If you are looking for the best turntable for under $2000 to buy, then you have come to the right place.
Now many people who do not understand the world of vinyl, or the cost of paying for great quality, may not understand how a turntable can cost so much money.
The key here is in the title of the article.
Yes, this one is for audiophiles only.
So, if you are someone who loves listening to vinyl and absolutely must have the best sound quality then this article is for you.
Now if you class yourself as an audiophile then that usually means that you are an audio expert.
But it means someone who loves or is attracted to audio.
And that is why you could say that all vinyl enthusiasts could be classed as audiophiles in the literal sense of the word.
People who are audiophiles want the best audio quality they can get.
That means reproducing exactly the sound of the musicians, be it on stage live or in the studio.
Now most audiophiles scoff at digital music.
Especially the MP3 file format.
But they will grudgingly accept it if they want to listen to music whilst out and about or at the gym.
After all, they can’t lug their vinyl system and records around with them, even if record players are more portable these days.
Audiophiles want to experience the music.
Get up close and personal with it.
As if they were sat right in front of the musicians producing it.
They won’t accept music as just background noise.
They understand and appreciate the nuance and layers of the highest sound quality.
They can also use that knowledge to determine if their sound system is delivering the best sound quality it can do justice to the recording.
And it’s this level of skill when it comes to being able to discern the highest quality of sound that led audiophiles to flock to vinyl.
That’s because vinyl records are well-recorded, skillfully mastered, and are competently pressed.
In short, they are cared for.
And this means that they beat the highest quality digital files any day of the week.
So, in this article, I am going to give you the rundown of the best turntable you can buy for under $2000.
After all, like audiophiles, if you are reading this article then you want the best system that you can afford.
And to get to that point maybe you started with a budget model or even one that was passed down to you and upgraded your way to the highest level.
Along the way you’ve been able to refine and build your sonic palette to be able to interpret, discern, and, most importantly, appreciate, the highest levels of sound quality that only vinyl can deliver.
It’s time to move to the top of the ladder and look at the high-end turntables.
You know the ones.
They give you the most out of the vinyl platter that your money can afford and treat your ears to an audio feast.
If you are ready to take the plunge, and you have $2000 to spare, then let’s take a look at some high-end turntables that you can buy right now and what you can expect from them.
6 Best Turntables Under $2000 of 2021
So, with the preamble over, let's get to the main event and go through the turntables who made my list.
Pro-Ject RPM 9.2
This turntable goes for nearly our budget of $2000.
That can change depending on the cartridge installed, but it looks chunky and the entire unit is only bigger than the actual platter.
When it comes to the sound quality it engages you and draws you in – it’s that good.
And that is what heavy platters do, and this one weighs more than seven pounds, so the heavier it is the better the sound quality.
This comes with the choice of an acrylic platter or a frosted one.
This is a turntable that looks the most visually impressive when compared to the rest of my list.
It meets our budget expectations, this is a ClearAudio turntable, and it comes with a ClearAudio Virtuoso cartridge.
This cartridge alone is worth almost 1k when sold just by ClearAudio.
It also comes with a Satisfy tonearm.
Which is better than the Virtuoso tonearm.
This choice of the tonearm is better because the Satisfy tonearm is better at guarding against footfalls.
That means that if you walk around a bit while your turntable is playing the vibration won’t damage the integrity of the sound whilst music is playing.
However, bear in mind that it does require a fair amount of manual setup.
The Rega is a rarity on this list because not only does it look like a traditional turntable, it’s more plug and play than the rest on this list.
Does that make it the best turntable under $2000?
Well, the price depends on the cartridge installed, but within our range nevertheless.
But it is gorgeous to look at and a minimalist gem, which is what Rega is known for.
It oozes quality from every pore.
You can tell just by looking at it.
From its hand-assembled tonearm to its ultra-fine main bearing and two-piece platter.
It’s available in four colors and provides you with a listening experience that speaks volumes about its quality.
The base is cheaper than the rest on the list, but you pay extra to add your cartridge, this may be laughed at by some purists.
But it’s the best turntable from Audio Technica and is a great pull for the DJ crowd.
Its metal construction and rugged styling mean that you can listen to music in party mode and not worry.
It also includes a built-in preamp for connecting to your computer so you can also listen to and record your vinyl at the same time.
ClearAudio is a name that audiophiles know and respect.
It means the highest quality, in both sound and build.
That’s what you expect from German engineering after all.
Priced in the upper 1k range (depending on the cartridge), this is a staple of the audiophile market and is constantly refined.
Out of the box, it’s ready to start playing vinyl and can even play your old 78s.
It offers a smooth and distortion-free performance of whatever you want it to play.
SOTA, meaning ‘state-of-the-art’, is something that this turntable deserves.
You only must look at it.
The Comet model is in the midrange of their overall line-up.
It looks classy in textured black and its double-layer platter is made from high-density polymers.
Its mechanism is vibration-free and the precise S303 tonearm will work great with a variety of cartridges.
Why Get an Expensive Turntable Over a Cheap One?
One may wonder why to spend $1000 when you can find a turntable under $100 easily.
Here is why:
You Get Higher Quality Materials
This may sound like a given. But on turntables that are less than $2000, you will find plastic.
Not so on these.
Many $2000 turntables are made from carbon fiber.
You may also hear terms like ‘Sorbothane’, ‘phenolic resin’, and float glass.
You don’t need to understand what these are.
But once you realize that you won’t hear any motor noise from your $2000 turntable, and when you hear the superb sound quality, you’ll be glad that they are there.
Also, on a $2000 turntable, you won’t get any skipping.
So, you can enjoy listening to your favorite albums without worrying about the record skipping.
It simply won’t happen on a turntable of this caliber.
You Get Better Quality Cartridges
Every vinyl lover knows that the cartridge is the heart and soul of the system.
It doesn’t matter about the rest. You need to get that right first and then focus on the rest.
And, on a $2000 turntable, it’s all about the cartridge.
The speed of the turntable and the design of its tonearm pale in comparison.
So, what can you expect from a $2000 turntable in terms of its cartridge?
How about the ones that cost lots of money extra but are ultra-fine and ultra-accurate.
Moving magnet design cartridges are the most common ones but you can also get moving coil carts.
These are better and more expensive.
But you must remember that if you choose to go with a moving coil cartridge that not all phono preamps will work with it.
You Get Unique Designs
For a $2000 turntable, you aren’t just getting a rectangular box that plays records.
It will look exceedingly different from the turntables you may know or already may have.
These types of turntables have unique designs, being almost artistic. It’s all about the design and flair.
They may also be very tiny and not the usual size you might expect a turntable to be.
They may also be manual in terms of how you set it up.
That means expect some time to set it up properly to get the most out of it.
Plug and play these aren’t.
You Get Turntables That Are Hard to Find
Not every audio appliance store or online retailer will stock a $2000 turntable.
They are somewhat specialist.
This means that you may have to do some work to track down the one that you want.
Premium turntables won’t be on sale at Best Buy or Walmart.
Turntables that cost more than a couple of hundred dollars are still considered niche, even if vinyl is making a comeback.
So, you will have to track down specialist audio shops in your area.
Otherwise, you will have to look online, but it won’t be just browsing Amazon.
Start with the manufacturer's websites themselves.
They should have a section on where to buy from and that can usually point you in the right direction to start your search for the best turntable for under $2000 that meets your needs.
You Get Superior Sound
This is what it’s all about, isn’t it?
The sound quality.
And you can rest assured knowing that a $2000 turntable produces sound quality that is far better than a standard one.
And the secret to the sound quality isn’t bass, but the weight of the unit itself.
A turntable that is solid and well-built (and all on my list below definitely are) should give the music the same amount of heft you would expect from the weight of the unit itself when you lift it.
The best way to test the sound is in the music itself.
And on a $2000 turntable, the sound quality of a 180-gram LP can sound almost holographic.
That is that the holograms of the musicians are playing right in front of you, and just for you, giving you an unparalleled sense of sound and depth.
It’ll be just like you are actually in the studio with them.
Spending this much on your first turntable means that you probably have a lot of high expectations.
$2000 is more than most people spend on their first car after all.
But when it comes to the best turntable under $2000 all of these are worthy of making my list.
With any of these turntables, you can expect your music to be greatly enhanced to the point where your turntable melts away and it's just you and the music together as one.
The sound quality is that good.
And this is something that true audiophiles are happy to pay a premium for.
So, if I had to decide what’s the best turntable for $2000, I would say all of them.
Of course, for you, it depends on your preferences, but any on this list will meet your exacting audio standards.
Last update on 2021-01-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API