2023 Guide to Buying A Turntable

Spinster Records Record Players

Buying a new turntable or speakers usually goes one of two ways. The first: you decide you want one and pull the trigger on the one with the best reviews or that catches your eye first...either way, you have one--congrats. If you're like me, you buy only after making a carefully thought out decision that included weeks of stressing yourself out with the anxiety of making bad decision. Let's make this a lot less stressful with our guide--there are no bad decisions here: 

Entry Level Turntable:

What does that even mean? You're beginning your vinyl journey with a budget

Good: Crosley Voyager, Cruiser, Discovery, Mercury, Scout, Anthology 

Now these guys will definitely play your records, but they do tend to be a little problematic in that the speakers are built-in which can vibrate the already light tonearm causing "skips" (ie the tonearm will skate across the record). You can always try the old school trick of taping a dime or penny above the needle on top of the tonearm, but this isn't good for your records in the long run.  

Better: Audio-Technica LP60 with or without Bluetooth, Crosley T150 (turntable + speakers), Crosley C62 (turntable + speakers), Crosley Brio (turntable + speakers), Crosley Alto (turntable + speakers)

Best: Audio-Tecnica LP120 with or without Bluetooth, Audio-Technica ATLP3

Step-Up Models:

So it turns out you really enjoy vinyl. You've learned how to take care of your records and have found a lot of enjoyment in the feel of a record. It's time to step up. What makes these a step up? Parts. The biggest jump from an entry-level turntable to a step-up is the counterweight. The counterweight allows the needle to smoothly ride the record so the it's able to read all of the grooves pressed into each record. 

Good: Audio-Tecnica LP120 with or without Bluetooth

Better: Audio-Technica AT-LPW40WN, Music Hall 1.3, Music Hall MMF Mark 1

Best: Music Hall MMF 1.5


Did you know each vinyl record can get hundreds of plays? You want to get the most out of your vinyl and if you want it to sound the best...you'll need a nicer turntable. We think these are really great turntable that won't cost you thousands so you can use that money towards more records!

Good: Music Hall Classic, Rega Planar 1 and Planar 1 Plus (plus means it has a built in pre-amp)

Better: Music Hall MMF 2.3

Best: Rega Planar 2