For a long time, Vinyl disappeared due to cassettes and CDS. Now it is so easy to stream, listen and download music online. However, in recent years Vinyl has been making a comeback, this could be because more of us want to hold the music in our hands and look at the beautiful cover art.
Perhaps it’s the fact that listening to our favourite artists has a better quality and experience on Vinyl. Whatever the reason, the demand for Vinyl’s isn’t slowing down and neither is the demand for turntables.
There are many turntables on the market, depending on your budget. With so many different turntable options out there, it can be scary trying to figure out which turntable will be the right one for you. Different turntables vary in the features they offer, which can make choosing the right one a hard choice. In this article we have collected the best turntables under $1000 on the market right now.
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The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO is the latest turntable of the Debut line. It is lightweight and extremely easy to put together. It comes with three adjustable damped aluminium feet that create the perfect stand on any surface. The Debut Carbon EVO features a new motor suspension which reduces the vibrations better than before.
With this Debut turntable there is now a new addition of a rocker switch on the bottom of the deck. This switch allows you to easily adjust the rotation speed, without having to manually readjust the belt yourself.
This turntable also has an 8’6” one piece Carbon tonearm design; this stiff yet lightweight tonearm gives you the best sound quality. With also an added TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) ring on the inside of the platter, this results in a noiseless operation so you can enjoy your music more.
This turntable has a clean look about it. It has many options for you to choose from like a wood veneer or a gloss in white, red or black. Yet this turntable is also available in five satin finishes: black, white, yellow, blue and green. It also comes with a free dust jacket so you can keep your turntable clean and ready to be used next time.
- Easy set up – Only takes a couple of minutes and comes with a guide to help you get it right.
- No motor noise – it’s easy to listen to and picks up all the details on your Vinyl.
- Adjustable feet – three large feet which give a steady base and suitable for most surfaces. It also allows you to position your turntable the way you want to.
- Simple design – With a crisp and minimal look, it doesn’t look like much for your money but what you are paying for can’t be seen.
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Rega has a series of turntables, each one in the series looks the same, but with a few adjustments to make your listening experience better. The most noticeable difference between Planar 1 and 2, is that Planar 2 has a 10mm thick glass platter instead of phenolic plastic. The glass makes the turntable look classier and improves the speed accuracy.
The Planar 2 is ideal for newcomers to turntables, who want to enjoy their vinyls with minimal fuss. The Planar 2 is fitted with Rega’s new RB220 tonearm which features new ultra-low friction ball bearings, a stiffer bearing housing and an automatic bias setting. This means that this turntable is easy to use by just plugging it in and playing.
The on/off switch is on the left underside of the plinth. This turntable comes with a 24v low-noise motor, which has an automatic cooling function. The Rega Planar 2 has a sleek design with new designed feet to make the deck more stable. It is a high performing deck at a competitive price.
- Easy set up – Requires minimal effort to set up, ideal for newcomers.
- Sleek Design – Glass platter and a sleek but simple design that can fit in everyone’s home.
- Glass Platter – Using glass instead of plastic improves the speed accuracy, while adding to the style of the turntable.
- No Speed Change – There is no button to change the speed, unlike other turntables, so you must manually change the speed when necessary.
- No phono stage – There isn’t a built-in phono stage, so the turntable needs to be hooked up to a stereo amplifier that has one or you will need to buy a separate one.
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Pro-ject has dominated the market for years and is known for their budget turntables. The 1Xpression Carbon looks expensive and stylish. In appearance it is clear that it has been built with high quality materials. It has been designed with an advanced belt drive system and uses an AC motor which is quiet. The platter is made up of a complex design of layers of various materials.
The tonearm is made from carbon fibre and a 2m silver cartridge is supplied for the best sound. This turntable is made with TPE insulating feet that remove any sounds made from vibrations. The Pro-ject 1Xpression Carbon has all the high end features you are looking for, which helps maximize your music and listening experience. This has been built using high quality materials with attention to every detail.
- DC/AC generator – With this generator it delivers clean and stable power to the quiet running motor. As a result, this gives a better performance than just a direct AC motor.
- High Quality – All the features could be done cheaper but using high quality materials it gives a better sound for music lovers and their money.
- Adjustable feet – Aluminium feet are used to massively reduce the risk of acoustical feedback.
- Simple design – Simple but attractive and classy design that can be seen in every home.
- Manual Unit – It may take you a bit of time to understand this turntable and to get the best out of it.
- No speed change button – This turntable only sports two speeds (33-1/3 and 45) which must be manually changed.
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The Denon VL12 Prime is the perfect turntable for DJs as this turntable provides all the adjustments and controls that a DJ longs for and needs. At first glance it looks like most other turntables but up close you can see it has been designed to be rotated 90 degrees (for battle mode) with cables strategically placed.
This turntable comes with a brushed black steel top and a solid base. It also has a multi-color LED ring and backlight buttons, so you can see what you are doing in the dark or in the club. The Denon VL12 Prime also offers you an isolated motor design which eliminates all unwanted vibration. It also comes with two motor settings of high and low.
Compared to other turntables, the Denon has USB capabilities and an easy setup for ripping audio. This turntable is easy to set up with no complex parts to add and the cartridge is already installed. This is perfect for converting old records and for music producers who want to sample vinyl. The semi-automatic design protects your records, as it is designed to automatically lift when the record has finished. This turntable is great for all music lovers.
- Easy setup – Everything is ready to go out of the box, with the cartridge already installed.
- Semi-automatic design – Your records are protected, because this turntable is designed to automatically lift when the record has finished.
- Tracking tonearm – This tonearm designed to provide clearer audio.
- Cartridge Quality – The cartridge which is installed is arguably not quite as high-quality as some of the other options
- No Dust Cover – Denon have decided against a dust cover with this model which could compromise the durability of the table over time.
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The Fluance RT85 High Fidelity Turntable is a semi-automatic turntable for all music lovers. Once the tonearm reaches the end of the record it will automatically stop the motor after 20 to 30 seconds. A convenient feature if you are someone who likes to play your vinyl in the background. However, you can switch this function off by using the button on the turntable’s back panel.
This is an ideal turntable for someone who is new to the turntable world. Fluance includes everything you’ll need to get your turntable up and running as quickly as possible. The turntable’s plinth is made from MDF (medium-density fibreboard), and it comes in a choice of black or walnut veneer. The tone arm is set up at the factory, and the Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge is pre-installed on the head shell when you unpack the turntable.
It even comes with a 45 adapter and a bubble level to make sure the turntable is at the perfect level. There are also three vibration-dampening, adjustable feet that help balance the turntable. Everything you will need is included in the box.
- Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge – Provides better quality and there is less chance of distortion when playing your records.
- Isolated Motor – This prevents unwanted noise and vibrations while in use.
- Easy set up – The turntable is almost ready to use out of the box, very little assembly required.
- Isolation Feet – Built with isolation feet that absorb and reduce contact between the turntable and the surface, thus reducing unwanted vibrations when in use.
- No phono preamp – There isn’t a built-in phono preamp, so the turntable needs to be hooked up to a stereo amplifier that has one or you will need to buy a separate one.
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The Audio-Technica AT-LP7 is a step up in your entry level turntables. It has a simple yet sleek design like a lot of turntables on this list. The LP7 has a thick black slab for a plinth with a black platter, round black feet, and a black J-shaped tonearm. With a fully removable dust-cover.
The round feet help reduce any unwanted vibrations effectively, while also adjustable to the height you want for the perfect levelling. There is a switch to adjust the speed for 33 or 45 rpm, which is a plus as some turntables don’t have this option. Yet this is a manual turntable so there is no auto lift or shut off at the end of your vinyl.
However, the LP7 is already fitted with the VM520EB cartridge when you open the box, which means set up is made even easier and you should get to listening to your music within 15 minutes.
- VM520EB Cartridge – This cartridge provides a very high standard and quality of sound when in use.
- Anti-resonance platter – The platter has been designed to not produce any buzz or any other resonant sounds so you can just focus on the music.
- Stable – The platter and the three feet make this a very stable turntable with vibrations almost nonexistent.
- Setup takes a bit of effort – Compared to other turntables this one takes a little longer to set up. Also, this turns table doesn’t come with a tracking-force gauge and a bubble level. If this is your first turntable it may be worth buying in beforehand as it’ll make setting your turntable up easier.
- Fully Manual – There is no auto life or shut off at the end of your vinyl, you must be aware when your vinyl is about to finish.
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Teac was established over 60 years ago in Japan where it is still based today. Made with unusual materials, the platter is made of an acrylic plate and the plinth is made from marble. Also, with an S-shaped tonearm with a cue lever and speed selector. Teac have done their best to create a visually pleasing turntable that will turn heads but still has great quality too.
The Teac TN-550 produces crisp and warm audio no matter what genre it is playing. It focuses on giving you the best sound experience that many of its competitors struggle to match. It doesn’t have a range of extras like other turntables on this list but its focus is on producing quality sound. For those who are just here for the sound, then this is the perfect turntable for you.
- Quality – Made from transparent acrylic and solid marble and adaptors finished with aluminium for a stylish design. That gives this turntable a premium feel.
- Perfect Sound Quality – Vibrations are at a minimum thanks to the acrylic platter which helps suppress them.
- Great Experience – Listening tests have proved that this turntable makes all genres sound good.
- No extras – There are no added extras with this turntable, instead it focuses just on the sound quality.
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Music Hall is known for making quality turntables and other audio equipment. The electronics are designed and developed in China and the turntables manufactured in the Czech Republic. The MMF 5.3 is a two-speed belt driven turntable that is easy to set up. With the Ortofon 2M blue cartridge pre-installed when you open the box.
This turntable is built with the platter, cartridge and tonearm isolated away from the motor and the wiring is mounted below. This helps decrease the chance of any excess vibration. The finish of this turntable is a high gloss and a dust cover is provided which helps protect your turntable.
The Music Hall MMF 5.3 is a quality machine that produces great results and you’ll love spinning your vinyls on this table. Great for beginners thanks to its simple set up as you’ll be playing your music within minutes.
- Easy Set-up – Very little assembly required and the cartridge is pre-mounted and assembled.
- Quality Finish – With a carbon fibre tonearm and a high gloss finish, giving it an attractive look.
- Minimal Vibrations – Vibration damping adjustable feet are built in to help reduce vibrations and get your turntable to the perfect level.
- Anti-skate mechanism – Some customers have mentioned how this does not allow for precise adjustment.
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The Pioneer Pro DJ PLX-100 is a versatile turntable that can be used for playing your vinyl’s and DJing. This is a durable and easy to use turntable, making it suitable for beginners. What this turntable differs from others is that you can upgrade and customise this turntable to your liking.
However, this turntable doesn’t come with a phono preamp so you need to buy one separately. Also, it doesn’t usually have its own stylus or cartridge which you will need to buy yourself. There are tempo controls and a heavy-mass, die-cast chassis which prevents resonance and vibrations, giving you the best sound possible.
This is a great turntable for someone who wants customise and make their turntable their own.
- Tempo Controls – You can instantly pick up or slow down the track to +/-8%, +/-16%, while a simple reset button instantly reverts to +/-0%.
- Great Sound Quality – A heavy mass chassis prevents vibrations that could affect your listening experience.
- Stylish Design – A simple but sleek design with smooth controls that creates the perfect turntable for an aspiring DJ.
- No cartridge – You must buy your own cartridge as there isn’t one supplied.
- Heavy – Weighing at around 23lbs, this turntable is quite heavy so you may not want to move it around a lot.
From this list you can see that you have plenty of choice when looking for the best turntable under $1000. For a long time, a lot of us forgot about vinyl but now they have made a comeback and as a result there is a vast range of turntables to choose from.
There are a lot of similarities between all these turntables with only a few differences that separate them apart. Which table you decide to choose depends on your preferences and will it fit the style of the room in which it will be placed.
The main things to consider when buying any turntable is the sound quality and the cartridge. The cartridge is one of the most important things to look into because it is important to have a good one. Most of the turntables on the list come with a cartridge but if you don’t like the cartridge that is supplied you can change it out for one you prefer.
Belt or Direct Drive?
Both have advantages and disadvantages but really it comes down to personal preference. Belt drives can absorb some of the movement from the motor and not transmit those movements to the platter.
Direct drives, however, are preferred by most DJ’s due to reliability, reduced flutter, and the ability to spin backwards. So, it really depends on your intention with the turntable, is it just for personal listening use or for DJing.
There are a range of other considerations to think about like if you want your turntable to have a preamp. Most modern amplifiers don’t have phono input so you would need a preamp. Many tables come with internal amps, but external amps generally sound better (but can cost more).
The plinth is designed so it doesn’t taint your sound and the speed is reliable, a heavier platter is seen as better. This helps avoid wow and flutter and you should aim for a table with a low wow and flutter ratio.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do expensive turntables sound better?
There is a noticeable sound difference between a cheap and an expensive turntable. A cheap turntable can sound good but sometimes the more money you spend you can get a better-quality sound that sounds more detailed and authentic. It does depend on your budget but you can get some good-sounding turntables for less than you think. It all depends on the cartridge you are using and the plinth and platter which absorbs the vibrations.
Finding a good turntable under $1000 is easier than you may think. Some brands are definitely seen better than others. The turntables that we have listed above are by far some of the best for your money right now.
Each one will give you the great sound quality and performance that you are looking for. Most have a very simple set up which is also ideal for first-time turntable buyers.