If your nearest and dearest has been dropping hints about needing something new and shiny to play their records on, or even if you’re just planning to treat yourself, we’ve put together this handy guide to the latest and greatest turntables to suit all budgets. So, without further ado…
Project Essential III BT
Project has taken its award-winning Essential turntable and made it even more flexible with the addition of Bluetooth connectivity. This allows for a much greater number of speaker options, meaning you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to getting the great vinyl sound without the hassle of wires – perfect for situations where space for an ideal setup is limited! Another great feature is the standard fitment of an Ortofon OM10 cartridge. This higher spec cartridge uses a finer stylus to get deeper into the groove, giving you a broader sound and more detail.
Audio Technica LP5
Audio Technica are one of the oldest names in hi-fi, starting back in 1960’s Japan as a manufacturer of turntable cartridges. The LP5 turntable shows the brand at the top of its game, with awards bestowed upon the deck from all quarters, including a 2016 What Hi-Fi? Product of the Year award. With a distinctly DJ-inspired look, the LP5 is unquestionably tank-like in its build. Audio Technica have opted for a J-shaped tonearm, on the end of which sits an exclusive version of their own legendary AT95e cartridge. A USB output is fitted for copying records to a PC or MAC, and a phono-stage is built-in, so a separate one isn’t required.
It’s unusual for a turntable to have a truly unique feature, but the Sony PSHX500 manages this feat. Owing to an onboard USB output, the PSHX500 is able to copy records to PC or MAC in the fledgling digital audio format, DSD. Previously a disc-based format known as SACD, DSD has done away with discs but managed to keep its very impressive playback performance, allowing you to translate your treasured vinyl into high resolution audio files. Even as a standalone turntable the PSHX500 is well worthy of praise, with its stylish design and class-leading sound quality helping it achieve a full five stars in its What Hi-Fi? Magazine review.
Project Classic – Walnut
A second entry on our list for Project, and this time featuring their Classic deck. Owing a huge debt for its aesthetic to ‘classic’ turntables from the likes of Thorens and Linn, the Classic is a gorgeous looking turntable, and is fitted with some of Project’s best hardware, making it sound just as good as it looks. A carbon fibre and aluminium tonearm provides a super stiff but incredibly light housing for an Ortofon 2M Silver to do its job of getting down into your records. Twin plinths are used, helping to isolate and dampen vibrations and improve performance, making this deck a true engineering marvel. The Classic is available in a choice of Walnut or Eucalyptus wood finishes.
A top turntable list wouldn’t be complete without the world’s most famous turntable brand. Technics have never left the turntable business, but their SL1200 series – used in clubs, studios and by DJ’s across the globe – was finally retired in 2010 after being introduced in the 1970s. Wanting to celebrate the enormous success of the deck, Technics released the SL1200G earlier this year. The turntable itself is stylistically identical its predecessors, but the appearances are just skin deep. Technics have crafted the body for the ‘1200G from solid aluminium, and its extreme damping and twin rotors give the deck a huge weight of 18kg! Being a studio product first and foremost, the ‘1200G has a suite of changeable settings, from pitch control to the Vertical Tracking Angle (VTA) of the tonearm, ideal for fitting the widest possible range of cartridges. There’s no denying its a pricy bit of kit, but its also no mere vanity project. The SL1200G has been made with the utmost love and respect by one of the pioneers of the turntable industry.
If any of the above turntables have caught your imagination, or if you fancy giving one of them a go in our purpose built demonstration rooms, pop in or give your local store a call today.
Author: Chris, Liverpool store