Here’s What the World Is Saying about Turntables.

This is a compilation of reviews of turntables that I’ve read throughout 2016.  Unfortunately, I don’t receive these turntables from the manufacturers for review.  My approach is to help you sort out what other recognized reviewers are saying about these products.

There are many manufacturers of turntables out there.  For most of us, cost versus quality and features is the primary consideration.  When I look at reviews, quality MUST include sound quality.  If I read “Great set of features and super portable, but the sound quality is poor”, I don’t feel this is a turntable worth considering.  The function of a turntable is to convert the grooves pressed into an album into music.  If the quality with which the turntable performs its most important function is poor, then I don’t care how many great features it has.  My IPhone has a ton of features, its super portable, but does a real crappy job of playing music through its built-in speakers.  Why would I buy a turntable that essentially has the same qualifications.

There has been a flood of vintage looking suitcase styled record players released over the past couple of years.  These have been very hot sellers.  During the Christmas rush of 2015, it was reported that HMV was selling 1 per minute of record players like the Crosley Cruiser.  I suspect most of these will be used a couple of times for their novelty and nostalgia, and then end up shelved.  They are not really, in my opinion, part of a decent audio set up.  So, you won’t see any of these on this list.

Then there are the high-end selling for $1,000 and more, or super-high-end models with selling prices north of $50,000 – many $150,000 with the Transrotors Argo coming in at $250,000 – that’s just over $1,000/kilo – yes this turntable is 220 kg.

Most of the following turntables are in the $250 – $1,000 range and readily available in most major cities in North America or through on-line purchase.

The most mentioned turntable is overwhelmingly the Audio-Technica AT-LP120 USB with a total of 7 mentions on the 11 sites referenced.

The Audio-Technica AT-LP60 was tied for second with the Pro-Ject Elemental with both receiving 5 mentions.

The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon received 4 mentions.

The Rega Planar 3 followed with 3 mentions.

The following each were noted twice across the 11 sites:

  • Audio-Technica AT-LP1240 USB
  • Pro-Ject Xpression
  • Fluance RT81
  • Stanton T62
  • VPI Prime
  • Prioneer PL-30

Here’s the list of sites visited:

Best Reviews
My Record Players
Trusted Reviews
What HiFi
Stereophile
Digital Trends
Audio Rumble
Pick My Turntable
Analogue Planet
CNET
Vinyl Harmony