Below is a transcript from my YouTube video on the best affordable record players on the market. You can read the transcript or watch the full video below. And if you enjoy it, please subscribe to my Devoted to Vinyl YouTube channel.
Hey everyone, it’s Michael from Devoted to Vinyl. And in this video, we’re going to be talking about the best affordable record players you can buy on the market.
- If you’re in the market for a brand new turntable, please check out the interactive guide below, where you can compare some of the best record players available:
Photo Model Price Rating Key Feature
U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus $$ ★★★★ Machined Acrylic Platter
Audio Technica AT-LP60 $ ★★★★ Fully Automatic
Audio-Technica AT-LP120USB $$ ★★★★ USB Direct Drive
Crosley C200A $ ★★★★ Direct-Drive Turntable
Audio Technica AT-LP1240-USB $$ ★★★★ USB Direct Drive/DJ Table
Marantz TT-15S1 $$$ ★★★★ Solid Plinth Belt-Drive Design
Music Hall MMF 1.5 $$ ★★★★★ Built-In Phono Preamp
ProJect Classic $$$ ★★★★★ Metal/MDF Chassis
Music Hall MMF 7.3 $$$ ★★★★★ 2-speed (33/45 rpm) pulley
Pro-Ject Essential III $$ ★★★★ Ortofon OM10 cartridge
Rega Planar 1 $$ ★★★★ RB110 tonearm
Pioneer 990 $ ★★★★ Full-Automatic Operation
Rega Planar 2 $$$ ★★★★ 10mm Float-Glass Platter
So today, we’re tackling the topic of affordable record players. And we’re doing it because vinyl is as popular as ever right now.
People are buying records.
And maybe…just keeping them shrink-wrapped. But the point is, vinyl is popular right now.
So if you’re somebody that’s interested in getting into vinyl records, but you don’t have a turntable, you might find this video helpful.
So when I say “affordable,” what do I really mean?
Well, “affordable” means different things for different people. But for the purpose of this video, I wanted “affordable” to mean $350 and under.
I also made the assumption that if you were buying a record player that was labeled “affordable,” you probably also wanted a record player that was convenient and easy to use.
That usually means having a record player that is automatic as opposed to being manual. Or, it means that it has a phono preamplifier built into the actual turntable. And in some cases, might actually have speakers built into as well.
So the first record player on this list is the Audio-Technica AT-LP60. This was the first record player that I actually used when I first got into vinyl. And although I’ve since upgraded from the AT-LP60, I think it provides a great entry point for people who are not familiar with using vinyl records. And really don’t want to put in too much work, but still want to have a great experience.
One of the features on this turntable that are really appealing to a lot of people is the fact that it’s a fully automatic turntable.
That means that the tonearm will actually pick itself up and set itself down on the first track of your record. Once the needle hits the groove and the music starts playing, it will play all the way through to the end track. And then the tonearm will pick itself back up and return back to rest.
The second thing that’s great here is that with the push of a button, you can change the speed from 33 1/3 RPM to 45 RPM. This is of course great if you have 7” records, but this can also be great if you have the rare 12” LP record that needs to be spun at 45 Revolutions Per Minute instead of 33 1/3.
Now you may think that’s uncommon, and you’d be fairly right, but there are some artists that like to do that. One of them is Ed Sheeran for example, whose records require you to play at 45 RPM, instead of the typical 33 1/3.
And lastly, when I had this record player, one of my favorite things was the fact that it came with a built-in phono preamp. This is particularly great if you have a receiver that, in the back, doesn’t have a PHONO input. Because now, you’ll be able to take your RCA cables and connect them to the CD Input for example, and have everything working just fine.
In addition to that, a preamp that’s built inside of your record player will be able to connect into powered speakers, as well.
It’s certainly not the best turntable on the market, but for only $100, the AT-LP60 does a great job of getting a beginner up and running for an affordable price.
So the next turntable on this list is the Marantz TT-42. You can find this record player for roughly about $300 or $330 online, depending on where you’re shopping.
Like the Audio-Technica, this Marantz is a fully automatic turntable, so you begin listening to your vinyl records with a quick push of a button. Once the final track has finished, the tone arm will automatically lift itself up and return to its resting position.
With that said, for those that want a more hands-on approach, the TT42 does come with a cueing lift lever. So, if you want to play a specific track, you can manually lift the tone arm and place it down on whatever track you’d like to listen to.
One downside to this turntable is that there is no anti-skate control or tracking force adjustment available. That means that it’s preset by the manufacturer.
The downside to a fixed tracking force or anti-skate is that if you aren’t quite happy with the sound quality, or if your records are skipping too much, or if you notice there’s too much wear and tear happening on the surface of your record or on your stylus (needle), there’s no way to make any important adjustments in an attempt to fix these problems.
And while this turntable is plug and play and very convenient overall to use, it comes with an attached RCA cable and ground wire. While not problematic on the surface, if in the future your cable or ground wire got severely damaged, replacing it would be extremely difficult to do.
And if you couldn’t replace or repair it, well, you wouldn’t be able to listen to your records.
One final thing to note is that Marantz actually makes two versions of this turntable—the Marantz TT42 and the Marantz TT42P.
These two versions are essentially the same, but the key difference is that the TT42P comes with a built-in phono preamp.
This is important to be aware of, because if your receiver or integrated amplifier doesn’t have a Phono Input in the back, the built-in phono preamp in the TT42P will allow you to connect the RCA cables to another input on the back of your receiver or integrated amp. And you’ll be able to play your records without a problem.
On the other hand, if you choose to go with the Marantz TT42, you’ll have to get a receiver or integrated amplifier that already has a PHONO input in the back, or, you can choose to buy a separate external phono preamp.
The Marantz TT42P cost approximately $20 to $30 more than the regular version.
So that’s it guys, very short and sweet today. But those are my recommended players if you’re looking for something affordable that’s on the market.
If you liked this video and you felt it helped you at all, please hit the “like” button down below. When you do that, it helps other people like you find this video a little bit easier. So if this video helped you, why not hit the “like” button and let it help somebody else too?
Sharing is caring, folks.
And once again guys, please don’t forget to comment down below. I want to know what type of record players are you looking to buy.
What was the first record player that you purchased if you’ve been playing records for a long time? If you’re looking to get into vinyl for the very first time right now, what record players are you considering and why?
Let me know in the comment section down below. I’ll be responding to as many people as I can who have questions. And once again, I’m gonna be back with another video next week.
Thank you for watching.
I’m trying to bring the people some knowledge when it comes to record players.
Don’t you hate it when you’re like 80% of the way through…
It’s like…it’s like I’m not speaking English.
And then you screw it up…
Damn, what the hell…
And…it just like…it just eats at ya.
You know if you had just said it a little bit…clearer…you just…it would’ve been a homerun.
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