U-Turn Audio – The Orbit Turntable
Congratulations to U-Turn Audio for their successful Kickstarter campaign to bring to market a low cost, high quality turntable – The Orbit.
From their Kickstarter page:
We love listening to music on vinyl, and we believe that everyone should have access to a quality vinyl experience. But we found that capable turntables were prohibitively expensive. That’s why we designed the Orbit – a remarkably simple turntable that cuts the cost of high-performance playback in half.
I’m a big fan of Kickstarter and strongly considered buying The Orbit. I’d like to pick up a second turntable for the living room, which my wife thinks is ludicrous considering my setup in my home theater room in the basement. But something appeals to me to listen to records in a sun filled room on a weekend afternoon rather than my artificially lit man-cave.
I decided not to buy the Orbit though for a couple of different reasons. I was concerned about the opportunity to not see the turntable first and look at the build quality. It’s driven by a fully manual drive belt and I was concerned over time if it would need to be replaced and, if they can’t build a business model, if parts would be available. I also wanted to see how it looked, as it was made out of MDF.
It’s only $150 (including the $50 Ortofon cartridge), but I’m blessed that the Needle Doctor is based here in the Twin Cities. When (or as my wife would say, if) I buy a second turntable, I would buy it at the Needle Doctor. An entry level Denon DP300F , which includes a $100 Ortofon 2M cartridge, is $419.00. The ability to purchase it in person and have them help set the arm and load the cartridge is worth the extra money and not having to worry if something breaks in shipping. And that’s not saying anything about warranty support.
But that’s just me. I’m happy to see a company trying to make turntables affordable to the masses. $175, including shipping, is a great way for people to re-discover the joy of viny.