Vinyl culture can be overwhelming and confusing at the same time. The confusion begins with turntables vs record players and ends with people thinking they are the same. There is absolutely no truth in people saying they are the same instruments. Since both these terms are often used interchangeably, you might wonder which is a better investment to make. Well, there is a significant difference between a turntable and a record player.
Turntables vs record players
A turntable is simply a part of a record player. This is the basic definition of a turntable. A turntable is part of a record player that holds the record and spins it. A turntable is a stand-alone unit that can be purchased; it does not come with an integrated amplifier or built-in speakers. These are sold separately and can later be paired up with the turntable vs record players. The advantage of a turntable over a record player is that it has endless customization options and most enthusiasts prefer to use turntables to tune it according to their preferences.
A record player, on the other hand, is an audio setup that has paired in-built speakers along with an amplifier and a turntable. A record player can play many more audio formats like mp3, cd, and radio. It is more elaborate and heavier than a turntable. The size of a record player is larger and thus makes it inconvenient and unportable. However, the main advantage of a record player over turntables vs record player is that it does not need any external components, it can simply be plugged in, and music can be played. People who are not so concerned with sound quality and only want aesthetics usually prefer a record player.
A record player is expensive as compared to turntable vs record players for obvious reasons. Since the components are in-built, they are of low quality whereas, in the case of a turntable, you buy the external components and have the freedom to choose. Nevertheless, it cannot be concluded that a turntable is better than a record player as both of them have different target audiences.
This introduction must give you an idea of which is better for you. It is up to you to decide which one will fulfill your demands and offer a better listening experience.
Best record players and turntables
Since vinyl is back and it seems like it will stay in the market for quite some time, many record players and turntables have been made by top brands to offer you an exceptional listening experience.
Some of the top picks for record players are,
- REGA Planar 3/elys 2
- Pro-Ject Primary E
- Sony PS-HX500
- Pro-Ject Juke Box E, and
- Sony PS-LX3100BT
The above list includes the best-in-class record players available in the market and is worth your money.
Some of the top picks for turntables are,
- Pro-Ject Carbon Evo
- Audio-Technica AT-LP120XBT-USB
- Fluance RT81
- Denon DP-300F, and
- Marantz TT-15S1
Record player turntable amplifier
A turntable does not come with a built-in amplifier and should thus be connected to an amplifier as the output signal is not strong enough to drive speakers. Although, if you have a record player with you, you already have a built-in pre-amplifier or a preamp. You have to find a pair of speakers with a built-in amplifier and connect the two. This amplifier, which is in the speakers, is referred to as the power amplifier. While the preamp converts and corrects the signal picked up by the turntable and amplifies it, the power amplifier boosts the signal and fires up the speakers.
The best amplifiers that can be paired up with record players are,
- VPI Cliffwood
- Rega Fono
- Project Phono Box S2
- NAD 3020 V2
- Project Phono Box RS
Record player turntable bearing
Generally, the turntable bearings have thin section type and four-point contact ball bearings with holes in inner and outer rings to make the mounting process easier.
Nobody wants any disturbance while listening to recorded music. The turntable bearing was designed to make the turntable or record player function smoothly and without making any noise. It ensures silent and low-vibration movement of the turntable.
Record player turntable Bluetooth
The record players and turntable sales are at an all-time high; Maybe it is because of their aesthetics or their sound output quality. All the devices you use today have Bluetooth technology built-in that allows wireless transmission of data, sound, and many more things. The record player industry is not lagging behind either. Now, you do not have to fuss over the mess created by the wires used to connect record players and speakers, and amplifiers, you can simply pair up the record player with your Bluetooth speaker or earphones and enjoy the true sound quality of a record player without any hassle or trouble.
A list of the best Bluetooth-supported record players’ turntables is given below.
- Sony PS-LX310BT-USB
- Audio-Technica LP60XBT
- Cambridge Audio Alva Direct Drive turntable with Bluetooth
- Pro-Ject T1 BT
- Audio-Technica LP60X-BT
- Pro-Ject VT-E
The turntables vs record players debate have no conclusion and are completely your decision to invest in the one which you think will fulfill your requirements. Turntables and record players both have their pros and cons; it all depends on what is important for you and which disadvantages can be managed. People usually prefer record players as they offer a hassle-free experience but compromise on the sound quality as the in-built systems do not provide the actual and immersive sound like the turntables with specially designed and attached external components do. However, people with a serious love for music will always prefer turntables and customize them according to their needs and requirements. DJs too prefer turntables for the obvious reasons of customization and portability.
In the end, if you want to listen to some music, buy a record player but if you are somebody who wants the best audio experience, you ought to buy a turntable.
What’s the difference between a record player and a turntable?
The basic difference between a turntable and a record player is that a turntable is part of a record player. A turntable is simply a part of a record player. This is the basic definition of a turntable. A turntable is part of a record player that holds the record and spins it. A turntable is a stand-alone unit that can be purchased; it does not come with an integrated amplifier or built-in speakers. These are sold separately and can later be paired up with the turntable. The advantage of a turntable over a record player is that it has endless customization options and most enthusiasts prefer to use turntables to tune it according to their preferences.
A record player, on the other hand, is an audio setup that has paired in-built speakers along with an amplifier and a turntable. A record player can play many more audio formats like mp3, cd, and radio. It is more elaborate and heavier than a turntable. The size of a record player is larger and thus makes it inconvenient and unportable. However, the main advantage of a record player over a turntable is that it does not need any external components, it can be plugged in, and music can be played. People who are not so concerned with sound quality and only want aesthetics usually prefer a record player.
Is a record player and turntable the same thing?
People often confuse and think record players and turntables are the same pieces of equipment. They are not. A record player comprises a turntable while a turntable can be used as a standalone device. Record players offer a plug-and-play experience while a turntable must be paired or connected with external components like speakers and amplifiers. A record player has all the necessary components built in.
Can you use a record player as a turntable?
A record player is a different piece of equipment than a turntable. It comprises of a turntable within itself along with a preamp and speakers. A turntable, on the other hand, works independently and can be connected with a preamp, power amplifier, and speakers externally.
Is a record player worth it?
If you are somebody who wants to enjoy music and has a hassle-free experience then you should, without a doubt, buy a record player. But, if you want to have the best audio quality experience, you must buy a turntable. A record player comprises speakers and amplifiers within itself. Thus there is no need to put in extra effort in connecting other equipment.
Record players are so expensive these days. The premium models sure cost you more but they are worth your money. However, many brands offer good quality record players at an affordable price point. Record players and turntables are for music enthusiasts and they consider it as an investment. The exceptional sound quality and aesthetic looks are sure worth the money you pay.
Hi, I am William. I am a music enthusiast. I play the guitar and ukulele. I like to try out all instruments and review them, to help others make an informed decision. You must choose the right instrument to get that sweet sound you desire. When I am not on my instruments I will be found reading or cooking.