Current Turntable Manufacturers B to F

Turntables, Turntables G - Q, Turntables R - Z, Record Cutters, Specialised Phono Retailers.

Currently active record player & turntable manufacturers. B to F

Basis Audio
This company started out making high end players in the late 80's but is by now making a variety of models that range from the 1400, a deck that is in the upper reaches of the mid end (at sligthly less than 1500 in the USA) to the Debut Gold Vacuum that costs about 10 times that of the 1400.

Makes the Balance player, high end, if you were wondering and got good reviews when it came out however the newer LaGrange got raving reviews even in the typically xenophobic British hi-fi press and is considered one of the top turntables out there and while expensive not one of the most expensive tables out there.

BST Sound
Has a range of 4 DJ turntables all with fairly wide range pitch control etc., the budget belt driven model semi pro models PR 76 and PR 116 in addition to the directly driven models PR 216 and PR 336 that feature high torque motors (Links in French BTW). The 336 is particularily interesting since it has a couple of high tech sync features although at a quick glance these appear to only work with other equipment from the same company.

Sell the MT-T1, a Midi sized, belt driven, budget automatic turntable with a built in RIAA preamp that retails for only 50 UKP or so and is actually often seen discounted to 40 UKP or less which makes it the cheapest standalone turntable on the market. What makes this model interesting is it's design, in order to drive costs down the MT-T1 has a plinth construction that is similar in quality to a low budget portable radio, has the puniest motor that has ever tried to spin a record and it replaces the aluminium platter usually seen on the midi sizes decks with a smaller than LP sized plastic platter (the turntable is actually smaller than a standard midi table), however it still has the exact same MM pickup as almost all the competing Midi decks (most of whom are all the same design anyway) and the same RIAA correcting preamp to boot. But despite being 25 to 50% cheaper than and having had quite a few corners cut on it's design there is almost nothing between it and the cheapest midi decks soundwise, so this is something of a bargain and has been getting rave reviews in the UK press. Won't replace your Oracle though and if you are looking for a budget deck you might want to spend a bit more but this is ideal for your gran or as a second deck for occasional use. The company also has the RPA-1 which is basically a version of the MT-T1 above packed into a tabletop unit with an basic integrated analaogue radio, 1,5w amplifier and speakers built into the sides, list price is just above the MT-T1 but is has been seen recently discounted to just half that price and as such an unqalified bargain, but hi-fi it is not. Bush have also recently started making a budget DD "disco" turntable with pitch control for a very reasonable UKP 80 or so.

Makes players with built in amplification intended for use in classrooms etc, all have 78 rpm playback capability.

Cello See --> Zarathustra Turntables

Some of you may remember this company as a supplier of cheap and nasty mobile DJ boards based around BSR turndables in the early 80's. Today they supply their own decks, thankfully, the RT-1 is a budget DJ deck that is belt driven and thus only really suitable for amateur use, the PD-1 is their cheapest DD deck followed by the PD-2 and the top of the line PD-Q.

German manufacturer of high end turntables, including the Champion, Solution Evolution, Revolution and Reference. Their Clearaudio Reference is a class leader amongst high end turntables and fast becoming a point of reference that all audiophile decks are judged by.

Clearlight Audio
Has recently introduced the Recovery high end turntable.

has 2 DJ models on the market in the form of the DJ-3000 and the DJ-3500both have support for 78 rpm and hve a 20% sppeed variation available.

Crosley Radio
Makes a small portable record player, this has been selling very well in the USA apparently, you can get more info on it here.

DaVinci Audio
Makes the Unicum, this referece class table is basicaly another Swiss made high end turntable, an updated version of the AAS Gabriel with the DaVinci Audio Labs Grandezza tonarm and DaVinci Audio Labs Grandezza pickup.

Their cheapest model and the only one that appears to be distributed universally is the DP-29F, a Midi size budget belt driven automatic player with a built in RIAA preamp, note that the preamp is not perhaps the best in the business so if you amp has a reasonable quality phono input you should switch it out (there is a switch beside the output), there are technically 2 variants of this decks in the form of DP-29F S and DP-29F K but the only difference is the colour (Silver or Black) and there is only one or the other available in most countries, more info here (in German). The company replaced their long running Denon DP-47F in 2004 with the DP-500M which is a direct driven mid priced deck with some audiophile pretensions, what was surprising was that the new model is fully manual while the older model was the last bastion of the fully automatic Japanese quality turntable, the 500M however is geared toward Japanese tastes in that it has an S-shaped tonarm with an replaceable headshell while the European competitors emphasise tonarm rigidity. The deck is also much heavier than comparably priced models at just over 10 kg, the price of the 500M is excellent, the only problem being that the model seems to be distributed only in Asia and North America, read more on the Japanese homepage or read the brochure (PDF, English). The DP-1300M is a more recent development of the 500M that is only marketed in Asia, for the time being is anyway, it is just over twice the price of the 500 and the main improvements are an even more rigid base (weighing in at over 13 kg in total) and a better tonearm, it's still a S-shaped one with a replaceable headshell but with a much more rigid armtube, see the link here but note that since the model is only available in Japan all available info is in Japanese obviously.

The name simply stands for "Der Platten Spieler" (or The Record Player in English) and this is a new German high end player, it appears that the company does not have a prepense on the web but one of their dealers has more info here.

Their range of record players is unusual those days in that they are all fully automatic with the exception of the 505-4 which is semi-automatic but are still considered to be in the lower reaches of what can be called audiophile class (at the least their dearer models). The record players are actually made by the Alfred Fehrenbacher company and have been done so since 1993 but production stopped for a short time in 2002 when the mother company had financial problems but was soon restarted, note though that for the last few years the Dual lineup has only been sold in Europe and the current models are only available with 230v power supply, they will however work with both 50 and 60Hz electricity. (The company now owning the rights to the Dual name in the North America having no connection with the European one). The range starts with the CS 410 which is a update of the Dual CS 400, it's a low budget small turntable intended for use with a Midi system and thus comes with built in RIAA preamp so you can connect it directly to the line in of a hi-fi system, but unlike some such Midi style products this has an aluminium platter (rather than the plastic based ones that most such products feature) and a good basic sound with the RRP being under 100 €, more info here, note that there is an older model of a budget turntable from the company that shares the same name, the current model was introduced in 2003 or so and is silver in colour, anything older and black is a compleatly different design and actually a predecessor to the 415 2 model below. The next model up is built on a classic budget Dual design and is named the CS415 2, this is a fully automatic deck with a RRP of slightly under 200 €, more info on that deck from Schneider or A. Fehrenbacher, the CS435 1 you can find more info from Schneider or A. Fehrenbacher. The basic design of the three fully automatic Dual tables is essentially the same, being a plinth of 440 x 119 x 360 mm with a floating subchassis and an aluminium platter driven from a DC motor with a rubber belt. The 435 1 model differing from the 415 2 mostly in better isolation and damping resulting in a better sound but also in that the 435 1 tonarm while being the same basic design has adjustable anti-skating and counterbalance while the 415 2 tonarm is fixed to fit the supplied cartridge, which is more of a marketing divide than a technical one, i.e. the 415 2 is designed for your mum while the 435 1 is for the budget audiophile looking for an automatic, both models feature a Dual DMS 251S pickup. The CS455 1 their top of the line fully automatic model and is in may ways the gem of Dual's lineup, it's the only quality automatic deck currently on the market that supports the playback of 78 rpm records, it's better isolated than the 435 1 and it comes standard with the Ortofon OMB 10 rather than the DMS which allows you to use a large variety of Ortofon stylii including models intended for 78 Rpm., mono LP etc., and also to later upgrade to a better stylus profile such as naked elliptical or a line contact without having to switch pickups. There is a variant of the deck available called the CS 455 1M with the M standing for Massivholz, it's the same deck but with a range of visual improvements available such as a plinth painted with piano lacquer etc. and detailing on the metal parts of the deck, more info on the 455 1 can be had from Schneider or A. Fehrenbacher. Top of the line is the CS 505 4 which is a classic semi automatic turntable with a much copied tonarm and is often underrated as a performer. While it shares some important traits with it's cheaper siblings the better plinth design and improved arm characteristics (due to lack of automation) really make for a better sound while the arm lift retains at the least basic convenience features, it is in fact good enough just as a turntable and arm combination to justify a much better pickup than the supplied Ortofon OMB 10, the arm is well suited to most MM pickups or MC designs with compliance specs close to MM's or you can just upgrade the supplied cart by using a stylus intended for the OM 20 or 30 Super's. More info from Schneider or A. Fehrenbacher, or read an old review of it (deck has changed slightly since that review was written).

Dunlop See --> Audio Note Turntables

Have not been able to track down the manufacturer of this unit but the DL420 is widely sold in central Europe and is a typical low budget midi sized automatic with a built in RIAA amp, it's extremely cheap typically retailing at under 70&euro: and often closer to 50, is actually identical to the Roadstar TTL-8642/S except for the colour.

EnVouge Audio
Manufactures the Quasar high end turntable, this was one of the new generation of heavy platter decks (30 kg) that showed up in central Europe in the mid 90's, got great reviews then and it is still considered to be one of the better such models on the market, and while it's not exactly cheap it's not as outrageously expensive as some of it's counterparts.

Make series of record players that utilise lasers to get musical information from the record rather than a needle, thereby eliminating any wear and tear. A must see, and a must hear, a bit expensive but are much more practical and better sounding than most believe. One of the models has been reviewed by Stereotimes and also by Enjoy the Music.

Makes the Nostalgie Music Center 1237 which is as the name implies a budget CD based music centre that also features a fully automatic turntable, more info here.

Esoteric Sound
Started out selling and distributing players modified to be usable with 78 rpm and 16" transcription disks in the mid 80's but have extended their range recently and even have a recently introduced model that is an in house design capable of playing transcription disks of up to 17" in size. Their cheapest model is the Rhondine Jr.. All of their models are sold under the Rec-O-Kut brandname and unusually enough all of their models appear to come with a 78RPM capable stylus in addition to the more usual microgroove one.

Eurokits See --> Scheu Turntables

American company that makes the AVANTI Revolution Series 1-2 decks, but does more of building custom turntables to order. They also make a range of related accessories.

Final Labratory
Manufactures the Parthenon 2052 a heavy platter high end deck with a string drive.

Makes the Reference Series Turntable a reference class turntable that utilises an Air Bering rather than a normal one, the predecessor to this deck, the Forsell Air Reference Turntable turned the audio world on it's head in the 80's and has been ever improved since, current models come standard with a flywheel unlike older models where it was optional. The Reference Series Turntable is actually a record player since it is supplied with a linear air bearing tonearm, more info here.

the Funk Firm
Manufactures the Funk turntable that is available in 2 versions, first and formeost is the basic Funk that is similar in design concept to the DC motor driven, inverted main bearing, solid designs (ie- unsuspended, unless you count the Sorbothane damper on the feet as suspension) designs that hve been coming out of middle Europe for the last 20 years and as such is not only competing in price with the Regas and cheaper Clearaudio out there but is also very similar in design and sound, ie revealing and dynamic rather than the dullness you have come to expect from traditional British suspended designs,although if you are looking at a price comparison of this turntable versus it's immediate competition it should be noted that it comes without an arm. What is unusual about the Funk is the platter which is made out of PVC but unlike other such I have seen it is "expanded" (i.e. there is air in there), rather than solid and the platter is therefore much lighter than a similar platters you will see on the market but still retains the resonance characteristics of PVC and thus LP's. The somewhat more upmarket Funk V is basically the same unit as the Funk but has a more complicated drive system that the company refers to as a "Vector drive", basically three pulleys circle the platter and that are meant to stabilise the belt drive system. Both units look great BTW.

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The site was last compiled on Sun Nov 10 2013 at 9:15:00am