While I consider myself an audiophile, I’m also a minimalist who delighted in dumping his CD and DVD collections as soon as streaming started to take hold. But here I am buying records on Amazon in 2017.
When it comes to vinyl, it’s the cover art that grabs you and the sound that keeps you, and the same is true with U-Turn’s turntables. Whether you opt for bright colors that pop or refined hardwood, U-Turn’s products are stunning, and likely to be the centerpiece of whatever room they occupy.
And U-Turn isn’t just about... turning heads. U-Turn has stripped the turntable down to its essential components, and then poured love, time, and thought into each one at their home base in Woburn, Massachusetts. Without getting too far into the weeds, the utmost care has been taken in efforts like minimizing vibration, balancing the tonearm, and making use and upkeep intuitive and easy for you, respectively.
U-Turn’s biggest appeal isn’t in its form or function though, it’s the customizability. U-Turn turntables start at just $179 in five colorways, with upgrades that can take you all the way up to the $700 range. If you don’t know what a cartridge is, for example, the Orbit Basic will likely blow away whatever your current listening setup is, and if you’re a veteran, you can go all in on an Ortofon Blue.
I went with an Orbit Special with Preamp in Walnut, and tested it with our beloved AudioEngine HD3s. The result is everyone in the room stopping what they’re doing to remark on how incredible “Dogs” from Pink Floyd’s Animals sounds, just to name one such moment.
It’s a lot of praise to lavish, but nothing else we’ve tested this year has brought me this much joy. Whether you just want to dip your toes, or you’ve been shopping for a big upgrade, or you just need an awesome gift for someone, you can’t go wrong with U-Turn.
Some U-Turn models are available on Amazon, so it’s worth comparing prices if they happen to have the specific configuration you want.