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The 5 Best DJ Turntables

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DJ Using The Best DJ Turntables

If you’re in a hurry and want to find out what the best DJ turntable is, we recommend the Pioneer PLX-1000.

It’s fair to say that DJ turntables aren’t at the top of most DJs equipment lists nowadays, thanks to more convenient controllers and software.

However, turntables still have their place in the world and are beginning to make a significant comeback, as everyone knows you can’t beat the sound of a high-quality turntable.

So, to recognize the trend, we’ve assembled a list of the best DJ turntables on the market, based on thousands of reviews, user feedback, and our own unbiased opinion.

All you have to do is choose your favorite, set it up, and start scratching!

Let’s get into it!

The DJ turntables we’ll be reviewing are:

  1. Pioneer PLX-1000
  2. Reloop RP-8000 MK2
  3. Stanton ST.150 MK2
  4. Audio-Technica AT-LP124-USBXP
  5. Denon DJ VL12 Prime

FYI: Using links on our site may earn us an affiliate commission.

The 5 Best DJ Turntables 2021

1. Pioneer PLX-1000

Pioneer PLX-1000

(Image Credit: Pioneer)

Why Buy This?

Pioneers’ PLX-1000 is the result of over 50 years of experience producing and refining high-end turntables.

It has a similar layout to its predecessors; however, it’s packing some series upgrades in the tech department.

For example, the new high-torque direct drive system ensures stable rotation and control, while the heavy-mass die-cast chassis dampens vibrations and resonance.

The turntable gives you the ability to pick up or slow down tracks as you wish, thanks to the addition of multi-tempo controls.

They can be configured to +/-8%, +/-16%, and +/-50%, and tapping the reset button will have you back at +/-0% in the blink of an eye.

It comes with interchangeable power and audio cables, which makes setting up your DJ equipment a little bit easier, and thanks to gold-plated RCA jacks, sound quality, and low impedance are ensured.

Why We Liked It

Well, in short, it’s built for DJs but has all the features audiophiles love, so it’s a win-win.

It’s well built and feels solid. It has low vibration levels overall, and the deck keeps a stable speed.

Also, if you like to read the manual when you buy a new product, then you’ll love the PLX-1000s manual, as it’s clear and informative.

Highlights

  • High-Torque Direct Drive
  • Heavy Mass, Die-Cast Chassis
  • Multi-Tempo Control
  • Interchangeable Power & Audio Cables
  • Dust Cover Included

Watch It In Action

 

 

2. Reloop RP-8000 MK2

Reloop RP-8000 MK2 DJ Turntable

(Image Credit: Reloop)

Why Buy This?

The RP-8000 MK2 is one of Reloop’s finest creations.

It’s the result of a collaboration between several world-renowned international turntable artists and is now regarded as one of the most advanced turntables ever made.

You can control up to seven different performance modes via the XXL pads and use its unique platter play mode to control the platter rotation speed, which allows you to create all sorts of exciting melodies.

A digital LCD shows you everything you need to see at a glance, like BPM, Deck assignment, pitch, scale, and elapsed/remaining time.

It’s built from reinforced metal and utilizes materials like rubber and molding compound to minimize vibrations caused by heavy bass sounds.

The RP-8000 MK2 integrates seamlessly with Serato DJ Pro and can easily interact with every compatible DJ software on the market, thanks to MIDI compatibility.

Why We Liked It

Aesthetically, it’s on point. And, its intuitive design allows for a quick and easy set-up.

Aside from its looks and design, the RP-800 MK2 operates well, with minimal vibrations and lag, and the additional performance pads give it that extra bit of va-va-voom.

Highlights

  • 7 New Color-Coded Performance Modes
  • Platter Play Mode: Control The Speed Of The Platter
  • Integrates Seamlessly With Serato DJ Pro
  • Digital Color LCD
  • Rigid Chasis Construction

Watch It In Action

 

 

3. Stanton ST.150 MK2

Stanton ST.150 M2

(Image Credit: Stanton)

Why Buy This?

Stanton has come a long way over their 70 years in business, continually improving their turntables and DJ equipment.

The ST.150 MK2 is no exception, as Stanton went back to the drawing board and re-engineered it from the ground up.

With that in mind, it’s been designed to exceed the demands of professional DJs worldwide, introducing enhanced performance capabilities and a refreshed, modern design.

Its heavy-duty brushed aluminum frame and strengthened body produce minimal resonance and feedback. At the same time, it’s new whisper-quiet motor provides around 4.5kg of torque to the S-curve tonearm and damped platter.

The turntable also features adjustable break speed, selectable pitch control with a Quartz Lock, and up to 50% pitch adjustment with included reverse.

Why We Liked It

It’s simple, does what it says on the tin, and is exceptionally reliable.

It’s not the best DJ turntable on the market, in our opinion, and it’s probably best suited for beginners, but it works perfectly, sounds great, and comes with Stantons 70 year reputation.

Highlights

  • Heavy-Duty Aluminum Construction
  • Adjustable Break Speed
  • Selectable Pitch Control
  • S-Curved Tone Arm
  • Slip Mat Included

Watch It In Action

 

 

4. Audio-Technica AT-LP124-USBXP

Audio-Technica AT-LP124-USBXP DJ Turntables

(Image Credit: Audio-Technica)

Why Buy This?

Audio-Technica is one of the most recognized and respected brands in the industry.

The AT-LP124-USBXP is a professional DJ turntable that has been specifically designed for use in clubs and mobile DJs.

Its main features include a damped cast-aluminum platter with stroboscopic speed markings and slipmat, adjustable pitch control, an illuminated speed indicator, dual start/stop buttons, and a locking tone armrest.

Its 3-speed, fully manual operation offers selectable 33/45/78 rpm speeds, and its direct drive, high torque, multipole motor ensures that it’s built for the most demanding DJ use.

The turntable offers a USB output that allows you to easily connect directly into a computer for simple LP to digital conversion, meaning you can make digital files of your vinyl in no time, on both Mac & PC.

Why We Liked It

Apart from a slip mat and cartridge, setting up the turntable is relatively straightforward, especially if this isn’t your first rodeo.

The manual also clarifies how to balance the tonearm, adjust the counterweight, and the overall set-up.

It also starts and stops perfectly every time, thanks to its high torque, and takes no time at all to reach full speed and then stop again when you hit the button.

Highlights

  • 3-Speed Fully Manual Operation
  • 16-Pole, 3-Phase, Brushless DC Motor
  • Slip Mat & Cartridge Included
  • Direct Drive – USB & Analog
  • Convert Vinyl To Digital Easily

Watch It In Action

 

5. Denon DJ VL12 Prime

Denon DJ VL12

(Image Credit: Denon DJ)

Why Buy This?

Denons professional direct-drive turntable with true quartz lock is a premium turntable designed and engineered by DJs.

It features what Denon calls “Isolation feet,” which keep vibrations and feedback to a minimum, and an isolated motor design to provide an outstanding signal-to-noise ratio.

On top of that, Denon has also included a rugged all-metal tone arm base to support the S-shaped tonearm, ensuring tracking is always as accurate as possible.

Its adjustable pitch range is an excellent addition to the turntable as it makes beat-matching a lot easier, allowing you to blend records with perfect precision.

If you enjoy RGB lighting (what DJ doesn’t?!), you’ll appreciate the built-in RGB lighting around the platter, which you can customize by color, brightness, and speed.

Switchable low and high torque settings mean that you’re able to use the exact amount of pressure to bring your cuts to life, and the VL12 is capable of running at the most common speeds.

Why We Liked It

The quartz lock speed controller ensures the tempo is accurate, and its metal tonearm tracks smoothly with an almost weightless motion.

We’re also massive fans of RGB lighting, so having that built into the edge of the platter is a nice touch.

Highlights

  • Isolation Feet Eliminate Vibration & Feedback
  • Isolated Motor Design For Optimal Signal-To-Noise Ratio
  • S-Shaped Tone Arm For Accurate Tracking
  • High-Quality Brush Aluminium Construction & Controls
  • Built-In Customizable RGB Lighting

Watch It In Action

 

 

FAQs About DJ Turntables

Best DJ Turntable Set-Up

1. What Are DJ Turntables?

Turntables often get confused with record players, but there’s a big difference.

A turntable is a piece of hardware that consists of a platter, tonearm, cartridge, and stylus.

For a turntable to work, it requires a separate preamp, amplifier, and speakers.

On the other hand, a record player is an all-in-one unit that has everything it needs to play records from the get-go.

2. How Does A Turntable Work?

Once you have all your components in-place, i.e., preamp, amplifier, and speakers, you’re ready to boot up your turntable.

Let’s start by understanding the two types of turntables:

Direct Drive: These are turntables that have their motors mounted directly underneath the platter.

Belt Drive: This type of turntable requires an additional belt to spin the platter, which is attached to the motor offset to the side of the turntable.

Now, regardless of which type of turntable you’re using, the platter will start spinning once you start the motor.

From there, the tonearm can be lowered onto the record, and the stylus (a tiny needle made of diamond), will begin to read the sound ways that are contained inside the grooves of the record.

Once the stylus begins to move, it starts generating a small electrical signal inside the cartridge, called a PHONO signal.

The current is then sent from the cartridge, through the wires in the tonearm, into your amplifier, and then into your speakers, which convert the signal into music.

3. How To DJ With Turntables?

We recommend using direct-drive turntables as they’re a lot quieter and easier to scratch with.

You’ll find that most DJs use them nowadays, so you’ll be using the most up to date version.

Next, you’re going to need to get yourself a pair of turntables. You can use one, but two is best if you want to mix correctly.

Then, you’ll need to get a mixer and a good quality pair of DJ headphones.

Once you’ve got all your DJ equipment together, you can plug your turntables into your mixer, slap on your headphones, make sure everything else is plugged in, and then you’re ready to go.

Now it’s just a case of mixing tracks, scratching, and having a good time.

4. Can You DJ Without Turntables?

There was a time when the answer would have been no.

However, thanks to technology, that time has passed, and now you can use software or controllers to DJ.

However, it’s worth mentioning that although you can do a lot with software, it’s not entirely the same as having a quality pair of turntables or controllers.

But, if you’re just getting started, then using free DJ software is a great idea, as you’ll quickly figure out if DJing is for you.

Then, once you know you like it, you can upgrade to paid software like Serato DJ Pro or Native Instruments TRAKTOR Pro and get yourself a controller to manipulate the software.

5. Do DJs Still Use Turntables?

The short answer is yes!

However, the ones that do are few and far between, as technology has pretty much made turntables obsolete in the modern DJing world.

For example, the introduction of quality DJ controllers made DJing easier and a lot less cumbersome, causing turntables to be phased out year after year.

There are still some die-hard turntablists out there, but it’s rare to see them DJing in your everyday nightclub, as they’re generally at specialist events or spinning records in the comfort of their own home.

Summary

We hope you enjoyed our list of the best DJ turntables.

In short, you can’t go wrong with any of them, to be honest, as they’re all high-quality and get the job done.

However, based on thousands of reviews, testimonials, and user feedback, in our opinion, the Pioneer PLX-1000 tops them all!

Here’s a quick recap of the best DJ turntables:

  1. Pioneer PLX-1000
  2. Reloop RP-8000 MK2
  3. Stanton ST.150 MK2
  4. Audio-Technica AT-LP124-USBXP
  5. Denon DJ VL12 Prime

What’s your favorite DJ turntable? Leave a comment below.

Matt's the guy behind Audio Captain. He's a qualified sound engineer and self-confessed music nut who's passionate about electronic dance music. When he's not writing about all things audio, you'll find him in the gym or working on his next EDM track.