Best Turntable 2017 – Expert Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Want to revitalize those old memories you had behind every vinyl record?

Why let them rot inside the closet?

Bring best turntable 2017 at home and enjoy the best quality of music!

The turntables are the most vividly priced product that you will see in the market. You can get a turntable for only fifty dollars but we would seriously doubt their quality. If you are looking for the best of the best turntables then you should buy a one that’s worth couple of thousand dollars.

Wait! What!

YES, we know you are not here for those pricey turntables, that’s why our expert’s have assembled and reviewed the most affordable ones, the ones that everybody can get their hands on.

Best Turntable 2017 (EDITOR’S PICK)

Now, here is the editor pick top list of turntable, the detail reviews awaits below, if you really love music and desperate enough to bring home the best turntable then you must go through these…

ImageProduct NameScore
Audio Technica AT LP120 TurntablesAudio Technica (AT-LP120) 93
Audio Technica (AT-LP60) TurntablesAudio Technica (AT-LP60) 86
Pro-Ject - Debut Carbon DC TurntablesPro-Ject – Debut Carbon DC 90
Pioneer PL-990 TurntablesPioneer PL-990 (Automatic) 80
Sony PSHX500 TurntablesSony PSHX500 Hi Res USB 87

Now that you have checked out the at a glance section of turntable list, we recommend you to go through this detailed turntable review section so that you can know about its better.

1. Audio-Technica (AT-LP120) – Budget Friendly Turntable [Recommended]

If ConsumerHubs were told to pick the best turntable, we would go with the Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable. This has everything that you need in a turntable.

Audio Technica AT LP120 Best Turntable

The LP 120 model comes with an USB interface manning that you can connect it to your computer and create a digital backup of your favorite music. This is a high end feature actually. That’s why Audio Technica calls it the LP 120 a professional turntable.

There are very few models we have found on the market that comes with a 78 rpm speed. This is a unique feature that we have to say. You can also control the pitch with the slider what comes with +/-10%-20% control which is pretty amazing.

It’s a direct drive turntable with all the possible stability features. The whole thing comes with a solid touch of metals. It’s heavy and you will feel it as soon as you take it out of the box. This turntable has a die-cast aluminum platter which comes with a slip cover. The tone arm is also s shaped and comes with a good counter weight that has numbers written on it.

The sound that Audio Technica calls it the LP 120 a professional turntable generates will mesmerize you. It’s designed so well that there is no grinding or any unwanted noise that came to us. The stylus and the design of the tone arm is almost like those of a 1000$ turntable. Another interesting and unique feature that we have found here is that, it can play the record in any direction, forward or rewind.

If you are looking forward to get a new turntable then we would highly recommend you this one. The price is slightly over 200 $ but everything that this turntable has to offer against the price is really great.

The Pros:

  • Allows USB connection and USB output.
  • Plays forward and reverse
  • Great quality sound output
  • You can play the 78s on it

The Cons:

  • Entirely manual
  • Direct Drive

2. Audio Technica (AT-LP60BK) – Most Affordable Turntable  

If you want the best turntable under 100$ then the Audio Technica AT-LP60BK Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable is the turntable for you. This is perhaps the best deal that the manufacturer Audio Technica has to offer and undoubtedly it’s the most widely sold turntable available.

Audio Technica AT-LP60BK best turntable

There are reasons that make this a great turntable. First thing is that it’s within your budge. The second thing is that it is a belt drive and we don’t know how much you know about the drive system ( don’t worry, we’ll talk about them in the types section ) The third reason is that it is automatic and the most important reason is that it comes with a pre-amp, meaning that you can enjoy your music directly in your headphones or in your computer.

Literally, we did not expect so much from it. It just exceeded all our expectations. Audio Technica is a popular name when it comes to sounds. This brand has huge popularity in manufacturing some of the best audio products. When it came to audio and sound we must say that the output that this turntable served was almost like those pricy turntables. The more interesting thing is that, if you are not satisfied with the sound you can add some other accessories to it that will seriously do some advancement to the whole turntable and will enhance your audio listening experience.

Although you can’t provide the tonearm with weight and the product does not come with a pitch slider or the lights, even after that we had to give it a place in our list as this baby has got so many satisfied customers. If you are thinking about getting a hassle free turntable within a short budget where you can play your music knowing that it won’t ruin the record, then we would highly recommend you to go with this Audio Technica AT-LP60BK

The Pros:

  • Price
  • Automatic
  • Great sound
  • USB model available
  • Customizable

The Cons:

  • No Pitch Control Slider
  • No lights

3. Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC – Almost Professional Turntable!

When it comes to mid ranged turntables that everyone can afford, the name Pro-Ject – Debut Carbon DC should always be given a spot on the list. Now, the introduction of carbon as the material for the tonearm makes it a really great turntable.

Pro-Ject - Debut Carbon DC best turntable

You can get this turntable in seven different vivid colors, so that you would be able to match your taste. From the superficial level it looks real simple elegant. Actually they truly represent the comeback of turntables.

It has a 8.6” tonearm which is built with high end carbon material. Now, you get this type of material only in the high end turntables. This may not sound too convincing, but the actual difference is made in the quality of the music. You should listen to the sound of the Pro-Ject – Debut Carbon DC and you will know all by yourself.

It’s a percussion belt drive system and comes with a Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge and a special suspension with a new kind of heavy plate. The combination of all these results in the highest music quality in this Pro-Ject – Debut Carbon DC.

Everything has a different kind of touch here. It’s beautiful to look at and shares the attributes of those top end turntables. Another interesting noteworthy thing about the Pro-Ject – Debut Carbon DC that seemed to us is that it has no exaggeration. Everything is so simple and everything is so polished in it. We surely fell in love with it.

We would recommend this Pro-Ject – Debut Carbon DC to consumers who are looking for a simple but pure turntable that will represent class and modernity at the same time. It’s turntable that you will find in every professional’s home.

The Pros:

  • Comes with high end quality material
  • Stable system and sturdy pickup
  • Belt drive
  • Looks beautiful
  • No extra unnecessary features
  • Every parts are sold separately

The Cons:

  • Needs a lot of care

4. Pioneer PL-990 – A Budget Friendly Automatic Turntable

Pioneer PL-990 is another good deal for those who are looking for a more affordable turntable. Pioneer is also a leading manufacturer of sound related devices and speakers and with their expertise on sound they have developed this turntable.

Pioneer PL-990 best turntable

What we found about this product is that, it is a user friendly turntable what is designed to be a fully automatic and for hands free operation. Within that low price we must say that Pioneer has introduced a quality product. There is nothing to complain about the sound of the Pioneer PL-990 Automatic Stereo Turntable.

The design is pretty unique too. The buttons and the dials a are all in front and it looks modern too. But more importantly we were amazed to see features like the speed control or the tonearm levitators. It can play both 45s and 33s and play them quite well we must say. On top of everything it comes with a built in pre amp but you may have some trouble with the ports issue.

We would recommend this turntable for those who want the best product within a short budget. This is a product that is not manufactured and developed in 2017. Rather it has been trending on the market for a long time with its same design. Yet, it has a held a strong position. Very few people have anything to complain against it. You know, if you are going to buy a turntable of around 100$ then you should be extra careful. Going with the Pioneer PL-990 Automatic Stereo Turntable can be a wise choice for you.

The Pros:

  • Price
  • Speed And Arm height control
  • 2 speed
  • Belt Drive
  • Pre-amped
  • Automatic

The Cons:

  • Not customizable
  • Could have had a better stylus

5. Sony PSHX500 HiRes USB (Black) – The Top Turntable to Trust

If you are in search of a turntable that will give you the actual feel of a turntable then you should bring home the Sony PSHX500 Hi Res USB Turntable. We should warn you that it comes with a costly price tag. Now, this is the simplest looking turntable that one may see in the market.

Sony PSHX500 best turntable

The most amazing thing that caught our eyes is the looks. It’s just so elegant, just so beautiful that brings out the old spirit of vinyl player with the modern essence. Products of Sony are popular worldwide. You will find a Sony product in every home. That impression of the reputation and age old tradition is evident in the quality of this turntable.

The Sony PSHX500 Hi Res allows you to play both the 33s and 45s and comes with a unique design tonearm. The tonearm that Sony provides is a unique one. It’s straight but it focuses well due to the lightweight design and counterweighing system. Now, everyone likes the S shaped tonearms. Even we were confused how much justice would the straight arm do to the music. After we had our experience with the Sony PSHX500, we must say that Sony has put their heart to it. When it comes to the sound output the pin point details and the dynamic range was really praiseworthy.

It’s a belt drive and the whole plate is stable as a rock. The platter seemed to us a little lighter than many turntables but with the mat it worked just fine. It has tons of modern electrical technologies inside that we may talk about as it’s almost sophisticated as rocket science.

The Sony PSHX500 Hi Res USB Turntable comes with a High Resolution Digital audio output that gets transferred through a USB port. It may not be important to many but many people look for the USB interface so that they can make a digital backup of their records.

Another great thing is that it comes with a pre amp and also allows you to bypass the input line to any external amplifier. That’s something important when you have an amplifier in the house. The only thing we have left to say is that it is a great product; if you have the spirit of sparing some serious bucks behind a turntable then you should certainly go with the Sony PSHX500

The Pros:

  • Most elegant looking product
  • High built quality
  • USB HiRes output
  • One of a kind tonearm design
  • Great sound
  • Simple to operate

The Cons:

  • No lights
  • Not enough control

Why should you buy a turntable?

Have you ever enjoyed music that comes from a vinyl record? If you had, they we certainly don’t have to give you too much reasons behind buying a turntable. Now, as experts of ConsumerHubs we must fulfill our duty and give you everything about a product so that you can be a better consumer of the product. Here are the reasons for what you should bring home a turntable.

  • We don’t know how much you know about physical storage of music, but the music that is preserved inside a vinyl record are far better and detailed than the contemporary digital version of your music. And, to play them and to extract out their true potential you should get a decent turntable.
  • Yes, the main reason behind buying turntable is that you can play your vinyl records with them. Not the 33s only the 45s also in a single turntable.
  • Some models will even allow you to play the 78s on them.
  • The DJs have a dying need of turntables. They are making it more and more popular day by day.
  • The music quality of the turntables is better than anything else.
  • If you somehow find your old records then you should definitely get a turntable.
  • To make a digital backup of your records you need a turntable.
  • To represent your class and taste of music and to hold the classic essence you should get used to the turntables.

These are the reasons we have come up with that should convince you in buying a turntable. If you have been looking for these reasons then we say, look no further and buy one, we hope you will find new reasons by yourself. Don’t forget to share those reasons with us.

What is a Turntable and How Do They Work?

In a definition it can be said that turntables are a part of the record player. Now, by record player we mean the modern ones that are powered by electricity. Turntables are mainly consisted of three parts. The first part is the platter on which the vinyl record revolves, the cartage what reads the music from the vinyl and the Tonearm what holds the stylus and the cartridge on the vinyl.

  • Vinyl Records

This is a superficial level definition actually. To know more you can click on the links that we have provided for you at the last tab. Okay, to know about the turntables you must know how vinyl records work. You surely have met them, yes those big shiny black discs, they are called vinyl records or vinyls in short.  Vinyl records are a vinyl disk where the information ( music ) are stored in bumps inside the grooves.

There are two types of vinyl records available in the present age. The first one is the singles which are 7 inches in diameter and work on 45 rpm and the second one is the more popular Albums or EPs which are 12 inches in diameter and work on 33 rpm. These two models are suitable for any kind of turntables that are available on the market. Other than these two there are the 78s, which were records of 10 inches and they were produced before the 1960s.

  • How it works

The stylus which is basically a diamond tipped pin running through the grooves of vinyl read the bums and generate an electric signal which passes through the tonearm and reaches the pre amplifiers. They enhance the signal and send it to your real amp and to the speakers. The record players of the past ( from Edison’s Phonograph to the electric ones) did not have the pre-amp and relied on a horn to enhance the signal where the horns worked as speakers also.

This is basically what a turntable is and how it works. Now, here are the best turntable reviews for you. We have selected among the models that everyone can afford ( the price of the turntables can go as high as several thousand dollars, you surely don’t want them ) and the ones that come with good quality ( means that we have excluded the cheap under hundred dollar products )

Types of Turntables –

There are basically two types of turntables that you will meet. Now, by turntables we will only be meaning the digital ones. Those gramophones are not our concern here. Here are the two types of turntables that you can buy these days.

  •  The Direct Drive:

The mechanism that causes the platter to revolve is called a ‘Drive’. The direct drive is a system where the motor directly drives the motor. The motor head connects directly with the platter and causes it to spin. When you put the vinyl on the platter it also starts spinning.

The direct drive system is more popular among the DJs, they find it more suitable for DJing. When it comes to listening music the direct drives are comparatively unstable and they generate some odd sounds.

  • The Belt Drive:

The belt drives are the latest drive system. It’s a system where the motor is connected with the platter with a belt. When the motor moves, with the connection of the belt, the platter also spins.

When the turntables are used for their actual purpose, (not for DJing and for enjoying records) the belt drive is comparatively a better system. They are more stable than the direct drive and the belts also work as vibration absorbers. They are a little less powerful than the direct drive ( takes a few more seconds to start playing the vinyl record ) The belt drive helps in a better reproduction of music.

  • The Automatic & Manual Turntables:

Other than these two types, turntables can also be classified into two other categories. The automatic and the manual turntables. The automatics will automatically place the tonearm on the record as soon as you place it on the platter. However in the manual turntables you have to pick up the tonearm and place it on the platter with your hand and adjust the counterweight and height.

Features to Look for …

By this time you should be quite familiar with the turntables. Now, before you get one we highly recommend you to go through this section where we will be talking about some important features that you should look for to end up with the best turntable.

Stability: The stability in a turntable is the most important thing. The whole turntable actually depends on the stability. So, here is a list of things that you should look for inside a turntable.

  • A Belt Drive which will give stability to the platter. The belt helps in reducing the vibration from the motor.
  • If you are going for a Direct Drive then the turntable must have a Pitch Control Slider so that you can gain more control and stability.
  • An S Shaped Tonearm is better than the straight tonearms. They have more accuracy in following the groove. If it’s not a s shaped then it must be lightweight or made of carbon.
  • A Counterweight with Markings is important in a turntable to keep the stylus in its right place and it will also protect your vinyl record.
  • A Good mat is also required for keeping the stability. These mats can be made of different materials. Some are focused on giving more slippery surface and some are designed for a better gripping.
  • Also, don’t forget to look for Tonearm Height Adjustment This also protects your vinyl record.
  • On top ( or bottom ) of everything, A Good Chassis should be in the turntable. Make sure that the platform on which the mechanisms of the turntable sit is a stable one that comes with rubber padded legs and have enough weight in it.

Stylus: The stylus what sits on the top of the tonearm is the most active and important part of the whole turntable. It’s a small spine which is made of crystals or diamond and it runs through the bumpy grooves of a vinyl record.

If you end up with a bad stylus equipped turntable then you will receive unwanted noise in your system, the stylus would jump around inside the grooves and out of it if the record’s old and most importantly it may permanently damage your record. So, yes, be very careful and skeptic about the stylus.

Pre-amp: to enhance the signal received by the stylus you need an amplifier, otherwise you won’t be able to hear it even with the fullest volume in your speaker. Some turntables come with a built in pre-amp. With them you can directly enjoy your music on your headphones or speakers. There are also some models that do not have a pre-amp built in, you have to buy them separately.

But the best turntables are those what has a pre-amp but allows you to bypass the non-enhanced signal derived from the stylus so that you can enjoy the luxury of using a different ( better ) amplifier.

The Pros:

  • Best music quality and best quality music player
  • Turntables bring back old memories that you had with all the records
  • Some turntables allow you to digitalize the music in the mp3s or CDs
  • To keep up with the returning trend of vinyl records, you just have to have a turntable
  • Turntables are beautiful

The Cons:

  • Features of modern music players are absent in turntables
  • Vinyl records take a lot of space in exchange of a little music
  • Everything is so sensitive and needs a lot of care

Benefits of using Turntables:

The biggest benefit of the turntable is that it can play vinyl records and nothing else can. The benefits of a turntable are not confined in this simplicity. There are more benefits that you can get from the turntables. Here is a list of them.

  • The best quality music output comes from the turntables. If you have heard a record being played on a modern turntable you will surely know the difference between the digital format audio and the music in your record.
  • The vinyl records have a more personal touch to them. The music that is in the records is a physical representation of the music and not just a recorded version. If you drive your finger through the grooves, you will know what it feels like to touch the music.
  • You can bring back those old memories that you had with the turntables
  • It’s just a passion for some people
  • The trend of vinyl records are returning, the turntables are gradually finding their place on every home.
  • If you want to make a digital backup of all the records you have then you should have a turntable that comes with the USB connection. It allows you to transfer all the data in the record into a digital version what you can carry in your phone or keep it in your computer. This allows you to make your favorite music portable.
  • Both the 45s and 33s are playable on modern turntables.
  • If you are thinking of starting to DJ then you have a huge necessity of a turntable.
  • They are so beautiful that they can be used as a piece of decoration.

How to Install a Turntable?

Installing the turntables is a easy thing. We hope that the following points will help you with the installation process of turntables.

  • You just need to unpack your turntable carefully
  • Go through the instruction manual
  • All the parts of the turntable come individually, Take them out and assemble them on the chassis of the turntable. Be extra careful while doing so.
  • The placing of the turntable is important. Place the turntable on a spot where there is no vibration or too much air. The spot must be stable.
  • Now, it’s time to cable up the turntable. There are two types of ( or three if you do the grounding) cables that come out. One is the power cord. Connect it to a power outlet so that the turntable can derive power from it.
  • The other type of cable is for the audio. There are two types of jacks that you can find coming out of the turntable. The phono line and the standard 3.5 mm line. Depending on your need you must attach the right type of jack and cable to the turntable.
  • Now, place the record on the platter and run the turntable. If it is an automatic then the tonearm should automatically place itself inside the groove of the record. If it’s a manual turntable then the toenarm should be placed on the record manually.

Turntable Buying Guide:

Buying a turntable is all about the price. The much you pay, the better product you get. We have enlisted a product list at the top which is more focused for the regular consumers. Now, before we get to the actual buying guide section we recommend you to go through the features to look for section once again and then go through these questions.

  • How much are you willing to spend behind your turntable? ( price is everything while buying a turntable )
  • How much output accuracy are you looking for?
  • Do you want to make a digital backup of your records? ( Go for the USB models then )
  • Are you into DJing? ( Then go for a direct drive turntable )
  • Do you want quality? ( The belt drive )
  • What sort of records are you looking forward to play? ( most of the turntables are capable of playing 45s and 33s. For 78s there are far fewer models available )
  • Do you want to upgrade the components of the turntable? ( the customizable turntables are the ones that you should buy )
  • Do you want the ones that come with a pre amp or you already have an amplifier?
  • How much would you give priority to looks? ( There are some pretty beautiful turntables in the market that really looks really cool )

FAQs…

Here are the most frequently questions that consumers commonly ask.

Q: What is the difference between a Vinyl Player, a turntable and a Gramophone?

The vinyl player and the turntable are basically the same thing or the same thing with different names. They are the digital version of gramophones. Gramophones were a part of the American culture. They come with a huge horn that is directly connected with the tonearm.

The horns work as the amplifier in the gramophone where in the turntables there is a pre amp to enhance the stylus signal. The turntables are not entirely analog in that sense, basically it is a device what turns analog music to digital audio where the gramophones are purely analog.

Q: Why are the top end turntables are so pricy?

The top level turntables are so pricy because all the components within them are of high quality. Their goal is to minimize the vibrations and maximize the stability and sound pickup.

That’s why they are built with high quality platter, a better receptive tonearm and a better stylus and they are all designed by professionals. The materials used in these components are better and they costly. The combination of all these makes the top end turntables so pricy and the price can stretch up to several thousand dollars too.

Q: What else do I need to buy with the turntable?

If you buy a turntable you would need a pre-amp or a regular amplifier with what you can elevate the signal to a hearable level. Now, there are some products that already come with the pre-amp inside. With them you would just be needing a speaker or a headphone. Now, if your turntable does not have a pre-amp built in then you should get a pre-amp and you will be able to connect your headphones or speakers with that.

If you think that you are not satisfied with the turntables that you have you may be able to replace its components with some great aftermarket ones. Say, for the stylus or a better tonearm for example. And lastly, if you have a turntable you will surely have to buy vinyl records.

Q: How to take care of my turntable?

The turntables demand a lot of care. The first thing is that turntables attract a lot of dyst and the dust should be regularly cleaned. The next thing that needs most care is the stylus.

The average lifespan of a stylus is around 3000 hours, but you should check it under a magnifying glass after every 1000 hours and if you find any problem with the sharpness the stylus must immediately be changed or else they will ruin your records. A worn off stylus can never reproduce music with proper accuracy. The tonearm should also be adjusted before you play a record.

Q: How can I make Digital Copies of My Records?

To make digital backup of your analog music in the vinyl records, you need to have a USB facilitated turntable. That port will allow the information in the record to enter directly in your computer.

The turntable also comes with a software CD and with the help of that software you will be able to convert the music and save it in a digital format that you can enjoy in your phone, mp3 player or you can just make a CD of it.

Final Call:

After everything we can only say that turntable is something that you must have in your home. If you are a music lover then you just can’t miss the beauty of the music that gets physically stored in a vinyl record.

Content Source:

These following websites help us a lot on the purpose of research we doing on turntable and hope that it will help you in understanding the turntables better.

This was everything that ConsumerHubs has to offer you on the best turntable 2017, hope it will help you to get the right one for you.

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