Here is my list of best record player brands and why you should choose one over the other. This is from my personal experience as a sound engineer and vinyl junkie. This is obviously subjective, but the real purpose is to familiarize yourself with the trusted names when choosing a record player or turntable.
Audio-Technica has been in the professional audio industry since the 1960’s. Their range includes turntables/record players, cartridges, headphones, microphones and much more.
When it comes to record players, Audio-Technica is known for their superior quality cartridges and needles.
If you are in the US or Canada, Audio-Technica has excellent after sales service and support.
Recommended Audio-Technica Turntables:
If you consider yourself to be somewhat of an audiophile or, you’re just looking for the best record player brand, then Clearaudio is an obvious choice.
Clearaudio record players are designed and manufactured in Germany. As you may know, German design and manufacturing standards are of the highest quality in the world.
Clearaudio manufacture high-end, high quality record players and will only appeal to those looking to spend $2000 plus.
The big downside to Clearaudio’s record players need to sit on a solid base. Due to the sensitivity of the needle, if you have a wooden floor, you’ll need to wall mount the record player. The needles pick up the slightest vibrations through the floor which affects the tonearm’s movement and sound quality.
Recommended Clearaudio Turntables:
Music Hall is an American brand who have been around since 1985. The company focuses on designing and manufacturing quality turntables and accessories.
Music Hall’s designs are unique. Offering a high level of modern sophistication and aesthetics. Music Hall’s products compete with Clearaudio in terms of design and quality however, they’re more affordable.
Recommended Music Hall Turntables:
Pro-Ject are an Austrian brand. The company is the European equivalent to Music Hall. Quality turntables at affordable prices.
Pro-Ject have won many EISA (European Imaging and Sound Association) Awards including best product in the turntable category three years in a row.
Good after sales service and support and a two year warranty.
Recommended Pro-Ject Turntables:
Rega is popular among turntable enthusiasts around the world. Unlike many record player and turntable brands who design their products in their home country and then outsource the manufacturing to countries like China, Rega design and manufacture all their products in the United Kingdom.
Each product is hand assembled and Rega focuses on quality over quantity.
Rega also produce phono cartridges and other turntable accessories. Their whole range includes CD players, speakers and amplifiers so that audiophiles can purchase everything they need for the best vinyl experience.
Recommended Rega Turntables:
When it comes to DJs and turntablists, Technics are the brand. In my opinion, for DJs and turntablists, no competing brand manufactures a turntable as good as the Technics 1200 series.
You will find Technics 1200s in just about every nightclub around the world where a turntable is installed. Firstly, the 1200 is a workhorse. This is a turntable that can play all night for months on end with a high level of consistency.
When it comes to servicing, parts are relatively inexpensive and there are many companies, including Technics, who service and repair the 1200s.
The Technics 1200 is not cheap but most certainly well worth the investment.
Recommended Technics Turntable:
When it comes to choosing an electronics brand of any kind, always go for an established manufacturer. If it’s a new brand, do they offer after sales service and support? Where are the products designed and manufactured? What are the reviews like.
All of the brands in this article are trusted record player and turntable brands.