Not everyone is after a $2000 DJ setup, and some people are simply looking for cheap DJ turntables to spin records on. If you’re interested in DJ turntables but not entirely convinced they are for you, then cheap DJ turntables or DJ packages provide an entry point for the beginning of your DJ career. Or not! If you decide that becoming a DJ just is not for you, you won’t be out of pocket a great deal.
You will still require two turntables, and a mixer to even begin DJing. If the prospect of these purchases is too expensive, consider alternative methods of DJing such as using software on a laptop. Not only is the initial set up cheaper, but downloading mp3s is much cheaper than buying vinyl to spin.
One thing about DJ turntables is that it requires some level of quality to actually qualify as a DJ turntable. Ultra cheap turntables (less than $100 USD) will simply be too flimsy to handle the rigours of DJing. This isn’t audiophile land – the best DJ turntables can be purchased for around $500 each, and they simply don’t get any better than that. What defines cheap DJ turntables is obviously a matter of opinion, but listed below are a series of turntables that combine reliability with affordability.
Good Cheap DJ Turntables
The Numark TTX is a one of the better cheap DJ turntables, and can be found heavily discounted on Amazon. The torque on this turntable is truly outstanding, and the record spins at the correct speed mere moments after hitting play. An added bonus of the TTX is that it has USB capability, and interchangeable tonearms so a straight arm can be swapped out for an S-shaped arm for more casual listening. It is a very reliable turntable that provides all of the required features for a fair price.
This Stanton model is a step below their very well regarded STR8-150. Stanton have managed to save costs by making the body mainly out of plastic. This won’t suit clubs well, but for home use the STR8-80s are a great option for learning how to DJ. It’s far more affordable than its older brother, as well. Longevity wise, they will not likely last as long as STR8-150s, but will serve you well for a few years while you learn the ropes. As you start to get gigs, you could upgrade to a more premium model.
How To Get Good Used Cheap DJ Turntables
The ever present favourite of the DJ world, the Technics 1200, is still able to be found second hand for about the price that you would pay for a Numark TTX or Stanton STR8-150 new. Buying a used DJ turntable can be dangerous, since you never really know just how thrashed it is unless you’re able to see it. Of course, if you purchase locally this won’t be a problem, and consequently this is what I recommend.
Make sure you check out the tonearm screws on a used Technics 1200 to make sure it hasn’t bee fiddled with unnecessarily. Similarly, check the bottom of the turntable to make sure all the screws are there. These can be hints that the turntable wasn’t treated with love, as missing and altered screws provide evidence that the turntable was experimented on more than Frankenstein. Make sure that the turntable has all the parts there – knobs, feet etc. – as replacing them can be an extra cost and again – a careful owner would have taken care of these (though accidents do happen to the best of us). Then just check out the general wear and tear on the unit – scratches on the surface and the like. That should be the bare minimum to look at when considering buying cheap DJ turntables second hand.
DJing does not have to be prohibitively expensive, but it does require a bit of upfront cost. If you’re committed to DJing, then consider getting a more expensive turntable that will last you for a while – the Numark TTX, whilst being cheap, will last many years. The Stanton STR8-80 is more of a beginner’s table that is much more affordable. Cheap DJ turntables are a great way of getting used to DJing, and buying new can save you the disappointment and hassle of buying a lemon second hand.