The Best DJ Turntables For Every Budget 2018
Is there life after the legendary Technics SL-1200? So we searched and found some great options for the best DJ turntables for every available budget.
When the output of the Technics 1200 turntable stopped in 2010, we had to check our list again for new DJ turntables. Thankfully there is a big and constant enhanced production of vinyl turntables. However, other digital DJ equipment might involve and become better year by year, but the analog technology of vinyl turntables was perfected long ago.
There are still some clubs with a basic standard DJ setup. But the time has passed where a DJ desc exclusively had a 2-channel DJ mixer and 2 Technics 1200. In 2018 a complete pro DJ booth must include at least 2 Pioneer CDJs, a laptop with a DJ software, an audio interface and MIDI controllers along with a pair of DJ turntables and a club mixer. Versatile options to cover the needs of every musician out there. Check the best DJ equipment for beginners to find out the numerous possible DJ setups.
Technics SL-1200 or a new model?
For over 30 years is the standard DJ turntable and if you can find a used SL-1200 in could condition, grab it!! It comes in many different versions. Everything starts with the MK2 following MK3, MK 4, MK5, MK6, LTD and GLD. And if you want a black matte finish instead of the classic silver check the SL-1210.
What to check when buying a DJ turntable
- Drive motor type: There are two options here, but for DJing, you should go for direct type over the historical belt type. A high torque direct type will offer superb sound quality and tracking.
- Tonearm: The overall tonearm nature is essential for sound quality and tracking ability. The arm is where the complicated technology is stored. It has its own spot at the base and has enough distance from the platter to reduce shakiness. Between s-shaped and straight arm there is no right or wrong choice. Club DJs prefer s-shaped tonearms while scratching DJs will mostly go for the straight arm.
- Cartridge: The cartridge is a very important component. It is connected to the tonearm and holds the stylus. It may be good to do some research on the cartridge that is included but truth is that most cartridges are going to function the way they suppose to. The cartridge can be either a magnet type or a moving coil. Try to avoid used cartridges because they can reduce sound quality or even cause damage to your vinyl records.
- Pitch control: Same on cd players, pitch control is one of the basic controls for beat-matching. You can find a vinyl player with 8%, 10%, 16% and 50% adjustments. Also, make sure that you can adjust the slider smoothly. There are brands in the market that are known for great built quality controls that will last hardship.
- Additional features: Digital outputs including a USB port to connect to your PC. As well as reverse, BPM counter, pitch adjustment and more.
- Budget: As long as one piece of equipment like a DJ controller is so affordable, beginner DJs will find it hard to invest big bucks on at least 2 DJ turntables and a DJ mixer. Thankfully the prices have dropped dramatically compared to years ago. There are affordable choices for beginner DJs with a tight budget to purchase a pair and start playing records and mix.
What else you need to start DJing
If you are building a DJ setup you will, first of all, need two DJ turntables. The DJ mixer is your next purchase and thankfully there are many affordable options out there. Here is our list of the best 2-channel DJ mixers. Furthermore, you can use your turntables in combination with your DJ software and perform live. How? Digital Vinyl System (DVS). Which means that you will have your turntables and mixer for DJing and your software will only work as a track selection tool.
If you decide DJ turntables are too expensive for you to check alternative DJ setups.
We will stay on budget and all our picks for the best DJ turntable are under the range of $500. The choices are made according to sound and build quality, value-for-money, popularity, and personal experience. In consideration, we took also the user experience and reviews at online markets, along with warranty and customer support.
The top 5 DJ turntables of our list check all boxes and match the description of the quality product we are looking for. They offer great features and build quality that will guarantee long-term use. Brands like Pioneer, Audio Tecnica, and Numark have been in business for years and know exactly what the customer wants and desire.
5 BEST DJ TURNTABLES FOR THE MONEY
1. AUDIO TECHNICA LP120
A brand so reliable and famous that you will find it’s models ranking on some of the best home recording studio equipment articles. From studio headphones to recording microphones, Audio Technica built the most famous and top rated DJ turntable in the market right now. Online stores rank it at first places with nearly perfect user rating reviews, and there are many factors for it succeeds.
With looks that brings back to mind, the Technics SL-1200 is available for a sweet price that will make you think to purchase a pair. The s-shaped tonearm offers nice sound quality with the included fast torque motor direct drive. You can easily manipulate the various speeds (33-1/3, 45, and 78 rpm) and adjust the pitch with extreme precision. There are 2 pitch adjustments (+/-10% or +/-20%) for more versatility.
LP120 features speed indicator and forward and reverse play for ultimate manipulation. As well as a switchable pre-amp built-in with line-level RCA outputs. The USB connection will easily help you connect the unit to your Mac or Windows computer. The 60 years of Audio Technica experience and the aluminum platter simply guarantees a long-term relationship with this DJ turntable.
conclusion: Except the irresistible price tag the package comes with everything you need to start. Including the Mac and PC compatible Audacity software to digitize your LPs. The cartridge offers outstanding clarity and detail that users rated as the best value-for-money choice. Audio-Technica products are well known for their quality and durability, and LP120 is an excellent example.
Dj’s who use it: Pretty Lights, Ski Beatz
|Drive motor drive:||Fast torque direct|
|Additional features:||USB, +/-10% or +/-20% pitch adjust, Audacity software|
2. AUDIO TECHNICA LP1240
Audio Technica dominates the first two places of our list for the best DJ turntables for more than one reason. Users found the quality, durability and price/performance standards that they were looking after Technics turntables.
LP1240 is a professional DJ turntable with a high torque direct drive motor that offers exceptional sound. The motor that is carried on an S-shaped tonearm offers to speed fidelity and cohesion. The pitch adjusts (+/-10% or +/-20%) with high accuracy pitch lock and the various speeds selection stays the same as the above.
I personally like the black “club” design and platter with die-cast aluminum that provides great durability. The USB port to connect the turntable to your PC or MAC is not missing, as well as the Audacity software.
conclusion: Audio Technica LP1240 simply lost the first place because of its price tag. Especially if you need a pair, the difference with the above is apparent. However, it still is a very good value-for-money choice and highly recommends it by many users. This is a professional DJ turntable for use in nightclubs, touring and mobile applications.
|Drive motor drive:||High torque direct|
|Additional features:||USB, +/-10% or +/-20% pitch adjust, Audacity software|
3. PIONEER DJ PLX 500
The beautiful design and attractive appearance of Pioneer PLX 500 are irresistible. I can only imagine the beauty and versatility of a complete Pioneer DJ setup. A pair of those, a DJ mixer, a pair of CDJ’s and an RMX station is a perfect setup for clubs and big events. Except for the looks, PLX 500 is built to produce a high-quality vinyl sound.
The S-shaped tonearm features a direct drive with high torque and excellent sound design. The pitch only adjusts +/-8% but you will find various speeds (33-1/3, 45, and 78 rpm) to select. The build quality is super solid and offers excellent vibration damping. One of the best DJ turntable on that feature.
PXL 500 features a USB port (USB cable is included) to connect to your computer, PC or MAC. As well as the Rekordbox software to make digital recordings of your vinyl’s. If you add a DJ mixer and the RB-VS1-K Control Vinyl you will be able to play, mix and scratch with digital files. In the package, you will find a slip mat, adapter for 45 EPs, dustcover, and RCA cable to connect to your DJ mixer.
conclusion: We have only see Pioneer produce high-end DJ tools, and PXL 500 has the sound quality and construction reliability to put it on our list for the best DJ turntables. It has a low price relative to other Pioneer DJ equipment gear. For those who wish for beautiful design and choice of colors, PXL 500 is also available with a nice clean white costume.
|Drive motor drive:||High torque direct|
|Additional features:||USB, +/-8% pitch adjust, Recordbox software|
4. RELOOP RP 7000
Right into our budget comes this professional DJ turntable by Reloop. Reloop’s DJ turntables are club-standard for many years, establishing a reliable brand quality for amateur and professional use.
The quartz driven Reloop RP 7000 comes from a big family with four more siblings RP2000/4000/6000/8000. The anti-skating S-shaped tonearm with an upper torque direct drive delivers excellent sound. In addition, the torque is adjustable making it a reliable and precise DJ turntable.
The extra features of this gear are essential. Starting with the highly precise pitch resolution with three selectable pitch ranges +/- 8%, +/- 16% and +/- 50%. You will also find a reverse button and 3 speeds (33-1/3, 45, and 78 rpm) to choose. The “indestructible construction” as the manufacture subscribe is absolutely true. It definitely is a long-term engagement with this dj turntable.
conclusion: As far as you will search on the web you will mostly find superb reviews with users praising its sound quality and solid construction. It’s under our price range and definitely worth every penny. The ideal option for any beginner DJ who wants to practice at home or even move it to regular club events. Another plus for some DJ’s might be the detachable mains and RCA cable.
|Drive motor drive:||Upper torque direct|
|Additional features:||USB, +/- 8%, +/- 16% , +/- 50% pitch adjust|
5. NUMARK TT250
The same as the brands above, Numark has developed a reputation for quality products. There cannot be many DJs who don’t know or even own at least one Numark DJ tool.
TT250 is a professional direct drive turntable with a high-quality magnetic cartridge that is pre-mounted and ready to use right out of the box. The quartz-controlled direct drive motor and the S-shaped tonearm with anti-skating control will ensure great sound quality and precise tracking.
The pitch fader is smooth but the adjustment range is a bit limited at ±10%. It is one of the lightest DJ turntables of our list but it is rock solid stable and compact with a die-cast aluminum platter.
conclusion: Numark TT250 might not have the popularity of the above but the very few reviews talk about an excellent product easy to use and with great sound quality. It has an affordable price tag, that might help your pocket to afford a second unit. The last pick for our best DJ turntables is an excellent choice for beginners and mid-range use.
|Drive motor drive:||Quartz-controlled direct|
|Additional features:||USB, +/- 10% pitch adjust|
special reference: STANTON STR8 150
With over 50 years experience of manufacturing DJ equipment, Stanton DJ turntables have built an excellent reputation.
Worth mentioning features of STR8 150 are the world’s strongest torque motor and heavy-duty steel construction. There is a straight arm instead of s-shaped tonearm we saw before. If a straight arm is not at your desire, check also the over-budget choice of Stanton ST 150.
However this is one of the heaviest DJ turntables ever produced as it weights over 40 pounds each. So, imagine carrying a pair of those at your live performances…
After many hours of researching, comparing and advising, we hope we found the best DJ turntable for you. Do not forget to consider the things we mentioned at the beginning of this post. Shortly, you’ll want a DJ turntable that can last you a while and is also versatile enough, to use it in the studio and live events. If you choose any model from the list above you can then go home to sleep tight. Our picks were made out of hundreds of possible options that are available on the market today, and no choice was made randomly.
Feel free to drop your comment below…