Welcome to Best Record Player

Best Record Player

Welcome to my site!  All the best record players and accessories will be listed here to help you make the right choice in buying a turntable.

There are some social media links over there in the right hand column.  Feel free to add me to any of your networks, I love hearing feedback and questions from you all.

 

-Keith-

 

Finding the Right Turntable

Finding the best record player for you can be a difficult and confusing process.  Most "big box" stores don't carry them anymore, so the internet has become a popular place to find turntables for sale.  Here are a few things you might consider when buying a record player:

Price Range

This is a tricky subject because some people think you need to spend several hundred dollars to get a good quality turntable.  This really isn't true.  In fact the record player with the highest rating on Amazon right now costs less than $100.  If you're a DJ or an audiophile, you'll need a more pricey alternative though.

Direct Drive or Belt Drive

For those of you who are unfamiliar with these terms, "direct drive" means that the platter of the turntable is driven directly by a motor.  A "belt drive" means that the platter is connected to a rubber belt pulley which is turned by a small motor.

Each type has their own advantages.  Belt driven turntables are much cheaper and the rubber belt helps absorb motor vibrations which can translate to the record.  Direct drive tables have better torque and are necessary for things like DJing.  Without getting too technical, direct drive tables usually have a pitch control which allows you to fine tune the record speed, which is useful for DJ "beat matching".

Should You Get a USB Turntable?

Whether you're new to collecting vinyl or you have an old collection of records, the USB turntable might be exactly what you're looking for.  You can connect it directly to your computer and import those records right into your iTunes or onto CD.  Or perhaps you prefer the traditional stereo turntable hooked up to your receiver.  Pretty much every USB record player has stereo outputs anyways.  Either way, you'll be able to find what you're looking for here.

Vinyl Resurgence

Once considered a dead format, vinyl has had a huge increase in popularity the last few years.  It's always been popular with DJs and people who are into underground alternative music.  Punk, Hardcore, Metal and Indie bands continued releasing vinyl all throughout the 1990s and the early 2000s even when everybody was buying CDs and the digital music era began.

The popularity of records is a very welcome change for the record labels and bands alike.  A band can release the same album on 5 different colors and die hard collectors will scramble to get one of each.  Plus you can't illegally download vinyl.  So everybody wins.

Browsing This Site

In the right hand column, you can browse through the different makes and models of turntables and accessories and even sort by price range.  If you feel so inclined (or are very bored), you can even read my blog.  I'll hopefully have some helpful articles there as well as posting pictures and talking about some of my very best vinyl records from my collection.

If you have any questions at all, please shoot me an email on my contact page or hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.  If you found anything on here useful to you, I'd greatly appreciate a retweet or a Facebook like.  Thanks again for stopping by!

What is Serato?

Serato Audio Research is a company from New Zealand, formed in 1998, that specializes in audio production.  They have a ton of software and interface products and it can be confusing keeping it all straight.  They are mainly known for 2 product lines:  “Serato Scratch Live” and “Serato Itch”.

 

1.  Serato Scratch Live

Scratch Live

Serato Scratch Live

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduced in 2004, Scratch Live is a vinyl emulation software which allows for the playback and mixing of digital music (MP3s) using control records so that it still has that hands-on DJ turntable feel without using actual crates of vinyl records.

Music website whitelabel.net was introduced in 2006 to distribute special MP3 files with a mono copy of the song, a special high quality Scratch Live version, BPM and visual tracks embedded into the files.

The hardware is produced exclusively by the Rane Corporation.  See the bottom of post for minimum computer requirements. 

 

1A.  Rane Interfaces for Serato Scratch Live:

These interfaces allow you to use your choice of mixer.

  • Rane SL4 
  • Rane SL3 
  • Rane SL2 
Serato SL4

SL4

Inputs for 4 turntables or CD decks, 2 high-speed USB 2.0 ports, Aux input, Aux output, 48 kHz and 96 kHz sample rate switch, 10 in and 10 out USB sound card, galvanic isolation.

 

 

 

 

Serato SL3

SL3

Inputs for 3 turntables or CD decks, studio-grade phono preamps, Aux input and output, 48 kHz 24-bit audio processing, USB 2.0 drivers, independent line/phono-level selection for each input, galvanic isolation.

 

 

 

 

Serato SL2

SL2

Inputs for 2 turntables or CD decks, studio-grade phono preamps, 2 software-switchable analog thru connections, 48 kHz 24-bit audio processing, USB 2.0 drivers, galvanic isolation.

 

 

 

 

 

1B.  Rane Mixers for Serato Scratch Live:

Mixers with Serato Scratch installed.

  • Rane Sixty-Eight 
  • Rane Sixty-Two 
  • Rane Sixty-One
  • Rane TTM 57SL 
Serato Sixty-Eight

Sixty-Eight

2 USB 2.0 ports supporting 22 32-bit audio channels at 48 kHz.  Support for connections to 2 computers.  Control of over 30 Scratch Live functions.  4 switchable stereo inputs with support for up to 4 Virtual Decks.  4 Stereo Aux inputs.  3-band EQ and high-pass low-pass filter.  Two microphone inputs with level, pan and EQ controls.  Unique FlexFX bus with 6 internal effects plus USB and analog support for computer effects.

 

 

 

 

Serato Sixty-Two

Sixty-Two

USB ports supporting 6 stereo record and 4 stereo playback channels.  32-bit audio processing at 48 kHz, Control of over 40 Scratch Live functions.  Mic/Line input on jack with gain trim, 2-band EQ, Flex FX assign and On/Over controls.  Internal effects engine.  External analog insert for analog effects processor and USB insert for software effects.  USB Aux input for SP-6 sample playback with HP/LPFilter, Headphone cue and Flex FX assign.

 

 

 

 

Serato Sixty-One

Sixty-One

USB 2.0 port supporting 6 stereo record and 4 stereo playback channels.  32-bit audio processing at 48 kHz.  Mic/Line input on jack with gain trim, 2-band EQ, Flex FX assign.  External analog insert for analog effects processor and USB insert for software effects.  USB Aux input for SP-6 sample playback with headphone cue and Flex FX assign.

 

 

 

 

Serato TTM 57SL

TTM 57SL

Inputs for a combination of digital and analog sources.  Plug-and-Play interface with Scratch Live so no Rane SL is needed.  Control surface to navigate through library, load tracks, trigger cues and loops and control effects from the mixer panel.  Simple mix record function allows you to record DJ mixes with one mouse click.  On-board hardware effects to enhance mixing with studio-quality sound.  Input gain, left/right pan controls, 3-band EQ with kill switch.  Mic input with level and EQ controls.  Headphone outputs.  RCA, TRS, XLR outputs with level controls.

 

 

 

 

1C.  Control Vinyl:

Serato Control Vinyl

Control Vinyl

Control vinyl and CDs contain the Serato “Noisemap Control Tone” which allows Scratch Live to track the motion of the record.  Unparalleled sensitivity and responsiveness.

 

 

 

 

 

Comes in Black, Clear, Red, Blue and Purple at most retailers.

Dozens more colors and styles available at the Serato website.  

 

1D.  Serato Approved USB Controllers for Scratch Live:

  • Denon DN-HC1000s
  • Denon DN-HC4500       
  • Pioneer CDJ-2000
  • Pioneer CDJ-900         
  • Pioneer CDJ-850         
  • Pioneer CDJ-400
  • Pioneer CDJ-350        
  • Pioneer MEP-7000
  • Novation Dicer
  • Vestax VFX-1

 

2.  Serato Itch

Serato Itch 2.0

Serato Itch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduced in 2008, Serato Itch is a similar system to Scratch Live but it’s tied to hardware controllers and has a more simple interface.  Itch DJ systems operate without turntables or CD players.  Using Itch software, you DJ from your computer with accurate control from a wide range of products.  Simply connect an Itch controller to your laptop and sound system and you’re ready to roll.

 

2A.  Itch Controllers with Internal Mixing

All-in-one mixers with audio input and output connections.

  • Allen & Heath Xone: DX 
  • Novation TWITCH
  • Numark NS7 
  • Numark NS6 
  • Pioneer DDJ-S1 
  • Vestax VCI-300 
Xone: DX

Allen & Heath Xone: DX

Powerful 4-channel audio controller.  20-channel USB 2.0 sound card.  24 bit/96 kHz audio.  Phono input for external decks.  RCA and XLR Mix outputs. Built-in hardware MIDI interface.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Novation TWITCH

Control surface features 2 banks of 8 trigger pads.  Professional cross-fader and per-channel fader FX.  2 in and 4 out audio interface with headphone output.  Slicer mode lets you chop up beats and create new grooves.  Mix/Aux input for mic and external audio device through effects and master outputs.  USB connection.

 

 

 

 

 

NuMark NS7

Direct-drive 7″ turntable platters with real vinyl for hands-on control.  Mic and line inputs.  System and cue outs.  Tough all-metal construction.  Mix with 33 or 45 RPM speed.  Support for the Numark NSFX controller (shown in 2C).

 

 

 

 

 

Numark NS6

4-channel DJ controller with built-in mixer and 4 decks of control.  Touch activated platters.  24-bit audio interface.  XLR outputs, 2 mic inputs, 2 phono inputs, 4 line-level inputs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DDJ-S1

Pioneer DDJ-S1

Plug-and-Play USB mixer with 2-channel deck control.  XLR input and output.  Built-in soundcard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VCI-300

Vestax VCI-300

Extremely portable controller.  Built-in audio interface and mixer controls.  24-bit audio interface.  LED level indicators.  Adjustable jog wheel torque. 4-inputs and 4-outputs and headphone connection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2B.  Itch Components for Outboard Audio Mixing

Allows DJs to use their choice of outboard mixer to mix and control audio levels.

  • Denon DJ DN HC-5000 
  • Numark V7 
DJ DN HC-5000

Denon DJ DN HC-5000

Rack mounted USB MIDI controller with built-in sound card.  24-bit processing and USB audio.  Hardware offers audio outputs for each deck to connect to mixers.  2 responsive jog wheels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

V7

Numark V7

Link fuction allows DJ to connect 1 or 2 V7s with their mixer and computer for seamless performance.  Direct drive turntable platter with high or low torque.   Complete Serato DJ FX controls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2C.  Itch DJ FX Controllers

Manipulate a range of Serato DJ FX with a hands-on controller.

  • Numark NSFX 
  • Vestax VFX-1 
NSFX

Numark NSFX

Designed to mate perfectly with the Numark NS7 (up in section 2A) delivering hands-on control of all DJ FX built into Itch software.  No software drivers are necessary.  Just plug-and-play with an Itch controller.

 

 

 

 

 

 

VFX-1

Vestax VFX-1

Designed to compliment the Vestax VCI-300 (shown in 2A).  Has a powerful range of effects in Serato Itch.  Will also work with other Itch controllers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minimum Computer Requirements to Run Scratch Live:

Mac:

  • Intel 1.8 GHz Core Duo or higher
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 1024 x 768 screen resolution
  • OSX 10.5 or better
  • Available USB 2.0 port

Windows:

  • Intel 2.0 GHz Core Duo or better
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 1024 x 768 screen resolution
  • Windows XP SP 3 or higher
  • Windows Vista SP2 or higher
  • Windows 7
  • Available USB 2.0 port

 

Minimum Computer Requirements to Run Scratch Live:

For Serato Itch, each component has their own minimum requirements.  You can check out each component separately to see the requirements for each one.

 

The best people to buy from are people who don’t know what their records are worth.  They typically think records are junk and don’t understand that people still collect and enjoy them.  So here is my list of the 5 best places to buy cheap records:

 

Yard Sale Records

Yard Sale Records

5.  Yard Sales/Estate Sales

Yard sales are great for buying records.  Chances are the records have only had one owner and they’ll likely be in better shape.  Most people will sell them at a discount too.  If they have 50 records they’re selling for $1 each, offer them $20 for the whole box and most people will take it. This method takes some work though.  It’s a lot of driving around, and there’s no guarantee they’ll be selling any music.  This is one of those things you just sort have to get lucky with.

I’ll be honest, I’ve never been to an estate sale.  I wouldn’t even know where to look for one.  But I’ve heard they’re great.

 

Craigslist Records

Craigslist Records

4.  Craigslist

Craigslist is mostly good for buying records in bulk.  A lot of times, people will go on there to sell off their entire collection for a discount.  You’ll often see people selling 300 records for $50 or similar deals like that.  You want to look in “Collectibles” or “CD/DVD/VHS” under the “For Sale” section.  This method might not be for you if you don’t want to haul hundreds of albums home.

I’ve found that Craigslist has a lot of people who don’t know the value of their albums, which works both ways:  You’ll see a lot of people trying to sell their scratched up Billy Ocean record for $25.

 

Thrift Store Records

Thrift Store Records

3.  Thrift Shops

Places like Salvation Army and Goodwill usually have a record section.  Some stores have more than others and some get fresh supplies on a weekly basis.  You have to go around to your local shops and see for yourself.  For example, the Salvation Army in Salem, NH has hundreds of albums and they get new shipments every week but other stores in the area have had the same records laying around for months.  They typically sell them for 75 cents to $1.50.

The thing with thrift shops though, is that you have to get there before other collectors or shop owners pick through them.  I’ve been there when shop owners or hardcore collectors are picking through and they can be territorial or even rabid like “Black Friday” shoppers.  If you get there at the right time, you can usually find some hidden treasures.  I’ve bought tons of records from thrift shops.

Flea Market Records

Flea Market Records

2.  Flea Markets

There’s a flea market in Londonderry, NH that I like to go to on the weekends and I’ve found tons of cheap records there.  I walked out of there one day with about 50 albums that I paid maybe $100 for.  Not junk either:  I’m talking The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Zeppelin, The Who, Kiss, Bowie.  They key, like thrift shops, is to get there early before other collectors or record shop owners pick through them.  Like I said earlier, look for the people who don’t know what their records are worth.

 

Ebay Records

Ebay Records

1.  Ebay

This one might sound surprising, but it’s true.  I’ve bought a good chunk of my personal collection on Ebay.  A lot of my $1 vintage records I’ve bought from thrift shops and flea markets but this is my go-to place if there’s a specific album I want at a discount.  If you go out to a flea market, there’s no guarantee that you’ll find a copy of Rubber Soul hanging around.

The places I’ve already mentioned are good if you want cheap Pop/Classic Rock albums from the 60′s – 80′s.  If you want records from newer artists or lesser known alternative acts, you won’t find them laying around for $1.  You either have to buy them from a record store, which is fine, I support buying from local record stores, but they’re usually marked up and overpriced.

This also happens to be my favorite place to sell records as well.  I’ve made some decent side money buying cheap records for $1 and flipping them online.  I had 5 Kiss records that I paid $5 for and some guy bid $75 on them.

iDJ On Demand

iDJ On Demand

iDJ On Demand

Note:  This is just an overview of the product.  To check out the iDJOnDemand website Click Here

 

iDJ On Demand was created by Benjamin Ellis and his group “Ill Vibe Collective” to help beginners develop their DJ skills.  90,000 people from over 90 countries have benefited from his teachings.  There’s about 6.5 DVDs worth of videos all shot in high quality digital.  There are 6 FREE videos on their site to preview what you’ll get.

Ill Vibe Collective usually charges $150-$250 per hour for DJ lessons.  The 5 members and Benjamin have all been DJing since 1992 so they really know what they’re talking about.

 

 

There are 3 big mistakes that new DJs make:

  1. Trying to learn from a book.  You need to see video to learn.  Trying to do something after reading it will take you 10 times longer to learn
  2. Using somebody else’s equipment to learn.  Get your own tables so they’ll be available to you 24/7.
  3. Using cheap equipment.  If you want to DJ, you need direct drive turntable(s).  Belt driven tables are worthless for DJing.  iDj On Demand will show you what the best equipment is, so you don’t spend too much and get ripped off, and so you don’t spend too little on garbage.

 

What’s Included:

1.  Volume #1 of the “Learn to DJ Now” videos.  Intended for beginners, these videos give an overview of the basics on DJ equipment and DJing.

2.  Volume #2 of the “Learn to DJ Now” videos.  These expand on the basics and give more specific skills such as:

  • Crabbing
  • Stabs
  • Chops
  • 1 Click Flares
  • 2 Click Flares
  • Transforming
  • Snake
  • Baby Scratch
  • Chirp
  • Hydroplanes
  • Lasers
  • Combination Scratches

3.  Risk free money back guarantee for 60 days

 

Free Bonus Material:

$117 Value – Membership to www.iDJOnDemand.com so you can have access to the video library including future videos.

  • 5 Parts – Serato Scratch Live
  • 4 Parts – Setting Up Your DJ Equipment
  • 5 Parts – Gemini PS676i
  • 8 Parts – Freestyles and Tips
  • 4 Parts – History of DJ Equipment
  • 2 Parts – Interview with Ill Vibe Collective
  • Demos – Pioneer CDJ100 and the Numark TTXi
  • Personalized video from DJ Panek and DJ Statik
  • Ebooks – The DJ Equipment Guide Parts 1 and 2

$20 Value – Fundamental Club Mixing Principles and Concepts

  • Become familiar with artists and record labels
  • Songs females like to hear
  • How to get men on the dance floor
  • Find out who your audience is before the gig
  • Create a mixtape or CD
  • Avoid technical issues
  • Preparing your mixes, what records to bring
  • How to build your record collection
  • Why not to bring all your records to a set

 

==> Click Here to Check Out iDJ On Demand <==

 

AudioQuest Anti-Static Record Cleaner Brush

AudioQuest Anti-Static Record Cleaner Brush

AudioQuest Record Cleaner Brush

Anybody with a turntable should have a microfiber brush.  The AudioQuest Anti-Static Record Cleaner Brush is probably the best one.  I have one of these and I use it every time I play a record.  You always want to play a clean record so you don’t damage your stylus and for better sound quality.

This type of brush is good for records that have already been cleaned and might have a little bit of airborne dust or paper fibers from an inner sleeve.  For records that a really dirty, you’ll want to use a liquid cleaner and some type of disc washer.  Using this for a dirty record will only contaminate the brush.

You can see, in the Youtube video below, the best way to use this type of brush when cleaning records.  I like to set the turntable at 45 RPM when doing this.

 

 

 

First, you hold the brush perpendicular to the record grooves.  Press down lightly so that the fibers can get down into the grooves, but not so hard that the plastic handle of the brush hits the vinyl.  As the record is turning, simply move the brush outward from the center of the record to the outer edge.  This will help to push the dust particles off of the record surface.  After that, just wipe away debris that might be in the bristles of the brush and you are good to go!

 

==> See the Current Prices for AudioQuest Anti-Static Record Cleaner Brush <==

 

Numark Groove Tool Cartridge and Stylus

From Numark

Numark Groove Tool Cartridge and Stylus

This adjustable cartridge from Numark will fit into a traditional headshell.  It has a replaceable diamond tip (the red part).  This cartridge comes standard in a Numark TTUSB turntable.

From reading the reviews, this is a very good affordable cartidge but might not be your cup of tea if you’re an audiophile or a DJ and you have higher end turntables.

One of the complaints I read was that the red stylus part rides too close to the vinyl while it’s playing and I’ve seen that before, but it’s usually a result of having too much weight on the tonearm from the counterbalance.  If you’re playing a warped record or your platter is warped, it can scrape your vinyl but this shouldn’t be an issue for most people.

 

 

 

==>Click Here Compare Prices for Numark Groove Tool Cartridge and Stylus<==

Numark GrooveTool RS Replacement Stylus

Numark GrooveTool RS Replacement Stylus

for GrooveTool Cartridge

The Numark GrooveTool RS Replacement Stylus is a replacement needle set for the Numark Groove Tool Cartridge.   Sold as a pair.

This is a very popular replacement stylus that is also very affordable.  You get 2 of them for (roughly) $16 and they’ll last you a long time as long as you’re playing clean records and don’t abuse them.

This type of stylus is extremely easy to install too.  You just slip off the old one and slide this into place and you’re ready to go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

==> See Pricing on Numark GrooveTool RS Replacement Stylus <==

44% off this week!

Pyle Home PTCDS2UI Turntable

PTCDS2UI Turntable Review

Pyle Home PTCDS2UI Turntable

 

That is one long product name.  This bad boy has a little bit of everything.  Turntable, Radio, CD, Casette, iPod.  That about covers everything.  This unit combines the retro classic look of a phonograph with 21st century technology.

 



 

 

 

 

 

Pyle Dock for iPod

Built-In iPod Dock

 

Features:

  • Plays 33, 45, and 78 RPM
  • Remote control for CD player
  • CD player compatible with CD-R and CD-RW

 

 

 

Pyle CD Player Dock

CD Player

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

==> Check Pricing for Pyle Home PTCDS2UI AM/FM Radio/CD/Cassette/USB Classic Turntable with iPod Dock <==

ION Audio TTUSB USB Turntable

ION Audio TTUSB USB DJ Turntable

ION Audio TTUSB USB DJ Turntable

The ION Audio TTUSB is the first USB turntable that allows you to transfer music from your records directly to MP3 or CD with the included software.

I know because I have one of these.  It’s the first turntable I bought when I started to get interested in vinyl again about 3 years ago.  I needed something I could just plug into my computer and play without any stereo equipment.  You can plug this into a stereo though if you’re so inclined.

In my opinion, this is a good starter turntable if you’re just looking for something to play around with, without investing too much money.  You won’t get audiophile sound out of it, but it’s good enough if you just want to play records for fun.

The Audio Technica AT-LP60 is just a few dollars more and is much better quality.

 

 

==>Buy ION Audio TTUSB USB DJ Turntable<==

Amazon.com Current price: $79.99

American Musical Supply Current price $99.99

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3l56kVmKsw

 

My review of the Audio Technica AT-LP60

Audio Technica AT-LP60 Review

Audio Technica AT-LP60 Belt-Driven Turntable

The Audio Technica AT-LP60 Fully Automatic Belt Driven Turntable is a hugely popular inexpensive turntable.  Many people think that you need to spend $300+ on a good sounding turntable and this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Right now, this is the highest rated turntable on Amazon and it’s a fraction of the cost of other record players.


 

 

 

 

 

 

Features:

  • Built-in switchable phono preamp
  • Can hook directly to your computer or home stereo


==> Check out the current pricing on Audio Technica AT-LP60 <==

 Currently 55% off.  This price won’t last!

 

 

12″ Cardboard Record Mailers

12" Cardboard Record Mailers

12" Cardboard Record Mailers

If you saw my earlier post about selling records on Ebay then you know that cardboard record mailers are extremely important to keeping the record(s) safe during shipment.  I’ve used a ton of these on Ebay auctions and they work very well.  I’ve sold over 100 albums and have only had 2 get damaged during shipping because the Post Office was extremely careless.

Typically cardboard record mailers come in shipments of 100, 50 and 25:

==>Buy 100 12″ Record Mailers<==

==>Buy 50 12″ Record Mailers<==

==>Buy 25 12″ Record Mailers<==

 

 

 

12" Cardboard Record Mailer Pads

12" Cardboard Record Mailer Pads

When mailing out records, it’s always good idea to add some extra padding, especially if it’s an expensive album.

==>Buy Record Mailer Pads<==

As an alternative to record pads, you can just cut up any spare boxes you have laying around into 12″ x 12″ squares.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

vinyl disc