U-Turn sent over an Orbit Basic Turntable for this review with the company's own Pluto preamp already installed (the Builder also gives you this option).
The Orbit Plus earned a 7 out of 10 in our sound quality testing, putting it well above average but just behind the top performers. The Orbit Plus is a good all around turntable, but its relatively high price makes it a poor value when compared to other models. We tested 9 of the best... Finding the Right Turntable for Your Vinyl Journey. All that's left to do after that is to wrap the large rubber band (also called the belt) around the pulley on the top-left side of the unit. An upgrade-ready turntable with audiophile aspirations, (Part #: CNETUTurnOrbitBasicTurntableBLK).
CNET may get a commission from these offers. The low voltage AC synchronous motor also sits underneath the plinth and has an open port on the back where you plug in the wall adapter. It's currently our favorite sub-$200 turntable and deserves the attention of audiophiles and casual listeners alike. Since that first Kickstarter campaign, which raised over $230,000, U-Turn has quickly earned the favor of vinyl enthusiasts on the Internet and has now expanded its product line to include a bespoke "builder" option that lets customers choose their base color, platter material, cartridge, and more. There are plenty of options for turntables under $200 -- but not plenty of good ones. The metal tonearm is quite stiff and well constructed, and the Ortofon OM 5E cartridge gets the job done. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. At a list price of $380 it is significantly more expensive than the better sounding and easier to use Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB.
The manual speed adjustment could get tedious If you often switch between 33 and 45 RPM records. Disenchanted with digital music? What you do get is a straight tone arm with a unipivot-style bearing that sits close to the record, so the needle has an easier time accurately tracking inside the record grooves. The Orit's dynamic range was a bit compressed when compared to these top models, but it was still wide enough to lend loud notes the emotional resonance they deserve. Its overall clarity was on par with that of the top scoring Audio Technica AT-LP120XUSB and the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon. The Orbit lacks any sort of cueing lever, which means you must pick up the tonearm, move it into the right position and gently rest it onto the record yourself. Performance & security by Cloudflare, Please complete the security check to access. If you're looking for a turntable that you can use to DJ, forget about the Orbit and start saving up for the new Technics SL-1200G coming out later this year. Finally, the tonearm is balanced with a sliding weight, making it much harder to make fine adjustments than with models that use threaded weights that can be moved very slightly by turning them. Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. With no cue lever to help you drop the needle, you need to have a steady hand to grab the finger lift on the tone arm's head shell, but it's worth noting that the company also sells a lever separately for $40 (£27.85, AU$56.98) that installs underneath the tone arm rest. Two years later, the company is still honoring its commitment to US-made parts in its Boston factory. We found this to be much easier than having to lower the tonearm and needle by hand. Overall we didn't feel that it was a huge drawback, but if you like to enjoy your music at a high volume it may become annoying. Audiophiles prefer belt-driven turntables because they don't transfer motor noise to the needle as much as direct-drive turntables, but the latter are favored by DJs and casual listeners for their strong torque, quick spin-up times, and durability. Privacy | Cookies | Terms, The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of gear, Good sound and construction that is held back by a higher than average price point and less user friendly design. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for U-Turn Audio - Orbit Plus Turntable (Black) at Amazon.com. The Good The precalibrated cartridge cuts the initial setup time down to under five minutes, the Web store has plenty of custom options for colors and upgraded parts, and the turntable has a smooth, clear sound that spans all genres. While the Fluance RT81 was even better in that regard, we'd still approve the Orbit for raucous dance parties. All trademarks property of their respective owners. Some models, like the Audio-Technica AT-LP3BK, completely automate the cueing process, so you can get a record playing at the push of a button. The pulley has two grooves that will spin the platter at 33rpm (top groove) or at 45rpm (bottom groove) depending on the speed of your record. The Orbit Plus sounds great, but there are less expensive models that sound better. Only the motor, phono cartridge, and a few small plastic molded parts are sourced overseas. We've laid out the... the most in-depth and scientific tech reviews.
• U-Turn is also involved in every step of the manufacturing process: each Orbit is put together by hand, goes through a rigorous 15-point quality control regimen, and is listened to by a U-Turn technician before shipping out. Even the high end Audio Technica AT-LP120XUSB and the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon have aluminum platters that are noticeably lighter. When a hurricane blows out your internet, a drone can drop an instant network, Google Pixel 5's wimpy camera is driving me to the iPhone 12, US charges Russian hackers over 3 of world's biggest cyberattacks, Discuss: U-Turn Orbit Basic turntable review: An upgrade-ready turntable with audiophile aspirations. How can we improve GearLab? The Bottom Line The U-Turn Orbit Basic turntable manages to keep costs low while streamlining the set-up and offering shoppers a lot of options to customize the color and build. It stood up to all but the hardest of bumps to the table it was sitting on without skipping. You have to hand cue the Orbit plus without the assistance of a cue lever, this may take some getting used to if you're new to vinyl. Another way to prevent getting this page in the future is to use Privacy Pass. The other models in this price range, the Audio Technica AT-LP120XUSB and the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon, both have cue levers that somewhat automate the process of actually putting the needle down onto the record.
Apple should probably charge more than $399, It's the perfect iPhone SE rival in every way but one. The tone-arm is just as simple to operate, as well, but keep in mind that the way U-Turn keeps costs low is to omit fancy extra features like a tone arm cue lever and auto-return playback. The Orbit Plus did quite well in our overall testing, as you can see in the table above. Just install the platter over the base and put the felt slip mat on top, then you can plug in the power cord and slide the clear plastic dust cover over the hinges. We delete comments that violate our policy, which we encourage you to read. Sarah Tew/CNET U-Turn sent over an Orbit Basic Turntable for this review with the company's own Pluto preamp already installed (the Builder also gives you this option). The Orbit Plus is quite well constructed, earning a high score of 8 out of 10 in our component quality testing.
The Bad The manual speed adjustment could get tedious If you often switch between 33 and 45 RPM records.
This was the worst metric for the Orbit as it earned a mediocre 5 out of 10. In the sections below we discuss all the strengths and shortcomings we discovered while testing the Orbit. The ORbit has a nice stiff tonearm, but the tracking force adjustment can be a bit finicky. Got feedback? Be respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic. This makes it a poor overall value, unless you just really fall in love with its aesthetics. Overall the Orbit's construction quality is commensurate with its higher price, with only the carbon fiber tonearm of the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon being a noticeable improvement over any of the Orbit's components. U-Turn designed the Orbit to be as easy as possible to put together when you first get it, and it's a no-brainer compared to other turntables. Discussion threads can be closed at any time at our discretion. This was not at all noticeable at low volumes, but when we cranked the music loud it was conspicuous but not overpowering.
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