In our last post, we looked at the comeback of vinyl records. It only makes sense to follow that up with a look at devices that support playing records.
I'll admit I don't have much personal experience with turntables so I'll draw upon the advice of CE Pro Magazine. In their April, 2012 issue, the editor's pick was the Essential USB turntable by Pro-Ject for the entry-level person who wants to enjoy their LPs without making a huge investment.
While Pro-Ject has a range of pricier models, Essential has an MSRP of $299 or, for the USB model, $399. The turntable includes a built-in phono pre-amplifier. That's a real benefit because it eliminates the need to purchase a separate phono pre-amp which are seldom found as part of current A/V receivers. It includes a USB output so you can connect the turntable and rip tracks to your computer.
To read CE Pro's complete review, click here.
For the serious audiophile, there are turntables on the market that approach $10,000. While you might not want to spend that kinda mucho deniro for a turntable, you might be a serious enough audio buff to want a separate phono preamp. Regardless of the turntable you have, a good preamp will make all the difference in the beauty and richness of uncompressed sound only your turntable can produce. CE Pro Magazine (again) touted Parsound's Halo JC-3 as the best value in the analog market.
Reviewer Robert Archer claims Halo's performance was comparable to units priced two to three times that of this $2,350 component. "If there were a higher rating for value than A+, I would give the Halo JC-3 that distinction." Click here for a short video of Robert's take on the Halo.
Vinyl is a format that is growing at an eyebrow-raising rate. Maybe its time to dust off that old LP collection and find out why!
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