Best Turntables Under $500 Reviews 2021
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The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC will cost you roughly $400 or so on Amazon (although there are other manufacturers out there who offer the same turntable) and comes equipped with an 8.6” carbon tonearm and is comprised of a durable steel design for minimum feedback (huge bonus). It also comes with a precision belt drive with a synchronous motor and an increased platter size with more weight.
The Pioneer PL-30 is a full-automatic operation and is equipped with a dual-layered chassis with a 4 mm-thick metal plate and a low center of gravity, which provides stable playback. There is also a built-in phono equalizer with an on/through selector (“on” for connecting amps without the phono terminal and “through” for when you are using an external phono equalizer). Additional features include a high-performance MM cartridge, an efficient belt drive system, and a thick rubber mat that effectively suppresses external vibrations while being able to firmly grip the record. Those who purchase this turntable for under $500 can also expect a turntable sheet, dust cover, adapter for EP records, spare lead wires, power cord (of course), and an easy to read the instruction manual.
The Audio-Technica AT comes equipped with a selectable internal stereo phono preamplifier and USB connection to either your Mac or Windows computer.
The selectable preamplifier has 33-1/3, 45, and 78 rpm speeds; +/-10 percent or +/-20 percent pitch adjusts, and a high-accuracy quartz-controlled pitch lock. The S-shaped tonearm assembles with an adjustable counterweight, anti-skate adjustment, tone-arm height adjustment, and lock. This turntable for under $500 also includes a USB cable, is Mac and PC-compatible with audacity software.
There is also a switchable built-in pre-amplifier (as noted above) with line-level RCA output cables. Additional features include a direct-drive, high-torque motor, includes professional cartridge and head-shell, and lastly a stroboscopic platter with speed indicator (tons of fancy additions with this one)!
The U-Turn Orbit Plus comes in several vibrant colors and will only cost you about $300 on Amazon; the U-Turn is a high-performance turntable, made in the USA by U-Turn Audio Precision (a highly valued manufacturer) that comes with a tonearm Ortofon OM 5E cartridge, machined acrylic platter, and manual belt drive (33/45 RPM). More specifically, the specs of the U-Turn are: 12.5 LBS 5 x 17 x 13″, 0.125% wow & flutter, -79dBA S/N ratio, -63dBA rumble, with additional accessories that include a dust cover, RCA cables, felt mat, 2-year warranty, and an adjustable counterweight.
The Music Hall MMF 2.2 is $299.00 on Amazon and has special, vibration damping feet, with a one-piece alloy tonearm that offers superb tracking ability, in addition to a low noise fully manual belt drive design. The MMF is comprised of high-precision stainless steel, bronze bearing assembly with two, moving-magnet phono cartridges.
Best Turntables Under $500 – FAQs
What additional equipment will I need?
The answer to this primarily depends on how active you plan to be with the turntable; if you just want something to enjoy those records on, and then a simple table will probably be enough for you. However, if you are heavily into DJing, you will want to invest in other equipment, which naturally will cost you more.
Are there any turntables that are Bluetooth compatible and not just compatible with computers?
Actually, there are some turntables out there that can be paired with a separate speaker system (for example the U-Turn Orbit). Keep in mind that these will probably be more expensive than the traditional turntables.
I am getting a rumbling sound when I turn up the volume on my turntable, what does that mean?
It doesn’t necessarily mean that anything is wrong, if you are getting that rumbling sound, try placing a thick mat under the table to give it an extra bit of cushion so the vibrations from the bass won’t be as strong.
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