Pro-Ject Essential II
If style's as important as sound, this design classic is a perfect fit for the most modernist pads. The redessigned RB303 tonearm boosts stability and resonance.
Vestax PDX-3000 MKII
If you're playing live, masses of torque means this gets back up to speed after you've had hands on your vinyl. Two pitch controls give total command over tempo.
Eat Forte S
You an audiophile with money to match? Bigger is better in decks and this beast has a 36cm platter that partly 'floats' on magnets to reduce vibrations.
Price: £5,500 I Absolute Sounds
The bigger brother of RP3, the RP6 may look similar on the surface, yet underneath the colourful counter are many tweaks that make it worth the jump in price. A 16mm glass flywheel, manufactured using a UV curing bond technique, helps improve speed, stability, consistency along with accuracy of sound. Another interesting addition is the 24v low noise motor, which features an anti-vibration circuit hand and is controlled by Rega’s TTPSU power supply. Plus, if you want to get all patriotic, there’s a Union Jack emblazoned version available too.
Linn Sondek LP 12
To celebrate the 40th birthday of Linn, the company has teamed with renowned whisky concocters Highland Park to bring a new version of the Sondek LP 12 constructed out of a whiskey cask. This limited edition turntable is super pricey, costing £25,000 and just 40 are being produced, so you better get in quick. As it’s from Linn, expect high performance – though for that price, you’d be disappointed otherwise.
Price: £25,000 | Linn
Brimming with retro chic, this turntable from Crosley is the cheapest on our list. Obviously you’re not going to get the same audio quality as a Rega or the Barzetti but it’s a great choice if you’re just getting into vinyl. Everything is included, so no need to add extra speakers, plus there’s an FM radio and an input for connecting your MP3 player.
Acoustic Signature Barzetti
Another pricey addition to the list, the Barzetti turntable has a 50mm MDF-chassis and an aluminium platter. The supplied arm is produced by Rega, so quality is all but guaranteed. The styling is much simpler, than say the Origin, but it has an air of sophistication. Pair this with the great dynamic range and you have a top class turntable.
Price: £1,750 | Audio Emotion
Rega is regarded by audiophiles as one of the finest purveyors of turntables, with the RP3 definitely being one of their most impressive products. The beautifully simple design is great to look at, while the Double Brace tech and light-weight plinth are normally reserved for higher-priced products. In terms of the all-important tone-arm, this has a rigid tube and an intelligent distribution of mass to ensure friction-free movement.
Pro-Ject Debut Carbon
Almost universally praised, the Carbon is a great value, colourful turntable and a perfect product if you’re looking to get in on some vinyl action. The 8.6-inch carbon tone-arm increases stiffness, ensuring sound is deep and full of life. Overall weight has been increased, giving a smoother rotation and seven glossy colours, including yellow, red and blue, really make it stand out.
TDK ETVT20102 USB
The handy thing about this turntable it its USB feature, which lets you import and play tracks from the machine on your computer. Both 33 1/3 and 45 RPM playback speeds are supported, while a nifty looking equaliser on the chassis adds a unique futuristic look.
Price: £300 | TDK
Origin Live Calypso MKIII
Most turntables tend to stick with the same design, Origin however, completely break all the rules with the third iteration of the Calypso. The circular design is definitely unique, while the black gloss finish is extremely classy. The included mounting arm should work with a whole host of arms, though one is not included. Probably one for someone who has plenty of cash in their pocket.
Price: £1,690 | Origin Live
Edwards Audio TT1
Ditching the usual record mat, the Audio TT1 goes with a transparent disc as the area you’ll be placing your precious vinyl and it definitely helps it stand out amongst the rest. Audio wise it sounds great – detailed and crisp, while the simple black design looks smart and sophisticated. If you’re not looking for a Rega or a Pro-Ject turntable, this could be the one for you.
Clearaudio Performance SE
The precise sounds, mixed with the fantastic, sturdy build quality make this turntable one for the enthusiast. Coming in at around £2,500, it is firmly placed in the mid-range price bracket. Features wise there is an integrated Clearaudio ceramic magnetic bearing, which should reduce friction and cut out any unwanted noise. Another improvement Clearaudio has made in this second-edition of the product is a move to a high-density, aluminium fibreboard sandwich with the aim of adding more stability.