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Best high-end turntables

We have high standards in general, but when it comes to high-end turntables they're a little bit higher. That's because these things don't come cheap - quite the opposite - and we know the people buying them have the same exacting standards. These are finest high-end hang-the-expense record players to have graced our testing rooms.

There aren't too many retail prices listed here - products as esoteric as these are quite often only available through a select few outlets. But there are links to each and every review, so you can get a proper feel for just how capable these record players are. 

And with Black Friday around the corner, it's a good time to be keeping an eye out for bargains.

MORE: How to set up your turntable

Under £3000

Rega RP8/Apheta

The RP8 is the most ambitious Rega turntable we've ever heard - it shoots for the stars, and scores a direct hit. Trust us, you won't be disappointed.

SPECIFICATIONS

33.33/45rpm | Electric speed change | Moving coil cartridge

Reasons to Buy

A massively detailed sound delivered with class leading agility
Strong dynamics and precision
Fine build

Reasons to Avoid

Careful placement a must
Needs careful system matching

Under £4000

VPI Prime

A previous Award-winner, the Prime is good enough to remind you why you got into hi-fi in the first place.

SPECIFICATIONS

3D-printed arm | Manual speed change | Moving coil cartridge

Reasons to Buy

Confident and authoritative presentation
Excellent resolution of detail
Expressive dynamics and surefooted rhythmic drive
Excellent build and finish

Reasons to Avoid

Nothing at this level

Under £6000

Clearaudio Ovation

This is the Clark Kent of turntables - its superpowers are hidden under its conventional looks. It's a pleasure to use, and expertly treads the fine line between excitement and refinement.

SPECIFICATIONS

33.33/45/78rpm | Electrical speed change | Moving-coil cartridge

Reasons to Buy

Build and finish
Innovative engineering
Energetic sound
Detail resolution and precision

Reasons to Avoid

No suspension, so needs to be placed with care for optimal results

Under £10,000

McIntosh MT5

Visual flair comes courtesy of the light-up platter, while electronic speed control makes it super convenient to use. 

SPECIFICATIONS

Supplied with arm and cartridge | Magnetic main bearing | Electronic speed change

Reasons to Buy

Insightful and enjoyable sound
Simple to set-up and easy to use
Nicely made
Cartridge and arm included

Reasons to Avoid

Sonic standards are sky-high at this price level

Under £20,000

Linn Klimax LP12

Linn's LP12 is one of the finest turntables around. This Klimax version may be expensive but it is a massively capable and neatly configured deck.

SPECIFICATIONS

Phono stage built-in | Suspension | Electronic speed change

Reasons to Buy

An informative, dynamic and exciting presentation
Sensational dynamics and surefooted with rhythms
Excellent build and finish

Reasons to Avoid

Hefty price

Under £30,000

Kronos Turntable

Woof. A vinyl player that puts our (admittedly considerably less expensive) reference kit to shame, the Kronos is authorative, open, and a hugely capable product. The Rolls Royce of turntables.

SPECIFICATIONS

Automatic speed change | Twin platter arrangement | 33.33/45 rpm

Reasons to Buy

Stunning level of insight into recordings
As controlled and precise a turntable as we’ve heard
Impressive engineering
Imposing build

Reasons to Avoid

Attention to the finer aspects of finish has to be better