If you have never owned a record player it can be sometimes hard to tell one from another. Brands offer a wide price range and different feature sets but how can you tell which one is best for your needs? Here is a list of what we feel are the most important distinguishing parts to help you make your decision.
Belt drive VS Direct drive:
Belt drive turntables use an elastic belt to to spin the record much like a fan belt in a car. It is reliable, easy to fix and cost effective but due to the physical parts touching it does experience ware and tear which means these units have a short lifespan or require regular maintenance. They are not recommended for DJs who scratch but they work very well for home use and easy listing. Belt drive turntables tend to be more affordable.
Direct drive turntables use a magnetic engine to spin the record. This means that there are no physical parts touching but it also means the the engine is harder to fix and costs more to be built. There is little to no ware and tare and it maintains its torque through out its life. DJs prefer this for scratching and casual listeners may chose this type of engine due to its low maintenance. Direct drive turntables do tend to be a little more expensive
The biggest factor when it comes to the sound quality is the Needle and cartridge. A Head shell is used to mount the needle and cartridge to a plug which this then plugged into the record players tone arm socket. Some manufacturers chose to make turntables with pre mounted head-shells and cartridges. This is done to simplify the needle replacement process, it is cheaper but it does limit the choice of needles that are available to the listener. DJs and audiophiles prefer the detachable head-shell because it is more customization. Casual listeners may not need this functionality so they chose to save money by going with the pre mounted option.
Often over looked the weight of a turntable can sometimes be used as a key indicator of build quality. This is because the heavier the turntable the more likely it is to resist external vibrations. Vibrations might come in the form of a bump on the table, someone stomping across the floor or the vibrations from the bass of club speakers. Heavier turntables tend to cost more then lighter ones but they are also herder to transport but his is a necessary evil if you are a DJ.
If you want more information on what specific turntable model is best for your needs give us a call and we will be happy to help you out.