A Useful Buying Guide on Turntables:


Reading the best turntable reviews can get you somewhere in your journey to discovering the sheer joy of listening to vinyl records. When you’re a clueless beginner, it’s bound to be an amazing path to accumulate as much information as you can on what brand or model can deliver the best sound quality from your record collection.


Belt-Drive or Direct-Drive?

When choosing from among the featured products in the best turntable reviews, you may need to find out if a unit runs on belt drive or direct drive.

A belt drive turntable is outfitted with an independent motor driving the platter with a rubber belt. This type is not made for DJ work. Belt drive models are considered as better performers in terms of sound quality, as they produce less vibration and less noise.

A direct drive model features a motor-integrated platter. It is suitable for DJ work and sports a sturdier construction, faster start-up times and stronger torque.


Turntable Cartridge

Count yourself lucky if you get one of the top rated turntables 2019 that comes with a cartridge or needle. If not, you should determine whether you want a tonearm-mounted cartridge or one mounted to the headshell. The more expensive needles produce better sound quality, offer better tracking or riding of the record groove, have higher frequency range and greater power output.

Dj tasks require a specific type of cartridge, which can still manage records for listening purposes. A listening needle, however, won’t work for DJ performances.

Advanced users go for Moving Coil or MC cartridges. However, Moving Magnet (MM) cartridges are more widely used.


Phono Pre-amps

Hopefully, you can bag the best turntable 2019 with a built-in pre-amp. You can tell that it does via inputs marked PHONO. A model with a USB output comes with a built-in pre-amp. DJ mixers can serve as a pre-amp.

For units that need an external pre-amp, a set of cables, such as RCA cables, is required for connecting to an audio system.

Why is pre-amp so important? Old record players only produce a weak phono level signal. Basically, this is like listening to a record with the speakers turned off, where you can still faintly hear the music since the needle still rides on the record grooves. The tiny sound is phono level. Once the weak signal is plugged into a dedicated phono input on a stereo/audio system, you get a line level signal that is channeled through the system amplifier and comes out as boosted-up sound through the speakers.

Modern day stereo gear no longer has phono inputs, but features line level outputs. When checking out units in the best turntable reviews, search for the ones with a line level output, which surely have a built-in phono pre-amp.


Top Rated Turntables in 2019


People have rediscovered the delightful listening experience that can come from playing vinyl records. If you’re one of them, you probably have searched high and low for the best models by reading the best turntable reviews. The three products featured below may make the search more interesting and fruitful.


Pro-Ject – Debut Carbon


People have easily adopted to vinyl records listening despite the known costliness of the hobby, all thanks to the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon turntable. Supplied with the award-winning high-end Ortofon 2M Red cartridge, the Carbon definitely outperforms any run-of-the-mill CD player. Let the general warmth and musical flow of vinyl overwhelm you as you close your eyes and enjoy pure listening pleasure.

The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon lets you listen blissfully like the band was in your own living room. The amazing sound stage and awesome imaging captivates you endlessly, wrapping you in a cocoon of life-like sound unlike any you’ve ever heard before on a cheap CD player. Pair the unit with a good quality tubed phono preamp and you’re sure to get blown away. The image stability is fantastic, and the sense of depth and spaciousness is superb.

The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon is an upgrade to the Debut III, with the addition of a completely carbon fiber tonearm measuring 8.6 inches, which decreases unwanted resonances and pumps up stiffness. The arm-and-needle combination enables excellent tracking and recovery of the unique musical characteristics of record grooves. Dynamic shading and constancy of speed are achieved with the precision belt drive outfitted with a synchronous motor plus the weightier platter made bigger.

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Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Professional Turntable


Delivering a host of features made for genuine nightclub DJ booths, home and mobile DJ applications, the Audio-Technica AT-LP120USB Direct Drive Professional DJ Turntable connects directly to your PC for convenient plug-and-play versatility. This is the best turntable 2019 thanks to the solid cast aluminum construction with phono and line audio outputs. The unit ships with Mac- and PC-supported Audacity software that enables digitization of vinyl collections for DJs.

The high-torque, direct-drive motor includes a headshell and a professional cartridge, so you’ll have everything you need to start a heavy session of listening right out of the box. The turntable comes with selectable 33 1/3, 45 and 78 rpm speeds, as well as +/- 10% or +/- 20% pitch adjust and quartz-controlled, high-precision pitch lock, for customized and luxurious sound quality. The stroboscopic platter speed indicator makes selection easy.

The S-Shaped tone arm assembly comes with adjustable counterweight for easy placement on the record. The anti-skate adjustment, soft damping control and tone-arm height adjustment and lock ensure superb stability. Interface with Windows or Mac computers is easy due to the USB output. The turntable comes with a USB cable and a switchable built-in preamp with line-level RCA output cables for easy connection to a stereo system.

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Crosley CR8005A-TU Cruiser Portable Turntable


The design of this turntable clearly speaks of portability: it looks like a small briefcase when closed. Open it up and you’ll see the belt-driven platter geared with an NP6 cartridge, for instant vinyl listening wherever you may be. Take the pleasure of listening to vinyl with you anywhere you go. This unit plays three speeds: 33 1/3, 45 and 78 rpm speed, to ensure that your prized vinyl records get proper listening optimization.

The dynamic full range stereo speakers ensure easy listening. Why even bother getting a record player if you can’t listen right out of the box? This record player lets you enjoy pure listening bliss immediately after you take it out of the package. The RCA and headphone jack outputs offer easy connection to external speakers, if you wish, and also let you enjoy personal listening, as there are records that sound lovelier when listened to in private.

The turntable is made of wood and uses leatherette binding material for a solid build. It is lightweight, enabling hassle-free transportability. With the turntable, you can appreciate for yourself the sheer beauty of music from vinyl, as the sounds are more natural when delivered through the manual return tone arm.

Still not sure if this product is perfect for your needs? Click here to see the testimonials from previous customers!