Mul­ti­room Source of the Year

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It is hard not to love a turntable that does Tidal... and Spo­tify and in­ter­net ra­dio and high-res net­work stream­ing... a turntable that has AirPlay and Blue­tooth and Wi-Fi and Eth­er­net. You can plug it into an am­pli­fier, but you can equally send its out­put wire­lessly to speak­ers all around the home, and have ev­ery­thing un­der app con­trol. Gee whizz. For such is Yamaha’s new $899 Vinyl 500, into which the com­pany has in­stalled its Mu­sicCast stream­ing and mul­ti­room plat­form - so it’s a turntable which has a fully-equipped stream­ing source hid­den within.

If you do plug it into an amp, there are two sep­a­rate out­puts which can be switched be­tween - one RCA pair at phono level, and an­other pair at line-level. For fairly ob­vi­ous rea­sons the Mu­sicCast sources will emerge only from the line-level sock­ets! For some of th­ese sources you could even use voice con­trol, since Mu­sicCast is now Alexa-con­trol­lable (though it seems Alexa has not yet de­vel­oped the skill set re­quired for flip­ping over LPs).

All this would come to naught were the turntable it­self a stinker, but this is not the case. It is a belt-drive deck with a straight 9-inch ton­earm and ad­justable head­shell, anti-skat­ing, and a mov­ing mag­net car­tridge, Yamaha de­liv­er­ing both an im­pres­sive aes­thetic and solid per­for­mance for the price. Set-up was quick and easy, the usual belt­ing and counter-weight­ing, plus here at­tach­ing the head­shell, set­ting an­it­skate and pres­sure.

A full re­view will ap­pear soon (but this Award in­di­cates our gen­eral con­clu­sion...). More info:

“Yamaha has cre­ated some­thing en­tirely new, hid­ing the Mu­sicCast stream­ing & mul­ti­room plat­form inside a turntable. Rad­i­cal!”

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