National Record Store Day is on Saturday April 13. It may not have statutory holiday status—yet—but for vinyl collectors there’s no bigger day on the calendar. In order to enjoy those Record Store Day exclusive special releases, you need a turntable. If you don’t have one and want to get in on the fun, or your current record player has seen better days, there’s still time. But which to choose? Easier said than done when Best Buy has a selection of over 150 turntables and record players. To make things easier, here’s a list of five great turntable choices, just in time for Record Day 2019.
Victrola 7-in1 Nostalgic Belt Drive Turntable
A big part of the appeal of turntables is nostalgia. The first option on this list takes nostalgia to the extreme. The Best Buy exclusive Victrola 7-in1 Nostalgic Belt Drive Turntable offers an old-school wooden cabinet design with integrated speakers and a lid that reveals a three-speed record player hidden within. That’s right, this one can even play those old 78s. The outside of the cabinet continues the retro theme, including a toggle power switch, knob controls for volume and inputs, and cloth covered speaker grills.
Why would this record player need an input selector? Because it’s much more than a record player! As the name suggests, this is a 7-in-1 music system. Besides the turntable, there is a CD player, cassette deck, FM radio, and a headphone jack. You can output to USB for digitizing your records using a PC, and there is also Bluetooth connectivity for streaming music from your smartphone.
Denon DP-300F Turntable
The Denon DP-300F is classic high performance turntable design that’s collected an impressive 4.8 star average in 85 Best Buy customer ratings.
This one features solid basics including a heavy base and a die-cast aluminum platter for reduced vibration. It’s equipped with a high quality moving magnet (MM) cartridge attached to a classic straight tone arm, with an adjustable counterweight. The Denon DP-300F also has an integrated preamplifier, so it can be connected directly to virtually any audio system, without worries about having a PHONO input or a standalone preamplifier.
TEAC TN-180BT Belt Drive Turntable with Bluetooth
TEAC’s TN-180BT Belt Drive Turntable with Bluetooth is a beautifully crafted piece of audio equipment that will look great as the focal point of your vinyl music listening experience. More importantly, it checks off all the basics for great performance, and also has features that make it an excellent modern choice.
The warmth of the woodgrain deck on this TEAC turntable gives it a seriously premium look, but there’s much more to it than appearances. The veneer covers a thick chunk of high density composite wood that makes it very solid and heavy. That weight is important in a turntable, because it protects against vibrations that could impact audio. Its belt-drive system means the motor is isolated, to further reduce vibration.
This turntable features a traditional straight tone arm with the convenience of auto-return, and its equipped with a MM cartridge. It plays records at three speeds (45, 33-1/3, and 78 rpm). You can connect the TEAC TN-180BT to the PHONO input of a receiver or amplifier, but it also has its own built-in preamplifier so you have the option of plugging in to the AUX input on virtually any audio system, including wireless speakers. Speaking of wireless, with integrated Bluetooth connectivity you can ditch the cables altogether, play your records on the TEAC in one room and stream the music to a Bluetooth speaker anywhere in range.
Audio Technica AT-LP60BK-BT Bluetooth Turntable
Audio Technica is one of the great names in audio. It doesn’t just have a long history of making turntables but the company is also one of the primary suppliers of cartridges—even if a turntable isn’t actually made by Audio Technica, there’s a good chance it’s equipped with an Audio Technica cartridge and stylus.
With the Audio Technica AT-LP60BK-BT Bluetooth Turntable, you get both: a fully automatic, two speed, belt-drive Audio Technica turntable with a die-cast aluminum platter and integrated preamplifier, plus an Audio Technica cartridge with a replaceable AT3600L conical stylus.
One of the namesake features on this turntable is Bluetooth connectivity. You can spin your favourite vinyl and stream it to up to eight different Bluetooth devices, including portable speakers and wireless headphones.
Want to learn more about this turntable? I reviewed it last year.
SONY PS-LS300 USB Turntable
Sony’s PS-LX300 another turntable that I’ve recently reviewed.
This one is a solid option as an entry-level turntable. It’s affordable, yet includes desirable features like belt-drive, a moving magnet cartridge, a metal platter, support for 45 and 33-1/3rpm records, and a built-in preamplifier. The cartridge is integrated into the tonearm (don’t worry, you can still replace the stylus) and there are no counterweight or anti-skate adjustments to worry about, so this turntable is about as easy at it gets for setup. Sony also includes everything you need in the box: dust cover, integrated RCA cables and a 45 adapter, so there are no accessories or extras required.
The Sony PS-LX300 also features USB connectivity so it can be connected to a PC, and a copy of Sound Forge Audio Studio software (Windows only) is included so you can record rare vinyl as MP3s for digital playback.
If none of these five turntable options do it for you there are more than 150 more to pick from at Best Buy, including all-in-ones, portables, entry level and even audiophile grade turntables. I just posted a turntable buying guide last week that will help you to make an informed choice. If you score any great vinyl finds at Record Store Day (here’s the list of exclusive releases for 2019), be sure to let us know in the comments. I have my eye on a few releases myself this year, including a new Devo box set …