Help picking a Bluetooth turntable

chris2922

Active Member
Hi all. I have inherited a small vinyl collection of around 100 LPs and have no turntable to play them on.

I'd like to get my first turntable but my requirements are a little specific. I have a Denon AVR-X2200W in my tv unit but i don’t have anywhere in that vicinity to put a record player. It would have to be over the other side of the room and i would rather not run cable between the two.

So either i get some speakers to sit with the turntable or I get a Bluetooth enabled player and link to my Denon wirelessly. The wireless option is my preference because I would rather not add more speakers.

I have looked at a few Bluetooth players - namely:

Sony PS-LX310BT £194
Audio-Technica AT-LP120XBT-USB Bluetooth Turntable £329
Pro-Ject Essential III Bluetooth Turntable £329

Although it is the cheapest the Sony does appeal because it’s 'fully automatic' and gets a glowing What HiFi review.

I appreciate that connecting a turntable via Bluetooth breaks the analogue signal and introduces digital compression to the audio. Not ideal. It's a shame there isn't a Denon HEOS enabled player really. But putting that aside I would really appreciate some advice from some of you much more knowledgeable than me.

  1. Which would you pick from the 3 i have listed?
  2. Is there another model I haven’t mentioned that would be your pick?
 

Ascotbilly

Well-known Member
The project because it’s a proper “record player”..

That way if you get into vinyl you can add speakers and amp and hear the improvements.
 

Jules Tohpipi

Well-known Member
@chris2922

Your other option is to buy the Pro-Ject Primary E Phono turntable and plug it into a separate small bluetooth transmitter - such as the one at the link below.

Note that to go down this route the turntable must have a phono stage built in - which the ProJect Primary E Photo does. Otherwise you would need a separate phono stage box between the turntable and the bluetooth transmitter.

Amazon product



Amazon product
 

chris2922

Active Member
I did think about a separate Bluetooth transmitter but that introduce more options! I would have thought a Raga Planar would be a better option than the Pro-Ject if I wasn’t looking for a turntable with built in Bluetooth?
 

Jules Tohpipi

Well-known Member
I’m not sure if any of the Regas around that price point have built in phono stages. Albeit you could add a phono stage between the Rega and the BT transmitter.
 

Jules Tohpipi

Well-known Member
Actually, seem how you are mentioning the desire for better quality sound (above just the convenience) then it might be worth giving a heads-up on the Bluetooth side of things. Forgive me if I'm telling you things you know already.

Over the years there have been various improvements to Bluetooth that have improved its sound quality. I'm going to keep this loose and general for the sake of brevity. It's long enough already.

In your shoes, if Bluetooth sound quality is an important factor, then regardless of whether you go for a Pro-Ject or Rega, I would be allocating around £30-50 per item for a Bluetooth transmitter and receiver combo. One piece being a Bluetooth transmitter that supports the aptX-HD codec. The second piece being a Bluetooth receiver that supports the aptX-HD codec and has an optical output. Plug that second piece into an optical input on your Denon.

aptX-HD is the highest sound quality codec for Bluetooth (when talking in the context of cheaper-end standalone Bluetooth Tx/Rx boxes. For all practical purposes LDAC doesn't figure for your situation).

Now here's the rub of it all. Your Denon supports only two Bluetooth codecs. The first is the base SBC codec which has been baked into Bluetooth from Day 1 and, for the purposes of this discussion, can be considered by far the worst option and will have a major detrimental affect on sound quality. The second codec the Denon supports is AAC. But AAC ain't going to work in this scenario because there's basically no standalone Bluetooth transmitter boxes that can encode AAC. There's a few which can decode (receive AAC) but finding one that can encode and transmit is a unicorn hunt.

The grand upshot being you are going to be stuck at the bottom with SBC Bluetooth sound quality if you rely on the Bluetooth built into your Denon. That's regardless of what flavour Bluetooth is being used on the transmission side. This is why I'm recommending a separate Bluetooth Tx/Rx combo to do the job instead.
 
Last edited:

chris2922

Active Member
That’s excellent advice thank you very much for taking the time to type that out for me. I had wondered what version of Bluetooth the Denon supports. I’ve seen a few turntable specs state Bluetooth 5.0 and I knew the Denon would be further behind than that, due to it age.

A more advanced Bluetooth transmitter and receiver sounds like a very sensible plan to maximise the sound quality. I shall look into them.

I suppose (as has already been mentioned) I’m now looking for a NON-Bluetooth turntable with a built-in phono stage; or a turntable without a phono stage and a separate phono stage.

Opens up the field again and makes choosing harder!
 

wine man

Active Member
If you have a turntable with a separate or built in phono stage you could run a longish lead from the phono stage to your amp without any problems apart from the routing of the cable. Never run a long lead direct from a turntable without the above though, there would be a high probability of interference.
Being a vinyl purist I've never seen the point of turning an analogue signal into digital, heresy!
 

DpM

Well-known Member
I was looking for a BT turntable like the OP for my daughter for Christmas.

I tried to get her the Pro-Ject T1 BT with built in Bluetooth and phono stage. Unfortunately I had a nightmare, I had 3 of them in total and each time they were shipped to me the counter weight on the tone arm came detached, which I was told it should not on this product. It bounced around in the box and dented them. Not sure what's going on with Proj-ject and their QA at the moment.
In the end I switched to the Rega Planar 1 and Rega Phono Mini.

My daughter was over the moon and I am glad I ditched the idea of the Bluetooth as it sounds amazing (I don't have a turntable myself and am jealous of her now). Maybe it might be a better idea to get the turntable first, see how you get on then later on add Bluetooth.
I expect the Planar 1 Plus with a built in phono stage would fit the bill.
I went with a separate phono state in case she ever wants to change the turntable or if the phono stage has an issue it can be easily replaced.

Also a huge shout out to Doug Brady Hi-Fi who got the replacements to me in a very timely manner and also the Rega kit to ensure my daughter had her main present under the tree on Xmas morning. I would definitely use them again.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Paramount + UK launch: Halo, Star Trek and Beavis, and all the latest 4K + Movie/TV News
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom