Best Turntable for Sonos System

  • 18 February 2022
  • 9 replies
  • 3706 views

We have an in home Sonos speaker system for our music & televisions. I want to purchase the best turntable that will adapt to our Sonos system. Can you recommend one?


9 replies

I don’t have a specific recommendation for you, but I’m glad that you have a $1K budget. Many people are buying $150 turntables and in my opinion these are dreary. A step-up cartridge is worth the extra  money. Don’t assume that the cartridge is properly aligned. 
 

I’ve not seen any recent cartridge alignment tutorials that I like. This one seems reasonable. When viewed from the front the stylus should be perpendicular to the record surface. When viewed from the side the top of the stylus should lead the bottom by about 20 degrees. (There is controversy over this exact value that depends on the disc cutting angle. You have no control over this and the exact cutting angle actually varies, depending on the music content. Good luck finding a rational discussion on this topic.)

If you want to be extremely fussy you’ll find that the optimal vertical tracking angle varies by disk. If the turntable offers some sort of height reference, you can mark each record with its optimal height.

Ideally, you want the arm vertical height to be such that the arm bearings are in the plain of the record, but this is the least of your worries.

If this seems like a lot of work, it is. It can take a couple hours to work through this. Another discussion is matching the arm mass with cartridge compliance.

I won’t debate about the “comfort” of spinning LP’s or your preference of playing LP’s that were mastered prior to the draconian compression used for modern releases. I don’t miss LP’s and their complex alignment issues and I hate modern highly compressed CD’s too. Some of the “hi-res” stuff is worth the effort, but don’t assume that, just because it claims “hi-res” that it is actually is “hi-res”.

Userlevel 7

Which Sonos devices do you own?

Userlevel 7
Badge +22

I can’t recommend something as “best” without knowing your ears and your budget. What I can recommend is a visit here to do a bit of reading on what is available.

https://www.crutchfield.com/g_10500/Turntables.html?tp=75887

They have more info on cartridges, pre-amps and such too.

https://www.crutchfield.com/m_358450/Turntables-Accessories.html

 

Not recommending for you but I truly loved my earlier version of this one and would buy another if I went back to vinyl. Easy to swap cartridges and the pre-amp I had made swapping from mm to mc cartridges easy.

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_133SL1210B/Technics-SL-1210GR.html?tp=75887

Userlevel 4
Badge +6

Yeah, “best” is always difficult to gauge for someone else.  Nevertheless… I suggest this one might be “most appropriate” match to Sonos sound, price, and convenience factor: the Pro-Ject “Automat A1.”  Why?  Pre-installed cartridge, automatic arm-lifter at end of record, phono pre-amp already built in.  About 1/4 the price ($500) of the Technics SL-1210GR ($1700, plus cartridge&preamp).  They are still pre-ordering for delivery “in February” (ha) but that’s no worse than “temporarily out of stock” on the SL-1210 and many others:

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_252A1/Pro-Ject-Automat-A1.html

No knock on the Technics, which is very nice -- I still enjoy my old SL-1700!  But I also have a Rek-O-Kut “Rondine” with a Fairchild tonearm (flip-turret cartridge!) -- both of these, and turntable dinosaurs in general, are anathema to the sheer convenience of Sonos and the whole modern streaming ecosystem.  Thus my advice to choose simpler, and less expensive.  At least the first time around!:grin:

P.S.  Also see the previous answers to a similar question, specifically the Sonos units sporting a Line-In jack:

 

Thank you all for your answers. I was trying to keep the new turntable a surprise for my hubby but it looks like I have to get him involved for the Sonos device we already & basically, what does he want in a turntable before I spend the money. 

I’m jumping in here to seek latest wisdom of the community on this same question. “What turntable should I get.”

I have a Five that I will use for Line In. The rest of my system is in-ceiling speakers that are driven by a series of Sonos Amps. Well, and a move that I can take out to the hot tub or the fire pit ;-)

I am intrigued with the idea of spinning vinyl for a Saturday evening cocktail party gathering or on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

I have studied the two turntables offered by Sonos (Pro-ject T1 and Pro-ject Debut Carbon). The problem with the Debut Carbon EVO is that the non-Sonos version got a major upgrade three years ago (EVO: better vibration dampening adjustable feet, better cartridge). I’m bothered by the idea of buying a Sonos version that is several years “behind” the EVOlution of the model.

I’d like to stay under $1K. I definitely want a built-in pre-amp. I *think* I’d like to have automatic return of the arm after the last track plays.

What do you all think? Is there a model (or two) that you would suggest I study? 

I saw one good review of the Rega Planar P1 Plus. Others?

I don’t have a specific recommendation for you, but I’m glad that you have a $1K budget. Many people are buying $150 turntables and in my opinion these are dreary. A step-up cartridge is worth the extra  money. Don’t assume that the cartridge is properly aligned. 
 

I’ve not seen any recent cartridge alignment tutorials that I like. This one seems reasonable. When viewed from the front the stylus should be perpendicular to the record surface. When viewed from the side the top of the stylus should lead the bottom by about 20 degrees. (There is controversy over this exact value that depends on the disc cutting angle. You have no control over this and the exact cutting angle actually varies, depending on the music content. Good luck finding a rational discussion on this topic.)

if you want to be extremely fussy you’ll find that the optimal vertical tracking angle varies by disk. If the turntable offers some sort of height reference, you can mark each record with its optimal height.

Ideally, you want the arm vertical height to be such that the arm bearings are in the plain of the record, but this is the least of your worries.

if this seems like a lot of work, it is. It can take a couple hours to work through this. Another discussion is matching the arm mass with cartridge compliance.

I won’t debate about the “comfort” of spinning LP’s or your preference of playing LP’s that were mastered prior to the draconian compression used for modern releases. I don’t miss LP’s and their complex alignment issues and I hate modern highly compressed CD’s too. Some of the “hi-res” stuff is worth the effort, but don’t assume that, just because it claims “hi-res” that it is actually is “hi-res”.

Haha, Buzz. If your purpose was to give me second thoughts about this new potential hobby, then job well done!! Yes, sounds like lots of work ;-)

It is lots of work if you want to do it right.

It’s hard to get this sort of comparison together, but I had a UK, US, Japanese, LP’s  and a Mobile Fidelity LP and CD. It was hard to believe that all releases came from the same master tape. I was using a higher end turntable than you are contemplating. People who thought that a Mobile Fidelity CD or LP would ‘obviously’ sound better would get it turned around until the LP exhibited a small ‘tic’ or ‘pop’. Then they thought that I had somehow tricked them when their hero did not win. They missed my point that at the high end there is not much difference. The US pressing was obviously inferior. A lot of the production values were lost.

 

Userlevel 7

As others have said “best” is a subjective term when it comes to your personal preference for many factors. However, I use the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Series turntable shown on the Sonos website under Accessories.

More importantly for integration with Sonos we need to know: 

Do you have a Sonos Play 5 or Five which can be used as a direct speaker connection via line-in

If using any other Sonos speaker you’ll be required to purchase a Sonos Port

Are you planning to use a Sonos Amp and use your own 3rd party speakers. 

You’ll also have to decide if you plan to purchase a turntable with a built-in or outboard pre-amp which is a requirement for any option. There are pros and cons to both configurations. 

As you can see the decision requires more thought than just which is the “best” turntable for Sonos. 

 

 

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