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Best DJ Turntables Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

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Whether it’s for fun or professional purposes, deejaying is a rewarding experience when you have the right tools. Thanks to technological advancements in tools and software, there are endless options to make the experience more worthwhile.

One of the gadgets you need as a deejay is a DJ turntable. However, getting a turntable with great features at a pocket-friendly price can be a big challenge.

But we got you.

This article will give you tips on how to shop for a great turntable and a list of the 6 best DJ turntables in 2021.

 

How to Choose the Best Turntables

Before I share my go-to DJ Turntables with you, I’ll share some tips you should consider when shopping for a professional turntable. This section is especially crucial if this is your first time buying a Dj turntable.

Budget

As you might have already realized, using DJ Turntables is the costliest way of deejaying. For starters, the gadgets are pricey, and they are also high maintenance.

As a beginner, the least you can spend on a turntable is $100. And yes, they’re cheaper devices than that, but they end up costing you more because they require repair every now and then. In fact, if your budget allows you a little flexibility, I recommend going for something in the $200-$300 price range.

If you want something you don’t need to upgrade even at the intermediate and expert level, go for the $550+ turntables.

Weight

What weight is appropriate when it comes to DJ Turntable always results in a heated debate. The truth is it really depends on what your priority is.

To clarify this, when weight can be a liability when using a Dj controller, it can be your friend when using a DJ turntable. The latter is very sensitive to vibrations and resonance, which means that the heavier your DJ Turntable is, the more resonance it will have.

However, if you want something for camping or moving around, it might be wise to go for something lightweight.

Torque

DJ Turntables use a belt drive or a direct drive DJ turntable. As the name suggests, the belt drive turntable uses a belt motion mechanism between the engine and the platter. As a result, the belt can get in the way of your scratching.

The torque of your turntable should be at least 1kg/cm (the higher, the better). This pays off when you’re spinning at events, and you need to start a song fast. I recommend going for something with >1.5 kg/cm of torque but never go for something that’s below one.

Another thing to consider when it comes to torque is adjustability; some DJs prefer a device with an adjustable torque knob to create their preferred brand.

Dust Covers

Although dust covers don’t affect the performance of the DJ Turntables, I find them very useful for maintenance purposes. It ensures your device doesn’t collect a lot of dust, which is essential for longevity, and it makes cleaning easier.

Some turntables come with their covers, but you can always buy quality fabric for your turntable if it doesn’t come with one.

Connectivity Flexibility

Different devices come with different connectivity features. Most DJ Turntables come with a phono that you can plug into your mixer or controller. Other devices will also come with a USB output that allows you to connect the DJ turntable to your PC. If you don’t need some of these features, you can go for brands that don’t have them and save a few bucks.

 

Top 6 DJ Turntables in 2021

1. Pioneer DJ PLX-1000

CHECK IT OUT ON AMAZON.

The Pioneer DJ brand has been making high-end turntables for over 50 years, and the Pioneer DJ PLX-1000 is just an improvement with next-generation features to fill all the requirements you need.

The turntable has a high-torque direct-drive that ensures a stable rotation and exceptional control (It reaches 33⅓ rpm in just 0.3 seconds). It also has an excellent sound design as it has a heavy mass, die-cast zinc chassis that prevents resonance and vibrations.

The lower part of the device is also reinforced with a 9mm thick vibration-damping material and 8 mm thick resin. Additionally, it has a rubber-insulated tonearm that reduces howling effects while the external rubber absorbs any external vibrations.

When it comes to picking up the pace, the multi-tempo allows you to slow down or pick up the track; there is also a revert button that instantly resets the paces as desired. It’s also worth mentioning that the Pioneer DJ PLX-1000 has very flexible connectivity – it has several power cables that can be easily connected and replaced. The DJ turntable also has pro-grade gold-plated RCA jacks for low impedance and sound quality.

What we like

  • A high-torque direct drive for exceptional control and stable rotation
  • Die-cast chassis that prevents resonance and external vibration
  • Flexible connectivity
  • Multi tempo control
  • A very straightforward manual

What we didn’t like

  • It’s very pricey
  • No cartridge supplied
  • The lid doesn’t lift (it has no hinge)

 

2. Technics SL-1200MK7 Turntable

CHECK IT OUT ON AMAZON.

Technics is owned by the Panasonic brand alongside all the hi-fi devices they sell. This DJ turntable is a great choice for anyone looking to relive the scratch that came with scratching the vinyl records like old-school DJs. The Technics SL-1200MK7 Turntable is one of the most advanced turntables as it is the newest series produced by the brand since the ’60s.

One of the best features of the turntable is the cordless direct drive motor that helps the user achieve more rotation to drive the platter. The direct-drive motor also enhances the performance, rotation accuracy, and powerful torque.

If you’ve been replacing your turntables very often, I recommend trying this device because it doesn’t require spare parts and it stays reliable for a very long time. This is also perfect for beginners who aren’t ready to make upgrades very often.

Other great features include the torque and brake speed that you can adjust in four steps; and a digital function that you can use to change the pitch up or down by 8-16%. The tonearm is highly sensitive, and the stylus stimulator gives you a stylus even in dark environments.

What we like

  • It Plays 78 rpm and not just 45 rpm
  • Lower floor noise but more powerful than other previous models
  • Plays records backyards

What we didn’t like

  • The stop button is a little flimsy
  • No hinges on its dust cover

 

3. Reloop 8000 MK2 Upper Torque Hybrid Turntable Instrument

CHECK IT OUT ON AMAZON.

Although Reloop joined the turntables party a little late, they’ve established themselves by presenting the consumers with great products. This turntable was built in collaboration with renowned turntable musicians to ensure it marked all the boxes. And although it was built with Serato in mind, you can use it in the traditional way for playing simple records.

If you’ve used Technics before, the Reloop 8000 is similar but with eight amazing pads to give you more access. Before I move on to other features, it’s worth mentioning that you’ll need to shop for the needle cartridges and control Vinyl. However, once you shop for the extras and set up the device, there are very many great features you can enjoy.

The R8000 turntable mainly targets digital vinyl system (DVS) users. The white eight pads offer quick access to loops, hot cues, and sample decks, while the direct-drive motor takes care of the timecode playback. Other interesting features include the stop/start speed that makes it a versatile option for scratch DJs.

What we like

  • Independent play mode
  • The motor is great – it doesn’t have any lag
  • A great bell drive turntable with the features needed for hi-fi listening

What we didn’t like

  • No needle cartridges

 

4. Audio-Technica AT-LP120USB-BK Direct-Drive Turntable

CHECK IT OUT ON AMAZON.

The 120X is an upgrade of the L120P, and it has a few differences and upgrades that you may enjoy. For example, the 120X has a better stylus, its highs are brighter and clearer, and the sound is generally better.

The LP 120X is also a great option if you don’t like a noisy motor. Its motor is so good that you can barely hear it when you place your ear next to the device. Another difference is the removable pilot light. While some users prefer the built-in pop light on the L120P, I prefer the removable light on the 120X because it allows room for rotation.

It’s possible to convert your analog vinyl records into a digital format by connecting a laptop through a USB port and using software like Audacity. Besides the USB option, this DJ turntable offers great flexibility in connectivity. The Audio-Technica AT-LP120USB-BK Direct-Drive Turntable comes with a built-in phono preamp and RCA output so you can connect it to your home stereo (even if it lacks a phono output).

What we like

  • Built-in phono preamp
  • Direct drive
  • USB connection
  • Three speeds (33, 45 and 78) RPM.

What we didn’t like

  • The torque doesn’t meet the torque standards
  • It’s a bit costly

 

5. Numark PT01 Scratch DJ Turntable

CHECK IT OUT ON AMAZON.

When I think about a portable turntable, the first option that comes to mind is the Numark PT01 Scratch DJ Turntable. It’s lightweight as it weighs only 4.3lbs, which is slightly less than a large bottle of coke. The turntable is also very easy to pack, and it comes with a very slick removable slip mat.

Another great feature is the adjustable scratch switch which you can adjust or replace whether you’re righty or lefty for convenience. Unfortunately, while you can easily switch the scratch, the motor is belt drive, which can make scratching hard. You also get to scratch from anywhere you like because you can plug it into a wall outlet with the AC adapter and run on batteries.

It’s also worth noting that this DJ Turntable comes with three speeds (33, 45, and 78) RPM – while this is not out of the world – it’s a huge deal at that price range. Many DJ turntables priced in that range only come with the first two speeds.

What we like

  • It’s pocket friendly
  • It has long-lasting batteries
  • Built-in speakers
  • USB, RCA, and headphones connection
  • AC wall adapter
  • Adjustable scratch switch

What we don’t like

  • Belt-drive
  • It’s very tinny
  • Only variable if you’re really into scratching

 

6. Stanton T.62 M2 Direct-Drive Straight-arm DJ Turntable

CHECK IT OUT ON AMAZON.

I decided to save the Stanton T.62 M2 Direct-Drive Straight-arm DJ Turntable for last because it’s my overall recommendation for beginners. It strikes a perfect balance between performance and price.

Despite the budget-friendly price, the DJ Turntable has a very impressive design. It has two startup buttons and a flat tonearm, and the control is easy to access regardless of the DJ setup configuration you’re using.

The DJ Turntable also offers some flexibility when it comes to connectivity. For example, it comes with headphones and a wide pitch range adjustment. It also comes with a protective dust cover to clean and save you cleaning hours.

Unlike other turntables on the list that come with three speeds, the Stanton Turntable only comes with two-speed controls (33 and 45 RPM), which is expected at that price range. It’s also important to note that a lot of aluminum and plastic are used to design the turntable. This means it doesn’t come in handy for club use or other loud places. I only recommend it for practice and home use.

What we like

  • It’s very cheap
  • Amazing pitcher width
  • Dust covers
  • Beginner-friendly

What we didn’t like

  • No USB output
  • Only convenient for home use

 

Best DJ Turntables (Wrapping Up)

Shopping for a DJ Turntable is a great deal for your deejaying experience. Although the goals of all deejays are to have fun with music, they all have different preferences. The best DJ turntable for you will depend on where you’ll be playing, what key features are crucial for you, and whether you want something retro or traditional.

Before you buy your DJ Turntable, ensure you make a list of what’s important for you to help you narrow it down.

What do you consider the most important feature of a DJ Turntable?

 

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