosley CR6005A-MA Tech Turntable with AM/FM Radio and Portable Audio Ready

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A classic, vintage-style Crosley turntable, CR6005A-MA is as old-school as can be. It features built-in speakers on the sides, it comes supplied with a standard cover lid, and the durable silver knobs decorate the base.

It’s quite capable too – it can play at three different speeds, the portability is one of its greatest attributes, and it comes supplied with the external radio antenna.
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Pros

  • Capable of playing at different speeds – 33 and 1/3, 45, and 78 rotations per minute;
  • Very portable;
  • External radio antenna;

Cons

CMC Portable Bluetooth 3 Speed Turntable with Built-in Stereo Speakers

portable record

A beautiful CMC turntable that’s as capable as it is adorable. It has an attractive suitcase design which also makes it very portable and it’s easily one of the best-looking turntables that money can buy. It features a Bluetooth and USB connection, it’s lightweight and it comes supplied with built-in speakers. Very beautiful and quite affordable.
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Pros

  • Bluetooth and USB connection;
  • Lightweight and portable;
  • Built-in speakers;
  • Attractive suitcase design;

Cons

Antique Reproduction RCA Victor Phonograpgh Gramophone

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If you want your turntable to look good, the market offers a vast amount of models, but if you want it to look the best, RCA Victor might be your best bet. This turntable has a beautiful Gold brass horn, a well-built sound box, and the package features extra turntable needles.
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Pros

  • Extremely beautiful;
  • Great sound output;
  • Quite compact;

Cons

Music Hall MMF-2.3SE Turntable with Cartridge

record player turn table

Music Hall MMF 2.3SE has a very plain and straightforward design. The rosenut base, a simple turntable stylus, and the record holder are all there is to it, but that simplicity only adds to its apparel. Minimalist outward appearance is complemented with top-notch performance.
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Pros

  • One of the best-looking turntable models on the market;
  • Carbon turntable stylus that features the aluminum headshell;
  • An isolated motor for increased speed stability;
  • Magnet cartridge;
  • Replaceable stylus;

Cons

  • One of the most expensive turntable models;

What are the Best High End Turntables of 2017?

Introduction

Everything that gets out in the open market is a subject to a single law – there are better products, and there are those who deserve less attention and value. The main subject of our review are the High End turntables – audiophiles, prepare for a complete guide of the best turntables that money can buy!

What can you expect for the money?

It’s quite obvious that high end turntable models are very expensive, so it’s only natural that you might want to ask “why are they so expensive?”. There are a lot of answers for this question, and we’re here to provide some of them:

  • High-quality materials are an absolute must

High-end turntables are made from the materials of highest quality. These materials vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, and they depend largely on the style of each turntable. It’s obvious that materials of greatest quality cost more, so manufacturers had to pump up the price a bit. That, however is not all there is to it.

Being made from such materials, high-end turntables offer increased durability and are, therefore, more reliable. Turntables should be considered as a one-time investment. Because of this, adding a few bucks more might be a good way to avoid paying for repairs or replacements.

  • High-end turntables come supplied with outstanding features

Some features are practically reserved for these turntables. We can compare this advantage with “versatility” since it also makes these record players well-rounded and suitable for various tasks. These unique features are more capable than “standard” turntable features in the fields of audio output, compatibility, and compactness.

  • Superior reliability

Some record players are more prone to breaking down than others. A couple of models from each series are defective. Some models are not built to last while some models simply have a design which lacks durability. This is not the case with high-end turntables.

You can expect quite a lot from these models when reliability is in question. They are made by highly skilled professionals, and most models feature a warranty in case that anything happens to your record player.

Best High End Turntables reviews

Fluance High Fidelity Vinyl Turntable Record Player RT81


usb lp player

Summary:

Fluance RT81 may be the best turntable under 1000 dollars – it’s plain, it’s simple, it does not cost much, and it’s supplied with features that boast great quality. The design of this turntable is quite simple. The components are precise and powerful, and it doesn’t cost too much overall.

Even though it has a straightforward design, it’s equipped with a powerful Texas Instruments preamplification device, a ground terminal, and the gold-plated RCA outputs. A remarkable performance, outstanding sound output, and a modest price.

It’s a simple turntable that was manufactured in an exquisite way.

The features:

The outward physical appearance of Fluance RT81 wouldn’t tell you much about its features, but there’s a vast array of outstanding features lying hidden beneath the Walnut board. The high-performance cartridge would be the first – it holds an accurate diamond tipped turntable stylus which is both durable and fully adjustable. It’s capable of tracking your records with pinpoint precision and accuracy.

The S-Type tonearm makes sure that the needle rests deep in the groove of records which produces a detailed audio and make it sound exactly the same as the original. The Texas Instruments preamplification device is combined with the ground terminal for the warmest highs and the coolest vibes.

Pros:

  • Outstanding features – High-performance cartridge, diamond tipped turntable stylus, S-type tonearm, Texas Instruments preamplification device, ground terminal, & gold-plated RCA output;
  • Sturdy and beautiful design – Walnut construction makes this turntable very durable and attractive;
  • Simplified method of operation – RT81 is supplied with simple features and is extremely easy to use;

Potential Flaws:

The only downfall of this product is that the earlier version (RT80) is almost exactly the same. The features are almost identical, and you can get it at nearly half the price.

Value for the price:

Fluance RT81 does not cost too much and the features it comes supplied with are really worth the money. Overall, exceptional value for the price.

The final verdict:

You could do better for $300, but you would need to search far and wide. It doesn’t get any simpler than this, and we guarantee that you’d be satisfied with how this turntable sounds. It’s durable, it’s not overly expensive, and it might be your best shot at getting a high-quality audiophile turntable.

Pro-Ject Elemental Turntable

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Summary:

Pro-ject Elemental is a high-quality turntable that looks good and performs well. It features a low-profile base that defines the attractive design, an aluminum lightweight tonearm, and RCA terminals that allow for a precise audio output.

Anyway, Pro-Ject Elemental is set for use the moment you get it. It comes with pre-installed Ortofon audio cartridge, the balanced counterweight, and pre-adjusted ant-skating mechanism. Let’s take a look at what’s inside of it:

The features:

This turntable is equipped with a belt-drive system and low-vibration motor that allows for perfect sound clarity. The central gravity point is made of artificial stone, and the main platter bearing is from stainless steel. Overall, it’s quite durable, but maybe too sturdy for comfort.
small turntable record player

Pros:

  • A durable construction – stainless steel bearing, central gravity point made of artificial stone;
  • Low-profile base – the plinth is the reason why this turntable looks so good;
  • Lightweight tonearm – the aluminum 8.6″ tonearm gives accurate playbacks;
  • Gold-plated terminals – RCA terminals give the most accurate audio signals;

Potential Flaws:

The Pro-Ject Elemental does not have any form of protection, so make sure that you maintain and clean it regularly.

Pro-Ject Elemental Turntable (Grey)
List Price: $229.00
Price: $229.00
Price Disclaimer

Value for the price:

Here’s the breaker – Pro-Ject Elemental IS quite expensive, yes, but this should not dissuade you from even considering it – it’s equipped with state-of-the-art technology and features and the set includes outstanding complimentary features (Ortofon OM5E cartridge, for example). In the end, it’s actually quite valuable for the price.

The final verdict:

An expensive turntable model, but it just as well may be the best turntable under 1000 bucks. Sure, it’s expensive, but it’s supplied with everything you need to enjoy your music straight away.

Music Hall MMF 9.1 2-Speed Audiophile Turntable with Cartridge

long playing record player

Summary:

Music Hall MMF 9.1 is an exceptional audiophile turntable that’s capable of delivering an immersive, captivating sound. It features a triple base construction and a flexible internal copper wire. Everything about it is pure quality, but it’s also very expensive. There may be only just a few turntable models that can come close to this one as it boasts phenomenal value.

The design is amazing – the base is durable and it guards the electronic components neatly while looking beautiful. The turntable stylus – Gyger II is one of the best that money can buy. Golden RCA connectors are to “blame” for the amazing performance of this extraordinary turntable.

The features:

Music Hall MMF 9.1 is comprised of a solid triple plinth. Next are the carbon tonearm, balanced counterweight, an isolated 50Hz motor and the exquisite Gyger II contact stylus. The mount cartridge is properly aligned and provides noiseless operation. RCA connectors of the hihest quality are linked to a detachable cable.

On top of all, the set comes supplied with a dust cover, a 45 rpm adaptor, and the instruction guide for easy assembly.
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Pros:

  • The unique triple base construction – Music Hall has a unique design that features a triple base. It provides maximum stability and is easily recognizable.
  • Flexible internal copper wire – the electronics are safely linked with a flexible wire so that the mechanism can operate without any risk of malfunction.
  • An isolated 50Hz motor – a powerful motor is isolated and guarded from any possible harm, be it dust or anything else.
  • A high-quality Gyger II contact turntable stylus – one of the best turntable needles on the market;
  • Noiseless operation – a slight hum is the only noise you can expect while this turntable operates;

Potential Flaws:

Even though Music Hall MMF 9.1 is supplied with state-of-the-art technology and features, it’s extremely expensive.

Value for the price:

The manufacturers made it clear – this turntable model is not well-suited for everyone. It can make everyone happy and it’s definitely a keeper. Only audiophiles and people who value a superior sound would be willing to pay a fortune in order to acquire this magnificent turntable. Anyhow, the overall value for the price is great.

The final verdict:

Music Hall’s MMF 9.1 is a turntable that will serve you for a lifetime. It’s built to last, it’s beautiful and elegant, but it also costs a lot. One thing is certain, once you get accustomed to quality of this level, you won’t even consider searching for another.

Pro-Ject The classic sub-chassis turntable with 9″ carbon/alu sandwich tonearm – Eucalyptus

turn table sale

Summary:

This turntable features a eucalyptus plinth, a sub-chassis which is equipped with a sandwich tonearm of 9 inches, and a belt drive which is capable of running records at 33 or 45 rpm speeds. Extremely valuable, and one of the high-end turntable models that’s actually affordable when compared to others.

The features:

This turntable is supplied with various exquisite features – a sub-chassis base made of eucalyptus makes the construction of Pro-Ject turntable very durable, the belt driven mechanism can play records at 33 or 45 rpm speeds, the TPE aluminum platter makes the music sound precise and clear while the 9-inch carbon tonearm can be adjusted for a balanced tone.

Pros:

  • A durable construction – Eucalyptus sub-chassis turntable is made of high-quality eucalyptus wood which is sturdy and durable;
  • The belt-driven mechanism – this turntable is capable of running records at 33 or 45 rotations per minute;
  • Precision TPE-damped platter – the platter is compatible with most records;
  • Carbon tonearm – nine inches of precision and accuracy give the clearest sound output;

Potential Flaws:

Most people expect their turntable models to be more versatile when they pay so much.

Value for the price:

Absolutely brilliant. This turntable has everything you need and it doesn’t cost too much – amazing value for the price.

The final verdict:

Pro-ject is a famous brand in the turntable industry, and they outdid themselves with this model. Great performance, simple design, and a modest price give a great value to this product.

Music Hall MMF-7.1 Turntable with Ortofon Mojo Cartridge

turntable vinyl player

Summary:

The elegant black design, Music Hall’s quality and trademark features – everything about this turntable is exquisite. It has a majestic dual base construction, it can run at two speeds (33 or 45 rotations per minute), and it operates without making too much sound. All in all, a phenomenal turntable.

The features:

Music Hall MMF 7.1 is older than 9.1 and it features a dual base construction (the 9,1 model has triple base construction). This design gives more space for electronics when compared to the models that have a single plinth construction, but it also increases stability. It has an isolated high-quality motor, a magnet cartridge, and a diamond stylus.

Pros:

  • Durable, sturdy, and elegant design – The black dual base construction provides stability and durability while retaining the elegant outlook.
  • A powerful, isolated motor – motor has its own damping puck and it can play records at 33 or 45 rotations per minute;
  • A diamond stylus – it is properly aligned so that it doesn’t scratch the surface of your records;
  • Noiseless operation – one of the main reasons why this turntable is so good is the noiseless method of operation;

Potential Flaws:

Most people would opt for Music Hall’s 9.1 because it features the triple base construction. It gives more stability and space and it costs nearly the same. This is not necessarily a flaw, but more of a recommendation.

Value for the price:

Music Hall’s MMF 7.1 has an exceptional value for the price. It looks great, it doesn’t cost too much, and it has an amazing performance rating. All you need in one place.

The final verdict:

This is one of the best high-end turntables on the market, period. You could find a better model, but you would need to add extra bucks. If your budget is limited, or if you simply want to save some cash, this might be your best bet of getting a high-quality record player.

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit SB

vinal players

Summary:

There’s a reason why people trust Pro-ject so much – they offer nothing but quality products, and Debut Carbon Espirit SB is a perfect example of their superior craftsmanship. This model offers increased versatility while retaining the simplified method of operation and plain design.

The features:

One of the most notable features of Pro-Ject’s Debut carbon Espirit SB is the 8.6″ tonearm. It’s made of carbon and it’s easily distinguishable from the rest of the construction because the overall design is quite plain and simple. Other features include a belt-driven mechanism that can play records at speeds of 33, 45 or 78 rotations per minute and heavy acrylic platter.
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Pros:

  • Simple design – A red plinth, acrylic platter and a carbon tonearm are all there is to it. Plain and simple;
  • Can play at variable speeds – you can choose between 33, 45, and 78 rotations per minute;
  • Precision belt-driven mechanism – a synchronous motor is safely tucked inside the base;

Potential Flaws:

Slightly less durable when compared to other models in this category.

Pro-Ject - Debut Carbon Esprit SB (Red)
List Price: $599.00
Price: $549.00
You Save: $50.00
Price Disclaimer

Value for the price:

Pro-ject’s Debut Carbon Espirit SB has a modest price and comes supplied with decent features so it boasts a great value for the price.

The final verdict:

This turntable is barely expensive if you take into account all the great features it comes supplied with. It’s well-rounded and it can be yours for a bargain price.

Pro-Ject The Classic Sub-chassis turntable with 9″ carbon/alu sandwich tonearm – Rosenut

lp disc player

Summary:

Pro-ject’s classic Sub-chassis turntable belongs to “The Classic” series and it’s different from “Eucalyptus” only in terms of the base material (rosenut).

The features:

The features are essentially the same as with Pro-Ject’s The Classic Eucalyptus. A sub-chassis with 9″ carbon sandwich tonearm, a belt-driven mechanism, and precision TPE-damped platter, a Japanese bearing, and the price are all the same.

Pros:

  • Very beautiful design – Rosenut is one of the most attractive base materials;
  • High-performance turntable – deep, clear sound output;
  • Exquisite features – a Japanese bearing, 9″ carbon tonearm, and sub-chassis;

Potential Flaws:

The entire “The Classic” series offers the same products essentially. A difference in plinth material is not substantial.

Value for the price:

Quite expensive, but extremely valuable nonetheless.

The final verdict:

Well, this turntable can offer you the same features and experience as “The Classic Eucalyptus”, but that doesn’t mean that it’s any less capable. It’s phenomenal in all aspects (except for versatility) and it comes at a bargain price for a high-end turntable.