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What Hi-Fi?'s Complete Turntable Buying Guide

Vinyl is back and it's here to stay. So whether you're buying your first turntable, replacing an old deck or looking to upgrade your existing record player, we can help.

Firstly, we've rounded-up the best turntables around, whatever your budget. There are a smattering of selections at the budget end of the market, plus a selection of premium turntables if you're looking to spend a little more money.

Next, you'll need to get it set up properly. Fear not, we have two step-by-step How To guides that'll ensure you get the possible sound quality from your turntable.

Last but not least, we've compiled a list of our favourite vinyl records for testing. From Charles Mingus to Massive Attack, there should be something for everyone.

Job done? Then you can sit back and enjoy our behind-the-scenes look at how they master records at Abbey Road Studios or our retrospective of the best turntables of the last 35 years...

Best budget turntables

The boom in interest in vinyl has seen cheap turntables flood the market, with many all-in-one vinyl systems on the market for less than £100. But you can do better.

As tempting as some of the super-cheap systems may be, it's worth paying a little more for better build quality and superior sound. Partner with some good speakers and a talented amp, and a budget vinyl system can be had for the right side of £500.

So whether you're setting out on your vinyl journey or on the upgrade path, we've rounded up the best entry-level record players you can buy - with the most affordable coming on sale for just £120. Bargain.

See the full list: Best budget turntables

Best turntables of 2017

Money less of an object? If you're happy to spend more than a couple of hundred quid then you'll want to peruse our list of the best players further up the price range.

Many of these turntables have been on our radar for some time, with a small group of brands churning out the best machines on the market for some time.

Whether you want the best turntable under £500, or you're prepared to break the bank for some of the tastiest slabs of hi-fi money can buy, we have a recommendation for you.

Culled from our turntable reviews over the last few years, these are the best decks whatever your budget. The choice is yours...

See the full list: Best turntables to buy 2016

How to set up your turntable

If you've decided which turntable you want to buy or you want to make sure you're getting the best out of your current deck, then this is the guide for you.

From sorting the necessary support, to installing the tone arm and perfecting the tracking weight, our turntable set-up guide will set you straight.

You can follow our advice in text or video form, and once you're done you can rest assured you have your turntable primed to work at its best.

See the guide: How to set up a turntable

How to get the best sound from your turntable

There's more to making your turntable sing than merely setting it up correctly. This particular How To guide goes back over some of that ground, but aims at providing you with a wider breadth of understanding when it comes to all things vinyl.

From the basics of how a vinyl record actually works to picking the right pre-amp to introduce to your system, this is pretty much all you need know about getting the best sound from your turntable.

See the guide: How to get the best sound from your turntable

Best vinyl records to test your system

Now you've done the hard work, you can sit back and relax. But what to listen to?

Combining top-notch songs and high-quality sound is easier said than done, but we've rounded-up a selection of our favourite test discs that, in our opinion, do just that.

From Neil Young to Nils Frahm, Talk Talk to The Congos, there should be a heavyweight piece of vinyl for every taste.

MORE: 12 of the best vinyl test records


Exclusive behind the scenes video from Abbey Road Studios

The 10 best turntables of the last 35 years

See all our turntable reviews