As a modern-day DJ, there’s no escaping the importance that sampling has and the level of quality and diversity it can bring into your mixes. In fact, there’s no way anybody can deny how much more professional it can make your mixes, especially if you’re taking this sample directly from a vinyl playing next to you.
Ask any DJ or fan, and they’ll tell you about the rawness that vinyl sounds have. However, you can’t simply buy a standard turntable if you plan on using vinyl for sampling; it will just break the moment you start being slightly aggressive with it.
Instead, you’re going to need a turntable with a strong arm, a super-responsive, low-latency drive and signal connections and a motor inside that can produce a consistent and much-needed amount of torque. Phew, that’s a lot of considerations to bear in mind.
Luckily, we’ve done all the hard work for you. We’ve searched up and down the market and finally narrowed down the best available to just four of the best of the best. We’ve taken all these aspects into account, including other things like quality and price, so you can easily make the right decision for you.
So, without further ado, here’s our top pick selection of the best turntables available today to help you bring vinyl samples into your mixes.
Pioneer Pro DJ PLX-1000 Direct Drive DJ Turntable
Starting off strong, if you’re looking for the best turntable for a DJ who’s looking to perform to the best of their abilities and won’t need to upgrade their tech at all over the next coming years, the Pioneer PLX-1000 is all you’re going to need.
Of course, this turntable comes with a premium price, but it’s going to be able to fulfill all your needs without having fork out for an upgrade when you outgrow it. It simply doesn’t get better than this. Feature-wise, this turntable comes with a high-torque drive that’s capable of providing a consistent and reliable push of your vinyl.
This ensures that the rotation remains stable at all times, as well as providing you with an exceptional level of control over the speeds and your record itself. We know you’ll also love the fact the turntable itself is produced using die-cast chrome materials.
These materials are classically used to make sure the turntable doesn’t create unwanted vibrations, ultimately disrupting the sound and causing unwanted interference. You’ll also be delighted to see that
Pioneer had added multi-tempo controls, so you can instantly speed up or slow down your track using a variety of pitch ranges.
Once you have connected the turntable up using the golden RCA jack sockets, you’ll simply be blown away with the sound quality. The entire turntable has a low impedance, and the quality is simply breath-taking. If you’re looking for the best of the best, this is it; no question about it.
However, the only thing we will say is that the turntable doesn’t come with a cartridge, so you’re going to need to get one of them (affordable if brought online) to get going. Apart from that, this is one flawless turntable!
- Multi-tempo controls that are easy to use
- Golden RCA jacks (interchangeable) for the best sound quality
- Chrome die-cast build for minimal vibrations
- Drive and torque focused motor for consistent playback
- The premium price tag
- Doesn’t come with a cartridge ready to go
DJ Tech Direct Drive DJ Turntable (Orange)
If you’re looking for something a little bit more affordable than the Pioneer Pro that won’t break the bank but still has a ton of quality features, next up we’re going to highly recommend the DJ Tech Direct Drive.
This is more of your classic turntable, and instead of providing you with multiple speeds, it traditionally supports the 33 1/3, 45 and 78 RPM speeds, just like normal vinyl. However, unlike traditional vinyl players, this one does come with a USB port, so you can record the sounds you’re producing.
This feature alone makes this an ideal turntable for DJs who are looking to sample sounds and per hap even create their own samples for their sets. You don’t even need to take this player with you; just record the sample and add it to your computer for a later date.
However, if you do want to take it with you, that’s okay. This turntable comes with RCA phono and line outputs, so you have complete freedom with how you produce and connect up your equipment.
This turntable is, again, basically near to perfect as you’ll want it to be. It comes at an affordable price with all the features and functions you’d expect. Unlike the Pioneer above, it doesn’t allow for a customized style of speed changes, and it also doesn’t come with a cartridge, so you’ll need to get one before you start using it.
However, these can be brought affordable online or through your local music store. Apart from that, these turntables are easy to use, come with a stunning orange aesthetic which, if you don’t love now, you’re sure to like over time!
- The striking orange aesthetic for a unique look
- 3x speed change options like traditional turntables
- USB port for recording your sounds to a computer
- RCA cable outputs (line/phono) so you can perform live
- Restrict to those three play speeds, unlike other DJ turntables
- Doesn’t come with their own cartridges
Stanton STR8.150 MKII Direct Drive DJ Turntable
Stanton is another high-performance manufacturer of DJ equipment in the audio industry, and this turntable is no exception to their level of quality and expertise. Let’s jump straight into what makes this turntable tick.
First off, since this is a direct drive turntable, it’s capable of providing up to 4.5kg of motor torque, which is insane for a DJ turntable, and perhaps even way more than you’re ever going to need. This is then complemented by the heavy-duty, highly durable aluminum steel construction.
This creates a low-resonance body which minimizes unwanted sounds and vibrations which could disrupt your sound and interfere with the quality. The arm of this turntable is also incredibly durable since it’s been designed using a straight tone arm, in which the height is adjustable.
You’ll also love the attention to detail that Stanton has placed on providing their customers with the full experience. This includes a slip mat, a right-angled cable for plugging it into the wall, and even a 45 adapter.
This is easily one of the highest rated DJ turntables on the market, and we’re sure you’ll agree. It comes with all the features and functions, such as speed change, a reverse feature, digital coaxial, etc., that a DJ’s going to need.
However, remind yourself that this turntable does come with its own needle and high-quality cartridge, so you can get started using it as soon as it arrives!
- Comes with slip mat, cartridge, and cables for plugging it in
- Durable, straight tone arm with adjustable height
- Three controllable speeds to play with
- A ton of features and modes to play with
Numark Turntable with USB
To finish off our list, we’ve chosen this outstanding turntable set from Numark, perhaps the third most iconic name in the audio trifecta, up there with manufacturers like Pioneer and Stanton. With this turntable, you’ll find all the features and tools you’ll need to add samples into your DJ mixes successfully.
What you’ll love the most about this turntable is the fact that it has a direct USB port, as the title suggests. This means you can plug your turntable directly into your laptop or mixer and start playing or recording your vinyl sounds right away. This is great for when you’re performing live, or just transferring your collection into a digital format.
With the purchase, you’ll also find that each turntable comes with its own patented straight arms, or ‘S’ shaped ones, so you can pick and choose which ones work best for you. There’s also a ton of other features including an interchangeable pitch fader, button cartridges and more.
However, the bit that will really get you is the blue LED screen that’s included on the bottom right-hand side. This space-age styled screen is designed to provide you with information on the pitch, the BPM, the RPM and the motor settings, making it even easier than ever before to track what you’re doing and ensure everything’s perfect.
Despite all these futuristic features, this turntable is really simple and innovative to use and comes with a lot more features listed here that you’ll be able to experiment with. All in all, this vinyl turntable will be everything you could possibly need; probably more!
- Some with both straight and ‘S’ shaped arms
- Blue LED screen for displaying a ton of information on what you’re doing
- Highly durable design that won’t break with ease
- USB connectivity for editing and recording your sounds
These are easily four of our favorite turntables on the entire market, and it really doesn’t get much better than these. Each one of these turntables is packed full of features and functions that will give you access to everything you need. The only decision you need to make is which one is best for you!