DJ Premier, Madlib, and Dr. Dre are all producers who are very well known for their amazing sampling skills. Although the world is increasingly becoming more modernized and you could sample music thru the digital mp3 format; for a really authentic sound, vinyl is the way to go.
One of the best things about vinyl sampling is that you could pick up a pile of abstract vinyl records, for only a couple of bucks. The creative limits of vinyl sampling are endless!
What should you look for in a turntable? CGuide wrote a top-notch publication on the best turntables available on the market, so I got inspired to write my own.
Tips on turntables
– How much can you spend?
Before you begin shopping for your turntable, it is a good idea to decide on your budget. The more money you can spend, the higher quality turntable you can get. In addition to a turntable, you may have to also spend money on several add-ons (more on this in the next tip).
To complete your turntable system, speakers and maybe an amplifier are things you will need to invest in. We say ‘maybe’ an amplifier because some turntables come with a built-in preamplifier. Always do the full research before purchasing.
– Direct-drive vs. Belt-drive
The two main types of turntables are direct-drive and belt-drive. What’s the difference?
In a belt-drive turntable, the platter, the spinning part that your records sit in, is spun by a belt connected to the motor. In a direct-drive turntable, the platter sits directly on top of the motor.
Does the difference matter? When it comes to sound quality, not so much. However, most DJs prefer direct drive turntables because they are better fitted for scratching. If you’re interested in scratching sounds, then the direct drive is the way to go.
Size is something you do not want to ignore when buying a turntable. No sense in buying a good turntable if you don’t have anywhere to put it. There are luggage sized turntables and even vertically mounted ones to help reduce the amount of space they take up.
There are turntable systems that come with everything all included in one chassis. Although very convenient they are not recommended due to the depletion of sound quality.
– Devices & Add-ons
Many turntables offer really cool knick-knacks that could be of great benefit. Some offer a headphone socket and even a USB port to allow vinyl ripping on to your computer. You may also want to add a DJ mixer or studio quality headphones.
Best turntables for sampling
#4. Numark PT-01
This a top recommended pick for beginners. The best thing about the PT-01 model? The price. The PT-01 has a starting price of $100, new. In addition, the PT-01 is very easy to set up.A really cool feature included with this turntable is the ability to be powered off batteries. Of course, it has the conventional AC adapter option but it can also power off 6 D cell batteries.
The PT-01 also has built-in loudspeakers! No additional speakers are required; making it a truly portable turntable. With the provided USB cable, the PT-01 can be plugged into your computer.
One would expect that with such a low price comes a poor sound quality. However, the Newark PT-01 has a very nice sound and is perfect for the beginner DJ.
#3. Pioneer Pro Dj PLX-1000
We gave you our cheapest option on the list, it only seems natural to go the opposite side of the spectrum. Rounding out our at a mere $699, the PLX-1000 is analog technology in a world where digital rules.The PLX-1000 has a pure analog signal fed from the tone arm to the body, giving you the authentic sound that led you to sample vinyl in the first place!
One very important feature of the PLX-1000: durability. Durability mixed with the old school experience, if you’re willing to pay the price, the Pioneer Pro Dj PLX-1000 is a wonderful turntable choice.
#2. Reloop RP-2000M
Founded in 1996, Reloop is a relative newcomer to the turntable market. However, its turntables are turning heads. Aesthetically not very pleasing, the RP-2000M prioritizes quality over looks. The RP-2000M is priced at $299.Its strong feet practically eliminates vibrations and its sturdy body was made with durability in mind. Coupled with a high torque motor and a bloody accurate start mechanism, the Reloop RP-2000M is a solid turntable.
#1. Pro-ject Debut Carbon DC
Arguably the prettiest turntable on the list, the Debut Carbon DC has a plethora of great features. The heavy steel platter increases the stability of the tone arm and promotes balance.
The carbon tonearm helps fight resonance and its build is solid steel.However, the biggest thing the Debut has going for it is the amazing sound quality. Very well loved by audiophiles, the Debut delivers a crisp sound at a modestly priced $399.
Sound quality above everything. Don’t settle for a good looking turntable with poor sound quality. Don’t settle for a durable turntable with poor sound quality. Sound quality is the king.
If you are creating a beat, prioritize turntables that are compatible with a PC.
As always, these are just recommendations. The best turntable for sampling is all in the eyes of the beholder. Find a turntable that adapts to your circumstances and preferences. Stay savvy and keep on creating!