Best Turntables Under $1000

Turntables are simply the best piece of equipment to enjoy music in the most spiritual way. They have made a slab of impact in the musical community and have started a contagious trend in the audiophile cult. The market offers a wide variety of turntables ranging from $50 to upwards of $30,000. Anything below the $500 range doesn’t actually reproduce music in a good way. Anything above the $1000 is strictly meant for ultra-professional music producers and musicians. For the unique individual, who enjoys the warm depth of a classic vinyl record, we produced a list of the best turntables under $1000 available in the market now.

Best Turntable Under $1000

Product Features Price Where to Buy
Music Hall – MMF-5.1 Turntable Review ✅ Dual plinth construction
✅ Glossy black lacquer design
✅ Gorgeous outlook
✅ Separately isolated motor
$$$$ Amazon
Rega Planar 2 turntable review ✅ Great build quality
✅ No resonance
✅ Great value for money
✅ Carbon MM Cartridge
$$$ Amazon
Pro-Ject – 1Xpression Carbon turntable review ✅ High gloss finish
✅ Good resolution
✅ Articulated sound
✅ Great manufacturer support
$$$$$$ Amazon
Pro-Ject – Debut Carbon turntable review ✅ Quality components
✅ Highly articulate sound
✅ Easy setup and control
✅ Three play speeds
$$$ Amazon
Denon DJ VL12 PRIME turntable review ✅ For professional
✅ Great torque - 5kg-f/cm
✅ Reinterpreted accurate tracking
✅ Strong build
$$$$ Amazon
Pioneer Pro DJ PLX-1000 turntable review ✅ High torque of 4.5 kg-f/cm
✅ Consistent and balance playback
✅ No tremors from playback
✅ Multi-pitch control
✅ Club-grade sound quality
$$$$$ Amazon
Reloop RP-8000 turntable review ✅ MIDI control deck
✅ Nice design
✅ Hybrid torque
✅ Great pitch control
✅ Resolution as good as .02%
$$$ Amazon
Pioneer PLX-500 turntable review ✅ Cheaper alternative to the PLX-1000 $$$ Amazon

Things to Consider When Buying a Turntable Under $1000

Since you’re willing to spend around $1000, you’re probably a veteran in the wonderful world of vinyl music. The subtle ambiance produced from the vinyl are a treasured aspect of music for you. But before jumping into the 1000 bucks turntable market, there are some considerations that must to be examined. Let’s have a quick look.

  • The stylus: This is the part that makes contact with the grooves of the disk and produces sound from the vibrations. The stylus and its quality is probably the most important part of the turntable. A bad stylus can degrade the overall sound quality. You can usually upgrade and replace the stylus of a turntable, but having a good one right out of the box means less hassle.
  • The cartridge: The cartridge is smaller piece of equipment that acts as a shell for the stylus and holds it in place. Its job is to receive the vibrations made by the stylus and transfer them as electrical signals. An upgraded stylus can seriously improve the overall experience.
  • The platter: Because the nature of the vinyl is circular and slightly brittle, it is not perfectly flat. This creates uneven vibrations and sway that can hurt the sound reproduction. So a heavier platter is better. Most good turntables come with mats on the platter to keep the vinyl disk level and steady at all times. Less vibrations on the platter means less noise on the produced sounds.
  • Phono preamp: It is always better to have a phono preamp built into your turntable, although you can buy an external phono preamp quite easily.

Drive System Consideration

Usually, audiophiles will go for belt drives over direct drives, while DJ’s normally prefer direct drive systems, since they are much easier to spin backward and forward. If you’re getting a belt drive system, try to get a model with high-quality bearings underneath the pulley, so that the disk will spin more smoothly. But what is the difference? Why is it important and which is better for whom? No more confusion, we are here to help. In this review, we will help you to have a basic idea of the two types of turntables, their differences, their advantages over each other and their possible flaws as well.

We are all familiar with the basic components of a turntable- motor, platter, stylus and the rest. Turntables use their motors to spin the platter and a vinyl record sits on top, spinning, as the stylus rides its many grooves and produces melodies. In most cases, this whole procedure undergoes in one of these two ways: Belt Drive or Direct Drive.

Belt Drive Turntable

A belt drive, as the name suggests, possesses an elastic belt that is connected to the motor of the turntable. Hence, the motor spins the platter via the belt indirectly. The platter is supported on bearings which are basically a device used to enable rotational motion. Note that the platter is isolated from the motor.

Pros:

  • The belt, due to its elastic property, absorbs shock from the shaking movement and suppresses unwanted vibrations generated by the motor.
  • As the platter and the motor are isolated, less noise is transmitted to the tonearm.
  • It is a common belief that belt drive turntables have a better quality of sound due to less noise interference from the motor.

Cons:

  • The main disadvantage is that the belt may wear down after prolonged use and may need replacing in the course of a few years.
  • Have a lower torque.

Direct Drive Turntable

In the case of a direct drive turntable, the platter is linked straight to the motor and spins via the motor itself. The direct attachment offers more constant and accurate speeds, stronger torque; and generally, feature faster startup times.

Pros:

  • These have higher torque and offer highly consistent speeds. The higher the torque, the less susceptible is the platter to outside forces- like the stylus or your hand.
  • A higher torque also results in less sound distortion.
  • A very unique feature for this type of turntables is that they allow the platter to spin backward. This can create special sound effects and due to this factor, Direct Drive turntables are preferred by professional DJ’s.

Cons:

  • As there are no measures taken to prevent vibrations from the motor, Direct Drive turntables may generate vibrations that can affect the sound quality. But this issue can be solved easily with the installment of shock absorber. They are placed between the platter and the motor and dampen the vibrations.

So we’ve been through the Belt drive vs. Direct drive turntable so what is the verdict? Ultimately, we found out that it depends more on the user’s preference than anything else. Sound quality is something very subjective, you cannot just decide which sound feels good for everyone because seriously- none of they do. All we did was present their best and worst points in front; you have to decide the rest.

Now we don’t discriminate so we have some of the best choices of both ready for you to see and decide. Things are always best when they are affordable, so this review is going to feature turntables under the $1000 margin. Enjoy!

BEST BELT DRIVE TURNTABLES UNDER $1000


Best Choice

Music Hall – MMF-5.1

 

Turntable Under $1000Music Hall has been manufacturing its own range of turntables for over five decades so, they are bound to be of good quality. The MMF 5.1 is a great product, with music hall’s unique dual plinth construction and separately isolated asynchronous motor. It comes with a simple design but works pretty well. It has good reviews by users and a good overall rating on Amazon.

Specifications:
Size: 18.25 “x 13.25” x 5.5”
Weight: 24 lbs.
Play speeds: 2 speeds- 33.3 RPM and 45 RPM

Pros:
• Dual plinth construction
• Glossy black lacquer design, gorgeous outlook
• Separately isolated asynchronous motor
• Due to the platter being rather heavy, it gains momentum very steadily and produces consistent sound without distortions
Cons:
The turntable is quite heavy, so it does not have a great deal of mobility. Other than that, it does not have any issues worth pointing out.

The MMF 5.1 is a great option to go with. It is heavy but that only adds to its quality of producing great sound and almost negates the effects of unwanted vibrations. It will have to stay in a definite place in your house, sure, but that place will only be beautified by this charming piece of art.

Value choice

Rega Planar 2

best belt drive turntable under $1000

REGA has been producing great audio equipment for quite a long period. Planar 2 is one of their best ones. It comes with a redesigned tonearm and carbon cartridge. Operations are easy and simple. It’s a popular choice among users and is well-known among buyers.

Specifications:
Size: 17.6” x 14.2” x 4.6”
Weight: 12.12 lbs.
Play speeds: 2 speeds- 33 & 45 RPM

Pros:
• Great build quality with a high gloss finish
• No resonance
• Carbon MM Cartridge delivers magnificent sound quality

Cons:
• The motor noise is quite noticeable and is amplified with the dust cover on.
• Dust cover hinges are flimsy
• Balancing the tonearm may turn out to be a chore

Rega Planar 2 is a great choice if you are willing to buy a turntable under a thousand bucks. It has good sound quality, good build, a good cartridge. It does have a few issues with the motor noise and dust cover- if they are important or worth notice to you. But other than these, this is a great option to go with, no doubt.

Premium Choice

Pro-Ject – 1Xpression Carbon Classic

best turntables in the world

Pro-Ject manufactures audio equipment of great quality and this turntable is the proof. It’s a smooth looking turntable with attributes to go with its looks- it comes with a synchronous motor, a heavy aluminum sandwich platter for resonance damping and 8.6 carbon tonearm with Evo Kardan rings- what more can you ask for?

Specifications:
Size: 7.9” x 18.5” x 20.1”
Weight: 16.55 lbs.
Play speeds: 2 speeds- 33 and 45 RPM

Pros:
• High gloss finish, good resolution
• Cartridge produces articulated sound
• Great manufacturer support, any parts are replaced free of charge

Cons:
Some people have reported the sound being not enthusiastic enough and have commented on how their competitors are doing a better job.

1Xpression is a truly high–end turntable to go with. It has good reviews from users overall and nothing solid against it. The components are of premium quality and the turntable itself has that elite feeling about it. So, if this one turns out to be the one you were looking for, your decision is right.

Budget Choice

Pro-Ject – Debut Carbon Esprit SB

best audiophile turntable

Another Pro-Ject item and this time very much affordable, the Debut Carbon Esprit is one of their best-selling models. With a carbon tonearm and a heavy acrylic non-resonant platter, the turntable ensures great sound quality without disturbance.

Specifications:
Size: 19” x 15.5” x 9.8”
Weight: 12.35 lbs.
Play Speed: 3 speeds- 33, 45 and 78 RPM

Pros:
• Quality components produce highly articulate sound
• Easy setup and control
• Has three play speeds

Cons:
• Weird humming noises have been reported from the turntable especially at lower speeds and volumes.
• A few numbers of users have reported that the turntable has issues with the playback, and may stop playing mid-play.

It is worth pointing out, however, that all of these cons have been addressed to and newer users have no longer complained of either.
The Debut Carbon Esprit is a good turntable. It has a lot of praise in its collection, but not without a bit of criticism. But the negative comments are from such a small fraction of customers that the flaws may be accounted to the units sold rather than the actual product. So we suggest that if you do choose this turntable to rock your house with music, you go at it with full confidence.

DIRECT DRIVE TURNTABLES UNDER $1000


Best Choice

Denon DJ VL12 PRIME

 

best direct drive turntable under $1000Denon is the professional in professional audio equipment manufacturing. VL12 is a premium product of theirs. It’s one of the few turntables to feature a rugged, all-metal tonearm which is shaped uniquely for accurate tracking. The isolation feet suppresses any unwanted vibrations. The isolated motor design vouches for optimal signal-to-noise ratio and supports switchable Low and High torque motor settings.

Specifications:
Size: 17.8” x 14.0” x 5.9”
Weight: 27.3 lbs.
Play speeds: 2 speeds- 33.3 and 45 RPM
Motor braking system: Electronic
Platter Material: Aluminum die-cast

Pros:
• Direct drive turntable with features suitable for professional use.
• Very high amount of torque- 5kgf/cm for record playing consistency.
• Reinterpreted, ‘S’ shaped tonearm for accurate tracking with dual function- lock or rest feature
• Strong build with great quality

Cons:
• More directed towards professional use than personal use.
• There are some strange regional pricing anomalies for the product and ay show drastic price differences with similar products depending on which region you are buying the product from.

So, the VL12 shows promising characteristics and vows to deliver professionalism, quality, performance and overall a magnificent experience of the vinyl world. Now, do you really want all of these in the turntable that you’re willing to buy? If yes, we suggest you look no further because you probably cannot get a better deal than this.

Best Bang for the Bucks

Pioneer Pro DJ PLX-1000

 

best audiophile turntable under $1000

Pioneer does know how to make great products to draw the market towards their favor. The PLX-1000 is a common product when the subject of discussion is best professional direct drive turntables. The product is frequently put to compare and contrast against the Denon VL12, so they are quite similar in quality. It is a high-mass, heavy duty turntable that does not exhaust from prolonged use. The heaviness prevents sound distortions from resonance, and the turntable features easy controls that allow the record speeds to be changed instantaneously. It also has a high-torque and extraordinary control- making it a true choice for professional use.

Specifications:
Size: 17.83“x6.26 “x 13.9”
Weight: 28.88 lbs.
Play speeds: 2 speeds- 33.3 and 45 RPM
Motor braking system: Electronic
Platter Material: Aluminum die-cast

Pros:
• Features high torque of 4.5 kg-f/cm for consistent and balance playback
• One of the heaviest turntables in the market, so tremors from playback cannot put a scratch on the sound quality
• Multi-pitch control takes the sound quality to club-grade.
• Great strength in build quality, excellent sound

Cons:
• Complains of tonearm bearing play and rattle
• Almost too heavy
• A few users have complained about flutter in speed is quite noticeable

PLX-1000 is a turntable for true professional use as it has all the good qualities of one. It is a great turntable with good features overall. It does have one or two flaws to be stated but the percentage of users complaining is negligible, to be honest, and once again may be due to a faulty unit. So just go for the PLX-1000 if you feel like it, your chance of regretting tends to zero.

Luxury Choice

Reloop RP-8000

best record player under $1000

Reloop is going strong in the business lately with the RP-8000. The customers have overall vouched for its satisfactory performance. The turntable has a hybrid torque, along with MIDI-compatible control section and a straight skip-proof tonearm. The turntable also features a USB port which comes in handy. It fuses modern DJ tech in an advanced turntable.

Specifications:
Size: 21” x 17” x 7”
Weight: 22.4 lbs.
Play speeds: 3 speeds- 33.3, 45 and 78 RPM
Motor braking system: Electronic

Pros:
• MIDI control deck is really well designed and is a unique attribute of the turntable
• Hybrid torque allows the records to be played at different rotational speeds
• Great pitch control offering resolution as good as .02%

Cons:
• Issues with the power switch
• Lacks a cartridge of its own so you’ll need to buy that separately
• motor speeds up slightly before winding down when powering off

The RP8000 is a good choice and is recommended by professional disc jockeys. Sure it does come with some minor issues but what doesn’t? The thoughtful addition of the MIDI control deck is something that belongs to the turntable uniquely. Lastly, this one is a solid turntable for the bucks you’re paying and it is as good as all the other ones in the list and If this is indeed you’re choice, I’d have to say you do have a great choice.

Economy Choice

Pioneer PLX-500

pioneer turntable under $1000

Another product from Pioneer, they are doing justice to their name. This turntable is relatively new, but still doing quite great at the market. This turntable has inherited the layout of the PLX-1000, with excellent design, great sound quality, and high torque. It supports digital recording via USB out. The record player has a great outlook and comes in two colors, Black, and white.

Specifications:
Size: 18.9”x6.25”x14.5”
Weight: 23.5 lbs.
Play speeds: 3 speeds- 33.3, 45 and 78 RPM
Motor braking system: Electronic
Platter Material: Aluminum die-cast

Pros:
• Digitalization provided with a USB B port
• All the key attributes are similar to that of PLX-1000
• A cheaper and home-oriented alternative to the PLX-1000

Cons:
• Lower signal to noise ratio
• Lower starting torque
• Construction is not as rugged as PLX-1000
• Lacks the variable pitch control range
• Non-detachable RCA cables are a bit cheap

The PLX-500 may not be as robust as the PLX-1000 in all terms but yet, is a decent choice. It is a cheaper alternative and if budget is an issue you can go with the PLX-500 as long as your usages are non-professional and only at home. Overall, it may be considered the child of the PLX-1000, so if you don’t need the daddy at your home, you may as well have the son.

Conclusion

The same old debate of the direct vs. belt drive under $1000 – which one should you go with? That is your choice, to be honest. All of the turntables we have shown in the list are good choices and they are all under $1000. Yet, you may like them, may not. Consumer preferences are the reason these debates are born so the consumers know better what they really like. Our advice for you would be to determine your level of audiophilia. Do you really want all that controls and extra features coming with the direct drive turntables? Or some good ol’ music is all you want- that is for you to decide. Harder audio lovers prefer the direct drives over belt drives but hey, you might be an exception. So we will let you decide that yourself and when you are done, just check out the list of turntable decide the one you want finally. They are sure to satisfy you and they all fit the budget of $1000 so, good wishes.

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