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What Are The Top Brands Of Record Players?

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Long gone are the days of clunky spinning things in the corner which gather dust. Record players nowadays are sleek, highly functional and often very accessible to even the most casual of vinyl collectors. 

We will take a look at the different brands of record players to help you figure out just what brand is right for you and your needs.

Audio-Technica

This Japanese brand is both practical and budget-friendly. Offering a range of beginner and starter record players, Audio-Technica is perfect for anyone just getting into or beginning their vinyl experience. 

Not only are the entry-level players easy to use and durable, but with this brand, there is only a small price attached to a well-constructed piece of kit. The wonderful AT-LP60XBT is ideal for those starting out, whilst the AT-LP120XUSB is an excellent initial purchase for those more intrigued by the DJ side of record players. Both pair with Bluetooth speakers for ease whilst also offering phono-preamps preinstalled for even extra crispness. 

Audio-Technica has created a great winning combination with their substantial standard yet budget-friendly turntables.

  • Why choose Audio-Technica? It’s budget-friendly.
  • Why consider another brand? There’s limited capabilities.

Sony

The household name is renowned around the world for its high quality and accessible electronics. Their vinyl players are no different. 

Sony’s goal is to combine modern-day mod-cons with the authenticity of the vinyl experience. This allows them to produce efficient and high-performing turntables that are perfect for many – that is unless you are wanting the best of the best audiophile kit. They aren’t aiming for the musical snobs; they are accessible for those in the low and mid-range of record player interest with their patented USB ripping software proving popular with many. These record players are also very aesthetically pleasing, ideal for your beautiful record player setup if that’s what you’re looking for.

The likes of Sony PS-LX310BT is an automatic record player perfect for all your ripping and USB needs and ideal for an entry-level turntable with many features. 

  • Why choose Sony? Great modern connectivity.
  • Why consider another brand? It tends to be Automatic and lose authenticity.

Pro-Ject Audio Systems

The Austrian based audio experts have managed to make considerable inroads in the record player game. They have managed to strike a delicate balance between audiophile respect for their excellent quality sound whilst still remaining broadly accessible and easy for the casuals. Not only this, but the design is easy to use and very aesthetically pleasing. 

Their famous Pro-Ject The Classic is legendary within the vinyl business and is known by many for its solid build for vinyl-enthusiasts and crystal clear sound for even the most instrumentally intricate tunes

The new Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO is perfect for entry-level enthusiasts looking to expand on their hobby. Whilst many may squirm a little when they see its price, it really is worth every penny. Perfect for those looking to start a blossoming vinyl collector.

  • Why choose Pro-Ject? Sleek and aesthetically pleasing design.
  • Why consider another brand? No built-in phono-preamp of USB connectivity.

Pioneer

They are one of the top electronics companies in the world, so it should come as no surprise to you that Pioneer is also prominent players in the turntable business. 

Pioneer split their time in this field between entry-level turntables and high-end DJ sets, which they are well known for. It also allows combinations between the likes of the Pioneer PLX-1000 with seriously effective and modern DJ sound systems to work perfectly for any entry-level jockey looking to make a name for themselves. 

Pioneer allows excellent compatibility with crisp sound and easy use of the equipment. Whilst the price can start to shift up, if you are going to make it in the DJ game, you will need some discs to the jockey – and what you will do that on if it isn’t a good vinyl player. 

  • Why choose Pioneer? It’s perfect for DJ’s.
  • Why consider another brand? Limited product range.

Rega

Rega Research is an English based company that has been making top quality record players since the 1970s. They are indeed for the audiophiles amongst us and cater for the higher end of the vinyl collectors market. 

Whilst the Rega vinyl players are fit for even the biggest of sound snobs, they do come at a price – and a hefty one at that most of the time. They don’t spend money on advertising as a company and instead pump all their money into making truly unique sounding pieces of kit. They rarely offer extra compatibility and features, instead of focusing purely on the sound quality and creating a unique vinyl experience. 

Their famous collection, the Rega Planar, spans from 1 to 10. The Rega Planar 1 is the cheapest, and 10 is easily one of the best record players on the market, but it shows in the price tag. Perhaps, the best known and middle of the road option for Rega is the Rega Planar 3, which summates perfect sound for a reasonable price. 

This is the most popular of the Rega selection and one which is the perfect next step for audiophiles looking to move into an expert and elite territory. They look, sound and feel amazing overall. 

  • Why choose Rega? Fantastic balance between sound and price.
  • Why consider another brand? Distinctly mid-range.

Vertere

Vertere are like the Aston Martins or Bentleys of record players. They are luxury goods, but they look great and produce the highest quality of sound for those serious about investing in a top of the range record player. 

From their lower-priced DG-1 Dynamic Groove, which boasts belt drives and is about as easy to get ‘plug and play’ at this end of the market; all the way up to the SG1/RG1 player, which is near flawless enough in its design and will produce one of the best sounds on the market – but it reflects in its £12,000 price tag.

Verteres motto is that they are here to design the best of the best, not worry about its costs. If you are serious about your vinyl collecting and have the appropriate funds to make a vertere available, it is sure to turn heads at your next dinner party (because, let’s face it, if you have a 12k turntable, you are definitely into dinner parties). 

  • Why choose Vertere? The best sound you will get.
  • Why consider another brand? Can be very expensive in comparison.

Choosing The Brand For You

When choosing the right record player, you need to first recognise what your needs and wants are. Depending on how committed to the vinyl collecting you are or will depend on which turntable is the best to opt for. Of course, you want one that can suit your budget, but at the same time, sometimes it is worth saving up that little bit extra and bagging yourself something a little bit special. Often you may need some other pieces of kit to accompany your record players, like speakers or vinyl themselves, so make sure you leave a little in the bank! 

Ryan Toomey
Ryan Toomey
Hip-hop loving and keen vinyl collector Ryan works in Digital Marketing, UX and Design. When he's not jamming to music and designing, he reviews record players and looks for his next vinyl for his collection. With years of visiting record player shops, copping limited edition vinyl and rocking up at all sorts of concerts, he's our go-to guy for vinyl and record players guides. Ryan's favourite artists are Frank Ocean, Outkast, Khalid, Rejjie Snow and A Tribe Called Quest - in that exact order (apparently).

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