Best Turntable for Sampling

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Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Turntable

Audio-Technica AT-LP120

USB Direct-Drive Turntable
Value choice
Pioneer Pro DJ PLX-1000 Direct Driv

Pioneer Pro DJ PLX-1000

Direct Drive DJ Turntable
Best choice
Denon DJ VL12 Prime

Denon DJ

VL12 Prime
Premium choice

Imagine its 1996, you and your group of friends are about to hit the club. The car is blaring from the latest hits of Dr.Dre. You go through the club doors and boom the sounds of rap and hip-hop music are blasting across the sound system. People jamming to the beats. DJ playingthe latest music hits.

This is a typical club scenario were the DJs are with their own station with turntables and microphone. He takes samples from different tracks turning them into one amazing rhythm. He puts pieces together to create a nonstop beat.  This is called sampling, which has turned out to be quite an art in the recent era. This is indeed an important feature for which in modern days, the once analogue vinyl record player has transformed into a multi controller, time-coded, digital audio manipulation device.

What make turntables truly wonderful are the amazing masterpieces that have been produced and continue to be produced. In recent years the evolution is more evident with EDM genre, which is an entire genre based on manipulation. A turntable that suits your style and is durable should be chosen with potential use in mind. If you’re someone looking to upgrade your equipment, you are probably looking for the one device that will do it all.

What you are looking for in a turntable depends on its use. Sampling turntables are now more computerised and digital devices than their former models. In case you’re an audiophile or interested in vintage turntables, don’t forget to check our review on “best audiophile turntable under $500 and best vintage turntable”


As with any products the price range of the turntable affects the quality of the turntable. The key features and additional features vary. The attached parts differ as the price differs. So as a buyer you consider the price to product quality. What you want is the best your budget can buy. So how do you decide?

With any product you will of course come across cheap second hand ones online. But beware that that these often fail to produce good quality music let along last a while. So let’s dive into the price range that should be considered while buying a turntable.

Now a beginner’s price range would be around $300-$500. This will get you a decent turntable with many upgradeable features. Music enthusiasts often consider these when buying within a budget. After purchase you can easily modify the desired key features that you would like on them.

Beyond $500 is when as a buyer you have lots of option. These lists of products come with multiple functions. Such as these will have better sound quality, external sound insulation, last longer and guarantee a good time. Often turntables turn into an ornamental piece and hence you can customize your colours for the extra money you pay.

Turntables from $500-$800 comes with very high quality parts. These contain adjustable tone arm along with a wide range of cartilage. The better and high end stylus will also ensure that your records are treated gently. The music quality also enhances as they are able to extract more fromthe grooves.

However if you want to splurge on turntables there are ones costing from $40,000 and more. They are definitely collector pieces.

If you look at your average turntables you will see some key designs .Over the years they have been polished into more and more functional use but the original idea behind them more or less reminds the same.

Most turntables have your conventional square shape with edges. The entire structure sits on a plinth which is the base. The platter is the part that spins. Platter colours can be golden but more commonly black. Platters are made from different types of material.

The stylus goes into the groove of the record and that is what produces vibration and translates into the music. The stylus is helped by the tone arm which guides its movement across the platter. The entire mechanism is balanced and the tone arm moves exactly to the amount it should .Hence the process is extremely delicate yet precise. The balancing act is supported by the counterweight placed at the back of your tone arm. The motor makes the turning possible in the turntable. It also determines the speed at which the vinyl will spin.One of the things to look for in a turntable is that it has the proper rotation speed for the records you want to play. Also outputs such as RCA are good to look for in turntable.

Among the two drive designs, one is the “direct drive” where the motor connects directly with the platter. The other is the more preferable “belt drive” where the motor is attached to a belt that spins the platter. The latter is preferred since it helps to cancel the mechanical sound of the motor and lessen its influence.

The styluses used nowadays are diamond stylus. This part sits at the edge of the tone arm and attached to a cartilage. The quality of styli greatly depends on the shape or profile of the diamond used. The shapes such as spherical are cheap and used more often. But other shapes such as elliptical helps to read much more details from the groove. The design, shape and quality of diamonds are important for the precise and accurate detailed music extraction from the grooves.

Turntables are in most cases simple devices. Its performance depends largely on its ability to replay and reproduce the music. The best ones let the music shine while cancelling the mechanical sound produced in the process.

A professional DJ will always suggest that you buy a turntable instead of a record player. Turntables have sampling options as well as separate mixer and speaker.

Before we get into more details it’s good to know that buyers have a choice between analogue and digital sound producing turntables. In modern times people have shifted to digital sounds since it interface with computer allows for a number of functions to be performed.  Music can be manipulated more easily in this format. The choice between analogue and digital are a listener’s choice. While many experts prefer the analogue vinyl but in recent times digital records have gotten much popularity.

Turntables provide an atmosphere whenever they are played. The ambience created feels powerful and genuine. Listening to old jazz or classics often reminds us of the good old days. There is also a hipster culture surrounding it. Audio fidelity is also a reason people prefer turntables to your regular IPods. Since the loss of recording is less in turntables, audiophiles are more interested. Some of the reasons being that the old symphonic performances were often poorly digitalized. The sensual interaction between setting a record and playing music was undeniable. It set the tone of human interaction with the device.

Among the other things you need to look into for DJ turntable platters are slip mats, which are made of a smooth material, rather than rubber mats, to allow records to effortlessly glide back and forth. High torque motors are unimportant for regular record playing, but vital for DJs.

The common term used these days to describe the mixing, matching and creation of new music using turntables is turntablism. This is done by a DJ and his set of tools such as a mixer and other controlling devices. A new sample is often made through scratching the record which means manipulating and moving the record with a speed. The fluctuation of speed along with the sounds produced enhances the beats and equalization levels of the music. A typical turntablist has a set of headphones and a required number of turntables.As a modern form of art turntablism has gained much popularity post 1970s.

Pioneer Pro DJ PLX-1000 Direct Drive DJ Turntable

Best Choice

Notable Specifications

High-Torque Direct Drive System: The direct drive mechanism of the PLX-1000 provides high-torque and achieves its fixed rotation speed within 0.3 seconds.
Sound Quality Design: Pioneer has a heavy-mass zinc die-cast chassis for the top section of the player to create a stable player and prevent vibration that results in extremely stable playback and excellent sound quality output.
Detachable Power and Audio Cables: The PLX-1000 has detachable audio for easy portability for which users are able to interchange cables that can be easily connected and replaced, and pro-grade gold-plated RCA jacks guarantee amazing sound quality.

In recent years pioneer is one of the leading brands producing world class turntables. Favoured by audiophiles, their Pro DJ PLX-1000 is top pick for the best choice turntable. Pioneer PLX-1000 – Professional Turntable is designed for both personal listening and as well as live performance applications such as DJing at a party or in a club. The PLX-1000 is a direct drive analogue turntable designed especially for DJs. This high torque along with its brighter and clearer audio has a wonderful finishing. This is a classic design that DJs are familiar with that includes tempo control, a start/stop button, and a lighted speed guide. The turntable has a mass of around 13 kg with a diameter of 453 x 159 x 353 mm. The platter is built-in with a heavy-mass zinc die-cast also contains a vibration dampening material for polish playback. The usual RCA audio cables are also in the package. These RCA are detachable as well as power cables helps to prevent any failure. In addition it has Kensington lock used to attach turntable to the DJ booth. The different required ports and jacks are connected. The turntable retails for a price of $700.

Editorial Rating
  • Strong built motor and quality construction
  • Interchangeable power and flexible connectivity
  • High torque and top quality sound design
  • Multi-tempo control
  • Prevents bad vibrations
  • Basic Turntable Features such as the tone arm a bit loose
  • High Price
Impact Statement

The Pioneer Pro DJ PLX-1000 is an excellent turntable for sampling for professional DJs.

Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Turntable

Value Choice

Notable Specifications

USB cable:USB output—no special drivers required for direct connection to your computer.
Compatible audacity software: Mac and PC compatible audacity software with built in preamplifier.
Durable Body: Body made of plastic with durable metallic-like finish.

This turntable has a high-torque direct-drive, a USB output that connects directly to your computer. It also has forward and reverse play capability with removable hinged dust cover. Attached within are USB cable and adapter cables along with Mac- and PC-compatible Audacity software. With a retail price of around $299 (£279, AU$389). Customers find this an affordable option for listening to tracks. It also has a built in amplifier. Furthermore it includes a replaceable cartridge and needle that sounds great with all kinds of music.Reviewers have rated this affordable, high-performance cartridge as a best buy value. Audio-Technica has renowned quality standards. It plays 33, 45 and 78 rpm records; it also features reverse playback capability and pitch adjustment. It also converts LP to digital very smoothly. The elliptical diamond stylus is designed to track record grooves with high accuracy for outstanding audio reproduction.

Editorial Rating
  • Built-in preamplifier for connection to personal audio devices
  • USB port used for digital conversion of records
  • Audacity software takes this device above and beyond the other models in its class
  • Phonograph cartridge offers amazing service especially for purists due to its clarity of sound
  • Dual voltage with control switch under platter, this is compatible in most countries
  • Its high level of technicality and modern design is not the best cut for casual listeners.
  • There are complains about the speaker and platter quality.
Impact Statement

The best valued AT-LP120 fromAudio-Technicawith direct-drive is an impressive turntable for the experienced music consumer.

Denon DJ VL12 Prime

Most Expensive Choice

Notable Specifications

Customizable platter:This brand of DJ turntable comes with customizable colour and light ring for the platter.
S-shaped tone arm: The s-shaped tone arm helps for accurate tracking purposes.
Isolated motor design: The isolated motor designused for optimal signal-to-noise ratio and switchable torque settings.

The latest release from Denon DJ has is their new top-tier DJ turntable called the VL12 PRIME. It’s professional grade built is an unique innovation for the DJs. It includes features that both DJs and vinyl enthusiasts hope for in a turntable. Additionally to eliminate unwanted vibration and, it has isolation feet.  An isolated motor design provides an exceptional signal-to-noise ratio. Also featured on the VL12 Prime is an all-metal tone arm base that supports an s-shaped tone arm.This customizable platter comes at a price of $900.

It is capable of operating at the most common speeds, the VL12 plays 33 1/3 and 45 RPM records. As a DJ, beat-matching is a must so there is also an adjustable pitch range for + or – 8%, 16%, and 50%The VL12 has a super-high-torque direct drive motor, adjustable pitch ranges, isolation feet, RGB lighting, and professional-grade metal construction.

Editorial Rating
  • Super-Sturdy Metal Build Quality
  • High Torque Instant Start Motor (Hi-Low Torque Adjustment)
  • Platter Ring LED with RGB Colour
  • Brightness Controls
  • Pitch Range
  • Reset Buttons
  • Good Pitch/Tempo Fader feel
  • 2 different Target Light options
  • No Brake Speed Adjustment
  • No Internal RCA Ground or Line Level Pre-Amp
Impact Statement

The Denon DJ VL-12 PRIME is made with the latest and best turntable technology available today and it promises high quality music with the best performance guaranteed every time.

Numark PT-01

Cheapest Choice

Notable Specifications

Light Weight: The body is very light in weight of about 4.3 pounds in average.
Record Your Vinyl to PC: Take your precious vinyl collection and convert your music over to .wav or mp3 with the free downloadable EZ Vinyl Converter software
Sound Outputs: In addition to the built-in speaker, you can transfer your music to powered speakers via the RCA line-level outputs, and you can also enjoy with your headphones with the help of 1/8” headphone jack.

The Numark PT-01 is a portable turntable with USB that converts your vinyl to WAV or MP3.With the PT-01USB, you get a portable turntable that can run on either wall or battery power. Just connect PT-01USB to any Mac or PC via USB and easily transfer music from vinyl to hard disk. EZ Vinyl Converter 2 for PC and EZ Audio Converter for Mac software are included with the USB turntable to make recording and importing audio simple. The Numark PT0-01USB comes with an internal speaker for total mobility.It is a battery-operated turntable with a built-in speaker and its light in weight.The Numark PT-01 is a deal at about $75 online. PT-01 is affordable for anybody interested in records. This light weight turntable is rightly prices at $130.Being portable enough for travel and listening it in any space. The built-in mono speaker isn’t too loud, but it will be sufficient for gatherings. There’s even a ±10% pitch control to help you optimize your tracks for whatever needs you have. With 33, 45, and 78 RPM speeds, the Numark PT-01USB Portable USB Turntable works with your entire record collection.

Editorial Rating
  • The turntable is portable.
  • It has its own built-in speaker.
  • Best turntable for private listening.
  • The USB output provides a direct connection to computers for archiving vinyl.
  • Volume level from the built-in speaker is minimal.
  • Software may not be compatible with some operating versions.
Impact Statement

The affordable Nunmark’s PT-01USB is a fan favourite for being the go-to portable vinyl converter turntable for your own private vinyl collection.

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon

Notable Specifications

Drive Type: The drive type is belt-driven with record speed supported rpm of 33.33, 45.
Carbon-Fibre Tonearm: the Pro-Ject debut has a carbon-fibre tonearm for stiffness.
Motor Suspension: It has new Sorbothane motor suspension.

The Pro-Ject-Debut Carbon is one of the most gorgeous and sleek turntables out there. With an affordable price range of $400 you get your money’s worth. Pro-Jectis a Europe based company and has been manufacturing audio systems for more than fifty years and has made quite a name for them. The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon is no exception to the high quality systems made by Pro-Ject. This turntable is a wonderful addition to their Debut line with a manual belt-drive. This minimal design made from medium density fibreboard (MDF) gives it the touch of modern times. The noise isolation and speaker vibration are very nicely cancelled. There are 7 colours for you to choose from. In addition, there is dust cover included for its protection. The rigid arm and head shell are made of carbon fibre.The tonearm is also made from carbon fibre. Besides, the RCA and audio jacks are gold platted. It’s a steal if you take into account how easily you can upgrade this turntable. The motor sits on a rubber suspension system that won’t allow vibration from the motor to reach your platter. The sound quality is unparalleled. For your precise hearing this turntable does a good job of cancelling motor noises. The depth and balance of music created from this model is truly wonderful.

Editorial Rating
  • Great sound quality and detail
  • Easy setup and efficient to use
  • Sturdy built with good quality cartilage and tonearm
  • The speed needs to be changed manually
  • Motor can create mechanical sound a bit
Impact Statement

With its smooth finish to the quality of sound the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon is one turntable that you can’t go wrong with.

Reloop RP 2000M

Notable Specifications

Drive:The drive is quartz-driven direct drive
Heavy Design:It has an extra heavy design with black metallic finish and metal housing
Shock-absorbing feet:The isolating feet is what makes this a robust and clean design

The Reloop’s RP-2000M is a DJ turntable. It has a new black metallic finish with an amazing quartz-driven direct drive. Originally it was announced in October 2013. The new design transfersthe engine power directly to the drive collar. This design hence meets a lot of the expectations of professional DJs. The torque power is generated much easier and efficient. With additional features including a statically balanced S-shaped pick-up arm, electronic motor brake, shock-absorbing feet .ThisCompany which was founded by music lovingenthusiast focuses on the latest music technology and combines that with their love of music. This has led to the creation of some very affordable yet compatible turntables for DJs all over the world. This turntable retails for a price of $300.Some of the other key features include metal chassis and balanced S-shaped tonearm. The motor is quite powerful and the electronic motor brake is there. It is able to connect to remote starter and beat counter. The pitch range: 10.Dimensions is around 450x144x352mm.

Editorial Rating
  • Good value for money
  • Modern metallic body finish
  • The pitch range is perfect for beginners
  • Extremely high power motor
  • The pitch can become soft from regular use
  • Cartilage has a low use life
Impact Statement

The Reloop RP 2000M is a classic turntable for the beginners who wants to look into a more professional turntable setting.

Pioneer DJ PLX-500

Notable Specifications

Sound Design: The PLX-500 much like the PLX-1000 has a high end sound quality for vinyl sound.
Digital Recording: The digitalization process is made enjoyable since your USB digitalizes the vinyl simply by connecting the turntable to your PC.
Switchable Phono/Line output:The Phono out connects to a mixer and line out connects to speakers.

From a wide range of pioneer turntable comes the Pioneer DJ PLX-500.The turntable is one of the most budget friend direct-drive motor turntables in the market that gets music performers, enthusiasts and beginners excited alike. This unit has a quality analogueplayback. Also comes withdigitalizationoptions using the USB. Your vinyl collection will run smoothly combined with the short-excursion tone arm along with head shell, cartilage and stylus. Along with the package is a cast aluminium platter with built-in preamplifier. For the DJs out there the switchable output between mixer and speaker makes DJing a lot smoother. For spinning there is a slip mat. The PLX-500 is recommended by Sweetwater for first time performers. Sampling is easy and efficient. Scratching is done with more intensity since the platter is very strong built and doesn’t buckle under duress. Free download from rekordbox software just adds to this sweet deal.A dust cover is included to keep your environment clean.The RCA cables are built for spinning, digitizing and quality analogue playback. The PLX-500 is a unique set up that retails for about $300.The PLX-500 is much like its predecessor the PLX-1000 professional turntable. It has high-quality vinyl sound. The distortion is reduced greatly due to its short audio routing from the stylus to the outputs. The sound system is powerful and hence needs no external amplifier. All these hence make it a compatible turntable for recording your vinyl collection to high-quality digital files.

Editorial Rating
  • Consistent and Stylish design
  • Easy to use
  • Sound quality excellent
  • Its Features are Professional
  • It is not the best fit for turntable battling
  • The tonearm has no lock
Impact Statement

Pioneer’s PLX-500 is an out of box turntable that has some sensible upgrade options along with equipment that will give you an enjoyable performance.

Stanton T.92 Turntable

Notable Specifications

Motor: The motor was direct-drive and high-torque and electronic brake provide a start/stop time of under 1 second.
JPitch Control:The Key Lock helps to change tempo without affecting the pitch and so the pitch control is very reliable.
Superior Sound Fidelity:There is low-distortion playback that is provided by the S-shaped tonearm.

The Stanton T.92 USB is a turntable with direct-drive along with built-in USB connectivity. It has features like key lock. The Stanton T-92 turntable is around $240.The USB port makes it easy to digitalize vinyl recordings. A pitch range of ±%12.This fulfils a lot of the demands of DJs since it gives amazing performance and longevity. The torque is high and has a very responsive electronic brake.The T.92 is one of our top picks as it has many attractive features as well as a sturdy build.The Stanton T.92 can be compared with Stanton T.55 USB unit in look and other features. Stanton T.92 can create high-quality conversions for our best vinyl.The conversion of T.92 is very good. This digital record player comes with RCA cables, a USB cable and a soft dust cover for protection while it is not in use.iZotope Audio Cleanup and Enhancement Suite comes with it for vinyl to digital conversion. The cleaning tools are especially easy to use. You can engage them with a click of the button and adjust the slider to determine how much of the effect to apply to the audio.

Editorial Rating
  • The pitch adjustment and a pitch lock
  • Dual Start/Stop controls allow for both mix and battle setups
  • Includes Cakewalk Pyro Audio Creator LE recording/archival software
  • No built-in speakers
  • No built-in headphone jack
Impact Statement

The Stanton T.92 Turntable is a professional quality turntable that makes it is your ultimate turntable in terms of features and construction.

If you are someone looking for turntable for sampling or just upgrading your equipment looking into these turntables will serve you well. The best turntable for sampling depends on your budget and what you are willing to invest into your music career. Newer technologies have amplified the music experience and turntablismand DJs have been a pioneer in that.

Turntables in the recent years have continuously gained popularity. This comes as a blessing for DJs who constantly look for better and improved devices to samplemusic.An interesting thing to note is that the hip-hop genre was actually an innovation of sampling. To sample vinyl all you need to do is get yourself the right kind of turntable. Just keep in mind that speed adjustments, pitch controls, reverse play, adjustable feet and strong anti-skate performance are important. Buying turntable doesn’t necessarily mean that it needs to break your bank.This article will help you to look into some things to look into it before purchasing so that your money is well spent on buying turntable for sampling music.

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