There is no doubt that turntables have made something of a comeback in the last decade. When records were replaced with CDs, most people thought that the format would die a graceful death, but that didn’t quite happen. In fact, vinyl never really died out since there were still plenty of collectors, die-hards, and DJs dedicated to the format.
Fast forward to 2020, and it now looks like vinyl is here to stay, at least for a niche audience that’s big enough to sustain it. That also means that turntables are needed to play those vinyl records, and there are lots to choose from on the market. Here are five of the best turntables under $1000 in 2020:
Pro-Ject Elemental OM5e
Pro-ject turntables sure do make some great looking turntables, and this one is no exception to the house rule. Belt drive systems are the best turntables and as soon as you look at the OM5e, you can see that the belt has been cleverly incorporated into the design aesthetic. The platter sits nimbly on a long base decorated with bright red, with the arm at one end.
In use, the OM5e is virtually silent. This is because of the integrated motor control and the DC power supply. The platter also runs very smoothly indeed, no matter what kind of warped vinyl you throw on it. This is because there’s a very solid artificial stone central mass point.
Gold-plated RCA contacts for even lower noise and better conductivity, as well as quality materials, such as bronze bushes, stainless steel platter, and a felt mat, make this a fantastic buy for the price.
House of Marley Stir it up
House of Marley is definitely well-known in the world of quality headphones and earbuds, but what about their turntables?
First impressions are that this turntable does not disappoint. You’ll notice right away that this is one solid piece of equipment. The plinth beneath the platter is made from a piece of real bamboo, making it incredibly durable, as well as aesthetically impressive.
The platter itself is made from aluminum, making it lightweight. In use, that means the arm won’t be heavy enough to dig into the vinyl and cause damage, but it’s certainly well-weighted enough to stick solidly into the groove. A built-in preamp means that you can literally just plug and play without having to worry about a separate amp unit.
Pro-ject Rolling Stones Edition – Essential III OM10
For those looking for a unique design and aesthetic, the special edition of the OM10 might just be for you. With the unmistakable Rolling Stones cheeky tongue logo printed on the stark white plinth, this is definitely an eye-catcher without a doubt. At $569, this unit is pricier than many of the others, but since it still sits below the $1000 mark, it’s well worth considering.
The chassis is made from MDRF that has been formulated to be insensitive to sonic resonances. This means that in-use the OM10 is nice and quiet. The inclusion of the synchronous belt drive motor and silicone-made belt makes it even quieter in use.
To top it off, this edition of the OM10 features a high-quality Ortofon cartridge and gold-plated RCA connectors. An included dust cover just makes it a very solid purchase.
Marantz TT42P Turntable
It’s hard to talk about modern turntables without talking about Marantz. They have been in the quality audio game for decades, and the upturn in vinyl sales has resulted in more Marantz turntables going to market.
This has all of the hallmarks of Marantz quality. The all-black minimal design is about as modern and imposing as it gets. There’s also a built-in preamp, so you won’t have to mess around with a separate amplifier. The tone arm is also designed to be low-coloration, so you’ll get very low noise and hear all vinyl in full glory.
Pro-ject T1 Series OM5e
One of the most annoying things about less expensive turntables is when you play a record and things seem to vibrate in the chassis and the tone arm. Most of the time, the problem stems from inferior material and too many hollow spaces. This is definitely not the case with the T1.
The chassis itself is made from a heavy piece of metal that has been precision cut with a CNC machine. In fact, there is no plastic at all in the design, making the T1 a heavy unit. There are also no hollow spaces where sonic resonances can build up and ruin your listening enjoyment.
Everything about the Pro-ject turntables T1 screams top quality, from the metal chassis and vibration absorbing feet, to the vibration free tone arm. The T1 is an amazing turntable for the price and you get to
choose one in glossy black, walnut, or matte white.
Perhaps one of the most unusual things about 2020 is that we’re still talking about turntables and vinyl records so many decades after their inception. In even better news, you have so many quality choices for finding great turntables under $1000 for your home. Do you have any favourites that we have missed? Let us know in the comments below!