Best Turntable Under 1000 – The Ultimate Buying Guide

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We all know that nowadays everything is becoming digital, but this doesn’t mean that records are dead. Vinyl is becoming more and more popular every day because of its warm, all-natural sound that no digital form can reproduce.

If you’re looking to get into vinyl, the first thing that you need is a turntable. This article will provide you with everything that you need to know about turntables. It will help you to find the finest turntable under 1000 dollars. It will also give tips on what are the most critical things that should be considered when buying a turntable.

How Much Do You Need To Spend?

This is probably the most critical factor that should be considered when buying a turntable, and it greatly depends on your own preferences and what type of equipment you already have (and plan to use in conjunction with your newly acquired turntable). The price range for turntables ranges from $100-$1,000 with higher-end models usually having better sound quality and more features such as built-in speakers or USB outputs. 

If you are willing to spend up to $1000 for your turntable, you can expect high-end cartridges and advanced engineering that would put cheaper ‘tables to shame. I want to mention that in this price range plenty of models won’t feature a built-in preamp and are meant to be paired with an external one.

Which Are The Best Turntables Under $1000?

ImageNameOur RatingPrice
Rega RP3 Turntable with RB303 Tonearm (Cool Grey)Rega RP3 Turntable with RB303 Tonearm (Cool Grey)
9.7
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Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO, Audiophile Turntable with Carbon Fiber tonearmPro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO, Audiophile Turntable with Carbon Fiber tonearm
9.5
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Pioneer DJ PLX-1000 Direct-drivePioneer DJ PLX-1000 Direct-drive
9.1
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Rega Planar 2 Turntable with RB220 tonearmRega Planar 2 Turntable with RB220 tonearm
8.8
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Audio-Technica AT-LP7 Fully Manual Belt-DriveAudio-Technica AT-LP7 Fully Manual Belt-Drive
8.6
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Denon DP-450USB Semi-Automatic USBDenon DP-450USB Semi-Automatic USB
8.2
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Yamaha MusicCast Vinyl 500 Wi-FiYamaha MusicCast Vinyl 500 Wi-Fi
8
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Reloop 8000 MK2  Hybrid Turntable InstrumentReloop 8000 MK2 Hybrid Turntable Instrument
7.7
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Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB-BK Direct-DriveAudio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB-BK Direct-Drive
7.4
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TEAC TN-550B Turntable in Black MarbleTEAC TN-550B Turntable in Black Marble
7.2
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Last update on 30th November 2021 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Things to Consider When Buying a Turntable

Playback speeds

The first thing that you should know about turntables is which speeds it supports and what those speeds actually mean. There aren’t a lot of speeds that modern turntables support: 33⅓, 45 and 78 RPM – the principle at work here is quite simple – the higher the number, the faster your platter spins. The 33⅓ RPM speed is used to play albums, and the higher RPM speeds are designed for singles.

A turntable’s platter spins at a constant speed, so you can change the speed of playback by changing how fast or slow it spins. You should also know that not all turntables support all these speeds, and even those that do might not necessarily do it well (mainly because of the stylus, but also because of cuing and tracking force).

Cartridge

A high-quality stylus is crucial to your sound – don’t buy cheap ones, because they will ruin both your records and your listening experience. So what exactly makes a high-quality cartridge? Well, the ultimate goal is to have a stylus that offers low distortion and minimal wear. The greater the quality of your stylus, the more detail you will hear in your music.

You find two types of cartridges: moving magnets and moving coil. The moving coil cartridge is more expensive and offers better sound quality, but it’s also more difficult to find than the typical moving magnet. Cartridges can be replaced (not easily) but that’s not something that you should do unless you know what you are doing. The stylus is the only part that should be replaced regularly – it wears off over time and this greatly affects the sound.

Drive Type

When talking about how a turntable works, the first thing that comes to mind is its drive system. In this context, the drive system refers to how the platter is powered. The two most common types of power used in turntables are belt-drive and direct-drive.

The direct drive refers to a turntable where the platter is directly driven by a motor. It’s called direct drive because it works in a straight line. This is because the same type of force that powers your record player is what controls the speed of your platter.

The belt drive, on the other hand, employs a belt that’s attached to a motor. It’s the rotation of the belt is that actually moves your platter. The belt acts as a medium between the motor and your platter, which affects the sound quality.

The debate between audiophiles is whether a belt drive or direct drive gives you a better sound. While the answer isn’t straightforward, a lot of people still think that a belt drive provides better quality. To be honest, it comes down to personal preference and your specific turntable.

What you might have to consider is maintenance. Since a belt drive needs to be replaced, it might be easier for you to get your money’s worth if you choose a direct-drive turntable.

Connectivity

Your turntable needs to be connected to a different set of speakers and an amplifier – the latter controls the volume that you hear. For this, you will need cables or wires that can transfer sound from your turntable to your output device (if it’s a surround sound system, for example).

These components don’t come in one package, so you may have to buy a separate speaker system and amplifier. This also means that you can use your turntable with a wide range of different speakers – just make sure that they have the same output system.

There are models on the market that feature built-in speakers, and they are commonly referred to as record players instead of turntables. They are way cheaper and I would consider them a worthwhile introduction to the world of vinyl.

Some turntables come equipped with Bluetooth technology that allows you to connect to Bluetooth speakers wirelessly. You can get rid of your cables with this option!

USB and Analog to Digital Conversion

If you are also planning to digitize your records, the USB output is a handy feature to have. The technology itself isn’t anything revolutionary, but it’s still something that you should consider if you want to preserve your record collection. This feature allows you to easily connect your turntable to your computer (or any other device) and make high-quality digital copies of your records.

Keep in mind that the outcome of this technique can greatly vary. Some people claim that it distorts the sound quality, but you’ll need to do your research and compare different products before you make any decisions.

Automatic, Semi-automatic, or Manual Tonearms

This refers to the movement of the tonearm – it’s what controls the location and speed of the stylus.

There are three common types: Automatic, Semi-automatic, and Manual. The first two will automatically drop down your tonearm and start playing as soon as you put a record on the platter. Manual tonearms require you to manually place the needle on the vinyl and start playing – it’s probably the tonearm that appeals to purists.

This is also where you’ll have to make a compromise depending on what features are available in your price range. Automatic tonearms are convenient because they provide added convenience, but they are also pricier to maintain. This decision really comes down to your personal preference, I personally like to control the playback process.

Room Acoustics

A quality turntable won’t provide any value if it doesn’t have an enjoyable sound experience in the room that you are in. Just because you have a high-end vinyl collection, there is no reason for it to sound terrible!

You probably already know this, but sound quality can be affected by the size of your room. It’s also important to consider the material that your floor is made out of. Some floors will make it sound like you’re listening inside a tin can; while others might add too many reverberations and distort the original sound.

You can use your best judgment to determine if the flooring of the room is optimal, or you could just move on and buy a solid wood stand to support your turntable. This will improve sound quality by reducing vibrations in the floor that could interfere with your record player’s needle!

FAQ

Q. What is the difference between an automatic and semi-automatic turntable?

A. Automatic turntables require you to lift up the tonearm and place it on the record manually – this step is done for you in semi-automatic turntables.


Q. How will room acoustics affect my vinyl player?

A. The size of the room that you are in can seriously affect sound quality – it’s best to consider this before purchasing your record player because it could make or break your experience!


Q. What does the signal-to-noise ratio mean?

A. The signal-to-noise ratio is the amount of background noise that you hear compared to the actual sound – a higher number means that it’s easier for you to enjoy your vinyl collection.


Q. What are some tips for improving sound quality?

A. There are several things that you can do to improve sound quality, including the material of the flooring and using an equalizer to enhance certain frequencies. You can also look into purchasing a wood record player stand to reduce noise interference!


Q. What does a USB port do?

A. A USB port allows you to easily connect your turntable to your computer and make high-quality digital copies of your records!