For all of you music aficionados we’re going to take a look at some of the hottest turntables of 2018 that are under $1000. Now, before we get started, let’s be clear that, although these turntables are of fairly good quality, they are not entire vinyl setups so if that is what you are looking for, you can probably expect to come out of your pocket more in the $1500 range. Depending on how you use your turntable - whether you’re a DJ or simply a vinyl lover—this will, in part, dictate which exact turntable aspects will be more important to you than others. For example, if you plan to spin and scratch like Grand Mixer D.ST on Herbie Hancock’s seminal 1983 single “Rockit,” a direct drive and a upgraded cartridge would definitely be in order; the thing must be robust.
If, on the other hand, you’re more so interested in hearing exquisite clarity and silences of Morton Feldman’s chamber music, there would be more important things to worry about (though a cartridge update is never a bad thing!) so it really just depends on what exactly you are looking for. For the purposes of this review, we will focus on the latter- sub $1,000 turntables that are more geared to every man (or woman) that’s interested in acquiring a great record player to use for their growing vinyl collection. Happy reading!
So the ProJect 1Xpression is literally one dollar short of $1000 so it is one of the higher-priced ones on the market right now. The ProJect 1Xpression comes with a belt drive system that is equipped with a synchronous motor, in addition to a main platter bearing that is made from stainless steel and has a bronze bushing with a Teflon bottom. The heavy duty aluminum is comprised of TPE technology for superior resonance damping and sturdiness with advanced silver cartridges and spools.
- The sound from this particular turntable is pretty clear and it is fairly easy to set up for your various preferences.
- Not sure if it is a construction issue, but there is a constant hum when you do play your records on this turntable, which can be pretty annoying if you’re listening to a quitter piece of music and also since you’re paying almost a grand just for a turntable and not even the complete setup. Because of this, it doesn’t really seem to be worth the money.
The Sota Moonbeam Series III is actually $1,250 on Amazon so obviously it’s a couple hundred dollars above the $1000 mark, but it certainly has features that make it worth the price; the Sota Moonbeam carefully identifies and addresses each variable that undermines the pure signal retrieval of the turntable and, as a result, there is an elegant and cost-effective solution of the highest quality. The Sota is hand-crafted in the USA by one of the world's leading turntable manufacturers and achieves an unmatched level of neutrality. There is a unique platter design that is responsible for a high level of quality sound, in addition to being able to further neutralize the resonant LP, which is an energy damping interface mat.
- This particular turntable is incredibly sturdy and offers a distinct clarity of sound for your listening pleasure; although you make take a slightly harder hit on your wallet than you may like, the also “hi-def” sound that the Sota offers could be worth it.
- The only real negative with this turntable (outside of the price) is the REGA arm that comes with it; unfortunately they do not make this kind of arm anymore so if something does happen to go wrong with it you can find yourself coming out of a pretty penny to get the turntable modified.
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 U-Turn is incredibly easy to setup and the manufacturer offers lifetime technical support, so that is definitely a bonus.
- The sound that the U-Turn offers is also amazing and it is a perfect fit for those who are new to the world of vinyl and for those who are veterans.
- If you are switching speeds on your turntable, unfortunately the belt may come off (or if you happen to leave the table on all night).
- Even so, for the price, it’s a pretty good buy.
The Thorens is about $700 on Amazon and is a well-crafted, fully automatic turntable that comes equipped with three speeds so it can also play shellac records at 78 rpm (the special stylus/cartridge required is available separately if you desire to purchase one). There is also a built-in phono and pre–amp TD 170–1 Phono that amplifies the turntable’s signal and connects to receivers and amplifiers that may not have a phono input.
- This is a very reliable turntable with virtually no scratching or skipping; with an incredibly easy set-up, this turntable will bring back that nostalgic feeling!
- Before purchasing this turntable you may just want to check to see if the manufacturer is offering the TD 170-1 or the TD 170-1 phono.
- It’s not a major negative at all, but just something one should be aware of.
The Stanton ST-150 will cost you roughly $300.00 or so and comes equipped with a S-shaped tone arm and is comprised of a durable steel design for minimum feedback (huge bonus). It also has an industry leading torque motor (up to 4.5 kgf/cm), in addition to an ultra-stable platter and Stanton Trackmaster V.3 cartridge.
- This is definitely a solidly made turntable and the sound is awesome! You are definitely guaranteed to get professional quality with this one.
- This is not a turntable that you want to use if you are into scratching and getting festive with the turntable.
- This particular turntable is more suitable for those who just want to listen to some good old records and relax.
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.
All in all, it seems that the best choice is the U-Turn, it is reasonably priced and you certainly get what you pay for. It’s also an ideal choice for those who have never used a turntable before, so if I had to choose, that would certainly be my choice!