Question Which Turntable to start with?

willpashley

Standard Member
I am looking to purchase a Turntable with max price of £300 and wondered what people would recommend?

I've read good reviews for the Rega Planar 1 and the Audio Technica AT-LP3.

Initially I am going to use my Yamaha RXV1073 AV receiver and Monitor Audio Apex's to run the Turntable through.
 

Alzy

Novice Member
Hi Will,

I was in your position only a few weeks ago and after much deliberation between the Pro-Ject Esential 3, Carbon Debut, or a used 1210 I decided on the Audio Technica LP120.

One of the reasons was because of the similarity between the 1210 and the LP120 (obviously the quality isn't the same) and that it is a direct drive as opposed to belt driven.

Richer Sounds £239.

Over the moon with it.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
£300 is kind of boarderline, you with need to spend a bit more or a bit less.

At less money, the Audio Technica LP120 is good, but it likely needs a cartridge upgrade as the cartridge that is bundled with it is a pretty low cost generic cartridge. You can find many positive reviews of the LP120-USB on YouTube.

Audio Technica LP120-USB - £240 -

AUDIO TECHNICA ATLP120USB Black USB Direct Drive Turntable

Taking a step up just a bit above your budget, the Project Debut Carbon is often recommended as a quality entry level turntable that comes with a cartridge upgrade. The turntable comes in an assortment of colors. Make sure you get the model that has the Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge.

Project Debut Carbon DC w/ Ortofon 2M Red - £350 -


PROJECT DEBUT CARBON DC Black Turntable

Other turntables on the low end that might be worth considering -

Reloop RP1000 Belt Driver Turntable - £195 -

Reloop RP1000M DJ Turntable - Superfi

Because the RP1000 is Belt Drive, it is not really a DJ Turntable, even though it looks like one, but it would make a decent Hi-Fi turntable for the money. As with most, it would eventually need a cartridge upgrade to sound its best.

My particular favorite, is the Denon DP300 Auto Turntable. The appealing feature is that it has Auto-Start/Auto-Stop. Push one button, the motor starts, and the tonearm moves over and plays the record. At the end, the tonearm returns to rest, and the motor shuts off. I find that very handy, and the DP300 does have a nice tonearm.

Denon DP300 Black - £299 -

DENON DP300 Black Turntable

In other places, the Denon DP300 comes bundled with the Ortofon 2M Red MM Cartridge -

ORTOFON 2M RED CARTRIDGE MM Cartridge

But in this case, the turntable has a pretty generic cartridge, enough to get you started, but for best sound, at some point you will want to upgrade the cartridge.

Your best bet, coming with a cartridge upgrade, would be the Project Debut Carbon DC at £350. The cartridge upgrade alone is worth about £85.

Here are a few others that are worth considering, though again, most will eventually need a cartridge upgrade.

PROJECT ESSENTIAL III ABlack Turntable

Project Essential II USB Turntable - Superfi

PROJECT DEBUT SE3 Black Turntable

TEAC TN300 USB Turntable

Audio Technica ATLP5 USB Turntable - Superfi

Project Debut Carbon MSL Turntable with Ortofon 2M Silver Cartridge - Superfi

I like the TEAC just because it looks so cool.

If you get something like the Direct Drive Audio Technica LP120 and you buy a new cartridge at the same time, they might be willing to install and align the new cartridge for free. The LP120 plus, as an example, the Ortofon 2M Red about take you just a bit over £300 (£240 + £85 = £325).

Again, check YouTube for reviews on the Audio Technica LP120. Generally very positive. Plus it is also a pretty cool looking turntable available in Silver or Black.

AT-LP120 Silver -
Audio Technica ATLP120USBC USB Turntable - Superfi

AT-LP120 Black -


Audio Technica ATLP120USBC USB Turntable (Opened Box, Black) - Superfi

Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge - £85 to £95 -


ORTOFON 2M RED CARTRIDGE MM Cartridge

Ortofon 2M Red Moving Magnet Cartridge - Superfi

One last turntable to consider -

REGA Planar 1 with Performance Pack - £333 -

https://www.hifix.co.uk/turntables/...planar-1-turntable-including-performance-pack

The Performance Pack includes, among other things, an upgrade to a better REGA Cartridge.

In you like a DJ Style Direct Drive Turntable, then the Audio Technica LP120 + Ortofon 2M Red at £325 to £335 is worth considering.

In Hi-Fi turntable, the Project Debut Carbon DC w/ 2M Red or the REGA Planar 1 w/ Performance Pack, are probably the best all round choices.

Steve/bluewizard
 
Last edited:

willpashley

Standard Member
£300 is kind of boarderline, you with need to spend a bit more or a bit less.

At less money, the Audio Technica LP120 is good, but it likely needs a cartridge upgrade as the cartridge that is bundled with it is a pretty low cost generic cartridge. You can find many positive reviews of the LP120-USB on YouTube.

Audio Technica LP120-USB - £240 -

AUDIO TECHNICA ATLP120USB Black USB Direct Drive Turntable

Taking a step up just a bit above your budget, the Project Debut Carbon is often recommended as a quality entry level turntable that comes with a cartridge upgrade. The turntable comes in an assortment of colors. Make sure you get the model that has the Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge.

Project Debut Carbon DC w/ Ortofon 2M Red - £350 -


PROJECT DEBUT CARBON DC Black Turntable

Other turntables on the low end that might be worth considering -

Reloop RP1000 Belt Driver Turntable - £195 -

Reloop RP1000M DJ Turntable - Superfi

Because the RP1000 is Belt Drive, it is not really a DJ Turntable, even though it looks like one, but it would make a decent Hi-Fi turntable for the money. As with most, it would eventually need a cartridge upgrade to sound its best.

My particular favorite, is the Denon DP300 Auto Turntable. The appealing feature is that it has Auto-Start/Auto-Stop. Push one button, the motor starts, and the tonearm moves over and plays the record. At the end, the tonearm returns to rest, and the motor shuts off. I find that very handy, and the DP300 does have a nice tonearm.

Denon DP300 Black - £299 -

DENON DP300 Black Turntable

In other places, the Denon DP300 comes bundled with the Ortofon 2M Red MM Cartridge -

ORTOFON 2M RED CARTRIDGE MM Cartridge

But in this case, the turntable has a pretty generic cartridge, enough to get you started, but for best sound, at some point you will want to upgrade the cartridge.

Your best bet, coming with a cartridge upgrade, would be the Project Debut Carbon DC at £350. The cartridge upgrade alone is worth about £85.

Here are a few others that are worth considering, though again, most will eventually need a cartridge upgrade.

PROJECT ESSENTIAL III ABlack Turntable

Project Essential II USB Turntable - Superfi

PROJECT DEBUT SE3 Black Turntable

TEAC TN300 USB Turntable

Audio Technica ATLP5 USB Turntable - Superfi

Project Debut Carbon MSL Turntable with Ortofon 2M Silver Cartridge - Superfi

I like the TEAC just because it looks so cool.

If you get something like the Direct Drive Audio Technica LP120 and you buy a new cartridge at the same time, they might be willing to install and align the new cartridge for free. The LP120 plus, as an example, the Ortofon 2M Red about take you just a bit over £300 (£240 + £85 = £325).

Again, check YouTube for reviews on the Audio Technica LP120. Generally very positive. Plus it is also a pretty cool looking turntable available in Silver or Black.

AT-LP120 Silver -
Audio Technica ATLP120USBC USB Turntable - Superfi

AT-LP120 Black -


Audio Technica ATLP120USBC USB Turntable (Opened Box, Black) - Superfi

Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge - £85 to £95 -


ORTOFON 2M RED CARTRIDGE MM Cartridge

Ortofon 2M Red Moving Magnet Cartridge - Superfi

One last turntable to consider -

REGA Planar 1 with Performance Pack - £333 -

https://www.hifix.co.uk/turntables/...planar-1-turntable-including-performance-pack

The Performance Pack includes, among other things, an upgrade to a better REGA Cartridge.

In you like a DJ Style Direct Drive Turntable, then the Audio Technica LP120 + Ortofon 2M Red at £325 to £335 is worth considering.

In Hi-Fi turntable, the Project Debut Carbon DC w/ 2M Red or the REGA Planar 1 w/ Performance Pack, are probably the best all round choices.

Steve/bluewizard

I'd rather spend a little more and get something better so it looks like the Rega Planar 1 w/performance pack or Project Dubut Carbon DC w/ 2M Red. What's the difference between the two? Any preference?
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
I'd rather spend a little more and get something better so it looks like the Rega Planar 1 w/performance pack or Project Dubut Carbon DC w/ 2M Red. What's the difference between the two? Any preference?

Probably the main difference is a slightly different Tonearm Design. Both are well regarded.

Steve/bluewizard
 

willpashley

Standard Member
The seller is 10 minutes from me. I will get the performance pack for the Turntable separately. What are the speakers like and receiver?
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
The seller is 10 minutes from me. I will get the performance pack for the Turntable separately. What are the speakers like and receiver?

The speakers are decent for 5" bookshelf. The Wharfedale Diamond line has a long and positive history.

The amp, is pretty much a below middle of the road AV Receiver. I couldn't find the price on that exact model, but I did find the nearest equivalent in the USA for $250. That's nothing special, but you are getting a pretty good deal, and you should get by nicely until you have the urge to upgrade again.

Actually I searched some more and found the Sony 550 on Amazon UK for £280. Generally I don't recommend AV Receivers under about £500, which seem middle of the road common consumer AV Receivers.

Sony STR-DH550 - AV receiver - 5.2 channel: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics

Still, a bargain is a bargain.

Just make sure everything is working and in good shape before you lay down your money.

Steve/bluewizard
 

willpashley

Standard Member
Will do, thanks for the advice. It's a local pickup so I'm going to test it before handing the money over. In that setup what would you upgrade and in what order? Planning on upgrading over a period of time so can spread the cost a little. Will to spend £500 on each bit (maybe more if it pushes quality up a notch).
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Will do, thanks for the advice. It's a local pickup so I'm going to test it before handing the money over. In that setup what would you upgrade and in what order? Planning on upgrading over a period of time so can spread the cost a little. Will to spend £500 on each bit (maybe more if it pushes quality up a notch).

I would not think about upgrading with the exception of the REGA Performance Pack, for about 6 month. Use the system for a while and see where you think the weak link is. The speakers could be larger, and the Amp could be better, assuming no problems, hard to find fault with the turntable. Considering the Rega Planar 1 (w/PP) is about £333, you are getting a bargain. It is like he is throwing the Speakers and Amp in for free.

So, I say enjoy what you have until such time as you feel that the system does have a weak link, then upgrade that. I would expect overall good results, and I'm sure that system, while perhaps not ideal, will certainly satisfy you for a considerable amount of time. Especially satisfying given the price.

Steve/bluewizard
 

willpashley

Standard Member
I would not think about upgrading with the exception of the REGA Performance Pack, for about 6 month. Use the system for a while and see where you think the weak link is. The speakers could be larger, and the Amp could be better, assuming no problems, hard to find fault with the turntable. Considering the Rega Planar 1 (w/PP) is about £333, you are getting a bargain. It is like he is throwing the Speakers and Amp in for free.

So, I say enjoy what you have until such time as you feel that the system does have a weak link, then upgrade that. I would expect overall good results, and I'm sure that system, while perhaps not ideal, will certainly satisfy you for a considerable amount of time. Especially satisfying given the price.

Steve/bluewizard

Got the system and it's sounds good. He also threw in some speaker stands so feel like I got a decent start setup for the price. The pre-amp looks pretty budget and I don't need all the functionality on the AVR. I am purely using this for Vinyl only so once I've got the performance pack for the Rega Planar 1 will look at this area. Is it better to have a separate pre-amp or amp generally? It basically just needs to play the Rega Planar and that's it. I have another setup for everything else like streaming, Movies etc.
 

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