Immersing yourself into the hobby of vinyl collecting is a very exciting thing, especially since there are so many reasons to love the aspect of collecting records. However, one thing that's just as important as collecting the music you love is finding the best player to play your discs!
To fully appreciate the beauty & quality of your records, we at Acetate Music would like to suggest our top five picks of players that can bring out the best playback for the records your collection.
#5: Sony PS-LX310BT
Although the Sony brand is better known for its line of televisions and gaming consoles, their entry into the hi-fi genre is surprisingly well done, as exemplified by the existence of the Sony PS-LX310 BT.
|With it's multiple features, effortless usability, and entertaining sound, the PS-LX310 BT is a no-brainer turntable that works perfectly upon taking it out of the box. This player includes bluetooth compatibility that works splendidly with your wireless headphones or speakers, along with a built-in phono pre-amp that's decent enough for the price.
|However, this wouldn't the top-pick for purists who would like to listen to immerse themselves in the full analogue experience. It's also quite difficult to find this in the Asian market as compared to other choices on this list.
#4: Audio Technica LP60X USB
Known for it's semi-portable size and user-friendly nature, the LP60X-USB is one of the best picks for a first-time player for those who are new to the hobby of vinyl.
|Cons (If Any):
|The LP60X-USB includes everything you'll need in a no-fuss setup, such as a built in phono pre-amp, a 33 & 45 RPM speed switch to play both types of records, and an Analog & USB input which you can use to convert your records into digital files on your computer.
|Despite it's simplicity compared to other higher-end choices, the LP60X-USB is an affordable, reliable, and worthwhile choice to those who want an easier time for those who want to try their hand in the world of vinyl.
#3: Pro-Ject Primary E
Pro-Ject's entry level turntable is one which is a definite bang for your buck, offering a pretty good performance in the sound quality department as it nails down the sonic basics for an enjoyable listening experience
|Cons (If Any):
|At it's affordable price that's very much worth it, the Primary-E is easy to set-up and comes with an Ortofon OM cartridge that's a welcome bonus to the set-up. It helps a lot that it's well made too, as it's biggest highlight comes from a lively and consistently enjoyable performance that doesn't ask for much fiddling from the user.
|Compared to the other picks on this list, the Primary-E isn't as stylish or pretty to look at from one's credenza or shelf. The very basic appearance isn't necessarily a bad thing, but others may find it quite drab to look at. However, it's performance outweighs this minor nitpick, even if it's worth noting that there isn't much upgrade potential or customization from this model.
#2: Audio Technica LP120X-USB
Modeled after the iconic Technics SL-1200 series, Audio Technica's efforts in replicating the stylish functionality of the former pay off with their LP120X-USB model at a very reasonable & worthy price point.
|A step-up from the AT-LP120-USB, this direct drive turntable features good playback to really bring out the quality in your records, along with adjustable dynamic anti-skate control and a built-in selectable phono preamplifier. Like the SL-1200, this player features a counterweight, pitch lock, and pitch adjust that make this worthy of use for professional DJ's as well.
|Not really a con, but buyers should be aware that this build of the record is made out of plastic, but a kind that is of sturdy material. Anti-skate feature doesn't work as well as it should, but it doesn't really take away anything from the enjoyable listening experience you'd get out of getting this turntable.
#1: Rega Planar One/P1 Plus
The multiple award-winning Planar One from the English company Rega deserves all the acclaim it's been given, as it is the best choice for a first-time turntable–considering how great the sound quality is & how easy it is to set-up and use.
|Cons (If Any):
|Made in the U.K., the quality and build of any Rega product (including the P1/P1+) is of the best standard possible. As the perfect balance between style and function, the belt-driven Planar One produces a great amount of detail with it's sound quality–giving your records perfect justice as to sounding how they should. It's a very easy set-up as well, as Rega prides itself with the plug & play design that they've become known for with this model, and the stellar handmade RB110 tonearm.
|Although not really a detracting factor per se, Rega's Planar One model requires an external phono pre-amp as it doesn't come with one built in. However, for just a little amount more, one can purchase the Planar One Plus, which already comes with it built-in for more convenient and easier connection to external speakers and etc.
Other Top Picks?
Scout around for some well functioning vintage turntables at good prices!
Some of the noteworthy older brands would be Technics, Sansui, Thorens, and Pioneer, as they are all known for sturdy, long-lasting builds, alongside the pretty good performance over the years to back it up. Of all those brands though, our personal pick at Acetate Music would be the legendary Technics SL-1200 series, particularly the MK 2 or MK 3 models.
The Technics SL-1200 series has been a staple amongst audiophiles & aficionados since 1972, well regarded by many as the "tank" of all turntables. Despite it's really heavy full-metal build, it's one of the most popular choices amongst disc jockeys who utilize it for mixing and performing at clubs or venues all around the world. At it's core though, the Technics SL-1200 series was made for audiophile quality playback that is almost unparalleled compared to other brands at it's level.
As always, when buying second-hand or vintage audio equipment, always make sure that the turntable you're getting is in good working condition!