People who are searching for the best turntable under $2000 are called audiophiles for a reason. Namely, only people who won’t settle for less than perfect sound quality are willing to pay top dollar for record players as expensive as that. I’ve compiled a list of the best audiophile turntable models for you, and I hope you’ll like what you see.
What makes high-end turntables so expensive and good?
It goes without saying that some of the most expensive record player models are found in the high-end price point category, but what is it that makes them so good? As you’ll probably notice, there are both plain, old-school turntables, as well as modern digital models in this range, but there are more crucial details that differentiate them from mid-priced and budget models.
For starters, high-end turntables sound incomparably better. Each model is outfitted with a different, unique set of hardware responsible for their unparalleled performance. On top of that, you’ll find these turntables as more versatile when compared to your average record players.
They’re outfitted with a plethora of neat features, some of which are completely unique, others which are pretty common but perfect. The only thing you need to look out for is the value of each high-end turntable – how much are you willing to pay, and what can that record player offer in return? Without further ado, let’s jump to the reviews.
Best Audiophile Turntables for Under $2000 – Reviews
1. Technics SL1200MLK2
Let’s open up with Technics’ SL1200MLK2. Analog high-end record players are quite common, but those that promise quality are a rare find and a breath of fresh air. This is a direct-drive turntable which looks absolutely amazing – it has that feel of nostalgia looming about it.
First things first, you’re probably most interested in hearing about how this turntable sounds. Since it costs a fortune, you should expect quite a lot from it, but shouldn’t bat an eye in that regard – the SL1200MLK2 boasts a superbly clear, rich sound which might appear a bit bright at times due to the peculiar method of operation.
Secondly, it’s as durable as can be, and it’s sure to outlast at least a couple of owners. In fact, the chances are that your grandkids will be able to enjoy in it as well. Lastly, Technics’ SL1200MLK2 features an unmatched setup.
Every single control feels nice and expensive, not to mention that you won’t experience any lagging or feedback whatsoever. The vehement torque is just another feature which makes it unique, allowing incredibly fast start ups. If you’re looking for the best audiophile turntable, don’t miss out on SL1200MLK2.
- Looks old-school and retro
- Amazing durability
- High-quality direct drive operation
- Superb setup
- The slider could be better
- Weighs a ton
2. PRO-JECT RM-5.1 SE
Pro-Ject is a brand that’s pretty famous within audiophile circles, and their record players are frequently present on “best of” showcases throughout various categories (DJ, vinyl, all-in-one, etc). We’re looking at RM 5.1 SE turntable, one of the finest audiophile record players you could get for the buck.
First of all, it’s important to note that this turntable appears plain at first, but it comes outfitted with bleeding-edge technology – in fact, the Sumiko cartridge costs nearly half as much as the rest of the player when bought separately.
This record player features a beautiful Piano lacquer finish on the plinth and can spin your records at three selectable speeds – at 33, 45, and 78 rotations per minute. Even though it looks straightforward, it boasts a distinctive, exquisite sound characterized with richness and brightness. What’s more, it’s not even that expensive, and it holds a magnificent value for the cash.
- Plain and beautiful construction
- Three selectable speeds (33, 45, and 78 rotations per minute)
- The unique Sumiko Blue Point cartridge
- Superb value for the money
- Perhaps not the most versatile turntable out there
3. Akai Professional BT500
If you want an old-school looking turntable with a set of high-quality modern features, Akai’s Professional BT500 is absolutely perfect for you. Namely, this is one of those record players you’ll end up adoring as soon as you hear what it has to offer and you’ll know it’s love at first “sight”.
This record player comes with a marvellous walnut finish and is adorned with brushed aluminium settings, which help it excel in aesthetics like no other. Furthermore, the low-mass tonearm features an adjustable counterweight which provides pinpoint tracking accuracy.
There’s also a levelling bubble outfitted with a set of adjustable feet – the stability of your record player is imperative, and the crafty guys at Amiko devised a way to ensure it’s on the level at all times.
Lastly, the anti-resonance platter features die-cast aluminium materials as well as a non-slip mat made of rubber. The BT-500 is very durable, but it’s the sound it emits that lures people into falling in love with it.
Overall, it’s not too expensive, it’s pretty rugged, beautiful, and I can guarantee you’ll like how it sounds. I recommend trying it out even if you’re not a full-fledged audiophile, as you’re about to become one with it.
- Classy walnut finish, aluminium brushed control knobs
- Low-mass aluminium tone arm for pinpoint tracking accuracy
- Rugged, durable anti-resonance platter
- Adjustable feet and dust cover included
- Premium-quality full-spectrum sound
- The volume knobs are made of thin, flimsy plastic
4. Rega RP6 with RB303 Tonearm
First of all, Rega’s RP6 is a beautiful, magnificent-looking turntable which excels in virtually every single aspect of performance.
It sports an elegant high-gloss black finish, it was designed with reliability in mind, and its performance can easily outshine that of the majority of boutique-level record players. It’s outfitted with a hand-assembled RB303 tonearm, a low-vibration 24v motor, and 3D CAD tech which greatly complements the tonearm’s accuracy.
While it might be one of the most expensive turntables available on the market, it’s noiseless method of operation, the low-vibration motor, superior stability and impeccable accuracy will comply with your audiophile standards and taste, that’s guaranteed, to say the very least.
- Looks absolutely amazing
- Compact and stable
- Premium-quality tonearm
- Low-noise 24v motor
- No major flaws whatsoever, aside the fact that it costs an arm and a leg
5. Clearaudio Concept
Here we’re looking at a major audiophile turntable. Clearaudio’s ‘Concept’ is basically a belt-driven turntable outfitted with a powerful and decoupled DC motor which is integrated into the resontant optimized plinth. It looks superb, packs a small footprint, and it’s pretty safe to say that it’s as compact as it is portable.
What’s so special about this turntable is the fact that it’s platter is comprised of 30 millimetres of polyoxymethylene materials combined with thermoplastic components – in plain words, expect high-durability, low-friction performance.
The Concept can reproduce records at 3 speeds, including 33 rotations-per-minute, 45, and 78, all of which are selectable via the ESC (electronic-speed-control) knob. In truth, one shouldn’t expect less from German engineering.
- Timeless design
- Excels in aesthetics
- Highly durable POM platter
- Decoupled DC motor
- Premium sound at the expense of versatility
The fact that most regular turntables cost approximately $100 – $200 makes us wonder which is the best turntable under $2000 – can a piece of technology really be so good that it costs ten times more? Well, the answer is “yes” – you’ll be surprised, but high-end record players can’t even begin to compare with budget-level ones. I hope that you’ve enjoyed my list, and hope you’ll find what you are looking for.
Prices last updated on 2019-12-13 Source: Amazon - Turntable.guide is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.