How to Choose the Best Turntable for Your Vinyl Record Collection


When it comes to listening to vinyl records, having the right turntable is essential. However, with so many different options available on the market, choosing the best turntable for your needs can be overwhelming. In this article, we will discuss some of the most important factors to consider when selecting a turntable for your vinyl record collection.


1. Belt-Drive vs. Direct-Drive

One of the first things to consider when choosing a turntable is whether to go for a belt-drive or direct-drive model. Belt-drive turntables are generally considered to offer better sound quality and are quieter, as the motor is physically separated from the platter. Direct-drive turntables are more popular with DJs, as they offer faster start-up times and better durability.


2. Speeds

Most turntables offer two speeds: 33 1/3 RPM and 45 RPM. Some also offer 78 RPM for playing older records. Make sure to choose a turntable that offers the right speeds for your collection.


3. Cartridge and Stylus

The cartridge and stylus are crucial components of a turntable, as they are responsible for reading the grooves on the record. Some turntables come with a built-in cartridge and stylus, while others allow you to choose your own. It’s important to choose a cartridge and stylus that are compatible with your turntable and offer the sound quality you desire.


4. Tonearm

The tonearm is the part of the turntable that holds the cartridge and stylus. Look for a tonearm that is well-designed and offers smooth movement, as this can greatly impact the sound quality of your vinyl records.


5. Platter

The platter is the rotating part of the turntable that the record sits on. Look for a platter that is well-made and offers good stability, as this can prevent unwanted vibrations that can affect the sound quality.


6. Anti-Skate and Tracking Force

Anti-skate and tracking force are settings on the turntable that help ensure that the stylus tracks the record correctly. Look for a turntable that offers adjustable anti-skate and tracking force, as this can greatly impact the sound quality and longevity of your records.


7. Build Quality

The build quality of the turntable is an important factor to consider, as a well-made turntable will be more durable and offer better sound quality over the long term. Look for a turntable that is made from high-quality materials and has a solid construction.


8. Budget

When it comes to choosing a turntable, your budget is an important factor to consider. Turntables can range in price from under $100 to thousands of dollars, and the price can often reflect the quality and features of the turntable.

If you’re a casual listener who just wants to play a few records now and then, you may be able to get away with a less expensive turntable. However, if you’re a serious audiophile or collector who wants the best sound quality possible, you may need to invest more in a higher-end turntable.

Keep in mind that a higher price doesn’t always mean better sound quality. While more expensive turntables may offer additional features or better build quality, it’s important to do your research and compare models to find the best value for your budget.

When setting your budget, also consider any additional costs, such as the cost of a separate amplifier or speakers if your turntable doesn’t have a built-in preamp.


9. Brand and Reputation

Choosing a turntable from a reputable brand can give you peace of mind that you are buying a quality product. Look for brands that have a good reputation for making turntables, and read reviews from other customers to see their experiences.

For more information, check our article “The Best Turntable Brands”.


10. Additional Features

Some turntables come with additional features, such as Bluetooth connectivity or built-in preamps. Consider whether these features are important to you and whether they are worth the extra cost.


In conclusion, choosing the best turntable for your vinyl record collection involves considering a variety of factors, from the type of drive and speeds to the build quality and budget. By doing your research and choosing a turntable that offers the features you need, you can enjoy high-quality sound and get the most out of your vinyl records for years to come.