11 Best Turntables under $1000 in 2021

It would be an understatement to say that there are a lot of good turntables to choose from in today’s market. Well-seasoned audiophiles and newcomers alike may consider turntables for their distinctive analog warmth and approachable tactility. The album cover art and storage of vinyls also remains a therapeutic option for many avid music listeners.

Looking for the right turntable for your specific needs depends on what you require for your rig. In this article, we listed down the 11 best turntables you can buy under $1000. 

ModelSpeedsDrive MethodMotor TypeEase of Setup
Rega Planar 3  33-1/3 RPM, 45 RPM  Belt Type  DC  Easy
Pro-Ject 1Xpression Carbon  33-1/3 RPM, 45 RPM  Belt Type  DC  Easy
Audio-Technica AT-LP7  33-1/3 RPM, 45 RPM  Belt Type  DC  Easy
Thorens TD190-2  33 1/3, 45, 78 RPM  Belt Type  DC  Easy
Rega Planar 2  33-1/3 RPM, 45 RPM  Belt Type  DC  Easy
Music Hall MMF-5.3  33-1/3 RPM, 45 RPM  Belt Type  DC  Easy
MoFi StudioDeck  33-1/3 RPM, 45 RPM  Belt Type  DC  Easy
Yamaha TT-S303  33-1/3 RPM, 45 RPM  Belt Type  DC  Easy
Stanton ST.150 MKII  33 1/3, 45, 78 RPM  Belt Type  DC  Easy
Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit  33 1/3, 45, 78 (belt-change option) RPM  Belt Type  DC  Easy
TEAC TN-550  33-1/3 RPM, 45 RPM  Belt Type  DC  Easy

Rega Planar 3

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The Rega Planar 3 features topnotch quality 3D CAD & CAM technology utilized for the RB330 tonearm. It showcases a laminated plinth with high gloss acrylic. The optiwhite polished rim adds to its beauty as well. 

The build looks solid and also serves as very pleasing to the eyes. Its functional features and aesthetics impress as Rega proves once again that they are among the leading brands of the industry. 

The upgraded features of the Rega Planar 3 hit the right notes as they served as highly-essential and beneficial. The look and feel showcase a smarter and more elegant vibe. 

Speeds: 33-1/3 RPM, 45 RPMMotor Type: DC
Drive Method: Belt TypeEase of Setup: Easy

Pro-Ject 1Xpression Carbon

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This simple yet solid turntable has a belt drive system that showcases both power and finesse at the same time. It has a smooth and appealing chassis design that helps dictate the overall look. 

The Pro-Ject 1Xpression Carbon is among the most impressive-sounding and looking models in its price range. The nitty-gritty detail was given outright attention as it impresses with the build quality. For those who yearn to reach improved sound fidelity levels, this turntable is your best option. 

The simplicity of the Pro-Ject 1Xpression Carbon can both be an advantage or a disadvantage for the model because its simple look and features leave it with less to argue about. However, this same simplicity might be a disadvantage as other brands or same price-range models might offer additional features in the future.

Speeds: 33-1/3 RPM, 45 RPMMotor Type: DC
Drive Method: Belt TypeEase of Setup: Easy

Audio-Technica AT-LP7

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The Audio-Technica AT-LP7 has amazing features that makes it deserving to be on this list. Since 1962, Audio-Technica has been producing impressive audio products and lots of audiophiles trust the brand because of the audio quality of their turntables. 

Among their best turntables under $1000 is the Audio-Technica AT-LP7. It features a motor with a sensor that helps in keeping the accuracy of the speed rotation. It also contains a moving magnet cartridge system and this translates to higher frequency range. 

It comes with 45 RPM record adapters, dust cover and RCA cables. It does not have any USB capabilities but still, you get an awesome value for your money. The audio output is astounding and it’s hard to find any fault on this turntable.

Speeds: 33-1/3 RPM, 45 RPMMotor Type: DC
Drive Method: Belt TypeEase of Setup: Easy

Thorens TD190-2

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When it comes to vintage design, Thorens never misses a beat. The late 80s aesthetic style has been a classic look that conservative audiophiles prefer when searching for a fitting turntable. 

The chassis of the TD190-2 is quite similar to its predecessor, which is a good thing because they are both clean, simple, and sturdy. When it comes to its weight, the Thorens TD190-2 is quite heavy, but it can be placed just about anywhere. 

It features a DC motor that is electronically-controlled and also includes a flat belt drive. The combination of these features helps the TD190-2 to run smoothly. To say that this model is a beast surely is an understatement.

Speeds: 33-1/3 RPM, 45, 78 RPMMotor Type: DC
Drive Method: Belt TypeEase of Setup: Easy

Rega Planar 2

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Flashes of elegance combined with a minimalistic design. Rega has proven its brand credibility by producing top-notch quality like this Planar 2 model. The engineering design behind this beauty was carefully planned out. 

It showcases a versatile audio output that makes it one of the best turntables under $1000 in today’s market. The hardware internals are of high quality. You’ll be impressed even by the smallest details.

Speeds: 33-1/3 RPM, 45 RPMMotor Type: DC
Drive Method: Belt TypeEase of Setup: Easy

Music Hall MMF-5.3

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The Music Hall MMF-5.3 features a carbon fiber tonearm that measures 9 inches. It works excellently in terms of tracking. It boasts of a pre-mounted Ortofon 2M Blue magnetic cartridge. 

It also showcases a dual-plinth assembly that has a stylish lacquer surface. The brand Music Hall has been famous for analog and vinyl components, which is why this high-end turntable presents a certain dexterity. 

Don’t be fooled, though, because the Music Hall MMP-5.3 is fairly easy to set up. Startup audiophiles won’t have a hard time learning about the features of this two-speed turntable.

Speeds: 33-1/3 RPM, 45 RPMMotor Type: DC
Drive Method: Belt TypeEase of Setup: Easy

MoFi StudioDeck

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MoFi has been around since the 1970s. With the help of two great turntable designers, Mike Latvis and Alan Perkins, Mofi introduced an impressive line that showcased expert craftsmanship and technology. 

The MoFi StudioDeck offers great value for its price range. The usual tonearms in this range are 9″ in length, but the Mofi StudioDeck provides a 10″ adjustable arm that helps a lot in terms of tracking. This is undoubtedly one of the best turntables under $1000 that you should check out this 2021. 

Speeds: 33-1/3 RPM, 45 RPMMotor Type: DC
Drive Method: Belt TypeEase of Setup: Easy

Yamaha TT-S303

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The Yamaha TT-S303 is among the best turntables under $1000 for it offers an elegant look and audio clarity that backs up the quality of the Yamaha brand. The company has come up with various models before but their returning entry, the Yamaha TT-S303 works wonders. 

You can output directly to speakers because it has an inbuilt phono preamp. It also showcases a tone arm that works with accurate tracking. It also rests on a nicely-made cabinet that helps with stable rotation. It minimizes vibration so you won’t realize its effect on the audio output. 

No added turntable noise means enhanced audio clarity for any music lover. It does not have any bluetooth feature and even a USB option but that should not stop you from choosing this excellent turntable, especially for its price range.

Speeds: 33-1/3 RPM, 45 RPMMotor Type: DC
Drive Method: Belt TypeEase of Setup: Easy

Stanton ST.150 MKII

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Stanton also offers one of the best turntables under $1000, as the Stanton ST.150 MKII features a very strong torque. This turntable showcases precision speed yet has very low flutter. It boasts of a direct drive feature. 

The Stanton ST.150 MKII can function as an effective turntable for audiophiles and can also be utilized for simple listening. For its price, the ST.150 MKII offers great value. It has superb sound quality paired with three-speed availability: 33-⅓, 45, and 78. 

Take note that you have to utilize a special cartridge when you opt for 78. For its built, design, and price range, the Stanton ST.150 MKII is an impressive turntable. 

Speeds: 33-1/3 RPM, 45, 78 RPMMotor Type: DC
Drive Method: Belt TypeEase of Setup: Easy

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit

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The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit showcases an impressive belt drive with a carbon tonearm. It comes with an acrylic platter that is non-resonant. Pro-Ject is among the most recognizable brands as it offers a variety of high-quality turntables under $1000. 

The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit offers a variety of features, but you won’t have to hit the bank hard. Due to its cost-effective price, both newbies and experts prefer this unit. Its default configuration allows playback for 45RPM and 33RPM, but with a simple belt change, 78 RPM disks can be utilized as well. 

The synchronous motor works well with the belt-drive and serves highly beneficial for the overall usage and output of this impressive model.

Speeds: 33 1/3, 45, 78 (belt-change) RPMMotor Type: DC
Drive Method: Belt TypeEase of Setup: Easy

TEAC TN-550

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The TEAC TN-550 is composed of solid marble and transparent acrylic. It features an S-shaped tonearm. The TEAC brand has been a credible and proven brand for hobbyists or even professional audio equipment. The audio output that it can produce is a welcome advantage. 

The TEAC TN-550 is not stuffed with a lot of extras compared to other turntables but it can compete among the top of the crop. The lack of additional features is not much of a big deal if you consider the overall output of the TN-550. It’s one of the best turntables under $1000. 

Speeds: 33 1/3, 45 RPMMotor Type: DC
Drive Method: Belt TypeEase of Setup: Easy

Factors to Consider When Buying a Turntable

Aspiring audiophiles should take a good look at what style, audio features, and even difficulty of usage work best before making that initial turntable purchase. Even long-time music lovers who plan to buy a new one to upgrade their old rigs should carefully consider the best turntables under $1000 mentioned above. 

With the provided list, there is one of these options that could fit your needs. The list offers a wide variety of options and even from different types of brands. You can opt to take a look at the brand and then decide on the rig. 

When it comes to the $500-$1000 price range, you could be able to differentiate a basic turntable from the turntables on this list. The audio output is so much better and the stylish features serve as a worthy upgrade from the basic ones. 

Another great reason why you should consider this price range is that every feature has been carefully considered. From the cable placements up to the sturdiness of the base of these turntables, you will realize the thought process put into the making of these top-notch tables. 

Final Thoughts

Whether you prefer an old-school vibe or a modern-sleek style, the options for the best turntables under $1000 are plenty. Whatever final decision you make upon purchasing, always look for the best quality, and don’t forget to consider the upgradeable options. In the future, more features could be developed but for now, these turntables under $1000 should be among your top options before deciding on the best one.

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