Turntable Reviews
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Turntable Reviews
Michael Fremer Apr 10, 2014 11 comments
Rega Research sold more turntables last year than in any of its previous forty odd years and is on target to do so again this year.

Turntable Reviews
Michael Fremer Mar 07, 2014 38 comments
Investors in U-Turn’s Kickstarter-funded Orbit turntable get more than their money’s worth in this remarkably well-designed record player manufactured in Woburn, Massachusetts.

One can only imagine why the principles chose the name U-turn™, but I’d like to think it means a reversal of direction from the low resolution MP3 digital hell into which a generation or two has been led, back to high resolution vinyl heaven.

Turntable Reviews
Michael Fremer Jan 26, 2014 10 comments
Just as moving downhill is easier than going up, scaling down an expensive design is far easier than building upon a modest one.Yet Pro-Ject, which began in1990 with a homely, grey/black Soviet-era Czech Republic-made “people’s ‘table”, has managed quite well to both upgrade its budget offerings and to produce mid-priced ‘tables of distinction.
Turntable Reviews
Michael Fremer Aug 06, 2013 9 comments
U.K. based Origin Live has been building its iconoclastic line of turntables and tone arms for decades now and though its American visibility remains relatively low, it has managed to attract a small but enthusiastic and growing consumer fan base .

Turntable Reviews
Michael Fremer Jul 11, 2013 34 comments
Imports crowd the $1500 turntable price-point with entries from Rega, Pro-Ject, Music Hall, Clearaudio, JA Michell, Marantz (made by Clearaudio), Acoustic Signature and some others.

Until VPI surprised the turntable world last year with the Traveler, the only American-made ‘table manufactured at this price that I can think of is the SOTA Comet, which comes with an OEM Rega tonearm.

Turntable Reviews
Michael Fremer Jun 18, 2013 1 comments
Acoustic Signature designer Gunther Frohnhöfer has been building mass loaded aluminum-based turntables for decades. Back in 2001 I reviewed and really liked a model called the Final Tool. It ended up being purchased by someone I knew and he’s still using it trouble-free all these years later and it still sounds solid.

Turntable Reviews
Michael Fremer Mar 04, 2013 7 comments
For a company whose initials stand for “Scale Model Equipment” the massive turntables SME builds are anything but. The company, founded in post WW II England, began as a manufacturer of scale models, then popular in the engineering trade.

SME founder Alastair Robertson-Aikman was an audio hobbyist who one day decided to apply his engineering acumen and put to work the talented designers and machinists in his employ to produce a tone arm for his own use.

Turntable Reviews
Michael Fremer Aug 31, 2012 Published: Aug 31, 2012 9 comments
Pro-Ject's $299 Essential costs 25% less than the recently reviewed Carbon. So what don'tyou get for your minus $100?

Turntable Reviews
Michael Fremer Aug 22, 2012 Published: Aug 22, 2012 35 comments
The Pro-Ject brand began as vinyl lover's pipe dream. Vienna based audio distributor Heinz Lichtennegger believed as did many of us back in the 1990s, that vinyl was not dead. It just needed a defibrillator in the form of an inexpensive, well-made and reliable turntable.

Turntable Reviews
Michael Fremer Aug 14, 2012 Published: Aug 14, 2012 13 comments
An Analogplanet.com reader emailed to ask if I'd like to spend a week with his Gale turntable. I knew the Gale loudspeaker from the 1970s but was unfamiliar with the turntable so I figured, "why not"?

Turntable Reviews
Michael Fremer Jun 22, 2012 Published: Jun 22, 2012 15 comments
The two basic turntable design approaches are low mass that quickly evacuates energy and high mass that sinks and damps energy. Both designs seek to avoid reflecting back into the system the considerable energy produced at the stylus/groove interface.

Michael Fremer Oct 14, 2011 1 comments
Trends in turntable design shift back and forth over time, each "advance" turning out to be a mostly sideways move. Over its long history, VPI's founder and designer, Harry Weisfeld, has moved the analog goalposts back and forth as he's refined his thinking. His early turntables were mostly standard spring-suspension designs of normal size. By the time Weisfeld produced his fully tricked-out TNT model, which was originally designed to stably hold the heavy moving mass of Eminent Technology's ET2 air-bearing arm, he'd moved to a massive, oversized, sandwiched plinth with isolating feet at the corners. He first used springs and, later, air bladders originally designed to cushion a tractor-trailer's load, and which he'd found in a trucker's supply catalog. Via an O-ring, the TNT's outboard motor drove one of three pulleys that protruded from holes in the plinth, and attached to a T-shaped subchassis that, in turn, drove the other two pulleys via two additional O-rings.
Turntable Reviews
Jun 29, 2011 2 comments
Enticing more music lovers to try vinyl requires a foolproof, plug'n'play solution. Asking a member of the digital generation to install a cartridge in a tonearm and then set up the VTA, SRA, VTF, etc. is asking too much. It's easier to make such a request of someone already bitten by the analog bug, but with turntables, wishing someone beginner's luck will not guarantee success.
Turntable Reviews
Michael Fremer May 20, 2011 1 comments
I won't debate here how to make a turntable's platter go around. Choose your favorite: belt vs direct drive, idler wheel vs belt, spring-windup vs wind power, whatever. As far as I'm concerned, there's nothing to debate. Each of these technologies has its pluses and minuses, but none can produce CD's accuracy of speed and inherent freedom from wow and flutter.
Turntable Reviews
Michael Fremer Dec 27, 2010 Published: Mar 01, 2010 1 comments