5 Best Turntable Amplifiers (REVIEW)

Having a great amplifier is an integral part of your audio system setup.

Rega Brio-R

Even if you have a great record player and keep your vinyls in pristine condition, a poor quality amplifier will wreck everything by tarnishing the quality of music.

But since there are so many to choose from and with so many different specs to compare, it can be hard to know which are the best turntable amplifiers.

At a Glance: Our Choice Of The 5 Best Turntable Amplifiers On The Market

Note: The links above take you to more information, current prices and customer reviews on Amazon. If you do purchase something we get a small commission, which has absolutely no effect on the eventual price that you pay.

Buyer's Tips: What to look for when buying the best turntable amplifiers

Cartridge Support

  • Make sure the amplifier you buy for your turntable is compatible with either Moving Coil, Moving Magnet or both configurations. If you’re planning on changing the cartridge type, or think you’re likely to experiment, find an amplifier with this in mind so that you don’t have to spend even more money than necessary.

​Wattage & Volume

  • ​For every 10x wattage, you double the volume of your amplifier. Higher wattage is useful for gaining more headroom, boosting the volume and driving more powerful speakers.

​Extras

  • Do you want an amplifier that can serve as a hub for all of your audio output devices, or just for your turntable? How many sets of speakers will you want to run through it? What about tone shaping? If you only need the basics, you can get high quality amplifiers for much less than you might expect.​

Ok let's look at each product in more detail. To make things easier for you, we've added pros and cons for each one, as well as a video demonstration so you can see them in action. So without further ado, let’s take a look...

5 Best Turntable Amplifiers 

1. Cambridge Audio Topaz AM10

Cambridge Audio Topaz AM10

Click to learn more / buy from Amazon

A straightforward 35 watt multi-channel amplifier that provides a very balanced output, so it won’t make any impact on the purity of your tone.

  • Contemporary looking design with brushed aluminium
  • Large number of inputs including the phono input needed for turntables
  • Easy to use front panel controls and remote
  • Can only output to 2 speakers
  • Is unable to provide large amounts of volume or drive large speakers due to the fairly low output wattage
  • The remote doesn’t actually have an on/off switch

Let's take a look at this product...


2. Onkyo TX-8020

Onkyo TX-8020

Click to learn more / buy from Amazon

A fairly priced stereo receiver and amplifier with a no-frills design that keeps the focus purely on delivering a great listening experience through up to 2 pairs of speakers and a sub-woofer.

  • Has tone shaping controls on the front panel for extra tweaking
  • Large number of inputs lets you use it for connecting with all of your audio devices as well as your turntable
  • Dedicated sub-woofer connector
  • Has a lot of extra features that aren’t necessary if you just need an amplifier for music purposes
  • Volume output is much lower than should be expected from an amp of this power rating
  • Imparts significant coloration to your tone

Let's take a look at this product...


3. Rega Brio-R

Rega Brio-R

Click to learn more / buy from Amazon

A fairly basic amplifier in terms of features - you don’t get anything fancy but it does what you need it to (play your vinyls) well.

  • Crisp, detailed sound without distorting the tone
  • Plenty of headroom for sudden crescendos
  • Easy to use and high quality components that don’t need to be replaced with expensive and hard to find parts
  • No tone-shaping controls
  • A little expensive for such a basic amp
  • Strange spread of controls across the remote and front panel, with certain key controls only being accessible via one or the other, rather than both

Let's take a look at this product...


4. Marantz PM6005

Marantz PM6005

Click to learn more / buy from Amazon

A powerful amplifier capable of driving speakers less efficient than a car from the 1930’s without any trouble

  • Maintains pristine sound quality through multiple layers of shielding and isolation in the circuitry
  • Multiple options for connecting with high-end speakers including bi-wiring support
  • Option to bypass all tone-shaping and deliver a pure signal without any alteration for reference level sound
  • The phono input is only compatible with Moving Magnet cartridges, so if you have a Moving Coil cartridge (like the majority of turntables come equipped with) then this isn’t going to work with your record player until you change the cartridge type
  • The volume control isn’t a smooth transition, using increments that are too large
  • Quite large, so if space is an issue it’s best that you check it’ll fit in the location you want to use

Let's take a look at this product...


5. Vincent PHO-8

Vincent PHO-8

Click to learn more / buy from Amazon

A simple amplifier for a turntable, but in terms of output quality it’s among the best turntable amplifier for its price range.

  • Has a switch that lets you swap between MM/MC on the front panel for easy access
  • Fluctuations in power are eliminated, keeping your sound even and balanced
  • Runs ‘silent’ with no noticeable hum or distortion, and has a great signal to noise ratio for getting a pure listening experience
  • No tone shaping controls
  • Can only drive one set of speakers at a time
  • Needs a breaking in period in order to reach its best quality - although during this time the PHO-8 doesn’t sound bad

Let's take a look at this product...


So what are the best turntable amplifiers?

Although a number of the amplifiers on this list aren’t exclusively designed for use with turntables, their extra capabilities make them much easier to integrate into your home in general, allowing you to make the most of all of your audio outputs, such as your home theatre and so on.

For this reason, the Vincent PHO-8, which is a dedicated phono amplifier, doesn’t actually take the top spot. However, it should be noted that if you need a MM/MC cartridge compatible amplifier, the PHO-8 will have you covered no matter which way you go.

For less specialised needs, the Marantz PM6005 gives you the best range of functionality and high sound quality that your vinyls deserve.

If that’s a tad out of your price range, the Rega Brio-R gives a similar experience with a slightly lower price tag.

Image Credits:​

https://www.cambridgeaudio.com/products/hifi-and-home-cinema/topaz-am10​

http://www.eu.onkyo.com/en/products/tx-8020-93713.html​

http://www.rega.co.uk/brio-2017.html​

https://www.marantz.co.uk/uk/products/pages/productdetails.aspx?catid=hifi&subcatid=amplifier&productid=pm6005​

http://www.vincentshop.co.uk/pho-8​

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