Turntable Reviews

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Leslie Shapiro  |  Jan 22, 2017  |  1 comments
Those who grew up in the age of vinyl LP records remember that preparing for the listening experience was an artform in itself. Ceremoniously removing the LP from the sleeve, while gently grasping the edge of the album, fingertips kept oh-so-carefully away from the surface lest a fingerprint mar the surface. The precise application of disc-washing solution to the luxurious velvet of the cleaning pad, followed by the virtuoso swipe of the pad across the grooves. The placement of the stylus on the record required finesse - a person was judged by how silently and gently the needle was placed on the disc.

Michael Berk  |  Aug 18, 2011  |  0 comments

Parasound has packed a few more features into their Zphono moving coil/moving magnet pre, adding to the Zphono·USB ($350) an A-D converter and (obviously) a USB port, making it even more handy as a general-purpose interface for those with older and esoteric turntables (or pretty much any other stereo gear) looking to digitize their collections.

Mark Fleischmann  |  May 19, 2008  |  0 comments
Digitize your vinyl—the right way.

The proposition is hard to resist. Buy a turntable with a USB output, connect it to your PC, and digitize your vinyl for 21st-century listening. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to do this. The wrong way is to use one of those handy new cheap plastic turntables with a USB output. Sorry, a bad turntable is a bad turntable whether it has a USB jack or not. It falls down on the analog side of the job, ensuring a bad-sounding digital outcome. This warning has been conspicuously absent from clueless mainstream media coverage of the USB-turntable genre.

Brent Butterworth  |  Oct 18, 2011  |  0 comments

The Rocky Mountain Audio Fest is growing up. A few years ago, it was known as a gathering of small (sometimes one-man) companies demonstrating exotic (sometimes downright wacky) audio products. Some of those guys are still there, but so now are most of the better-known high-end audio companies.

Michael Trei  |  Apr 19, 2012  |  0 comments

After having been declared dead sometime back in the 1990s, analog turntables and vinyl records have made a strong comeback in recent years. That's great, but for people who come from the CD or iPod generations, it's hard to comprehend just how tweaky the world of analog playback can be. Unlike a CD player or iPod which you simply connect and play, most turntables require careful optimization to deliver the best possible sound.

Michael Trei  |  Mar 28, 2016  |  3 comments

PRICE $599

Good-quality manual belt-drive turntable
Built-in hi-res analog-to-digital converter
Built-in phono preamp
Simple user setup
Additional software needed to play recorded files
Manual metadata collection for recorded files

With analog and hi-res digital outputs, and a built-in phono preamp, the Sony PS-HX500 has what you need to bring your vinyl collection into the 21st century digital world.

Detractors love to say that the current resurgence of vinyl is nothing but a bunch of bearded hipsters with Crosley Cruisers, trying to look cool in their mid-century bachelor pads. There is, however, one surefire way to tell the difference between a fad and a real movement, and that’s when the big boys stop snickering from the sidelines and decide to start playing along.

James K. Willcox  |  Dec 28, 2011  |  2 comments

I’d had my AR ES-1 turntable for about 20 years when a tenant burned my house — and the turntable and about 3,000 records — to the ground the one time I decided to rent it. If this sad story has a silver lining, it’s that it sent me back into the world of vinyl and turntables.

Brent Butterworth  |  Sep 19, 2012  |  2 comments

ACROSS THE CONTINENT, thousands are taking part in an almost-forgotten rite. It melds advanced technology, knowledge handed down through the decades, and a little dose of black magic. As most rituals do, it appalls many nonbelievers, but that fact only makes its practitioners relish it more.

Michael Trei  |  Jan 25, 2018  |  2 comments

PRICE $1,699

Newly engineered from the ground up
Exceptional pitch stability
Includes 78 rpm speed
DJ features are irrelevant for most users
Detachable headshell may limit tonearm performance
No factory-installed cartridge option

Technics’s reborn legendary DJ turntable is now a better bet than ever for home audiophile use, but no longer quite the bargain it once was.

Way back in the May 2010 issue of Sound & Vision, I compared three sub-$1,000 turntables, including one that I felt was a bit of a rebellious choice for the audiophile listener. Over its nearly 40 years of production, the Technics SL-1200 series had morphed from one of the top models in the company’s industry-leading range of audiophile direct-drive turntables into a deck that was aimed squarely at the club and DJ market.

Brent Butterworth  |  Sep 18, 2012  |  0 comments

Carbon fiber is included in all sorts of products, sometimes for absurd and cynical reasons. My Philips Arcitec electric razor, for example, has carbon fiber trim on its sides. The carbon fiber doesn’t lighten or stiffen the razor, much less improve my shave. It merely adds cachet. Call me unromantic, but I don’t need my razor to evoke images of F1 cars and high-tech jets.

So why should you care that Pro-Ject dolled up its new Debut Carbon turntable with a carbon fiber tonearm?

Brent Butterworth  |  Jul 17, 2012  |  0 comments

It’s a ritual. You hear audiophiles claim how great vinyl sounds, but you never quite buy into it. Then you finally hear your first good turntable, and you’re hooked. In my case, it was a Rega Planar 3, demo’d by Sound+Vision contributing writer Ken Korman. Back in 1991, I spent an evening at Ken’s checking out old sides by the likes of Miles Davis and Todd Rundgren, in each case marveling at how different the sound was from the CD.

The reason many audiophiles get their start with a Rega is that Regas deliver above-average performance at below-average prices. The new RP6 is a great example.