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If you are interested in buying a turntable, you do right by searching for the best ones under $1000. The turntables in this price range are high-end and get along well with both DJs and audiophiles. They are more versatile and more advanced than the cheaper ones. Of course, serious buyers will want to know which of these turntables are the greatest. To answer that question, I will review the best turntables under $1000 and explain what they have to offer. So sit back, get into your ‘turntable research’ mode, scroll down, and start reading.
1. The Rega Planar 3 Turntable
The winner on the list of best turntables under $1000 is the amazing Rega Planar 3 turntable. What a plinth, a gorgeous gloss acrylic, laminated surface on which sit the platter, the tone arm, and the power switch.
The tone arm on the Rega Planar 3 is basically science fiction for a turntable in this price range. It is a RB330 tone arm with a tone arm tube design that equalizes the mass in each of its parts. The 3D CAD & CAM technology behind this revolutionary design makes sure that the tone arm has less resonance points for great sound deliverance.
Also, since the tone arm lies on a bearing and the bearing housing on the Rega Planar 3 is improved, its stability and smooth movement are unquestionable. The turntable also has two braces—a phenolic bottom brace and a metalised skin phenolic brace on the top. This, together with the re-invented bearing housing, provides for the turntable’s amazing quality.
Furthermore, Planar 3 is powered by a 24v direct-drive motor. The motor is more than perfect when it comes to its low noise and its anti-vibration circuit, and you can also change its speed if you want to.
- 24v direct-drive motor
- A tone arm with a technology for equal redistribution of the arm’s mass
- Very light
- Innovative bearing housing and double brass design
- You need to remove the platter to change the speed of the motor
2. Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC Esprit SB Turntable
The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC Esprit SB turntable is an upgraded version of the company’s bestselling Debut Carbon DC. This turntable is a huge joy for all the audiophiles out there because of its sound quality.
First of all, the turntable looks amazing in its beautiful available colours. The turntable’s platter is non-resonant and perfectly fits the turntable’s base no mater its colour. It plays all the three speeds that can be played: 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM, and it has an already installed Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge on its carbon tone arm.
There’s also a built-in Pro-Ject speed box with the function of better control. The turntable operates with a belt-driven motor by rotating the platter while keeping the speed constant.
- Great sound quality
- Great performance
- Built-in Project Speed Box
- A non-resonant platter
- Its user instructions are slightly confusing
3. Denon DJ VL12 Prime
The Denton DJ V12 is a professional turntable equipped with features that provide for its amazing sound quality, DJ adjustability, and club performance.
The turntable’s tracking quality is helped by the S-shaped tone arm sitting on a rugged, all-metal base, accurately tracking. The sound properties are optimized with the isolated direct-drive motor and isolation feet for vibration and resonance elimination.
The Denton DJ VL12 Prime is definitely a good turntable for scratching. This is because DJs can adjust the low and high torque to get the desired pressure.
Other than this, the turntable also has a built-in RGB lighting that makes the platter shine which is great since DJs most often play with no lights. Of course, it offers two speeds—the 33 1/3 and 45 RPM and has a pitch range of +/- 8%, +/- 16%, and +/- 50%.
- Great sound quality
- Great isolation for the motor, the feet, and overall
- The platter can glow when used in a dark place
- Good pitch range
- Intense scratching can cause the table to become unstable due to its isolation feet
4. Rega Planar 2 Turntable
The Rega Planar 2 turntable is a win-win combination if you want a hifi turntable that offers great sound and build quality, and an amazing overall performance. It comes packed up with unique components that enhance the turntable’s sonic ability. Such a component is the redesigned RB220 tone arm, a 9-inch, straight, aluminium low-resonance wand with a pre-installed Carbon MM cartridge. The tone arm is automatic and you can balance it manually. The cartridge is …. which, like the tone arm, makes it rare on the market. A wand like this can only do wonders if you want to hear the tiniest musical elements recorded on your vinyl.
Furthermore, Rega Planar 2 has a 24v low-noise motor under the turntable’s preplatter, and low-noise means high-end. The 10 mm floating glass platter sits and looks amazing on the beautiful gloss acrylic laminated plinth with three-point plinth mounting. The bearing housing of the turntable is very stiff and consisted of ball bearings.
The Rega Planar 2 also has low vibration feet to make the sound of your vinyl as good as possible. The internal hardware of the turntable perfectly fits its outside parts since it is also a rare gem. These parts are vibration isolated, and this adds to the great S/N ratio of the turntable.
- Low-resonance RB220 tone arm
- Carbon MM cartridge
- A bearing housing made of ball bearings
- 24v low-noise motor
- The change of speed is not electric
5. Pioneer Pro DJ PLX-1000
Starting from the sound and finishing with its durability, this turntable is one of the best ones under $1000.
The Pioneer Pro DJ PLX-1000 has a two-speed high torque direct-drive motor and offers the two classic 33 1/3 and 45 RPM speeds. Its sound quality is guaranteed by the heavy zinc chassis that minimizes vibrations and resonance with resin and a dampening material at the bottom. There’s also some amazing rubber-insulated S-shaped tone arm that eliminates vibrations and feedback as much as it enhances the tracking.
Of course, there’s more than this to the Pioneer Pro DJ PLX-1000. The turntable also comes with a tempo controller, and you can use it to alter your track for +/- 16%, +/- 18 %, and +/- 50%. And if you think you’re going way too fast or way to slow with your track, you can use the +/- 0% button to come back to its original speed.
Other than this, the PLX-1000 comes with interchangeable and easily connectable power and audio cables and gold-plated RCA jacks for sound improvement.
- High torque direct-drive motor with two speeds
- Zinc chassis to lower vibrations and resonance
- Rubber-insulated tone arm
- Great tempo controller
- It’s a bit “basic”
6. Reloop RP-8000
The Reloop RP-8000 is a turntable that is one-of-a-kind in so many ways. This bad girl is packed with an digital MIDI control set that allows you, fellow DJs, to really get it going on your gigs. This controls include Trax encoder, 8 backlit drum pads, and 4 modes of performance.
Trax encoder is basically a feature that allows you to load tracks that are on your playlists. The drum pads, on the other hand, let you spice it up with adding loops. There are also, as I said, 4 performance modes to make a DJ’s idea a reality.
The turntable leaves all the pads and MDI controls assignable while in the User mode and has a well-thought-out mode for a Dual Performance. What’s also really interesting about the Reloop RP-8000 is that it can be set in a Turntable Link mode. In this mode, up to four turntables can be linked to one another where only the first one is connected to a PC/Mac via USB. Now, isn’t that some turntable with which the show will go on and on and on. And it will for sure go on taken into account its quartz direct-drive motor with a high hybrid torque that’s variable.
The Reloop RP-8000 also comes with a reverse start/stop button and a line/phono switch, the latter meaning that you don’t need grounding to connect it to line inputs or mixers.
- Great MIDI controls
- 4 performance modes
- Turntable Link mode
- A line/phono switch
- Doesn’t include headshell, cartridge, or needle
7. TEAC TN-550
If you are someone who likes a great sound and marble, the TEAC TN-550 could be a nice choice. This turntable made out of strong and durable internal components really is all about that sound. For starters, the marble base minimizes the vibrations produced by the operating turntable. Tie this with the low-vibration TEAC TN-550 feet and you will get a warm, crisp sound out of your records.
Marble is also a gorgeous design material, and the transparent platter really adds to the turntable’s classy look along with it. Something else that also looks good on that marble are the aluminium-finished EP and speed selector adaptors.
The TEAC TN-550 tone arm is, expectedly, a S-shaped one to improve tracking. It comes with a counterweight and an anti-skate system installed to it all for a better performance.
This turntable plays two speeds: 1/3 33 and 45 RPM.
- Great sound
- Low-vibration marble plinth
- Great build quality
- Nice design
- Not a lot of features available for the price
What can you expect from the best turntables under $1000?
Well, turntables under $1000 have a lot of aces under their sleeve. This is especially true when it comes to those that are the best ones to buy. Basically, it all comes down to creating an upscale package of great sound properties, accurate performance, endurance, and design.
The amazing sound quality that turntables under $1000 are known for is achieved in multiple ways. One of them is isolating the many elements of the turntables to lower the vibrations that can interfere with the sound. This is the step when the manufacturers insert different materials between the turntable’s parts to prevent the contact between them. For example, the feet of the turntable serve to isolate the entire turntable from the shell or some other surface it sits on. Then, the motor is isolated from the platter as well, and, of course, manufacturers use low-vibration materials when making the turntable. Furthermore, the cartridges on the tone arm do an amazing job of converting kinetic movements into electric signals. They are each carefully chosen in accordance to the turntables’ overall structure and are attached on tone arms that are carefully thought out. That being said, the tone arms are mostly S-shaped for better tracking. However, there are also straight ones that are designed with a set of features to top a turntable’s performance. Needless to say, the needles are also strategically picked to fit in a combination with the cartridge and, of course, the entire turntable.
What else can turntables under $1000 offer?
The performance is optimized by making sure that the operation of all of the components is harmonized and accurate. The motor, being belt-drive or direct-drive, has to keep up to its rotation speed. The anti-skating and the tracking have to be balanced with the tone arm’s weight. Furthermore, the cartridge has to deliver the electric signal at a given time, and the preamp has to be able to enhance the sound to the desired level. In short, everything has to work like a good clock mechanism, only for turntables.
All of the previous enhancements have to be packed in a nice, solid turntable. That’s why manufacturers tend to use such materials that are not easily breakable when making turntables under $1000. Of course, they also make sure that the turntable’s design doesn’t fall behind its built quality. For this reason, they give the turntables and their parts some interesting shapes and stylish colours. A lot of them also go for platters that are transparent and base colours that look stylish. Nevertheless, a turntable under $1000 is always going to be ‘an unbreakable beauty.’
Best turntables under $1000 conclusion
If cheaper turntables don’t fit inside your imagination of great sonic experience, you could try the ones for under $1000. The ones that I’ve listed offer the best sound, performance, and build quality in this price range. Whichever you decide to go for will be up to you and your preferences. Make sure you come to a wise decision based on a thorough research and the many features that I discussed above.