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What Turntable Should I Use To Sample Vinyl What Turntable Should I Use To Sample Vinyl


What Turntable Should I Use To Sample Vinyl

Written by: Cynthea Reyes

Looking for the perfect turntable to sample vinyl? Discover the ideal choice for your needs and start exploring the world of vinyl sampling today.

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Welcome to the world of vinyl sampling! If you’re a music producer, DJ, or simply an avid music lover, you’ve probably heard of the term “sampling.” Sampling involves taking a portion of a sound recording, often from vinyl records, and incorporating it into a new composition. It’s a technique that has been widely used in various music genres, from hip-hop and electronic music to pop and rock.

However, when it comes to sampling vinyl, one of the most crucial factors is the quality of the turntable you use. A turntable is the centerpiece of the vinyl playback system, and it plays a vital role in capturing the nuances and details of the vinyl record. Choosing the right turntable for sampling can make a significant difference in the final result of your compositions.

In this article, we will explore the factors to consider when choosing a turntable for sampling vinyl. We’ll discuss entry-level, mid-range, and high-end turntables suitable for sampling, as well as the key features you should look for in a turntable for this purpose. Additionally, we’ll provide some helpful tips to ensure a smooth and successful vinyl sampling experience.

Whether you’re a beginner looking to dip your toes into vinyl sampling or an experienced producer in search of an upgrade, this article will equip you with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision. So, let’s dive in and discover the perfect turntable to accompany you on your vinyl sampling journey.


Understanding Sampling Vinyl

Sampling vinyl is a technique that has revolutionized the music industry, allowing artists to incorporate unique sounds and textures from classic recordings into their own compositions. But what exactly is vinyl sampling and why is it so popular?

At its core, vinyl sampling involves taking a specific section or “sample” from a vinyl record and using it as a building block in a new piece of music. These samples can range from individual drum hits and musical phrases to vocal snippets and atmospheric textures. By manipulating and recontextualizing these samples, artists have the ability to create entirely new sonic landscapes and breathe life into their tracks.

One of the main reasons why vinyl sampling is so revered is the inherent warm and organic sound that vinyl records offer. Vinyl records capture sound through analog technology, resulting in a rich and textured audio experience that digital formats often struggle to replicate. This distinct sonic character adds depth, personality, and nostalgia to the sampled elements, giving the overall composition a unique and authentic feel.

Additionally, vinyl sampling allows artists to pay homage to their musical influences and explore different genres. By incorporating samples from various vinyl records, producers can create seamless blends of different styles and eras. This cross-pollination of musical ideas and cultures is what has fueled the growth and popularity of sampling in the music landscape.

It’s important to note that sampling vinyl is not just limited to musicians and producers. DJs also play a significant role in utilizing sampled vinyl in their performances. DJs often use turntables and mixers to manipulate and blend vinyl samples on the fly, creating dynamic and captivating live sets.

Sampling vinyl is not without its challenges, though. Getting clean and high-quality samples from vinyl records requires a reliable and accurate turntable. The choice of turntable can significantly impact the sound quality and overall sampling experience. In the following sections, we’ll delve into the important factors to consider when selecting a turntable for vinyl sampling.


Factors to Consider in Choosing a Turntable for Sampling

When it comes to selecting a turntable for vinyl sampling, there are several key factors that you should take into consideration. These factors will ensure that you choose a turntable that meets your specific sampling needs and provides you with the best possible sound quality. Let’s explore these factors in detail:

  1. Build Quality and Stability: Sampling often involves precise needle placement and tracking, so it’s essential to choose a turntable that is built sturdily and offers stable playback. Look for turntables that are made of high-quality materials and are designed to minimize vibrations to prevent any interference in the sound reproduction.
  2. Tonearm and Cartridge: The tonearm is responsible for holding the cartridge, which houses the needle that tracks the grooves on the vinyl record. A well-designed and balanced tonearm, coupled with a high-quality cartridge, will ensure accurate tracking and superior sound reproduction. Consider turntables that offer adjustable tracking force and anti-skate features to fine-tune the performance for sampling purposes.
  3. Speed Variation: Vinyl records are typically played at two rotational speeds: 33 1/3 RPM and 45 RPM. Some turntables also offer the option to play 78 RPM records. Depending on the type of vinyl records you plan to sample, make sure the turntable you choose offers the appropriate speed variations.
  4. Connectivity Options: Sampling often involves connecting the turntable to external audio interfaces, mixers, or computers. Ensure that the turntable you choose has the necessary connectivity options for seamless integration into your existing setup. Look for options like USB, RCA, or XLR outputs, depending on your specific requirements.
  5. Wow and Flutter: Wow and flutter refer to the speed inconsistencies of a turntable’s rotation. High wow and flutter values can negatively impact the accuracy of the sample playback, leading to pitch fluctuations and distortion. Look for turntables with low wow and flutter specifications to maintain the integrity of your samples.
  6. Sampling Precision: Accurate needle placement is crucial in vinyl sampling to capture the desired sample section precisely. Look for turntables that offer smooth and precise cueing mechanisms, allowing you to navigate the grooves with ease and precision. Additionally, features like pitch control and reverse play can provide additional flexibility for sampling purposes.

By considering these factors and choosing a turntable that excels in these areas, you’ll ensure a reliable and consistent sampling experience with superior sound quality. Now that we’ve discussed the factors to consider, let’s explore some recommended turntables for vinyl sampling across different price ranges.


Entry-Level Turntables for Vinyl Sampling

If you’re just starting your journey into vinyl sampling or have a limited budget, there are excellent entry-level turntables available that can fulfill your sampling needs. These turntables provide solid performance and reliable sound quality without breaking the bank. Here are a few recommendations:

  1. Audio-Technica AT-LP60X: The Audio-Technica AT-LP60X is a popular choice among beginners. It offers automatic operation, making it easy to use for those new to vinyl and sampling. The built-in phono preamp allows you to connect directly to your audio interface or mixer. It also features a replaceable stylus, allowing for easy maintenance.
  2. Pro-Ject Essential III: The Pro-Ject Essential III is a well-regarded entry-level turntable that punches above its price range. It delivers excellent sound quality and features a streamlined design. The tonearm is equipped with an Ortofon OM10 cartridge, providing accurate needle tracking for sampling purposes. It also offers a built-in phono preamp and a USB output for easy connectivity.
  3. Denon DP-300F: The Denon DP-300F is a fully automatic turntable that is ideal for beginners. It features a smooth and precise tonearm mechanism, ensuring accurate sampling. The built-in phono preamp allows for convenient connection to external audio devices. The sleek design and solid build quality make it an attractive option in the entry-level segment.
  4. TEAC TN-300: The TEAC TN-300 is a versatile and stylish turntable that offers both manual and automatic operation modes. It features a smooth belt-drive system and a high-performance Audio-Technica AT95E cartridge for accurate sampling. The built-in phono preamp and USB output provide flexibility in audio connectivity options.
  5. Pioneer PLX-500: The Pioneer PLX-500 is a great entry-level turntable designed for both home listening and vinyl sampling. It offers excellent sound quality and features a high-torque direct drive motor for stable and consistent rotation. The integrated USB output allows for easy digital recording of your samples.

These entry-level turntables provide a solid starting point for your vinyl sampling journey. They offer reliable performance, essential features, and good sound quality without breaking the bank. However, if you’re looking to step up your sampling game and have a bit more budget to spare, mid-range turntables offer even more advanced features and enhanced sonic capabilities.


Mid-Range Turntables for Vinyl Sampling

If you’re ready to take your vinyl sampling to the next level and have a bit more flexibility in your budget, mid-range turntables offer a significant upgrade in performance and features. These turntables provide superior sound quality, enhanced build quality, and advanced capabilities for sampling purposes. Here are some top recommendations:

  1. Rega Planar 3: The Rega Planar 3 is a highly regarded turntable known for its exceptional sound quality and precision. It features a lightweight and rigid tonearm for accurate needle tracking and a high-quality cartridge for detailed sampling. The solid build construction and vibration-resistant design contribute to its outstanding sonic performance.
  2. Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo: The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo is a versatile turntable that offers a fantastic balance between performance and price. It features a carbon fiber tonearm and an advanced Ortofon 2M Red cartridge, delivering excellent tracking and detail retrieval for sampling. The heavy platter and anti-vibration feet contribute to its stability and sound quality.
  3. Technics SL-1500C: The Technics SL-1500C is a direct-drive turntable that combines vintage aesthetics with modern features. It boasts a high-torque motor for accurate and stable rotation, ensuring precise sampling. The built-in phono preamp and the Ortofon 2M Red cartridge provide exceptional sound quality. Additionally, the auto-lift and auto-return feature allows for hassle-free sample extraction.
  4. Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB: The Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB is a versatile turntable that offers a range of features at an affordable price. It features a direct-drive motor for consistent rotation and pitch control for precise sampling. The built-in phono preamp and USB output provide convenience in connectivity options. The AT95E cartridge delivers excellent sound quality and tracking capabilities.
  5. Pro-Ject X1: The Pro-Ject X1 is a premium mid-range turntable that offers exceptional performance and high-end features. It features a rigid and resonance-absorbing construction for accurate sound reproduction. The electronic speed control ensures precise sampling, and the highly regarded Ortofon Quintet Red cartridge delivers detailed and nuanced audio. It is a turntable that will satisfy the most discerning vinyl sampling enthusiasts.

These mid-range turntables provide a significant upgrade in performance and feature set compared to entry-level options. They deliver superior sound quality, advanced tracking capabilities, and enhanced components for a more refined sampling experience. However, if you’re looking for the utmost in audio fidelity and are willing to invest in a top-of-the-line turntable, high-end options are the way to go.


High-End Turntables for Vinyl Sampling

If you are a serious vinyl sampling enthusiast or a professional producer looking for the best possible sound quality and precision in your sampling endeavors, high-end turntables are the ultimate choice. These turntables offer unparalleled performance, meticulous craftsmanship, and exceptional engineering to elevate your sampling experience to new heights. Here are some top recommendations in the high-end category:

  1. Technics SL-1200G: The Technics SL-1200G is a legendary turntable that has withstood the test of time. Renowned for its iconic design and exceptional sound quality, it embodies the pinnacle of vinyl playback technology. It features a direct-drive motor system with advanced components for precise sampling. The build quality is second to none, ensuring stability and minimizing vibrations for the most accurate sound reproduction.
  2. Rega RP10: The Rega RP10 is a flagship turntable that pushes the boundaries of performance. It features a unique skeletal plinth design to minimize resonances and provide a rigid base for precise tracking. The RB2000 tonearm and the Apheta 2 cartridge deliver incredible detail and soundstage for sampling purposes. Each RP10 is meticulously hand-assembled to ensure the highest level of craftsmanship.
  3. Clearaudio Innovation Compact: The Clearaudio Innovation Compact is a high-end turntable that combines cutting-edge technology with exceptional build quality. It features a friction-free magnetic bearing, ensuring accurate and smooth rotation. The tonearm features adjustable azimuth, VTA, and accurate cartridge alignment for precise needle tracking. The result is an incredibly detailed and dynamic sound reproduction that is ideal for vinyl sampling.
  4. VPI Prime: The VPI Prime is a reference-quality turntable built with meticulous attention to detail. It features a 10-inch gimbal tonearm and an ultra-rigid aluminum plinth to minimize resonances. The magnetic anti-skate and the highly regarded Grado cartridge provide precise tracking and unparalleled sound quality. The VPI Prime is handcrafted in the USA and represents the pinnacle of American ingenuity in turntable manufacturing.
  5. SME Model 30/12: The SME Model 30/12 is an engineering marvel that sets the standard for turntable technology. It boasts an ultra-rigid and vibration-damping plinth, combined with a highly precise and adjustable tonearm. The precision-engineered bearings and the premium cartridge offer pristine sound reproduction that captures every detail of the vinyl samples with exceptional accuracy and clarity.

These high-end turntables represent the epitome of vinyl sampling performance. They embody the highest level of craftsmanship, engineering, and attention to detail, resulting in a sampling experience that is unmatched in terms of sound quality and precision. While they come at a premium price, they are an investment that will provide you with a timeless and extraordinary vinyl sampling experience.


Key Features to Look for in a Turntable for Sampling

Choosing the right turntable for sampling vinyl is crucial to ensure accurate sound reproduction and a seamless sampling process. Here are some key features to consider when selecting a turntable for sampling:

  1. Sturdy Build and Stability: Look for turntables with solid construction and minimal vibrations, as this ensures stable playback and prevents any interference in the sound reproduction during sampling.
  2. Precise Tracking and Tonearm: An accurate and well-designed tonearm is essential for precise tracking of the needle on the vinyl record. Look for turntables with high-quality tonearms that offer precise tracking force adjustment and anti-skate mechanisms.
  3. Adjustable Speed Variation: Vinyl records are typically played at 33 1/3 and 45 RPM. Some turntables also offer the option to play 78 RPM records. Ensure that the turntable you choose provides adjustable speed variation to accommodate different vinyl formats.
  4. Flexible Connectivity: Sampling often requires connecting the turntable to external audio interfaces, mixers, or computers. Look for turntables that offer a range of connectivity options, such as USB, RCA, and XLR outputs, to ensure effortless integration with your existing setup.
  5. Low Wow and Flutter: Wow and flutter refer to speed inconsistencies in a turntable’s rotation, which can impact sound quality and sample accuracy. Choose a turntable with low wow and flutter specifications to maintain the integrity of your samples.
  6. Smooth Cueing and Pitch Control: Accurate needle placement is crucial for capturing precise sample sections. Look for turntables with smooth cueing mechanisms and pitch control features, which allow for seamless navigation through the vinyl grooves and precise control over playback speed.
  7. High-Quality Cartridge: The cartridge houses the needle that tracks the grooves on the vinyl record. Opt for turntables that come equipped with high-quality cartridges known for accurate tracking and excellent sound reproduction.
  8. Convenient Maintenance: Vinyl sampling can put some wear and tear on the turntable’s stylus. Consider turntables with user-replaceable styli or cartridges, as this allows for easy maintenance and ensures consistent sampling performance.

By considering these key features, you can choose a turntable that meets your specific sampling needs and delivers the best sound quality and functionality for your vinyl sampling endeavors. Keep in mind that the specific features you prioritize may vary depending on your preferences and budget.


Tips for Sampling Vinyl with Different Turntables

When it comes to sampling vinyl, the turntable you use plays a crucial role in capturing accurate sound and ensuring a smooth sampling process. Here are some tips to help you make the most out of different types of turntables:

Entry-Level Turntables:

  • Ensure proper setup: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to set up your entry-level turntable correctly. Ensure the turntable is on a stable surface and adjust the tracking force and anti-skate settings as recommended.
  • Handle records with care: Entry-level turntables may not have the most sophisticated tonearm suspension systems. Handle your vinyl records gently to prevent unnecessary wear and tear, and minimize the risk of skipping or distortion during sampling.
  • Monitor sound quality: While entry-level turntables can provide satisfactory sound quality, it’s important to periodically check and adjust the tracking force and anti-skate settings to maintain accurate playback and minimize any potential degradation of sound quality over time.

Mid-Range Turntables:

  • Use a record weight: Consider using a record weight on your mid-range turntable to provide additional stability during sampling. This helps improve the contact between the stylus and the record, resulting in enhanced tracking and sound quality.
  • Experiment with different cartridges: Mid-range turntables often allow for cartridge upgrades. Consider experimenting with different cartridges to find one that best suits your sampling preferences and provides the desired tonal characteristics for your samples.
  • Clean your vinyl records: As mid-range turntables offer better sound reproduction, it becomes even more important to keep your vinyl records clean. Regularly clean your records using a carbon fiber brush or a record cleaning machine to eliminate dust and dirt that can cause noise and affect the sampling quality.

High-End Turntables:

  • Isolate from vibrations: High-end turntables are highly sensitive to vibrations. Invest in a quality turntable mat and consider using isolation platforms or stands to minimize external vibrations that can impact the sound quality during sampling.
  • Upgrade cables and accessories: Consider investing in high-quality cables and accessories, such as interconnect cables and grounding cables, to further enhance the signal transfer and reduce interference. These upgrades can improve the overall sound quality of your samples.
  • Take care of the stylus: High-end turntables often come with delicate and precision stylus assemblies. Handle the stylus with great care, and avoid subjecting it to unnecessary stress or impact. Regularly clean the stylus using a stylus brush or cleaning solution to keep it free from debris.

Remember, regardless of the type of turntable you use, always sample responsibly and only use copyrighted material in accordance with legal regulations and permissions. Sampling vinyl is not only a creative endeavor but can also be an educational exploration of music history and a way to pay homage to influential artists.



Choosing the right turntable for sampling vinyl is a critical step in ensuring accurate sound reproduction and a rewarding sampling experience. Whether you’re a beginner just starting out or a seasoned producer looking for an upgrade, understanding the factors to consider and the features to look for in a turntable is key.

Entry-level turntables provide a solid starting point, offering reliable performance and essential features for sampling. Mid-range turntables elevate your sampling capabilities with higher-quality components and advanced features. High-end turntables, on the other hand, deliver unparalleled performance and craftsmanship for the most discerning sampling enthusiasts.

Regardless of the type of turntable you choose, there are key factors to consider, such as build quality, stability, tonearm performance, speed variation, connectivity options, wow and flutter specifications, and sampling precision. These factors ensure accurate sound reproduction and a seamless sampling process.

Remember to handle your vinyl records with care, keep them clean, and experiment with different cartridges or accessories to enhance your sampling results. Additionally, always follow legal regulations and obtain necessary permissions when sampling copyrighted material.

Sampling vinyl opens up a world of creativity and gives you the opportunity to transform classic recordings into something new and unique. With the right turntable, you can capture the warmth, texture, and character that vinyl records offer, and incorporate them seamlessly into your compositions.

Whether you’re a music producer, DJ, or dedicated music enthusiast, choosing the right turntable for sampling will enhance your creative process and enable you to create captivating and memorable compositions. So, take your time, explore the options, and embark on an exciting journey of vinyl sampling.

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