Turntable Reviews

Sort By:  Post Date TitlePublish Date
Michael Trei  |  Nov 29, 2022  |  0 comments
Three decades ago, I had a boss who insisted I drive a Mercedes-Benz as a company car. Tough gig, you might be thinking, but there was solid reasoning behind this extravagance: He wanted the people representing his company to look successful, so it was three-pointed star cars for all, at a time when a Mercedes was more exclusive than it is today.
Alex Halberstadt  |  Nov 23, 2022  |  21 comments
People tend to believe that things are what they appear to be. This turned out to be the case in 2016, when Panasonic introduced the limited-edition Technics SL-1200GAE turntable. It appeared almost identical to an SL-1200—arguably the best-selling and most loved record player series of all time, discontinued in 2010 after more than 30 years—but it cost a whopping $4000. The similar model designation didn't help stem the griping that Panasonic had made a "fancy" version of their legendary DJ turntable at six times the price of the original.
Ken Micallef  |  Nov 17, 2022  |  9 comments
When scouring the labyrinthine halls of big audio shows for products to review in Stereophile, I use three main markers to determine which rooms to visit: a must-hear designation from Editor Jim Austin; a company or brand whose products always light my fire; and systems fellow Stereophile correspondents have described, in a text or an in-person conversation, as worth checking out. Other times, though, I just follow my nose.
Michael Fremer  |  Nov 02, 2022  |  First Published: Jul 01, 2017  |  0 comments
Maybe you've seen the widely circulated New Yorker cartoon: Two guys stand in front of a nicely drawn, tubed audio system, under which are shelves full of LPs. One guy says, "The two things that really drew me to vinyl were the expense and the inconvenience."
Herb Reichert  |  Sep 29, 2022  |  6 comments
The earliest direct-drive record player I've discovered is Garrard's Model 201 from 1930. It only played 78s. In their advertising, Garrard claimed the 201 was the world's first "transcription turntable." It employed Garrard's latest in a line of what they called "prestige" motors: an AC-induction "Super Motor." Garrard described the 201's platter as "plush covered" and said it was "popular with HiFi enthusiasts and used by the BBC." The 201 was superseded by the 201A, which rotated at both 78 and 33 1/3 rpm. The venerable Garrard 301 that followed was an idler-drive design.
Michael Fremer  |  Jul 12, 2022  |  First Published: Nov 01, 2017  |  0 comments
The Reed 3P tonearm, which I reviewed in my April 2016 column, was an impressive piece of imaginative engineering and manufacturing prowess. I asked Reed's importer, Axiss Audio, if I could hold on to the 3P—I was already planning to review Reed's Muse 3C turntable. I'm glad I did—the 3P ($5000) and 3C ($15,000) make an outstanding combination. (When the only complaint you have about a turntable is that the cable from its power jack to the power supply isn't long enough to reach the floor, you can be sure you're going to write a very positive review.)
Ken Micallef  |  Jun 29, 2022  |  5 comments
There's an enduring debate among the turntable-tech intelligentsia between opposing theories of turntable design. Some designers, notably Roy Gandy of Rega, follow a less-is-more approach, building stiff, lightweight turntables that release energy rather quickly. Others, such as Franc Kuzma, whose Kuzma Ltd. manufactures my reference Kuzma Stabi R turntable and Kuzma 4Point tonearm, believe in heavy mass-loading to dampen vibrations, including transparency-miring resonances.
Michael Fremer  |  Jun 21, 2022  |  6 comments
Lublin, Poland, is about 130 miles from Lviv, Ukraine, a town that has been in the news lately. That's about the same distance as Hershey, Pennsylvania, is from my desk in northern New Jersey, where I'm writing this. They are close. Russian missiles struck Lviv on March 18, 2022, and as I write these words Lviv is preparing for more intense bombardment.
Herb Reichert  |  Jun 08, 2022  |  8 comments
Playing records is a delight-filled chore. The simple, quiet act of lowering a tonearm places one's mind at the ready for something marvelous to happen. Surely, this gentle ritual initiates a higher mode of psychic connectedness than poking absentmindedly at a side-facing equilateral triangle on a piece of cheap plastic.
Michael Fremer  |  May 10, 2022  |  First Published: Jan 01, 2018  |  65 comments
It was great fun having our editorial coordinator, Jana Dagdagan, shoot a video profile of me in my listening room. As I write this, it's had more than 88,000 views. While the ratio of thumbs up to thumbs down has remained consistently around 10:1, some of the negative comments, particularly about our industry and about this magazine, do enrage me.
Michael Fremer  |  Apr 05, 2022  |  First Published: Feb 01, 2018  |  1 comments
In February 2017, for the first time in almost 20 years, I visited Rega Research's factory in Southend-on-Sea, UK. I found a company that had added to its just-built factory a second building of the same size, had added an upper level within that space, and already was running out of space. Corridors and walkways were being used for assembly and storage.
Michael Fremer  |  Mar 29, 2022  |  6 comments
What? Suddenly a new Japanese cartridge manufacturer? That's what I was thinking when Mockingbird Distribution's Phillip Holmes dropped three cartridges on me from DYLP Audio. Never heard of them—but then I'd not heard of MuTech either when Holmes sent me one of that company's $4500 RM-Kanda (now Hyabusa) moving coil cartridges, which I reviewed in the March 2019 issue's Analog Corner. If that cartridge is not on your moving coil radar, you ought to put it there.
Ken Micallef  |  Dec 30, 2021  |  11 comments
I enjoy few things more than setting up a turntable. Whether it's for myself or for a friend—whether it's a budget model with a layered MDF plinth and nonadjustable tonearm, or a megabuck, state-of-the-art behemoth—I relish the ritual.

Back in the day, I used to huff and puff, scream and shake, thanks to the heebie-jeebies I'd get when attempting to raise a turntable to ultimate performance. But with experience comes wisdom. My buddy and Sound & Vision contributor Michael Trei makes turntable setup look like child's play. I've learned by watching Mike that, when a turntable setup tries your patience, the thing to do is keep calm and carry on.

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 15, 2021  |  10 comments
You may be moving to Montana. Acoustic Signature is not an overnight sensation, nor are its turntables driven by dental floss. If you're not a Frank Zappa fan, you probably have no idea what any of that means, so please Google it. I'll wait till you get back.
Michael Fremer  |  Nov 09, 2021  |  First Published: Jul 01, 2018  |  2 comments
Bergmann Audio (footnote 1) launched its first turntable—the Sindre, which featured an integrated tonearm—in 2008. The Sindre's acrylic platter and tangential-tracking tonearm both floated on air bearings; it had an outboard motor controller, a separate air pump for the air bearings, and cost $21,000.

Pages

X