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Factors to be Considered When Choosing a DJ Turntable

Factors to be Considered When Choosing a DJ Turntable

Turntablists turned disc jockeys, or more popularly abbreviated as DJs, have dabbled in the art of manipulating different music to create new tunes since as early as the thirties. However, the sixties to seventies have ignited the use of it in popular culture making it a staple tool in every audiophile’s collection.

Unfortunately, that is hardly the scene anymore. With modern technology on the rise, turntables have become part of a ceasing culture. However, purists know that digitalization can never replace the authentic tunes scratch on a turntable and the thrill of making your tunes on the go is next to none.

You can also check out Best DJ Turntable in 2021


Buying Guide

There are several factors that you need to consider before you buy a turntable. Usually, one or two of these requirements are forgotten about and there remains a gap in owning the best turntable that money can buy. 

Then again, what factors need to be considered when choosing a DJ turntable? This article is a thorough guideline on exactly what to look for. Here are the most important aspects of a turntable. You must keep them in mind before you consider investing in a turntable.

1. Purpose

Purpose - Choosing a DJ Turntable

Before you make a permanent investment, you need to agree with yourself on exactly why you need a turntable. Maybe you want to learn how to make music using a turntable. Perhaps you are a professional looking for a suitable outlet. Either way, you need to make sure that you put the turntable to good use. And make sure to not leave it in a corner to collect dust. That would be such a shame in so many ways.

2. Budget

Budget - Choosing a DJ Turntable

Turntables come in a range of prices. Some are more on the budget-friendly spectrum while others are more on the high-end spectrum. What is the difference besides the varying price tags? The features that are packed in the turntables, of course. The ones that are more in the affordable range tend to lack a lot of features that you would generally find in a professional setup. However, some turntables are a good compromise on price and functionalities. These can be used professionally as well and is in fact, a top pick among many professional DJs. Research on the different turntable available in the market and compare the different specifications to find the optimum value.

Check out Best Cheap DJ Turntables in 2021 and Most Expensive DJ Turntable in 2021

3. Direct-Drive vs Belt-Drive

Direct-Drive vs Belt-Drive - Choosing a DJ Turntable

Two types of turntables are used by DJs, one being the direct-drive method and the other being the belt-driven method. Both the forms have unique uses where one trumps the other. The direct-drive turntable utilizes a rod hooked to a motor that holds the platter down. What this does is allow the platter to control the pitch more effectively. If you want to create sound effects where the record seems to spin backward, the direct-drive turntable is perfect for that.

The belt-drive turntable, on the other hand, suppresses any noise that may come from the motor and absorbs vibration effectively. This was the disturbance is kept off the actual framework of the audio and only true good tunes are expressed. At the end of the day, you need to figure out what suits your preferences and turntable needs the most. Consider the type of music you like to work with and check if each of these turntables meets the criteria more than the other.

Check out this: How Do You Know When To Change The Turntable Cartridge?

4. Preamp

Preamp - Choosing a DJ Turntable

Before we talk about which form of a preamp is the best bet for your turntable, you need to familiarize yourself with what a preamp does. 

Preamp, or better known as a phono preamp, is the component that is responsible for contributing to loud tunes that can be easily heard through any speaker. It augments the signals engendered by the needle on the turntable.

Some turntables come with a built-in phono preamp configuration while others leave you the option to add external phono preamp setups. For turntables that have a lack thereof, people usually get external preamp setups to bridge the gap.

Usually, a turntable with a pre-installed preamp is a convenient choice. They are more affordable overall and require no time spent on setting it up. However, turntables with additional preamp setups give you the bonus of exceptional sound quality. You can still get additional preamp configurations if you own one with built-in features already, but this will up the ante on the price tag which might compel you to reconsider your budget.

5. Automatic vs. Manual 

Automatic vs. Manual - Choosing a DJ Turntable

The tonearm on the turntable can be operated both automatically and manually. They come in different setups to suit individual preferences. The automatic setup controls the tonearm with just the push of a button and it resets it to the place it was last. 

Manual setup, on the contrary, compels you to turn the device on and off physically and place the tonearm by hand. Again, your preference plays a huge role here. Figure out what your preferences tell you and invest in a setup accordingly.


Turntables have a lot of versatility in terms of how they can be used to maneuver different forms of music. They also give you a lot more freedom to understand the music of the different form can take. Turntablism is an art not everyone is adept in but once you get your hands on how it works, you will never want to go back.

Look at all the different turntables that are available in the industry and try to find out which specifications suit your skillset best. If you are just starting, it is best not to invest in anything fancy. The reason is it is easier to learn on a unit that has fewer features than one that has thousands. 

We hope after reading the factors to be considered when choosing a DJ turntable, you can understand the nitty-gritty of turntables much better than what was in your understanding before.

You may want to read: Do DJs still use Turntables?

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