Multiroom Source of the Year
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: au.yamaha.com
“Yamaha has created something entirely new, hiding the MusicCast streaming & multiroom platform inside a turntable. Radical!”