Today’s turntables are often trying to do it all. From ripping vinyl records into digital MP3 files, to playing everything ever pressed to an LP, there are a number of brands who seek to encourage newcomers and seasoned veterans of the vinyl scene. One brand that has staked its claim to the vinyl scene is Music Hall.
In this article, we will take a look at the 8 best Music Hall turntables to play your vinyl collection. We will look at each turntable and review what it has to offer, with an emphasis on these specific selling points:
- Sound Quality
- Playback Speeds
- Audio Playback/Hookups
Below, please take a moment to view the interactive table, which allows you to directly compare Music Hall turntable against other notable record players on the market.
|Music Hall MMF USB-1||$||Transfer MP3’s to computer|
|Music Hall MMF 1.5||$$||Built-In Phono Preamp|
|Music Hall MMF 2.3||$$||8.6" Carbon Fiber Tonearm|
|Music Hall MMF 5.3SE||$$$||Dynamically Balanced Alloy Platter|
|Music Hall MMF 7.3||$$$||2-speed (33/45 rpm) pulley|
|ProJect Classic||$$$||Metal/MDF Chassis|
|Project Debut Carbon DC||$$||8.6" Carbon Tonearm|
|Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit SB||$$$||Pro-Ject Speed Box Built-in|
|Pro-Ject Essential III||$$||Ortofon OM10 cartridge|
|Marantz TT-15S1||$$$||Solid Plinth Belt-Drive Design|
|Rega Planar 1||$$||RB110 tonearm|
|Rega Planar 2||$$$||10mm Float-Glass Platter|
|U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus||$$||Machined Acrylic Platter|
|Audio-Technica AT-LP120USB||$$||USB Direct Drive|
A Bit about Music Hall
Music Hall is relatively new to the vinyl scene in 1985 with one distinct difference between them and the competition. A dual plinth design put them visually and technically ahead of the game, and led to many copying or reworking the design for their own use. They also stressed the importance of a 2 channel experience, also known as stereo sound.
Given the way that digital music has eliminated many positive aspects of sound fidelity, Music Hall has carved out a great section of the vinyl market with these two points of pride behind their turntables.
As their popularity grew, so did their array of product offerings. This allows them to stay true to what they love to make, while also crafting quality tables for more budget-conscious shoppers and those who might know little about turntable technology. There are no shortcuts with Music Hall; these are great turntables for your vinyl records. With that, let’s dive into 7 of the best Music Hall tables to consider for your vinyl setup.
Below, please take a brief moment to view some of the best selling turntables currently on sale at Amazon (and see how well they stack up to the Music Hall turntables we will discuss throughout this article).
The Music Hall-MMF-5.3SE is a two speed belt driven turntable that utilizes a unique dual plinth design that has become an iconic construction for Music Hall tables. With a classic look featuring a real wood rosenut finish, the table has all the makings of a modern piece of music tech with a timeless look.
The distinctive design isolates the critical sound reproducing components; platter, main bearing, tonearm, and cartridge on the top platform from the motor, switch, wiring, and feet which are mounted on the bottom platform. Viso-elastic cones separate the two platforms and provide vibration damping, ensuring a smooth listening process.
The included Ortofon 2M Bronze cartridge with replaceable nude fine line diamond stylus is estimated to hold about a $440 value, making it an added bonus for you and your ears.
The Otofon 2M cartridge supplied is properly aligned and mounted for immediate listening, so no worries about having to figure out balance or positioning when you pick up your MMF-5.3SE.
Additionally, a precision stainless steel main bearing sheathed in Teflon is featured on this table for noise-free fluid operation. This is accompanied by a dynamically balanced alloy platter with soft felt mat screw-on record clamp, high quality gold RCA connectors and detachable phono cable. All in all, this table is the real deal, and a wonderful look at what Music Hall has to offer.
The Music Hall MMF-1.3 is a great entry point for those looking to dive into vinyl collection and listening. In keeping with the trend for brands to have what is often known as an “affordable” option in their line of tables, no matter the price point of other tables, the Music Hall MMF-1.3 is ready to start playing records out of the box.
The MMF-1.3 has a built in phono preamp and pre-mounted cartridge for immediate playback, making it great for newcomers who do not know the ins and outs of a turntable yet, or those who just do not want to spend time worrying about them.
Even if you consider yourself an audiophile, sometimes it is nice to not worry about the specs and just spend some time with a favorite album.
The construction of the MMF-1.3 has been simplified in comparison to other Music Hall tables to focus on the critical components that make for a great listening experience: the bearing, the motor, and the tonearm.
With playback at 3-speeds, a reliable belt driven design, and everything you need to start spinning records, the MMF-1.3 is an option meant for newcomers and those who don’t need frills.
The MMF-1.3 features an Audio Technica AT3600L cartridge that runs for about a $50 value, but is quality nonetheless. With a piano black MDF plinth and aluminum platter, the Music Hall MMF-1.3 looks and sounds wonderful, especially with its price tag in mind.
In keeping with a rise in turntable users who want the option to digitize their physical library, the Music Hall USB-1 is a turntable meant to handle all ways you love to listen. With an incredibly user friendly design, it could not be easier to listen and rip records using the USB-1 table.
Whether you’re looking to digitize and download your record collection, take a stab at DJing and mixing, or simply discover or rediscover the passion behind vinyl records, the usb-1 is a great option for all levels of vinylheads.
The USB-1 has a built-in phono preamp, cartridge, dust cover, and includes all necessary cables and software required for simple plug and play operation. Its belt drive system is incredibly quiet, making for minimum distortion during playback. Included to make the ripping process easier is free Audacity software that allows you to see the record being digitized.
This software is also available for editing purposes, meaning that if you want to record the entire record then divide each song into separate tracks you can. Thanks to the USB-1’s static balanced S-shaped tonearm, playback is smooth as can be, even for a budget turntable.
Given the ability to rip records, play them back, and the built in preamp, this turntable from Music Hall is great for those looking to mix classic listening techniques with more modern on-the-go functionality.
The Music Hall MMF-2.3 turntable is another wonderful budget table featuring some improvements over the MMF-1.3. Improvements to the tonearm, including a design that is fully adjustable for VTA and azimuth, ensuring a state of the art listening experience you find in the line of Music Hall tables.
More specifically, the tonearm features a 4-point gimbal bearing assembly using ultra-precision ABEC bearings for precise tracking and playback.
Your ears will notice the difference immediately, especially with a lack of any sort of distortion. This happens with the MMF-2.3 for a few reasons. Primarily, smooth spinning occurs thanks to separately isolated DC synchronous motor for superior speed stability.
For those who can spend a bit more than the lower options listed above, the MMF-2.3 is a Music Hall turntable to die for.
Music Hall MMF-5.3
The MMF-5.3 is a good look at some of the iconic designs Music Hall has been using since their start in the 1980s. Using a 2 speed belt driven operation, this is the first table that many would qualify as an audiophile table thanks to the dual plinth construction.
The distinctive design isolates the critical sound reproducing components; platter, main bearing, tonearm, and cartridge on the top platform from the motor, switch, wiring, and feet which are mounted on the bottom platform.
To add to the isolation and control, viso-elastic cones separate the two platforms and provide vibration damping for a smooth sound. Thanks to a Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge with replaceable nude elliptical diamond stylus valued at about $236, the Music Hall MMF-5.3 turntable is an audiophile’s dream, especially for those looking for quality without a wallet draining price tag.
Music Hall MMF-9.3 turntable
The 9.3 takes the double plinth design up a notch. The distinctive design of the MMF-9.3 isolates the critical sound reproducing components: platter, main bearing, tonearm, and cartridge, on the top platform, from the adjustable tip-toe feet and wiring, which are mounted on the bottom platform. The motor and speed controls are isolated on their own vibration damping base and completely decoupled from the turntable.
Sorbothane hemispheres separate each of the three platforms and provide additional suspension and vibration damping, keeping the sound as crisp as ever. A huge influence on this table’s ability to operate quietly is an inverted ceramic main bearing for non-intrusive, fluid operation.
The MMF-9.3 looks as good as it sounds, and a triple plinth design that, at first, might seem like overkill, makes all the difference.
Music Hall Ikura turntable
The design on the Ikura turntable from Music Hall is unlike any other in the market. The Ikura turntable is a 2 speed, belt driven turntable with advanced yet simple to use features. Starting with Music Hall’s well known two-piece split-plinth design, this table is meant to isolate record spinning in a state of the art manner.
The plinths are isolated and separated by three vulcanized rubber cones. Three adjustable conical feet, a 2-speed dc synchronous motor, power switch, wiring and electrical parts are all mounted on the bottom plinth. The critical sound reproducing components—the main bearing, arm and cartridge—are mounted on the top plinth. The Ikura also features the Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge with replaceable nude elliptical diamond stylus you find in the MMF-5.3, adding to the table’s capabilities and value.
Music Hall MMF-11.1 turntable
This table was saved for last because it truly is in a class of its own. Not only is its design unlike other Music Hall turntables, but it capitalizes on construction that is the epitome of thinking out of the box. Serving as the latest flagship turntable for the Music Hall brand, the MMF-11.1 is a 2 speed belt driven turntable for audiophiles of the highest level.
A unique quadruple plinth construction is the design of the original dual plinth brand, and the extra material also contributes to an extra fine listening experience. The distinctive design isolates the critical sound reproducing components, each on their own plinth.
The tonearm is mounted to the upper plinth and the inverted ceramic main bearing is mounted to the second plinth allowing the partially sunken 1 1/2″ acrylic platter to spin freely. Moving the main bearing to the second plinth improved cartridge tracking and significantly lowered background noise. The adjustable magnetic-levitation isolation feet, microprocessor speed control, motors, flywheel, and wiring are all mounted to the bottom plinth.
The motors, flywheel, and speed control are further isolated on their own vibration damped dual-plinth platform, which is separately isolated from the upper three main plinths. All of this combined with the exclusive microprocessor electronic speed controlled dual motor single flywheel drive system makes the MMF-11.1 something to drool over. If you have the funds, this is the turntable for you.
Music Hall is just one of many turntable brands, but they consistently stand out. Whether you are shopping their budget conscious options or the top of the line MMF-11.1, they are constantly making their products better and more user friendly. In the end, your goal as a shopper considering these products should be to find the option best for you.
When considering which is the best Music Hall turntable for vinyl, think about your budget and listening preferences. No matter the Music Hall turntable you choose, you will find that their quality products are like no other, and your listening will be taken to a whole other level.
As always, happy spinning, listening, and shopping, and remember, the more plinths, the better!
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