What Hi-Fi (UK)

Every good turn…

Okay, our vinyl special issue may not highlight every great turntable, but it certainly gives you our pick of some top choices for every budget. After the decks, don’t miss our pick of amps and phono stages to make your system sing


The vinyl revolution of the past decade and more is showing no signs of going away. Indeed, sales of the venerable black 12-inch disc seem to be growing ever stronger.

Which is excellent news as far as we are concerned. It’s a relief that the, frankly, poor-sounding audio files that we suffered at the beginning of the digitalmus­ic download revolution, 20 years or so ago, have improved to proper hi-fi quality; but there is clearly, and rightly, still a place for analogue alongside the fast-flowing stream of digital files.

Over the next 32 pages or so, then, we present our pick of the best turntables and kit available to buy at every budget from £150 to a wallet-busting £16,000 (and don’t you worry – you could go way higher than that…)

If you already have a system to which you want to add a turntable, please remember: no phono stage, no music. The signal relayed by a cartridge is minuscule and requires more amplificat­ion than most modern amps, geared towards the compact disc and digital music, can manage.

Your new turntable won’t be able to make a noise in your system without an amplifier to allow it to sing, then. So we follow the terrific record decks with round-ups of some superb stereo amplifiers equipped with phono stages, and then some standalone phono stages. Add one of the latter, and you can listen via an amp that you may already have, even if it has no phono stage of its own.

So, whatever equipment you currently own, our vinyl special should show the way to playing your precious discs at the very highest quality possible, no matter what your budget. At the end of the day, it’s the music that counts – so make the most of it.

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