For many DJs, they want to know what the best DJ turntables would be in 2020 for the easiest, best DJing experience. DJ turntables are a bit more different than standard DJ controllers but offer a vintage feel if you’re used to the old-school vinyl scratching. Read on to take a look at reviews of the top 10 best DJ turntables available in 2020.
Here are the best DJ turntables 2020:
- Technics SL-1200MK7
- Pioneer DJ PLX-1000
- Numark PT01 Scratch
- Denon DJ VL12 Prime
- Reloop RP-7000 Mk2
- Numark NTX1000
- Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USBXP
- Roland TT-99
- Stanton STR8.150 M2
- Rane Twelve
1. Technics SL-1200MK7
The best professional DJ turntable
Technics is easily one of the best DJ turntable brands to date. Technics is owned by Panasonic and is the brand name for the majority of the professional, hi-fi audio equipment they sell. The SL-1200MK7 is one of their more advanced turntables that will bring back the thrilling feeling of scratching vinyl like so many DJs did decades ago. The SL-1200MK7 is the newest model in Technics’ 1200 Series of turntables that have been produced since the 1960s.
Diving into the features of the SL-1200MK7, it uses a coreless direct drive motor, which helps achieve more stable rotation to directly drive the platter. This direct drive motor offers a few things that are advantageous: high performance, like rotation accuracy and powerful torque, the motor does not require replacement parts, and it stays reliable over a long period of time. This is perfect if you don’t like to buy new upgrades or shell out money for repairs very often.
Other features include that the torque and brake speed can be adjusted individually in four steps, and a pitch control allows you to change pitch within 8% to 16% (up or down) through a digital function. A new feature, reverse play (self-explanatory), opens up even more doors of creativity.
The tonearm is highly sensitive. A stylus illuminator allows you to push it up and it has a very bright, long lasting white LED, and was meant to help you see the stylus even in dark environments. There is also a switch for 45 rpm or 78 rpm. As for the design, the SL-1200MK7 is a sleek all black model with phono cable terminals.
|Image credit: Technics Check Sweetwater||
The Technics SL-1200MK7 is a top-rated high-end DJ turntable that is a joy to scratch records on. It sounds great and scratching with it feels very natural. Seasoned pros will savor their experiences with this turntable and semi-pros will also have fun scratching on the SL-1200MK7. I highly recommend it if you are a professional DJ, or are in need of a premium upgrade and can afford something this expensive.
2. Pioneer DJ PLX-1000
Especially good for bass-heavy environments
Pioneer DJ is a well-known manufacturer of amazing DJ controllers, turntables, mixers, headphones, and more. Their PLX-1000 is a top-end turntable based off of the models made over the past 50 years.
The PLX-1000 has many features that make your DJing experience more natural thanks to a familiar design and a few great improvements. These feature improvements include a high torque direct drive system, multi-pitch control, club grade sound and build quality, and detachable audio cables. It also has vibration dampening features and super high-grade audio playback.
Getting more into these features, the high torque direct drive makes sure that the turntable is rotating stably and allows for lots of control when scratching. The PLX-1000’s direct drive makes scratching and spinning vinyl feel really natural, there’s not too much resistance or too much give. The multi-tempo control allows you to speed up or slow down the track to plus or minus 8, 16, and 50, and a reset button is provided for a quick reset back to 0, which is handy if you need to quickly change things up while DJing.
As for the design, the PLX-1000 has a die cast zinc chassis that prevents vibration and resonance, as well as a rubber pad on the bottom to absorb vibrations and decrease rumble. This is especially helpful to those who DJ in club environments where the bass is pumping. The PLX-1000 uses a phono (RCA) cable and a standard power cable, that’s it, so you can easily replace the cables if you lose them or they get worn out.
|Image credit: Pioneer DJ Check Amazon||
The Pioneer DJ PLX-1000 is a fantastic choice to purchase if you want one of the best DJ turntables. It’s suitable for everyone from beginners to pros, is extremely easy to use, and it has a few handy features that make it great for everything from long DJ sessions in a club to even simply playing old, classic records in your living room. Audiophiles will love this turntable as well for that reason, although they may find the tempo switch feature unnecessary as the PLX-1000 is more for DJing than listening to records.
3. Numark PT01 Scratch
The best budget USB DJ turntable
Numark has been a top manufacturer of amazing DJ gear for the past several years and they have some fantastic modular pieces of gear for DJs who prefer a modular setup rather than an all-in-one DJ controller. The PT01 Scratch is the first model that starts a new era of portable DJ turntables, and it’s also a very cheap DJ turntable.
With the PT01 Scratch, you can use a scratch record and perform any scratch routine typical of a turntablist with or without a power cord. That means it’s absolutely perfect for DJs who like to travel, whether it’s overseas or just to the park for the afternoon.
Getting into the features of the Scratch, it has an Adjustable Scratch Switch which allows you to scratch in the exact position you want by being repositionable around the platter, and it’s replaceable if you need a new one. The PT01 Scratch allows you to connect your phone or another audio source to it through a 1/8 stereo input and scratch with the beat.
There’s a built-in speaker, and you can also connect it to other modular gear through the RCA outputs or use the headphone output. You can also record your vinyl digitally through USB to your computer, which is handy for producers who want to sample records fast and efficiently.
The PT01 Scratch can be plugged into a wall with an AC adapter but it also runs on batteries. As for the design, it’s a plastic enclosure strong enough to protect it from small bumps and knocks, and it has a handle for easy transport.
|Image credit: Numark Check Amazon||
The Numark PT01 Scratch is the perfect cheap solution for DJs if they want a lot of portability or versatility. The Scratch was made for traveling with, and its features really show that. However, its features also will appeal to music producers who want to sample vinyl in their songs.
If you’re a beginner DJ and want something that blends the analog and digital world of turntables, the Scratch gives you a good balance with its digital capabilities. I very highly recommend it.
4. Denon DJ VL12 Prime
The most versatile DJ turntable for scratching
Denon DJ is yet another top manufacturer of DJ controllers and other gear, however, Denon DJ seems to add a bit more emphasis on lighting elements being incorporated into their audio gear. One such example of this is the VL12 Prime.
The VL12 Prime is a professional-level direct drive turntable with a true quartz lock and sets the bar as one of the most technologically advanced turntables of today. The VL12 is great for use in any loud, bass-heavy environment like clubs or parties and it feels great to perform with.
The VL12 Prime features a customizable light ring around the platter to light up your performances and make them more fun. You can adjust the brightness, change the colors, and also turn it off if you so desire. The platter has a grip and brake, and it’s got a more transitional beveled edge shape, so you have even more control of making the finest adjustments to your vinyl mix.
The VL12 Prime has a torque, so high that it’s considered the highest in the DJing industry, so your experience mixing with the Prime is always accurate and easy no matter what. A cool thing about the VL12 is that the torque is also adjustable if you want to change it to meet your exact preferences.
As for other hardware, the VL12 has an innovative isolated motor that optimizes the signal to noise ratio. It also has rubber feet to help absorb shock and rumble from bass and other vibrations. Finally, the tone arm is S-shaped to make it ultra-accurate and it also has a dual function support. A pitch fader is also present on the model. Overall, the VL12 Prime feels really great to use and it’s super flexible.
|Image credit: Denon Check Amazon||
The Denon DJ VL12 Prime is easily one of the best value turntables for the money. You get a high-tech model with some fun lighting features. I would say that this is one of the best turntables for scratching because of the transitional edge on the platter, so if you do lots of scratching or make fine adjustments it’s a good one for you.
5. Reloop RP-7000 Mk2
Great turntable for the touring DJ
Reloop is yet another popular brand of DJ gear and they’ve come out with quite a few more non-traditional DJ controllers as well as MIDI controllers that are definitely worth checking out along with their more traditional gear like all-in-one controllers and turntables. Speaking of turntables, the RP-7000 Mk2 is a very suitable turntable for beginners who are new to the DJ world as well as touring DJs who treat their gear roughly during performances.
The RP-7000 Mk2 has an extra-heavy metal body to deliver isolation in the booth, prevent vibrations from shaking the turntable, and to protect the inner workings from getting beat up. It features a full-size die cast aluminum platter further prevents vibration and also helps decrease resonance. Rubber feet also further protect the turntable from vibration from bass heavy environments.
The RP-7000 Mk2 has a high torque quartz driven direct drive motor, but the torque is also adjustable to meet your preferences. The quartz driven motor has digital pitch correction to make up for wow and flutter as well as prevent it so much, so that you can barely even notice it.
The RP-7000 Mk2 has an S-shaped tonearm with a hydraulic lift and an anti-skating mechanism for ultra-accuracy and precision during performances. The tonearm is height adjustable as well as the vertical tracking angle. A digital fader control allows you to change the pitch (plus or minus 8, 16, and 50%), but you can also apply the quartz pitch lock to ensure that you have a stable pitch.
|Image credit: Reloop Check Amazon||
The Reloop RP-7000 Mk2 is a definite top contender among the best DJ turntables in 2020. Many people say the RP-7000 Mk2 rivals a lot of the turntables made by Technics. The RP-7000 is a great choice regardless of whether you are a beginner DJ, a seasoned professional, or even an audiophile. If you like to travel with your turntable the RP-7000 Mk2 is one of the better choices for traveling with due to its rugged construction.
6. Numark NTX1000
Durability and versatility plus value
Numark has some surprisingly affordable pieces of DJ gear for the many features they often come loaded with. The NXT1000 is a turntable that fully shows that value and versatility. For everyone from old-school record scratchers to modern DJs, the NXT1000 has everything you’ll need for a fun and successful DJ session, performance, or jam.
The NXT1000 combines a lot of the features of the aforementioned turntables but in a more affordable package with just as much durability, if not more.
The NXT1000 features a high start-up torque, an S-shaped tonearm that is adjustable in height, damped cueing, and anti-skate controls for making sure that tracking is accurate and selecting songs is easy and precise at the same time. An adjustable start and stop control is on the unit for further customization and creativity during performances, as well as a pitch control that varies between plus and minus 8, 16, and 50%. There is also a pitch reset button to snap it back to 0 in the blink of an eye.
The unit itself is extremely durable and is made of metal. It has a special isolation design that resists feedback and vibrations in bass heavy environments like clubs and concerts. Scratching on it feels really nice, and the start and stop features for time ramping is a handy feature. The NXT1000 has a 2 speed design, 33 1/3 and 45 RPM, and a 45 RPM adapter is included in the packaging if you buy from a trusted seller.
|Image credit: Numark Check Amazon||
For an entry-level DJ turntable, the Numark NXT1000 is a perfect choice for beginner DJs. It’s also a very affordable model, so if you’re just wanting to save money, the NXT1000 will be plenty for you as it shares so many of its features with much higher-end turntable models.
If you’re a DJ, you’ll find that it’s perfect for performing with, especially if the music is loud. Audiophiles may enjoy one of these for casual vinyl listening but may find many of the features unnecessary. Nevertheless, it’s a perfect affordable turntable model for newcomers to the DJ world to start out on.
7. Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USBXP
A favorite among both audiophiles and DJs
Audio-Technica is known for being an amazing manufacturer when it comes to things like headphones, microphones, and other audio gear you might find in the studio, but you might be surprised to find that they have some nice DJ gear too.
The AT-LP1240-USBXP is a direct-drive professional turntable from Audio-Technica. It is both compatible with USB and analog connections to blend the analog and digital world. The AT-LP1240-USBXP is great for use in the club, with mobile devices, and on tour, but it can also be used to play your records at home. It has a USB connection for if you want to convert your analog audio (the vinyl) to digital (in your iTunes library on your computer, etc).
The AT-LP1240-USBXP features a high torque direct-drive motor for a quick startup and stable rotation, easy back cueing, and quiet operation at all of the various RPM speeds (33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM). There is an S-shaped tonearm with both adjustable tracking force and anti-skate adjustment. You actually get the phono cartridge for the turntable in the package which is something that I’ve not seen too much of.
Other features that DJs will love include a damped platter with speed markings and a slip mat, an illuminated speed marker, and adjustable pitch controls. There are also start and stop buttons, a stylus target light (and it’s removable), and a locking tonearm rest for safety during transport. Scratching on the AT-LP1240-USBXP feels very natural and it has a good amount of flexibility. The lights are very helpful and make it a bit more fun, similarly to the Denon DJ VL12 Prime.
|Image credit: Audio-Technica Check Amazon||
The Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USBXP should cost way more than what it does. It is a quality professional DJ turntable that everyone will enjoy. The sound quality and ease of use are both great. I highly recommend it as a good all-around turntable that has digital capabilities. The AT-LP1240-USBXP seems to be a big favorite among audiophiles who enjoy casual listening, not just DJs, so it has a large amount of flexibility as well as accuracy.
8. Roland TT-99
A blast from the past
If you’re a music producer turned DJ, you’re probably familiar with the Roland TR-909 rhythm composer. The Roland TT-99 909 Special Edition is a turntable that gives you a retro blast from the past with the same color scheme and similar design as the famous Roland TR-909.
The TT-99 909 is a high-torque direct-drive turntable for maximum stable rotation and spinning. It features 3 different rotation speeds (33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM), a built-in phono amp that sounds amazing, and includes a special edition 909 slip mat to go with the other graphics. It comes with a dust cover that you can either keep on with hinges or you can take it on and off the top when the turntable is in use.
The full size platter is made from die cast aluminum and feels great to spin and scratch on thanks to the combination of that and the high torque drive. The direct-drive motor is very quiet and happens to be so stable that there is only 0.15% or less of wow and flutter out of this thing, which is an indistinguishable amount. The tonearm is S-shaped and has an anti-skating mechanism.
The pitch fader allows for a range of plus or minus 0 to 10% which isn’t as much as other turntables but it’s still something, however there is no pitch reset button. The TT-99 909 is really an old-fashioned type of turntable, not only in its graphics but in its features as well. However, the built-in phono equalizer is a big bonus, with the ability to cut out the low-end at 50 Hz or 60 Hz at either 33 1/3 or 45 RPM. It cleans up the signal really well, especially on old, classic vinyl records that could stand to be remastered.
|Image credit: Roland Check Amazon||
The Roland TT-99 909 Special Edition turntable is a unit that retro fans, music producers, or older DJs will love. If you like more old-fashioned style turntables without all the flashy technological features, this is the turntable for you. Since it is designed to look more retro, it isn’t lacking in sound quality in any way and carries an accurate sound in combination with the phono equalizer.
9. Stanton STR8.150 M2
Straight arm, skip-proof tonearm turntable
Stanton is an older turntable company that has stayed with more analog features rather than digital when coming out with new gear, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have quality products. The Stanton STR8.150 M2 is a technology-filled, reimagined version of the first STR8.150, which is a straight arm, skip-proof tonearm turntable model.
The STR8.150 M2 is built with the finest materials and features durable, feedback resistant construction, some of the best and highest torque direct drives in the industry, and a super stable platter and straight, skip-proof tonearm with adjustable height. The platter is damped for more precise skipping and song selection, and a brake is featured with adjustable speed. The brake is electronic. A pitch fader allows you to go up or down 8, 25, and 50% in pitch.
The STR8.150 M2 has 3 different speeds, 33 1/3, 45 (and comes with a 45 adapter), and 78 RPM, but it also can play records in reverse which is not something many turntables can do. A removable target light is featured and the unit also has feet that help to absorb shock and vibration in environments that are bass heavy, making the STR8.150 Mk2 perfect for dark and/or loud club environments.
The controls on it are very minimal and in result seem to be a little hard to grasp with your fingers but it also makes it look very sleek at the same time. With the STR8.150 M2 you get both phono and RCA outputs, so you can connect it to other modules or speakers and headphones or other devices. Take note that the STR8.150 M2 is needed for Serato and Traktor Scratch users.
|Image credit: Stanton Check Amazon||
The Stanton STR8.150 M2 is a prime turntable for beginner to professional DJs who enjoy sampling tracks and mixing vinyl, this will be perfect for you. It’s powerful, flexible, and packed with useful features for the modern DJ to utilize max creativity. You’ll have a product that will last you the next 20 years with the STR8.150 M2. Personally, this is the turntable that I’d choose if I had a modular rig for DJing.
10. Rane Twelve
Hi-tech digital turntable of the future
Saving one of the best for last, Rane has come out with the Twelve, a digital turntable. The Twelve is the first motorized digital turntable that also doubles as a Serato DJ controller. The Twelve is built super solidly, it’s super durable thanks to steel casing and an aluminum platter.
Because the Twelve is digital, it eliminates the risk of the tonearm or needle getting damaged as well as gets rid of unwanted audio feedback, so that you can have sub frequencies in your mixes without your vinyl skipping. The platter has precise resolution for easy transitions during performances and its layout makes it feel very natural to any DJ who has played on a turntable before.
Eight hot cues and track searching capability are featured on the Twelve with buttonless touch controls for a very fluid experience, making it super easy to change things up during a performance without messing up. While it’s digital, it has a quartz direct drive with a pretty high torque and an electronic braking system. It can also connect to a computer for vinyl ripping via USB.
The Rane Twelve has 3 speeds (the standard 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM) and a pitch fader has the options of 8%, 16%, and 50% plus or minus. There are four separate decks of control, a MIDI interface, and a control disc that’s resistant to warping.
If you want to scratch and spin records effortlessly and have fun doing it with more flexibility than you could ever imagine, the Twelve will help you achieve that with its double function as a controller for Serato DJ. That means that if you only have the turntable or if you also have it connected to an all-in-one controller or something else, you can use the MIDI interface to control Serato DJ while you’re mixing and keep adding layers. This thing really opens up a big door to creativity.
|Image credit: Rane Check Amazon||
The Rane Twelve is a superb digital turntable for any DJ of any skill level. I highly recommend it because it’s fun, easy to use, and has a double function. This DJ turntable would fit nicely in a music studio and in a DJ booth.
Guide on turntables: general info and buying tips
This guide will give you a rundown on turntables, their parts, various terminology you’ll need to know in order to understand the DJ gear, and more. Keep reading to find out!
The main parts of a turntable
This isn’t an exhaustive list of the parts of a turntable, but in this article I mention many of the following parts:
- Platter: the metal surface that you put the slipmat and record on.
- Slipmat: a slippery felt mat that goes between the record and the metal platter to allow the DJ to manipulate the record while the platter keeps spinning.
- Speed buttons: the speed buttons allow you to change the speed at which the record spins (33 ⅓, 45, and 78 RPM).
- Pitch fader: controls the pitch, most often by plus and minus 0%, 8%, 16%, and 50%, but sometimes 25%.
- Pitch reset button: the button that snaps (and sometimes locks, in some models) the pitch back to 0%.
- Tonearm: the arm that holds the needle that plays the record.
Buying: 3 main points to remember
These are the three main things that you need to keep in mind when looking for a new turntable:
- Look for turntables with direct drives, NOT belt drives. Belt drives are hard to scratch and cue on, feel spongy, and are just awful, not the experience you want.
- High torque is good. The higher the torque, the more power the motor produces, and therefore the turntable operates better. Better operation can be broken down into things like quicker start up times and more resistance from the motor when it meets your hand.
- The weight of the turntable is important. Turntables are very prone to rumble and vibration from bass and low end frequencies in loud club and party environments. Vibration causes skipping, sometimes bass feedback, worse sound quality, and more. Heavier turntables are less prone to this vibration, especially ones with rubber feet or a rubber bottom pad.
To sum that up, you WANT:
- Direct drive: provides stable and accurate platter rotation.
- High torque: outputs a lot of power, causing the turntable to be fully operational.
- Heavy weight: less prone to vibration and rumble from bass.
You DON’T want:
- Belt drive: difficult to scratch and cue on, overall a bad experience.
- Low torque: does not provide enough power for the turntable to be used at max efficiency.
- Low weight: much more prone to vibration and rumble from bass, causing the record to skip.
Establishing what you want
Many DJs want the same thing, but many also have their preferences. The features you get depend on what you want to use the turntable for and with. Many DJs are satisfied with something simple or old-fashioned, like the Roland TR-99 909 Special Edition turntable, but others want something like the Rane Twelve digital turntable.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help determine what you want out of your future turntable:
- Will I be performing with this turntable or will I be DJing as a hobby for fun?
- Will I want to sample vinyl and rip it onto a computer?
- Do I want something portable or something more stationary?
- Do I care about lighting elements?
- Is USB connectivity important to me?
- Do I want something hi tech or something more traditional or retro?
The real deciding factor: money
DJ turntables are a bit more expensive than you might think such a retro piece of DJ gear is at this point in time with so much technology around us.
For an entry-level DJ turntable you’re looking at anywhere between $150 and $400.
For a mid-level DJ turntable it can be anywhere from $400 to $800.
For an advanced or professional-level DJ turntable it can run you $800 or more depending on its features.
Your budget will establish how limited your selection of DJ turntables is before you even begin your search. If you want something with features that would be on a $1000 digital turntable but you only have a budget for a portable turntable, then you’re out of luck. The only other thing you can do is get a model that combines the best of both worlds as well as it can.
How to further narrow down your selection
Once you have answers to these questions, you can start to narrow down the list of turntables that meet the criteria you need. A great way to do this is by going to a music store or audio store and trying out some of the turntables there if they have a model you like.
If you can’t get to one in person, you can at the very least watch a bunch of YouTube tutorials and demos to make sure you understand the ins and outs of the turntable before you consider buying it. The more prepared you are and the more you know about the products, the better the chances are that you’ll end up with a turntable that you absolutely love. Knowledge really is power.
I suggest starting with a top 10 list. Whether that list is composed of models you’ve only seen online or some that you can demo in person, make a list of ones that really look cool to you. Personally, if it doesn’t catch my eye and make me excited about music, I don’t typically look at it. Don’t be this way – don’t neglect looking at features to focus on the appearance of the turntable. A really good turntable doesn’t always have the flashiest lights or newest features.
During and after trying as many of those top 10 turntables out and researching the ones you couldn’t demo, make a short pros and cons list for every model. After that, go through and take a few models off the list (the ones that least meet your DJ turntable requirements). Continue to add more pros and cons to each of the remaining turntables on the list and remove the ones that fall short. In the end you’ll have a couple of super solid choices to really examine and even potentially buy.
Turntables vs. all-in-one controllers
If you’re a beginner you might be wondering what the difference is between a turntable and an all-in-one controller. Really the only difference is that an all-in-one controller has 2 turntables and a mixer and usually some pads. Standalone turntables are just that – standalone, usually meant for an old-fashioned modular setup, or to be an extension of a rig with an all-in-one controller or other larger scale controllers.
Can I get two turntables and a mixer and use them together instead of an all-in-one controller?
Yes. You might have a bit of limited functionality here and there, such as no ability to access a song library on the fly, employ hot cues, perform using performance pads, and no screen for monitoring track information. However, if you’re used to an analog modular setup or if you’re easily overwhelmed or confused by technology, you’ll feel comfortable with a DJ rig set up this way as opposed to using an all-in-one controller with LCD screens and built-in libraries.
Also take note that setting up a rig like this can be a hassle to transport if you don’t have it set up on a board or in a big case like guitarists do with effects pedals.
DJ turntables are a great modular piece of gear and a smart choice to add to your DJing setup if you don’t already have one. These DJ turntable reviews and the guide here on turntables should be enough to get you started if you’re a beginner, but there is also plenty of information here that anyone can find useful no matter their skill level. Be sure to check back for more articles on DJ gear in the near future!
Jordan is a music producer, content creator, writer, and session musician. He has been producing music and engineering live performances for over 7 years. He is an experienced guitarist and enjoys listening to and playing many different genres of music.