After years of decline, playing records has become a fun and interactive way to enjoy old musical favorites and discover new music. I especially love the new colored vinyl pressings, which add interest to your collection.
You may think putting together a Budget Audiophile Turntable Setup is difficult. However, the wide variety of powered speaker systems with built-in phono pre-amps makes it quick and easy. With a pair of powered speakers, there’s no need for a separate amplifier, which simplifies things immensely.
That’s especially true when considering the two components we have selected for our featured turntable system. First, we have the $429 Pro-Ject T1 Turntable, which is extremely easy to use, as the tonearm and cartridge are entirely set up at the factory.
Then we have the $ 699 Kanto TUK Powered Bookshelf Speakers with their built-in phono input, which lets you plug in the turntable and start playing music in minutes.
This system is not only simple to set up and use, but it also sounds fantastic, with the turntable’s warmth balanced out by the speakers’ remarkable detail.
- The Speakers: Kanto TUK Powered Bookshelf Speakers (Normally $899, on sale for $699)
- The Turntable: Pro-Ject T1 Turntable ($429.00)
Optional: Kanto SP26PL 26″ Speaker Floor Stands
The Speakers: Kanto TUK Powered Bookshelf Speakers (Normally $899, on sale for $699)
The first time we put the Kanto TUK Powered Bookshelf Speakers on, we listened to them for about 3 hours straight. We couldn’t pull ourselves away from them. We loved the way the music just drew us in. Their highly accurate AMT tweeters and metal woofers provide nicely focused imaging, good detail, and enough bass to give music the proper weight. They are very refined for the price, with excellent tonal balance.
There are also many connections to plug in any source, including the quality turntable we’re recommending. AptX-HD provides excellent Bluetooth sound if your device is compatible. So if you’re looking for a set of audiophile-quality powered speakers that are simple to operate and bring your music to life, these are what you want.
- Air Motion Transformer (AMT) tweeter
- 5-1/4″ aluminum woofer
- bass-reflex (ported) cabinet
- Frequency response: 40-20,000 Hz
- 130 watt Class D amplifier
- Bluetooth 4.2 with aptX-HD audio codec
- Toslink digital optical input
- Stereo RCA input
- Stereo RCA phono input
- Mono RCA subwoofer output
- Type-B USB input
- USB Type-A charging port
- Front-mounted 3.5mm headphone output
Read our full review
The Turntable: Pro-Ject T1 Turntable ($429.00)
The Pro-Ject T1 is a well-equipped entry-level turntable from Pro-Ject. It’s a component made for newbies to Vinyl to get up and running with minimal setup, which is one reason we chose it for this system.
This turntable is plug-and-play, meaning the tonearm and cartridge are set at the factory. You need to install the drive belt, put on the glass platter, then plug in the turntable to get up and running.
In addition, the T1 has a clean, minimalist design with a glossy MDF plinth, glass platter, and black aluminum tonearm. It will look good in any decor.
The T1 is also supplied with an Ortofon OM 5E Moving Magnet cartridge with an elliptical diamond stylus tip for good tracking; this is a proper hi-fi playback system that will give you a weighty, smooth presentation.
- Speed: 33,45 (manual speed change) Belt drive
- Speed variance 33: 0.7% 45: 0.6%
- Wow & Flutter 33: 0.25% 45: 0.23%
- Platter: Heavy 8mm, blasted-glass platter with felt mat
- Main bearing: Stainless steel/brass
- Signal to noise: 65dB
- Tonearm: 8.6” aluminum
- Effective arm length: 218.5 mm
- Counterweight for mass: 5 – 10g (pre-mounted)
- Tracking force range: 0 – 50mN (17.5 mN pre-adjusted)
- Included accessories: dustcover, feltmat, cable attached to record player
- Built-in Power Supply: 230V 50Hz (US: 110V 60Hz)
- Power consumption: 3 Watt max
In the final analysis:
If you want a nicely balanced turntable system that’s enjoyable to listen to and will take less than an hour to put together, check out this affordable setup we have today. The Kanto TUK is the most refined powered bookshelf speaker under $1k, and it will put the Pro-Ject T1’s warm and smooth presentation in the best light. If you need a pair of stands to put the speakers on, check out Kanto’s matching stands which look really good!
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I’m an audio writer who started as a young audio salesman/consumer electronics professional back in the late 90s. That’s where I discovered the magic of 2-Channel sound. My hunger for great sound has led me on a delightful music quest that continues today.