The Best Wooden Turntables - Vita Audio

The Best Wooden Turntables

We should all be looking out for sustainable materials for certain appliances when we can. To treat your vinyl records to a truly traditional material you should find a wooden turntable.

The rustic look can bring a delicious aesthetic whether you are playing vintage records or the latest brightly colored splatter vinyl.

The Best Wooden Turntables

Modern designs can look contemporary yet take the heritage out of a truly traditional music format. While you may achieve a chic design to match the surroundings, spinning vinyl on wood is a decidedly vintage look.

Vinyl record sales have been on the rise and finding the right turntable can add to your collection. You will still want to treat your records with the utmost care and a wooden turntable can bring out the best in them. They also look great and can bring a more rustic, pleasant listening experience.

Fluance RT81 Turntable – Best For Belt Driven

Fluance RT81 Elite High Fidelity Vinyl Turntable Record Player with Audio Technica AT95E Cartridge, Belt Drive, Built-in Preamp, Adjustable Counterweight, Solid Wood Plinth - Walnut

Wooden turntables are great for masking top-quality design features amidst a classic design. The Fluance RT81 Turntable is built from a solid engineered Medium Density Fiberboard wood with isolation feet. Yes, it looks great yet the real quality comes from the premium components.

A built-in high-quality Texas Instruments preamp with ground terminal, gold-plated RCA line outputs for a warm, decadent sound.

The signal clarity has to be heard to be believed, enhanced with 2.0 grams of tracking force from the tonearm which also enforces stability.

Fluid movement from the bearings in the tonearm also means a balanced yet adjustable counterweight to caress your record instead of scratching it. A great sound that looks after your record, which we liked in our testing.

Pros:

  • Analog Listening Experience – Enjoy the belt-driven turntable and hear the record as it was intended to be heard
  • Supreme Record Tracking – The stylus will sit deep in the record for extra detail from the perfect balance of the aluminum S-Type tonearm
  • Premium Components – Gold plated RCA line outputs and a top-quality Texas Instruments preamp produce excellent signal clarity

Cons:

  • Fully Manual – This is a turntable where you manually have to lift the turntable to play a record

Also Available At : Fluance

Fluance RT81 Elite High Fidelity Vinyl Turntable Record Player with Audio Technica AT95E Cartridge, Belt Drive, Built-in Preamp, Adjustable Counterweight, Solid Wood Plinth - Walnut
  • PURE ANALOG LISTENING EXPERIENCE - Premium components allow this high fidelity belt driven turntable to recreate the performance the way the artist intended
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE CARTRIDGE - The Audio Technica AT95E featuring a diamond elliptical tipped stylus is designed to track your record grooves with greater precision & accuracy for high definition audio
  • SUPERIOR RECORD TRACKING - Enjoy perfect playback using the balanced aluminum S-Type tonearm ensuring the stylus is rested deep in your record's groove, producing every audio detail indistinguishable from the original recording
  • SOLID WOOD PLINTH - The beautiful walnut finished cabinet is crafted from solid engineered (MDF) wood, incorporates isolation feet, an aluminum platter and a rubber slip mat which results in superior isolation from unwanted vibrations
  • CAPTIVATING SIGNAL CLARITY - Incorporating a high quality built-in Texas Instruments preamp, ground terminal and gold plated RCA line outputs that ensures warm, true sound

Audio-Technica AT-LPW40WN Fully Manual Belt-Drive Turntable – Best For Walnut Design

Audio-Technica AT-LPW40WN Fully Manual Belt-Drive Turntable, 2 Speeds, Dynamic Anti-Skate Control, Carbon-Fiber Tonearm Walnut

You can depend on Audio-Technica when it comes to audio products. They have been designing top-quality tonearms, microphones, and headphones for around 60 years. The AT-LPW40WN Turntable blends that expertise with a contemporary walnut finish. Expect a great sound from an aesthetically pleasing piece of kit.

It is only when you let the needle hit the groove that you can hear the benefits of their legendary engineering. First, there is the AT-VM95E Dual Moving Magnet Phono Cartridge that delivers great tonal quality from minimal distortion.

Then the Medium Density Fiberboard is specially designed to limit any feedback. A Sensor Monitored Motor also ensures that the rotation speed is consistently what you would expect, which we liked in our testing.

Pros:

  • AT-VM95E Dual Moving Magnet Phono Cartridge – Low distortion for a balanced tonal quality to bring the best sound from your records
  • Medium Density Fiberboard – Anti-resonance in design to limit feedback
  • Lockable Tonearm Rest – Ensure that the tonearm sits comfortably when you are not using it
  • Sensor Monitored Motor – Accurate rotation speeds so your records spin exactly as they should

Cons:

  • Lightweight Aluminum Platter – You can get heavier, more formidable platters on a wooden turntable
  • Fully Manual – Having to move the tonearm to place the needle on the track may seem too much effort

Also Available At : Audio-Technica

Audio-Technica AT-LPW40WN Fully Manual Belt-Drive Turntable, 2 Speeds, Dynamic Anti-Skate Control, Carbon-Fiber Tonearm Walnut
  • Included Components: Turntable, Dual Rca (Male) To Dual Rca (Male) Stereo Cable, 45 Rpm Adapter, Rubber Mat, And Removable Hinged Dust Cover

ION Audio Archive LP Digital Conversion Turntable – Best For Digital Conversion

ION Audio Archive LP | Digital Conversion Turntable with Built-In Stereo Speakers and Diamond-Tipped Stylus

If you have a vast record collection, you probably want to take it with you. Not just whenever you move house but having the portability to listen to your favorite slabs of vinyl on a modern device. With the ION Audio Archive LP Digital Conversion Turntable, you can rediscover your records as digital files.

Along with the turntable, you will get a USB cable and software to ensure you can transform your record collection into a set of indestructible digital files. Whether on a Mac or PC, your records and all those songs will be preserved for generations to come.

The software also automatically separates tracks so you do not have to which we liked in our testing. But if you just wanted to listen to your records as they are, a set of built-in speakers allows you to do just that.

Pros:

  • Digital Conversion – A USB cable and converter software are included with the turntable for all your digital conversion requirements
  • Track Separation – When converting a whole LP, it helps for software to recognize different tracks
  • Built-In Speakers – No need for buying any external speakers as this one turntable is all you need

Cons:

  • Lackluster Sound Quality – You may want to buy a pair of external speakers for even more enjoyment of your records

Also Available At: Ion Audio

ION Audio Archive LP | Digital Conversion Turntable with Built-In Stereo Speakers and Diamond-Tipped Stylus
  • All-in-one playback system with built-in stereo speakers
  • Connects to computer via USB to turn records into digital music files
  • Standard RCA outputs for optional home stereo connection
  • EZ Vinyl/Tape Converter software included for Mac and PC
  • Works with 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM records

MUSITREND Record Player Vintage Turntable 3-Speed Bluetooth Vinyl Player – Best For Budget

MUSITREND Record Player Vintage Turntable 3-Speed Bluetooth Vinyl Player LP Record Player with Built-in Stereo Speaker Nostalgic Phonograph (Yellow)

A wooden turntable need not break the bank and the Musitrend 3-Speed Vinyl Player is great value for money. You still get a stylish, retro design and an expertly cut solid wooden construction for excellent durability.

There are three different speeds and the turntable will accommodate three different sizes of record. No matter how extensive your collection, this is a record player that can play a huge variety of records, which we liked in our testing.

If you wanted to bring your records to the modern age then use the Vinyl to MP3 feature to play your music on a mobile device. There is also Bluetooth capability to keep the music playing even when you exit the room. This is a great option for someone on a budget who does not need a turntable that will damage their ears.

Pros:

  • Retro Design – A wooden finish gives this turntable a gloriously decadent look
  • Bluetooth Capability – Wirelessly play your records away from the turntable
  • Three Speeds/Three Sizes – Huge versatility for supporting 7, 10, and 12-inch records on 33, 45, and 78 RPM
  • Vinyl To MP3 – Record your vinyl into the mp3 format for portable listening

Cons:

  • Small Speakers – You may need some external speakers to ramp up the sound

Scheu Cello Classic Evolution – Best For Minimal Design

Scheu Cello Classic Evolution

For an eye-catching modern and minimalist design, go for a cutting board base. The Scheu Cello Classic Evolution looks formidable and delivers a great sound.

From German engineering, you can expect an evolutionary design which we enjoyed in our experience of this product. Scheu’s Classic Line Models combine modern technology with simple playing.

The Rega RB 202 Arm is hand-assembled with precision craftsmanship for exceedingly low friction levels. Then there is the AT 100E Audiotechnica Cartridge for precision playing to get every desirable sound from your records.

There is a premium price to pay yet if it means bringing some style and precision to your record playing then that can be priceless.

Pros:

  • Cutting Board Base – Several layers of real wood create this stylish base
  • Rega RB 202 Arm – Great performance from low friction levels to keep your records in superb condition
  • AT 100E Audiotechnica Cartridge – Ensure a practically perfect connection for the stylus on your record

Cons:

  • Large Price Tag – For a limited array of features, the price tag may be tough to bear

Also Available At: Scheu

Scheu Cello Classic Evolution
  • Features an upgraded Cartridge with the Audio Technica AT 100E
  • More complex and improved shell structure
  • Chassis is 10mm increased in height

Victrola Nostalgic Aviator Wood 8-in-1 Bluetooth Turntable Entertainment Center – Best For Versatility

Victrola 8-in-1 Bluetooth Record Player & Multimedia Center, Built-in Stereo Speakers - Turntable, Wireless Music Streaming, Real Wood | Mahogany

A wooden turntable can be groundbreakingly modern, but for a vintage format, you should treat those records to a throwback design. The Victrola Nostalgic Aviator Wood 8-in-1 Bluetooth Turntable Entertainment Center combines retro style with modern technology.

Bluetooth capability means you can stream your records up to 33 feet so you do not even have to be in the same room which we liked in our testing.

For a three-speed turntable, there is so much more to use in a piece of equipment for all your formats. The decidedly nostalgic look can use a remote control for input selection and versatile playing.

Several connection options mean you can rely on the stereo speakers or try an amp, even your headphones. From vinyl records to CDs, cassette tapes, and an FM radio, this is one truly versatile music player.

Pros:

  • All-In-One Entertainment Center – From a record player to a CD player, FM radio, USB player, Bluetooth feature, cassette player, RCA, and headphone jack.
  • Remote Control – Handy for input select, then play, pause, forward, rewind, eject, shuffle, and repeat as much as you want
  • Truly Vintage Look – Mahogany wood gives the entertainment center a rich appearance
  • Connection Options – Connect the entertainment center to a set of external speakers, an amp, or headphones
  • Bluetooth Capability – Hear your songs from your smartphone even when you leave the room

Cons:

  • Temperamental USB Feature – Some users have mentioned that the USB reader can be difficult to use for certain tracks and playlists

Also Available At: Victrola

Sale
Victrola 8-in-1 Bluetooth Record Player & Multimedia Center, Built-in Stereo Speakers - Turntable, Wireless Music Streaming, Real Wood | Mahogany
  • 8-in-1 ENTERTAINMENT CENTER – With vintage looks & modern features, this turntable not only plays your Vinyls, but also has a CD & cassette player, FM radio, Bluetooth, and Aux & headphone jack for audio streaming from your smartphone
  • NO STEREO SYSTEM OR EXTRA EQUIPMENT REQUIRED. Get it up and running in minutes. Retro looks combined with the convenience of modern technology make this record player a great value - ideal for beginners & vintage enthusiasts alike
  • THREE SPEED BELT-DRIVEN TURNTABLE – This 3-speed (33 1/3, 45, 78 rpm) record player features UPGRADED PREMIUM SOUND QUALITY with minimum vibrations. It is perfect for your living room, bedroom or office and a great choice for vinyl lovers
  • ALL THE CONTROLS YOU NEED – Features a volume knob, FM tuner and easy click buttons for input select, power, play/pause/forward/rewind, eject, program, shuffle, repeat, and a full function remote control
  • EXPANDED CONNECTION OPTIONS – Extend the sound by connecting external speakers or an amplifier via the RCA Line outputs. For personal listening, plug your headphones into the headphone jack

Buyers’ Guide

Despite the rise of streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music, vinyl records are enjoying a resurgence. Sales are up and the format is well and truly back in fashion.

Though it may be easier than ever to play music while on the move, sometimes you simply want a more refined listening experience that can come from a wooden turntable.

When deciding on a wooden turntable you need to consider a few things. The materials used and the quality of the build. Premium components for added durability and to deliver the most important feature of all; the sound.

Technical features including Bluetooth capability and USB conversion are becoming more commonplace amongst wooden turntables too.

You may be lucky enough to have inherited a vintage turntable from someone in your family. If it is showing its age then you may want to invest in a wooden turntable that can deliver great audio quality with some new technology thrown in too.

You can even get a turntable that delivers all the functionality you need to hear and convert your vinyl collection. While you want to hear your records in all their glory now, you should want to preserve them too.

USB Conversion

There is a long-standing belief amongst record aficionados that vinyl reigns supreme for sound quality. That may be true as the analog format should have a more genuine prominence that comes from a more patient, tangible production.

However, for many who are used to hearing their music in a digital format, that quality may be lost as a compromise with ease of listening.

For those with decidedly faster lifestyles who want to listen to their music on the go, they should be familiar with the digital format. Since the start of the 21st century, the mp3 has been the go-to format for digital audio.

This is largely why a lot of wooden turntables come with USB conversion which means you can transform your record collection into a set of digital files.

Simply connect a USB cable from the turntable to your Mac or PC and you can record the audio into a file. The turntable will come with software you can install to name each track and transfer it to your device of choice and convenience.

You may even look out for software that can discern breaks between tracks so each one is a separate recording. Ideal if you want to record an album but cannot find the effort to break up the lengthy audio file into each track.

Alas, if the vinyl record is scratched or dirty, those imperfections will still be audible in a digital format. It may be worth playing the record first before deciding whether you want to make a digital recording of it.

However, the digital conversion does throw up the argument of how valuable your record collection can be. If you were to record every slab of vinyl then you can get the collection valued knowing that you can give them to a new home and still keep the music.

For many, the sound quality of the digital file will still be close to what they expect but not quite the same as listening to the physical record would still be superior. The overriding reason for the feature is to enable the convenience to listen to those records when and whenever you want which could be a game-changer.

Bluetooth Capability

While you may be stoked to have the functionality to record your records into digital files, technology can also mean listening to the same record in a different room.

With Bluetooth capability, you should be able to listen to that same piece of vinyl through a smart device in a different room. If this is a feature that appeals to you then find one with a range that covers most, if not all, of your living space.

Built-In Speakers

Several wooden turntables have speakers built-in so all you need to do is press play or drop the tonearm on the groove and let that record spin. That is a good option to look out yet there is a varying range in sound quality and even decibel level.

Some speakers can be so small, they limit themselves to a decidedly private listening experience. If you do want to ramp up the volume then buying a set of external speakers or looking for Bluetooth compatibility can mean hearing your record in another room.

Speeds

Having a turntable with three speeds is the complete versatility that you should be looking for. This one feature is pretty much essential for someone with an extensive and dated record collection.

If you have records that span decades then being able to play them at 78 RPM is crucial to ensure you can play the oldest of record sizes which can date to the 19th century yet were popular until the late Fifties.

Though you may want to be careful with the brown paper sleeve, you should still be able to play this format and find a turntable to do so.

The other two speeds are 33 1/3 and 45 RPM which are far more commonplace. For a modern LP album, you can expect a 12-inch record to be played at 33 RPM. This is the largest side for a record and each side can typically contain up to around 22 minutes of music. A 45 RPM tends to be reserved for 7-inch records.

Record Sizes

The largest record size you can find should be 12 inches. Even at that size, vinyl records have a limitation compared to other forms of modern media. Their physical, analog format means that records at that size can still only hold around 22 minutes of music.

That duration can be doubled if the record uses both sides which does mean having to get up and changing it about three times an hour.

You can also get 12-inch records that play at 45 RPM which usually means fewer tracks. This size played at that speed is typically for an EP or maxi-single. If in doubt, the record should have a number indicating what speed it is supposed to be played at.

There is also the 10-inch record which can be played at 78 RPM which is a combination typically reserved for records that were pressed before the Fifties. With that dated limitation in mind, it is unlikely that you need the 10-inch size on your turntable yet some modern EPs do use it too.

The smallest record size is the humble 7-inch which is also the cheapest. Of course, its dinky size means that it holds less music and is generally used for singles with only one or two tracks on either side.

You can also expect remixes and exclusive cuts of songs as the size allows up to five minutes and several artists like to push tracks to an extended playing time. If the track does come in at around the five-minute mark, you can expect a dip in sound quality.

Wood Finish

The choice of wood could be a defining factor in your decision-making. Whether a cutting board base, a suitcase, or a Medium Density Fiberboard, a particular wood can be found to match your decor. The rustic finish can bring a touch of class to any room and you can usually have numerous kinds of wood to choose from.

From textured wood for a smooth surface to rich mahogany and a combination of natural woods in a cutting board base. You may also expect a few other materials alongside the wood such as a plastic cover and leather for a vintage suitcase design still feature in some turntables.

Finding a turntable made from sustainably sourced materials, including wood, may also be a worthwhile option for the look and what it means to you.

Cartridge

The cartridge on a turntable is a small device that is mounted on the tonearm. Holding the cantilever and stylus tip (needle), the vibrations traced along the record grooves are translated into sound.

If you are yearning for a top-quality sound then look out for Audio-Technica cartridges as these can be substituted and upgraded relatively easily.

Levitating Platter

A wooden turntable might not mean scrimping on an exceptional, almost futuristic design. Finding a turntable with a levitating platter may turn out to be a huge talking point if you have guests over. MAG-LEV Audio was the first to introduce this novel feature and it does look visually impressive.

A combination of coils and magnets means there are no moving parts in the turntable. It seems, and certainly looks, like magic as you watch the platter spin without seeing a mechanism. The gap that forms underneath the platter feels as if you should have a magician’s assistant on standby when choosing a record.

That one feature can come in at a price as the technology also insists on high-quality audio components for a decidedly smooth listening experience.

Manual System

If the wooden turntable features a manual system, this means you are going to have to place the tonearm onto the record and then press play.

It seems fairly simple yet can become tedious having to lift the tonearm when you are used to such instantaneous playing. If it is a manual system then having to autostart and autostop functions can come in handy.

Music Format Versatility

While wooden turntables tend to be limited solely to playing vinyl records, there are some models out there that have formidable music format versatility. If you remember the large stereo systems then you may be savvy enough with having one appliance to play several music formats.

That tends to be a vinyl record (usually from the auxiliary input), CDs, cassette tapes, and the AM/FM radio.

Some decidedly retro designs can play those formats and even have the ability to play USB devices to bring them truly up to date. These are ideal if you want an all-in-one entertainment system to play all your music. Even better if it has digital conversion so you can turn your tapes into digital files too.

Frequently Asked Questions

Get your last-minute questions answered here!

Should I Buy External Speakers For My Wooden Turntable?

The sound quality should be the most important feature to look for in any turntable. A lot of wooden turntables do come with built-in speakers yet these can be minimal and deliver a lackluster sound.

If you want to hear your vinyl records properly then you can factor in a pair of external speakers. Give your vinyl records the careful attention they deserve with a pair of speakers that will do them justice.

Can I Use Headphones With My Wooden Turntable?

Turntables usually suffer from the lack of a port to be able to plug your headphones directly in to hear your records. You can opt for a pair of over-ear headphones as long as you have the right headphone amplifier with a dedicated RCA output. If the turntable has Bluetooth compatibility then you can hook it up to some Bluetooth speakers.

There is a physical sense of importance from holding a weighty slab of plastic that contains all the grooves that represent sweet, sweet music. There may be some logic in playing a vinyl record on a plastic turntable yet they can look tacky. A wooden turntable can bring a rustic look to a room that aligns well with the nostalgia of playing vinyl.

If you enjoyed this article, you might enjoy our post; ‘Dual 1229 Turntable Review‘.

Jacob Stable
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