We bring you what is perhaps the most complete guide in the history of the turntable. Hell freezes over, vinyl LPs break sales records again. As many records are already sold as in the nineties. Here we present the best turntables of 2020 and we also offer you a practical guide to help you choose the one that best suits your needs and of course your pocket.
Gone are those old and rudimentary turntables that gave way to one of the greatest revolutions in the world of sound. Today, modern record players mix the best of the past and the 20th century. XXI and have some very interesting improvements and innovations that promise a long life yet. However, the market for vinyl players can be confusing for some first-timers. Don’t know which best turntable under 300 to buy? At S-partan we bring you this comparison with the best low, medium, and high range turntables on the market. In case you don’t know where to get the turntable of your dreams, and you don’t want to go crazy spending too much, we recommend that you visit the amazon turntable store. This is the largest specialized area in the sector and you will save a lot of time and money.
A practical guide to choosing turntables
How do I know which of the best turntables to choose from?
To listen to good vinyl we need a good record player. More precisely, a good pickup needle. The imperceptible grooves where the music is encoded erode faster by the weight and pressure of the needle, the undulation of the base, or the power of the motor, are of a lower quality than is required. In fact, a poorly constructed stylus head is also responsible for a less defined sound., noisier. A turntable that does not dampen fluctuations at the base where it sits can cause the vinyl to “chip” and lose sound. They are a set of mechanical pieces that, like a clock, must dance to a rhythmic rhythm, where precision and stability are the key elements. Let’s take a look at the types of turntables or turntables on the market. But first a little history.
The record player appeared for the first time in 1925. It was at this time that the first tube amplifiers also appeared and the “pick-up” or tonearm emerged.
Record players emerged to reproduce vinyl records (and acetate records ), electrically and not mechanically. The electric reproduction of records had many advantages. You could control the volume of playback. The turntable is equipped with an electric motor. This made the turntable or turntable rotate at a constant speed of 78 RPM, 45 RPM, or 33 RPM, thus achieving more fidelity in sound.
The decrease in the weight of the arm also brought less wear on the disc due to its weight, among other things.
Later, more sophisticated record players appeared, the semi-automatic ones. These when the record was finished were able to return the tonearm automatically to its place. In addition, later they turned off the motor and the current of the device. The automatics were able to move their arms by themselves to play the record. Likewise, if several discs were played at the same time, several discs could be played (only one side), and automatically finished playing all of them. Let’s get to know the record player more thoroughly.
What parts do the best crosley turntable have?
The phono chassis is the set formed by the turntable, the capsule, and the tonearm. These parts make up the skeleton of any turntable. It also makes the perfect conjugation of these elements. So that the capsule only collects the information of the vinyl record, and that it is not a victim of parasitic vibrations both inside and from the phono chassis itself, from the motor or from outside sounds like the speakers and/or vibrations from a machine, the phono chassis must have a suspension system that is as suitable as possible. Another part of the phono chassis is also important, which is a plastic cover to prevent dust from entering the disc and causing false readings on the pickup capsule.
The phono chassis, depending on the disc reading system, can be divided into semi-automatic, automatic, and manual.
Turntable with an arm lift and drop: Some have a mechanism that allows you to more precisely select a song. A button is pressed to raise the arm. The user moves it wherever it falls. And when you press a certain drop button, the arm goes down in the exact place.
Semi-automatic: it has a system that when the disc is finished the arm rises. Then it returns to its place and cuts the current to the motor. This causes the turntable to stop working. This makes it more convenient for the user to be able to store the record, and not have to run the risks of scratching the record or breaking the stylus.
Automatic: It has a complex system that makes it capable of playing several discs (only one side ). Or change discs, and automatically start or stop playing a disc. It could be found on radios (furniture equipped with record players and radio). And also in three-in-one stereo sound systems (record player, radio, and cassette recorder).
The manual turntable: It is the most common by default. Where the user has to take care of turning off or activating the engine. You have to put your arm over the record to make it touch it, or remove it to finish playback. Semi-automatic and manual systems are the most used today.
The suspension serves to damp and prevent parasitic vibrations from reaching the capsule, being amplified and heard. To reduce or eliminate these vibrations, the most widely seen and recommended has been to place the phono chassis on support. This should be as heavy as possible, such as a thick metal frame. You must also put suspensions to it to dampen vibrations.
One solution is based on placing rubber studs as a suspension. In this suspension method, the arm, platform and platter are attached to the wooden plinth, so the only suspension is on the legs.
The turntable is where the record spins to be played, typically 12 inches or more. However, the rotor is not the only part of the turntable, as it also encompasses the motor in charge of providing power to the rotor. The speed with which the motor rotates the rotor has to be adjusted, to allow precise friction of the needle with the groove of the record. If this speed does not correspond, the sound will not be reproduced correctly.
Some of the new turntables have rows of dots on the edge of the turntable, as many as the different speeds at which the turntable can rotate. Next to the platter is a strobe light. When the platter rotates, one of the rows of stitches should give the sensation that that row is stationary or, failing that, that it rotates very slowly. If this happens, it means that the plate rotates faithfully at the indicated speed, depending on the speed 16, 45, 33, or 78 RPM, the row and its number of points will depend. This system is used to know if the turntable drive system is working properly, it is based on the stroboscope phenomenon.
There are some small turntables (for singles only) that have a smaller turntable, usually with the 33 and 45 RPM speeds, and sometimes with the larger spindle. In the case that the platter is for 12-inch discs, the platter will have the normal size shaft. There are adapters on the market to be able to use a turntable with the large platter and small hole and adapt it to the large shaft of 45 RPM records.
Pitch adjustment (only on some of the best turntables)
This device allows the user to vary the speed of the turntable very slightly, and therefore the tone (pitch in English) of the song that is played, becoming sharper if the speed is increased or lower if it is decreased. This system is used to be able to synchronize the songs in the sessions of the club DJs.
It is a slide potentiometer located on the side of the tonearm with the travel of several centimeters.
In the center of the travel is the 0 position, which coincides with the standard speed of the turntable (normally 33 or 45 RPM), and at the ends are the maximum increase in favor or against the possible variation, which is usually -8 % to + 8% or -12% to + 12%. For a DJ, this is the most important control for better control during long syncs of mixes.
On some of the better turntables, there is a ‘Pitch Lock’ button that sets the turntable speed to 0% or ‘standard pitch’, regardless of the position of the pitch fader. They can also include the ability to vary the pitch range as standard, ± 8%, but a turntable with a pitch range control would also be able to change to ± 12% and ± 50%, for example. There is even the possibility of incorporating a “pitch bend” button that allows you to adjust the timing of two records without touching the vinyl. This can facilitate a much smoother mix as there are no sudden changes in record speed, although it is only advisable in mixes of similar BPM tracks. 4
With computer development, the mixing software has incorporated the entire ‘pitch’ adjustment system as well as measuring all the other necessary parameters automatically and usually include the possibility of auto-mixing.
By pulleys: a wheel with a rubber rim or drive pulley is responsible for driving the rotor. This wheel is linked to the turntable’s mechanical gear change system, which places the wheel at some point on the motor shaft. It has different thicknesses arranged in the shape of a ladder (usually on the motor shaft). The different thicknesses correspond to the various speeds at which the motor transmits its energy to the pulley by contact. And in turn transmits it to the edge of the rotor, making it turn.
By belts: a belt directly connects the motor to the rotor. This type of drive achieves the highest rotational speeds, while engine vibrations are effectively dampened. It went into decline when the direct drive motor made its appearance.
By direct drive: the motor shaft itself transmits the rotational speed of the disc to the rotor of the plate. In this case, it is unavoidable that the speed of rotation is adjusted to the recording speed of the disc ( analog mechanical recording ); this creates more force on the rotor.
Direct traction has been the system that has ended up being implemented. In turn, turntables can have three types of motors:
Asynchronous or induction motor. The magnetic energy required to rotate the rotor is induced by two or more electromagnets, whose polarity changes 100 times per second. The constancy of the speed depends on the network that feeds it, so it is not always reliable (voltage drops, etc.). As it was not very reliable, it was not used in many phono chassis.
Synchronous motor. The magnetic energy necessary to rotate the rotor is induced by the group of electromagnets it has (always in greater quantity than the asynchronous motor, usually 12, 16, 24, 48, and 120), so the speed will no longer depend on the received supply voltage. The speed of rotation in synchronous motors will depend on the number of electromagnets, the greater the number of poles, the lower the speed, and the frequency of the supply network.
DC motor. The energy that feeds the rotor is no longer magnetic but electrical. The transmission of this electrical energy from the motor to the rotor.
It is an essential part of the best turntables as it must have great mobility to be able to navigate the record well. The main purpose of the arm is to serve as a support for the capsule. Thus, it makes it follow the grooves of the disc as tangentially as possible to the radius of the disc. The arms should be designed in a way that will fit most capsules.
Today’s arms are made of lightweight materials. But at the same time rigid to avoid invasive vibrations. And, if possible, of non-ferromagnetic materials, such as wood, aluminum, plastic, etc. Various types of arms have been investigated. The carbon fiber ones were good, but they were discarded because they transmitted vibrations to the capsule.
It has about three counterweights (depending on the turntable), which are used to calibrate the weight of the stylus with the pickup and stand.
It must-have devices to prevent the arm from sliding very freely, this requires a swing. The shape of the arm is also important to avoid a tangential error. Straight arms are prone to tangential error. These should have the capsule holder bent at a 70º angle. Instead, the arms have been designed in an «S» shape to minimize tangential error and to make the capsule holder more straight with respect to the radius of the disc.
The pickup capsule is the soul of the best record players since it is the transducer in charge of transforming the mechanical energy produced by the pick and the record (produced by the movement of the needle on the relief of the record groove) into voltage variations ( electrical energy) so that the loudspeaker ( electroacoustic transducer ) converts back into sound vibration.
Glass, piezoelectric or ceramic capsules:
Based on the properties of certain crystals. Such as Rochelle salts of barium titanate in which, when subjected to pressure or mechanical stress. A voltage appears at its ends (piezoelectric effect). They have the highest output voltage (between 0.2 and 1 Volt pp) and are of high impedance. But they are very delicate, being sensitive to shocks and heat, and humidity, and have a very irregular frequency response, which makes them unsuitable for Hi-Fi equipment.
They are the most common, they are based on the variation of the magnetic flux produced by the movement of the needle on the groove, on a magnet-coil assembly that it contains. The currents induced in the coils are the signal recovered from the groove.
The most normal thing is that they are of the movable magnet, in which the movement of the needle is transferred to the magnets, these being the ones that move. In these capsules the replacement of the needle is possible. There are also moving coil capsules, in which the one that moves is a tiny coil. These are the ones that offer the highest reproductive quality, but they are expensive, have a very low output voltage (typically 0.001 Volt), and have the disadvantage that the needle arm is attached to the coil, which makes it difficult to replace when it is it has worn out, being many times impossible.
It consists of a fixed metal part, and, very close (but not touching it), another metal plate, thinner and softer, so that it can be moved. The latter is attached to the stem, to which the needle is attached. When the needle travels the record, this plate moves, thus producing a potential difference. Like the condenser microphone, this capsule will also require a direct current, since it cannot generate it, it will only modulate the current sent by the preamplifier, a system known as phantom power. The amplifier or preamplifier must incorporate this type of power supply to be able to use these capsules.
So then, in the capsule is the needle, which is the one that comes into direct contact with the record. The needles are made of diamond or sapphire. These are the first ones of the magnetic type pickup capsules. And also the second are those of crystal-type pickup capsules.
One of the most important elements of the capsule is the needle. This is the one in charge of reading the sinuosities contained in the groove. This must be in permanent contact with the disc. And also there would always have to be a large contact surface between these two. This is where the greatest inconvenience occurs in this type of artifact. The wear and tear of one of these two over time.
There are several factors that influence the life of the needle, such as the material with which it is made; if the needle is made of sapphire, the useful life of the record would be shorter; the state in which the discs are preserved also influences; dust or dirt can damage the stylus, the weight exerted by the capsule on the record; if this weight is too excessive, the needle may wear out or the stud may break, the shape of the arm; tangential error.
Best High-End Turntables Players
They are not affordable but their price is worth it, we present you with the best turntables on the market. They have outstanding audio quality. Keep in mind that we are talking about turntables that are given a professional use but are also the favorite of vinyl lovers. Let us begin!!!
Technics SL-1200MK7 NEW !!!
Technics updates its famous DJ turntable with the SL-1200 MK7
Legendary audio technology company Technics has returned to the world of DJ turntables after nine long years in the desert, with the launch of the new SL-1200 MK7 at CES 2019 in Las Vegas.
Technics released the SL-1200 turntable series in the 1970s, which has since been regarded as an industry standard for professional (and bedroom) DJs.
Built on the reliability and rugged design of its predecessors, the new turntable also features reverse playback, a coreless direct-drive motor to reduce rotational irregularity, and motor control technology to ensure the covers respond correctly. scratching or reproduction.
Retro, but keep it modern
Like other Technics turntables, the SL-1200 MK7 features its now classic S-shaped tonearm (in this black version), and comes with gold-plated phono cables and a detachable power cord.
It comes in a matte black design, with the option of a red or blue LED light. Although pricing and availability are yet to be confirmed, we hope there will be many excited DJs eagerly awaiting more news on this modern-retro-retro turntable.
Technics SL-1200 GR
If you don’t know what an SL-1200/1210 looks like, you must have been living on beetles and tree bark in the Australian Outback for about 30 years. First introduced in 1972 as a hi-fi turntable, it became the epitome of the DJ rig. The best of the best turntables ever made. Direct drive operation, tone control, and near-bomb-proof build quality made it perfect for mixing, mixing, and scratching in clubs and bars around the world. The Sl-1200GR / Sl-1210GR looks a lot like the Mk5 version, with an on/off button that is not so easy to accidentally hit, and a button that locks the step to 0. You couldn’t mistake it for anything other than being Technics.
The Technics SL-1500C at a much lower price than other high-end Technics models, thanks to less technical simplifications and more production in Malaysia, is one of the best turntables in its price range. When considering both the Ortofon cartridge and the RIAA preamp, which is very solid (which is often not the case), it becomes very difficult to achieve this kind of sound within the same budget. In addition to solid workmanship, the SL-1500Cit also boasts a highly competent sound. Rhythmic, lively and open, with a handful of details, perhaps with a slight lack of subtlety and nuance. However, this could hardly be a disadvantage, but rather a tonal difference that falls within the domain of personal taste. Choosing a $2,000 turntable offers several very good options, and the SL-1500C is definitely one of the best turntables to consider overall.
Well and with this, we end this comparison on what we have considered the best turntables on the market today. hope you liked it. And remember that you can leave your impressions after these lines. We are waiting for you as always, in the next comparison.