The 8 Best Turntables With a Built-in Preamp

Want a turntable system? However, you don’t want anything to be bulky and want a neat and tidy setup? Then you are going to want the best turntable with a built-in pre-amp for this system.

A turntable with a pre-amp built-in was once frowned upon by audiophiles, but that is no longer the case. With the resurgence of vinyl records after a slow few years, the technology has made giant leaps. With this, a turntable that now packs a pre-amplifier is not something to shy away from.

A turntable with a built-in turntable cuts down the need for a separate pre-amp, even a receiver if you use powered speakers.

We have put together eight of the best turntable that packs a pre-amp and reviewed each, showing why they are on the list. We have found turntables to suit all budgets so you can get the perfect system within your price range.

Pro-Ject T1 Phono SB Turntable with Built-in Preamp

A Turntable that boasts that it uses no plastic parts is something worth considering if you want quality. The Pro-Ject T1 is built with sound quality in mind down to not having hollow spaces inside. This cuts down on the vibrations within the turntable that can affect the sound. Looking to match a room in your house, you choose between black, white, and walnut.

Record Player Type: The Pro-Ject T1 is a belt-driven turntable that offers fluid movement.

Record Sizes and Speed: It can play 33 and 45inch vinyl records with electronic speed change. You push a button located at the turntable front left to change between the two options.

Tone Arm: The straight one-piece, 8.6” manual tonearm, is put together at the factory, so it is correctly setup. The tonearm is taken from past Pro-Ject models and upgraded for complete accuracy when in use. Attached is a pre-adjusted Ortofon OM 5E Moving Magnet cartridge. This cartridge has a diamond stylus needle for complete accuracy.

Platter: Looking for style? This turntable has it with a hefty 8mm, zero-resonance blasted-glass platter with a felt platter mat.

Signal-to-Noise Ratio: With a 65dB signal to noise rating, this put this turntable in a high-end category, so you will not have much if any, background noise with this turntable.

Pre-Amp: The Pro-Ject T1 comes with a Built-in pre-amp, so you connect to any system. The great thing about this turntable is that the pre-amp is passable if you ever want to change your system around.

Upgradable: If for any reason, a part breaks down, there will be no need for a new turntable with the Pro-Ject T1. Every part of this turntable is available to purchase to upgrade or replace.

Connectivity: Not much in terms of extra connectivity with the Pro-Ject T1. It’s all about the sound and keeping it minimal. You have RCA connector types of hooking up to the rest of your system.

If you are after a quality turntable that is already setup and ready to use right out of the box, then the Pro-Ject T1 is well worth considering.

U-Turn Audio – Orbit Plus Turntable with built-in pre-amp

A turntable that not only is built to high standards but one that can fit your room design. The Orbit plus comes in a wide variety of color choices. Assembled in the USA and ready to play after some simple setup, this is a turntable worth considering.

Record Player Type: The U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus is an external belt-driven turntable, the exterior design cuts down on motor noise.

Record Sizes and Speed: It can play at 33/45 RPM and is changed manually by adjusting the belt, which is easy to do with the external belt.

Tone Arm: The orbit plus comes with an OA2 gimbal arm built by hand in the factory. Attached is an Ortofon OM5E cartridge that has an elliptical diamond stylus to give rich deep sounds.

Platter: The acrylic platter looks cool and improved speed consistency, which gives a more detailed playback. You also get a felt platter mat if you want extra protection for your vinyl.

Signal-to-Noise Ratio: The Orbit plus comes in at 63dB in the signal to noise ratio. So very little background noise. This is helped with the external belt.

Pre-Amp: Orbit plus come with a Pluto Phono Preamp built-in that makes it easy to connect your system to powered speakers without the need for other equipment. Don’t need the pre-amp in time? A bypass switch will allow you to pass the built-in pre-amp.

Upgradable: Upgrading is easy with the orbit, plus you can get most parts that are needed to be changed. For instance, the belt is easily purchased and easily changed with the exterior design.

Connectivity: Not much to say regarding connections, the standard RCA ports to join it to your system. This is expected with a turntable like this that is all about the sound it produces.

Denon DP-300F Turntable with Built-In Phono Equalizer

Denon was established in 1910 and has been a big name in a turntable for many of them years. The Denon DP-300F is not letting the side down with a solid build that is all about getting quality sound easily.

Record Player Type: The Denon DP-300f is a DC servo motor and belt drive system turntable.

Record Sizes and Speed: It can play any size record at 33 RPM and 45 RPM so that you won’t be stuck with this turntable. You can change between speeds and records size with a push of a button next to the tonearm.

Tone Arm: The Denon DP-300F comes with an automatic tonearm that moves the tonearm to start the play. Once the record stops, the automatic tonearm returns to the resting position. If you are someone who likes to place the needle yourself, then you have the option to do so with the included cueing lever.

Platter: The Platter is made from rigid diecast aluminum that will give you a uniformed rotation for smooth sound output.

Signal-to-Noise Ratio: With a 60dB, this turntable is still within the excellent range, so little noise from components. This is achieved with a heady base construction to reduce the vibrations on the moving parts.

Pre-Amp: The built-in phono equalizer allows you to connect to a receiver with no pre-amp or active speakers.

Upgradable: The components that are likely to be changed are the cartridge and the belt. Both items are readily available to purchase online; the cartridge is a MM design that is very easy to upgrade or change.

Connectivity: With the pre-amp that comes with the Denon DP-300F, it allows you to connect o any system using an AUX input.

Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB-BK

Audio-Technica is a renowned company within the turntable industry since 1962. This is a well-built turntable that not only gives a perfect sound output. It gives you the ability to convert your vinyl records into digital format with the USB output.

Record Player Type: The Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB-BKDC is a servo direct-drive motor turntable.

Record Sizes and Speed: You can play every type of vinyl size with this turntable at different RPM 33, 45, and 78 speeds. Changing speed is easy with a push of a button on the main base.

Tone Arm: The s-shaped tonearm is manually operated with the hydraulically damped lift control for precision cueing of the needle. The inclusion of a target light also helps with this task. The cartridge is an AT-VM95E Dual Magnet phono cartridge; this gives ultra-clean sound.

Platter: The platter is a diecast aluminum platter that comes with a felt mat to reduce vibration.

Signal-to-Noise Ratio: At 50dB signal to noise ratio is still an ok level, and you won’t find too much background noise with this turntable.

Pre-Amp: The Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB-BK comes with a built-in selectable phono pre-amp so you can choose phono or line-level output.

Upgradable: As you would expect from such a large brand, all parts are readily available online. The main thing you are likely to want to upgrade is the cartridge, and these are readily available in many different price ranges.

Connectivity: RCA output cable is included to join up your system quickly. If you want to turn your vinyl into MP3 files, this is where this turntable comes into its own. You can connect this turntable with USB to your computer. Then you can use recording software to turn your vinyl into MP3 format.

Fluance RT80 Vinyl Turntable

Fluance is a relatively new brand established in 1999 but fast-making a name for themselves with audio products. A high-performance turntable at an affordable price that comes in a lovely high gloss black made from wood. The wood not only looks good but helps reduce any vibrations.

Record Player Type: The Fluance RT80 is a Belt Driven turntable that is powered by a DC motor.

Record Sizes and Speed: You can play all your vinyl in their required speed 33 RPM and 45 RPM. Changing between the speeds is quickly done with a simple turn of a dial on the turntable bed.

Tone Arm: The Fluance RT80 Static Balanced aluminum S-Type tonearm is semi-automatic. There is an auto-stop feature that will pick up the tonearm to stop any scratching. The cueing lever allows for perfect placement of the stylus onto the vinyl. Audio-Technica AT91 stylus is what Fluance has gone with, which is known to reduce noise and distortion.

Platter: Aluminum platter with an accompanying felt mat to help reduce vibrations when in operation.

Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 67dB at this price point is something that Fluance can be proud of. With a 60dB signal to noise ratio, this puts it in the high-end category with little background noise produced.

Pre-Amp: PHONO/LINE Switchable + all electronics bypassed when using external pre-amp

Upgradable: Replacing parts will take a little more research as they are not so readily available. However, the main components you will want to change in time, like the stylus, will be easy to find.

Connectivity: Gold plated RCA line outputs for warm crisp sounds. There is a ground terminal but not much more in terms of connectivity. However, this is not a bad point as Fluance has concentrated on excellent audio output than gimmicks.

Sony PS-LX310BT Turntable

Audio equipment from Sony, you know you will be buying quality. A 5-star rating backs this up from What HiFi. A turntable that is not only easy to use it can record audio and is Bluetooth compatible. Is there anything more you can want from a turntable?

Record Player Type: The Sony PS-LX310BT Turntable is a Belt-driven system. With a fully automatic system, you can press a button, and the turntable will autocue your records. You will be listening to your favorite vinyl with ease. At the end of the record, the tonearm will auto return home such a neat feature, right?

Record Sizes and Speed: You can play any size record; this is one thing to think about. However, to switch to 45rpm from 33rpm, you need the switch the adaptor, which is easy to do just under the tonearm.

Tone Arm: Aluminum straight tonearm that is fully automatic. It is said that the design of it offers a smooth listing experience.

Platter: The Aluminum diecast platter offers a very stable motion for perfect sound output.

Signal-to-Noise Ratio: At 50dB, this is a little on the low side. So the keen ear may not like this with some background noise. However, most will not tell the difference, and with all the features, we let it off. Also, the pre-amp feature can overcome any of these problems, but more on that next.

Pre-Amp: The Sony PS-LX310BT Turntable come with a built-in switchable PHONO output/line out PHONO pre-amp. With a GAIN setting, you can change between low, medium, and high to best match your playing vinyl.

Upgradable: The essential parts are easy to find online, like a stylus replacement and a new belt. These are the key components that may need changing in time and are available, which we like to see.

Connectivity: Looking to turn your vinyl into MP3 audio files? The USB connection will then make this a simple process to link up to your computer to carry this out. If you want a clean, simple system, then the Bluetooth connectivity will be just what you are after. Simple press a link button and connect it to your Bluetooth speakers. You also have the more traditional RCA terminals.

1byone Turntable Built-in Phono Preamp

Looking for a pre-amp turntable and a turntable on a budget that can do it all Bluetooth and USB, this may be what you want. The 1byone turntable offers you are all at super low pricing, all this in a super looking wood case.

Record Player Type: This is a belt-driven turntable with a polished steel spindle to cut down on drag.

Record Sizes and Speed: This turntable will happily play 33 records

Tone Arm: A simple aluminum tonearm which you would expect on a budget turntable with anti-skating weight is a nice bonus. Also, excellent is the diamond-tipped Audio-Technica styluses that are known to be top-notch.

Platter: Aluminum diecast platter is what you expect again on a budget turntable. However, a nice feature is the polished steel spindle to cut down on any drag for a clean spin.

Signal-to-Noise Ratio: No information like this and is expected on a budget turntable.

Pre-Amp: Built-in MM-type pre-amp, so no need for an external pre-amp, and it has a bypass, which is a nice touch.

Upgradable: With anything, budget parts are going to be hard to come across. You can change the stylus, which is the idea that is most likely needed to be changed.

Connectivity: This is to wear this turntable excels with the ability to have multiple connections. You first have the standard RCA connectivity. Then you have wireless connectivity thought Bluetooth to connect to a multitude of devices. Are you looking to record your vinyl? Then the USB connectivity will allow you to hook up to your PC to do this.

Crosley C6 Turntable

Not a Crosley, I hear people scream. However, I feel this is a very unfair judgment and seems the cool thing to say. The Crosley C6 Turntable is on the list on merit and can offer you a great solution if you are shopping on a budget.

Record Player Type: This is a belt-driven turntable that is fully manual operated.

Record Sizes and Speed: You can choose between 33 & 45 rpm records so you can play any size, which is neat. Changing is quickly done by moving the belt into the next groove on the spindle.

Tone Arm: The aluminum tonearm comes with counterweight for excellent stabilization. AT-3600 Moving Magnet Cartridge is mounted with a standard mount. We find that low budget turntables turn to AT for their super cartridges due to the sound they produce.

Platter: Aluminum steel platter to give you a solid base for your vinyl.

Signal-to-Noise Ratio: This is not going to be tested on a budget turntable. You have to go of people’s ears, and most people seem happy with the sound quality.

Pre-Amp: The pre-Amp is what we want, and the ability to bypass is a neat extra. The Crosley C6 offers both, so this is a pass for me.

Upgradable: You are going to be able to replace the cartridge with little trouble. However, other parts will be hard to find; this is expected on a budget device.

Connectivity: Crosley hasn’t tried to jam a load of extras, and you only get the standard RCA connectivity. I don’t feel this is a bad thing as Bluetooth and USB connections can cause sound distortion. With the less is more approach, this may be why people are saying this is a pretty decent sounding turntable for the price.

Best Turntables with a Built-in Pre-Amp Buying Guide Tips

In each of our overviews of the best turntables, we covered some of the essential features with a turntable. I give an overview of what I like to see in each category with a turntable pre-amp.

Record Player Type: I like a belt-driven turntable with an offset motor in regards to turntable type. There is no right or wrong, really, but the high-end turntable comes with belt-driven styles.

Tone Arm: I prefer to cue my tonearm onto the vinyl and feel you get little control with a fully automatic system. A semi-automatic may be ideal if you are new and don’t like the idea of cueing your records.

Signal-to-Noise Ratio: This is the amount of noise produced from the turntable you want a high number. You want the best you can afford as with turntable that has a built in pre-amps can produce a little more noise than average.

Pre-Amp: A pre-amp with the ability to be bypassed is what I would always go with. What this will give you is the ability to upgrade your system without the need to buy a new turntable.

Record Sizes and Speed: If you play different size records, you will want a turntable that can play them.

Upgradable: Being able to upgrade or replace parts is crucial for me. There is nothing worse than having to replace a turntable as there are no replacement parts.

Connectivity: Less is more when it comes to inputs and built-in turntable pre-amps. You already have different ideas that can cause noise, so that extra inputs can cause even more.

Integrated pre-amp: Pros and Cons

There are positive with integrated pre-amp turntables, and it would only be fair to list both within my guide.

Integrated pre-amp Pros:

No need for external pre-amp
Easy setup of a turntable sound system
Cheaper to set up a full system
Less space required to house your audio system

INTEGRATED PRE-AMP Cons:

Sound quality may not be as good.
If no bypass, it can be hard to upgrade

How to Setup a Turntable with a Built-in Pre-amp

Making a turntable system with a built-in pre-amp is easy and can be done with only two components. Many people opt for this setup as it is clean and takes up a lot less space than a setup that requires four components.

  • Turntable with integrated pre-amp
  • Powered “Active” speakers

You then use RCA cable to connect them and plug both components into the mains, and you are set to go. This will give you a very compact and clean system.

For more information and a more in-depth guide, see our How to Set up a Turntable System.

FAQ

Does my turntable need a pre-amp?

You don’t need a turntable with a built-in pre-amp; however, you will need an external pre-amp to have a fully working turntable audio setup.

Will a pre-amp make my turntable sound better?

Your turntable system needs a pre-amp to work; Wheatear, you need an external or a built-in pre-amp to make your vinyl sound better is subjective to each individual. This is a long-standing argument that will still rumble on for years to come.

What is a turntable pre-amp?

A pre-amp is an audio component that turns electric signals produced by the turntable needle then takes these signals and amplifies them into your sound system. Without the pre-amp the signals would be too weak to produce any audio.

Does my turntable have a preamp?

Look for a Phonon Line Switch or a USB port on the rear of your turntable; having one or both of these will mean your turntable has a pre-amp. If you want to read more on this, see how to set up a turntable system.

Does the ion turntable have pre-amp?

Ion turntables offer plenty of budget turntables and what you will find with the budget turntable is that they come with pre-amp. However, it is worth checking the turntable’s rear to see if you see the PHONO input on the rear.

Conclusion

Why do you want a turntable with a built in pre-amp? Is it for a slimmed-down sound system? Whatever the reason, I hope my guide helps you find the best turntable with a built in pre-amp for your needs.

There are pros and cons for going with a built in pre-amp, and you have to weigh them up. Using our buying guide should make this decision a little easier.

There are many different price ranges, and I would always recommend pushing your budget as high as possible. That’s if you are going with a simple audio system that consists of turntables and speakers.

That leaves us at the end of my article; if you have any comments about the built-in pre-amp please comment below. I would love to hear from you.