Best Entry-Level Turntables

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Each novice music lover wants to own the best entry level turntable, but the meaning of “the best” is different for everyone. Some persons pay heed to the main components of the vinyl player, while others emphasize attention to design and price. Despite the accents, the person has to understand and remember the main things: the turntable should have acceptable sound, an adjustable counterweight, and anti-skating settings.

Many inexpensive players have a cartridge part of the tonearm; therefore, their sound cannot be improved in principle in the future. Some turntables allow you to change the head, but at the same time have the lack of an adjustable counterweight. This means that you will have to buy the same cartridge all the time, and if it will be discontinued, the player can be thrown out, but if you want to buy the cheap model and exchange it with another turntable, then such a unit might be a good idea.

If you have a desire to choose a really decent device, then it’s better to get acquainted with entry level audiophile turntables reviews. The five following surveys will help to find out the pros and cons of techniques, set functional priorities, and select the best entry level turntable personally for you.

Entry Level Turntable Reviews

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Sony PS-LX300USB: Unit with a Diamond Needle and USB Port

Sony PS-LX300USB

The Sony PS-LX300USB looks moderately simple and minimalistic, so that the player fits both retro-style and high-tech design apartments perfectly. The body frame is made of a durable black polycarbonate that collects fingerprints a little, but the careful care will make it looks in the right way. A transparent cover with a dark shade and lifting mechanism protects against dust accumulation. The needle is upheld by a special visor, which must be raised before playback.

The back panel contains the power cable with phono connectors, as well as the line switch for selecting the required connection type. The player connects to the phono and AUX, video jacks, etc., which work without any problems. On the front side, along with the high-quality manufacturer’s logo and the name of the model, you can find control buttons. This worthy entry level record player comes with USB type B cable and Sony Sound Forge Audio Studio LE software on an optical disc.

Pros:

  • The high-quality tape drive absorbs the vibration of the motor, so that it isn’t transmitted to the needle.
  • The USB audio output allows you to convert the favorite records to MP3 format.
  • The completely automated process protects vinyl discs from scratches.

Cons:

  • It doesn’t have a weight adjustment on the arm, and it required some efforts to make the device start working.
  • Sony software is extremely unfriendly because it’s hard to understand the displayed information and grasp all the details.

Jensen JTA-222: Small Turntable with 2 Inbuilt Speakers

Jensen JTA-222

The device looks like it was made in the 1930s because of the antique wooden case and round dial, but from a functional point of view the unit is modern. It comprises two inbuilt speakers, and the owner has an opportunity to listen to the music via headphones. It’s easy to find out how to tune this unit thanks to the special multi-speed settings. The speaker’s quality is hard to call really good (the sound isn’t loud enough, some songs are somewhat artificial) and there is no amplifier for audio out, so the Jensen JTA-222 can’t be used for making retro sound parties. The unit isn’t the best entry level record player, but with its help, the owner can find out all the turntable peculiarities and basic usage moments.

Pros:

  • The power indicator light helps to understand whether the device is turned on.
  • The unit is relatively compact (6.5 x 13.4 x 14.3 inches), so it easy to place it everywhere in the room.
  • The particular cover protects the whole mechanism from the dust.

Cons:

  • The tonearm doesn’t return in the automatic way when the record is finished.
  • There is no USB plug for converting the music to MP3.

Sylvania stt008usb: Compact Unit with High Stylus Pressure and Battery Power

Sylvania stt008usb

The stt008usb is presented on the market in different colors (black, blue, green, purple, etc.), so it’s easy to find the best variant for various interiors. Its design greatly differs from habitual one, and that makes the unit very light weighted (2.5 pounds) and compact (15 x 6.5 x 5 inches). It has two speeds (33 or 45 RPM ) and trim pots that are available from the bottom and help to get the required speed.

The stylus pressure is a little bit too much (normal – max 5g and this model has 5.69g), but if you are not going to use it every day and listen on it a lot of vinyl discs, such a peculiarity won’t be harmful to them. It’s definitely great that this entry level turntable has a light that shines on the recording surface. It helps to see the groves in low-light conditions. After lid closing, the volume-on-off switch is recessed and nobody will turn the device on by accident (it saves the battery).

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Pros:

  • The turntable quickly connects the PC and Mac.
  • It can be powered via 4 AA batteries or standard 5 Watt USB that is really convenient for transportation.
  • The set includes a high-quality stylus with a metal cantilever that performs its task without problems.

Cons:

  • The internal preamp has some limits, so I have to turn the maximum volume in order to get the decent sound.
  • The special carry or latch for records stabilizing is absent.
  • There is no software for Mac.

ION Audio Air LP: Bluetooth Support and Inbuilt Phono Stage

ION Audio Air LP

A symbiosis of matte and glossy plastic is a basic for player’s table, so the device can handle the great tension and frequent usage. The special rubber mat prevents the device from sliding on the supporting disc. The circuit controlling the turntable functionality is represented by the power-on keys (back side), the Bluetooth connection activation, and the volume knob. There are 3.5mm connectors for AUX and headphone. The mechanism doesn’t offer the automatic handling of the tonearm, so the listener needs to set the pickup head by hand.

A built-in phono stage eliminates the mandatory need for an external amplifier. The player has a Bluetooth module, thanks to which the sound signals are transmitted to wireless multimedia speakers. The music has volumetric expressive bass, rich melodic midrange, as well as vibrant and fairly clean medium frequencies, without obsessive sharpness and synthetics. A built-in USB audio interface is also noteworthy because it allows converting the recordings from vinyl media into tracks in WAV or MP3 formats.

Pros:

  • It has a stylish wooden case with piano lacquer finish.
  • Sturdy acrylic dust cover protects from mechanical damages even after the turntable falling.
  • The package includes a power supply unit (220W), a felt mat, a 45 RPM adapter, a USB cable, a 3.5mm audio cable, an RCA cable, and software.

Cons:

  • The small weight (6.66 pounds) isn’t enough for vibration elimination.
  • The speaker and headphone jack output only in mono, so I can’t check the differences between stereo and mono versions.

Numark PT01USB: Device with Stereo RCA Output and Lithium-ion Battery

Numark PT01USB

This model is a suitcase unit that resembles popular portable players from the past. It has a rugged body frame with a handle and built-in stereo speakers. The PT01USB is equipped with a lithium-ion battery, which allows it to work up to 4 hours. It has a stereo RCA output for connection to a home audio system. Thanks to the USB port and special software you can convert tracks from vinyl records to transfer them to a computer.

Pros:

  • The unit has a special anti-skid system that allows the needle to remain in contact with the vinyl disc, even if the player is angled or subjected to vibrations.
  • Adjustable volume AUX plug makes it possible to connect a smartphone or other portable audio source.
  • Instead of steel gramophone needles, this unit contains a replaceable cartridge CZ-800-10.

Cons:

  • Sometimes it plays slower than it is supposed, to the point where I have to turn it off. After turning back on it continues working normally.
  • The device isn’t recognized by iMac.

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