What are the best turntables you can find that won’t leave you broke? We’ve compiled this list of the 7 best under ￡3,000, in no particular order.
Beginning audiophiles may want to be sure they have the best turntable there is, but it’s more important to find which one is the best for you.
7 Best Turntables under ￡3,000
Gold Note Pianosa turntable with B-5.1 tonearm – ￡2,230 (￡2,500 walnut finish)
“The Gold Note models eschew the hair-shirt approach of many modern audiophile turntable designs. It seems many designers forget that, while the worst excesses of audio ugly can be hidden from view in cabinets and the like, a turntable is almost always on show, so it better look pretty good. It’s also a potential dust magnet, and Gold Note is one of the few higher end brands who supplies a dust cover these days. The Gold Note Pianosa is an elegant design with a similarly elegant sound, and it has seductive looks. Add to that the simplicity of set-up and this is one should get lots of attention. It’s easy to use, easy to live with, and easy to love.” – Alan Sircom
Vertere Acoustics DG-1 turntable – ￡2,750
“The Dynamic Groove is a suave and sophisticated sonic overachiever; it makes a perfect introduction (or reintroduction) to the world of analogue playback. While even higher analogue performance is certainly possible (and is precisely what the upscale Vertere models provide), the Dynamic Groove starter system offers such well balanced performance for an accessible price that it may prove all the analogue system many listeners will need or want.” – Chris Martens
Technics SL-1200GEG-S – ￡2,999
“The Technics SL-1200GEG-S represents the functional top of the SL1200 tree, especially as the limited edition SL-1200GAE is long gone. The SL-1200GEG-S is effectively the same model as the ‘GAE’, albeit with a slightly different finish to the magnesium tonearm and without a badge saying ‘limited edition.’
“Literally millions of Technics SL-1200 have been sold through the years, so going over the design is old news at best. However, Technics top SL-1200 rebooted is a very different beast and includes a new coreless twin rotor direct drive motor, a more robust three-layer platter, a clock originally used in Blu-ray players, and the kind of build quality that battleship builders would be proud of.” – Alan Sircom
Kuzma Stabi S – ￡2,149
Kuzma’s turntable is a fully modular integrated design, with an internal power supply, and spaces to mount a number of arm wings and additional arm balconies, in order to hold up to six tonearms at any one time. There are also optional decorative plinths to mount the deck and at least one arm wing.
In essence, the Stabi R takes a lot of the concepts and technologies found in the larger Stabi M turntable and puts them – without attenuation – into a smaller and more flexible form. This makes the Stabi R the most affordable product in the Kuzma line to feature a DC motor. The turntable is simplicity itself to install (by turntable and especially by high-end turntable standards), but everything locks down solid like it was military-grade hardware.
European Audio Team Prelude turntable – ￡999
“This is a turntable that consciously attempts to make a sound more in line with high-end systems costing far in excess of the Prelude’s price. And that means if you are starting out on a high-end road, the Prelude will stay with you for a lot longer.”
“Unless you look really closely and partner the turntable way out of context (no ￡50,000 phono stages, please!), the EAT Prelude is every bit a high-end turntable that just forgot to get too expensive. Partner this with sympathetic giant-killers and you could build a true low-cost high-end superstar system. If you want to know what real high-end audio sounds like, without opening your wallet and saying ‘help yourself!’ to the dealer, the EAT Prelude is your turntable.” – Alan Sircom
Cambridge Audio Alva TT – ￡1,500
“For listeners who want a satisfying vinyl experience without jumping through hoops and don’t want to be dictated to by their own electronics, or who are just turned on by some worthwhile modernity crashing into some venerable technology, the Cambridge Audio Alva TT is the obvious choice.” – Simon Lucas
“Performance of the TD 1601 is well controlled and refined, doing everything well, if perhaps just a little too well-behaved. But if you want a retro looking turntable with all the history to go with it, then this is certainly a good choice.”?-? Janine Elliot
The best turntables and record players are the ones that fit your particular needs.
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