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The 5 Best Turntables Under $200: 2017 Reviews and Top Picks

By djadmin | best turntables

best turntable under 200

While it has been well known for a long time that vinyl offers an unparalleled listening experience, its availability has always been limited due to the sheer cost of turntables. They were incredibly expensive – which resulted in both CDs and digital media becoming the more dominant means of listening music over that couple of decades.

But at the moment the affordability of turntables across the entire market is at an all-time low.

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This ultimately comes down to an increased demand for vinyl, and improvements in our music technology – meaning that we are spoilt for choice when it comes to affordable, yet high, quality turntables.

It is important to note that, although this massive increase in the vinyl market is a good thing for the most part, it does come with a small downfall. The mass increase in affordable turntable production has, introduced some poor quality turntables into the market.

But, on a more positive note, I have down the groundwork for you, finding the best turntables under 200 available for purchase today.

Product Summary

01

Stanton T62 Straight Arm Direct Drive Turntable

Upon first look, it’s actually hard to believe that the Stanton T62 is under 200 dollars. This turntable offers an extremely effective option that looks fantastic. While it doesn’t come with any bells and whistles, it is designed to do the simple things extremely well. The T62 it is built using quality construction materials and, with such a high durability, you can’t go wrong.

Audio-Technica AT-LP60 Belt Driven Turntable

The Audio Technica AT-LP60 is a technologically driven, fully automatic turntable that offers USB connectivity. It is excellent option for those absolute beginners looking to get into the wonderful world of vinyl that won’t break the bank.

Sony PSLX 300 USB Turntable

The Sony PSLX300 is a fully automatic, belt driven turntable. It is extremely easy to use making it suitable for beginner and expert alike, and opts for a sleek minimalistic design. The USB input on this machine allows you to convert your favourite records straight to PC, offering everything the casual listener could really want.

Denon DP-29F Turntable

Denon are not renowned for making flashy pieces of equipment, but when we are talking about this model in particular, that is not an issue. The DP-29F is built with the beginner in mind, using high quality construction methods and a simple deign, it will appeal to those who want to enter the vinyl game for the first time.

ION Audio Max LP Belt Drive Turntable

ION Audio Max LP Turntable is a great option for those looking for a simple to use machine with some solid features, including the ability to digitise your favourite records straight onto your PC. While this turntable is one of the cheaper options on this list, you should not let that act as a deterrent.

Reviews Of The Best Turntables For Sampling

1. Stanton T62 Straight Arm Direct Drive Turntable

From the first look you can tell that this machine is designed with the aspiring DJ in mind. It takes a more modern design approach, using high quality materials and delightful blacks and greys to create a highly durable machine that will look right at home in the DJ booth or at your local house party.

As mentioned in the name, the T62 is a direct drive turntable, meaning that it is absolutely perfect for scratching. Additionally, its straight tone arm ensures great tracking compared to some other models within this price range. Within this, it is built using a high torque direct drive motor that is almost silent during use – maximising sound quality and minimising distortion.

It is important to note that while its simple construction is fantastic, it doesn’t add any features, and only plays music at either 33 or 45 RPM.

Despite this, the sound quality on this affordable beast is absolutely fantastic, ensuring the high quality reproduction of all your music. Due to its construction quality, it can seriously handle anything you throw at it physically. This is a great option for those looking for a durable machine that does the simple things very well.

What we liked

  • Simple and durable design
  • Great sound quality
  • High construction quality

What we didn’t like

  • Minimal Features
  • Only two speed settings

2. Audio Technica AT-LP60 Belt Driven Turntable

The LP60 is a fully automatic belt driven turntable the offers USB connectivity, allowing you to digitise your favourite vinyl records straight onto your PC in between bouts of spinning discs and making beats. This particular model offers two key speed settings (33 and 45 RPM) and simple usability.

Opting for a very simple and sleek design, the LP-60 is built with a high quality plastic chassis and a decent dual magnet cartridge, this machine could easily pass for something that costs twice this price – if not more.

It is incredibly easy to use, opting for fully automatic function. Essentially this means that when you press the start button, the tonearm will automatically be positioned to the beginning of the record. Once the needle gets to the end of the record, the tonearm will return to its rest without you having to do anything at all. This makes it a fantastic option for beginners.

This particular machine sounds pretty decent to boot. It offers extremely clear tones and tends to pick out small notes with a clarity not regularly seen in turntables within this price range.

Its sound does lack some solidity compared to some other options, and it has been criticised for its somewhat fragile construction, but still offers a great option for the beginner, and at an extremely low price.

What we liked

  • Simple design
  • Great sound Clarity
  • Very low cost

What we didn’t like

  • Lack of sound solidity
  • Only two speed settings
  • Fragile construction

3. Sony PSLX 3000 USB Turntable

The PLSX 300 is a fantastic option for both beginners looking to enter the vinyl game, and audiophiles looking for a lunge room machine with simple function. It is extremely simple to use, and allows you to transfer your old vinyl records to your PC in a heartbeat.

While this machine does not have a heap of features, which is obviously to be expected when we are discussing turntables within this low price range. It comes with two speed settings (33 and 45 RMP), a belt drive motor, and straight tonearm.

Opting for a sleek and simple design, this machine uses simple construction, and has a decent sound quality which gives up crystal clear notes, with almost no detectable distortion.

It is important to note that the durability of this model has been questioned after heavy use, and the software provided to digitise your vinyl records is known to be quite difficult to use. Despite all this, the PSLX300 is a great option for those after a simple machine with decent sound quality.

While it should not be thrown around and used at gigs (due to its somewhat questions bale durability), its ease of use and simple function should appeal to many.

What we liked

  • Simple design
  • Decent Sound quality
  • USB connectivity

What we didn’t like

  • Only two speed settings
  • Fragile construction

4. Denon DP-29F Turntable

The DP-29F is the budget offering from turntable maker Denon. While not known for designing machines with a heap of features, they do have a good reputation for producing solid units that function efficiently – and the DP-29F is no different.

Using high quality aluminium construction, this machine has offers fully automatic function, making it perfect for beginners. As an added bonus, this particular model does come with a built in phono pre amp, meaning you can hook it up to any system with a standard analog connection.

Noe, while this machine does indeed have its positives, it has copped some flak for its durability – in which some people have suggested it begins to break down after medium use. While I personally have not experienced this, it is worth noting.

Taking all of this into consideration, this machine is a good option for those looking for a solid home machine to listen to their favourite records. It produces some high sound quality – just don’t go throwing it around or it may not last you too long!

What we liked

  • Easy to use
  • Aluminium Construction
  • Decent Sound

What we didn’t like

  • Durability has been questioned

5. ION Audio Max LP Belt Drive Turntable

The first thing you notice about the ION Audio Max LP turntable is the way it looks. Using a solid wood finish, this machine is an attractive piece of equipment, and would be a welcome addition to the lounge room of any audiophile.

This particular turntable can spin records at three speeds (33, 45, and 78 RPM), and comes with a fairly stock standard belt drive motor. With this, it does not provide any additional options that allow you to tweak the sound profile, and is fully manual which should appeal to those old school vinyl purist out there.

It is important to mention that this model uses a ceramic cartridge that has been known to be prone to skipping at times. This has also been suggested to lower sound quality somewhat, particularly when using the machines in built speakers (which are not great quality).

But, in saying all that, for the price this machine offers a fantastic option for the casual listener that looks great.

What we liked

  • Manual function
  • Wood Construction

What we didn’t like

  • Sound quality has been questioned
  • In built speakers are not great

Value Section

02

While I would argue that every option on this list does offer fantastic value (because I do genuinely believe that), I also realise that it would be silly to think that they would appeal to absolutely everyone.

With this in mind, I have come up with some key tips that you can use to help you find a great value turntable without blowing out your budget. These tips will ensure that you get the best turntable to suit your individual needs, without getting stuck paying for any additional or unnecessary features.

Purchase for your needs: This is arguably the most obvious point I can make, but it likely holds the most importance. If you are after a machine that is simple to use for casual lounge room listening, then you probably don’t need a heavy duty turntable. Purchase a piece of equipment that suits you specific needs, and don’t get caught paying for something that you won’t use or don’t need.

Don’t get sucked in by bells and whistles: If you are purchasing a turntable for under 200 dollars, then your best bet is to avoid any ridiculous features. This is for two key reasons. Firstly, these often add unnecessary costs to the machine, and secondly, they are often poor in quality. This essentially jacks up the price while reducing the overall quality of the machine.

Don’t disregard the solidity of the machine: If you have a solid, sturdy feeling machine, then I can guarantee it will last you a lot longer than a lightweight plastic option. While there may not be any difference in specs, the durability of a machine is an important aspect that we need to consider. It is also important to note that the more sturdy a turntable is, the less vibration it will experience. This, in turn, improves the sound quality of the machine noticeably.

Using the above tips is a great way to find a machine that won’t break the bank and suits your needs to a tee. Or you could get one of the five featured on this list, which are all great options!

Conclusion

03

Now, onto the part that you have all been waiting for. While all the machines featured in this article are fantastic options, I can safely say that the Stanton T6t offers the best turntable for under 200 dollars on the market at the moment.

It is incredibly durable, has fantastic sound quality, and looks great as well. While it is extremely simple I its design, and doesn’t offer any fancy bells or whistles, it does the basics very well – which is all you can ask for when purchasing a turntable in this price range.

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