Even if there are a lot of professional DJs that are turning away from traditional turntables and vinyl records in favor of more advanced (and probably easier to use) technology and digital music, turntables are going to be around for a long time in the music production and entertainment world – if only because of the amazing sound quality that they are capable of and the “throwback” flair they bring to the table.
You just can’t beat professional DJ turntables (at least not yet, anyway)!
Of course, getting your hands on the best set up of DJ turntables is another mountain that you’re going to have to climb – and with somebody different top-flight options out there to pick and choose from finding the right setup can be a little bit of a headache.
Hopefully you’ll be able to use the details in this quick guide to help better inform your purchasing decisions going forward!
Shall we get right to it?
Great – let’s dive in!
Important features to look for in the best DJ turntables on the market today
Many of the best DJ turntable options on the market today are going to try and suck you in with potent advertising and marketing buzzwords and terminology, but there are probably only a handful of different features that really differentiate one turntable from another.
By really drilling down and focusing on these details when you are getting ready to buy new turntables, you are going to be able to almost effortlessly compare different options from different brands and focus in on the best setup for your specific needs.
The features below aren’t all of the “make or break” features for the only things that you’ll want to pay attention to, but they are definitely some of the most important.
Focus on drive type!
One of the (if not THE) most important elements you need to focus on when looking into different DJ turntables is the type of drive system that a particular solution takes advantage of.
Sure, it’s easy to get caught up in other features like the deck that turntables bring to the table, but the drive system that your new equipment uses will have a tremendous impact on the sound quality and consistency you are able to expect out of your new gear.
Drive types can be broken down into two different camps – direct driven turntables and belt driven turntables. It’s a good idea to stay away from built by turntables as a DJ, as they just aren’t going to be able to keep and maintain a constant speed and a consistent platter rotation. Direct drive motors provide higher torque and little flutter, giving you instant access to consistent and stable sound in speed when you are DJing.
Make sure your DJ turntables have enough power and torque
Speaking of torque, the higher torque you’re able to get out of your turntable the better off you’re going to be.
High torque DJ turntables are going to be able to accelerate the platter to higher speeds faster than those with low torque, and once you reach those high speeds you’re going to be able to keep them there – pretty much regardless of everything else you’re doing to the platter.
This is incredibly important for DJs that use a lot of “moving parts” in their equipment set up, as well as DJs that are direct feeding their decks into other components. High torque is mission critical for a consistent set across the board, and is a feature that is very much a “make or break” detail.
Digital output options are critical these days (especially for active performers)
If you are able to get your hands on some of the better turntables DJs turn into money on a day to day basis, they are almost always going to include some kind of digital output capability.
S/PDIF or USB capabilities are a must for active performers and those that intend to do any active recording off of their DJ turntables, and while there are other output options available these are two of the “industry standards” that your new equipment needs to include.
Master tempo capabilities can definitely be useful when transitioning and changing tempo
This is a cool little feature that DJs are really going to appreciate, but one that a lot of casual turntable owners probably aren’t ever going to stumble across.
Having the ability to “lock in” the original key on your record with a master switch while fooling around with the tempo (by using a pitch slider or something similar) is going to open up a tremendous amount of sound options for you as a DJ that simply wouldn’t have existed without it.
Think about DJ turntables that include reverse
Reverse is another neat feature that you should look for, especially if you aren’t planning on doing any scratching. This is again one of those “hidden gems” that non-DJs probably aren’t going to zero in on, but something that you might want to make sure that at least one of your decks include.
Here are a couple of the best DJ turntables on the market today
You aren’t going to have any trouble whatsoever finding more than a dozen top-of-the-line DJ turntable options on the market right now worth investing into, but we feel that two of them are heading shoulders above the rest of the pack – and available at a pretty reasonable price point.
The Stanton STR8150 High Torque Direct Drive DJ Turntable and the Stanton T62 Straight Arm Direct-Drive DJ Turntable with 500.v3 Cartridge Pre-Mounted are perfect for DJs that are just getting started as well as more advanced performing professionals looking to take their show to new levels.
Both of them include many of the features that we outlined above, and each of them are made using high-end construction materials and designed to provide you with years and years of consistent usage.
You really can’t go wrong purchasing either one of them!