DJ Turntable Buying Guide: Best Picks for 2017

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If you’re a DJ looking for quality and professional gear this article you will help you find some of the best turntables with direct drives, thoroughly reviewed. To make your job enjoyable, interesting and easy, you need a turntable that facilitates bringing your vision to life. Produce the sound you want to sculpt from your mind with the help of musical brands that produce DJ equipment, gear and accessories you can choose from.

Turntables, just like any other musical component, have seen a lot of improvement over the years. Vinyl records have been in the music business for very long and they are here to stay for much longer. Turntables make use of a motor that makes the platter spin. The vinyl record sits on top of the platter and a stylus converts the vibrations into sound. Basically, there are three types of turntable manufactured today- belt-drive, idler-wheel and direct-drive turntables.

Top 9 DJ Turntables in 2017

Here the best 9 DJ turntables on the market right now.

I have researched 3 types of turntables and have 3 recommendations for each: Direct Drive, Belt Drive, and Portable Suitcase Turntables.

All these options are priced the best, and have received a ton of positive reviews.

Best Direct Drive DJ Turntables

First and most you need a DJ turntable. There are many models and brands out there. some of the most reputable brands in hi fi professional gear are AudioTehnica and Stanton.

After researching and reviewing many products we concluded that these two brands have some of the best DJ turntables today. Whether you’re a pro or an enthusiast, or anything in between, these turntables will deliver versatility, with modern features, hi fi sound, packed in a modern compact sleek design that can be easily carried and moved from one show location to the other.

So let’s see some of the greatest features and specs that made these models land in our carefully selected best of list:

Audio Technica AT-LP1240

  • Conversion from analog to digital
  • HiFi sound, precision and versatility
  • Multiple speeds and playback modes
  • Sleek modern design
  • High power motor for efficiency

Primarily designed for professional DJ’s use in night clubs, this can also be used for vinyl faithful collectors to play music in their homes. You can use this with mobile apps or directly connect it to your laptop through an USB cable.

You can connect to stereo speakers or home cinema. Its shiny black design will make it blend in and look great hooked on any type of speakers amps and gears. The sound delivery is exceptional thanks to the highly crafted engineering and superior components. The turntable comes with the Audacity software included, needed for laptop connection.

The inbuilt phono preamp is switchable. This makes the turntable very versatile: it can be connected to a variety of power amps, receivers, and other gear. The motor has 3 speeds and offers speed fidelity and consistence. The tone arm has an S curved shape, and has adjustable counterweight. The direct drive motor is powerful and strong -16 power pole, back and forward feature and constant speed stability with back cueing.

Easy to use, DJ friendly, with modern features and high versatility, this turntable will make the DJ job seem like a kid’s playing, while enjoying every sound, play, stability and quality of music. Precision, professionalism and quality packed in a modern looking and featured turntable, with high fidelity to music. The PC and MAC compatibility allows many conversions and audio formatting.

Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB

  • precision and stability
  • compact premium design
  • accurate HiFi sound reproduction
  • silver plated
  • transfer your vinyls into digitalized copies
  • dual magnet phono cartridges
  • balanced tone arm
  • pitch control
  • stroboscopic speed indicator
  • switchable built preamp for stereo system connection
  • silver plated for premium deluxe design
  • versatile speeds high torque motor

Another professional DJ turntable from AT, this model features a fast torque motor direct drive, for fast starting and PC connection through the USB port. You can play fast forward and reverse mode. Aside from this, there’s a multitude of features and options that let you operate the sound and mould it in many ways. You can manipulate it at various speeds, pitches, with stability, accuracy and assurance. The hardware and the parts are sturdy and reliable quality, designed for specific jobs. The built in preamp is switchable and has various outputs. The headshells and the cartridges are included.

Cables and CD software for Audacity is included. Another performance turntable from Audio Tehnica, this time featuring a more classical design with transparent cover and silver surface. The model looks and acts as a reliable piece of hardware. With compact sturdy looks and quality components and electronic parts made to sculpt and enhance the sound from your hands you can keep the party going all night long.

Stanton T62 Direct Drive DJ Turntable

On the modern side of the spectrum we have the T62 DJ Turntable from Stanton, a straightforward, easy to use audio device. The design of the T62 is based on the previous model T60, a success and a popular choice, favorite in the DJ culture. Due to its easy to use setup, it can be used for any experience level in DJ’ing.

  • equipped with the famous 500 v3cartridge
  • slipmat for precise control
  • RCA outputs,
  • double starts/stop controls for battles
  • two playback speeds available at 33 and 45 rotations per minute.
  • high torque motor with direct drive
  • manipulate the pitch and tempo with the pitch control fader- plus/minus 10 speed
  • take your scratching to the next level with the straight arm – this improves tracking and makes the
  • finger scratch more precise.
  • accessories included: cables, user’s manual, slipmat, dustcover
  • pre mounted cartridge

These are 3 of the most iconic direct drive DJ turntables available on the market today. The brands have a high reputation, long time built, for audio gear and devices in the hi fi and professional audio market, They have lived up to their name and fans expectations with these products.

If you’re looking for great sound quality, accurate manipulation, and versatile features in a compact premium design made of great components, pick from one of the three, for the one that best matches your style in particularities and specs.

If you’re an older experienced DJ that enjoys the classical turntable look, you can go with one of the two models from AudioTehnica. Pick the Stanton if you want a new, fresh modern look, with easy to use features, simple dashboard and precise scratching arm.

Best Belt Drive Turntables

In belt-drive turntables, an elastic belt is attached to the motor and the platter is set atop a bearing. If you are considering buying one, there are many reasons to go for this type of turntable:
They have the best sound quality because of the fact that the motor is far away from the platter. The elastic belt prevents vibrations of the motor affecting the sound output. This helps in the free-spinning of the record. They are more affordable.

These turntables are best suited for the people who generally do not scratch or mix it up while playing some music.

I did a lot of research about these turntables and on the basis of that research; here is the list of the 3 turntables I would recommend you to buy:

Akai Professional BT500

  • Isolated DC motor that is high on torque
  • Adjustable feet
  • Non-slip mat made of rubber
  • High signal-to-noise ratio
  • Wireless Bluetooth streaming
  • AUX input, RCA outputs
  • USB connection

Akai BT500 has all the new-school features that you must be looking for. Though it is a bit pricey, these features make it completely worth the price. 

This turntable can also be used with a stereo or speakers with the help of the amazing built-in switchable pre-amp. It comes along with software that makes it easy to connect it to a computer and convert analog files to digital.

The walnut finish gives a sleek, classy look and the metal parts feel very solid. The platter is heavy while the tone-arm is low mass. It is very to set-up and you can start enjoying music without much haggling.
This turntable is best for the people who know how to balance it well for best results. The bubble level is another great feature that ensures optimal sound.

There is one issue that can trouble you a bit- the stylus does not lift up automatically once a record is finished. But this is definitely not a major issue; you can always lift it up yourself.

Stanton T52B Straight Arm Belt Drive Turntable

  • Robust design
  • Easy to operate
  • Pitch Control
  • Slider Manual
  • Pitch Control
  • 2 speeds for playback
  • 2 Start or Stop Switches for battle mode
  • USB, RCA Outputs

This turntable by Stanton is simple-looking but it is packed with professional features. The weight of the TT keeps it steady, the rubber foot pads also help out. The sound output is excellent. You simply cannon ask for more in this price tag.

Built-in USB connectivity and the included software can be used to digitalize the records. The pre-mounted 500.v3 cartridge works like a charm. This way this turntable gives you the freedom to control pitch manually makes you feel like a real DJ. It allows you to make +/- 10% adjustment. This turntable is ideal for everyday use. Anyone who lies in the range of a beginner to a medium-level DJ will be more than happy with this device. Plus you will love the big logo of Stanton that shines on the platter.

You also get a dust cover to keep this beauty covered when it is not being used.
It does not come with a pre-amp. So if you want to connect headphones, you have to get a separate pre-amp. If you replace the RCA cable with a thicker one, the turntable will start sounding much better from that instant.

ION Audio Max LP

  • 12V DC adapter
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Built-in speakers
  • RCA outputs, headphone output
  • Inexpensive

ION presents a shiny-looking piano-back turntable at a very affordable price. The tone-arm gives a plastic-like feel but once you use it, you will realize that it is rather solid. The vinyl record software that comes bundled up is surprisingly quite easy to use.

You also get a clear dust cover that can cover this up completely while listening music and watching the record spin round and round. The attached cover is easily removable and gives a great look to the TT. This turntable allows you to convert the old cassettes tapes that have been lying in the back of your store with the help of the built-in audio input.

This is the perfect turntable for the brand new fans of vinyl music. You get a beautiful device at a very good price, plus you get an amazing output especially on the headphones. The built-in speakers do not offer a great sound output. They sound somewhat like laptop speakers. But once you connect a subwoofer, you are in for a lovely ride. The power button is located at the back of TT, which can be a pain.

Belt Dive Turntables are the best option for vinyl record lovers and part-time DJs. Unless you are a professional disc jockey, these are the best options for you.

Direct drives can be a tricky business if you don’t know how to use one.

The sound quality of a vinyl record is exceptional; it cannot be compared to a CD player. So, you definitely need to get a turntable if you are an audiophile.

Without spending a lot of money, you get your hands on your very own turntable and enjoy the essence of music.

Best Portable Suitcase Turntables

Turntables became the modern option for playing vinyl records. While they were a great option for the people who were not too big a fan of digital music, portable vinyl players seemed like a far-fetched dream.

But with the advancement of technology, portable suitcase turntables were introduced. After many changes and improvements, they have been able to work perfectly well over the years. These are some of the benefits of portable suitcase turntables
Rich sound quality Less expensive than authentic vinyl players Innovative designs Compact in size Can serve as great showpieces

So, if you are a big fan of vinyl records and have been looking for new ways to make this lovely playback system portable, you have landed at the right place.
After doing a lot of research, I have come to the conclusion that the following devices will give you the best experience in terms of sound and quality. You will not regret spending your cash in the following turntables-

ION Audio Vinyl Motion

  • Suitable for 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM records
  • Built-in speakers
  • 45 RPM adapter
  • Rechargeable AA batteries with a backup of up to 4 hours
  • RCA outputs
    Headphone input
  • AUZ input
  • USB cable
  • EZ Vinyl converter software

This portable turntable by ION has a vintage look with all the modern features you can ask for. You get all this at a very affordable price. You can carry it around by packing it in the suitcase and latching it up for safe-keeping.
The stylus is conical in shape, is made of ceramic and has a diamond tip. It even cleans up the dirt that gets settled in between the records. The sound quality of the built-in speakers is perfect for a small room. Once a record is over, the auto-stop feature works well. You even get a cueing lever at this rate.
Since this turntable comes with a rechargeable battery, you can enjoy the lovely sound of vinyl whenever you want, even if you don’t have a switch near you.

The built-in stereo speakers are a great option when you are outdoors and don’t have an external speaker to connect. The RCA outputs help you to connect the turntable to a stereo system and enjoy the amazing sound at an even greater level.

You can even use this turntable as a portable amplifier with the help of AUX input. All you have to do is plug in any external source of music and use Vinyl Motion Deluxe.

The converter software that comes along can be used to convert a song into digital files with the help of a flash drive.

This will be perfect for you if you are looking for a cheap record player that can produce an amazing sound output while being easy to carry around at the same time.

The output is not so good in terms of bass.

1byone Suit Case Turntable with Speaker

  • 33 / 45 / 78 RPM speed settings
  • Integrated speakers
  • 45 RPM adapter
  • Bluetooth enabled
  • RCA outputs
  • AUX input
  • Auto-stop function
  • Vinyl to MP3 recording
  • Headphone jack

At such an amazing rate, you get a player that is easy to move and is beautiful to look at. The instructions that come along are very easy to understand and will help get to know the player better. The case of the turntable is very well-built. While being chic and beautiful, the case is also very sturdy and protective. It will keep the player very safe when you are traveling.

One amazing feature of this TT is the Vinyl to MP3 recording. You just need a flash drive and insert it into the USB port. Press record for whichever song you would like to record and voila!
The turntable works smoothly without leaving any scratches on the surface of the records. The needle is pre-installed, so there is no need to worry about putting it into place.

You can play any vinyl record in this turntable as it supports 33, 45 and 78 RPM speeds. All those old records that your mom or dad used to dance to back in their days can be played easily with this one.

The sound is simply spectacular in terms of the size of this device. You may not even feel the need of connecting an external speaker, though you can. You can even connect your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth and enjoy the best quality of music.

The only issue that is a bit troubling is the screw that needs to be loosened before you play some music and has to be tightened back again when you want to move the turntable.

Conclusion

These devices are bet suited for vinyl lovers who do not want to compromise in terms of the quality of music.

Even though these turntables may not be able to replace the classic vinyl records exactly, they are still a great option.

At such an amazing price, I recommend these turntables for all music lovers who would love to enjoy vinyl even when they are outdoors.

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