Audiophiles! Get out here! Grab a seat and let’s do what we know how to do best; chat about turntables. This year, my career as a recording engineer clocked 10. And trust me, it was so beautiful reminiscing on how far I had come. While thinking back, I remembered how much fun it was trying out new turntable models and observing the growth in the industry. It became one of my favorite things for the longest time: try out different turntable models just for their fun and the terrible or flawless sounds that they had. Well, it still is one of my favorite things to do.
As a result, I realized (while reminiscing on my 10-year career) that I had also developed the ear for great turntables and the sound quality standard they had to meet to qualify as one of the "best turntables" both generally, in the price range that it fits into. Along the line, I have also consulted for some of the big brands regarding the audio quality of some of their bestselling turntables regarding how to create the perfect audio quality that audiophiles around the world would find irresistible.
Now, today is your lucky day as I’m about to channel years of experience creating, perfecting, and reviewing tons of turntable quality into reviewing this Orbit Plus turntable from U-turn. Based on popular demand, I went out of my way to grab a copy of this beauty, played several tracks on it, and arrived at a conclusion.
So, I present my candid opinion on this turntable from U-turn as a professional Recording Engineer and Turntable consultant. I examine the key features of this turntable, give a rating, and my opinion on whether or not it's worth your money. Sit tight and enjoy.
U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus Specifications
- Brand: U-Turn Audio
- Model: R160BKAOR5
- Weight: 12.5 pounds
- Dimension: 19 x 16 x 10.5 inches
- Material: Acrylic
- Color: Black
- Connectivity: Wired
- Motor Type: Low-noise AC synchronousMotor
- Cartridge: Ortofon OM5E with an elliptical diamond stylus
- Cover Type: Dust cover
- Tone Arm: Precision gimbal with adjustable counterweight
- Platter Type: Acrylic platter
- Input Voltage: 115V/60Hz
- Built-in Preamp: Yes
Benefits of the product
- The perfect audio quality for the price range is thanks to the acrylic platter and Ortofon OM5E with an elliptical diamond stylus.
- You'll get a warm, detailed, and punchy bass that leaves you filled with pleasure and gratitude for the existence of this beauty.
- Records are consistently played at the accurate speed it was recorded in, and it also switched momentum flawlessly when it flows into another song with a different speed level.
- The cartridge ensures that this turntable lasts for a long time.
Drawbacks of the product
- Beginners might find it a bit difficult to handle the tonearm as it requires manual handling.
When you think about the Orbit Plus turntable, what should flood your mind should be nothing short of the phrase "retro-in-modern-parlance." I mean, U-turn Audio gave this age-long turntable an entirely different outlook and approach. You'll agree with me once I give you a sneak peek into its physical design in an instant. If you're curious about what this turntable looks like, here goes nothing.
Some true audiophiles that are in love with turntables might not place much emphasis on the design or physical build of a turntable. I mean, as long as it is functional and the sound quality is impressive, that’s all you need to decide whether or not you want to invest your money into this turntable. For others, the looks of a turntable are as much as big of a deal as its function.
Anyway, whichever group you fall into, think of this turntable as a brilliant, agile, and competent girl who's also got great looks, just in case because that's precisely the class this turntable falls into. It comes with a very sleek design that blends into the modern definition of beauty when it comes to turntables.
Trust me when I say, placing this turntable in any corner of your living room would turn you into the topic of discussion among audiophiles curious about how you got this turntable that just so happens to do and have it all; the beauty and the function. U-turn designed this model with an acrylic platter that is thick and clear.
It contributes to the consistent speed this turntable delivers while in use. Then, the cartridge is the Ortofon OM5e. Together, they contribute to the overall beauty and functionality of this turntable player.
Although a start-up, U-turn didn't fail to blow my mind with this fantastic, accessible turntable. Clearly, they had a plan to create a low- mid-range turntable that still outperformed its price range. How did they do? They nailed it.
Audiophiles worldwide know that most Ortofon cartridges make all the difference in sound when it comes to turntables and record players. So, when I saw that U-turn deployed the Ortofon OM5E with an elliptical diamond stylus, I knew this turntable would produce nothing but a near-flawless sound.
Of course, I was right! When I played one of my favorite records, I couldn’t help be pulled into the aura of the rich, neutral, balanced, and warm sound the turntable produced. And guess what? You can listen to a variety of genres thanks to this cartridge.
Compared to lesser models in the U-turn turntables and its competitors within the same price range (like audio technical, etc.), this turntable outdid itself. At a point, I found it difficult to believe it belonged to the price range because, for its level, its performance was simply stunning and amusing.
I have to say that I was slightly stunned to see this model from U-turn come with an acrylic platter. If you are familiar with the turntables from U-turn, you'll know what I mean. According to the best of my knowledge, none of their turntables came in the acrylic platter. For me, this is a first, and they sure nailed it.
The 5/8” thick acrylic platter works to improve acoustics and produce consistent speed while playing your music. It is responsible for the punchy bass that you get while having a moment with this turntable. Couples with the two-speed belt drive system, you're confident that no vibration would rain on your parade while enjoying your music. If you ever need to change the speed, the external belt makes it a quick and effortless endeavor.
- Ease-of-use: 4.8/5
- Design: 4.9/5
- Cartridge: 4.9/5
- Value for money: 4.7/5
- Set up: 4.8/5
- Sound Quality: 4.9/5
U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus Alternatives
- Fluance RT81 Turntable:
The Fluance Turntable is one of the best alternatives for this Orbit plus. It is affordable, has great looks, and comes with a built-in preamp that makes the set-up phase easy. It also comes with a diamond elliptical-tipped stylus attached to the Audio Technica AT95E cartridge that produces high-quality audio for your listening pleasure.
Related Fluance Turntable Review: Fluance RT81
The diamond needle and use of the Ortofon cartridge significantly upgrade this turntable amongst the Orbit series from U-turn. Together, it produces a sound that sweeps you off your feet. You'll hear all the fine details hidden in your track. If you are a beginner in the turntable field, opt for this turntable first for apparent reasons; its beauty.
Aside from its beauty, this turntable requires no stress to set up. Thanks to the built-in preamp, you won’t be subjected to the stress that setting up a turntable requires. Of course, Vinyl lovers seeking affordable yet functional turntables should also invest in this turntable. You’ll get your money’s worth.
Graduated with a Bachelor of Audio Engineering and Sound Production. He has worked with a number of studios as a Recording Engineer, with over 10 years of servicing experience in both re-recording mixing and sound editing.