Turntable Reviews

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Michael Fremer Posted: Aug 27, 2014 Published: Aug 26, 2014 26 comments
Designing a turntable (or pretty much anything) with no budgetary constraints is far easier than is designing one to a specific price point, especially a low one.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Jul 23, 2014 Published: Jul 22, 2014 39 comments
Off the audiophile pedestal and into the “real world” we go, with a review of Audio Technica’s easy to set up $250 AT-LP120-USB turntable.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Jul 04, 2014 Published: Jul 03, 2014 12 comments
It’s no secret that Pro-Ject builds Music Hall turntables to Music Hall’s specifications and design parameters using mostly “off the Pro-Ject shelf” mechanical components. Before getting to the 11.1, perhaps you are wondering why Pro-Ject would want to compete with itself.

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Michael Fremer Posted: May 10, 2014 Published: May 09, 2014 9 comments
Zorin Audio is a China-based company producing a series of tone arms and turntables that last year at an audio show impressed visually. The machining appeared superb and the designs sensible, but with sufficient innovation to draw my interest.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Apr 10, 2014 15 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.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Mar 07, 2014 43 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.

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Michael Fremer Posted: 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.
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Michael Fremer Posted: 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 .

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Michael Fremer Posted: 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.

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Michael Fremer Posted: 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.

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Michael Fremer Posted: 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.

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Michael Fremer Posted: 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?

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Michael Fremer Posted: 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.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Aug 14, 2012 5 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"?

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