This is the second turntable I have received from 1byone, my review of the first one can be found here. This turntable is a massive upgrade over the first one in many ways and has a more contemporary, while still having a vintage look to it.
The first thing I immediately noted was the dust cover. A lot of modern turntables opt not to have a dust cover in favor of a suitcase style turntable, a decision I can’t understand since you can’t protect the record from dust or dirt when it’s a suitcase style. After lifting the dust cover up, you can see that that does in fact resemble older turntables with the cue lever arm, as well as a panel of options to select from. This panel is how you control the function of the turntable and what you want it to do. Besides the obvious on and off feature, you can record your records via the USB port available on the turntable in addition to connecting your laptop or photo via Bluetooth to listen to music through the on-board speakers. Lastly, you can also listen to music files on a USB by plugging it in. The volume knob is on the bottom right and the input jack and RCA inputs can be found on the back of the turntable.
The Bluetooth functionality on the turntable is expected with these modern turntables. It functions well and I was able to seamlessly connect the turntable to my HTC M8 smartphone. The feature I was ecstatic to try was recording my records to USB. This feature is not only nice to have for those pieces of music you can’t find digitally anymore, but also to convert your physical record to a digital medium, making it easier to take it with you on the go. Upon listening to the playback of a Beach Boys record (Greatest Hits), I noticed the quality of the music was just as I heard it on the record! It is worth noting that the bit rate of the music files were all 160 kpbs, making it slightly higher than YouTube rips at 128kpbs and slightly lower than Spotify which is at 192kpbs. This will bother those who enjoy their music in 320 kpbs and even FLAC, but will be fine for the average listener.
The playback feature on USB was handy since I was able to immediately hear how the recording sounded in a matter of moments. As far as I can tell, the audio recording is stereo and played back as such. Just like its predecessor, the 1byone suitcase turntable, it has aux in and RCA out. The aux in is most likely useful if you don’t want to depend on Bluetooth or if your device does not offer Bluetooth, while the RCA was able to let me plug the turntable into my speaker system and hear it at its best.
Where I would like to see improvement:
If anyone has read my post on how to align a tonearm, they can recall the fact that the tonearm had a counter weight on it to do as little damage to the record as possible while still being able to play the record. This turntable lacks that feature and I feel it will hold it back when it comes to people that really want to appreciate and get into vinyl. The fact of the matter is that this turntable applies a lot of tracking force on the record, causing it to wear the grooves down faster, and that can be avoided by 1byone adding a counterweight to the arm. It would then be able to appeal to the people that want to get into the vinyl medium at a lower price, while still not damaging the records.
The table is really durable and I love the automatic arm. Cueing a record has never been easier or as seamless as this. The construction and look of the tonearm is great. If a counterweight is added, along with a cheap cartridge and needle, I have no doubt that the 1byone belt driven Bluetooth turntable will be a hit with both the vinyl beginner and the enthusiast alike.
Edited by Lauren Fabrizio