3 Audiophile Turntables For 3 Different Budgets

3 Audiophile Turntables For 3 Different Budgets

Vahan Baladouni
Mar 29, 2013

Perhaps as backlash against the impersonal quality of the 1's and 0's of digital music, vinyl records have been making a come back amongst music lovers searching for the warmth of analog sound. But if you're buying a record player, since it's a mechanical device, you'll most benefit by looking for models which provide stability and clean smooth rotation of the platter. I've chosen 3 turntables, all provide a quality playback experience, alongside a level of precision mechanics to please both the audiophile and those willing to spend a little more for superior sound...

First up, the Project Debut Carbon turntable sells for $399.00 and comes in an array of glossy color options. The tonearm, which holds the needle, is a critical part of any record player, and the Debut Carbon comes with a fully installed carbon fiber tonearm. I have personally taken a test drive with this record player and can say the sound and build quality is certainly worthwhile at this price point. It even comes with the cartridge needle so getting it up an running requires minimal setup. With this turntable you will get an addictive taste of how engaging vinyl records can be. 

Our second pick is also from Project, the Xpression III. Priced at $699.00, this clean modern turntable boasts a quietly tuned motor for smooth playback. An acrylic turntable platter is also used to improve playback. while it uses a similar tonearm to the Project Debut, the combination of better plinth materials and quieter motor elevate vinyl playback to an even higher level of performance. Quieter background noise, and even tighter bass can be expected from this turntable. 

For the hardcore analog lovers, the German Clearaudio SEP $2,799.00 refines the mechanical engineering of record players to a clear level that any audiophile could appreciate. The sandwiched plinth is made of highly compressed wood and aluminium for taming those unwanted resonances. A decoupled belt-driven motor reduces unwanted vibrations away from the platter, and a magnetic ceramic bearing allows the balanced platter to float on a cushion of air. This ingenious floating platter allows the Verify tonearm to extract all the soulful details from the grooves. Indeed, once you choose a cartidge/needle you'll be off to analog heaven.

With so many turntable options poping up, its important to remember that mechanical engineering is the key. And these 3 turntables provide a smart and stylish solution for reconnecting with music in analog form. 

(Images: as linked above)

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