Turntable vs. Record Table Comparison
Vinyl enthusiasts often confuse turntables and record tables as the same terms, open to interchanging. That is not the case, nor is it that turntables are only best with DJ sets while record players are old and, therefore, low end.
In fact, the difference lies in function and operation. A turntable is a flat revolving platter that has a tone-arm and needle attached and is, therefore, a part of the record player. Record players also have built-in amplifiers and speakers and are ready to use upon purchase.
How Do They Compare?
If you’re struggling to choose between the two, you should know that there is no right answer to which one is better. However, below is a comparison of a few of their characteristics to help you decide.
Assembly and Customization
Before it is ready, a turntable requires three other components, namely a preamp, amplifier, and receiver. This means you will have to spend some time browsing for all the appliances and setting them up, and will also get the luxury and freedom of being able to make your own choices.
A record table, however, does not allow much customization, and it is factory-built. No setup is required, and all you need is a power connection.
Connectivity and Audio Features
Despite what some may think, sound quality only depends on the kind of speakers that come with your device and how much you’re willing to spend on them.
They do vary in features available for connectivity. Turntables only come with Bluetooth and USB ports, whereas record tables are adaptable. Modern ones exclusively have cassette tracks, CD players, audio converters, and recorders along with FM/AM radio modes.
Maintenance of Records
Heavy pressure or uneven stylus alignment leads to damaged records with a visible amount of wear and tear over time.
Thus, if your records are too close to your heart, it is best to opt for a turntable. This is because you can adjust alignment and tracking weight applied on the record. On the contrary, both these settings are fixed by default on a record table and might not be suitable for your delicate vinyl collection.
This also makes turntables the better choice if you’re aiming for scratching, which refers to the back and forth vinyl movement that produces smooth, rhythmic tunes.
Record tables are, on average, low-priced not because of low-grade quality but rather because of the lack of customization they offer. They have a large variety in just the $50-$100 range.
Turntables cannot be used as standalone and, therefore, cost much more. They are priced according to how much you’re willing to invest in building the best vinyl set for yourself. In the consumer-picked range, too, the sky is the limit with some equipment totaling up to $10000.
At the end of the day, the decision you make depends on what you want from these musical treasures. Record tables are perfect for going through your vinyl collections on lazy afternoons, whereas turntables give you the opportunity to mix and match and develop a taste of your own.