Are you looking to dive into the world of vinyl records but feeling overwhelmed by the price tags of turntables?
You’re not alone.
With so many options available, it can be difficult to determine how much you should be spending to get a quality turntable that won’t damage your precious vinyl collection.
In this article, we’ll break down the different price points for turntables and what you can expect from each one. Whether you’re a beginner or an aspiring audiophile, we’ve got you covered.
So, let’s find out how much a turntable really costs and which one is right for you.
How Much Is A Turntable
When it comes to turntables, the price range can vary greatly. At the lower end of the spectrum, you can find turntables for as little as $40. However, it’s important to note that turntables under $100 have a reputation for damaging records and should be approached with caution.
For those just starting out in the world of vinyl, an entry-level turntable will cost between $100 and $400. While these turntables may not have all the bells and whistles of more expensive models, they will still provide good sound quality and won’t damage your records.
If you’re looking for a turntable that will last for years to come and provide excellent sound quality, expect to spend between $400 and $700. These mid-range turntables come with more desirable features and design considerations, such as anti-vibration bases and reliable tonearms with higher-quality needles.
For those who are serious about their vinyl collection and want the best possible sound quality, high-end turntables can cost between $500 and $1000. However, it’s important to note that the gain in sound quality per dollar spent will become smaller and smaller above the $700 mark.
Ultimately, the amount you should spend on a turntable depends on your personal preferences and budget. It’s important to remember that a good turntable is an investment that will last for years to come, so it’s worth spending a little extra to get a quality product.
Entry-Level Turntables: $50-$200
If you’re on a tight budget and looking for an entry-level turntable, you can find some good options for between $50 and $200. While these turntables may not have all the features of more expensive models, they can still provide decent sound quality and are a great starting point for beginners.
One such turntable is the Fluance RT80, which is a popular choice for those looking for an affordable option. It features a curved tonearm that makes cueing a joy, and an AT91 spherical stylus that produces superior sound quality. While the chassis design is sleek and stylish, the glossy surface can attract a lot of dust. Additionally, the RT80 comes with a felt platter mat, which is not as desirable as rubber or cork mats found on other models.
Another option in this price range is the Audio-Technica AT-LP60X, which is a budget-priced basic deck that looks great and comes ready to go out of the box. It features pre-installed and configured cartridges, built-in phono preamps for easy connection to powered speakers or AV receivers, and a range of features that make it easy to use. However, it’s important to note that the AT-LP60X may not have the same level of durability as more expensive models.
Mid-Range Turntables: $200-$500
If you’re looking for a turntable that offers more features and higher quality components than an entry-level model, but don’t want to break the bank, mid-range turntables priced between $200 and $500 are a great option.
At this price point, you can expect to find turntables with features like adjustable counterweights and anti-skate mechanisms, which help ensure that your records sound as good as possible. Additionally, many mid-range turntables come with preamps built in, which means you won’t need to purchase a separate preamp to connect your turntable to your speakers or receiver.
In terms of build quality, mid-range turntables often feature heavier platters and more substantial bases than entry-level models. This helps reduce vibrations and ensures that your records sound as clear and detailed as possible.
One great example of a mid-range turntable is the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC. Priced at around $400, this turntable features a carbon fiber tonearm, which is both lightweight and stiff, allowing for better tracking of your records. The Debut Carbon DC also comes with an Ortofon 2M Red cartridge, which offers excellent sound quality for the price.
High-End Turntables: $500 And Up
For those looking for the ultimate in sound quality and design, high-end turntables priced at $500 and up are the way to go. These turntables are built with the highest-quality components and feature advanced design features that minimize vibrations and distortion.
One of the top contenders in this price range is the Rega Planar 2, which has received numerous accolades for its incredible sound quality and sleek design. The Planar 2 features a high-quality RB220 tonearm and a precision-engineered platter that minimizes resonance and vibration. Another great option is the Pro-Ject X1, which boasts an ultra-precise tonearm and a heavy, non-resonant platter for exceptional sound quality.
For those who want a turntable that doubles as a statement piece of furniture, the VPI Prime Scout is a top choice. This turntable features a stunning wood base and a precision-machined aluminum platter for unparalleled sound quality.
While high-end turntables can be expensive, they are worth the investment for serious audiophiles who want the best possible sound quality from their vinyl collection. These turntables will last for years to come and provide an unparalleled listening experience that simply can’t be matched by digital music.
What To Look For In A Turntable
When shopping for a turntable, there are several key features to consider. First and foremost, consider whether the turntable has a counterweight, a removable headshell/cartridge, and anti-skate control. These three features are essential for ensuring accurate tracking and minimizing distortion.
Other important components to consider include the platter, spindle and bearing, motor and pulley (for belt-drive turntables), tonearm, cartridge, plinth, and feet. Look for high-quality materials and components that will help minimize distortion and provide accurate sound reproduction.
Consider the amount of space you have available for your turntable, speakers, and other components. Think about your room setup when deciding how many speakers you want and where they will be placed. If you have limited space or want a portable option, consider a turntable with built-in speakers.
When choosing a turntable, it’s also important to research the cost of replacement needles and tonearms. Higher-end models may require more frequent upgrades to maintain their sound quality.
Finally, consider how upgradeable the turntable is before making a purchase. Upgradability can help extend the life of your turntable and allow you to customize your audio equipment over time.
Conclusion: Finding The Right Turntable For You
In conclusion, finding the right turntable for you depends on your personal needs and preferences. If you’re just starting out, it’s best to invest in an entry-level turntable that won’t damage your records and provides decent sound quality. However, if you’re looking for a turntable that will last for years and provide excellent sound quality, it’s worth investing in a mid-range or high-end model.
When choosing a turntable, consider factors such as signal-to-noise ratio, playback speeds, and wow and flutter. It’s also important to choose a turntable with features that will enhance your listening experience, such as anti-vibration bases and reliable tonearms.
Remember that a good turntable is an investment that will last for years to come, so it’s important to choose wisely and spend a little extra if necessary. With the right turntable, you can enjoy the warm sound of vinyl for years to come.