best value beginner turntable

Hello all,

I am hoping some of the audiophile experts here can help me out! Currently I have paradigm 11 v.5 speakers and a NAD326BEE integrated amp. I did have a Audio Technia LP60, but just returned it. New records were skipping and I read some things and talked to some people that said low-grade Audio Technias could do that and also end up damaging the records.

So, now that I have returned it. I am looking at where to go from there. Ideally, I don't want to spend more than a couple hundred dollars right now... Just looking to get started.

The LP60 had a built in phono preamp, so I am thinking if I don't get one like that again I also will have to get a phono preamp.

Any suggestions on a beginner turntable with a built in preamp? Or, suggestions on a beginner turntable and an external phono preamp?

Project debut Carbon is probably the best value in an entry level table. Table, carbon fiber arm and cartridge for under $400-. And it sounds very good.
Well...the AT LP 120 is a completely different beast than the lp60...comes equiped with AT 95E cart, weighs 25 lbs, speed is dead on, and is quiet as a church mouse....only negative...built in phono preamp, although a nice thought, has below average performance...I bought a dedicated unit <50 that sounds quite good...
Phasecorrect, you are saying you have the LP 120 and bypassed the preamp for your own preamp? If so, what preamp would you recommend?
Music Hall has an entry level tables I think the model is MMF2.1 now. It should cost about what the Project does. When I bought my MMF-5 it was their lowest level table the current version is up a couple of notches. The Music Hall USB table can be used as a regular table I understand and it costs only $250 or so brand new.
I looked at the REK -o-Kut phono preamps and they appear to be incredible bargains. Just be certain of the cartridge your going to use MM or MC. In all likelyhood MM.
Thanks for the tips. I just picked up a music hall USB-1 for 250. Hopefully it works out well. Listened to it in the store and it worked out fine.
Why not consider a used Denon 47F with a 103 cartridge? Great sound and value, but you need to be able to locate one that you can pick up.
Hi Buconero

Regarding the Denon 47F recommendation. Are parts for the older Denon TTs still available? I like the look and build quality of the older Denon TTs but from what I've gathered finding parts for them should there be a problem is very difficult. Would the newer Denon TTs from recent years be a better fit?

It works great so far! All the records I had that were skipping are no longer skipping on this turntable.