Best DJ Turntables – Take Your Scratching Skills to the Next Level
Turntables are usually used for scratching purposes and also for mixing music. The turntable came into vogue in the early 70s. It is an important gear for any DJ setup.
Nowadays with the advent of technology even in the field of DJing, most of the DJ utilizes digital technology whether from Laptop or USB for its technological advantage through various DJ software.
However, some old school DJs still prefer turntables to control DJ software via DVS (Digital Vinyl) or to play records.
Before starting with the best DJ Turntables, we will have a brief introduction about some of the parts of a turntable –
This control is required to counter the inclination of the revolving record to pull the cartridge towards the middle of the platter. Anti-skating control also sets the anti-skating force.
The cartridge which is mentioned here fits into the end of the tonearm. The stylus is plugged into this tonearm. The vibrations from the stylus are converted into tiny electrical signals through a magnet in the cartridge.
These tiny electrical signals are then transmitted to the phono pre-amp for amplification inside a DJ mixer.
The right amount of pressure is required for the stylus and cartridge which is applied by the tonearm. To balance the tonearm the correct amount of counterweight is required on the tonearm.
DJs reverse the counterweight of the tonearm by adjusting it to be as heavy as possible and sometimes you can also see them put small weights like pennies on top of the cartridge to prevent skipping.
The correct amount of counterweight for the tonearm is two to three grams.
It enables one to lower or lift the stylus without having to touch it. DJs sometimes lift the tonearm with the arm of the headshell.
There is a small arm in the mount of the stylus and cartridge which will assist in lifting and placing the assembly wherever it is required. The headshell may or may not be a separate piece from the cartridge.
The needle vibrates when it grooves through the track in the vinyl. The needle picks up the sound from the record or vinyl and transmits the signal to the output.
With a Pitch adjuster, you can adjust the speed of the motor and with it the speed of the record which in turn changes the speed of the tempo.
Pitch Adjusted is essential for beat mixing. This can also speed up or slow down a tune which also increases or decreases the musical pitch. The percentage value of the pitch change can be viewed on the scale printed on the turntable body.
It is the revolving surface on the turntable on which the slipmat and the record or control vinyl are placed.
It sits between the record and the metal of the platter. It is a thin felt mat that also helps the record or vinyl from getting damaged with scratches from the metal of the platter.
Slipmats also help the DJs to control the record/vinyl with their fingers, which does not stop the platter from spinning below the slipmat.
It is a small pole on the turntable which goes through the hole in the center of the record when the record is placed on the turntable.
The needle and cartridge are mounted on one end of the tonearm, which is a hollow metal tube, and the counterweight is mounted on another end of the tonearm.
The tonearm helps the needle to track correctly in the groove by applying the right weight to the stylus and the cartridge.
Stylus picks up the sound from the record. It is a small diamond which is set up on one end of the tonearm. The stylus is lowered onto the record for playing the sound from the record.
The stylus is fixed to the cartridge and the needle vibrates when the needle tracks through the groove of the record.
9 Best DJ Turntables 2021 Review
|Audio Technica AT-LP1240||
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Best DJ Turntable Under $200
|Pioneer Pro DJ DDJ220 Controller||
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Best Budget DJ Turntable
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Best Professional DJ Turntable
|Pioneer DJ Direct Drive DJ Turntable (PLX 1000)||
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Best DJ Turntables for Beginners
|Pioneer DJ DJ Controller (DDJSB3)||
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Best DJ Turntable for Professional Use
|Pioneer DJ DDJ-SR2||
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Best DJ Turntable Set
|Hercules DJ Party Set: 2 Deck DJControl||
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DJ Turntable with the Best Look
|RANE DJ Twelve MKII||
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Best DJ Turntable for Scratching
|Numark PT01 Scratch||
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1.) Audio Technica AT-LP1240- Best Overall
The AT-LP1240 is a high-torque turntable having a multipole motor and direct drive which makes it extremely suitable for DJ use.
They are mainly designed for use in nightclubs, touring, and mobile applications.
Its professional anti-resonant, damped die-cast aluminum platter with a DJ-style slip mat minimizes the vibration and hence helps to create pure and clear sound without any distortions.
The playback controls of this turntable have a fully manual operation with start and brake control adjustments and give you an option to select between RPM speeds of 33/45/78. It also comes with variable pitch control.
This turntable has a balanced S-shaped tonearm with hydraulically damped lift control with anti-skate, lockable rest, and height-adjustment features.
The 1/2 inch mount universal headshell not only enhances the look but also makes this device robust.
Moreover, you can connect your AT-Lp1240 to your Mac or PC and can create digital files from the typical vinyl records. It also comes with software that is compatible with both Mac and PC.
It includes a built-in switchable phono pre-amplifier along with detachable RCA output cables. This turntable enables easier cueing in low light with the help of a removable stylus.
The stroboscopic platter consists of a speed indicator which will allow you to keep an eye on the speed and change it according to your needs.
Its supplied accessories include dual RCA output cable, two output adapter cables, a USB cable that enables you to use it with a variety of receivers, powered speakers, and A/V components.
Other included accessories that come with this turntable are a 44 RPM adapter, counterweight, slip mat, dust cover, etc.
AT-LP-1240 is our top recommendation. Its amazing features, dynamic sound, and sturdy build make it one of the best DJ Turntables available in the market.
- High quality with lots of features
- Compatible with any cartridge, not necessarily of Audio-Technica brand
- Internal pre-amp is switchable (external amp, stereo phono input, or stereo Aux/CD input can be used)
- The line output is a little low, only 150mV.
2.) Pioneer Pro DJ DDJ220 Controller – Best DJ Turntables Under $200
Pioneer Pro DJ DDJ200 is a lightweight and compact DJ controller that will help you learn to mix music efficiently.
This easy to use DJ Controller is a must for anyone who is new to the DJing world or develops DJing from a hobby into something more professional.
This DJ controller is compatible with most apps. It can be connected to a smartphone, tablet, PC/MAC and you are good to start mixing.
A number of apps and software including We-DJ,djay, edjing Mix, and rekordbox DJ are compatible with selected devices.
Note: You can use all the features in the We-DJ app for iPhone with this device that normally require in-app payments.
DJ controller is that via the streaming service available you can mix sounds such as GO+, Sound cloud, Deezer, Beatport, Link, and even Spotify depending upon the combination of your device and app.
This DJ controller supports the iPhone with its updated WeDJ app which will teach you about the hardware and operate the controller.
This app helps in evolving your mixing skill with its Pop-Hint features and Tutorials and will increase your dexterity for controlling DDJ 200’s knobs, buttons, and jog wheels and you will be mixing music in a jiffy.
The Transition FX feature in this iPhone WeDJ app enables a smooth transition between tracks making it sound professional and you can simply slide the crossfader to the other side to smoothly switch tunes choosing from the apps 11 effects.
This DJ controller is very convenient due to its lightweight and portability.
You can use the PC, Mac, Tablet, Smartphone audio output to play the sound giving the DJ the option of not having to carry the speakers. This controller can also be powered with its external battery.
The Phase sync feature of this DJ controller will analyze and align the position of two tracks efficiently. As a result, a natural sound is produced while switching between tunes.
The rekordbox DJ can be enabled by simply connecting the DDJ-200 to your PC or MAC.
The split output feature of this DJ controller allows you to listen to and cue the next track on your headphones while everybody else hears the master mixed sound through the speakers.
This can be done just by plugging in the split cables. Its performance can be controlled by 2 channels, 2 deck control, Pad FX, Transition FX, Hot Cues, and Manual Loops. It also has a USB B port.
Software System Requirements: For mac, it requires the updated version of macOS Mojave 10.14 or macOS High Sierra 10.1 or macOS Sierra 10.12. For Windows, it is compatible with 7,8.1 and 10 versions.
The DDJ-200 DJ Controller allows you to put your own twist while mixing and producing music at parties or events.
This turntable is the best if you are looking for one under $200. It is extremely versatile and its features are something that you wouldn’t want to miss up on that at such a low price. It is one of your top recommendations and definitely a value for money.
- Convenient size ensuring easy portability
- Great versatility
- Works very well with iPhone DJ app We-DJ
- Configuration is limited
3.) Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USBXP- Best Budget DJ Turntable
The AT-LP1240USBXP is a high-torque turntable having a multipole motor and direct drive which makes it extremely user-friendly for DJs.
They are designed for use in nightclubs, touring, and mobile applications.
The platter of this turntable is made up of anti-resonant, die-cast aluminum and has a diameter of 332mm.
It gives a rock-solid playback and helps to minimize the vibration and create pure and clear sound without any distortions.
The playback controls of this turntable are fully manual. As for the speed of the turntable, it gives you an option to select speed between 31-1/3 RPM, 45 RPM, or 78 RPM. It also comes with start and brake control adjustments.
The AT-LP1240-USBXP has a balanced S-shaped tonearm with a detachable headshell.
You can connect your AT-Lp1240-USB-XP to your Mac or PC and can create digital files from the typical vinyl records. Its USB output is compatible with both Mac and PC.
The other professional features that this turntable consists of include variable pitch control, Dual start/stop button, forward/reverse operation, and AT-XP5 DJ phono cartridge.
All these features together make this turntable a perfect choice for professional DJs.
Moreover, the built-in switchable phono pre-amplifier with detachable RCA output cables makes AT-LP1240-USBXP extremely compatible with DJ Mixers.
This turntable can be extensively used in any big or small events, parties, and clubs.
If you are looking for good quality, professional DJ turntable within an affordable price range then this will be one of the best options for you.
It has all the features that a DJ might look for in a good turntable and this turntable is something that you wouldn’t obviously want to miss upon.
- Reliable and durable
- Produces a great sound
- Compatible with cartridges and accessories other than Audio-Technica’s
- Might need an external pre-amp to boost up line output and CD output level
4.) Pioneer DJ Direct Drive DJ Turntable (PLX 1000)-Best Professional DJ Turntable
The Pioneer PLX-1000 is a turntable with a high-torque direct-drive system. It gives an excellent vibration damping and ultra-precise, high-grade audio playback.
It gives an excellent vibration damping and ultra-precise, high-quality playback.
Its high-torque direct-drive gives a starting torque of 4.5kg/cm and can reach 33-1/3 RPM in just 0.3seconds. It has a stable rotation and exceptional control.
This turntable with a heavy-mass, die-cast zinc chassis can prevent resonance and vibrations effectively and produces an exceptional sound.
The lower part is made up of resin and the base has a vibration-damping material.
The tonearms of this turntable are rubber-insulated that helps reduces the howling effects and the rubber and springs in the dampening parts of the insulator are capable of absorbing external vibrations.
Moreover, its multi-tempo control allows you to instantly pick up or slow down the track as per your requirement.
Its pro-graded plated RCA jacks ensure low impedance and amazing sound quality. It has flexible connectivity options with interchangeable power and audio cables.
The PLX-1000 comes with a turntable sheet, slip mat and sheet, and a dust cover. You can add any cartridge and stylus of your choice and combine it with any mixer and you are good to start mixing and producing music.
If you are a professional DJ and looking for a turntable that will be suitable for your big events and large parties, then this would be an obvious choice for you.
- Works with high precision
- Compatible with any good quality cartridge
- Works great for scratching purposes
- Build quality could have been better
5.) Pioneer DJ DJ Controller (DDJSB3)- Best DJ Turntables for Beginners
The Pioneer DDJSB3 has an intuitive layout and all the features that a DJ can ask for in a good quality DJ controller. It is one of the Best DJ setup for beginners.
The layout of this DJ Controller is made in a way that mimics professional gear.
The jog wheels, Performance Pads, play and cue buttons, independent Auto Loop Buttons, all the knobs, and faders are arranged in such a way that you find it extremely handy and easy to use.
The Pad Scratch feature allows adding scratch effects to cued and currently playing songs even without a turntable.
As the speed of the music already matches the BPM, you need not worry about matching the rhythms while creating and mixing music.
The FX Fade feature allows a smooth transition between tracks and can perfectly blend tracks even from clashing genres.
The DDJSB3 is made from premium materials and audio circuitry. Its robust built guarantees high durability and the aluminum jog wheel gives a professional feel.
The easy grab handles and lightweight design of this controller make it extremely portable and allow you to set it up anywhere with ease.
The jog wheels of this DJ Controller are large and compact and gives great scratch response and accuracy. The mic input circuit creates clear audio without any distortion to ensure a clear sound even at high input levels.
This DJ Controller comes with in-built Serato DJ Lite software. You can simply connect your personal PC/Mac via USB to the DJ Controller and start playing music.
It already has a Serato sound card onboard and hence there is no need for an external sound card. Once you become an expert with Serato DJ Lite you can go for a paid up-gradation to Serato DJ Pro.
This DJ Controller would the first choice of any beginner. If you want to learn and become a professional in mixing and scratching, then this would be our top suggestion for you.
- Loaded with features
- Light-weight and offers grip ridges for handling
- Large, low-latency jog wheels give great scratch response and accuracy.
- Comes with Serato DJ Lite and for upgrading to Serato DJ Pro, you need to pay
6.) Pioneer DJ DDJ-SR2- Best DJ Turntable for Professional Use
This 2-channel professional DJ Controller is extremely light-weight and can be carried around very easily. Its multi-color Performance Pads and spacious layout makes it one of its kind.
These multi-colored tactile Performance Pads control the hot cues, roll, and sample features.
The positive side of having colorful touchpads is once you hit any of the pads, the selected pad mode and playing status are indicated by the changing colors of the pad.
Apart from the colorful performance pads, this turntable also comes with a series of dedicated buttons that allow the user to control key-related functions in Serato DJ Pro.
You can easily change between Shift, Sync, and Reset keys without even changing the tempo.
The large, low latency jog wheels that come with this controller cum turntable gives a great scratch response and a brilliant accuracy to your music.
The Serato DJ Pro software that comes with this device gives an integral control over the controller with separate buttons for FX, and advanced features like slicer, Slip Mode, Hot Cue, and roll.
The plug and play control of this software allow you to simply connect your controller with your Mac or PC and you are good to start playing music.
Apart from the several control buttons that this controller consists of, the DDJ-SR2 has several other features.
The audio mixer feature uses trims, EQs, and channel faders to control audio from external turntables or media players.
When the controllers aren’t connected to a computer the trims and faders can be used for audio input from external sources.
The Dual Level Meter enables you to monitor the master out and channel levels at all times while using this controller.
Another exciting feature of this controller is its needle search feature. It provides a touch strip for fast searches and lets you jump to any part of a track with just a single touch.
The DDJ-SR2 is Serato DJ DVS ready. The Serato NoiseMap Control CD/vinyl included in the Serato DJ DVS Expansion Pack allows you to scratch with CDJs or analogs turntables easily.
The main DJ Software used in this controller is Serato Pitch ‘n Time DJ. Serato DJ Pro is also compatible with this device.
The software requirements include – For mac, it requires the updated version macOS Sierra 10.12 and the latest versions of OS X 10.11, 10.10. For Windows, it is compatible with 7,8.1 and 10 versions.
If you are looking for a DJ Controller that would be suitable for mixing and scratching at big parties or events, then this is a must-try for you guys.
With its high-quality features and great sound-producing capabilities, this is one of the most versatile DJ turntables available in the market.
- Extremely reliable and sturdy
- Colorful performance pads enhance look and make handling control easier
- Comes with built-in Serato Pitch ‘n Time DJ, also compatible with Serato DJ Pro
- Pitch faders are very small
7.) Hercules DJ Party Set: 2 Deck DJControl- Best DJ Turntable Set
Hercules DJ Controller Starlight:
This 2 deck DJ Controller is versatile and extremely easy to use. It has touch-sensitive jog wheels for scratching, navigating within tracks, and browsing through menus.
It also helps you to control your playback and play and pause your tracks.
It comes with built-in audio with a master output and headphone output and the backlighting underneath the base changes with the beat of the music.
The Hercules DJ Control Starlight has all the essential features that let you mix and scratch whenever and wherever you like.
The bass equalization and filter knobs of this turntable allow you to create a transition between tracks, apply sound effects, and even allows you to switch between controlling the bass EQ and filter.
The included Serato DJ Lite with this DJ turntable has all the features that a DJ looks for.
This software is extremely user friendly and even if you are a beginner without much prior knowledge in the fields of DJing, you can learn to mix and scratch with this Serato DJ Lite Software.
HDP DJ45 headphones:
These Best DJ Headphones are of extremely high quality and help you to isolate yourself from the other unwanted noises while mixing tracks. It helps you to prepare your music and mix them as you want without any outer disturbances.
LED Wrist Bands:
This DJ turntable set also has 5 beat-detecting LED wristbands. These fancy LED wristbands change their color along with the beat of the music and create an amazing visual effect and uplift the mood of the player or the DJ.
This one of the best DJ turntable set that you will come across in the market. The versatile turntable, high-quality headphones, and the fancy color-changing wrist bands make up a great combo together.
It is definitely one of our top recommendations.
- Can be easily connected to the PC and with the Serato DJ Lite software it is almost plug-n-play
- Great design and easy to carry
- Headphones are of great quality
- Platters used for scratching are small as compared to professional units
8.) Rane DJ Twelve MKII- DJ Turntable with the Best Look
Rane DJ Twelve MKII is a 12-inch black acrylic control disc with a motorized platter that has the capability to control four decks of playbacks.
It is one of the best DJ turntables for beginners.
It has the finest precision control and provides the ultimate modern spin to your digital DJ software and is compatible with all mainstream DJ applications.
This DJ turntable has a really classy look. It does not come with a typical tonearm or skipping needles.
It just has a zero error solid performance tool with a control disk and quick release adapter.
It has excellent control functions. The Dual mode touch strips are used for searching tracks and can trigger 8 hot cues. The platter speed of this turntable is 33-1/3 RPM and 45 RPM and 8/16/50% pitch with precise dual resolution detented slider.
This turntable has a high-torque motor of 5.0 km and it also enables you to adjust your torque depending upon the type of setup you are using.
You can easily connect your Twelve MKII to Seventy two MKII or on your PC or Mac with the help of a USB cable.
If you are looking for a sleek yet sturdy turntable, then nothing can beat the Rane Twelve MKII. Apart from its looks, its excellent features and dynamic sound mixing and scratching qualities makes it one of the best DJ turntables available in the market.
- Compatible with all DJ applications
- Great connectivity
- The solid steel construction makes it sturdy
- Control features could have been better
9.) Numark PT01 Scratch- Best DJ Turntable for Scratching
The Numark PT01 Scratch DJ turntable has every feature that a DJ might look for in a good professional DJ turntable.
It is ultra-portable with platter speeds of 33-1/3, 45, and 78 RPM is powered by batteries or DJ adapters.
You can set up your turntable anywhere and start scratching.
It is extremely robust and reliable and moreover, the built-in adjustable user-replaceable Scratch Slide Switch which is available only in Numark turntables accommodates both right-handed and left-handed turntablists.
This turntable has a built-in speaker which produces a rich dynamic sound. yet if you want louder sound, you can always connect it to an external speaker via the RCA outputs.
You can connect your turntable to your Mac or PC easily for creating digital files and also for easy control. This turntable provides you with great control options and flexible connectivity.
It comes with a hard case cover for easy portability and its size is convenient that you can carry it in your bag.
This is one of the best DJ turntables for scratching. With its great built, versatile features, and small size, the Numark PT01 Scratch is one of the best DJ turntables available in the market.
In the above product description, we have given a very brief about how each of these turntables works and why we picked them up as our top recommendations. For more details on the above-mentioned products.
- Runs on batteries, hence allow you to work from anywhere
- Small size, can be carried easily
- Scratch Switch feature makes it comfortable for both right-handed and left-handed DJs
- Connectivity options could have been better but what it has is adequate
Factors that you should be kept in mind while buying a turntable-
Torque is the measure of force that causes an object to rotate about an axis. In turntables, the higher the torque, the more power the motor will discharge.
If you purchase a turntable with higher torque, the motor will give more resistance when you try to slow down the turntable by hand, and also higher torque will lead to quicker startups both of which are beneficial to a DJ.
The Turntable which you want to purchase should have a minimum torque of 1.5kg/cm.
The weight of the turntable is also a big factor. The heavier the turntable will give you lesser vibrations.
One of the biggest disadvantages of a lightweight turntable is vibrations which will create various problems like horrible back feedback from the speakers will lead to vibration in the turntable and also vibrate the stylus, skipping of tracks, and also distorting the quality of sound.
A well built sturdy turntable is required to avoid the problems created by vibrations.
Belt drive turntable is hard to cue and scratch on and they have a spongy feeling when compared with direct drive.
Beginners can opt for belt drive to educate themselves as they will find it a lot easier when they upgrade to direct drive. However, it is suggested to avoid belt drive turntables at all costs and opt only for direct drive.
Compatibility with software:
You should make sure that your turntable is compatible with both PC and Mac. This will allow you to convert your music files from typical vinyl records into digital files.
Also, make sure that you have proper compatible DJ software with your DJ turntables and mixer.
The turntable is integral equipment of DJing. Though most of the modern DJs shift to digital technologies, yet the old school turntable has its own charm.
While hunting for a turntable that will suit you the best, you will come across several options. But here, we have picked up a few of the Best Turntable Under 500 for you which have high-quality features and all the factors that any DJ looks for in a good turntable.
Hope this article helps you find the best one for yourself and you find this helpful and these DJ turntables for sale.