U-Turn Audio Orbit Turntable
If you have not heard of the Orbit Turntable and U-Turn Audio, that's because this is a new product from a new company. But, the design is decidedly old school audiophile. The Orbit is a completely manual turntable with audiophile-grade sound, positioned just slightly above the budget turntable price range.
There is no USB output, nor built-in preamp. There is not even a tonearm lift. What you are getting, however, is a real deal vinyl playing machine. The basic Orbit model uses a belt-driven, machined MDF platter, mated to an AC synchronous motor. The wow and flutter is listed at 0.2 percent which must be a conservative rating considering the drive system. The motor is isolated from the plinth using a rubber suspension, with a signal-to-noise rating of -62 dB. . Speed changes from 33 1/3 to 45 are manual via moving the belt on the exposed pulley.
The Orbit turntable's tonearm is also quite a bit better than what is normally found at this price range. It is a straight design crafted from aluminum, with very high quality bearings, and silver-plated wiring. RCA cables are included and removable for transit and upgrade purposes. If you have visions of really getting into high fidelity audio, the Orbit will be a very good choice. If you do want to be able to digitize your vinyl, the Orbit plus a USB phono preamp is a very nice combo. If you need automatic features, look elsewhere. Finally, be aware that Orbit is a new company, but one with a clear vision of affordable audiophile-grade sound.