10 Best Turntables with Built-in Preamps You Will Love

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Let’s discuss the top turntables with built-in preamps

If you’re a vinyl enthusiast or looking to enter the world of turntables for the very first time, having a built-in phono preamp is not only vital in order to hear your music, but it can save you a lot of setup time too.  So today, I’m going to share with you my personal picks for the best turntables with built-in preamps that offer an excellent mix of quality and convenience.

Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB
Audio Technica AT-LP3
Rega Planar 1 Plus
Denon DP-400
Audio-Technica AT-LP3

The Best Turntables With Built-In Preamps (TLDR)

Here Are My Picks for the Top Turntables With Built-In Preamps
The Audio-Technica AT-LP5X, which has a built in phono preamp

Here are my picks for the top turntables with built in phono preamplifiers:

  • Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB
  • Pro-Ject Primary E Phono
  • Fluance RT81
  • Audio-Technica AT-LP5X
  • Rega Planar 1 Plus
  • Denon DP-400
  • Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT
  • Sony PS-LX310BT
  • Pioneer PLX-500
  • Audio-Technica AT-LP3

I love the simplicity and convenience of the Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT, because it’s a a fully automatic record player with bluetooth capabilities.  Throw in the built in phono preamp, and it’s a super plug and play turntable.

On the other hand, I also love turntables like the Denon DP-400 and Rega Planar 1 if you’re willing to spend a little bit more money on higher quality turntables (which will ultimately produce better sound coming out of your speakers).

Best Selling Turntables
1) Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB
2) Sony PS-LX310BT
3) Audio-Technica AT-LP3

Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB

The Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB boasts a direct-drive motor, which means you won’t have to worry about belts slipping or wearing out over time. This ensures consistent and accurate playback, especially if you’re into mixing and scratching vinyl records, it’s a fantastic option for those looking to explore the world of DJing without breaking the bank.  

One standout feature of the AT-LP120XUSB is its USB connectivity. Yes, you heard that right. This turntable allows you to digitize your vinyl records, converting them into digital files for convenient playback on your computer or portable devices. 

It’s a game-changer if you want to preserve your vinyl collection while still enjoying the convenience of digital music. The preamp offers excellent signal amplification, delivering clear and balanced sound.

Pro-Ject Primary E Phono

Now, let’s talk about the Pro-Ject Primary E Phono turntable, a fantastic option that’s perfect for those who want to dive into the world of vinyl without sucking their bank accounts completely dry.

The Primary E Phono (or even the Pro-Ject E1 Phono) is like a needle in a haystack in the turntable kingdom. It brings together a low price tag and quality construction, ensuring you don’t have to sacrifice your hard-earned cash for a delightful vinyl experience. It’s the perfect entry point for beginners or anyone looking to start their vinyl journey without breaking the bank.

But affordability doesn’t mean compromising on quality. This turntable boasts a minimalist design that’ll have your space looking clean. Its sleek and stylish appearance will fit seamlessly into any decor, whether you’re going for a vintage vibe or a modern twist.

And let’s not forget about the audio performance. The Primary E Phono delivers a clean and enjoyable sound experience, thanks to its low-vibration motor and carefully crafted components. It’ll make your vinyl collection come alive, filling your room with the sweet melodies of your favorite artists.

Oh, did we mention it comes with a pre-mounted Ortofon cartridge too? Yep, the Primary E Phono is generous like that. You’ll be spinning your vinyl in no time, thanks to the included cartridge that’s ready to hit the grooves and deliver crystal-clear sound.

Fluance RT81

What sets the Fluance RT81 apart is its attention to detail. The high-quality Audio-Technica AT95E cartridge is pre-installed, offering precise tracking and exceptional audio fidelity. 

Unwanted vibrations and resonances have no place in your vinyl experience. The RT81’s dense MDF plinth, isolated motor, and rubber feet work together to eliminate any disruptive noise. You’ll experience pure sonic purity and be transported into a world where the music takes center stage, free from unwanted distractions.

This Audio Technica cartridge is a favorite among recording professionals for its accurate and detailed sound reproduction. It’s easy to set up and use and adds very little of its own sound characteristics, delivering an accurate representation of any record it plays. 

Whether you’re a recording engineer or a passionate vinyl enthusiast, the Fluance RT81 (which was featured on “Ellen”) gives you the tools to experience your favorite albums with the utmost clarity and precision.

Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB
Audio Technica AT-LP3
Rega Planar 1 Plus
Denon DP-400
Audio-Technica AT-LP3

Audio-Technica AT-LP5X

When it comes to the Audio-Technica AT-LP5X, you know you’re in for a treat. This bad boy is a fully manual turntable that’s built like a tank. The built-in preamp ensures that your tunes come out with incredible accuracy and punch. 

The AT-LP5X is built with a sturdy construction, featuring a solid aluminum platter and a high-density fiberboard (HDF) base, which minimizes vibration and provides excellent stability. The sleek design with a black finish gives it a modern and stylish look.

This turntable utilizes a direct-drive motor, which means that the platter is directly connected to the motor, ensuring precise and consistent playback speed. Direct drive turntables are known for their durability and excellent pitch stability. 

It’s perfect for those who appreciate the art of vinyl and want to enjoy every detail of their favorite records. 

Rega Planar 1 Plus

First and foremost, let’s talk about audio prowess. The Rega Planar 1 Plus delivers a sonic performance that will make your heart skip a beat. With its meticulously engineered components and attention to detail, this turntable brings your vinyl collection to life, revealing nuances and musical details you never knew existed. It’s like rediscovering your favorite albums all over again.

Now, let’s address the convenience factor. The Planar 1 Plus is a true champion when it comes to user-friendliness. Rega has ingeniously integrated a high-quality phono stage directly into the turntable, eliminating the need for additional components and ensuring a hassle-free setup.

It’s like having a turntable and preamp combo in one sleek package, simplifying your audio chain and freeing up space for more records (because we know you’ll want to expand your collection).

But it doesn’t stop there. The Planar 1 Plus boasts a striking design that will make your eyes sparkle with delight. From its minimalist aesthetics to the precision-engineered plinth and lightweight tonearm, every element exudes elegance and craftsmanship. It’s a true centerpiece that adds a touch of sophistication to any room, becoming the envy of audiophiles and interior design enthusiasts alike.

Denon DP-400

Picture this: you’re in your cozy corner, sipping your favorite beverage, and the Denon DP-400 turntable is spinning your most cherished vinyl records. With its vintage-inspired design and built-in preamp, it adds a touch of nostalgia to your listening experience. 

The DP-400 understands that every record is unique, just like you. That’s why it comes with adjustable tracking force, anti-skate control, and a removable headshell. You have the freedom to fine-tune the settings to match the characteristics of each record, ensuring optimal playback and preserving the life of your vinyl.

The sound quality is simply delightful, capturing the warmth and depth of your vinyl collection. Plus, the automatic start/stop function makes it super easy to use.

Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT

If you’re looking for a hassle-free vinyl experience, the Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT has got your back. This turntable not only comes with a built-in preamp but also offers Bluetooth connectivity so you can wirelessly connect it to your favorite speakers or headphones and groove to your heart’s content. 

The AT-LP60XBT features a fully automatic belt-drive operation, which means that it starts and stops automatically at the push of a button. This feature makes it incredibly easy to use, especially for beginners or those who prefer a hassle-free setup.

The automatic operation and compact design make it a breeze to set up and enjoy your vinyl collection without any fuss. This option in my opinion is the best turntable with a built-in preamp because of the versatility and easy use for beginners. 

Sony PS-LX310BT

Sony’s PS-LX310BT turntable combines traditional vinyl playback with modern connectivity options. Bluetooth capabilities, it enables wireless streaming to compatible speakers or headphones. The built-in preamp is especially worthy of note, for it features adjustable gain settings unseen by many competitors. 

The Sony PS-LX310BT features a belt-drive system that ensures smooth and consistent playback. Its stable rotation speed allows your records to spin with precision, minimizing any speed fluctuations that could impact the sound quality. You’ll experience the joy of uninterrupted, silky-smooth playback. The audio quality is excellent, and the convenience is unmatched.

Pioneer PLX-500

The Pioneer PLX-500 is like having a professional DJ setup right in your living room. This turntable is packed with features and delivers some seriously impressive sound quality. With its built-in preamp, you can expect accurate and vibrant audio reproduction. 

This turntable offers versatile connectivity options, ensuring it fits seamlessly into your audio setup. The built-in phono preamp allows you to connect it directly to powered speakers or your favorite audio system. Want to expand your sound? No problem! The turntable also features a line-level output for easy integration with external mixers or amplifiers

Its high-torque motor and pitch control allow you to mix and match tracks with precision, adding your own flavor to the music. You’re able to  scratch, blend, and drop the beats with the PLX-500. 

And the best part? It even allows you to digitize your vinyl collection effortlessly, thanks to the USB output and included software. It’s the perfect blend of modern convenience and vintage charm.

Audio-Technica AT-LP3

The Audio-Technica AT-LP3 turntable is designed for ease of use without compromising on sound quality. Featuring a built-in phono preamp, the AT-LP3 ensures accurate signal amplification, allowing you to connect it directly to speakers or amplifiers without the need for additional equipment. This saves you both time and money, making the setup process hassle-free. 

We know that unwanted noise can ruin the listening experience, thankfully the AT-LP3 comes with an anti-resonance die-cast aluminum platter and a specially designed rubber mat that keeps vibrations and pesky resonances at bay.

This built-in feature ensures optimal signal amplification, delivering a rich and immersive listening experience. The fully automatic operation makes it an excellent choice for beginners.

Honorable Mention

Rega Planar 1

Rega is a well-loved British audio company that has been making audiophile-approved turntables for over 40 years, and the Planar series of turntables are considered a benchmark for affordable high-end design. 

This turntable is renowned for manufacturing exceptional turntables, and the Planar 1 is no exception. This sleek and minimalist turntable features a built-in preamp that ensures accurate signal amplification.

Planar 1 is meticulously crafted with high-quality components, including a precision-engineered tonearm and a custom-designed Rega cartridge. The result? A mesmerizing audio experience that will make your records come alive.

Filling your space with immersive and captivating sound. It offers a superb sonic performance, making it an excellent choice for both beginners and enthusiasts.

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC

I was a little hesitant to add this turntable to the list.  Not because it isn’t very good, especially for the price point.  But the Debut Carbon DC is an older turntable now (or relatively older, I should say) and is becoming a bit harder to find.  On top of that, it’s the only turntable on this list that doesn’t (yes, doesn’t) have a built-in phono preamp.  Still, I think the turntable is such a good value (if you can track one down), that I wanted to include it here for you today. 

With that said, the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC, a turntable that has garnered quite a reputation among audiophiles for its exceptional sound quality and sleek design.  In fact, when it comes to aesthetics, the Debut Carbon DC is a stunner. It features a minimalist yet elegant design, with a high-gloss finish and a dust cover that adds a touch of sophistication to any room.

If you’re someone who appreciates both form and function, this turntable will certainly catch your eye. But let’s get to the heart of the matter—the sound quality. 

The Debut Carbon DC excels in this department, thanks to its impressive components and meticulous craftsmanship. I personally own this turntable and can confirm its greatness. 

One standout feature is its carbon fiber tonearm, which is lightweight and rigid, minimizing unwanted vibrations and ensuring precise tracking. This means you’ll experience minimal distortion and accurate playback of your vinyl records.

Wrapping It Up

Choosing a turntable with a built-in preamp can save you the hassle of purchasing and setting up a separate phono stage. The mentioned turntables, including the Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB, Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC, and Fluance RT81, provide exceptional sound quality, ease of use, and stylish designs. 

In conclusion, choosing the right turntable with a built-in preamp is essential for any vinyl enthusiast. Each of the ten turntables we’ve explored offers unique features and benefits that cater to different needs and preferences. Whether you’re a casual listener looking for a hassle-free experience or a recording studio connoisseur seeking top-notch sound quality, there’s a turntable on this list that’s perfect for you.

If you enjoyed the article, be sure to subscribe to my Devoted to Vinyl YouTube channel and Facebook page.

This article was written by Shelbie and edited by Michael.

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