For most of us, a home isn’t really such if there is no record player. Thankfully, there are loads of affordable turntables now to match the number of new releases and re-pressed LPs. Sales of vinyl records are at an all time high, so the format has definitely made a comeback. Here, we take a listen to the best sounding turntables that leave you with enough cash to grow your vinyl stash.

Regardless if it’s “The Ultimate Guitar Collection” or Beethoven’s symphonies that you’ll spin, any of the machines below will do so excellently. From Audio Technica’s stable of turntables under $300, to Pro-Ject Audio’s stylish selection, you will likely find something here to spin your classical collection. (You might also want to see what others think is the best cheap record player.)

Audio Technica LP120 USB ($247.94)

The LP120 has a USB output that can plug directly to any computer. It also sports a direct-drive motor, and this allows quick start-ups that are specially important for DJs. Furthermore, the LP120 has reverse and forward playback ability, a slider control for pitch, and a selectable pitch lock that is quartz-controlled. But for most of us who only intend to listen to vinyls, the turntable supports all three speeds (33, 45 and 78 RPM) and has excellent sound quality. Some of the other options here have better sound, but not nearly as much features as the LP120.

Music Hall MMF-2.2 ($299)

music hall mmf-2.2

Music Hall’s MMF-2.2 is a belt driven turntable with a low tag price because of its simplistic build. But with its piano black finish, it definitely looks like it means business when it comes to playing vinyl records. The MMF-2.2 supports 2 speeds, has a replaceable stylus and is pre-installed with a cartridge that’s also already aligned. The record player also comes with a dust cover, but then it might be better to just leave it off while playing.

Pro-Ject Elemental USB ($249)

pro-ject elemental

For a dirt-cheap record player that won’t destroy your vinyls after only a few plays, Pro-Ject’s Elemental is one of the best options. Aside from its USB port that lets you connect to computers, it also has an Ortofon OM cartridge and an integrated phono stage. This makes the Elemental a true plug and play record player while still being flexible to future enhancements. Also, such features save you cash that you can use for building up a sizable vinyl collection.

Lately, I’ve been listening to classical guitar compositions on my cheap record player. They inspired me to check out this home recording studio equipment list, with hopes of also recording something with my best acoustic guitar. And so in this post, I’m sharing what I learned for those in the same boat as me.

home recording studio equipment list
Photo by Nelson Pavlosky (

One Microphone (Instead of Two)

I am eyeing the Shure SM57, not because it’s the best there is, but because it’s what I can afford. That’s not to say that I’ll be making do with a so-so mic. On the contrary, the Shure SM57 is considered a must-have for every recording studio. I’ll only get one, instead of the two that’s commonly recommended for creating a stereo effect. Anyway, such effect could be satisfactorily simulated during post-editing.

And of course, I’ll be getting a microphone stand to hold it. I only have two hands, and both will obviously be busy fiddling the classical guitar.

Audio Interface for MacBook Pro

These days, most computers are more than sufficient for recording music. Luckily for me, I already have a Macbook Pro which is considered pretty decent for music production. With that taken cared of, what’s needed now is an audio interface that will get the sound into that laptop. A good one is the Avid Fast Track Duo, which is confirmed to be compatible with Macs. Moreover, with its line level inputs, you can connect other music equipment besides the mic pointed at the classical guitar.

Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)

Once you get the sound into a computer, you’ll need to record it using a Digital Audio Wokstation (DAW). The DAW will also allow you to edit and mix such sounds or audio on your computer. The good thing is, the audio interface mentioned above already comes with the Pro Tools Express DAW. In case you haven’t heard, Pro Tools is popular among professional sound engineers. The one with the Avid Fast Track Duo is only a light version, but the full upgrade is significantly discounted.

A Good Pair of Headphones

The headphones you’ll get is important — they could make or break the recording of classical guitar compositions. There are two types, and the one you should get is the closed back kind (which covers the entirety of your ears). And no, don’t even try using the earplug kind of headphones — they just wouldn’t cut it. Yes, they are temptingly cheap, but they are not even worth the money you’ll save. The Sony MDR7506 is a much wiser choice. With it, you’ll get a good feel of how your recording really sounds.

Time to Record — At Long Last!

And that’s it, your good to go. With a mic (and its stand), a computer, an audio interface, and a DAW, you have what could already be called a home recording studio. There are a few more equipment you can add, like studio monitors. They might also be featured and discussed in the future, so stay tuned to this site.

For the TV show Singing In The Rainforest, Myleene Klass just recently brought a grand piano to the island of Mogmog. Klass first became popular as a member of Hear’Say, a defunct pop act created by the reality TV show Popstars. She’s also a pianist who went to the Royal Academy of Music and who have had crossover classical albums of her own.

Klass should have brought a bug killer with the grand piano. The pianist found it challenging to keep up with the physical difficulties in the rainforest, including the insects that gnawed at her. She says that she got as much as 73 bites, and that it was hard to write music because of them. But with the help of the natives, she pulled through.

With the inhabitants, Klass was able to write and record a hair raising mixture of piano chords and tribal chants. The natives of Mogmog island are referred to as Ulithians. Mogmog is one of the four inhabited islands on the Ulithi, an atoll in the western Pacific Ocean (east of Yap). Mogmog is about a mile long, with a population of only around 200.

Sharing the island with the natives are mosquitoes, which were the ones responsible for Klass’ misery. Mosquitoes are one of around 262 species of insects living in Mogmog. That might sound like a lot of bugs, but Mogmog actually has the least species among the four islands. This is because most of the island is used as living space.

Nevertheless, Klass was positive about the experience. In a tweet, she even quipped about how the “mozzies” loved her so much that they bite her. But what mattered more was the love she got from the Ulithians. After her performance, everyone clapped their hands and there were even tears of joy. Klass ended up teaching piano to the children on the island (who, by the way, were the ones who helped count the mosquito bites).

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