As a DJ and turntablist, the turntable is your weapon of choice.
With a reliable turntable, you can do all sorts of transitions and techniques when djing, such as scratching.
You can spin some tracks at your local clubs and bars, birthday parties, weddings, and other private or public events.
Being a DJ means your main instrument is different tracks and samples, and your medium is a turntable.
While some beginners and pros use CDJs, DJ controllers, and DJ mixers, nothing beats the real thing.
Nothing beats spinning vinyl, especially for scratching.
You can scratch using a DJ controller, and in fact, a lot of DJs are doing it.
However, the feel of spinning platters makes everything more organic and easier.
I tried scratching with both vinyl and DJ controllers, and using vinyl is a lot easier, thanks to the larger platters.
In this article, I will show you some of the best turntables for scratching, whether you are a beginner or a pro.
Turntables give you better control of the records.
They don’t only sound a lot better than digital, the discs allow you to juggle, beat-match, scratch organically.
It allows you to manipulate the sound better and scratch more accurately.
DJ turntables might be a lot more expensive, but there are more benefits than disadvantages.
The audience will look at you differently.
A DJ using turntables against DJ controllers will look more professional in the eyes of the audience as well as fellow DJs.
I have no hate towards controllers.
They are very convenient for mixing and scratching because all you need is a laptop, instead of building a vinyl collection.
However, the hate towards DJ controllers splits the community into two sides, which is kind of sad.
Although, if you want to be a pro turntablist, scratching is a fundamental skill you will want to and have to learn eventually if you want to become a well-rounded DJ.
You can use scratching to practice juggling, and you can also use it as a cool transition when mixing songs.
We can talk about skill all day, but this article will focus on the best scratching turntables.
4 Best Turntables for Scratching (Beginners Pool)
Here are the 4 beginner turntables for scratching that you may want to start with:
#1 Pioneer DJ PLX-500-K Direct Drive DJ Turntable
This option is one of the best turntables for beginner scratch DJs.
It features some of the best things from its big brother, the PLX-1000 such as the intuitive controls and layout.
It comes in both black and white colors you can choose from and it is equipped with features such as a tonearm balance control and pitch adjustment.
It is a direct-drive turntable that can produce superb audio quality, especially for both scratching and mixing.
Even if you have no interest in scratching, this scratch turntable can also work as a record player so you can listen to your favorite vinyl records.
#2 Stanton T.92 MKII Turntable
The Stanton T.92 maybe a little on the pricey side, but because of its performance and features, it is worth every cent.
It is made by one of the most well-known brands in making the best DJ gear, and this model does not disappoint at all.
It is equipped with tons of features such as a direct-drive motor with high torque, three playback speed options, and selectable pitch controls.
You can use this turntable with the Deckadance DVS software, a completely free software that allows you to use unique effects for enhancing sound quality and performance.
Overall, this option might be the best turntable for beginners, because of al its pro-like features.
#3 Numark PT01 Scratch Turntable
The Numark PT01 Scratch Turntable is one of the best, most compact, and most affordable beginner scratch turntables.
It is made with beginners in mind, but it still makes a good travel turntable for pro DJs who just want to have fun on the road.
You can use it for practicing on the go, and it has everything you want in a starter turntable such as a crossfader, pitch fader, and more.
It is not only built for beginners, but it is built specifically for scratching.
It comes with a scratch switch, a control switch that cuts the signal for easy transformer, orbits, and flare scratches.
It is equipped with a belt-drive motor with excellent response and minimal latency.
The adjustable scratch switch makes the Numark PT01 suitable for both right and left-hand scratches.
It comes with a built-in USB port for digitizing your vinyl records using free software.
The best thing about this turntable is the price.
#4 Reloop RP-2000-M Turntable
The Reloop RP-2000 is an affordable beginner DJ turntable.
It may be affordable, but its looks share a resemblance to the iconic Technics 1200 turntable.
IT comes in a black metallic finish that looks absolutely stunning.
This adequate beginner turntable packs a lot of weight, probably because of its high-quality build.
It does not only look good, but this particular model is equipped with adequate features, making it a more than decent choice for beginners.
It is equipped with an S-shape pickup arm and controls to make scratching easier.
The RP-2000-M is probably one of the best turntables you can get at its price range, in terms of design, quality, and features.
4 Best Turntables for Scratching (Pro Section)
If you are upgrading or just looking to start with better gear, consider the 4 professional turntables for scratching below:
#1 Technics SL1210MK5 Turntable
The Technics SL1210MK5 turntable is the most iconic turntable, and it tops most DJs wishlists and recommended gear.
It may be very expensive for a turntable, but if you are a professional DJ, you will know how iconic this model is.
Because the company has discontinued making these models, the prices increased because it is hard to find one.
As a DJ, owning one of these legendary turntables is the dream.
They are built to last for a lifetime, and they look really sleek, sporting a black metallic finish built with brushed-steel hardware that weighs over 28 lbs, proving its solidity.
It is also equipped with a high-torque motor, perfect for scratching.
#2 Stanton STR8-150 MKII Direct Drive Turntable
The STR8.150 by Stanton is one of the best turntables that is circulating in the market. Unlike the Technics turntable, this Stanton DJ turntable is still in production and not too hard to find.
It is lighter than most turntables, and it features a 16-pole 3-phrase brushless direct-drive, which makes it a pleasure to use for scratching.
It is skid-proof, durable, and easy to use.
If you are a beginner or pro that needs a good turntable for performing, This Stanton model is very important.
Stanton turntables are one of the best turntables for scratching, and it can handle heavy-duty and daily use, whether you are playing in a club or your room.
#3 Pioneer Pro DJ PLX-1000 Direct Drive DJ Turntable
Some say that this model is one of the closest to the Technics.
Since the Technics raised the bar, all the other DJ turntables have put the Technics on a pedestal.
Nothing can come close to its performance, but the Pioneer PRO DJ PLX-1000 might be there already.
Both the sound quality and physical design are superb, and if you want a piece of the Technics at a very much cheaper price, this option is worth checking out.
It might not have many modern features, but it focuses its energy on its feel, which is key for scratching.
#4 Audio-Technica AT-LP1240 USB Direct-Drive PRO DJ Turntable
The Audio-Technica AT-LP140 is one of the most affordable professional pro DJ turntables.
The brand is known to create pro audio gear at a more affordable price, and they do a pretty good job with most of their products.
This particular model is an excellent choice for both mixing and scratching.
It can playback records at three speeds, and it is equipped with a high-torque motor for better performance and little latency.
It is equipped with a USB port that allows you to record performances and for digitizing your vinyl record collection.
Overall, the Audio-Technica AT-LP1240 is a cheap choice with a rich sound, giving you an excellent scratching experience.
Factors to Consider When
Buying a Turntable for Scratching
If you are looking for a suitable turntable for scratching.
You need to choose the right one for your needs and skill level.
DJ turntables have different specs and features, and you need to make sure you choose one with the most suitable features for your needs.
Before we move onto the list of the best DJ turntables for scratching, let’s look into the features you need to consider such as:
Not all turntables are equipped with pitch control.
This essential feature can help you be more creative with your transitions.
Pitch control is not only a great tool for matching pitch for smoother track transitions, but it is also a good way to change the pitch of your scratches.
If you have your baby scratches on lock, you can change the pitch with the speed of your hands.
If you are a beginner, you might not have use for this feature yet, but it is a good idea to know your way around a turntable and features earlier.
A turntable with higher torque allows a track playback normal even after scratching or reversing the tracks.
When doing some forward scratches, you want the track to play at the accurate when you release the platter.
With low torque, a track can be delayed after doing backward spins, and it might mess up your timing.
A few milliseconds delay would not be much of a problem, as long as the audio is less distorted.
Torque is not really an issue for other scratching techniques aside from forward scratching.
However, it is a big help for manual beatmatching.
As a beginner, you wouldn’t really notice these little things, but as I said earlier, it is better to familiarize yourself with these earlier if you want to be a well-rounded DJ.
Belt-drive or direct-drive
Scratching is an extreme use of turntables, but because it has become a normal technique amongst DJs and turntablist, most professional and beginner DJ turntables are built to handle backspinning and extreme vinyl use.
A belt-drive was not exactly made for this type of technique, but modern turntables are built with a more durable belt-drive.
Now, you don’t have to worry about using an unstable belt-drive for scratching.
The belt is more durable now and you can scratch all you want on a belt-drive turntable.
However, direct-drive turntables are still the best choice for scratching because of how the motor works.
A direct-drive motor spins at a consistent RPM with higher torque, which are important factors for accurate spinning with high-quality audio and less distortion.
Although belt-drives work, direct-drive motors are the best choice for scratching because of how they work.
Although, most old-school DJs are still comfortable with a belt-drive.
It can cause latency and such.
If you are used to a slight delay, your practice might revolve around on that, and changing to a direct-drive might mess up your routine.
The community is a little torn between the two types of motors, but it is just a matter of preference and which are you most used to using for scratching and other DJ techniques.
There are more features you need to consider when choosing the best DJ turntable for you, but since we are only focusing on scratching, there’s no need to mention all of them.
Now that you know the factors when choosing the best DJ turntable for scratching, let’s dive into the list starting with the best beginner picks.
Can you scratch using a DJ controller?
Yes, you can scratch using a DJ controller.
It might be a little challenging, especially with small DJ controllers with tiny platters, but it is totally possible.
In fact, a lot of DJs can scratch using a DJ controller, and you can sour the internet for videos of them doing it.
However, using real spinning platters make things easier and more natural.
Scratching empty platters work, but they don’t have the same feeling and satisfaction.
Do you need to purchase a mixer for scratching?
Most of the choices on the list have a killswitch that kills the audio signal so you can perform your chirps, orbits, and other scratch techniques with ease.
However, you want to use and juggle between two turntables, buying a DJ mixer is a good idea.
You will need a crossfader to kill the audio signal to create a stutter or gate effect.
A mixer is essential for using a pair of turntables and scratching, but if the turntable is already equipped with a kill switch and crossfader, you don’t really need a mixer.
Choosing the best DJ turntable for scratching for you is not really that hard.
All you need to do is determine your skill-level to determine the features you need.
Most items on the list are built for scratching, which makes choosing easier.
All you need to do is to choose one depending on your skill level, budget, and features.
If you have no idea of what features you need, the Numark PTO1 Scratch is the best device to start with since it has everything you need to get your scratch on.
After developing your skills, you will eventually discover the features you need.
Form there, you can choose to upgrade your DJ turntable or stick with the one you already have as long as it is suitable for your needs.
Eventually, you are going to perform in front of a crowd, meaning upgrading to a more professional turntable might be ideal such as the Technics SL-1210, which is as pro as you can get.
You can also try something more on the affordable side like the Pioneer Pro DJ PLX-1000 as long as you are satisfied.
I hope this article helped you choose the best DJ turntable for scratching.
Just remember to enjoy and get your baby scratches on-lock!
Last update on 2020-10-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API