U-Turn Audio's modular Orbit turntables get audiophile update
Boston's U-Turn Audio has applied "audiophile-approved" upgrades to its Orbit line of turntables, reworking the drive system, adding electronic speed control, installing a magnesium-alloy tonearm, and offering a host of customization options. Pricing starts at a wallet-friendly US$249.
"Our mission is to make great analog audio more accessible," said company co-founder, Bob Hertig. "Over the last decade, we’ve built and shipped hundreds of thousands of Orbits across North America and have earned a reputation for high-level performance and quality craftsmanship that doesn’t break the bank. This new generation of Orbit represents a decade of experience, learning, and turntable development. We were able to take something that was already great and make it even better."
Common to all Orbits is a new OA3 tonearm with a tapered tube, headshell and pivot housing fashioned from a single piece of magnesium alloy, which sports an adjustable counterweight and internal anti-skate mechanism.
The Basic Orbit comes with an Audio Technica AT91B cartridge, the Plus rocks an Ortofon OM 5E, the Special gains an Ortofon 2M Red and those who plump for a Custom model can choose between five cartridge options.
The external drive system now features a low-noise AC synchronous motor that drives a seamless silicone belt wrapped around a grooved platter in MDF or acrylic (depending on the model) on a low-noise inverted main bearing. The Special and Custom models come with electronic speed control for 33 or 45 rpm at the turn of a knob.
The Orbits are available in a choice of five powder-coated colors for the MDF plinths plus two hardwood options made using sustainably-harvested US wood. The plinth rests on rubber isolation feet as standard, but the buyer can choose to upgrade to U-Turn's premium height-adjustable aluminum feet that feature a visco-elastic material known as Sorbothane, for superior isolation from vibrations.
Each of the Orbits can also be configured with a Pluto 2 phono pre-amp, which caters for direct connection to powered speakers or hi-fi amplifiers that don't have a pre-amp of their own.
The U-Turn Orbit Basic is designed for those just starting their vinyl journey and starts at $249. The Plus is the company's next step up, and is said to offer improved speed stability and lower resonance than the entry-level turntable for a starting price of $399.
The Special edition bumps up the standard specs again for $549, and there's a Theory model that boasts a Pro version of the OA3 tonearm, can be optioned with an Ortofon 2M Blue or Bronze cartridge, benefits from an included cue lever, Iso-Level feet and includes an ultra-quiet motor – all for a starting price of $999.
Source: U-Turn Audio