The best turntables on the market to enjoy the music of your old vinyl as before
Nowadays, it is common to consume music in digital format either through mobile phone, tablet, computer and even smart speakers that integrate virtual assistants so that you can interact with them and put the themes of the groups and artists that you ask them. However, before this format broke in and took over from CDs, we had cassette tapes and vinyl records, analog formats that for many music lovers guarantee to live and feel music in a completely different and special way.
Within this context, and despite what many users believe, the vinyl market is in good health if we attend to the data provided by PROMUSICAE (Productores de Música de España). According to a study carried out by PROMUSICAE, vinyl represents 40% of total sales. Therefore, if you want renew your old appliance The buy a turntable for the first time —If you are curious about these sound reproduction systems— take a look at the following comparison. In it, then, you will find the best vinyl record players on the market.
What turntable models have we chosen?
So, What kind of vinyl turntables to buy in 2021? We have put to the test three turntable models available on the website of Amazon to answer this question: Audio-Technica AT-LP120X (8,25), Pioneer PLX-500 (8.5) and Sony PSHX500 (9.25). All of them offer an additional benefit: it is a USB output to connect them to the computer Y digitize the music of your records with the programs suggested by their manufacturers.
The following criteria have been assessed, among others:
– Construction and design: how is the turntable construction, the details it incorporates and the materials chosen for its manufacture. If you have an aesthetic of turntable vintage, if it has a more current design …
– Support feet: are important not only because they provide a greater stability. They also influence how they dampen the vibrations generated.
– Type of motor: preferably from DC. Another option is direct drive.
– Plate mechanism: the type of plate, its finish and stability are important aspects, but the mechanism of its operation also: there are leashes Y direct drive, the latter more recommended especially if the frequency of use is high.
– Arm: Although for some users it is a matter of taste, there are manuals Y automatic.
– Use experience: how the record player is playing and how do i know Unwraps using it with vinyl records of different musical genres (classical, rock, pop), if the sound is clear and accurate, how details and nuances are perceived …
– Others: how many revolutions per minute they support, if you have additional USB output connections to connect the turntable to the computer and digitize the songs on the vinyl record …
How have we tested them?
We have dusted off some vinyl records that we had saved and also asked family and friends if they had any that they could leave us. In the end, we have put together a small collection that has included Vivaldi, Queen, Los Beatles, Rolling Stone, Roxette, Queen y Bon Jovi, among others. We have tested them with each of them and for this we have used a Denon amplifier.
It has been a very close comparison because the three options are an interesting alternative for anyone who wants to buy a quality turntable and manage a budget of between 200 and 400 euros. In return, you acquire a device that will last for many years and with a sound that will surprise you. On this occasion, the Sony PSHX500 turntable. It has achieved the best performance, but above all we must highlight the experience of use and sound quality, its brightness, nuances …
Sony PSHX500 turntable
Sober and minimalist aesthetics for this Japanese Sony turntable, which allows you to enjoy our old vinyls with a very good sound quality while we savor the nuances that this format provides. As a complementary feature, it gives you the option to digitize the songs thanks to its internal A / D converter Yet the USB output on the rear. To do this, you must download to your computer (either Windows or Mac) the Hi-Res Audio Recorder free app. The process is intuitive and you just have to choose which high resolution format you prefer: PCM or DSD. The maximum time for this recording is 100 minutes.
But before you dust off these vinyls, you have to make an assembly that will take a few minutes. This process includes, among others, the placing your cast aluminum platter; the strap fastening made of rubber to the transmission motor; wave cover that protects it from dust and dirt which applies a hinge mechanism. All these steps are completed quite easily. On the other hand, this does not happen when you calibrate the photo-capturing arm that takes you longer than you had anticipated (at least in our tests).
The Sony PSHX500 turntable is turned on from the control wheel located in the lower left: here you also find the 33 and 45 rpm speed selector. To use it you need active speakers or an amplifier. Like other models on the market, its phonographic ecualizer it is compatible with both phono and line outputs.
Tocadiscos Pioneer PLX-500
It is not only designed for you to enjoy your vinyl collection (the experience is fantastic) rather, it is an option to be considered by the users who want to jump into the DJ world. In fact, its aesthetic is based on the professional Pioneer PLX-1000 model; aesthetic that, on the other hand, is reminiscent of tocadiscos Audio-Technica AT-LP120X.
Its legs are adjustable in height and the damping of the vibrations resolved well as it happens with its competitors. Yes, just like the Sony proposal must attach the head Y adjust the arm with the counterweight. Next to him, and as one might expect, is the control wheel for the anti-skating. After pressing the power button, you can see how it projects a red light that immediately attracts attention. It is not the only one because, on the opposite side of this model of direct drive and direct current of three phases, the manufacturer has added a retractable support that when activated makes the needle lights up.
In addition, the tocadiscos Pioneer PLX-500 has a button Start/Stop for what the turntable moves or stops and a revolutions per minute selector (33, 45 or 78). These characteristics are shared with the Audio-Technica turntable, as well as the possibility of adjust the spin speed. It is done through a potentiometer that has a very comfortable sliding design. Its physical connections include a USB output used to connect the turntable and digitize songs, and another RCA phono / line.
Tocadiscos Audio-Technica AT-LP120X
Available in two shades, black and silver, one of the more beautiful designs of the entire comparison. You can also boast about good finishes and the The feeling it transmits is one of robustness. With a manual needle handling, incorporates in the lower part of the left a button of Start/Stop that spins or stops the cast aluminum plate where you put the vinyl. On the opposite side is the slider for the tempo. Meanwhile, the balance arm is S-shaped and includes, among other components, the counterweight and a system that helps control anti-skating preventing this arm patina.
Its engine is direct drive, while the characteristics of its dual magnet phono cartridge with elliptical stylus (your calibration has been resolved successfully) good impressions. You can choose between three speeds: 33, 45 and 78 revolutions per minute.
At the connectivity level, we must highlight its phono / line selector and the USB port accompanying you. The first allows it to be used, for example, with a amplifier or a speaker system assets. In the case of the second, the record player connects to computer and with the help of recording software programs such as Audacity, you extract the music from your vinyls to digitize them. The experience of using the tocadiscos Audio-Technica AT-LP120X it has worked for us nice, positive Y fairly balanced at most sound frequencies. In short, it is the best value for money turntable of the comparison.
WHY YOU SHOULD TRUST ME?
I’ve been in tech journalism for almost two decades. In all this time, I have had the privilege of seeing how technology advances to make everyday life easier and tell about it in different media. Although I have already lost count of how many products have passed through my hands, I confess that the desire and the sensations remain the same. Laptops, tablets, phones, cameras, activity wristbands, smart watches … I don’t limit myself when choosing a device and making the most of its possibilities as a good consumer of technology.
Subscribe to Amazon Prime so that your orders arrive home sooner.
* The recommendations so that deliveries of online orders can be carried out with total security for distributors and customers indicate that direct contact between the two should be avoided, maintain a safe distance and wash hands after opening the package. All delivery men are instructed to exercise extreme caution.
* All purchase prices included in this article are current as of February 8, 2021.
Subscribe to the El PAÍS Escaparate newsletter.