7 Best Turntables Under $2000

Published Categorized as Guides

Are you looking for some of the best turntables under $2000? Are you a more experienced record collector who has been doing what they do for some time and want to upgrade to the kind of turntable that is going to last you until the day you die?

Then look no further, for today we will be exhibiting for you just that, while also making sure to stop along the way so that we might explore what you might be looking for in a turntable within this price range.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

What to Look for

In this price range, just about every turntable is the best turntable. Some are, of course, better than others, and what truly separates audiophile turntables from these other turntables is a real bent toward sound quality.

Though you ought to expect all turntables in this price range to get the job done with regards to turning your vinyl records into gold, there are going to be some that do a better job than others.

An audiophile turntable will be comprised of high-quality components whose every compositional detail is formulated to deliver that warm sound that vinyl has come to be heralded for, though never at the experience of clarity.

It is not uncommon for turntables in this price range to be without a built-in phono stage for preamplification, so you will likely need to buy your own phono preamp. This is good news for those who like to customize their sound experience to the fullest.

Another thing to look out for, as with purchasing any turntable at any price range, is where the turntable stands in the rival dichotomy between direct drive vs belt-drive turntables.

Record players in this category will, however, do all that a record player ought to do, whether or not it is a direct drive turntable or a belt-drive turntable, so expect all the frills and nothing less from your vessel.

Make no mistake: these are high-end turntables. You should expect a degree of comfort and class in both the listening experience and the user experience of actually using the thing itself. The strength and price of the high-quality materials should be readily evident.

Though Audio-Technica holds a real monopoly on more affordable turntables, you will not find a dedicated offering from them here!

1. Rega RP3 (Best Sleek)

Rega is a well-established audio brand hailing from the UK who have been specializing in audiophilia since the early 1970s. Though their humble place within the world might fool you, they are a well-respected and highly thought of brand that manufactures all of its products by hand. Beat that!

Rega RP3 Turntable with Dustcover, Elys2 Cartridge, RB303Tonearm (Cool Grey)

This is a particularly powerful model of theirs, with an RB330 tonearm and Elys 2 cartridge that offers nuanced tracking and potent sound quality, all alongside a double brace technology that works to ensure a longer lifespan.

The specially-designed platter provides through its vibrational sensitivity and defiance a confident clarity when sat atop the motor that can boast lower noise and vibrational interference than plenty of others.

Atop all of this, there is room for customization, with the plinth coming in three different colors to match up with your own home decor, garbed in a dust cover that is going to protect this large investment forevermore.

Pros

  • Plenty of room for customization, with a plinth that comes in three vibrant colors
  • And a modern design that would still not look out of place in most home environments.
  • Despite its light weight, it can firmly defy plenty of unwanted resonances and extraneous vibrations.
  • The double brace technology stops motor noise as much as possible.
  • And, boy, is it a powerful motor!

Cons

  • The cartridge might not be up to the exacting standards of some more particular audiophiles.
  • The hinges for the dust cover are not weighted, which seems like an easily avoidable oversight.

2. Music Hall MMF-7.3 (Best Isolation)

Though relatively little known (and with a far less established brand reputation), the Music Hall is no less potent for any of these things, sporting the kind of quality sound that is fit to shake the established way of things to its core.

Music Hall MMF-7.3 2-Speed Audiophile Turntable With Ortofon 2M Bronze Cartridge

What really sets this turntable apart from others is the fact that many if not all of the parts are somehow isolated from each other; the platter, cartridge, and tonearm are mounted separately on the top platform, sectioned off from the bottom plinth with patented Sorbothane hemispheres for ultimate vibrational resistance.

There is little separation in the individual components, either. The tonearm, for instance, is comprised of one single piece of carbon fiber such as one might find in the one-piece chassis of a high-end road bike.

All of these modern and futuristic touches are matched in the way that the tonearm automatically removes itself from the disc when the music is over, a feature less prevalent in high-end turntables than you might think.

Pros

  • The high-performance Ortofon 2M Bronze cartridge is optional.
  • The tonearm is comprised of one piece of carbon fiber for optimum adjustment and features an auto-lift mechanism.
  • The components themselves are isolated from each other as much as it is possible to do so.

Pros

  • There is no built-in preamp, so a really good one will be necessary to do justice to the other excellent features.

3. ClearAudio Concept (Best Eco)

Again, this is a relatively little-known brand, but if it continues to manufacture quality turntables like this, then they are unlikely to be unknown for very long (besides the fact that their turntables are incredibly expensive).

Clearaudio Concept Black Turntable with Satisfy Black Tonearm

This design is sleek and functional with a design that encourages each and every user to simply plug in and play, attempting to negate all of the faff and rigmarole that can come with these kinds of audio technologies.

This is easily one of the most environmentally friendly options on this list, the body being comprised of a medium-density wood fiber that attempts to sidestep all of the plastic and metallic gunk that goes into the production of these kinds of turntables and records in general.

Likewise, the platter is developed from a polymer of other materials and is belt-driven with a detached motor whose disconnect from the platter itself makes for an almost entirely resonance-free playback.

Pros

  • Easy to use, encouraging of even the most novice turntable enthusiast, especially since it has even been set up by the manufacturer themselves.
  • Offers each of the three speeds and caters to the main vinyl record types.
  • The motor is disconnected from the platter, one of the most important parts of a turntable for vibrational disturbance.
  • The manufacturer will offer a choice of the cartridge before they ship it all out to the user
  • Ensuring that they are fully satisfied with the setup before it leaves the factory.

Cons

  • Not as full a frequency response as you would like to hear from such an expensive piece of kit.

4. Rega Planar 6 (Best Budget)

Another offering from those specters over at Rega in the UK, this one promises an even more nuanced and ecstatic listening experience, as though you are front row at a DJ set of your own devising.

Rega RP6 Turntable with RB303 Tonearm, TTPSU Power Supply, Dust Cover (Gloss Black)

The components that comprise this turntable are all handmade in their own factory in the UK, hence why these can be a little too expensive for some.

Despite this, there is some area for the involvement of the user, where they can choose what kind of cartridge they would like to come with the turntable. Yes, as with the Clearaudio Concept, the choice is truly yours.

Coupled with the foamcore plinth and the dual platter consisting of both an aluminum sub-platter and a floating glass platter, this is a stable and nuanced listening and user experience that surely cannot be missed.

Pros

  • Rather than rely on oft-ungrounded mains electricity, this turntable comes with a separate power supply for enhanced playback performance.
  • Comes with the option to choose from three different cartridges, so that each user’s experience can be as customizable as possible.
  • The motor itself is hand-tuned and produces very little noise, a conduit for next to no vibrations.
  • And the hand-built tonearm just seals the deal and ices the cake of this incredible ode to craftsmanship.

Cons

  • As with plenty of other options on this list, the bold and excellent craftsmanship of this turntable will show up any other audio equipment not constructed to a similar standard.

5. Technics SL-1200MK7 (Best DJ)

For any aspiring DJs among us, then this is surely the way to go. Technics has a long and storied history as one of the premier brands for turntablists and disc jockeys alike, with a record label that still releases some of the most disgusting bottom-heavy tracks in all of dubstep, for example:

TECHNICS SL1200 MK7 turntable price

This is a direct drive turntable for virtuosos and novices alike, who are looking to expand the bounds of their craft with technology and gear that means business and will not let you down in the field.

This piece of kit is serious about being able to cater to all sorts of different kinds of music, going further than others on this list to offer three-speed capabilities alongside an already-nuanced pitch adjustment control that expands the realms of what it is possible for the DJ within us all.

Pros

  • There is a handy light that illuminates the stylus, perfect for those low-light environments in which DJs are often forced to perform.
  • Going above and beyond the port of call, there is even an option to play the record in reverse.
  • Nuanced and precise pitch adjustment controls.
  • The torque- and brake-speed adjustments provide a fertile platform for sonic experiments
  • Much as the three-speed options do, too.

Cons

  • Ridiculously enough, there is no cartridge included, which I suppose is good for customization but a little shocking considering the price point.
  • The lack of a USB output is surprising considering the target demographic.

6. Pro-Ject X2 (Best Space Ship)

Coming from a brand that is year on year becoming more established in the realm of high-end and deluxe turntables, Project has made it their project to turn the game upside down.

Pro-Ject X2 Turntable with Sumiko Rainier Cartridge (Piano Black)

The premium quality of the components should be readily apparent in the heavy weight of the vessel – this puppy ain’t going anywhere without a fight and will, likewise, resist any vibrational interference to the utmost.

Though the more modern and futuristic looks may fool you, this is a very classic and rudimentary design, with a belt-driven system and a powerful motor working in perfect harmony to bring your record collection to life.

Coming equipped with a fully capable tonearm and cartridge, in some lights it really does seem like this turntable has it all.

Pros

  • This vessel is setup and ready to go right out of the box – it is as simple as plugging in and pressing play.
  • The tonal response is almost unbeatable, with a wide and varied spectrum of sounds that is at once warm and balanced while never not organic.
  • The tonearm is of exemplary quality.
  • Three-speed capabilities.
  • Design is minimalist and classy, but never at the expense of functionality and fitting into home decor.

Cons

  • There is a low humming noise when the turntable is spinning at 45 rpm, though this is incredibly quiet and will likely not impact the overall quality of the sound.

7. Marantz TT-15S1 (Best Best)

From one of the most well-established and classic turntable brands in the business, this piece of kit proves that Marantz have still got the power to manufacture and produce exemplary turntables that redefine what high-end even means.

Marantz TT-15S1 Manual Belt-Drive Premium Turntable with Cartridge Included | Floating Motor for Low-Vibration & Low-Resonance | A Smart, Stylish Option for Vintage Vinyl Records

The aspects that are most classic about the design on display here – i.e. the belt-drive with an isolated motor and heavy platter – are mirrored by innovations in the field like the floating motor mount construction that does its best to reduce as many vibrations as possible and deliver the purest sound for the discerning ear of the closet audiophile.

The tonearm is straight and crowned with a virtuoso moving magnet cartridge, placing itself on the latter side of the debate between moving coil vs moving magnet phono cartridges.

Pros

  • The tonearm is straight and composed of anodized aluminum, working manually under the guise of its manufacturers, ClearAudio Satisfy.
  • Two of the most common speeds are supported, 33 1/3 and 45 rpm.
  • The cartridge crowning the tonearm is of exemplary quality, constructed by Virtuoso in the moving magnet style with a wood body and diamond stylus.
  • The innovative floating motor mount construction ensures that only a minimum amount of external vibrations can affect the overall quality of the sound.

Cons

  • The tonearm will likeyl require adjusting out of the box, much as with many of the other parts of the turntable.

Final Tones

So, there you have it!

Hopefully, your lust for expensive and higher-end turntables has been at least somewhat sated by this carefully formulated list.

It is our hope that this list of the best turntables under $2000 has been inspirational to you in anyway, hopefully in being able to formulate an idea of what kind of turntable you might want upgrade your own to.

Who knows, perhaps even seeing all the various characteristics listed here has allowed you to see what things you would prioritize and which you would care about less when trying to pick or design your own dream turntable.

FAQs Best Turntables Under $2000

What’s a good entry-level turntable?

This will depend on how much this beginner is willing to spend on their turntable. If they do not have a whole lot of money to spare but still want to get something that is going to last while also doing justice to their favorite music on vinyl, then you can’t really go wrong with the fabled Audio Technica AT-LP60. Sure, this turntable is not being manufactured anymore, but it was so mass-produced in its time that one can easily find one cheap enough for a beginner’s purposes. Those operating with more of a budget might find that the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO is more what they are after.

What is the most reliable turntable?

There is no one turntable that is more reliable than all the others, and this would be an impossible question to answer without knowing the kind of budget that the asker of the question is working with. Low-budget turntables are supremely reigned over by anything manufactured by Audio Technica.

Which is the best turntable brand?

There is certainly a whole host to choose from, especially if we start to consider what kind of uses the user might have for the said turntable. If the turntable is for use as a vessel for DJ’ing, then Pioneer is easily one of the ablest and best-known brands working within this area and has been doing so for long enough to have garnered a real name for themselves. For those, however, looking for a more holistic experience, you really can’t go wrong with Audio Technica, whose cartridges along provide one of the most balanced sonic experiences you can get from any vinyl.

Can cheap turntables damage records?

Certainly, yes, and they have been known to regularly for those who are not willing to put in the work or care at all. I once went around to a lover’s house and was surprised to find this person listening to an unholy din coming from their Crosley suitcase record player. Sure, I am very much into the noisier sides of ‘music’, but this did not sound like it was doing the record itself any favors. Turns out that while I was hearing a new Terry Riley and La Monte Young collaborative release, the album that actually was playing was an indie pop album by Bombay Bicycle Club.

Which is better belt or direct drive turntable?

Neither is better than the other and both have their strengths and weaknesses when pitted against one another. The belt drive is the more classic of the two, and yet it is still used today with good reason: the rubber belt is an apt absorber of the kind of vibrations that have been known to disrupt a listening experience, not to mention that this rubber belt is very easily replaced. The direct drive, on the other hand, is the newer of the two and is better suited to DJs precisely because it offers the option of near-instant stopping and starting, a tool that would be remiss in any DJs arsenal.

Are expensive turntables worth it?

This remains to be seen and will more than likely be reflective of the individual circumstances of each collector. Those with less money to their name who are still fond of the idea of record collecting might simply not be able to afford these more expensive turntables; for them, they might not be worth the money. However, those with more money to spare might use all sorts of methods to justify in their mind the purchasing of a more expensive turntable.

Published
Categorized as Guides

By Robert Halvari

My name is Robert Halvari - audio engineer and a total audiophile. I love vinyl because it has that natural character which brings music to life. I've been using and testing vinyl record players for around 15 years and I'm sharing my love and knowledge of vinyl by publishing all I know at Notes On Vinyl

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