Turntables, Arms & Cartridges

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Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 03, 2018  |  0 comments
Increasingly, the entry-level turntable market is in pursuit of convenient plug ‘n’ play solutions, with everything that’s needed in one complete package to make spinning LPs as simple a process as possible. This is not typically the audiophile way of going about things, but with a growing desire for quality turntable solutions to appeal to new or returning vinyl fans, the move towards one-stop solutions that combine cartridge and phono stage preamps, reducing the box count, is enormously appealing.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Nov 15, 2017  |  0 comments
From the moment Rega revived its Planar name with the introduction of the Planar 1, Planar 2 (HFC 415) and Planar 3 (HFC 411) turntables in 2016, it was logical that the RP6 would be in line to join the new order. Rumours of an RP6 successor have been circulating for some time since the Planar 3 arrived over a year ago and anticipation was finally broken with the official announcement of the imminent release of the new Planar 6 in mid- July, much to the excitement of both dealers and Rega enthusiasts alike. On the face of it, the similarities between the Planar 6 and the more affordable models in Rega’s range look to outweigh the differences, but rest assured that the £998 (without cartridge) Planar 6 is rather more than a beefed-up version of its Planar 3 sibling. The new turntable is still an unsuspended, belt-driven design that uses a single-piece plinth instead of the distinctive two-piece design of the continuing RP8 and RP10 flagship decks.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Nov 15, 2017  |  0 comments
Few symbols of vinyl’s resurgence are quite as potent as last year’s timely introduction of Technics’ Grand Class SL-1200G (HFC 418) flagship and limited edition SL-1200GAE turntables. Based on the DJ-friendly decks that first appeared in the seventies, the original SL-1200 ceased production due to financial pressures back in 2010, and sparked protests from loyal fans around the world. It seems Panasonic was paying attention because the iconic SL-1200 returned in redesigned form last year and was widely recognised as a significant jump up from the original classic – but then with an asking price of £3,000 it really ought to be. Apart from the obvious cosmetic differences, the silver SL-1200GR and black SL-1210GR are essentially the same.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jan 06, 2017  |  0 comments
The very fact that the Omega 100 exists at all is a testament to the extent of the revival in vinyl’s fortunes. The RIAA BT is the flagship of six models that effectively break down into two groups of three – the more affordable Alpha models and the premium Omega range. The playback hardware of the Omegas is identical and comprises a completely bespoke design that’s been developed inhouse by the French brand. Chief among the new technology is a computer-controlled motor with electronic speed switching.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Aug 08, 2016  |  0 comments
If you’re in any doubt that vinyl has returned to almost mainstream status, the latest turntable to join the format’s rapidly growing ranks should remove any uncertainty as to its popularity. The rather unassuming PS-HX500 deck is made by Sony, the company that jointly developed the compact disc and worked hard to commercialise the SACD format. The fact that the PS-HX500 exists at all is a fairly clear indicator that the Japanese giant sees which way the wind is blowing, and demonstrates the entertainment brand’s continued commitment to hi-fi. Of course, Sony has also been working hard to provide a cohesive range of audio products that demonstrate the advantages of high-resolution digital and in order for the new deck to fit into this brave new world, it’s equipped with the ability to rip vinyl to digital files via USB and some nifty software.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Apr 15, 2016  |  0 comments
Not wishing to rest on its laurels, Austrian-based audio specialist, Pro-Ject, has introduced another model to its comprehensive line of turntables that spans an impressive range of models to suit just about every budget. The RPM 9 Carbon sits towards the upper end of the range and makes use of modern materials combined with new manufacturing processes to produce a deck with an extra-heavy, mass-loaded sub-chassis that is decoupled from its support surface using magnetic feet. The teardrop-shaped plinth is manufactured from an advanced sandwich construction of MDF, carbon fibre and steel pellets that has all been subjected to a thermo treatment. The polished 7.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Apr 15, 2016  |  0 comments
The original TT2 from Edwards Audio – an offshoot of Talk Electronics – was essentially a modified OEM design made for low cost, ease of use and mass appeal for vinyl fans going back to black and newbies alike. Now though, it sports some meaningful tweaks, which give it extra character of its own. The SE version offers a number of revisions; for example the original had a basic painted MDF plinth, whereas the Special Edition gets a 25mm full-gloss finished affair that’s a big improvement in looks and feel – and it should translate to a fractionally better sound, too. It comes in a choice of gloss black or white, with the red you see here as a special order (at no extra cost).
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Apr 15, 2016  |  0 comments
Given that the functions a turntable must perform successfully are rather set in stone, the number of different approaches taken to carrying them out are impressive. Inspire Hi-fi is very aware of this as the company’s portfolio includes, belt, direct and idler drive turntables and a variety of construction techniques, all with the common aim of great vinyl replay. The latest arrival in this range is the Elevation. This unsuspended deck combines birch ply and acetyl to be as inert as possible.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 05, 2015  |  0 comments
When The Funk Firm releases a new turntable, you can expect innovation to be high on the agenda. Challenging the norms of turntable design is what company founder Arthur Khoubesserian is all about. Let’s not forget that this is the man who some decades ago first introduced novel ideas like fitting DC motors to belt drive decks alongside acrylic platters for placing your LPson sans mat. Back then this wastruly leftfield thinking, but now it’s commonplace on many of today’s high-end vinyl spinners, showing that Arthur was clearly ahead of the game.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 02, 2015  |  0 comments
Choosing a turntable is never an easy business and often the more you spend the harder and more complex the choices become. After finding your preferred basic deck, you’ve then got to consider what cartridge to go for to complement your tonearm, and which phono stage will get the best out of your cartridge while allowing for upgrades further down the line, all of which makes choosing a CD player seem like child’s play in comparison. That’s why for many a plug-and-play vinyl solution makes a lot of sense, provided the components are carefully chosen and quality prevails over convenience. Step forward New Jersey’s VPI Industries, a company renownedfor its high-end decks usually with four-figure price tags.
 |  Jan 28, 2015  |  0 comments
Launched by Divine Audio’s head honcho Tim Chorlton and Mark Groom, and with power supplies designed by Garrard guru Martin Bastin, Analogue Works is a new turntable manufacturer that brings plenty of experience to the table, which has been ploughed into the company’s carefully crafted rangeof record players and accessories. The One is positioned slap bang in the middle of the company’s record player range, sensibly sandwiched between the Zero (£650) and Two (£1,600) models. All three decks get the same bronze/steel bearing and the Zero also packs a Rega RB202 arm within its price, but gets a bamboo or MDF plinth and wall-wart PSU in place of the One’s birch-ply plinth and standalone PSU. The cheaper Zero also comes equipped with an acetal platter instead of the more substantial damped alloy platter sported by the One and Two decks.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jan 12, 2015  |  0 comments
When a manufacturer hits on a design philosophy that works it shouldn’t be too surprising to find that it will use the same basic pattern for as many products as it can. However, in the case of Avid, this methodology is taken one stage further. The company’s extensive range of turntables has all been designed ‘top down. ’Theflagship Acutus turntable wasdevelopedfirst and every other turntablesince is effectively as much of the Acutusas it is possible to retain at the new lowerprice point.
Ed Selley  |  Jun 20, 2012  |  0 comments
Michell Engineering GyroDec SE Full spring suspension and a competitive performance makes the Michell a strong contender. . . This deck is relatively unusual these days in that it includes a full spring suspension, which in turn is rare in using springs in tension rather than compression.
Ed Selley  |  Jan 09, 2012  |  0 comments
Inspire Eclipse SE V2 Combine this turntable’s presentation attributes with SME’s M2 arm and you have a fine piece of audio engineering The newest kid on this particular analogue block, Inspire, clearly has a penchant for acrylic. It started out offering mods for Rega decks in the material and the Eclipse SE V2 is almost entirely made of the stuff. The black shiny fi nish says it all really, but it’s more than a couple of slabs of the stuff, between the two are three cones with acrylic tips, alloy bodies and sorbothane damping. The bottom half of the plinth sits on three low-profi le feet with no option for height adjustment.
Ed Selley  |  Jan 09, 2012  |  0 comments
Michell Orbe SE The Orbe SE incorporates the latest Gen 2 power supply, resulting in fine dynamics and a full-scale soundstage The SE is the ‘sport’ version of Michell’s Orbe rangetopper. It cuts down on costs by removing the acrylic casework of its namesake and, in many respects, looks the better for it. Like the well-regarded Gyro, it is a fully suspended design that floats the armboard and platter on three springs, which sit under three posts that stick up from the cast aluminium subchassis that surrounds the platter. Underneath are two acrylic layers in a tristar shape that reach out to support the suspension posts and fix-to-turned aluminium feet.

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