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How Much Do I Need To Spend On A Good Turntable How Much Do I Need To Spend On A Good Turntable


How Much Do I Need To Spend On A Good Turntable

Written by: Aretha Stern

Discover how much you need to spend on a quality turntable. Explore our guide to find the perfect turntable within your budget.

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Turntables have been making a resurgence in recent years, captivating both audiophiles and music enthusiasts alike. With their warm and authentic sound, vinyl records offer a unique listening experience that digital formats simply cannot replicate. Whether you’re a vinyl collector or someone looking to dive into the world of analog music, choosing the right turntable is crucial.

However, with the wide array of options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to determine how much you should spend on a good turntable. Factors such as budget, quality, and personal preferences all come into play when making this decision. In this article, we will explore these factors and guide you through different budget options, mid-range choices, and high-end alternatives.

When considering how much to spend on a turntable, it’s important to remember that it is an investment in your music listening experience. While there are entry-level models available at lower price points, they may lack certain features and quality components that can significantly impact the sound reproduction. On the other hand, high-end turntables offer advanced technology and superior build quality, ensuring a premium auditory journey.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that turntables are not standalone devices. They require additional components such as a phono preamp, amplifier, and speakers to complete the audio system. These accessories can add to the overall cost but are essential for optimal playback and sound performance.

In the following sections, we will delve into the factors you should consider when buying a turntable, budget options that offer good value for the money, mid-range options that provide a balance between affordability and quality, high-end options for audiophiles seeking the best performance, and additional accessories and maintenance tips to enhance your vinyl listening experience.


Factors to Consider

When determining how much to spend on a turntable, there are several key factors to take into account to ensure you make the right decision. Consider the following:

  • Budget: Determine your budget range right from the start. This will help narrow down your options and prevent overspending. Remember that investing a little more in a higher-quality turntable can significantly improve your listening experience.
  • Sound Quality: Pay attention to the sound quality offered by the turntable. Look for features like adjustable tonearms, anti-vibration measures, and high-quality cartridge and stylus. These components can greatly impact the sound reproduction and overall fidelity.
  • Built-in Preamp: Decide if you prefer a turntable with a built-in phono preamp or if you’re willing to invest in a separate preamp. A built-in preamp adds convenience, especially if you plan to connect your turntable directly to powered speakers or a receiver without a dedicated phono input.
  • Speed Options: Consider whether you need a turntable that plays various speeds, including 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM. Not all turntables support all speeds, so make sure it aligns with your record collection.
  • Drive Type: Choose between belt-drive and direct-drive turntables. Belt-drive models generally offer better sound isolation and lower motor noise, while direct-drive turntables are known for their more precise speed control and durability.
  • Build Quality: Look for turntables with a sturdy build and quality materials to ensure longevity and reduce the risk of vibrations and unwanted resonances affecting the sound output.
  • Features: Consider any additional features you may want, such as USB connectivity for digitizing your vinyl collection or automatic capabilities for convenience.
  • Compatibility: Check the compatibility of the turntable with other components in your audio system, such as speakers and amplifiers.

By carefully considering these factors, you can make a more informed choice when it comes to the investment you are willing to make in a turntable. Next, let’s explore the different budget options available.


Budget Options

If you’re just starting or have a limited budget, there are still excellent entry-level turntables that offer decent sound quality and performance without breaking the bank. These budget-friendly options are ideal for casual listeners or those who want to test the waters of vinyl without making a significant financial commitment.

One popular budget-friendly turntable is the Audio-Technica AT-LP60. This fully automatic belt-drive turntable is easy to set up and delivers solid sound quality for its price range. It features a built-in phono preamp, allowing you to connect it directly to speakers or receivers without a dedicated phono input.

Another affordable option is the Pro-Ject Essential III. This manual belt-drive turntable offers better build quality and sound compared to entry-level models. It has an adjustable tonearm and a high-quality Ortofon cartridge, allowing for improved tracking and detailed sound reproduction.

The Fluance RT80 is also worth considering. It features a sleek design and belt-drive system, producing balanced and rich sound. The built-in preamp offers flexibility in connecting to different audio setups.

While these budget options may not have all the bells and whistles of higher-end turntables, they provide a great entry point into the world of vinyl listening. They are also a solid starting point for those who want to upgrade and enhance their turntable setup in the future.

It’s important to note that, at this price range, you may need to compromise on some features and build quality. However, with proper care and maintenance, these budget options can still provide an enjoyable listening experience.

For those looking to invest a bit more for improved performance and features, let’s explore some mid-range options in the next section.


Mid-Range Options

If you are willing to spend a bit more on a turntable, the mid-range options offer a substantial upgrade in terms of sound quality, build construction, and additional features. These turntables strike a balance between affordability and performance, making them a popular choice for many vinyl enthusiasts.

One standout option in the mid-range category is the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon. This turntable features a carbon fiber tonearm, which provides excellent tracking and reduces unwanted resonance. It also comes with an Ortofon cartridge, known for its accuracy and detailed sound reproduction. The turntable’s sturdy build and sleek design make it an attractive choice.

The Rega Planar 2 is another mid-range option worth considering. It offers impressive sonic performance, thanks to the RB220 tonearm and high-quality cartridge. The minimalist design and solid build quality add to its appeal.

If you’re looking for a turntable with more advanced features, the Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB is a strong contender. It offers a direct-drive mechanism, allowing for precise speed control and accurate playback. It also includes a USB output, making it easy to digitize your vinyl collection.

These mid-range options provide a significant upgrade in sound quality and build construction compared to budget options. They offer features and performance that will satisfy even more discerning audiophiles. However, if you have a higher budget and seek top-of-the-line turntables, let’s move on to the next section.


High-End Options

If you’re a true audio enthusiast seeking the best possible sound quality and performance, high-end turntables offer a level of refinement that is unmatched. These top-of-the-line options are designed for audiophiles who are willing to invest in the ultimate vinyl experience.

The Clearaudio Concept Wood is a remarkable high-end turntable that delivers exceptional sound quality. It features a precision-machined wood chassis, a carbon fiber tonearm, and a high-end moving magnet cartridge. The combination of these premium components ensures superior sonic accuracy and a truly immersive listening experience.

Another noteworthy high-end option is the Technics SL-1200GR. This direct-drive turntable is renowned for its outstanding build quality and precise speed control. With its robust construction, it minimizes unwanted vibrations and ensures exceptional playback accuracy. The SL-1200GR is a favorite among DJs and audiophiles alike.

For those looking for a statement piece, the VPI Prime Signature is a solid choice. This turntable is meticulously handcrafted and features a heavy plinth for enhanced stability and isolation. It also incorporates high-quality components like a tonearm with advanced bearings and a premium phono cartridge, resulting in unparalleled sound reproduction.

High-end turntables often offer advanced features such as adjustable suspension systems to further isolate the turntable from external vibrations, advanced motor control for precise speed accuracy, and upgraded tonearms and cartridges for unparalleled tracking and detail retrieval.

Keep in mind that these high-end options are at the pinnacle of turntable performance, but they come with a higher price tag. However, for those who are truly passionate about audio and willing to make a significant investment, the high-end turntables provide an extraordinary listening experience.

Now that we have explored different budget options, mid-range choices, and high-end alternatives, let’s move on to discussing additional accessories and maintenance for your turntable.


Additional Accessories and Maintenance

When it comes to turntables, there are a few additional accessories and maintenance tips that can further enhance your vinyl listening experience and ensure the longevity of your equipment.

One essential accessory is a good set of speakers or headphones. The quality of your audio output greatly depends on the speakers or headphones you use. Invest in speakers that are well-matched to your turntable, taking into consideration the power requirements and sensitivity. High-quality speakers can make a significant difference in the overall sound quality.

A dedicated phono preamp can also be a valuable addition. While some turntables come with built-in preamps, upgrading to a separate phono preamp can result in improved sound clarity and dynamics. It allows you to fine-tune the sound to your personal preferences and ensures optimal performance of your turntable setup.

Maintaining your turntable is crucial for its longevity and performance. Keep the turntable clean by regularly dusting the surface and using a carbon fiber brush to remove any debris from the stylus. Avoid placing the turntable in dusty or humid environments to prevent damage and potential issues with tracking and playback.

It’s also important to handle your records with care. Always hold records by their edges to avoid fingerprints and smudges. Use a record cleaning brush or a record cleaning machine to remove any dirt and dust that may accumulate on the surface. Clean records will ensure better sound quality and reduce wear on the stylus.

Lastly, properly store your vinyl records in protective sleeves or jackets to prevent scratches and warping. Keep them in a cool and dry environment, away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures, to maintain their integrity.

By investing in additional accessories and following proper maintenance practices, you can optimize the performance of your turntable and enjoy the best possible sound quality for years to come.

Now that we’ve discussed the various factors to consider when buying a turntable, explored budget options, mid-range choices, high-end alternatives, and covered additional accessories and maintenance tips, let’s conclude our journey.



Choosing the right turntable is a personal and exciting decision for any music lover. Whether you’re just starting your vinyl collection or looking to upgrade your current setup, understanding the factors to consider can help guide your purchasing decision.

When it comes to the budget, it’s important to find a balance between your financial constraints and the quality of the turntable. While entry-level options are a great starting point, investing a bit more in a mid-range or high-end turntable can greatly enhance your listening experience.

Consider factors such as sound quality, build construction, features, and compatibility with other audio components. Determine if you need additional accessories like speakers or a dedicated phono preamp to complete your setup.

If you have a limited budget, options like the Audio-Technica AT-LP60 or Pro-Ject Essential III offer good value for the money. For a bit more investment, the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon or Rega Planar 2 provide improved sound quality and build construction.

For the ultimate listening experience, high-end turntables like the Clearaudio Concept Wood or Technics SL-1200GR offer unparalleled sound reproduction and advanced features.

Remember to properly maintain your turntable by keeping it clean, handling records with care, and storing them appropriately. Consider additional accessories like speakers and a dedicated phono preamp to optimize your audio setup.

Ultimately, the amount you should spend on a good turntable depends on your budget, preferences, and commitment to the vinyl listening experience. By carefully considering these factors and exploring the options available, you can find a turntable that brings your music collection to life and allows you to appreciate the warmth and authenticity of vinyl.

Now, it’s time to immerse yourself in the world of turntables and start enjoying the magic of vinyl records!

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