All posts in “Turntables”

U-Turn Orbit Special Turntable

Vinyl sales are on the up on up, in case you didn’t know. The buyers are part of merely a small niche, to be sure, but the classic format is well and alive. Which means, of course, that crate-digging for rare sleeves has long eclipsed hipster territory. Record-collecting is cool again; some major artists even release LPs of their latest tracks.

But what to play them on? That’s the tough question. Why not this ultra-chic U-Turn Orbit Special Turntable? Which, lucky for you wood fans, comes in a special hardwood material. Beyond its clean, minimalist aesthetic, this high-performance audio player will do well introducing you to the world of vinyl. LP Neophytes will love the refined plinth, machined from your choice of solid rift walnut or flat cut maple.

This U-Turn Orbit model comes equipped with a gimbal tonearm bearing an Ortofon 2M Red elliptical diamond cartridge/needle. As newcomers to the vinyl scene, you probably don’t know what that is. Let’s just say you can expect crystal clear playback every time. No resonance or feedback at all. Just topnotch, clean audio each listen.

Perhaps the most noted thing about U-Turn’s players is their quiet motors. The same can be said of this model. Whether you’re playing at 33 or 45 RPM, you’ll hear nary a peep. It’s also got a Pluto preamp, which enables you to connect it to your sound system right out the gate. Audiophiles will beam at this.

Both walnut and maple versions are available for $549 apiece. That drops down to $479 if you’re okay to forego the preamp.


Photos courtesy of U-Turn Audio

Crosley RSD3 Mini Turntable

In celebration of Record Store Day, Crosley is releasing a special budget turntable — the Crosley RSD3. Unfortunately, because it’s so tiny, it won’t be able to play full-size vinyls.

That means you’ll need to grab special 3-inch records, which the folks behind Record Store Day are putting up a bunch of to purchase. Each record comes in an artsy sleeve, to boot. To make this minute turntable, Crosley worked closely with Toyokasei, a vinyl manufacturing plant in Japan. It will go on sale on April 13 for $70.

The device is powered by either via USB or a battery. It features a built-in speaker, pitch control, and an aux out. The limited inputs and outputs are reasonable considering how small it is. But it does come with a clear dust cover, just like a typical Technics SL-1200. It also boasts a full-sized Audio Technica moving magnet cartridge. It’s probably not going to provide Earth-shattering audio quality, but it’s a nice novelty. If nothing else, it’s a fun, quirky item perfect for celebrating Record Store Day.

Of course, it’s not the only miniature record player. You can find other models aplenty on eBay or elsewhere. There’s a bunch out there, like the highly sought-after 8-Ban systems. Crosley’s tiny player is a bit classier, sleeker, and closer to modern players in terms of aesthetics. But if you’re looking for a more retro vibe, then you should definitely cop an 8-Ban. Hit the link below to visit Crosley’s site and find out more.


Cambridge Audio Alva TT

Now is a great time for people who love music. There’s no shortage of artists who create mesmerizing tunes and the technology grows along with them. Playback has come a long way and adoption of the digital medium makes distribution much easier. Nevertheless, audiophiles claim that analog is the best way to go if you want the best fidelity. It’s probably the reason why turntables such as the Cambridge Audio Alva TT and others exist in the first place. While some brands still choose to keep its wires, there are newer models that now have wireless connectivity.

These days, minimalism is a popular design trend and the manufacturers are quick to adapt. Unless there are integrated speakers with the turntable, you still need to hook it up to a couple of speakers. However, for users who want to blast their tunes from a different part of the house, wireless is the way to go. Cambridge Audio understands what consumers are looking for. Hence, the Alva TT includes Bluetooth streaming with support for aptX HD. Sound reproduction should stay crystal clear given the 24 bit/48 kHz Hi-Res streaming speeds.

Meanwhile, if you’re planning to keep the wires, the built-in phono stage handles things nicely. The Cambridge Audio Alva TT ditches the belt-drive and goes with a medium-torque direct-drive system. It’s a smart decision given that the former uses elastic that will eventually stretch over time and affect accuracy. To keep playback stable, the turntable uses a Polyoxymethylene platter. Lastly, the one-piece tonearm and the MC cartridge is the magic pieces that deliver pure audio bliss from your records.

Images courtesy of Cambridge Audio

Cambridge Audio

McIntosh MTI100 All-In-One Turntable

With the McIntosh MTI100, the famed audio company finally joins the all-in-one crowd. Make no mistake, though. The turntable you see above is still a legitimate McIntosh.

That means you’re still looking at the the signature look and feel of McIntosh’s high-end elements. Still intact are the black lacquer finish, large tactile knobs, and alluring lime-green glow.

It gets more interesting inside, though. Hiding underneath is a 50-watt Class D amplifier, vacuum tube preamp, phono preamplifier, digital and analog outputs. Made for modern folks, it’s even got a Bluetooth receiver. Truly an all-in-one turntable for the most preening audiophile.

Oh, and there’s also a headphone jack if you want more private listening sessions. The McIntosh MTI100 plays both 33-1/3 and 45 rpm vinyl records.

The idea with this model is that you “just add speakers” to listen to your music collection. There’s practically no need to worry about other audio components. The device already has everything in lock. That’s essentially the pitch for all-in-one turntables. The only difference is this one’s geared toward audiophiles; most all-in-one models aren’t. Suffice it to say that the McIntosh MTI100 isn’t just designed for ease of use. It’s also built with prime audio quality in mind.

One has to wonder why it’s taken this long for McIntosh to please both demographics. But we’re not complaining, of course. After all, an all-in-one turntable with audiophile-grade quality is hard to come by these days.

The thing is expected to cost $6,500 when it ships by the end of this month.


Pro-Ject Turntable The Beatles White Album Edition

Thanks to audio gear maker Pro-Ject’s new collaboration with Universal Music Group, you can now purchase a limited edition 2Xperience turntable coated entirely in white to commemorate the 50th anniversary of The White Album by The Beatles.

Chances are you’ve already sat through The White Album multiple times. If you haven’t, shame on you. Seriously, though. This album introduced some of the most iconic singles in the entire discography of the world’s most iconic rock band.

We’re talking Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, Blackbird, Helter Skelter, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Hey Jude, and so many more golden hits.

Because there’s so much music coming out nowadays, we totally understand if you haven’t listened to The White Album in a while. But in case you want to immerse yourself back into the genius of The Beatles, what better way to do that than by placing the original vinyl onto Pro-Ject’s gorgeous deck?

The Pro-Ject Turntable is entirely coated in white, as you can see, including the tonearm, record clamp, drive pulley, and the pre-mounted Ortofon 2M White cartridge that was produced exclusively for this turntable. It boasts built-in electronic speed control with 33 or 45 spin changes at the press of a button. You’ll also find an acrylic platter finish and branded Beatles markings all throughout the console. Needless to say that the Pro-Ject Turntable The Beatles record player is must-have for anyone still feeling the Beatle-mania.

Only a thousand units will be built, by the way. You better act fast if you want to acquire this limited edition turntable. The Beatles fans would probably snap all of those in no time, so make sure to get yours already. The turntable ships in November.


Photos courtesy of Pro-Ject

Yamaha MusicCast Vinyl 500

Thanks in no small part to a growing subset of millennials who ache for the days of yore, Vinyl has had a resurgence in the past several years. It comes as no surprise that a lot of manufacturers produce modern turntables to this day.

Among them is Yamaha, who just unveiled its new MusicCast Vinyl 500 record player. The device puts modern tech to make your listening experience more intuitive without annihilating what makes it truly great — nostalgia. Not only can this new turntable can play anything from your vinyl collection, but it can also stream music wirelessly.

Pair it with two MusicCast 20 or two MusicCast 50 speakers to stream your records wirelessly. Alternatively, if you want a cleaner sound than that distinct vinyl crackle, the machine will natively stream digital services. You can stream from Napster, SiriusXM, Spotify, Pandora, Tidal, and many others. Also, Yamaha was smart enough to add Bluetooth, Spotify Connect, and Apple AirPlay support as well. You can even control both online services and multi-room playback through Amazon Alexa voice commands. Neat.

As for the specs, you get an integrated phono preamp moving magnet cartridge, a static balanced straight tone arm, an aluminum platter alongside an anti-static felt mat, and a belt drive for distortion reduction. The Vinyl 500 comes coated with a sleek piano black finish and looks excellent amidst any music collector’s crate-dug gems. You can get it next month for $700. The TT-S303 turntable will also offer the same basic record-playing capabilities without any wireless technology for a more modest $450.

Yamaha MusicCast Vinyl 500