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Those who have stopped, at least once in their life, ad listen to a vinyl you will certainly have noticed the difference with digital technology, starting with that sound so clear and crisp it almost “warms up”.
It is certainly no coincidence that vinyl is a widely preferred choice also by prominent personalities in various sectors. For example, Steve Jobs listened to vinyl.
Over the years, technological progress has brought much more practical solutions, like iPhones and the Spotify app , both now two “standards” for music lovers from all over the world. However, the true “audiophile” will always opt for a good vinyl, placed on the best possible turntable, which will allow him to live an unparalleled experience.
Many argue that turntables for vinyl they produce such a distinct sound which cannot be achieved through digital technology. It is not just a belief of a few, but it is reality.
Vinyl vs Digital
The analog format allows artists to carry your own music from magnetic tape to speakers. Turntables and vinyl players manage to deliver the best possible music without the complications of digital conversion.
Vinyl, for example, is not bound by the same compression standards as the digital format. For vinyl, volume depends on the length of its sides and by the depth of its grooves, which means that a well-burned disc could provide more space than its digital counterpart.
However, nowadays, most of the recordings they are built from digital masters or recordings made natively in modern software. The conversion from analog to digital has certainly come a long way, but despite this we appreciate a rediscovery of vinyl in recent years.
The idea that music is now considered a collective experience , rather than a downloadable product, once again ascertains how turntables truly are timeless icons.
Recently, Bluetooth innovations and updated technologies have seen turntables take off Audio Technica is Technics. To have absolute quality audio you need to secure one of the best turntables on the market. But how to orient yourself in this sector?
What Makes a Good Quality Turntable?
Once we have decided to buy a turntable, we need to know a few essential features before taking the big step.
The best turntables generally have proactive approaches to vibration, and for good reason. The grooves carved into a vinyl record are tiny, which means that even the slightest movement can affect it on the “sound” of the record. A sensitive cartridge can pick up vibrations and (unfortunately) turn them into noise or distortion that will certainly not please.
To reduce these vibrations, the best turntables use some sort of chassis made of low vibration materials , along with some interesting vibration limiting techniques. Better to opt for turntables equipped with this solution.
Also, keeping the speed stable is perhaps the most important aspect of playing a disc accurately. The human ear is very sensitive to frequency oscillation caused by the speed of the turntable: any fluctuation will give the listener a headache.
The good news is that the best turntables nowadays have one speed technology of stable rotation.
Plus, a quality arm has very little resonance : a very important aspect to keep the head stable and fully effective.
The phono cartridge is also among the most important technological elements of the vinyl turntable, as it is capable of transform the physical furrows discs into an electrical musical signal, thus letting out the sound. The better the cartridge, the more effective it will be at reproducing the sound with greater fidelity, with more detail and better dynamics.
In addition to these important features, before buying a turntable one must also pay close attention to the price , also based on our economic possibilities.
The best turntables can come to cost also 2,500 euros , even if for less than 1,000 euros you can still find products of decent quality.
Also, with the advances in technology, turntables nowadays also allow you to copy MP3 or record directly to digital . Finally, make sure your product has an analog or digital output before completing your purchase.
But now let’s see what they are the best turntables for vinyl on the market.
Technics SL-1210GAE – See price or buy
This limited edition version was introduced to celebrate Technics’ 55th birthday. The direct drive turntable is based on the Grand Class SL-1200G and is equipped with an insulator made of a zinc material specially developed with aGEL.
This gel is characterized by interesting special shock absorption properties, which are usually reserved for high-end turntables. However, there are only 1,000 examples of the SL-1210GAE , handmade by Japanese craftsmen.
Audio Technica AT-LP120 – See price or buy
The price of this product is not low, it must be said, but when you put it into operation you will understand why. Audio Technica’s AT-LP120 is one of the best turntables ever made , capable of offering direct transmission functionality and a unique AT95EX cartridge mounted on a J-shaped arm, designed to minimize tracking errors.
Transparent Gearbox MKII Turntable
It may sound strange, but there are not a few turntable enthusiasts who they love to be able to look inside too of the product. The Transparent Gearbox MKII turntable is perfect for this special category of customers.
From an aesthetic point of view, it is directly inspired by a 1955 classic called Braun PC 3 SV, designed by legendary German designer Dieter Rams. Gearbox MKII is in fact an update of it , which improves the belt transmission and electronics, guaranteeing an increase in both speed and performance. Among other features we find a Bluetooth transmitter and music recognition technology.
Audio Technica AT-LP60 – See price or buy
The AT-LP60 turntable is one of the best options if you don’t want to spend a lot. The product has a Integrated switchable phono preamplifier and a dual-magnet cartridge with replaceable stylus.
Technics SL-1500C-S – See price or buy
SL-1500C-S is one of the reasons Technics is a leader in this industry. The engine tunes the direct drive engine exclusively single rotor coreless , in such a way as to be able to read the high precision rotation and high precision signals of the disc. In addition, the SL-1500C features a integrated phono equalizer and a supplied cartridge.
Cambridge Audio Alva TT – See price or buy
Cambridge Audio Alva TT is an excellent product, which uses a mix of analog and digital to deliver a warm, high-resolution sound wirelessly. Setting up Bluetooth may take some time and patience, but it’s worth it if you’re after really smooth sound.
Denon DP-300F Fully Automatic Turntable – See price or buy
With a rigid die-cast aluminum finish, Denon’s DP-300F is the sleek and minimalist vinyl turntable sought after by many enthusiasts. Designed with a heavier base frame to reduce vibration, this turntable also supports a completely new tonearm. The DP-300F includes a built-in phono equalizer that guarantees a high level sound and above all more authentic.
Fluance RT81 Elite High Fidelity – See price or buy
Fluance RT81 Elite ensures a very interesting analog listening experience, thanks also to “top of the range” components. To feed the sound we find a Audio Technica AT95E equipped with a stylus with a diamond elliptical tip.
Plus, the balanced aluminum S-type tonearm ensures that the stylus is placed deep into the record groove, producing every audio detail without any difference with the original recording . The aesthetics are also very beautiful, recommended product.
Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC – See price or buy
The latest Debut Carbon DC represents the ultimate evolution of the brand’s turntables. A carbon tube for the arm increases stiffness and reduces resonance. In addition, the increased size and weight of the platter gives the Debut Carbon DC an even smoother spin.
Rega RP3 turntable – See price or buy
The lighter and stiffer design of this product aims to dissipate energy and reduce vibration. This turntable uses a high quality 24V motor, with the plate consisting of a solid piece of glass with a frosted edge and a mat made of 100% natural wool felt.
TRNTBL is the first wireless vinyl turntable. The innovative hi-fi system connects to Sonos for an updated version of analog sound. TRNTBL also recognizes the track being played e adds it to our playlist by Spotify.
Rega – Planar 1 – See price or buy
The Rega company has been producing some of the best turntables for some years now. Among these there is certainly the Planar 1, an award-winning product which does not have a ground wire, unlike most turntable systems.
The flaw consists in the absence of a integrated preamplifier , therefore you need to buy a separate one (they are found at reasonable prices).
Sony PS-LX310BT – See price or buy
Another affordable option from Sony is certainly the PS-LX310BT, which manages to offer a certain level of quality despite its rather low price. The Bluetooth turntable is also equipped with wireless technology , with one-step autoplay: the turntable will automatically lower the tonearm, find the groove and start the music.
Sony PS-HX500 – See price or buy
When it comes to USB turntables, the Sony PS-HX500 is without a doubt one of the best products on the market , which ensures the user that their favorite discs are always supported with full and crystal clear sound.
Clearaudio Concept turntable with MM V2 cartridge – See price or buy
Clearaudio is known for his high quality finishes and this Concept turntable is no exception. All parameters are fully adjusted in the factory: the product is equipped with a pre-assembled MM cartridge and one arm concept.
Numark Ttusb – See price or buy
Numark TTUSB looks pretty big, but it stands out for its elegance and simplicity configuration. Furthermore, the reproduction is almost always of excellent quality.
Marantz TT42P – See price or buy
Marantz produces some of the best turntables for vinyl on the market. The TT42P offers an integrated phono preamp and is ready to use thanks to the pre-installed cartridge. In addition, the product is characterized by a DC servo motor and a solid belt drive for interference-free playback.
Audio-Technica ATLP5 – See price or buy
Audio Technica’s ATLP5 is the highest quality turntable cheap among those proposed by the famous brand. This product ensures great performance and a lot of reliability , managing to captivate the user also from the design point of view.
The unique double moving magnet cartridge AT95EX helps ensure high performance.
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