Turn table for my kid???

My daughter just told me she wants a turn table. That thought really excites me because I hope she eventually loves music as much as I do.  Additionally, I've been thinking of getting into vinyl myself but haven't for fear of the money pit it will become like the rest of my audio endeavors.

So it looks like I can start this journey together with my kid.  Cool.  My question then is what's a good entry level tt?  I assume I will need to get a phono pre, etc?  I would much prefer one that is as self contained as possible.  Ideally I would be able to just connect some speakers to it or connect it directly into my integrated amp. Please take it easy on a vinyl noob.

Thank you and happy new year!
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Having a common interest with your child, priceless. That said i must ask: What is your budget for TT and phonostage?

 As a start I suggest you look online at Needle Doctor and Music Direct for their offerings. There are budget TTs that have phonostage built in. Denon, Music Hall, and ProJect come to mind.

Good luck to you and your Daughter!   
Thank you @yogiboy.  That's expensive though.  I just came across something that I think fits what I need but I have no idea if it's junk or not.


The only reason I suggested the VPI is that you said you wanted to join your child in the journey together.
BTW, that LP60 without speakers is a hundred dollar table.
And a Happy New Year to you!
@yogiboy I apologise for not being more clear.  I should have said I want to use my daughter as a guinea pig!!!  She won't care too much about sound quality.  

So I am paying $200 for 2 speakers with the LP60?
Hi TB -

The LP60 is a bit of a plastic toy.

I have set up a few of my buddies' post college age kids with the Audio Technica LP120.  It is sturdy, the built in preamp is decent and is not susceptible to hum, and the included cartridge is ok.  The silver version is less expensive than the black version, but that is the only difference.  If you want to swap out the cartridge, it is easy to do as it is a standard size head shell.  You could do a lot worse even for yourself.  


Lots of choices for powered speakers from Emotiva, and PSB, for starters.




Audio Technica makes a PL120, which is a serious improvement over the PL60. I have a friend that owns the PL120. Seems like a well made table for the asking price ~$250.  Comes with AT95E cartridge. Has a built in phonostage which can be switched out should one wish to upgrade to separate one. Doesn't Needledoctor offer this model? There are several vendors via Amazon.

This TT and the Audioengine A2 would provide your daughter a most simplistic, budget minded, and enjoyable starter vinyl system for under $500. 

Go the 5 bills and make her a fan.  


Whichever table you choose, be sure to get a MM cartridge with a readily available replacement stylus slide-on assembly. With my college kid wanting a table I knew that a $10 replacement cantilever/stylus for her Shure cart will never be an issue. 

A used vintage table seems like a wise choice. We went with a Thorens, but a DD Technics or Pioneer or a belt driven Rega would all give decent performance for a couple of hundred bucks.

If she gets into it, and wants to move the table to her own system, vintage amps & receivers often had reasonably serviceable MM phono stages built in, so keep your eyes open for a garage sale/craigslist bargain. Cheers,
I agree with the others. Do not get her the LP60. You want to instill a love of music and especially music from vinyl sources. Not kill it by providing a cheap plastic toy that will only fulfill a passing fad.

The LP120 while still extremely entry level, does has an adjustable tonearm, a decent pre-mounted AT-95E elliptical cartridge and will not chew up records. Like the LP60 will. Coupled with a decent pair of active speakers, the 120LP would be the minimum to safely dive into the vinyl rabbit hole.

It amazes me that young folks all want to get into vinyl, are willing to spend an average of $25 for new re-issues and play them on $100 decks like the LP60 or even worse, Crosleys.

Start her out right.
Try the U-Turn Orbit. Has choice of colors, can have with onboard phono stage or buy separate. Is not costly, And IS a serious turntable complete with dust cover and pre mounted cartridge. Recommended by Michael Fremer of Stereophile.
+1 for the U-Turn Orbit.
MHO, I'd look around eBay for something that'll fit your price level and yet be something 'a cut above' the AT's.  You might want to spring for a new stylus for it's cart, but I'd consider that SOP.

I ran into a Garrard Zero 100 at a local Goodwill for 20$ that was in perfect shape that only needed a little TLC in regards to lube on the mechanisms.  But I'm a tangential fan and like that sort of thing. *G*

You didn't mention if she already has some sort of audio in place.  If it doesn't have a phono in, you can score an RIAA preamp for not big bills.  I've a Behringer unit that works beautifully and didn't cost the earth.

Anyway....enjoy the trip with the dau.  Vinyl is still sweet, and shopping the used platters with her could be an enjoyable way to spend a day. ;)

Don't forget to instruct on 'care and feeding'....carbon brushes, d-stat, all that... 
Oh, and there's also your local Habitat for Humanity.  Our local here in Asheville gets some goodies in, but competition is fierce.  I'm not the only one 'watching', and I live 1/4 mi. away....*L*

Anybody own a U-Turn Orbit and can speak from experience?  I ask because I think back of when I had the Pro-ject Carbon Debut and could not understand the rave reviews, after using the turntable.  I thought that the Audio Technica 120LP offered a better product and value.

Whatever you do don't get them a Crosley turntable. Whenever I see those pieces of garbage I cringe. I was at Best Buy returning some stuff and saw the  Denon DP-300F turntable for $200. Why not just get them that TT and call it a day. If they don't like it they can return it to Best Buy and it won't cost them much.
Don't discount used. Lots of great old and slightly newer turntables to be had. Your original post seems to indicate this will be hooked up to your system for now. Will she one day want her own setup? What do wish to spend on this endeavor?  
Rega PL1 Planar 1 with cartridge $475.00 it's a nice entry level TT. 
lenmc2964, That would be a great start up table. He needs tell us what his budget really is though. So many options.....but what does he wish to spend?
If you read through the posts, he does give an idea to budget.  He was looking at an AT LP60 with powered speakers for $350.  Most of the replies have been saying you need to be in the $500 range (assuming new) for TT and speakers, unless you want plastic junk.


Thank you very much for all the replies.  I am trying to do as much research as I can.  After talking to my daughter here is what we want...

Budget $500
Phono preamp built it
Ideally be able to use active speakers or plug in headphones.  

Is that asking too much????
Not asking too much.  $250 for a turntable, $250 for powered speakers. 

If you are buying new, I still stand by the Audio Technica LP120.  I have owned the turntable and have set it up for a few friends' systems.  Go to any Guitar Center or professional DJ/ music shop if you wish to audition it.  

You may save some bucks if you buy a used/ vintage TT, but you will need to know how to perform basic clean-up and lubrication duties.  Your call.      

As for powered speakers, there are several companies out there to choose from ... Audio Engine, PSB, Emotiva, Klipsch.  They are only going to play so loud, so for a small room system, you will be fine.

See, not so tough.


There’s a Technics SL1200 on the Audio Asylum trader for $500.
Bought a used NAD 556 (rega RP1 essentially) for my college aged son, with u-turn preamp and it worked out great! Definitely don't ignore used gear, RP1s with the performance package come up periodically on audiogon, or open box ones are cheaper at music direct or audioadvisor.
I just bought an excellent condition Beogram 5500 for my secondary system (wife friendly). Plug-and-play, Danish cool, solid construction. I am using it more than my Clearaudio main rig lately. Maybe I got lucky but it came with a very nice sounding MMC2. All for $250. Fully automatic which I think your daughter would appreciate.
With a budget of $500, I’d suggest avoiding speakers entirely and instead, opt for headphones.

Granted she won’t be getting a pair of Stax, but neither will she be getting a pair of Wilson Audio Sophias either...

Definitely look into the Denon DP-300F for your price range. It has a built in phono preamp and is probably built better than the AT offerings. Crutchfield recently had them on sale for $200. 

I agree with Nordicnorm that you'll get the most bang for your buck with headphones.You can find some great headphones for around  $100, like the Grado SR80.

With the Denon DP-300F and headphones, you can be listening for about $300. You'd have a couple hundred left over for a Spin Clean record cleaner, carbon fiber brush, (a must) and a decent cartridge, like the Shure M97xe. Music Direct or Needle Doctor would likely be able to mount the cartridge for you. 

Since you're new to the hobby, I'd avoid vintage turntables for now.

Or find her a nice vintage DD Technics...
My son wanted a turntable this Christmas and, fortunately gave me plenty of notice.  I eventually found an audiophile used Technics SL-1200 MK II on eBay for $599 and added an Ortofon 2M Red cartridge.  The combination sounds great together and there are plenty of parts and mods available for this TT in the future if it breaks or he wants to upgrade.

@fastdart69 Well done, perfect choice! If he wants to learn about upgrade path and cheap tweaks etc. have him read the Techiepedia forum on theartofsound British website. A big 1200-loving crowd there with tons of experience. Cheers,
Just to close the loop on this I ended up getting my kid a bundle that included the Audiotechnica LPS-120 and Klipsch R-15PM powered speakers.  I got it shipped for $499.  

We set it up last night and I must say my nerd side really enjoyed messing around with the force and anti skate settings!  I am going to fiddling around with my kid's TT for sure.

The sound was surprisingly good.  The Klipsch speakers sounded warm and pleasing which was all I expected.  The remote control and ability to play music from my kid's iphone via Bluetooth is a nice feature.  Last night I played an original pressing of Stan Getz "Focus" from 1961 and could not but help to enjoying the music.  

Thank you all for all your advice.  Now, I just need to fight the audiophile urge to get my own TT which will undoubtedly lead me down a very expensive rabbit hole!
Well done. Thanks for the follow-up post.
Yes, thanks for the follow-up.