Question Budget turntables


Active Member

My dad has a big birthday coming up and I have hit on the idea of buying him a turntable as he is a bit old skool. I don't want anything very expensive, but not too cheap and nasty.
I was very interested in the Crosley models but then read a lot of negative things about them.
I think a deck which is automatic and can be connected to speakers without an amp might be better.
There is a shortlist below.

Audio Technica LP60 + speakers



Crosley Cruiser

Ion Air LP

Ion Audio Max

Many thanks



Active Member
Does he already have a substantial record collection, and are the records in good condition? If the answers are yes and yes, one must wonder why he doesn't already own some sort of vinyl playback system. If the answer is no to either all you are doing is giving him something he will have to sink money into to get any enjoyment out of, assuming he will get any enjoyment at all. Also, before you go ahead with this idea, make sure the there are ample titles around to suit his taste in music.

Buying music reproduction items is a very personal thing and maybe best done by the individuals themselves rather than in the form of presents. Other opinions are available and will no doubt be along shortly.


Distinguished Member
Your budget is under £100??? Can you afford to spend more?

I think the best low cost quality turntable, though very much on the low end, would be the Audio Technica LP3 which as a much better tonearm than the turntables you listed. However, it is also about DOUBLE the money -

Audio Technica AT-LP3 Turntable

The Audio Technica LP60 is tolerable, but just. Not great, but it won't destroy your records.

Audio Technica ATLP60USB USB Turntable - Superfi

Make a distinction between a Record Player and a Turntable.

A Record Player is a self-contained unit with amps, speakers, and turntable built into one unit.

A Turntable is a single purpose device that requires a separate Amp and Speakers.

Devices like the Crosley are complete Record Playing Units, but the sound quality is about as minimal as you can get. Yes, they do work, and you can settle for them, but you are settling.

In a turntable only, meaning not having an amps or speakers, the Audio Technica LP60 is, as I said, tolerable, but just.

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Distinguished Member
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If you are going down the ATLP60USB version, ensure you choose the correct "phono/line" switch as one is for amplifiers without built-in phono-stage and the other option is for one which has.

Audio Technica do seem to offer a great option at this price point and don't let the "phono/line" switching option put you off as the extra cost for a phono stage will add extra costs and if Dad wishes to upgrade the sound, then he can in the future purchase an external phono-stage and enjoy an upgraded sound.



Well-known Member
My Girfriend had a Crosley and to be blunt, it's terrible!!

I treated her to a Pro-Ject elemental Turntable, a pro-ject phono stage and some active speakers. The difference was phenomenal and thats putting it lightly. She's a technophobe but has no issues using it as it is so straight forward.

Do not waste your money getting something that isn't really fit for purpose.

Do you have a budget in mind? @BlueWizard has given some great options but giving a budget will help people to give you best bang for buck options.


Distinguished Member
Here is one potential Option for a minimalist Turntable, Amp, Speaker system.

Edifier R2000DB - Active 5" Speaker (Pair) with Bluetooth - £232/pair -

EDIFIER EDFR2000DB Home Audio Speakers: Computers & Accessories

The advantage of these speakers is that they first and foremost have a Remote Control for the Volume Control. That's important.

In addition, they have Bluetooth so you can Stream music from your Smart Phone, though best to stream over your house Wi-FI so you don't use up Data Minutes on the Phone. The Edifier also has a Digital Input so likely you can connect you TV to the Speakers for TV/Movie watching.

And of course, it has Analog input to connect the turntable to. However, while it has Analog Inputs, you will need an External Phono Pre-Amp, though many of the lower end Turntable do come with Phono Stages built in.

So, the Audio Technic LP60 with the Edifier Active Speakers would be £332.

The Audio Technica LP3 with Edifier Speakers would be about £432.

Personally, in a minimal system taking up the least amount of space, and having the most flexibility, I would consider the second option - Audio Technica LP3 + Edifier R2000DB.

There is one other option from Edifier that removes some of the features and a bit of the power, but is still workable at considerably less money.

Edifier R1700BT Active Speakers with Bluetooth - £128/pair -

Edifier R1700BT loudspeaker - loudspeakers (Tabletop/bookshelf, Studio, Built-in, 2-way, 60 - 20000 Hz, Black, Wood): Computers & Accessories

This comes with Remote Control, which is important, and has Bluetooth for Streaming Audio from a Smart Device like a phone or Pad/Tablet. But only Analog Inputs. These are still pretty decent speakers, and would be massively better than something like the Crosley.

The Audio Technica LP3 + Edifier R1700BT would cost £327.

Audio Technica LP60 + Edifier R1700BT = £228

If we go with a separate amp plus passive speaker, about the best you can do is something like this -

Denon PMA520AE Amplifier - Superfi

YAMAHA AS201Black Stereo Amplifier

Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

CAMBRIDGE AUDIO SX50Walnut Speakers Per Pair

Q ACOUSTICS 2020IGraphite Speakers Per Pair

CAMBRIDGE AUDIO SX60Walnut Speakers Per Pair

Audio Technica LP3 + Yamaha AS201 + Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 speakers = £490

Audio Technica LP60 + Yamaha AS201 + Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 = £390

That's far more than the Crosley, and these are all stunningly better systems.

I suspect we have pushed the budget up higher than you wanted to spend, and while there are Record Players out there which you are free to buy, I can't think of any that I would actually recommend.

Does your Father already have some audio equipment? If he has an amp and speakers, then likely all he really needs is a turntable.

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Active Member
Thanks all for the replies, particularly Steve/bluewizard for the in depth advice. The budget is gong higher than I had in mind. £220 was my maximum.
My dad doesn't have a large record collection (anymore) so Kenm's comment is something to ponder. He is rather sedentary (my dad) so had thought a record player/turntable would keep him happy.
I'll have a think and look at the options I have been given.



Active Member
He is rather sedentary

So getting up every twenty minutes to change sides is going to appeal to him? And if there is a track on an LP he hates, he has to get up and move the arm to skip the track then sit down again? I suspect your dad is 50+, from what you say, so he will also probably need to find his specs before performing such an action. Don't get me wrong, I like vinyl and will never give it up, but if somebody burgled me and stole all the turntables and records, I doubt I would replace the vinyl part of it with the insurance money.

Has anybody asked him if he wants a record player?


Distinguished Member
There is the options of something like the Google Chromecast-Audio. This is primarily oriented toward the Internet, but it can connect to Streaming Services and allow you near infinite access to unlimited music. All you need to make it work is a home computer network.

Add this to any of the Edifier Speakers, and you have access to any music in any genre.

You do have to sign up for the Streaming Services, but you can get a free account. There are certain bonuses you get with a paid account, but the Free Account is still pretty good.

This could be made to work with a Turntable, Chromecast, and Edifier Speakers. The Chromecast units are about £30.

Also, if he has a Smart Phone, then he can play music on that through streaming services and it will broadcast through the speakers using the Bluetooth connection.

You said your budget was £220, I laid out one system that was only £228. That's not far off your target.



Active Member
I will look at the cheaper system. As I said my dad is old school, my parents don't have broadband and he really doesn't understand his smartphone. He jabs at it and hopes for the best!:rotfl:

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