Skip to content
  1. Sale on JBL / Rega / Audio-Technica + more shop gear specials
Your First Turntable Guide - 6 Top Options

Your First Turntable Guide - 6 Top Options

Looking for your first turntable? Here's an honest guide featuring 6 of our top choices. These choices have been vetted by 1000s of sales and customer interactions. For more info on turntable setups, we suggest reading our Beginner's Guide To Turntable Setups.

the industry standard $129 budget turntable

Audio-Technica AT-LP60X Turntable ($129, $179 with Bluetooth)

In A Nutshell

  • At the $130 price range, the ATLP60X is your best bet for a budget turntable.
  • Easy to use, low maintenance, reliable
  • Includes everything you need to play vinyl, just supply an audio system with AUX input
  • If this turntable were a car, it would be a... Honda Civic / Toyota Corolla.

Top Features

  • Price
  • Durable, not fragile
  • Plug and play into any audio system with AUX input, all cables included
  • Start / Stop Button
  • Small footprint
  • Available in multiple colors, with or without BT/USB output view all

Limitations

  • Tonearm is not adjustable
  • Lightweight materials
  • Cartridge can be replaced, but not upgraded

strong all-around turntable notable for automatic play

Denon DP-300F Turntable ($399, $479 for TTL Upgraded Version)

In A Nutshell

  • Great mid-level turntable that features automatic play.
  • Automatic play - turntable plays with button control and tonearm returns to armrest when you get to end of the record.
  • If this turntable were a car, it would be a... Volkswagon Jetta (pre-emissions scandal)

Top Features

  • Built-in phono preamp
  • Removable headshell makes it easier to change / upgrade cartridge
  • Adjustable tonearm
  • Unique speckled black color way

Limitations

  • Stock model comes with average cartridge
  • Not considered an audiophile turntable, more of a "prosumer" model

industry standard entry level audiophile turntable

ProJect Debut Carbon Turntable ($449, $599 for Esprit Model)

In A Nutshell

  • Bestselling entry-level audiophile turntable.
  • True audiophile design: high quality motor and tonearm deliver smooth performance ideal for sound quality.
  • If this turntable were a car, it would be a... BMW 3 Series.

Top Features

Limitations

  • If you want to change speed from 33 to 45rpm you have to manually shift the turntable belt under the platter, you can upgrade to Debut Carbon Esprit ($599) for button control.
  • You will need a separate Preamp like the Phono Box MM or Phono Box DC

made in the usa original design

U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus w/ Built-In Preamp ($379, $329 without the Pre-Amp)

In A Nutshell

  • Made in the USA quality.
  • Thoughtfully designed for sound quality.
  • If this turntable were a car, it would be an... American-made Jeep.

Top Features

  • solid components including Ortofon Om5e Cartridge (retails for $70)
  • upgraded acrylic platter for improved sound
  • built-in phono preamp

Limitations

  • If you want to change speed from 33 to 45rpm you have to manually shift the turntable belt on the drive pulley (but, does NOT require you lift platter)

direct drive motor + full featured + usb output

Audio-Technica LP5X Direct Drive USB Turntable ($449)

In A Nutshell

  • Direct drive motor does not use a belt to drive motor. Direct drive turntables generally offers more stability, less maintenance, and more standard features.
  • Includes both standard RCA and USB outputs.
  • If this turntable were a car, it would be a... Lexus.

Top Features

  • heavyweight construction
  • feature packed including USB output
  • built-in phono preamp

Limitations

  • body is made of plastic

the splurge, baller choice

Clearaudio Concept Turntable

Clear audio Concept Turntable ($1800, $2400 with Moving Coil Cartridge Upgrade)

In A Nutshell

  • high-end turntable designed for both sound quality and ease of use
  • unique, beautiful, custom-machined designed
  • If this turntable were a car, it would be a... Maserati.

Top Features

  • user friendly + easy setup
  • speed change knob 33/45/78
  • pre-installed with high-quality cartridge

Limitations

Previous article Turntable Lab PH01 Phono Preamp + Headphone Amp
Next article Beginner's Guide To Turntable Setups