Review of the Best Turntables for Scartching 2018
Despite the advancement in technology in regards to disc jockeying and the current constant use of laptops and controllers, there are still old school diehards who prefer the analog way of disc jockeying. This includes the use of turntables and the traditional way of mixing and scratching which appeals to many when it comes to music. This is the chief reason why many people are going for turn tables to train on disc jockeying (DJ) skills.
In this article, we will be looking at the most recommended turn table brands in the market including their pros and cons. But before we get into that, do you know that there are factors you should consider before you settle on a turntable choice? Some of these factors include:
- Purpose for the turntable – how do you intend to use the turn table and when? This one makes sense if you are a learner. That is, if you are learning how to scratch and mix beats then it is advisable you get a turntable that is meant for that specific purpose. The purpose also determines if you will need to buy one turntable or two for your DJ system.
- Your budget – there are very many options in the market for turntables so you have to factor in what your budget is before you settle on a choice. You can get something that fits both your needs and budget. However, the more expectations you have the higher the budget. So if you have a minimal budget then you will have to reduce your expectations.
- Identify which features you require – different turntables come with tons of features which fit different needs. So you have to identify the specific features you require in a turntable before you shop for one. For example, do you need a turntable that has inbuilt USB whereby you can convert, transfer or store your music collection? Or do you want one that has RCA connectivity that you can use to connect your other electronic gadgets? The options are many so you have to figure out before you get the turntable of your choice.
- Figure out if you want the electronic or manual one – the manual ones come with a lot of work but if this is your thing then you will enjoy it. The automatic versions come with buttons that you will only need to push to get the work done.
The best DJ turntables in the market include:
- Stanton T.62 Direct-Drive DJ Turntable
- Numark TT250USB Professional DJ Direct Drive Turntable
- Reloop RP-8000 Straight Advanced Hybrid MIDI Turntable (RP-8000-STR)
- Pioneer Electronics PLX-1000 Professional Direct Drive Turntable
- Audio-Technica Wireless Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable – White (AT-LP60WH-BT)
- Roland TT-99 3-Speed Direct-Drive DJ Turntable
- DJ Tech SL1300 MK6 USB-ORA Direct-Drive DJ Turntable
- Reloop RP-7000 Direct Drive High Torque Turntable
- Audio – Technica AT-LP 120-USB
|Stanton T.62 Direct-Drive DJ Turntable||13.89 lbs. (6.3 kg)||120V, 60Hz, 7.5W|
|Numark TT250USB Professional DJ Direct Drive Turntable|
|16.5 lbs. (7.48 kg)||230V, 50Hz, 15W|
|Reloop RP-8000 Straight Advanced Hybrid MIDI Turntable (RP-8000-STR)|
|21.4 lbs. (9.7 kg)||115/230V, 60/50Hz, 14W|
|Pioneer Electronics PLX-1000 Professional Direct Drive Turntable|
|28.88 lbs. (13.10 kg)||220/240V, 50/60Hz, 9W|
|Audio-Technica Wireless Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable-White (AT-LP60WH-BT)|
|6.6 lbs. (2.98 kg)||120V, 60Hz, 3W|
|Roland TT-99 3-Speed Direct-Drive DJ Turntable|
|21.61 lbs. (9.8 kg)||220/240V, 50/60Hz, 9W|
|DJ Tech SL1300 MK6 USB-ORA Direct-Drive DJ Turntable|
|22.04 lbs. (10kg)||120V, 60Hz, 3W|
|Reloop RP-7000 Direct Drive High Torque Turntable|
|20.94 lbs. (9.5kg)||115/230V, 60/50Hz, 13W|
|Audio – Technica AT-LP 120-USB||23.5 lbs. (10.6 kg)||115/230V|
This is one of the most budget friendly gadgets out in the market that is also very popular with DJs. It is quite functional with a basic design and easy-to-use control buttons, which is the ideal choice for beginners. One of its outstanding features is the DC direct-drive which ensures there is harmonious operation and high spin. It also uses a straight tone arm which is most preferred for scratching.
In addition this turntable has a detachable target light which enables you to see the tune map. This then enables you to find specific parts of a song for mixing. This is quite useful when you are in a place with very limited lighting.
This gadget boasts of rotation speeds of 33-1/3 and 45 rpm, with a starting time of less than 1 second with 33-1/3 and its braking time is less than 1 second with 33-1/3. Its driving method is the direct drive with a motor type which is the 8 pole with 3-phase DC motor (the brushless type). As for power requirements, you will be glad to note it has a wide range operating on 120V, 60Hz, 7.5W. It comes with RCA cables as the output connectors and pitch adjustments range between +/- 10%.
The other outstanding thing is that it comes with a flutter rate of less than 0.2%. In terms of weight and dimensions this device is fairly light, weighing about 13.89 lbs. (6.3 kg) and dimensions ranging within 17.79″ (width) x 14.56″ (diameter) x 3.42″ (height) (452 x 370 x 87mm). In other words, if simplicity is your style then this gadget has got you covered especially on the basics. When you compare the price with the features you get with this machine, you will realize that it is quite a bargain.
- It has the straight arm which gives you more room to move your arm around as you spin which makes you skip songs less.
- It has an independent start and brake time with adjustment buttons – this one is important for you if you want to have smooth transitions between your mixes.
- It has two brakes – most turntables have only one brake usually found on the right side. When you have two brakes, it becomes handy for you regardless of which side your hand is on the turntable. This is particularly important if you are doing one of those intensive performances.
- It has specific playback controls – though this feature is rarely used, it is still important nonetheless.
- Quite heavy – In comparison to other turntables in the market which may be an inconvenience if you are moving around.
- The buttons break down easily – this means you may have to replace more often or be extremely careful to ensure they stay in place.
This turntable has the anti-skating control and restrained signal into its S-shaped tone arm. It allows you to see the channels in your record more precisely so that you can produce good audio quality.
This type also comes with preinstalled magnetic cartridge that is placed with accuracy without you needing extra setup.
It comes with installed USB ports, cables and software which enables you to transfer or save your manual audio records to digital files via the digital transfer.
When it comes to functionality this turntable delivers from the frontline, with a starting time of less than 0.7 seconds and rotating speeds of 331/3 rpm, 45 rpm which will improve your overall spinning experience. For instance, your starting spin is 2.0 kgfcm with a constant spin of 1.2 kgfcm and a flutter and wow range of < 0.09%. When it comes to the power supply (230 V) its consumption is fairly sensible, only 15 watts.
Its turntable clutter is made of aluminum die cast material with a diameter of 332mm / 13.07″. Its weight is fairly light-only 16.5lbs / 7.48kg. As for the cue system, this one has got you covered because it has a blunt lift lever and arm clip which makes your work easier when scratching and spinning.
- Various features – it has more features than the Stanton Str8-150 with additional pitch display of RP-8000 which complement each other well.
- Movable pitch – it has the ability to unscrew and you can swap with the other pitch controls. This allows it to run vertical instead of horizontal or vice versa.
- Durable – in comparison with other models, this turntable is more durable except for the usual electrical issues which are common with anything electrical.
- Since the tray is not flat or smooth, it does not backspin as fast as would be ideal which makes the record speed a little faster than it should.
- Breaks down easily – though this is applicable only to old models. The newer versions have been improved. However, if you are not familiar with this brand you may not tell them apart so you have to do some research before you get this turntable.
This is one of the most advanced versions of turntables in the market.it has the ability to communicate with any MIDI compatible software which makes it a valuable asset for your DJ system. You do not need to buy an additional controller because it comes pre-installed. As the name suggests, it comes with a straight tone arm that is practically skip-proof which allows you to have optimum playing and scratching sessions.
What makes this turntable stand out is its performance, such as the start time (< 0.2 sec) and stop time (0.2 – 6 sec). its power consumption is also not on the higher side because it consumes only 14 watts, using the power supply 115 / 230 VAC, 60 / 50 Hz.
The Reloop RP-8000 is also light, only weighing 21.4 lbs. (9.7 kg) and dimensions of 18.0 x 5.7 x 13.9″ (458.0 x 144.6 x 354.0 mm). In addition, its material is made of aluminum die casting and it has a direct drive method of the Quartz driven upper-torque. Its rotation speeds are up to 33-1/3, 45, 78 rpm.
If your preferred spinning speed is fast, then this one has got you covered because it spins at 1.6 to 4.5 kg/cm speeds and a pitch adjustment range of between ±8%, ±16%, ±50%. What will impress you most though is the brake type which is electric. This turntable is quite versatile by any standards.
- It has MIDI controls – which means you will not need to buy controls separately. However you have to make sure you will need them otherwise you will be buying an expensive gadget for no reason.
- You can adjust the spin
- It has better start/stop button quality in comparison with other turntable models
- It has a digital pitch display which appeals more to its coolness rather than its functionality.
- It has no independent start and brake control which are both in the same button.
- It is quite pricey compared to other models
This model uses a high spin drive motor and has a traditional layout. It is versatile because you can use it for personal or professional use.
It is made of heavy zinc material and die-cast chassis with a resin bottom. This means it is strong enough to withstand the misuse that come with regular use.
What sells about this gadget is energy consumption, because it is fairly energy friendly with a power consumption of only 9 watts and power requirements of only 110 to 120 V or 220 to 240V, 50/60 Hz. It also has a balanced weight of around 0.21 to 0.35 oz. (5.95 to 9.92 g). Another advantage is its audio connector which has both the left and right stereo pair (2x RCA).
Its braking type is also electric which is a major factor that most people look for in turntables nowadays. This machine has a tone arm type known as the S-shape tone arm which is the universal kind.
- It has an in-built vibration material which assures you of a stable playback experience.
- The noise is significantly reduced because of the rubber insulation which comes inbuilt.
- It has enhanced sound quality and minimized hindrance due to its machine-cut RCA jacks.
- Thanks to its detachable power and RCA cables, managing your turntables setup is so much easier.
- It is quite pricey compared with other models
- It does not come with the cartridge, you have to buy this one separately which increases your cost.
This turntable is fully automatic which makes it ideal for connecting to any available audio system. To operate it all you have to do is to raise the tone arm and observe the platter rotate on its own. To brake it you can lace the spindle on its frame.
What stands out about this machine is that it has two connectors, with a power output of 120 V, 60 Hz, 3W. It is fairly light, weighing only around 6.6 lbs. (2.98 kg). In addition, the rotations speeds are average, around 33-1/3, 45 rpm. It uses the belt drive motor type and it has a straight tone arm. Its cartridge type is also internal. Basically, it is very functional especially if you are going for the basic type of turntable.
- It has an integrated pre-amplifier which allows you to transmit sound to amplifiers without the turntable outputs.
- You can use this turntable with your home entertainment system so you can enjoy sound quality system within your home. How cool is that?
- It has Bluetooth wireless connectivity
- It is quite affordable
- Though it automatic, you still have to lift the tone arm when you want it to spin.
Though this model resembles the older version Roland 909, the Roland TT-99 comes with modern features such as a 3-speed and a phono equalizer. It comes with inbuilt direct-drive which ensures there is a better and more consistent spin.
To give it extra protection this model comes with its own dust cover which is not common with other models. Another additional feature is that it comes with a slip mat which prevents it from slipping on any type of work surface.
Thanks to its modern features, this model has tracking angle of 3 degrees or less and tracking force adjustment range of between 0 – 4g. It uses the tone arm type known as the Static balanced S-shaped tone arm.
In addition, its turntable platter is made of aluminum die-cast, and it has rotation speeds of 33 1/3 rpm, 45 rpm, and 78 rpm. It also has an electronic braking system and it is fairly light, only weighing around 9.8 kg (21.61 lbs.). Truly, this is an upgrade of its older version the Roland 909.
- It has no belt to interfere with the spinning so you will be more successful while scratching with this gadget.
- It has all the necessities such as a light for finding individual tracks and intuitive switching for the speeds.
- It has an anti-skating control for the stylus arm.
- Currently this item can only be shipped within the US and only a few select countries outside the US.
This model completely stands out from its peers because of its bright colors and fun design. It comes with an inbuilt USB port into the unit which allows you to connect to any device you wish and save or transfer music.
Aside from its colorful display, this gadget has other features that stand out such as the playback speed of 33 1/3, 45 and 78 RPM. It has a direct drive motor type with an effective arm length of 230.5mm. However, it is a bit heavy when you compare with other models, because it weighs around 10kg (22.04lbs).
- It comes in very attractive bright colors
- This model is compatible with a lot of playback speeds.
- It has a pitch control which you can adjust up to around 50%.
- It does not come with cartridge
This machine is unique because it comes with three pitch ranges to choose from which enables you to achieve the most accurate pitch resolution you are seeking for your audio needs.
One of the best things about the Reloop RP-7000 is that it has an anti-skating range of 0 to 3g / 0 to 0.11oz and an adjustable torque of 1600 – 4500g/cm. its platter is also made of aluminum die-cast which seems to be the favored material for many DJs. Its power consumption is only 13W with a power supply of 115/230V, 60/50Hz. It looks like this model merely runs on its uniqueness because it stands out among its peers.
- It has a divergence of 0.02% which comes in handy if you are learning how to match beats or shift the song’s pitch when you are mixing audio.
- It comes with a button which enables you to move from “classic” to hi-torque” instantly when necessary.
- You can alter the start/stop time from 0.2 to 6 seconds, which gives you more freedom when creating your music mixes.
- It does not come with a needle set and dust cover.
The Audio-Technica AT-LP 120 is one of the most affordable yet very functional in the market right now. Aside from being budget friendly, it is also durable and you are guaranteed of getting quality service for a long time. It comes with Audacity if you do not have its software, has pre-amp built in with line-level RCA output, speed indicator, forward and reverse play. It also has a well-built aluminum platter which you can scratch for days on end.
It also has an anti-skate adjustment and a removable dust hinged dust cover with high-torque and direct drive motor which comes in handy if your aim is to have quick start-ups.
- It supports USB and it can work with both old-age or new-age technology set up on your laptop.
- It is relatively affordable but also very functional so you have the best of both worlds.
- It is the recommended turntable for beginners.
- It comes with all compatible cables for Mac and PC to assist you to digitize your LPs.
- Though it has inbuilt pre-amplifiers, this model does not have internal speakers.
As you can see from the options above, it can be a daunting task to settle on one choice because they each have their own strengths and weak points. However, it is advisable for you create a list of the features you need for your turntable and the budget you want to work with. This will make the process simpler when you go shopping. Also note that there are some affordable models with a wide variety of features. Which means you can get a good bargain at an affordable price.