Recently, vinyl records are once again gaining popularity among music lovers, largely due to the high sound quality. Even well-known artists are starting to release their albums in this format again. Accordingly, turntables for vinyl records are becoming fashionable. The choice of such products is quite wide, so buying the optimal device is not as easy as it may seem at first glance. In this article, we will tell you about the key characteristics that you should pay attention to when buying such equipment, but also analyze the most popular models so that you can choose the most suitable player for yourself.
- How to choose a vinyl record player?
- Best vinyl record players
- 10. Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USBHC
- 9. Crosley Cruiser Deluxe CR8005D
- 8. Technics SL-1210GR
- 7. Rega Planar 1
- 6. Ion Max LP
- 5. Pioneer PL-30-K
- 4. Sony PS-HX500
- 3. Pioneer PLX-1000
- 2. Onkyo CP-1050
- 1. Denon VL12 Prime
- In conclusion, a useful video
How to choose a vinyl record player?
The principle of operation of this unit is to transform the unevenness of the tracks of the record into a high-quality sound signal. Contrary to the opinion of many people, the principle of operation of the product is significantly different from a gramophone or gramophone. All modern designs are part of the audio system, which consists of a large number of different components. On sale, you can find models equipped with an amplifier, speakers and a large number of connectors.
The main elements of a vinyl record player are the following parts: a faceplate, which is a special platform on which the record itself is placed. There is also a tonearm – a cartridge with a needle is located on it, in modern models, technology is implemented that allows you to adjust its height and maintain it at a certain level. The counterweight is responsible for the force of the needle pressing on the vinyl. One of the most important parts is the cartridge that reads and converts the audio signal.
The most expensive and high-quality devices are assembled manually, and it is always possible to install any other parts, for example, released later and being more modern. You should purchase a fairly heavy device. If the weight of the player is less than 8 kg, then you can hardly expect high-quality sound from it. The faceplate weighs quite a lot.
Be sure to pay attention to the cartridge – in modern products they are half-inch or T4P. The first type has higher sound characteristics and it is much easier to update it, but it should be configured, which not everyone can handle. The second option is simpler and much easier to use. Sharpening the reading of the needle should ideally be in the form of an ellipse. To get the best sound quality, they prefer models that have a belt drive – with its help, it is possible to achieve perfect sliding and minimal vibration. Live players are more suitable for DJs. Devices with a roller drive are characterized by the greatest vibration, so you should refuse to buy them if you do not want to spoil expensive vinyl.
When choosing models for inclusion in our rating of the best vinyl turntables of the year, we followed all the above principles. However, we did not ignore the price-quality ratio of products, so that most of our readers could afford these products, and we also relied on user reviews. We hope that the information we collect will be enough for you to decide on the best product for you.
Best vinyl record players
10. Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USBHC
Most fans of high-quality music are very positive about the vinyl players released by this company. First of all, they note the original design of the pickups, due to which the sound is very deep and full-sounding, and also talk about headphones belonging to the premium class. The structure is assembled on a turnkey basis – just remove it from its packaging, plug it into the network, put on a record and start enjoying music. The design is reminiscent of classic Soviet products. Despite its minimalistic appearance, the device will fit perfectly into any interior of the room. The case is designed in black or silver colors. All buttons are quite pleasant to the touch, they are pressed smoothly, led illumination is provided, which allows you to comfortably use the device even in the dark.
There is a reverse rotation that allows you to return to the most favorite track or segment of the song. The tonearm lowers the needle to the vinyl rather slowly, which allows you to avoid the occurrence of damaged areas on the tracks. The needle provided with this player helps smooth out sharp corners, so even fairly heavy and hard tracks will feel with a high degree of softness. Regardless of the style, the music will sound as realistic as possible. The device is equipped with rubberized legs, so even with active dancing, the needle will not jump from one track to another. You can connect the player to a laptop or personal computer. No interference was detected.
- The presence of a direct drive that facilitates rotation;
- The optimum height of the tonearm;
- A special counterweight is provided;
- High quality of the standard cartridge.
- The wires are not sufficiently shielded, but this does not affect the sound quality in any way.
9. Crosley Cruiser Deluxe CR8005D
The model is quite affordable and has a classic appearance, which is stylized according to the old players. Setting up the design is quite simple, so it is quite suitable even for beginners who are just beginning to comprehend the beauty of the sound of vinyl records. The drive is equipped with three speeds and can be used for 7 -, 10 -, or 12-inch records. The case is made in the form of a small suitcase, covered with fabric materials that are very pleasant to the touch. There are not too many connectors for connecting third-party devices – one socket for the power cable, two inputs and one for connecting headphones. You can connect your device to a music center, personal computer, or other similar devices using the app. The sound quality is quite acceptable.
On such a player, it is optimal to listen to heavy rock, since its pickup allows you to get a metallic sound. The vocals sound the brightest, the high notes are felt very well. The melody will have both bass lines and midrange frequencies clearly visible. The sound in headphones directly depends on them. The model is equipped with two built-in speakers of medium power, if you do not Unscrew them at full power, they will be quite acceptable to play music of various styles. The needle is pressed against the plate quite strongly.
- Attractive appearance and original finish;
- Very easy to use even for a novice music lover;
- Acceptable number of connectors;
- The cost is quite reasonable.
- The playback itself could be added more detail.
8. Technics SL-1210GR
The player is versatile, as it can be used by both DJs and ordinary fans of high-quality sound. Like all the models discussed above, this design is characterized by a standard appearance – by design, it is difficult to determine when exactly this unit was released. The electric motor rotates as evenly as possible, which was achieved largely due to the installation of a motor without a core, and the rotor is equipped with a single magnet. The rotation chassis is made as rigid as possible. The support disk has two layers – the upper coating is made of high-strength rubber, which perfectly resists abrasion, and under it is a wheel made of aluminum, additionally reinforced with special stiffeners. The side of the disc that is directly adjacent to the vinyl is also double-layered. It uses materials such as rubber, aluminum and a filler made on the basis of polymer materials.
The tonearm is made in the shape of the letter S, it is equipped with an aluminum tube that has a low weight and an increased level of strength. All connectors for connecting external devices are gold-plated, and this applies even to the ground terminal. The device itself, when fully assembled, has a mass of over 14 kg. The relaxation and softness of the sound that is characteristic of most vinyl turntables is not found here.Rather, on the contrary – the device lays out all sounds, tones and notes as evenly as possible, the rhythm is heard perfectly. The speed and accuracy of note delivery does not depend on the range at all: this is optimally implemented in both high and low frequencies.
- Very technologically advanced device;
- Decent weight;
- Good sound quality;
- Long service life;
- Optimal combination of material quality, build quality, and melody playback.
- High cost.
7. Rega Planar 1
Players of the British company have long enjoyed well-deserved popularity, but engineers are constantly developing more and more new models. These products were able to preserve the original sound of vinyl, but a higher rendering of both high and low frequencies was achieved largely due to the installation of the latest rb110 tonearm, equipped with precision bearings. In addition, it has an intelligent adjustment of the offset angle, which allows you to extract absolutely all frequencies from the track. The downforce here is optimal, and there is a special mark on the scale for selecting it, which allows you to choose the most suitable parameter, which, in turn, greatly facilitates the setup of equipment before direct use. The table top is made of thermosetting plastic, which has not only an attractive appearance, but also a decent mass, which positively affects the sound quality.
The power button of the device is rubberized, located on the left side, directly under the table. The player can be produced in black or white colors. In order to optimize the rotation speed as much as possible, the mass of the support disk was made as large as possible. Here is the Rega Carbon cartridge, which ensures the completeness of the extracted sound. This model is equipped with a synchronous motor that has an aluminum pulley. Due to this design solution, it was possible to significantly reduce the amount of noise produced and stabilize the speed. The sound here is closer to professional than to Amateur. Users especially note the clarity of the vocal line. The sound of melodies here is dense and juicy, regardless of the genre of music.
- Perfect for both new records and products that have been around for decades;
- The melody can be heard quite clearly, despite the bright highlighting of the vocal line;
- The case is well protected from dust ingress to the rotating disk thanks to a special plastic cover.
- The tonearm will be quite problematic to replace if necessary.
6. Ion Max LP
This design optimally combines good musical characteristics and a very interesting design. The upper part of the case is finished in traditional light wood, while all other panels are made in a minimalistic style. Such a player will fit perfectly into the laconic interior. However, on sale you can find a model made in black, covered with piano varnish. In General, this design was originally designed to play records at a speed of 33 revolutions per minute, but the manufacturer decided to add the speed of the old vinyl-45 and 78 revolutions. The internal filling allows you to digitize the melody from fairly ancient records, and the final sound of the melody turns out to be as clean as possible. If necessary, the player can be connected to a personal computer – a USB connector is provided for this, as well as a special ION application. With it, audio is not only digitized in the required format, but also split into separate tracks.
The design includes a pair of built-in speakers that work in stereo format. For the average user, the volume and quality of such speakers will be quite sufficient, but if necessary, you can connect external speakers to fully unlock the potential of this player. The quality of melody playback is quite high – no distortion or extraneous noise was detected.
- Very convenient location of connectors;
- Stylish and original appearance;
- A microlift is provided;
- Automatic stop;
- The kit includes a set of replaceable needles;
- You can digitize vinyl.
- The design is too light;
- There is no duster from the records.
5. Pioneer PL-30-K
Quite a budget design, which at the same time is characterized by users as very reliable and characterized by acceptable sound quality. The device is designed simply, there are not too many functions – start / stop playback, two speeds (33 and 45 revolutions per minute, respectively), a Phono corrector is provided, which can be turned off if necessary. The main disc is made of aluminum plate, the gasket between it and vinyl is rubber. The media player includes a lifter and a straight tonearm. It is equipped with the MM-Audio-Technica AT3600L game. The device has a dust cover made of transparent plastic. In use, the player is elementary – even a child can understand it. It is equipped with a DC motor drive. The needle is lowered as smoothly as possible.
The control is fully automatic. The player’s center of gravity is lowered, which positively affects the stability of playing a melody, regardless of its style. There is a built-in equalizer, and it is quite acceptable to use an external equalizer. The rubber gasket allows the plate to fit snugly against the disc, the disc regulator is anti-slip type. The pin connector of the device is shielded with gold plating. The power cord can be disconnected if necessary. The motor is mounted with a belt drive, which ensures uniform and stable rotation of the plate.
- Possibility to adjust the clamping mechanism;
- It is completed with the cover protecting from dust;
- A rather thick rubber Mat;
- Power cable that can be disconnected;
- A microlift is provided;
- High-quality audio.
- The user can’t adjust the speed;
- A ground terminal is not provided.
4. Sony PS-HX500
In the sale of these products appeared a little more than a year ago. This model is interesting both in itself and due to the presence of a built – in ADC-this function allows you to record in DSD format. The design is characterized by an increased level of strength, all nodes are reliable, there is not a single flimsy one among them. The case has compact overall dimensions, the weight is not very large. It is made of MDF panels, painted with Matt paint. Despite the fact that it looks quite simple, the entire finish looks very neat. Almost all the elements are made in black, the shape lines are thin and clear, no unnecessary details were noticed. The legs are made of thick rubber, they are not adjustable in height. On the lower side, you can see a metal casing. There are also trim elements for the ability to adjust each speed.
The main rotary bearing is non-removable, fixed by means of a ring, and the drive of the passic type is attached exactly according to the same principle. The disc is made of cast aluminum. The power supply unit is remote, which is not convenient for all users. The drive and the player itself can be controlled using a single handle located on the front side. It is four-position – off, standby and two modes of rotation at 33 and 45 revolutions. No led indicator is provided. The tonearm is made of high-quality metal, balanced, its effective length is 221 mm.
- Reasonable price;
- You can archive your recordings;
- Interesting design;
- Very high sound quality;
- Long service life;
- It is possible to change the selected speed by fine tuning.
- The power supply unit is ill-conceived.
3. Pioneer PLX-1000
In the third place of our review of the best vinyl turntables, professional products belonging to the premium class are located. It is suitable for both home and professional use. The design is equipped with a quartz drive of the direct type, characterized by high torque – even at the start, it is able to produce a minimum of 4.5 kg/cm. This makes life much easier for DJs who specialize in scratch music. The tonearm is made in the shape of the letter S, it has anti-scaling, and is also equipped with insulation. It is made of thick rubber, which ensures precise control, the tonearm during playback has the smallest error. The chassis of the player is made of zinc – this material reliably protects the sound from vibrations and resonances. The lower part of the device is reinforced with rubber, the layer thickness of which is 8 mm. This allows you to minimize not only your own vibration, but also successfully cope with the external one.
The player itself has two operating speeds-33 and 45 revolutions per minute. The device comes with everything you need for professional DJ work. The support disk is aluminum, there are counterweights that change the force with which the needle presses on the plate. There is also a dust cover. The device does not have a Phono corrector, so you will need to connect it either to an external Phono corrector, or use a mixer or amplifier.
- Excellent quality;
- Truly professional equipment;
- Excellent Assembly – no backlash, no extraneous creaks that can affect the sound.
- Missing your own Phono corrector;
- Quite a high cost.
2. Onkyo CP-1050
Unique products that combine traditional methods of working with reproducible sound, state-of-the-art technology and original appearance, made in retro style. Most music lovers were able to appreciate this product. These products are made in Japan, which already indicates the high quality of production of the model. The player has a direct drive motor with smooth running, which makes it possible to significantly minimize all the low-frequency noise that occurs during playback. The basis here is a reliable MDF panel, which has additional protection against the occurrence of various kinds of vibrations. The rubber gasket prevents resonant vibrations from forming. The rotation of the plates is smooth and stable, even when starting, no flinches are observed.
The kit includes a special adapter that allows you to use plates with a diameter of 7 inches. The design is made in the style of turntables made in the middle of the last century. The Tonar is S – shaped and can be replaced if necessary. For additional vibration control, four more special supports are provided, and depending on the conditions of use of the device, the user can adjust the height of the game position. On the case there is a connector for connecting earthing, as well as outputs to the right and left speakers.
- Direct drive ensures smooth start-up and reliable vibration and runout control.;
- Attractive appearance, stylized in the old style;
- Replacement Tonar;
- There is a plastic cover for dust protection;
- Deep and clear sound.
- High cost.
1. Denon VL12 Prime
Professional design, which can be used for playing records, DJ performances, scratching, and there are also a number of other features. The case has increased strength and good stability, it has an all-metal handstand. The controls are matte, so that your fingers do not slip. Largely due to these characteristics, the tool is very reliable and convenient to use. There is a direct drive with a quartz-type stabilization system. The tonearm has the shape of the letter S, it is additionally equipped with original locking functions. The base disc, like all models included in our rating of the best vinyl turntables, is made of aluminum, its diameter is 13.1 inches. The drive has two torque modes – Low and Hi.
The reference disk is illuminated, and its brightness and color can be changed. There are two rotation speeds, and the key can be changed within plus or minus 8, 16, and 50%. The legs are vibration-proof, the equipment is rich – there are all the necessary cables for connecting third-party devices.
- Truly professional products;
- The highest quality of production;
- Excellent sound;
- Long service life.
- With the exception of a high price, nothing was found.
In conclusion, a useful video
In our review today, we have tried to collect as much information as possible on each model. If it was not enough for you, then write to us in the comments – we will quickly respond to your message and provide additional data so that you can evaluate whether the model you like fits you or whether you should choose a more suitable one.