Subscribe

x

Homesthetics

10 Best Turntables Under $1000 in 2018 Reviewed

In today’s digital world, where the essence of music is destroyed by compression and distortion, some people still crave for the original sound from the vinyl ages and for them, we have reviewed today the best turntables under $1000.

This is where turntables come in. They help you feel every beat and note of the track, helping you relive the sound in a way that no digital device today can. Whether you’re an audiophile or a disc jockey, a turntable is an absolute necessity. But how do you know what the best turntable is based on how you want to use it?

Featured Image via Eric Murray@ericmurray

To make your job easier, we have compiled a list of the ten best turntables under $1000 and formulated a guide that will help you pick the perfect turntable.

Best Turntables Under $1000 in 2018

Image via Mihail Macri@macrimihail

Let’s dive right in.

1. Denon VL12 Prime

Denon DJ VL12 PRIME | Professional Turntable with True...
  • Isolation feet eliminate unwanted vibration and feedback
  • Isolated motor design, for optimal signal-to-noise ratio,...
  • S-shaped tone arm for accurate tracking, adjustable pitch...
  • Rugged all-metal tone arm base and high-quality brushed...

V12 Prime is the perfect choice for those looking for a robust turntable that stops at nothing. With an isolated design, an adjustable pitch range, and insane light control, this system gives you the edge of perfect sound and a savvy look.

Maintaining isolation of its major components – primarily the feet and motor, V12 prime guarantees the absence of undesirable feedback and vibration. The uniquely designed motor makes sure of an optimal signal-to-noise [SNR] ratio – meaning that you’ll get high clarity sound with minimal disturbances.

The pitch ranges can be adjusted at 8, 16 and 50% giving the turntable some much-needed flexibility. For precise tracking, it also facilitates an S-shaped tonearm. Coming fully packed with a high-end metal coating on the controls and arm base, this product is one you cannot miss.

We’ve spoken about the great sound it offers. What about its looks? The V12 Prime comes in with a modern lighting system that glows the edges with the perfect amounts of shades promising you a crisp look.

While all of this sounds great, the only place Denon missed out on is offering a dust cover for the system. The turntable won’t be of any good if a mechanical failure occurs due to dust accumulation and for the price we are paying, safety should be a bigger factor than looks.

Verdict

The turntable is a great buy for the price we are paying as it stands out in both style and sound. However, the focus on style can set you back because of the absence of a dust cover.

Pros
  • Isolation technology is a new, modern and accurate solution to sound troubles 
  • Metal finishes give the table durability and a great look 
  • Lighting system makes sure to make you look cool and add to the vibe of the scene 
  • Adjustable pitch ranges are a huge yes any day 
Cons
  • The lack of the protection of a dust cover 

2. Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit SB

Pro-Ject Audio Debut Carbon DC Esprit SB with 2M Red...
  • 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

Love a quiet evening to yourself with your favorite vinyl records playing along? You’ve landed at the right option. This turntable guarantees to make your best records sound even better.

It comes with a 33, 45, and 78 RPM capability assuring that you can hear every delicate and subtle pitch change. Add this to a refined Pro-Ject speed box and a one of its kind analog arsenal, and you have the perfect turntable system.

What’s worth noting about this system is that it provides just what you need. And doesn’t add unnecessary cool sounding features that you, in reality, will never use.

It has a perfectly tuned motor, a beautiful carbon-fibre tonearm, an exceptional Ortofon 2M moving magnet cartridge and best of all, feet that zones out all unwanted vibration and feedback. It also comes in a wide range of colours that are sure to speak to you.

The only drawback, if you even consider it to be a drawback, is the user manual. Reading it may do more damage than good as it’s very badly phrased. So it’ll be a good idea to trust your instincts on this one than the manual.

Verdict

Offering fantastic sound, great stability and durability, and a striking range of colors, it is certain that you’ll fall in love with this turntable. It’s advisable to assemble and use the product based on instinct or asking people or browsing rather than relying on the manual that comes with the table.

Pros
  • Robust and sturdy hardware 
  • Simple and elegant design that everyone will appreciate 
  • Offers only what’s really needed and desired 
Cons
  • Badly written user manual 

 

3. Reloop RP-8000

Reloop RP-8000 Advanced Hybrid Torque MIDI Turntable with...
  • Advanced hybrid torque turntable with quartz-driven direct...
  • MIDI compatible control section consisting of Trax encoder,...
  • Straight skip-proof tone arm with illumination
  • Auto deck-assign feature

For every disco jockey, a turntable that is compatible with their need is an absolute must. In such cases, the Reloop RP-8000 is an option you can’t ignore. It’s a cutting-edge turntable embedded with the latest DJ technology.

The first available Serato-supported turntable in today’s market with a hybrid high torque drive and a unique digital control section to hold your software, the RP-8000 offers a complete irresistible package.  

The Trax encoder makes is super easy to load your tracks from your playlists on the decks. The table also supports Serato Scratch Live mappings to control the DVS system. There are eight multi-functional drum pads that help control loops.

The turntable offers four performance modes of which three are exceptional –User mode, with freely assignable MIDI compatible control elements and pads, Dual Performance mode that smartly assigns trigger buttons when more than one mode is simultaneously activated, and the Turntable Link mode that connects up to four turntables through USB.

You can connect one turntable to your device and the others smartly assign themselves to the next deck.

The direct drive is quartz driven and assures digital correction and near perfect speed. You can also connect the turntable to multiple mixers or amps with no grounding as a well-equipped phono switch is provided with the system.

A major downside of the product is that head-shell, cartridge and needle – three necessary components aren’t included in the deal. Spending more money to buy these on top of an expensive product as it is won’t be favorable by buyers.

Verdict

The system is durable and sturdy and provides some amazing features for its price. It’s a great buy for DJs. If you’re okay to shell out extra dollars to buy needles and cartridges, this system is a perfect fit for you.

Pros
  • High torque and a strong motor 
  • Serato-support for the system 
  • MIDI controls add to the creativity of DJs 
Cons
  • Headshell, cartridge and needle aren’t included in the deal 

 

4. Pioneer PLX-1000

Pioneer DJ Direct Drive DJ Turntable, 10.80 x 18.60 x 22.30...
  • The high-torque direct drive ensures stable rotation and...
  • Heavy-mass, die-cast chassis prevents resonance and...
  • Multi-tempo control lets you instantly Pick up or slow down...
  • Interchangeable power and audio cables can be easily...

The PLX-100 is one of the high-end turntables that everybody stops at and looks again. It is a modern and high tech system with exceptional features that DJs and the audience will appreciate alike. It has control for multi-pitch, next-generation sound quality, a sturdy build and vibration damping feet that cancel out all unnecessary noise providing clear and precise audio playback.xThe turntable’s precision makes it a must buy for both jockeys and vinyl lovers. It incorporates a classy design and boasts of clear and fantastic sound.

The system has a high torque drive and its durable zinc chassis assures minimal resonance and vibrations. It also has an in-built pace control system that helps you change or reset the pace of the track with a single press of a button. It comes with a turntable sheet, a slip mat, a dust cover, headshell, weights, audio cables and a ground wire – all of which are necessary and very important accessories. The cables for power and audio can be interchanged and are easily replaces/connected if necessary. It also provides gold-plated RCA jacks for high sound quality.

These amazing features do, however, come at a price. The turntable is very heavy and weighs around 23 pounds, which poses a problem for the daily commute. Needle and cartridge also have to be bought separately but otherwise, the system promises robustness and high performance.

Verdict

The system promises great features, sound and style but weighs a lot because of these same reasons. Your cost will also add up because it doesn’t come with a needle and cartridge. Otherwise, the robust design is sure to win hearts. All in all, it’s a great buy.

Pros
  • An advanced turntable for both DJ’s and vinyl enthusiasts 
  • Built-in pace control system 
  • Sturdy and durable design 
Cons
  • Cartridge and needle aren’t included  
  • The system is very heavy  

 

5. Rega Planar 2

Rega Planar 2 Turntable with RB220 tonearm, Glass-platter...
  • RB220 Tonearm
  • Pre-Installed Carbon MM Cartridge
  • High-gloss acrylic laminated plinth
  • 11mm self-securing brass bearing,

Rega is a name we’ve all heard in our households and they’ve made sure to uphold the name with the Planar 2. It is a value for money, easy to use and spectacularly sounding turntable.

It comes with a low-resonance aluminium arm wand, three-point plinth mounting, patent-pending ball bearings, a self-securing brass bearing, and a new and refined tonearm. The system features a high-gloss acrylic laminated plinth, a modern auto-biasing system, a 24-volt low-noise motor, a float-glass Optiwhite platter, and vibration damping feet which minimizes unwanted noise and vibrations.

The system is perfect for vinyl enthusiasts who crave for the real experience and amazing sound clarity. It’s durable and lasts very long, making this a perfect buy. The design is elegant and stylish. It looks original and modern at the same time.

A Rega Carbon MM cartridge comes with the product and a motor cover tray with integrated cooling is also provided which keep the turntable safe and running.

The hardware is made of high-quality components and no compromise is made at delivering perfect sound. However, the cartridges could use an upgrade. Doing so will surely make your experience even better.

Verdict

The simple yet sophisticated design, amazing sound quality and high-end features make the Planar 2 a perfect option in its price range. It promises performance and longevity. The only place it lacks technology wise is its cartridges. Other than that, it’s a turntable you should definitely check out.

Pros
  • A 24-volt low noise motor is provided for the turntable 
  • Planar 2 offers the new Rega RB220 tonearm 
  • A sophisticated yet simple design 
  • Amazing sound quality 
  • High-end hardware is used 
Cons
  • A cartridge upgrade will make the experience even better but it isn’t that big an issue 

 

6. Pro-Ject 1Xpression Carbon

Pro-Ject 1-Xpression Carbon Classic White
  • Belt drive system with synchronous motor
  • 8,6" carbon tonearm with Evo Kardan rings
  • Advanced 2M Silver cartridge with silver spools
  • Main platter bearing made from stainless steel runs in...

One of the most innovate turntables for its price range, the 1Xpression Carbon stands out and speaks on a deep level to all those searching for an edge of creativity while listening to music.

The product boasts of a classy 8.6″ carbon tonearm with Evo Kardan rings and a   belt-drive design that uses a low-noise AC motor lessening unwanted vibrations significantly. The motor uses an ultra-precision frequency DC-driven AC generator and comes with a resonance damping counterweight, which guarantees amazing performance. The main platter is constructed uniquely and is one of a kind for its price range.

For optimised resonance, thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) are used in a sandwich construction with an aluminium alloy. This main platter is heavy and resists vibrations and noise for clear vinyl playback. To make the sound even better, vibrations are further reduced with the help of a felt mat. The axle runs on a Teflon bottom and is made from chrome-plated stainless steel.

Low resonance MDF is used to construct the main plinth. Special absorber feet using TPE technology are employed to decouple the plinth from noise and vibrations and also comes with an elegant 2M Silver cartridge.

The product is great but it doesn’t have any features that other products can’t have hence due to increasing competition, it might not last long.

Verdict

The 1Xpression Carbon is a striking option that offers great sound and an attractive design. The hardware quality is excellent and offers an insightful and detailed performance. The only downside is that other products in the price range can come up with more features lessening the interest of prospective buyers in this system.

Pros
  • Attractive and beautiful design 
  • High-quality hardware 
  • Use of thermoplastic elastomers to reduce resonance work   
  • Outstanding performance 
Cons
  • It might not be able to compete with the growing competition 

 

7. Akai Professional BT500

Akai Professional BT500 Premium Belt-Drive Turntable
  • Streams music wirelessly to any Bluetooth speaker (not...

The Akai Professional BT500 is true to its name. It has a sophisticated design and intricate features. It promises great sound quality and advanced settings.

The BT500 allows to stream tracks to any Bluetooth speaker. The system has brushed aluminium controls and a low-mass aluminium tone arm with adjustable counterweights for precise tracking. It comes with an elegant walnut finish.

It is a premium belt drive turntable providing an effective levelling bubble with adjustable feet. The main platter is made of aluminium that blocks out resonance and also offers a non-slippery rubber mat.

The phono is switchable and pre-amplified. The RCA jacks of the turntable are gold plated, giving us an amazing sound experience.

Some noticeable drawbacks are the lack of new features. As the years pass by, other tables in competition start offering fancier options for the same price which is not good for the BT500. For example, consider the case of no speed control – it runs too fast and dialing it back won’t be possible. Hence, the belt could use a replacement very often.

Verdict

The BT500 will be appreciated by both music enthusiasts and DJ’s alike. The aluminium system ensures durability and the stylish design makes it easy to place anywhere and add to the vibe of the room. If additional features aren’t a must-have, this product is a perfect buy.

Pros
  • Tonearm and controls are aluminium polished and have a savvy finish 
  • The leveling bubble has adjustable feet 
  • The weight is just around 12 pounds, making it easy to carry 
Cons
  • No speed control is provided 
  • The belt might need regular replacement 
  • Some new features may be lacking 

8. Music Hall MMF-5.1 Phonograph

mmf 5.1 Black Record Turntable
  • Music Hall's unique dual plinth construction
  • Flexible internal tonearm wire drawn from high purity copper
  • Counterweight's center of gravity is level with the stylus...
  • Separately isolated asynchronous motor

Music Hall MMF-5.1 is a  turntable appreciated most by audiophiles. It is a two-speed belt driven system with a unique dual plinth construction.

The table is broadly divided into two platforms – the top platform and the bottom platform. All the components that produce sound – platter, bearing, a featured Magic 3 cartridge and tonearm are located in the top platform and are isolated from the bottom.

The motor, wiring, switch and feet are mounted on the bottom platform. The two platforms are separated using viso-elastic ones that dampen out any unnecessary vibrations. The cartridge is one of the best available in the market and comes pre-mounted and aligned making the installation of the turntable much easier. A dust cover and a 45 RPM adaptor are also included in the deal for safety and ease of use. Such thoughtfulness is what sets Music Hall apart from other competitors.

The only downsides are that because of all the features, the system is pricey and hence, people think twice and look at other turntables for similar features but at a lower cost. Also, a lot of users have noticed the need for upgrading the needle over time.

Verdict

MMF 5.1 is a modern choice for music enthusiasts. It has progressive features and a stylish design. It employs high-density elastic bands to keep the main platter in position. This helps keep the rotary speeds consistent. The model is a bit on the expensive side but the features it incorporates are definitely worth the buy.

Pros
  • The motor is completely isolated for superior sound quality 
  • The cartridge is pre-mounted and aligned 
  • The dual plinth design is one of its kind and unique 
Cons
  • The needle needs an update over time 
  • It is a pricey turntable 

 

9. Audio-Technica AT-LP7

Audio-Technica AT-LP7 Fully Manual Belt-Drive Turntable
  • Fully manual, Belt-drive operation with two speeds: 33-1/3...
  • Motor features a speed-sensor system to maintain accurate...
  • VM520EB Dual Moving Magnet Cartridge provides outstanding...
  • J-shaped tone arm features a metallic gimbal Suspension...

Audio-Technica is known worldwide for the innovation of the Dual Moving Magnet stereo cartridge, famous for its unparalleled channel separation, outstanding tracking and extended frequency response. Such is the history AT-LP7 is built on.

Using the finest range of their VM cartridge line, AT-LP7 promises the next level of sound fidelity for all the vinyl enthusiasts out there. The turntable is fully manual and belt driven. It comes with a VM520EB Dual Moving Magnet Cartridge with a 0.3 x 0.7 mil elliptical bonded stylus and a 10 g AT-HS10 headshell.

The stylus is replaceable with any other options that you feel fit your needs from the VM range. This enables users to upgrade the stylus without ever involving the change of the cartridge.

The tonearm is J-shaped and features a metallic gimbal suspension system, an adjustable counterweight,  anti-skate control, and precision bearings. It attaches itself to the headshell taking inspiration from the classic A-T models from the 90’s. The tonearm can be adjusted in height within the range of 0-6 mm to employ a wide line of cartridge options.

The turntable chassis is made of a superior vibration damping material known as MDF (medium density fiberboard). This helps to limit the low-frequency acoustical feedback. The system also includes a polyoxymethylene anti-resonance platter that is driven by a sensor-monitored motor ensuring an accurate platter rotation speed of 33-1/3 or 45 RPM.

Along with all this, the AT-LP7 also incorporates a built-in switchable phono to enable connection to components even in the absence of a dedicated phono input.

While all this sounds great, the same chassis that helps dampen vibration also warps with time if exposed to humidity. Anti-skate issues will be a problem as well if the counterweights aren’t properly calibrated before use.

Verdict

The AT-LP7 is a perfect choice for both DJs and audiophiles as its wide variety of features satisfy both. It weighs less and looks elegant. The cartridge is definitely the most standing out factor and attracts a lot of potential buyers. Warping of the chassis and calibration of the counterweights may cause a problem and need to be appropriately dealt with.

Pros
  • Dual moving magnet cartridge ensures outstanding performance make it easier to monogram 
  • Tonearm is made of careful thought and high-quality materials 
  • The built-in switchable phono is definitely a major plus point 
Cons
  • Chassis may warp over time if exposed to humidity 
  • Stock stylus doesn’t really attract a lot of users 
  • Counterweights must be calibrated properly to avoid anti-skate issues 

10. Teac TN-550B

The Teac TN-550B is a simple and standard turntable that provides good quality sound at a very affordable price.

It boasts of almost zero acoustic feedback and includes an Audio Technica MM cartridge, which promises great sound for your vintage vinyl. It doesn’t weigh much and comes with a stylish plexiglass platter.  It adds to the overall look of the product. The internal hardware is durable and provides great performance that works across all tracks and genres. The product’s durability is owed to its marble base that adds a good amount of extra weight that cuts down audio feedback.

Its focus is mainly on selling pure sound and doesn’t focus much on additional features which unfortunately, its competitors do. This is a serious downside of the system. Another drawback is that some problems were noticed with the optical sensor that increases noise. It could also use a change of cartridge.

Verdict

If you want to experience good quality sound and aren’t very focused on flashy additional features, Teac TN-550B would be a great choice.

Pros
  • Simple design is loved by one and all 
  • Sound quality is amazing 
  • Build quality is very high 
Cons
  • Optical sensor noise issues have been reported  
  • It lacks extra features that products in its price range provide 
  • 33 ⅓ RPM and 45 RPM records produce different sounds 

Guide to Buying the Perfect Turntables

We’ve been over a lot of varieties of turntables, each famous for something different. How do you know what’s perfect for you? We’ve got you covered. To help you figure what feature means the most to you, let’s discuss the major components that make up a turntable and how they affect your sound experience.

  • Platter

The platter is a component very important in preventing unwanted vibrations and noise. The heavier your platter is, the steadier your turntable will be. This will help reduce vibrations and consequently, minimize the amount of noise in your tracks. It’s advised to use a mat over the platter for extra stability.

  • Stylus

The stylus is easily the most intricate and important part of your turntable. It is the edge of the turntable that makes contact with the vinyl record. It extracts the audio from the record so that the turntable can play it for you. It is essential to have a high-quality stylus installed for a superior sound experience.

  • Cartridge

Once the stylus extracts the audio from the track, it must convert the vibrations made by the stylus to electrical signals. This is done by the cartridge. The better your cartridge is, the clearer your sound quality will be.

  • Phono preamp

A phono preamplifier, or phono preamp, is a component that amplifies your extracted signal such that it is possible for you to be able to connect to any sound system. It applies an RIAA equalization curve to the signal, making your sound experience even better. Most turntables come with a built-in phono preamp. In case it doesn’t, it’s always a good idea to buy an external phono preamp.

  • Drive System

Choosing a drive system is very essential based on what your intended use for the turntable is. In case you’re a music enthusiast, you’d prefer a belt drive system for smooth spinning and superior sound. If you’re a disc jockey, it’s better to have a direct drive system as it’s easier to spin the record back and forth.

Once you’ve understood how these components work, we can next discuss performance vs aesthetics. If you’re looking for amazing performance and don’t care much for the look or feel of the turntable, you should make sure to filter out those turntables that are expensive because of their design or lighting system.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to show your turntable off or match it with the vibe of the place you put it in, it’s important to focus on the aesthetics.

It’s also important to understand what additional features are being added as the price you pay increases. Usually, the more expensive turntables offer isolated components from each other entirely to minimize the vibrations, and effectively, the noise caused. The components are also made of high-quality materials for a superior experience and a savvy look. The design of each component also greatly affects the output sound you receive.

Based on these notes, it should now be easier for you to compare different turntables and find the perfect fit.

Image via Kara Eads@karaeads

Conclusion

To conclude, we’ve been over the 10 best turntables in our price range and discussed the factors that differentiate them.

Finding a great turntable under $1000 shouldn’t be a hard find because the manufacturers don’t make mistakes or compromise on quality when it comes to their more expensive products.

It’s important to find a turntable that minimizes vibrations and noise to enjoy the originality of the music. Other than that, additional features and aesthetics are just add-ons that make the turntable even better.

We hope that this read has helped you pick the best turntable that will help you reach the next level of sound fidelity.

Read next

Best Beginner Airbrush Kits With Compressor

7 Best Beginner Airbrush Kits With Compressor in 2018 Reviewed

Best Soldering Irons for Stained Glass Work

The 5 Best Soldering Irons for Stained Glass Work in 2018 Reviewed

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *