Turntable Reviews

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Malachi Lui  |  Oct 07, 2018  |  3 comments
The all-in-one turntable market has one gargantuan issue looming over it: the Crosley Cruiser. With everything an analog neophyte thinks he or she needs, these $70 “turntables” sell by the boatload, only to seriously damage records after but a few plays with their five grams of tracking force. Why are they so popular then? Because they’re small, inexpensive and the purchaser doesn’t have to think about piecing together an entire system; it’s right in front of them. Even so, it still feels extremely wrong to spend $100 on a vinyl box set and subject it to the evils of a $70 turntable.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 01, 2018  |  5 comments
Best known for its sexy looking Delphi turntable first introduced in 1979 and currently in its MK VI iteration ($8850), Canada-based Oracle Audio recently updated its lowest priced Origine turntable to MKII status.

The upgraded version includes a new “wall-wart” powered 16V AC synchronous motor (the original was 24V AC—customers with that motor can get a free upgrade, paying for shipping one way) and a new silicon damped cueing mechanism replacing the original’s “direct action” cueing system (which for original Origine owners can be upgraded for $85). It uses a knob rather than a traditional lever, that you turn to raise and lower the arm.

Michael Fremer  |  Feb 21, 2018  |  37 comments
In the recent story about the week I spent with Technics' new SL-1000R turntable, the difference between what's commonly referred to as an arm's "effective length" and how Technics uses the term in its literature led to some confusion and a series of conceptual errors on my part for which I take full responsibility.

Michael Fremer  |  Feb 08, 2018  |  7 comments
The European Audio Team’s entry into the under $2000 turntable market includes for $1595 a factory-installed Ortofon 2M Blue moving magnet phono cartridge that alone costs around $240. Something like the $100 2M Red is more often found packaged at this price point.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 30, 2018  |  140 comments
Shortly after the conclusion of the 2018 International Consumer Electronics Show, Technics CTO/Chief Engineer Tetsuya (Tony) Itan, Yoshiyuki Sumida, Assistant Manager Technics Team, and Technics Business Development Manager Bill Voss brought over and installed the new Technics SL-1000R turntable and tone arm for a week's stay. While this was a pre-production sample and not suitable for a full review, I thought you would be interested in first impressions that is not a review.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 20, 2017  |  First Published: Jul 01, 2000  |  15 comments
A pleasant surprise arrived at my door the other day: the 180gm vinyl edition of Companion, the Patricia Barber album released last year on Premonition/Blue Note. According to the jacket, the six-track set, impeccably recorded live in Chicago last July by Jim Anderson, was mastered from a 24-bit transfer of an analog recording. You can bet the vinyl sounds better than the 16-bit CD—at less than 20 minutes a side, there's plenty of room for the recording's full dynamics.
Michael Fremer  |  Aug 29, 2017  |  16 comments
It’s doubtful Pro-Ject could have produced a high performance, feature packed, beautiful to look at turntable like the Classic SB Superpack and priced it so reasonably ($1499 including $449 Blue Point No. 2 cartridge) were it not for surging turntable sales and Pro-Ject’s place at the top of the high performance turntable market (“high performance” meaning not counting the plastic mass market cheapies).

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 24, 2017  |  19 comments
Editor's note: AnalogPlanet (and Stereophile) policy is to review products as sent to us unless they are broken and/or clearly defective. In this case the speed was "off" but the 'table was neither "broken" nor "defective" so we chose to review "as sent".

The importer wrote to say the unit was sent with "the wrong pulley" and as stated in the review, we allowed for the possibility that the 'table had been previously used for reviews or for some other purpose. However, without trying to sound too harsh, if you're going to send out a product for review, it's important to check out its functioning before shipping and that would include making sure it's running at the right speed.

As the importer points out, the Kid Thomas previously reviewed ran at the correct speed but clearly this one did not and it was what was sent so there was an obligation to review "as sent" just as there was an obligation to ship a properly functioning review sample! I know this might sound "harsh" but I'm always thinking of the consumer who buys and uses without checking speed accuracy and ends up listening at the wrong speed.

AnalogPlanet readers' thoughts on this are most welcome.

Michael Fremer  |  Mar 24, 2017  |  49 comments
The original Technics SL-1200 direct drive turntable introduced in 1972 enjoyed a thirty-eight year, six generation run. Technics sold more than 3.5 million of them. In October of 2010 just as vinyl was staging its unlikely comeback, parent company Panasonic pulled the plug on the SL-1200 Mk6.

Michael Fremer  |  Mar 05, 2017  |  49 comments
It’s no secret that when Shinola decided to add a turntable to its product roster, the Detroit, Michigan based manufacturer chose to consult for the design with New Jersey based VPI Industries.

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 26, 2016  |  10 comments
Canada-based Fluance is an eighteen year old loudspeaker manufacturer specializing in home theater systems. The company’s speakers have a luxurious look that belies their reasonable prices.

I’ve not heard any of them but the reviews are positive in sister publications Sound & Vision and Innerfidelity.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 03, 2016  |  48 comments
(Due to a missing decimal point what was a .2%+ speed error read '2%". However, the published measurements chart is 100% accurate and had anyone done the math it would have revealed the typo. My apologies for the error to Rega, Sound Organization and to you, AnalogPlanet readers).

Can any turntable manufacturer be enjoying the vinyl revival more than Rega? I doubt it. It saw compact discs coming and yet spent a considerable amount of money creating a tool to produce cast pick up arms. I keep mentioning this in Rega reviews but in the face of the digital onslaught it demonstrates their determined commitment to vinyl playback.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 23, 2016  |  45 comments
The Prime is the first turntable designed by Mat Weisfeld. What that means in this case is more a series of smart executive decisions rather than a “from scratch” effort (for you vegetarians, the headline incorporates all three USDA grades of meat).

Michael Fremer  |  Mar 29, 2016  |  30 comments
News at this past year’s International Consumer Electronics Show that “novelty” turntable manufacturer Crosley was introducing a pair of quality turntables built for the company by Pro-Ject drew me to the “ZOO” to check them out.

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