Best Affordable Turntables

As of the end of 2018, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) reports that vinyl accounts for one third of all physical music sales and is at the highest point in sales since 1988. Now that you’re spending your money on vinyl records, it might be time to invest in a turntable that’ll do them some justice!

1. Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC

pro-ject debut carbon dc turntable

  • The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC comes with an 8.6” carbon tonearm, precision belt drive with synchronous motor, built-in pre-amplifier, and an increased platter size with more weight for smoother playback.
  • Keep your records safe with the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC’s felt mat, and enjoy great sound with the Ortofon 2M Red.
  • The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC is available in green, blue, piano black, purple, silver, gloss white, red, walnut, and yellow.
  • A dust cover is included.

TechRadar said “The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon is well built, beautifully designed and just sounds awesome. It’s not the most resolving turntable but you wouldn’t expect it to be at this price range. When looking at the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon as a package, it’s hard to think of another turntable in this price range that can top it.”

2. Audio-Technica ATLP120USB

audio technica turntable

  • The Audio-Technica ATLP120USB comes with a built-in pre-amplifier and USB output that connects directly to your computer for plug-and-play use.
  • The turntable utilizes a professional cast aluminum platter with slip mat and a direct drive high-torque motor with selectable 33/45/78 RPM speeds.
  • The Audio-Technica ATLP120USB is only available in its silver iteration.
  • A dust cover is included.

What HiFi said “Playing a heavyweight pressing of Four Tet’s There Is Love In You, the Audio-Technica demonstrates the sort of deft facility with timing and rhythmic organisation that makes vinyl many listeners’ format of choice. It’s a tonally even-handed listen, with low-frequency solidity, mid-range detail and top-end crispness all nicely integrated.”

3. Audio-Technica ATLP60

audio technica at-lp60 turntable

  • The Audio-Technica ATLP60 comes with a dual magnet phono cartridge with replaceable stylus, as well as a built-in pre-amplifier with line-level RCA output cables.
  • The turntable utilizes a professional cast aluminum platter with slip mat and a motor with selectable 33 and 45 RPM speeds.
  • Audio-Technica ATLP60 is only available in its silver iteration.
  • A dust cover is included.

What HiFi said “This is the cheapest turntable we’ve ever reviewed, but we really enjoyed using it and wound up playing a lot more records than we needed to — it’s that good. Warped (not flat) LPs played well, and no rumble or speed variations were audible. Record surface noises, clicks, and pops were audible, but not overly intrusive. Unlike a lot of budget turntables that sound thin and lack bass, the AT-LP60’s overall sound quality, from bass to treble, was smoothly balanced.”

4. Fluance RT81

fluance rt81 turntable

  • The Fluance RT81 is a belt-driven turntable that comes with a balanced aluminum S-Type tonearm and a built-in Texas Instruments preamp.
  • The turntable comes with isolation feet, an aluminum platter and a rubber slip mat, and uses a diamond elliptical tipped stylus.
  • The Fluance RT81 comes with either a piano black or walnut solid wood plinth.
  • A dust cover is included.

TechRadar said “All that said, the Fluance RT81 is an incredible value and is the perfect record player for vinyl newbies. It sounds good, looks great, and has convenient features that’ll keep you playing records instead of fiddling with settings. For more advanced listeners, the RT81 is still a great choice as it gives users the ability to upgrade to a better cartridge and phono preamp in the future.”

5. Rega Planar 1

rega planar 1 turntable

  • The Rega Planar 1 features a RB110 tonearm built with Rega Carbon cartridge and a new Rega designed, bespoke, zero play bearings with ultra-low friction performance.
  • The turntable features low noise, synchronous motor to reduce vibration, but does not come with a pre-amplifier.
  • The Rega Planar 1 comes with either a black or white plinth.
  • A dust cover is included.

What HiFi said “Probably the finest test of any product is how long we use it once having already come to our conclusion. In this case, the Planar 1 is still playing and proving it can turn its hand to Dmitri Shostakovich as adeptly as it does Toots and the Maytals or Charlie Parker. Even as an entry-level turntable, this is the kind of player that could feasibly be the last of your system’s components you’d feel necessary to upgrade.”

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