My interest in vinyl was piqued at a young age from my parent’s, but I never got around to starting my own collection. That is until last year while staying with a friend who had this massive, and eclectic, collection of records of all kinds. I became overwhelmingly jealous of this and once I had left their place I missed it dearly.
So I decided to get a turntable. First things first, right? Get the table then work on the collection. Upon browsing around the internet I found that most nice turntables are very costly. Now, I still wanted one but I was a very hesitant about spending upwards of $200 just so I could listen to music. Still, determined as I was, I did find a decent looking budget option. That is the 1 by One Portable Turn Table. With a low-low price of around $60 I was pretty excited.
Reviews seemed good, it can connect to any sound system so I wasn’t too concerned of the built in speakers, and portability is nice as I don’t have a whole lot of space for a massive sound system. So I placed my order, stalked my mailman, and two days later my package was here.
The Record Player
This thing is pretty nifty. It folds up into a suitcase, which no one uses anymore really, so if you see someone walking down the road with a suitcase there’s a good chance it might just be a record player. Mine was turquoise, it sits pretty on my shelf. It’s not too big, about half an LP comes off the edge of the device so make sure you have plenty of room next to it.
It really is nice looking, and I’m a fan of the portability of it. I’ve packed it up and brought it over to friend’s places for some nice jam sessions. It only weighs 5.7 lbs so it’s really not an ordeal at all. Plus, you never know when you’re going to have to get up and move, so now I can say I have a turn table in my ditch kit. Nice.
As far as options on the thing goes it’s not too limited. It has 33/45/78 RPM speed settings depending on what you’re trying to play, it’s own speakers, a port for plugging in other devices into it if you want to play them through those speakers, and an output so you can hook it up to your own stereo or headphones. I recommend hooking it up to your own stereo. The built in speakers are nice and all, but really aren’t anything special. Also it has an auto-stop feature you can turn on or off to stop your record from spinning all night if you leave it or fall asleep.
The build quality is pretty good. It’s not fragile feeling or anything. Though there is a glitch that I, and many others, have ran into where the needle goes down and then comes right back up. I’m not sure the cause of this but turning the player on and off does fix it. No big deal, but kind of annoying. Not enough to get rid of my recommendation.
Here’s the important part of the review. What good is a turn table if it doesn’t sound like one? The gist of this is I’ve heard better turn-tables. I don’t recommend anything lo-fi on this or if the record isn’t in the best condition. But, it still works great on the vast majority of albums.
My first test with this was an old Honky Cat album by Elton John with the player hooked up to my speakers. It played wonderfully, a pop here and a pop there, but just the standard you get with vinyl. That’s half the point of it anyways.
My second test was this old jazz album that probably got pulled out of a thrift store somewhere. No idea who the band was, I couldn’t really even find anything about them online, so this was not the highest quality recording in the first place. It played, but it just didn’t seem like it was picking up a lot of the tones on the album.
I took that same album and played it on my friend’s much nicer turn-table, and the sound difference was pretty major. I’d say it’s something to do with the needle. As long as you’re dealing with a quality vinyl on this you won’t have an issue.
All in all the sound is great, you can really get the grain of the record in there. It has that nice nostalgic filtered sound that really adds a warmth and ambiance to a room. Take what you will from my experience here.
I would not say I was disappointed with this product, but I do think there is some issues with it. Being said, it’s a great budget piece that definitely allows you to play most vinyl.
Would I recommend this to someone just starting a vinyl collection, like me? Yeah, if you have to operate on a budget. It works OK and when hooked up to a proper stereo it definitely sounds like a retro vinyl player. If you don’t have your own stereo system, you may want to work on that beforehand as the built in one just doesn’t quite cut it for me.
Are there better vinyl player options in this price range? I don’t believe so, but if you want the best possible experience with a record player you may want to just save up a bit more money and go for a nice non-portable set up.
With all this said I’m very happy to finally have something to play vinyl on and a reason for my digging through thrift store vinyl collections. It’s a fun hobby, and I definitely recommend checking it out for any lovers of music.