Turntable Reviews

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Michael Fremer  |  Dec 29, 2020  |  19 comments
With all due respect to Gem Dandy’s new PolyTable Signature “layer cake” of a “two tiered” turntable, the bigger news here is the Sorane TA-1L tonearm George Merrill chose to package with his new turntable. Why is the Sorane news? Because it’s the possible successor to now defunct Jelco. But first, the new $2995 (not including arm) turntable, which, for sure, is also news.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 15, 2007  |  0 comments
Conceptually audacious, elegantly designed, executed with space-age precision, and remarkably compact, Grand Prix Audio's direct-drive Monaco turntable ($19,500) aims to turn the tables on the belt-drive designs that have dominated analog playback for three decades.
Michael Fremer  |  Apr 22, 2007  |  0 comments
Almost immediately on entering the analog marketplace in 1982, Franc Kuzma, a mechanical engineer based in Slovenia, then part of the former Yugoslavia, established a reputation for manufacturing finely engineered, high-performance products that sold at reasonable prices. Kuzma's early industrial designs, however, while serviceable, looked less than distinguished.
Michael Fremer  |  Nov 30, 2003  |  0 comments
Long before the Swedes at Ikea did it, the singular Scotsman Ivor Tiefenbrun began giving his products funny-sounding names. For some reason positively phobic about the letter c, he banned its use in any of those names. Someone once told me his real last name is Tiefencrun, but since it wouldn't sound any different with a k, he settled for a b. "I could have been Ivor Tiefendrun, or Tiefenfrun, or Tiefengrun, for that matter," he's quoted as having said once while krunching a krakker.
Michael Fremer  |  Jul 03, 2014  |  11 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.

Michael Fremer  |  Jun 08, 2020  |  24 comments
In the blink of a vinyl resurgence Technics went from retiring in 2010 the venerable SL-1200 turntable to resurrecting it six years later with two all new “Grand Class” 1200s aimed not at the DJ market as was the original 1200, but at audiophiles.

The limited to 1200 units SL-1200GAE quickly sold out. In 2017 we reviewed the SL-1200G, which other than having a different magnesium tone arm finish and minus a plaque was identical to the limited edition SL-1200GAE.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 21, 2015  |  21 comments
Even had the purchase by Onkyo of Pioneer Home Electronics not been made public, some kind of connection would have been obvious to anyone opening the boxes of this Onkyo CP-1050 turntable and the recently reviewed Pioneer PL-30-K turntable.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 05, 2013  |  12 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 .

Michael Fremer  |  Jun 09, 2015  |  28 comments
Spend some time with Pioneer’s PL-30-K automatic turntable ($349 MSRP/$300 “street price”) and you’ll quickly realize it’s not a “throwaway” turntable put together in haste by a company keen on “cashing in” on the vinyl resurgence.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 05, 2020  |  25 comments
Pro-Ject’s Heinz Lichtenegger pulled me aside at High End Munich 2018. He appeared agitated—not the usual easygoing (but intense) demeanor of a guy who in the early 1990s bet the farm on analog and won—bigtime.
Michael Fremer  |  Oct 24, 2019  |  28 comments
Pro-Ject’s Heinz Lichtenegger is not shy about expressing his contempt for el-cheapo turntables coming from China and elsewhere. He thinks these mediocre-sounding turntables ruin the sonic experience for a young generation getting into vinyl.

Malachi Lui  |  Oct 07, 2018  |  7 comments
The all-in-one turntable market has one gargantuan issue looming over it: the Crosley Cruiser. With everything an analog neophyte thinks he or she needs, these $70 “turntables” sell by the boatload, only to seriously damage records after but a few plays with their five grams of tracking force. Why are they so popular then? Because they’re small, inexpensive and the purchaser doesn’t have to think about piecing together an entire system; it’s right in front of them. Even so, it still feels extremely wrong to spend $100 on a vinyl box set and subject it to the evils of a $70 turntable.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 03, 2016  |  48 comments
(Due to a missing decimal point what was a .2%+ speed error read '2%". However, the published measurements chart is 100% accurate and had anyone done the math it would have revealed the typo. My apologies for the error to Rega, Sound Organization and to you, AnalogPlanet readers).

Can any turntable manufacturer be enjoying the vinyl revival more than Rega? I doubt it. It saw compact discs coming and yet spent a considerable amount of money creating a tool to produce cast pick up arms. I keep mentioning this in Rega reviews but in the face of the digital onslaught it demonstrates their determined commitment to vinyl playback.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 15, 2008  |  5 comments
It's now been eight years since a Rega P3 turntable passed through my listening room. While the new P3-24 superficially resembles the P3 (and virtually every other Rega 'table), the company has made some significant changes, including upgrading to the high-quality, low-voltage (24V), electronically adjusted motor used in the more expensive P5, P7, and P9. As in those models, an electronic circuit trims the phase angle of the P3-24's motor coils, thus substantially reducing motor vibrations. In 1998, during a factory tour, a Rega engineer demonstrated the circuit's effectiveness to me. As he adjusted the circuit board's pot, vibrations from the motor dramatically decreased, until it was difficult to tell if the motor was spinning or not. Back then, this "hand-trimmed" motor technology was available only in the P9. The P3-24 uses a less sophisticated version of the same basic idea.

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