Best turntable Thrifter 2020
There are plenty of record players out there built into tiny suitcases with integrated speakers, but if you want your records to sound just as they should, you'll want to look into buying a turntable instead. You'll need to connect the one you choose to a pair of speakers, and potentially an A/V receiver with a phono connection as well, though the enhanced sound easily makes the upgrade worth it if you're planning on owning a killer record collection that sounds as fantastic as it looks.
- Best for beginners: Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB-SV Direct-Drive Turntable
- Spin with style: Fluance RT81 Elite High Fidelity Turntable
- Best on a budget: Audio-Technica AT-LP60X-BK Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable
- Upgraded sound: U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus Turntable
- A classic reborn: Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC Turntable
- Best without a budget: Marantz TT-15S1 Manual Belt-Drive Premium Turntable
- All together now: 1byone Wireless Turntable HiFi System
Audio-Technica's best turntable overall is the AT-LP120XUSB-SV. This 3-speed fully manual model features an adjustable anti-skate control, variable pitch control with quartz speed lock, and hydraulically damped lift control. Even better, it can help you convert your vinyl records to digital audio files using a Windows or Apple computer.
Made of solid engineered wood, Fluance's High Fidelity RT81 turntable is built to prevent vibrations and extra noise. Its built-in Texas Instruments preamp helps to offer a fuller sound with overall improved clarity while the included Audio Technica AT95E Cartridge allows for solid audio no matter which record you decide to spin.
The budget-priced Audio-Technica AT-LP60X-BK is about as little as you want to spend on a turntable if you're hoping to find one of quality. This model is Audio-Technica's most affordable and features two speeds, a die-cast aluminum platter, and a redesigned tonearm base and head shell which work together for improved tracking, as well as reduced resonance.
U-Turn Audio's Orbit Plus turntable is equipped with an acrylic platter for improved speed consistency and more detailed playback, while its precision OA2 gimbal tonearm allows for accurate tracking and minimal distortion. It even features an Ortofon OM5E cartridge with an elliptical diamond stylus.
Pro-Ject's Debut Carbon DC turntable is a spin off the classic Debut turntable from the late 1990s, with several essential improvements to bring it into the modern era. Along with an increased platter size and weight, the belt drive design operates super quietly while remaining stable and steady. Plus, it's available in several different colors.
Most of the turntables above will require a few other components to get started, though this one comes prepared with a built-in switchable phono line and pre-amplifier which connect to the included speakers. You can connect to externally-powered speakers as well using its dual RCA output cables. This model can even convert records to digital MP3 files.
Drop the needle already
There are a bunch of components to consider when purchasing a turntable. That's because generally you'll need to purchase more than a turntable to complete your setup. That might mean you're spending more than you originally intended, so it's wise to figure out the speakers you're going to use and whether you need to buy a receiver so you can connect them to your turntable before you buy the one you've selected.
Audio-Technica's AT-LP120XUSB-SV Direct-Drive Turntable is a fantastic place to start. We've chosen this as our favorite model on the list as it rides a delicate balance between price and functionality with which others can't compete. Not only does it include three speeds, but it also allows you to convert your records to digital audio files by plugging into your computer. The U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus Turntable is another great pick that keeps the price low while offering enhanced audio which you'd expect from a more expensive player. The best part is that several of its components can be upgraded in the future when you're looking to enhance the sound.
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