When Technics discontinued the original SL1200/1210s in 2010 and Vestax discontined operations in 2014, it looked like turntables might be consigned to history. Fortunately that wasn't the case - a Taiwanese company stepped up and built a Technic's-like clone: the HanPin "super OEM" turntable. Instead of selling this directly, they licensed the design too several well known brands such as AudioTechnica, Reloop, American Audio, Citronic, and Stanton. These manufacturers have then released models that are built on the same internal design (motor/drive mechanism), but with different casing and tone arms. Some models also have a few extras bells and whistles like MIDI controls etc.

Our current recommendation for beginners is to avoid budget belt-drive and even the low-torque direct drive turntables, as these will be harder to scratch on, and will behave differently from the typical turntables you'll find in bars and night clubs. If possible try and pickup a pair of 2nd-hand Technics SL1200/SL2010s or Vestax's PDX2000/3000 if you can find ones in good condition. Alternatively any of the super-OEM turtables are reasonable too, though the build quality is not quite the same as the venerable Technics, which has been proven to stand the test of time. There's also Pioneer's entry-level offering: PLX-500 which is based on their own design rather than the super-OEM. They are a little pricey for what you get though and only have the basic +/-8% pitch control.

We'll add in depth reviews soon ...