How Much Should You Spend On A Turntable? Experts Weigh In

Are you a music lover looking to invest in a turntable?

With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to determine how much you should spend. While some may argue that more expensive is always better, the reality is that not everyone has an unlimited budget.

So, what is the sweet spot for turntable prices?

In this article, we’ll explore the different price ranges for turntables and what you can expect in terms of quality and features. Whether you’re a seasoned audiophile or just starting to dip your toes into the world of vinyl, we’ve got you covered.

So sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of turntables!

How Much Should I Spend On A Turntable

When it comes to turntables, the price range can vary greatly. You can find turntables for as low as $40, but these budget options often come with a reputation for damaging records. It’s important to exercise caution when considering a turntable in this price range.

For those looking for a quality starter turntable, you can expect to spend around $100. These turntables will provide a decent listening experience and are a great way to get started with vinyl.

If you’re looking for a turntable that will last you a long time and provide great sound quality, you should expect to spend between $200-$400. These mid-range turntables come with better components and features that will enhance your listening experience.

For audiophiles looking for the best of the best, high-end turntables can cost upwards of $1,000 or more. These turntables come with top-of-the-line components and features that provide unparalleled sound quality.

The Low-End: Turntables Under $100

If you’re on a tight budget, there are turntables available for under $100. However, it’s important to keep in mind that at this price point, you will have to make some sacrifices. Most turntables in this price range are lacking in quality and can potentially damage your records.

Despite this, there are a few options that are worth considering. These turntables will provide a decent sound quality and are a good way to get started with vinyl. However, they will not satisfy a true audiophile. It’s important to keep your expectations in check when considering a turntable under $100.

Some of these budget turntables come equipped with internal speakers, but don’t expect them to deliver amazing sound. You get what you pay for, and at this price point, you’re not going to get the same quality as you would with a higher-end turntable.

That being said, there are some great values to be found in the under $100 price range. With our recommendations, you can expect to get a bit more than what you pay for. Just keep in mind that these turntables are not on the same level as the more expensive options.

The Mid-Range: Turntables Between $100-$500

If you’re looking for a turntable that strikes a balance between affordability and quality, the mid-range is where you should be looking. Turntables in this price range typically cost between $100-$500 and offer better components and features than budget options.

One important factor to consider when choosing a mid-range turntable is upgradability. Many beginner turntables do not allow for needle upgrades, which can limit your listening experience. However, mid-range turntables are often modular, allowing you to swap out or replace needles whenever you’d like.

Another important consideration is speed modes. Most mid-range turntables can spin at 33/3RPM and 45RPM, allowing you to play full-sized albums and singles.

Additionally, preamps are an essential component of any turntable. Some mid-range turntables come with built-in preamps, while others require an external preamp before connecting to a stereo receiver or active speakers.

The High-End: Turntables Over $500

For those who are willing to invest even more into their turntable, there are options available for over $500. These high-end turntables are designed to provide the ultimate listening experience, with top-of-the-line components and features that make them a true audiophile’s dream.

One example of a high-end turntable is the Rega Planar 6/Ania, which comes in at around $2,000. This turntable boasts a custom-machined drive pulley, a new and improved RB330 tonearm, and a separate power supply, among other features. The design is both sturdy and lightweight, with Rega believing that too much mass can adversely affect sound quality. The Rega Planar 6/Ania delivers a bravura performance that justifies its hefty price tag, with an ability to render the subtlest of details that is hugely impressive.

Another high-end option is the VPI Prime Scout, which comes in at around $3,999. This turntable features a 10-inch 3D-printed tonearm, a machined aluminum platter, and an isolated motor assembly. The VPI Prime Scout is designed to provide exceptional sound quality and accuracy, with a level of detail and clarity that is unparalleled.

While these high-end turntables may come with a steep price tag, they are designed to provide the ultimate listening experience for audiophiles who demand the best. If you’re willing to invest in a high-end turntable, you can expect to enjoy unparalleled sound quality that will make your vinyl collection truly come alive.

Features To Consider When Choosing A Turntable

When choosing a turntable, there are several features to consider to ensure that you get the best value for your money. Here are some of the most important features to keep in mind:

1. Components: The quality of the components is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a turntable. The stylus, phono cartridge, tonearm, and phono preamp are all crucial components that can affect the sound quality of your turntable.

2. Build Quality: The build quality of a turntable is also important. Look for turntables with sturdy construction and high-quality materials that will last for years.

3. Drive System: The drive system is responsible for turning the platter and playing your records. Belt-drive systems are generally preferred over direct-drive systems because they produce less noise and vibration.

4. Speed Control: Turntables need to maintain a consistent speed to play records accurately. Look for turntables with speed control mechanisms that ensure accurate playback.

5. Anti-Skate: Anti-skate mechanisms are designed to prevent the stylus from skipping across the record groove. Look for turntables with adjustable anti-skate mechanisms that allow you to fine-tune the settings.

6. Tonearm: The tonearm is responsible for holding the cartridge and stylus in place as it moves across the record. Look for turntables with high-quality tonearms that provide smooth and accurate tracking.

7. Cartridge: The cartridge is responsible for converting the mechanical vibrations from the stylus into an electrical signal that can be amplified and played through speakers. Look for turntables with high-quality cartridges that produce clear, detailed sound.

8. Phono Preamp: If your turntable does not have a built-in phono preamp, you will need to purchase one separately. Look for phono preamps that match the specifications of your turntable and provide high-quality amplification.

By considering these features when choosing a turntable, you can be sure that you are getting a high-quality product that will provide excellent sound quality and last for years to come.

How To Properly Care For Your Turntable

Proper care and maintenance of your turntable is essential to ensure that it lasts for a long time and provides the best possible sound quality. Here are some tips on how to properly care for your turntable:

1. Regular cleaning: Regular cleaning of your turntable is crucial to prevent damage to your vinyl records. Vinyl records create static electricity, which attracts dirt, dust, and debris to both the record player and your vinyl. This microscopic dirt and dust can damage the playing surface of your vinyl. To maintain your record player, you’ll need the following supplies: a microfiber cloth, a soft bristle brush, a stylus brush, a dusting cloth, and rubbing alcohol.

2. Cleaning the stylus: The stylus is one of the most important components of your turntable. It can easily accumulate dirt, dust, and other particulates that prevent it from making direct contact with the grooves in a vinyl record. A carbon fiber brush is a relatively small investment that will help you keep your stylus clear of debris and maintain quality sound.

3. Dusting after each use: Your record player should be dusted after each use to avoid dust accumulation. To do so, wipe down all accessible surfaces of your record player with a microfiber cloth – ideally an anti-static one. Start with the center of the record player and work your way out.

4. Cleaning the record: Use a record cleaning brush – the most popular type is a velvet antistatic vinyl brush. Rotate the record on the turntable and gently apply the brush for a couple of revolutions. You can add some vinyl cleaning fluid to the brush, but don’t soak it.

5. Handle with care: Always handle your records with respect, and maintain your turntable to reduce wear.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your turntable lasts for a long time and provides the best possible sound quality. Remember to clean it regularly, handle your records with care, and invest in good quality cleaning tools to keep your turntable in top condition.

Conclusion: Finding The Right Turntable For You

When it comes to finding the right turntable for you, there are a few things to consider. First, determine your budget and do your research to find turntables within that range. Don’t be tempted to go for the cheapest option, as it could end up damaging your records in the long run.

Next, consider the sound quality you’re looking for. Look for turntables with good frequency response, low distortion, and low noise. Reading reviews and checking out demos can help you make an informed decision and find the best turntable for your needs.

Setting up a turntable can be complex, so look for options with an easy-to-follow manual or tutorial video to make the process less stressful. Additionally, consider features such as auto-stop, built-in preamp, and USB port that can enhance performance and usability.

Ultimately, the right turntable for you will depend on your personal preferences and needs. Whether you’re a beginner or an audiophile, there are options available at various price ranges that can provide an enjoyable listening experience. With careful consideration and research, you can find the perfect turntable for your vinyl collection.