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7 Best Turntables under $1000 – Don’t Cut Corners on Quality

There is just something wonderful about listening to music on vinyl, and some people say there is no better sounding musical format out there. The only problem, you might think, is that to get a really good player, you need shell out tons of money, right? Wrong! Here, you’ll learn everything you need to know to get your hands on the best turntable under $1000.

We left no stone unturned and spent many hours reading customer and expert reviews and digging into every detail to give you an in-depth analysis of some of the best turntables out there. In the review, we included the table with all the key features for those who have little time, as well as more detailed reviews of every turntable on our list. And finally, the easy-to-read buying guide will clue you into all of the key features you need to consider to find the best turntable.

Top 7 Turntables under $1000 in 2018

Within the table below, you’ll get a quick glimpse at the different players we’ll be examining in this article. Be sure to check it out before buying!

Name and Features Rating
1. Audio Technica AT-LP120BK-USB (Editor’s Choice)
3-speed turntable with the remarcable S-shape tonearm that can be easilly adjusted and the professional aluminium platter, both ensuring the great quality of sound
AudioTechnica-3
2. Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC (Runner-up)
2-speed turnable with the carbon-fiber tonearm and dynamically balanced steel platter, and belt-drive decoupled motor, eliminating vibrations during playing
ProJectDC-1
3. Fluance High Fidelity RT81 (Budget Pick)
Affordable 2-speed turntable, belt-driven, with a powerful DC motor, balanced S-type tonearm for better sound quality
Fluance-1
4. Rega Planar 2 (Most Advanced Build)
2-speed turntable features ‘Optiwhite’ 10mm float glass platter and RB220 tonearm that contribute to the outstanding quality of sound
Rega-3
5. Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit SB (Best for Tyros)
3-speed turntable is great for newcomers, easy to setup, and has multiple finished to choose from
ProJectSB-1
6. Sony PSHX500 (Most Lightweight Design)
2-speed belt-driven turntable with simplistic and lightweight design, and USB connectivity to save music digitally
Sony-1
7. Pioneer PLX-1000 (Best Potential for Upgrade)
2-speed direct-driven turntable with a S-shape tonarm and die-cast aluminium platter; cartridge and preamp are not included, so you can upgrade it without limitations
Pioneer-PLX-1000-1
Features
  • Selectable 33/45/78 rpm speeds
  • Long-life diamond stylus
  • Dual Magnet phono cartridge
  • S-shaped tonearm
  • Professional anti-resonance, die-cast aluminum platter with slip mat
  • Direct-drive, high-torque motor
  • Switchable phono/line pre-amplifier
  • Conversion of vinyl records to digital audio files

OVERALL RATING: 10 out of 10

The very first thing that jumps out at you with this player is the great design of the tonearm. Since it is an S-arm design, it is quick and easy to get it set up, regardless of the types of records that you want to play. It is easily adjustable, which allows you to get just the right amount of weight on the stylus to make sure that you don’t have any issues while you are listening.

Another awesome feature is the USB port on the side of the player. This allows you to connect it to your computer and, with the appropriate software, save your music off of your vinyl onto your computer. This makes it easy to save and preserve all of your classic records in a more modern format.

The controls, while not overly customizable, give you the ability to both control the pitch and speed of your records. This makes it simple to get a great sound. The stylus is of great quality and should last for a good long time. The player is relatively heavy, but not so much so that you couldn’t take it along with you as you travel about.

PROS:
  • Sounds absolutely amazing
  • Easy to set up tonearm
  • High-quality stylus
  • USB connectivity for music transfer

CONS:
  • Not found

Features
  • 33 rpm and 45 rpm speeds
  • Elliptical, diamond tipped stylus
  • Ortofon 2M Red moving magnet cartridge
  • Carbon-fiber tonearm
  • Dynamically balanced steel platter
  • Belt drive decoupled motor with TPE suspension system
  • Detachable RCA jacks

OVERALL RATING: 9.7 out of 10

Not only is this a beautiful looking turntable, but it is also easy to use. Its best feature is by far the advanced motor. The motor is not connected directly to the body of the turntable. This helps it to have little to no motor vibration during playback, which helps to give it a great sound, easy to control speeds and makes it energy efficient.

The simplistic design of the player also helps the playing experience. Since there are not a whole bunch of moving parts, the player has superior rigidity, which will give you a low vibration and great sound quality.

The RCA jacks that come with the player are not the best, but luckily, can be easily detached and upgraded. Which you will have to do if you want to get the very best sound out of the system as possible.

PROS:
  • Warm and deep sound
  • Little to no vibration during playback
  • Small amount of moving parts
  • Easy to set up

CONS:
  • Cannot play 78-rpm vinyls
  • Not the best RCA jacks included

Features
  • 33 1/3 rpm and 45 rpm speeds
  • Bonded elliptical diamond stylus
  • Dual Moving Magnet (MM) cartridge
  • S-shaped tonearm
  • Aluminum platter with a rubber slip mat
  • Belt drive
  • Switchable phono/line pre-amplifier
  • Auto-stop

OVERALL RATING: 9.5 out of 10

This is, without a doubt, one of the best-looking turntables out there. Of course, this player isn’t just about looks. It is super easy to setup right out of the box. Its DC motor drives the platter, which can handle speeds of 33 or 45 rpm. While the player is easy to set to its speeds, they are not always consistent, which might lead to some playback issues.

The stylus is of high-quality and should last you a good long time. While you can control the weight with which the stylus pushes down onto the record, which is essential for consistent playback, you might notice a bit of vibration with this player. However, this will only occur on faster tracks or some with heavier bass sections.

PROS:
  • Clean sound without distortions
  • Cool design
  • Easy setup
  • Powerful DC motor
  • Great for starters

CONS:
  • Vibration on certain records
  • Less than stellar speed consistency
  • Cannot play 78-rpm vinyls

Features
  • 33 1/3 rpm and 45 rpm
  • Carbon MM cartridge and removable stylus
  • RB220 tonearm
  • ‘Optiwhite’ 10mm float glass platter
  • Belt drive
  • No built-in phono preamp

OVERALL RATING: 9.5 out of 10

This turntable features an acrylic-laminated body, which makes it nice and rigid. This helps to create a vibration free playback that will make your records sound great. The only problem with this playback, of course, is that it can only be completed at two speeds, which are 33 and 45 rpm.

While the player is a bit trickier to hook up since it doesn’t have a built-in phono stage, it is really easy to play once you have it all set up. This is due to the high-quality, low friction tonearm, which makes this a great player for newcomers and seasoned DJs alike.

PROS:
  • Excellent sonic performance
  • Slick design
  • Removable stylus
  • Great playback

CONS:
  • No built-in phono preamp
  • Several durability issues reported
  • Cannot play 78-rpm records
  • Manual speed change only

Features
  • 33/45/78 rpm speeds (electronic/manual speed change)
  • 78 RPM records require a special stylus
  • Ortofon 2M Red moving magnet cartridge
  • Carbon fiber tonearm
  • Heavy non-resonant acrylic platter
  • Belt drive

OVERALL RATING: 9.5 out of 10

If you are looking for an easy to use and great looking turntable, then this one just might be for you. It comes in a variety of finishes, making it easy to not only get a great listening experience but also to make a statement with the presentation. Unlike some of the more powerful and expensive players on the market today, this one has a belt driven motor, rather than a DC one.

However, even though this is a belt driven turntable, the SB in its name points to one of its greatest features. Rather than having to manually move the drive belt to a different part of the motor pulley to change the speed, you get to use a speed box. This means that the speed is changed electronically, which is a big time saver. This works no matter if you want to use 33, 45, or 78 rpm play speeds.

PROS:
  • Effortless playback
  • Great sound
  • Lots of finishes to choose from

CONS:
  • Some users report rumbling

Features
  • 33 1/3 rpm and 45 rpm speeds
  • Audio-Technica MM cartridge
  • Aluminum die-cast platter a high-quality with rubber mat
  • Belt drive
  • Built-in phono EQ
  • USB digital output

OVERALL RATING: 9.0 out of 10

This is one of the most simplistic players on the market today. This makes it one of the lightest available out there, which is good and bad. The lightweight design of the player makes it easy to transport with you no matter where you want to take it. The lid that covers up the table itself will help to keep it from being damaged during transport. Which is a good idea, since it is not the most durable player out there. Due to its lightweight design, it would be pretty easy to damage it, so you’d have to treat it carefully.

Even though you can’t play classic 78 rpm records, you do have the ability to save your music to your PC or MAC computer. This is, of course, done through the USB attachment. This will give you the ability to save and edit your vinyl records onto the device of your choice.

PROS:
  • Beautiful sound
  • Simplistic, lightweight design
  • USB connectivity to save music digitally

CONS:
  • Cannot play 78-rpm vinyls
  • Durability could be higher

Features
  • 33⅓ rpm and 45 rpm
  • Cartridge and stylus not included
  • S-shape tonearm
  • Die-cast aluminum platter
  • Direct drive
  • Brushless DC motor
  • No built-in phono preamp

OVERALL RATING: 9.0 out of 10

Whereas lots of the other players on this list are minimalistic in their design, this one is quite substantial. It is built to be both durable and easy to use. It will provide you with plenty of custom listening experiences, as the tempo controls are top notch. You can even preset the speeds to any speeds of your choice, making it easier to utilize a fast speed for a faster and better listening experience.

Note that the player is not set up with a built-in phono preamp, which means you’ll have to purchase one separately. It also doesn’t come with a stylus or a cartridge. This makes it one of the most expensive players on the market, but it’s worth your money, since you can upgrade this turntable as you wish with the best pieces you can find in the market.

PROS:
  • Involving sound
  • Direct drive motor
  • Multi-tempo control
  • Easy setup

CONS:
  • No built-in phono preamp
  • No stylus or cartridge included
  • Cannot play 78-rpm vinyls

Buying Guide

When you are looking for the best turntable, having less than $1000 in your pocket, there are a few factors that you should always consider to get the best for the price.

Speeds

The three basic speeds are 33, 45, and 78 rpm. The different speeds can be used for a few different reasons. First of all, the speed with which you play a record is dependent on the type of record you intend to play. To get the right sound out of your records, you need to be sure that you have them playing at the right speed.

Secondly, lots of players allow you to control the speed within a range of the three speeds listed above. This customization will give you the opportunity to create unique listening experiences from older records. This will help you to craft your very own sounds, whether you are DJing for a party, or just listening for yourself.

Stylus

StylusOne of the most important components of any turntable is the stylus. The very best players will allow you to switch out and replace the styluses depending on your needs or wants. This will allow you to get the exact sound out of the music that you want, based on the type/quality of the stylus that you choose to use.

The different quality levels of styluses are available on the market today, and which one you choose to use will have a direct effect on the sound quality of your music. Plus, you want to make sure that you choose a stylus that will not only give you a great sound but also keep your records in the best possible shape.

Drive Type

At this price point, there are a variety of drive types to choose from in a turntable. Each of the different drive types will give you a good chance for great listening experience, though direct drive players will give you a bit smoother of a playing experience than belt-driven ones. On the other hand, belt-driven turntables produce vibration-free sound. Both types have their proponents and opponents.

Audio Controls

adio_controlsThere are lots of different options that you can choose from as far as the different types of controls that you can have over your music. You can get players that have pitch, treble, bass, and, obviously, speed controls that will allow you to get the exact sound that you want out of your music. The more options a player has, the more customizable the experience.

Connectivity to Speakers

turntable_speakersSince you are trying to get the best listening experience possible with your turntable, you’ll need to be sure that it either has a good speaker built in or that you can easily connect it to external speakers. The external route is going to give you a much better sound but will limit the portability of your sound system. Internal speakers are easy to use, but won’t usually give you the best sound quality.

Conversion Ability

If you are looking to play your music from various sources, you might also want to get a turntable that will allow you to convert your music from vinyl to your preferred digital format. That way, you’ll be able to take your high-quality records sound with you on your travels, even if they take you to places that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to bring your turntable.

Power Source

There are two basic ways that a turntable might be able to run. There are some out there that can run on battery power for a short time, but it probably isn’t worth looking into. Even though the batteries are rechargeable, they drain pretty quickly, which will make you want to plug them it in all the time anyway.

That’s why you might as well just look for a player that runs on corded power only. It will save you a bit of money, and you won’t ever have to worry about running out of juice in the middle of a jam session again.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve read through our full buyer’s guide, plus all of the reviews for the excellent vacuums we’ve found, you should be in a good position to choose your next cleaning appliance. Bear in mind all of the things that you need from your vacuum cleaner, and how to make sure each unit checks these boxes, and you’re sure to pick the right one. All of the vacuums that we’ve reviewed come highly recommended.

10 Total Score
Audio Technica AT-LP120BK-USB Professional – Editor's Choice

If you are looking to make sure that you get the very best turntable for under $1000, then a good place to start is with the Audio Technica AT-LP120BK-USB Professional. It is easy to set up, has a powerful direct drive motor, and has USB connectivity, which allows you to save your records on your computer. It is by far the best turntable on the market today, and you should definitely check it out.

Cartridge and stylus quality
10
Vibration dampening
10
Extra features
10
PROS
  • Easy to set up tonearm
  • High-quality stylus
  • USB connectivity for music transfer
CONS
  • Not found
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