The 7 Best DJ Turntables (2024)

Music Production

The 7 Best DJ Turntables (1)

By Barry Peaco*ck

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The 7 Best DJ Turntables (2)
  • Premium pick Technics SL1200 MK7See On AmazonBrandTechnicsDriveDirectSpeeds (RPM)33 1/3, 45, and 78 rpm
  • Editors choice Pioneer DJ PLX-1000See On AmazonBrandPioneerDriveDirectSpeeds (RPM)33 1/3 and 45 RPM
  • Best value Pioneer DJ PLX-500See On AmazonBrandPioneerDriveDirectSpeeds (RPM)33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM
  • Reloop RP-7000 MK2See On AmazonBrandReloopDriveDirectSpeeds (RPM)33 1/3, 45, and 78
  • Reloop 8000 MK2See On AmazonBrandReloopDriveDirectSpeeds (RPM)33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM

Summary List

  • 9.80/101.Premium pick: Technics SL1200 MK7
  • 9.00/102.Editors choice: Pioneer DJ PLX-1000
  • 9.20/103.Best value: Pioneer DJ PLX-500
  • 9.80/104. Reloop RP-7000 MK2
  • 8.80/105. Reloop 8000 MK2
  • 9.40/106. Audio-Technica AT-LP140XP
  • 9.60/107. Rane DJ Twelve MK2

With so much focus on the digital side of DJing, it’s easy to forget that the basics are still essential. The fundamental source of great mixing starts with two turntables. Beat-matching, scratching, blending, and all the other skills required to call yourself a DJ begin there. Coupled with a vinyl comeback that is in full swing, DJ turntables are critical to anyone with aspirations of ruling the dancefloor.

However, nowadays, DJs often mix vinyl records on a turntable with tracks on CDJs or laptops instead of the two wheels of steel. So, it doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or a battle-mixing legend, a traditionalist or a digital junkie; whether you play house, disco, or hip-hop, you really need to own a pair, or even just one.

Let’s take a look at the best DJ turntables currently available.

Premium pick

1. Technics SL1200 MK7

9.80 / 10

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Panasonic announced in the fall of 2010 that they would discontinue the Technics SL1200 range of record decks. This shock left DJs all over the world dismayed and wondering which inferior model would attempt to replace it.

None did, and, thankfully, in 2016, the electronic giant announced that it would resume production of the go-to professional DJ turntable. Today we have the MK7 model, which remains the worldwide industry standard.

The SL1200 is still the sturdiest and most reliable DJ turntable on the market; with care and attention, you will pretty much have a deck for life. This beast is undoubtedly a great example of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

The MK7 has a similar feel and look to previous iterations. At 21 pounds, it remains as solid as ever and will absorb all those unwanted vibrations. Furthermore, with a 2.2 kg/cm running torque, it’s an excellent choice for professional DJs and turntablists.

However, it doesn’t come cheap, especially if you desire two of them. On the other hand, Technics turntables tend to maintain their value.

Key Features

  • Detachable cables
  • LED light on stylus
  • Reverse play

Specifications

  • Brand: Technics
  • Drive: Direct
  • Speeds (RPM): 33 1/3, 45, and 78 rpm
  • Connections: 1 x phono (RCA), 1 x ground screw terminal

Pros

  • Traditional design
  • Heavy and sturdy
  • Maintains value

Cons

  • Expensive

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Technics SL1200 MK7

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Editors choice

2. Pioneer DJ PLX-1000

9.00 / 10

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When Panasonic did discontinue the Technics 1200 series, there wasn’t much hope of a suitable replacement coming onto the market. However, one company that did almost emulate it was Pioneer with its Pioneer DJ brand.

If you are looking for a deck that (almost) matches the 1200, the Pioneer DJ PLX-1000 is a fantastic choice. At 32 pounds, it is even heavier; some might say it is every bit as sturdy and reliable. The die-cast zinc chassis absorbs all those unwanted vibrations and keeps all basslines sounding phat.

With a broader pitch adjustment range (up to +/- 50 percent) and a starting torque up to 4.5 kg/cm, it could even be a better choice for scratch masters and turntablist wannabes. However, if you’re looking to make some epic beat-matched mixes of progressive house or minimal techno, for example, perhaps the Technics is a more reliable choice.

These decks are also a little cheaper than the 1200s, which is great for those looking to save a few bucks. However, the 1200s will likely hold their value better if reselling is something you might consider.

Key Features

  • Removable cables
  • Replaceable power cord
  • Silent start/stop button

Specifications

  • Brand: Pioneer
  • Drive: Direct
  • Speeds (RPM): 33 1/3 and 45 RPM
  • Connections: 1 x analog RCA

Pros

  • Heavy and sturdy
  • Excellent starting torque
  • Cheaper than Technics SL-1200s

Cons

  • Basic features

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The 7 Best DJ Turntables (17)

Pioneer DJ PLX-1000

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Best value

3. Pioneer DJ PLX-500

9.20 / 10

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This turntable is a great entry-level choice and comes with a much more economical price tag than the PLX-1000 or the Technics SL1200. The motor may not be as powerful as its bigger brothers, but this deck will suit everyone up to the most experienced battle mixers. They will want the most powerful decks they can get. Anyone else can learn the trade on these beauties and save a few bucks.

The pitch range does only reach +/- eight percent. However, this shouldn’t represent a problem for most entry-level DJs. Weight-wise, they are another excellent example of very stable turntables, sitting at almost 24 pounds.

Another feature that may be of interest to some buyers is the integrated sound card. You can connect the turntable to your laptop and make digital recordings of all your records using the rekordbox software.

On the downside, the tone arm seems a little flimsy, and the starting torque is steady but not good enough for all DJing styles. Once more, serious battle mixers should probably look elsewhere. However, these decks are great for epic dancefloor mixing and blending.

Key Features

  • Integrated sound card
  • Dust cover
  • Decent torque for the price

Specifications

  • Brand: Pioneer
  • Drive: Direct
  • Speeds (RPM): 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM
  • Connections: 1 x phono/line (RCA), 1 x USB B

Pros

  • Excellent value
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Good choice for dance music DJs
  • Good isolation

Cons

  • Slightly flimsy tonearm
  • Not ideal for battle mixers/scratching

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The 7 Best DJ Turntables (22)

Pioneer DJ PLX-500

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4. Reloop RP-7000 MK2

9.80 / 10

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Another brand causing a stir in the world of DJing is Reloop. Of course, any DJ turntable gets compared to the revered Technics 1200, and the Reloop RP-7000 MK2 is no different. Many professional DJs agree that if you close your eyes while playing this deck, you could easily believe you were mixing on a 1200.

First of all, it’s a beautiful deck and exceptionally well-built. It has an adjustable starting torque range from 2.8 to 4.5 kg/cm, more than enough for accomplished battle mixers. The pitch range reaches +/- 50 percent, so you can experiment with playing some tracks at unusual speeds. It’s also a good weight at almost 26 pounds, which keeps your record sturdy and absorbs unwanted vibrations.

Another helpful feature is the second start/stop button that scratch/battle DJs will love as it is placed ideally for those who prefer their deck in a vertical position.

All in all, It’s a little cheaper than its forefathers, but the quality is far from compromised.

Key Features

  • Adjustable torque
  • +/- 50 percent pitch range
  • Second start/stop button for battle mixers
  • Movable LED target light

Specifications

  • Brand: Reloop
  • Drive: Direct
  • Speeds (RPM): 33 1/3, 45, and 78
  • Connections: 1 x phono/line out (gold-plated), 1x GND earth connection

Pros

  • Heavy and sturdy
  • Good vibration isolation

Cons

  • Not MIDI compatible

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The 7 Best DJ Turntables (27)

Reloop RP-7000 MK2

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5. Reloop 8000 MK2

8.80 / 10

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For those traditionalists that want to move closer to modern features on their turntable, the Reloop 8000 MK2 could be considered a hybrid. It has been touted as the most advanced DJ turntable ever built and has the look of a classic deck yet has outstanding features aimed at the DVS user.

For those new to the scene, a DVS user is a DJ who uses a digital vinyl system; in other words, using software like Serato through your turntable. This turntable is, in fact, specifically designed for Serato. However, it does work with any MIDI-compatible DJ software.

You can use the large multicolored LED pads for performing digital wizardry with hot cues, loops, and sampling. Controlling the pitch of the platter using the performance pads for all kinds of melodic pleasures is another delight, but it takes some practice. However, the joy, in the end, is absolute.

Additionally, the deck weighs 26 pounds, has a pitch range up to +/- 50 percent, an adjustable starting torque of 2.8 kg/cm, and an adjustable stop/start speed. All these features make it an excellent choice for battle mixers, although they may not be impressed by the S-shaped tonearm.

Key Features

  • Creative platter pitch control
  • Lightweight tonearm
  • Powerful motor
  • Removable cables

Specifications

  • Brand: Reloop
  • Drive: Direct
  • Speeds (RPM): 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM
  • Connections: 1x phono/1x line out (gold-plated), 1x GND earth connection, 1x USB port (type B)

Pros

  • Solid build
  • Can play the turntable like a musical instrument
  • Easy DVS to vinyl switching

Cons

  • S-shaped tonearm may not be the best choice for scratching

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The 7 Best DJ Turntables (32)

Reloop 8000 MK2

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6. Audio-Technica AT-LP140XP

9.40 / 10

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Audio-Technica manufactured the AT-LP120 to try and exploit the hole left in the market after the Technics SL-1200 discontinuation. However, the 1200 fought to see another day, and, although an excellent turntable, the AT-LP120 didn’t quite emulate it.

However, with the Audio-Technica AT-LP140XP, you have another entry of excellent Japanese tech. It’s a sturdy and reliable product and is available at a lower price than many of its competitors. There is no doubt it is one of the best record decks you can find in the mid-range price bracket.

The Audio-Technica corporation is renowned for its phonographic magnetic cartridges. So, one of the best selling points for this turntable is the fact that it comes supplied with an AT-XP3 DJ cartridge. It also has a decent pitch range reaching +/- 24 percent, while the deck remains sturdy, sitting at 22 pounds.

All in all, it’s a no-nonsense deck, and it will do exactly what it says on the tin. It is well worth considering if you don’t have the required greenbacks to splash out on a pair of 1200s.

Key Features

  • Phonographic magnetic cartridge
  • +/- 24 percent pitch range
  • 2.2 kg/cm starting torque
  • Dust cover

Specifications

  • Brand: Audio-Technica
  • Drive: Direct
  • Speeds (RPM): 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM

Pros

  • Strong base sound
  • Sturdy and robust
  • Good isolation

Cons

  • S-shaped tonearm may not appeal to battle mixers

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Audio-Technica AT-LP140XP

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7. Rane DJ Twelve MK2

9.60 / 10

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Moving into the modern era for more traditional DJs is easier with an outstanding turntable like the Rane DJ Twelve MK2. It features a classic vinyl platter, pitch-range control, start/stop button, solid steel construction, and all the other features of a conventional DJ turntable.

However, it won’t play your vinyl records. No tone arms, cartridges, or needles are necessary for this baby. It’s a MIDI turntable with USB MIDI and DVS control for software such as Serato and Virtual DJ.

With the vinyl platter, you will still look and feel like a traditional DJ; you will still be completely in control of the track. However, worries such as skating and jumping will be a thing of the past. You also won’t need to worry about any latency because there is none. Your mixing will remain perfect and precise. Additionally, the adjustable torque that goes as high as 5kg/cm will have you cutting and scratching like a pro before you know it.

Other features such as hot cue and track finder make this turntable a more convenient option. The days of flicking through your vinyls to find a particular tune will be gone, giving you more time to concentrate on your adoring dancefloor.

The only genuine fault is the power switch is under the chassis. It’s a confusing place to put it, and it could lead to problems in a professional setting.

Key Features

  • Classic vinyl platter
  • Hot cue
  • Adjustable torque
  • Track finder

Specifications

  • Brand: Rane
  • Drive: Direct
  • Speeds (RPM): 33 1/3 and 45 RPM
  • Connections: 1x USB Type-B port, 1x Stereo RCA output, 1x IEC power cable input

Pros

  • Can use it with many different software
  • Excellent choice for scratch DJs/battle mixers
  • Solid build

Cons

  • No cue button
  • Power switch is under the deck

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The 7 Best DJ Turntables (42)

Rane DJ Twelve MK2

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FAQ

Q: Is It Possible to DJ on Belt-Drive Turntables?

It is possible, and some may argue that it is a good choice for beginners. This theory is down to the fact that it is not particularly easy to mix on them. The starting torque is low, making it difficult to catch the beat, and holding the speed for extended mixes is a tough ask. Additionally, with low torque, anyone with scratching aspirations can virtually forget it.

By throwing yourself in the deep end, you will find it much easier to move on to direct-drive decks afterward. However, most experienced DJs would recommend skipping belt-drive turntables altogether.

Q: Is It Harder to DJ on Vinyl?

Indeed it is – and you shouldn’t underestimate just how much harder it is. If just having fun and playing tracks is your goal, perhaps Serato software on your laptop is a better and more affordable idea.

However, if you do wish to master the wheels of steel, don’t let anything stand in your way. It gives you the fundamental knowledge required to do anything DJ-related afterward with confidence. Relying less on your laptop to do things for you helps you appreciate what you are doing more. You will also put more thought into what records blend well together and spend more time listening to and enjoying the tracks you plan to conquer your dancefloor with.

On top of this, you will develop an appreciation for historical DJs and will slowly realize the dedication you need to become the DJ of your dreams.

Q: What’s the Difference Between the Technics SL1200 and SL1210?

The only difference between the two is the color. The 1200 is a silver turntable, while the 1210 is dark gray.

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