Good news, Beatles fans! If you’re after a new turntable, you can now pick between two unique models that celebrate the release of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967.
Deluxe reissues of the classic album are also on sale from today.
The cheaper of the two turntables, made by Pro-Ject, is available for £430 but, even if you’re a die-hard Beatles fan, is it worth the cash? We take a closer look at the new arrivals.
Best Buy record players – these models are woth Twisting and Shouting about
Stylish turntables commemorate classic Beatles
It was (almost) 50 years ago today that Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released. With the Beatles starting work in the winter of 1966, the finished product was the result of a Long And Winding Road over 400 hours of recordings made over 129 days. To mark this special occasion, a pair of unique, Beatles-themed turntables are now on sale.
Essential III: Sgt Pepper’s Drum
This one-of-a-kind turntable is a re-skinned version of the Essential III turntable from Pro-Ject, which we reviewed earlier in the year. This version incorporates the drum skin that’s found on the album cover, and an eye-catching blue pattern flows across the body of the turntable.
Got to get it into your life? You’ll have to part with £430 to grab it.
To see how all of Pro-Ject’s turntables we’ve tested performed in our lab, see our Pro-Ject turntable reviews.
2Xperience SB: Sgt Pepper Limited Edition
This second new arrival is far pricier at £1,235. It’s Beatles-themed like the Essential III: Sgt Pepper’s Drum, but the design is far more subtle.
The walnut-finished record player features the same drum skin decal but it’s tucked away in the corner. This design will appeal more to minimalists, although the price might raise some eyebrows.
We haven’t tested the original 2Xperience SB.
How did the Essential III do in our lab?
We put the Pro-Ject Essential III through its paces earlier in the year. Beatles-themed decals aside, it’s essentially the same gadget that Pro-Ject has just released.
This is an elegant-looking turntable that incorporates rigid MDF to minimise unwanted vibrations. The turntable comes with an Ortofon OM 10 cartridge, which Pro-Ject says results in superior sound that tops the older (and cheaper) Essential II. Music lovers hoping to digitise their vinyl collection might have to look elsewhere, though, as the Essential III doesn’t come with a USB port that you can connect your PC to.
You shouldn’t struggle much with the set-up process, as Pro-Ject has done a good job of keeping things simple. There aren’t many controls on this turntable, and the large flat surface makes loading records a breeze.
You can pick up this player for around £240, which makes it one of the more expensive models we’ve tested. Even so, that’s around £200 cheaper than the build with the Beatles skin. To see if it’s worth reaching for your wallet, head over to our full Pro-Ject Essential III review.
The best record players under £150
Not every Beatles fan will be willing to spend over £400 on a new record player, of course. Even so, our tests show that buyers on a budget can still pick up a great record player for under £150. Many of the best affordable record players and turntables we’ve tested serve up consistently smooth sound, and they’re easy to set up too.
Most recently, we’ve had our hands on the Dual MTR-15. At £120, this fully automatic turntable features a USB port, which means you can hook it up to a computer in order to make digital copies of your favourite records. To see if it did enough to impress our audio experts in the lab, read our Dual MTR-15 review.
For more on budget-priced record players, see our guide to the top four cheap record players and turntables for 2017. To see which models are good enough to earn our Best Buy title, head over to our record player reviews.