Automatic or Manual Turntable?

What is the best turntable for you? Automatic or manual? If you are not sure, read on. This article will help you decide what type of turntable is best for your needs and budget.

Automatic turntable is also called automatic record player or automatic vinyl player. Automatic turntables are the latest technology in today’s market and they were introduced around 2008/2009. In fact, manual turntable was invented by Thomas Edison back in 1877/1878.

In this article we will talk about benefits of automatic and manual turntables. Automatic turntable’s popularity comes from the fact that it opened up vinyls’ market, especially for people who do not know how to use manual record player. Automatic turntable is a digital device in which you can attach your MP3 device, USB or other portable music players and listen to music through built-in speakers.

Manual turntables are for people who love high quality sound and impressive design. Manual turntables are manufactured mostly in Japan and the United States of America. Automatic record player is usually made to look like a radio or some other easy to use device, while manual turntables have more focus on design.

A manual turntable will require technical handling such as lowering and raising the tonearm.

When operating a manual turntable, you’ll need to be exceptionally delicate with your movements or risk damaging it – for example, by not having proper self-confidence in your grasp of how it works.


Currently, the price range of turntables is very wide. Automatic turntables can go from $100 to thousands of dollars. Automatic turntables that are designed for DJ use range from $600 to over $1000. Automatic turntables which are made primarily for home listening range from $300 to over $1,000. Manual turntable prices start around the same price as automatic ones.


For me personally, manual record players design is much more appealing than automatic ones. Automatic turntables have a tendency to look cheap and the design is usually not well thought out. Automatic record players also tend to be very big which makes them difficult to place in small spaces. With that being said, I think that automatic turntables manufacturers are trying to move towards creating more attractive designs but for some reason it just doesn’t look good yet.

Why you don‘t need an automatic turntable?

The most enjoyable way to play a record is by engaging on every level – auditory and tactile.

If you’re looking for background music instead, there are many other options available to you that are more accessible and easier to use, such as streaming services.

Turntables with in-built automatic features often compromise on sound quality, which is why the vast majority of high-end brands don’t design or build these turntables.

The Best Record Players for Beginners

If you are a beginner in record players and vinyl, there are a few things to consider before buying a turntable. Automatic and manual turntables play a vital role here. Automatic turntables are more for the beginners because it will do all the work which you need to do manually in a Manual turntable. Automatic is always best when you just want to relax and listen to an old Adam’s record or favorite music item.

Therefore, if you want to be involved in listening the music and enjoy the process, then manual turntables are your choice.

Do you need a preamplifier?

Some devices have a built-in preamplifier, some not. Automatic turntables have a built-in preamplifier and it is easy to connect them with your home stereo or speaker system. Automatic turntable work well with any type of speakers, but if you use old ones then you should consider buying new compatible speakers for automatic record players because some old speakers cannot produce the full sound from low frequencies. Automatic record player has only one button to switch on and off which makes it too easy to use.

In Automatic turntable there is a stylus that will remain in its place while the platter spins, so it doesn’t get stretched during playing records. Automatic devices are always good choice for an amateur DJ who want to try his skills out at night clubs and local events.

The best turntable for beginner DJs

If you are a beginner DJ you might be thinking which type of turntable is better for you. Automatic turntables are the best choice because they have less moving parts, so these are more durable and stable. Automatic players also allow you to scratch your record on cue point by just using a button and special type of record, which has a wider hole in the middle, where you put your finger to start playing or stop it. Automatic record player is really easy and quick to use, but if you want to learn mixing as well as scratching this might be little difficult for you with automatic turntable. Automatic devices are not always totally reliable and most important thing is that Automatic turntable can’t produce full sound from low frequencies.

The Manual Turntable is more popular nowadays because DJs used manual devices before Automatic ones came out. But for example electronic music DJs love to use automatic, because it fits more for their type of mixing. Contrary, Hip-Hop DJs prefer manual turntables because they use different scratching techniques. Automatic turntables are more recommended for beginners and you can quickly learn how to mix with it. Automatic record player operates through the use of a base tone arm that follows the grooves of both sides of a vinyl record. Automatic turn tables also have an electronic device that enables them to re-center the tonearm following completion of each revolution. Automatic devices provide speed control, but not synchronisation, because they do not have computer controls.

A manual turntable is operated by hand, which requires moving the platter back and forth between two positions in order to achieve forward or reverse playback. The user must also move the tonearm from side to side over each groove in order for sound to be amplified from that particular position the


With so many different turntables out there, it can be difficult to choose just one. There are a few considerations you should make before making your decision. If you’re looking for background music and don’t care about the quality of sound, then an automatic turntable will work great. However, if you want the best listening experience possible or enjoy using a record player as part of your hobby, manual is probably better. What kind do you have? Let us know in the comments section below!

Leave a Comment