Your Guide to Automatic vs Manual Turntables

Vinyl record collectors go digging in crates of albums to find great music in a format that fully captures the dynamics of the original performances and provides a warm tone. To capture the nuances of your favorite tunes, you need a turntable that's up to the task. Which begs the question — would you rather have an automatic or manual turntable in your home audio setup?

An automatic turntable offers convenience

The reason many vinyl fans opt for a fully automatic turntable is the simplicity. A mechanical system links the platter and the turntable. With the push of a button, the arm rises from its resting position and settles precisely into the record's groove. When the music's over, the stylus comes back up and the arm returns to its original place.

With an automatic turntable, you never have to worry about missing the right spot when you set down the arm, or unnecessarily wearing down the stylus as it travels repeatedly around the outer groove. If you prefer, there are also semi-automatic turntables that don't set down the needle on the record for you, but they do stop at the end. That's especially handy if you like to leave music on when you're busy with household chores or drifting off to sleep.

Why many music-lovers go manual

Automatic turntables may be easier to use, but there are often drawbacks for sound quality. The convenient features require additional moving parts with the potential for noise and interference that lowers the sound quality. That difference in results is a major reason why vinyl collectors tend to opt for high-performance manual turntables.

Fortunately, it is possible to combine the ease of an automatic turntable with the highest level of audio fidelity. The TT42 from Marantz offers interference-free playback with its belt-driven DC servo motor and low-coloration tonearm. When you push "play," you can count on remarkable sound without having to account for certain intricacies that are related to manual turntables.

Build a system that allows you to get the richest sound from your records by checking out the full selection of HiFi components available from Marantz.