Beginners Guide to Turntables

I recently purchased my first ever vinyl, Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ ‘By the Way’. From there I couldn’t resist the urge to buy Catfish and the Bottlemen’s ‘The Ride’ (on offer for pure HMV members), Tom Odell’s ‘Wrong Crowd, Harry Styles debut album, and the Guardians of the Galaxy ‘Mixtape 1’ (another pure HMV offer). There was reasoning behind these choices, something I might explain another time.

 

*****DISCLAIMER I AM NOT AN EXPERT*****

 

I’m so happy to finally own vinyl, however, I am yet to take the plunge and own my first turntable.

 

At first, I thought I would be able to buy a £50 Crosley and be done with it. However, after a bit of shallow research on Amazon reviews, I saw that this was not an option, and to avoid these turntables at all costs.

 

Next on my list was an Audio Technica LP60, the reviews on Amazon seemed good! It seemed easy to use, was a reasonable price of just over £100 and had a built-in pre-amp (I honestly don’t really understand what this is still, but it is a good thing for beginners.) I was sorted, I was going to get my first turntable, and I was willing to invest into a good pair of speakers (Mackie CR3’s).

 

However, after stumbling upon this Reddit thread I realised that although everything seemed fine on the surface, the Audio Technica LP60 that I had set my heart on would ruin my records.

 

So, to help others, who like me are new to this whole Turntable/record buying thing, here is are 3 tips that are absolutely essential.

 

  1. BE PREPARED TO SPEND MONEY

If like me, you are a student and were hoping you could get away with spending £150 absolute maximum, then I’m sorry. I’ve accepted it, and you need to as well, for a decent turntable that won’t ruin your records and will produce good sound quality, and will last, then it will be a £200 minimum spend. That will just be on the turntable alone, decent speakers will cost you £50+ so make sure you love the turntables and speakers!

 

  1. DO YOUR RESEARCH

I am so glad I didn’t settle for the first turn table I saw, thinking that it would be ‘alright’. Vinyl’s are not cheap, especially for a student budget. Why spend that money if you are just going to ruin your vinyl’s on a cheap turntable?

 

  1. LISTEN TO THE EXPERTS

I am definitely not an expert in this field and would never claim to be. There are audiophiles out there who can offer advice, I’m still learning! I simply wanted to make a post that I know I would have found useful when I was first looking.

 

Now, here are a two turntables I can recommend from the research I have done. Again, I’m not an expert so do not just rely on me!

 

  1. Audio Technica LP120

AudioTechnicaLP120.jpg

 

£239 Amazon

 

I know I said the Audio Technica LP60 was a bad choice, but apparently, this model is perfect for beginners. It has USB output to digitise your music, a balanced tone arm (do not get a turntable that doesn’t have a balanced tone arm), and it’s own preamp!

 

For me, this is perfect, and although it may not be the slickest of designs, I think this will be my choice (when I’ve saved up.)

 

  1. Rega Planar 1

RegaPlanar1

 

£250 Amazon

 

It just looks sooo good. However, it does not have a preamp, and for me, and what I’ve read the ease of having a preamp makes it a lot easier for beginners.

 

These two are ones that I have decided on from a list of many. I hope I have helped you in some way, if you would like to comment on my choices or if you would like to make your own recommendations please do!

 

Sidenote: If you are getting into vinyl I would highly recommend a pure HMV membership, it is only a £3 one-off payment and you earn double points on vinyl, as well as monthly offers on vinyl.

 

MMS

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