The Top Turntables with Preamp for an Enhanced Audio Experience

Enter the world of turntables with built-in preamps. These innovative devices are designed to take your vinyl listening experience to the next level. A preamp, also known as a phono stage, is responsible for amplifying the signal from the turntable’s cartridge and equalizing it to produce a balanced, clear sound.

By incorporating a preamp directly into the turntable, manufacturers have eliminated the need for additional equipment and streamlined the audio chain, resulting in improved sound quality and convenience.

In this article, we will explore the top turntables with preamps that are currently on the market. We will delve into their features, performance, and reviews to help you find the perfect device for your enhanced audio experience.

best turntable with preamp

What Are the Best Turntables with Preamp?

We hand-picked and curated the list of the best turntables with a preamp. These are the top 3 contenders on the market in our opinion. If you don’t want to invest in an amplifier but don’t want to compromise on quality you should check them out.

Top Contenders Comparison Table

Feature/ModelAudio-Technica AT-LP120XUSBSony PS-LX310BTRega Planar 1 Plus
Drive TypeDirect DriveBelt DriveBelt Drive
Built-in PreampYesYesYes
USB ConnectivityYesYesNo
Bluetooth ConnectivityNoYesNo
OperationFully ManualSemi-AutomaticManual
Speeds33 1/3, 45, 78 rpm33 1/3, 45 rpm33 1/3, 45 rpm
Pitch ControlYesNoNo
CartridgeAudio-Technica CartridgeSony CartridgeRega Carbon MM
PlatterDie-cast AluminumAluminum Die-CastPhenolic Resin
Additional FeaturesAnti-Skate, Speed IndicatorGain SelectorLow Noise Motor
Comparison table for the Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB, Sony PS-LX310BT, and Rega Planar 1 Plus turntables

We have highlighted the main features of each turntable, helping you to compare them more easily. Keep in mind that the best choice depends on your specific needs and preferences, such as whether you prioritize digital connectivity (like USB and Bluetooth) or sound quality elements (like the type of drive and cartridge).

Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB

This turntable is a favorite among both audiophiles and casual listeners. It offers a direct-drive motor, a USB output for digitizing your vinyl records, and a selectable built-in preamp. Its versatility and quality make it a great choice for those who want a mix of modern features and classic vinyl experience. We found this is the best turntable with preamp.

Key Features:

  1. Direct-Drive Motor: Provides stable rotation and quick start-ups.
  2. Built-in Preamp: Selectable phono preamp for easy connectivity to various audio systems.
  3. USB Output: Allows you to connect directly to your computer and digitize your vinyl collection.
  4. Fully Manual Operation: Offers hands-on control of your listening experience.
  5. Adjustable Dynamic Anti-Skate Control: Helps to prevent tracking errors.
  6. Variable Pitch Control with Quartz Speed Lock: Useful for DJs and vinyl enthusiasts.
  7. High-Quality Audio-Technica Cartridge: Comes pre-mounted on a headshell for excellent sound quality.
  8. Stroboscopic Platter with Speed Indicator: Ensures accurate platter speed.

Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB review

Sony PS-LX310BT

If you’re looking for a blend of good quality and modern convenience, this Sony turntable is a great option. It features a built-in phono preamp and also offers Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to wirelessly stream your vinyl records to Bluetooth speakers or headphones. It’s user-friendly and perfect for those who appreciate the convenience of wireless technology.

Key Features:

  1. Bluetooth Connectivity: Wirelessly connect to Bluetooth speakers and headphones.
  2. Built-in Phono Preamp: Easy setup with a variety of systems.
  3. One-Step Auto Start, Stop, and Return: Simplifies the playing process, especially for beginners.
  4. Two Speeds: Plays both 33 1/3 and 45 rpm records.
  5. USB Ripping: Transfer vinyl to digital files via USB.
  6. Aluminum Die-Cast Platter: Ensures stable and smooth playback.
  7. Gain Selector: To match the audio level of your record.

Rega Planar 1 Plus

Rega is renowned for its high-quality turntables, and the Planar 1 Plus is no exception. It includes a built-in phono stage, which is based on Rega’s acclaimed Fono Mini. This turntable is known for its excellent sound quality and ease of use, making it a great choice for both beginners and experienced vinyl enthusiasts.

Key Features:

  1. Built-in Phono Stage: Based on the acclaimed Rega Fono Mini for exceptional sound quality.
  2. Low Noise, Synchronous Motor: Reduces vibration and enhances sound stability.
  3. RB110 Tonearm: Featuring Rega’s bespoke zero-play bearings.
  4. Phenolic Resin Flywheel Effect Platter: For improved speed stability.
  5. Thermoset, Gloss Laminated Plinth: Adds to both aesthetics and durability.
  6. Factory-Fitted Carbon Moving Magnet Cartridge: High-quality cartridge for superior sound reproduction.
  7. Easy to Use: Designed for plug-and-play with minimal setup required.

Understanding the Importance of Preamps

Preamps play a crucial role in boosting the low-level output of turntables, ensuring that even the faintest sounds are brought to life. By amplifying these signals, preamps enable a richer and more dynamic sound experience for the listener.

Moreover, the significance of preamps in improving sound quality cannot be overstated. By reducing noise and distortion, preamps can enhance the clarity and fidelity of the audio signal. This allows for a more immersive and enjoyable listening experience, as every detail of the music is faithfully reproduced.

How Preamps Amplify Weak Signals From Turntables

A preamp, short for a preamplifier, is a crucial component in the audio signal chain. It serves as the intermediary between the turntable and the amplifier, preparing the weak signal from the turntable for further amplification.

When a vinyl record is played on a turntable, the stylus picks up the vibrations from the grooves and converts them into an electrical signal. However, this signal is typically feeble and needs to be boosted before it can be properly amplified. This is where the preamp comes in.

Preamps are designed to amplify the weak signal from the turntable to a level that is suitable for further amplification. They use a combination of electronic components and circuits to boost the signal while minimizing noise and distortion. By increasing the signal strength, preamps ensure that the audio signal is strong enough to be faithfully reproduced by the amplifier and speakers.

The amplification provided by preamps not only enhances the volume of the signal but also improves its overall quality. Weak signals are more susceptible to noise and interference, resulting in a loss of detail and fidelity. By boosting the signal, preamps help to overcome these issues and deliver a cleaner, more vibrant sound.

In addition to amplification, preamps also play a crucial role in preserving the frequency response and dynamic range of the audio signal. They ensure that the full range of frequencies present in the original recording is accurately reproduced, without any loss or distortion. This is especially important for vinyl enthusiasts who value the warm and rich sound that is unique to analog recordings.

Best Turntable with Preamp FAQs

What are some of the best turntables with a built-in preamp for audiophiles?

Some highly recommended turntables with built-in preamps for audiophiles include the Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB, Sony PS-LX310BT, and Rega Planar 1. These models offer exceptional sound quality, reliable performance, and convenient built-in preamps for hassle-free setup and connection to audio systems.

Are turntables with built-in preamps suitable for casual listening or professional use?

Turntables with built-in preamps are versatile and can cater to both casual listening and professional use. If you’re an audiophile who wants a convenient setup for casual enjoyment of vinyl records, a turntable with a built-in preamp can be a great choice. However, for professional use or if you prefer customization options, separate preamps might provide more flexibility and control over your sound.

What are the benefits of using a turntable with a built-in preamp?

Using a turntable with a built-in preamp offers several advantages. Firstly, it simplifies the setup process as you don’t need to purchase a separate preamp. This can be especially beneficial for beginners or those who prefer a hassle-free experience. Additionally, built-in preamps often come with features like adjustable gain and equalization settings, allowing you to fine-tune the sound to your preferences. Lastly, turntables with built-in preamps are generally more compact and cost-effective compared to separate preamp setups.


In conclusion, the top turntables with preamps are an essential addition to any audiophile’s collection. They not only provide a superior audio experience but also add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any space. So go ahead, indulge in the world of vinyl, and let the music take you on a journey like no other.

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