Turntable Reviews

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Michael Fremer  |  Mar 28, 1999  |  0 comments
I literally dropped everything when Rega's new Planar 25 turntable arrived a few weeks ago. I'd heard the 'table compared with the Planar 3 at designer Roy Gandy's house when I visited Rega last fall—see "Analog Corner" in the January '99 Stereophile—and was anxious to audition it in my own system and tell you what I heard.
Michael Fremer  |  Apr 09, 2014  |  24 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.

Michael Fremer  |  Mar 06, 2019  |  44 comments
Call it “P8” or “Planar 8” but do not call this new Rega turntable “RP8”. That was the previous 8. Despite the obvious superficial Rega similarities the new Planar 8 differs greatly from its predecessor.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 20, 2000  |  0 comments
Andy Payor hurls a briefcase full of engineering and scientific mumbo-jumbo at in an attempt to justify the $73,750 price of the latest and greatest edition of his Rockport Technologies turntable, but really—isn't this all-air-driven design a case of analog overkill? After all, defining a turntable's job seems rather easy: rotate the record at an exact and constant speed, and, for a linear tracker, put the stylus in play across the record surface so that it maintains precise tangency to a radius described across the groove surface. By definition, a pivoted arm can't do that, so the goal there is to minimize the deviation. That's basically it. Right?
Michael Fremer  |  Aug 23, 2016  |  46 comments
The Prime is the first turntable designed by Mat Weisfeld. What that means in this case is more a series of smart executive decisions rather than a “from scratch” effort (for you vegetarians, the headline incorporates all three USDA grades of meat).

Michael Fremer  |  Mar 05, 2017  |  49 comments
It’s no secret that when Shinola decided to add a turntable to its product roster, the Detroit, Michigan based manufacturer chose to consult for the design with New Jersey based VPI Industries.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 04, 2005  |  0 comments
"My original goal was simply to design a better turntable than the Linn because at that time in the UK, Ivor Tiefenbrun was the man—he was the patron saint and all that. And all the hi-fi mags were full of Linns. He did for turntables, in a way, what Mark Levinson (the man) did for amplifiers."
Michael Fremer  |  Dec 23, 2007  |  1 comments
Simon Yorke is an artist, a machinist, an electronics wiz, and a political idealist. He's also an analog enthusiast who melds aesthetic and technical considerations into eye-catching, densely packed, compact record-playing devices that are ruggedly built and functionally elegant. His turntables' smooth, matte-gray, metallic finishes and efficient lines make them among the most visually pleasing ever made.
Michael Fremer  |  Apr 15, 2000  |  0 comments
What do you want from a 21st-century record-playing device? I hear you: you want one that's compact, well-made, easy to set up, holds its setup, sounds great, and doesn't cost a lot.
Michael Fremer  |  May 15, 2009  |  0 comments
Much has happened in the analog world since I reviewed SME's flagship Model 30/2 turntable for the March 2003 Stereophile (footnote 1). Back then, spending $25,000 on a turntable (without tonearm) was an odd extravagance intended only for those seriously committed to the format, and who already owned large LP collections. Although new LPs were being pressed in growing numbers, the resurgence of vinyl was still spotty, and the long-term prognosis for the old medium remained in question.
Michael Fremer  |  Mar 16, 2003  |  0 comments
Dense, compact, and built to run O-rings around the competition, SME's flagship turntable makes every other design I've encountered—with the possible exception of Rockport's System III Sirius—look almost homemade. I don't mean to insult the many fine, well-engineered designs out there, but I've seen nothing else to compare with SME's tank-like approach to spinning a record. Comparing the Model 30/2 to a tank isn't exactly fair: the machining is done to higher than mil-spec tolerances. I don't think anyone else building turntables today is capable of this level of construction quality, never mind design ingenuity and fit'n'finish.
Michael Fremer  |  Mar 05, 2016  |  12 comments
SOTA is an American turntable brand founded circa 1980 by Dave Fletcher and Robert Becker in Berkeley California.The talented Spiral Groove turntable designer Allen Perkins worked for the company in the late 1980s.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 22, 2014  |  52 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.

Michael Fremer  |  Feb 08, 2018  |  7 comments
The European Audio Team’s entry into the under $2000 turntable market includes for $1595 a factory-installed Ortofon 2M Blue moving magnet phono cartridge that alone costs around $240. Something like the $100 2M Red is more often found packaged at this price point.

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