Best Turntables under $1000

It comes a time on every collector’s journey when things start to get serious and annoying. You will often start collecting small items and begin building a collection slowly, but after a few months or years, you may find yourself completely invested in this fascinating world. If that time has come, you no longer should have any doubts about whether this is your thing or not. Surely, you are going to grow and care for your collection for years. 

If you are a music lover, perhaps you have known this for a long time already, or maybe you have just come to this realization right now. No matter what, you will soon find that one of the first things that need an upgrade is your turntable. The turntable itself is often the centerpiece of every collection with good reason. Did you ever think about what happens if you keep great records in excellent shape but you can’t listen to them properly? You certainly need a good-quality turntable. Therefore, we are here today to help you in this regard. We have curated a list of the top 5 turntables under $1000, which should be enough of a budget to move away from the entry-level equipment to a more developed product with a few advanced features. Let’s start!

Rega RP3 Turntable with Dustcover, Elys2 Cartridge, RB303Tonearm

Rega RP3 turntable review 2021

The RP3 goes for a minimalistic design, and it does so very well. You will find that it fits a setup with this kind of style very nicely at any place. It is one of the most expensive on this list and offers good sound quality. The sound you get out of this piece of equipment is above other cheaper products, but may not be the best in this range. All of this is heavily dependant on the rest of your sound equipment, especially because there is no amplification on this table. So you may need to buy an amplifier as well or the annoying thing happens when you will need a separate module for that purpose. That is very common on higher-end equipment, where you are given a greater amount of freedom to put your gear together as you see fit. But keep this detail in mind if you are coming from an amplified turntable. 

Rega RP3 turntable worth buying

Most technical features and parts on this model are of high quality, which in turn ensures good sound fidelity and durability. There were a few technical issues reported on the first batch that were effectively fixed on later iterations and are now solved. The RP3 is a good upgrade from an entry-level turntable and will not disappoint you.

PROSCONS
A stylish look that will fit most set-ups.Offers good flexibility to combine with other equipment.On the expensive side considering overall features.

U-Turn Audio – Orbit Special Turntable with Built-in preamp

U-Turn Audio - Orbit Special turntable review.jpg

Another table that goes for a simple look, but this time on a wooden finish. This turntable looks quite incredible while it does its thing perfectly, and the dust cover on it works very well and is out of the way when you do not need it. The U-Turn comes with a built-in pre-amp that will save you some money on a separated amp. This could be seen as a feature or bug, depending on what your needs are. This is a very important point when it comes to deciding to go for this model or perhaps continue down the list: 

  • If you are coming from an amplified table and have no intention of getting a pre-amp along with your purchase you should consider this model or another similar one. This is because you will not be able to use your shiny new turntable without external amplification if you decide to go with a model that is not internally amplified.
  • If, on the other hand, you need the freedom to apply to your set-up the pre-amp of your choice you should probably pass on this one since there is no easy way of bypassing the built-in pre-amp on this model.
  • The sound quality you get from this piece of equipment is quite good, so that is always a significant plus that shouldn’t be ignored when evaluating this kind of item. The U-turn does not disappoint.
  • If you are coming from an amplified table and have no intention of getting a pre-amp along with your purchase you should consider this model or another similar one. This is because you will not be able to use your shiny new turntable without external amplification if you decide to go with a model that is not internally amplified.
  • If, on the other hand, you need the freedom to apply to your set-up the pre-amp of your choice you should probably pass on this one since there is no easy way of bypassing the built-in pre-amp on this model.
  • The sound quality you get from this piece of equipment is quite good, so that is always a significant plus that shouldn’t be ignored when evaluating this kind of item. The U-turn does not disappoint.
U-Turn Audio - Orbit Special turntable in-depth review.jpg
PROSCONS
Excellent quality materials.Great looks.Very good sound quality overall.No way to avoid the built-in pre-amp.

Denon DP-450USB

Denon DP-450USB in-depth review and buying guide. pros and cons

This is a remarkable piece of equipment that is very well priced and comes with a set of interesting features. In terms of looks, it offers something very distinct and quite attractive to the eye. It accomplishes this mainly because of its design. Thanks to the original design of the dust cover, which features very well-designed curves to entice the eye. But the DP450USB is not just about looks. 

The sound quality on this turntable is superb, it comes with a built-in pre-amp that works very well, but if you are so inclined you can simply switch it off to use with another piece of equipment. So it can be used with more than one piece of sound equipment. This is the perfect solution for someone that may be coming from a lower-end turntable and will eventually add other pieces such as a good amp to their build later on.

Another great feature to have this turntable is the ability to select turning speeds, it may be an obvious one, but it is not always included. Even on the higher end of the price spectrum.

Denon DP-450USB cons and pros

One more thing to note on the Denon is the fact that you can record directly to a USB stick, this may be a game-changer for some while not very important at all to others, but it is a good option to consider when buying this turntable.

The price on this turntable hits a very good balance because it comes packed with excellent features. It truly is a great choice for an upgrade from a cheaper turntable, or even an entry point if you are willing and able to spend a few extra dollars when starting.

PROSCONS
Superior sound quality.Excellent quality.Very stylish.Packed with great features.Optional built-in pre-amp.Modern style may not be for everyone.

Music Hall MMF-5.3

Music Hall MMF-5.3 turntable review

This is the most expensive item on this list. Its price is quite justified in terms of quality, though. You will find that this turntable delivers such incredible sound quality that you will have a hard time matching it with similar equipment, even some that are quite a lot more expensive. If you are obsessed with sound quality (such as we are) you will find that the MMF-5.3 does not disappoint you. This is the kind of sound you can expect from top-tier equipment packed in a device that looks great, too. 

This fully analog piece of equipment does not come with a built-in pre-amp, so you will have to provide that yourself with a separate device. If you are ok with that you will find that there is little to complain about this gorgeous turntable. Its low-key style will fit in very well with anything else you may have on your den and it will also last a very long time in great condition due to superior build quality and materials.

Music Hall MMF-5.3 turntable pros & cons

If you find that you are willing to spend a few extra bucks on superb audio quality, you should look no further than the MMF-5.3. Keep in mind that this piece of equipment is not for the uninitiated, as it requires a separate amp to work, and will benefit greatly from other high-quality items in your sound setup. If you know what you are doing then this will be a very good buy for your collection.

PROSCONS
Remarkable sound quality.Stunning looks.Not for beginners.

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO turntable expert review

When great features are packed in a good-looking product you start to look for flaws right away. After all, there are so many options out there. It becomes hard to find good quality and features on a product that is so well-priced as this one. Turns out that the Pro-Ject Debut is surprisingly great. Sound quality is quite good for the price range and can go head to head against pieces of equipment that are sometimes twice as expensive. It does not come with a pre-amp, but you will be able to control the turning speed, which is great to have. There are a few options available in terms of looks for this model, too. 

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO pros and cons

It is a great option for someone looking to add to their setup something that works well and looks great while doing it. If you have some more budget available we would recommend you take a look at other options on this list, but if this is as high as you can go we would say this is your best option. The parts that make up this model are truly great, and the build quality is excellent. A lot of little details add up to offer a great experience when using this turntable to listen to your favorite records.

PROSCONS
Very reasonable price for the features that it offers.Several options in terms of style.No pre-amp increases costs if you have to buy one.

Conclusion

In a presence of hundreds of turntables, there is a lot to take into consideration when deciding to buy a new one. You should make sure that you are taking into account your particular needs and desires and not just going by other people’s reviews or suggestions. All the items on this list are top-notch and will offer a great experience, the point to consider is identifying the one that will fit your particular situation the best. A few good things to consider are:

  • Are you buying your first turntable? If so you should probably get one with a built-in pre-amp, and you may not be very inclined towards spending a lot on a separate amplifier. 
  • Are you replacing a cheaper turntable? When replacing a turntable you need to know if you can do so without adding equipment to the chain, if you have to add something you need to make sure that you are adding the cost of such equipment to the costs.
  • Do you care about extra features? Maybe you end up paying for features that you do not need and will never use. Perhaps it would be better to save money on features so you can spend it on the things that you truly value on the product.

Keep these tips in mind when deciding to buy the turntables and take your time, you will surely find the right answer. If you are interested in buying a less expensive turntable, check the best turntables under $200.

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