Best Turntable

Buying the best turntable can be a difficult task with all the alternatives in the market.

If you are a newbie, this guide will help you learn all the essential concepts of turntables (parts, terminology, configuration, and set-up) and the world of vinyl in general. However, In no time you will become an expert.

I also warn you that you will not do it if you expect to find the typical turntables with old aesthetics that are so fashionable here.

1.Lenco L-3808

Dimensions: 450 x 350 x 139 mm

Weight: 5.36 kg

Operation: direct drive

Speed: 33/45 rpm, manual

Voltage: 220 to 240 V

Capsule: Audio Technica AT-3600

Jitter and tremolo: <0.15% Frequency range: 20-20,000 Hz Integrated phono preamplifier: Yes Signal / noise level: > 55 dB

USB port: Yes

I like it

  • Easy to use
  • Precise
  • Manufacturing quality
  • Sounds good
  • It’s a gift for what it costs

I do not like

  • When it starts, it takes a little while to adjust the speed
  • I wasn’t expecting anything from this Lenco L-3808. It had all the ballots to be a turntable of the lot, of the heap of bad guys: cheap and direct drive, a brand that does not go through its best moment, Chinese manufacture, a very typical design.
  • Well, the reality is that I could not be more wrong because it is a gem for its price. Even made of plastic, this is quality and does not feel like a Chinese trinket.
  • It is very stable and has a motor that rivals much more expensive turntables, high torque and low vibrations.
  • Incredible in this price range! As an extra, bring a dust cover, always appreciated.
  • Plus, it includes a pretty decent cartridge: an AT-3600 with a tapered needle.
  • Surprisingly, Lenco tells us to adjust the tracking force to a small 2g. Dual uses this same capsule on some of its turntables to give you an idea.
  • Such as the MTR-75, and indicates a set of about 3.25g. It provides us with a hint, the arm of the Lenco L-3808 is excellent.
  • Even so, I think it is a turntable from which you can get a little more “chicha” and change the capsule for a better one. For example, an Ortofon 2m Red would improve the sound.
  • I understand that changing the capsule is a significant outlay. Don’t worry. The standard turntable sounds like a vice for the price. It offers a complete and quite detailed sound, delightful.
  • Although you already know that your speakers, amplifier, and the rest of the equipment will play a fundamental role in the final result.

2.AT-LP120XUSB

Dimensions: 450 x 352 x 157 mm

Weight: 10.7 kg

Operation: Direct drive

Speed: 33/45 rpm, manual

Voltage: 115/230 VAC

Capsule: ATN95E

Fluctuation and tremolo: <0.2% Frequency range: 20-20,000 Hz Integrated phono preamplifier: Yes Signal / noise level: > 50 dB

USB port: Yes, USB 1.1

I like it

  • Speed and pitch control (perfect for DJs)
  • 33 and 45 rpm with the included capsule
  • Compatible with 78 rpm by changing the capsule

I do not like

  • Manufacturing materials
  • Non-removable cables

The Audio-Technica LP120 has always been the turntable recommended the most for beginners. It had it all:

  • A good motor with excellent torque, special DJ features, it was well built, a right arm, a pretty good cartridge.
  • Not long ago, Audio Technica decided to retire the AT-LP120 and replace it with the AT-LP120XUSB.
  • In general, as we will see now, it is an improvement, so I continue to recommend it to everyone.
  • But, then, yes, near is always a “but” it has abandoned what made it especially suitable for DJing, so I recommend it now, but only for listening to music in the domestic market.

Among the most significant changes are:

  • An improved phono preamp.
  • Improved arm and structure to reduce vibrations.
  • The torque is lower (sorry, DJs!).
  • It is lighter and more compact.
  • Removed reverse playback function (this was also DJ oriented)
  • The capsule has also been updated, from the AT-VM95 to the new AT-VM95E.
  • It is cheaper and, therefore, much more competitive

3.Audio-Technica AT-LP3

Dimensions: 434 x 128 x 353 mm

Weight: 5.2 kg

Operation: belt drive (belt)

Speed: 33/45 rpm, automatic

Voltage: 220 to 240 V

Capsule: ATN91R

Fluctuation and tremolo: <0.2% Frequency range: 20-20,000 Hz Integrated phono preamplifier: Yes Signal / noise level: > 60 dB

USB port: No

I like it

  • Easy to use
  • Automatic operation
  • There is an excellent quality-price relation
  • Integrated phono preamp
  • Nice sound

I do not like

  • The arm does not have safety support
  • Although it has an option for MC capsules, the turntable does not measure up
  • The Audio Technica AT-LP3 is another cheap alternative to the previous two, with a belt drive and not a direct drive (direct drive).
  • The design and structure are the same as the Dual MTR-75 and many cheap turntables made in China.
  • But, of course, Audio Technica has done an excellent job in the structure’s damping and stability, much better than other manufacturers.
  • Also, it works fully automatically, which is convenient.
  • Audio Technica’s AT91R capsule includes, which adjusts to 2g, which is pretty minor, suitable for not damaging your records.
  • Indeed, it is not the best capsule of the brand, and it has a conical tip that is usually worse than ellipticals, but it is passable, and you can always change it.
  • I prefer the Lenco L-3808 or the Audio-Technica LP120XUSB, but if for some reason you prefer belt turntables, you love that it is automatic.
  • Or you have just found it in a great offer, I will not tell you that you have chosen evil. It’s an excellent cheap turntable.

4.Audio-Technica AT-LP5X

Dimensions: 450 x 352 x 157 mm

Weight: 7.3 kg

Operation: Direct drive

Speed: 33/45 rpm and 78 rpm (with adapter), manual

Voltage: 220 – 240 V

Capsule: AT-VM95E

Fluctuation and tremolo: <0.2% Frequency range: 20-20,000 Hz Integrated phono preamplifier: Yes Signal / noise level: > 50 dB

USB port: Yes

I like it

  • Bombproof built
  • Very easy to assemble and use
  • Includes a phono preamp valid for MM and MC capsules
  • Bring a good tablet as standard

I do not like

  • It is in a price range where the competition is very tough.
  • The Audio Technica LP5X is the updated version of the AT-LP5, a natural winner. To this day, I believe that few turntables offer so much for so little.
  • Audio Technica has been very conservative with the changes. Nothing more than the capsule has been updated to an AT-VM95E, and support has been added to play 78 rpm discs.
  • For this, you will have to purchase a unique pill, such as the AT-VM95SP.

Otherwise, they haven’t touched anything, which I think is perfect. So why are you going to change something that works?

  • It is a metallic and bulky record player, more than 7kg. Let’s go rock. It has an arm that works fine, no jumps and jerks, the bearings it mounts must be fantastic. It is also beautiful, sober, and straightforward.
  • Its installation has no mystery, and you will have it working before you know it.

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