How to Buy the Best Turntable for You

How to buy the best turntable…Really depends on your budget and what you intend to use it for. The professional DJ will have different criteria than the home enthusiast. Lets take a look at some of the features that need to be considered.

What kind of drive does it have? There are two basic types. Belt drive and direct drive. The belt drive is often more suitable to home use. A DJ however will probably opt for the direct drive due to the fact that the motor connects directly to the record platter and provides the best torque. Stops and starts are almost instantaneous. Belt drives tend to become loose over time and can affect the pitch. Especially when a turntable is put through the rigors a DJ would put it through.Due to the fact that the motor is directly under the platter in direct drive turntables, they tend to be a little noisier than belt drives. While this may be acceptable at the club where there is a lot of background noise anyway, home users might find it troublesome. Of the two, direct drives are more expensive.

Is it USB compatible? USB turntables make it a snap to connect them directly to your computer and via the included software convert your old vinyl to mp3 files. DJ’s and home enthusiasts both benefit from this technology. Although if this is not important to you, there are turntables which do not support this feature.

Price. There is a vast range of prices for turntables, with some of the DJ versions topping out a $1000 or more. Consumer versions may be had for $100. Just depends on your needs and budget. You get what you pay for though. Some of the more respected turntables are made by Denon, Technics, and Audio Technica.

Pitch Control. DJ’s will find the models with variable pitch control invaluable in cueing up and matching the tempos of songs. Probably not a big factor in home use, but who knows.

Forward and reverse. Again another cool tool useful for DJ effects. But who knows. Some home enthusiasts may want to know what the Beatles really said on some of their tunes that used “backward masking”. Now’s your chance!

Automatic start and stop. Some turntables offer automatic start and stop. The stop feature really saves wear and tear on the unit because it stops when it gets to the end of the record. DJ’s probably don’t use this feature much because they never get to the end of the record. They just keep looping!

Construction. Obviously some turntables are more roadworthy than others. Home enthusiast’s probably won’t care much, except if your wife is one of those who needs to endlessly rearrange the furniture. If you DJ and haul equipment to your gigs you will want a sturdy base and cover and a locking mechanism on the tone arm. Just saying…

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