Let’s back it up a bit, you are probably here because you are searching for the best turntables to buy. You’ve heard about the Orbit Plus from U-turn and you need more information about it. You most likely know all the little things to look out for when shopping for turntables already. So I won’t bore you with all that. And why should I? Let’s face it, the simple question you want answered is whether the Orbit Plus is the one you should get or not? So let’s delve right into it. Here is a full Orbit Plus turntable review.
U-Turn Audio is an independent maker of turntables based in Massachusetts. The Orbit Plus is one of the company’s best seller products. This manual belt drive turntable features a configuration that is an extension of a base model. The highlight of this model with model number, “R160WTAOR5” is its in-built Pluto preamp which allows it to connect directly to powered amplifiers or speakers. But that’s not all there is to it. Despite a pretty simple design, the Orbit Plus as unique functionalities and delivers top quality sound any audiophile will love. Interested already? Let’s go over some more details of this turntable.
Design & Build Quality
The Orbit Plus turntable is designed to be fully functional and deliver top quality sound. Are you looking for something with a simple design devoid of non-useful fancy parts? then look no further. This turntable has a unique design and builds that fit its purpose. And what’s more, the build is entirely straight to the point and it is devoid of the non-essential parts.
It has the same type of tone-arm as the other turntable options from U-turn. The metallic tonearm is stiff and well-constructed. It is designed to be friction-free with zero bearing wobble. It also comes with an AC motor which is mounted on a rubber damper which helps to reduce the motor’s vibration
The plinth of the Orbit Plus has a hinged dust cover. Does this sound familiar? Probably, but it is not a feature you readily see on a turntable in its price range. The turntable has an on and off switch on its left side while you can adjust its speed by moving belt using the motor pulleys.
The Orbit Plus turntable has a small size compared to many other products in its price range. Ok, I know what you are thinking, doesn’t a small size translate to less functionality? This is not the case at all. While it might appear very small at first glance, U-turn Orbit Plus serves its purpose quite well.
What’s more The turntable’s inverted bearing is designed in such a way the bearing points upwards and is well anchored on the plinth. These are just a few of the many impressive design features you will find on this turntable. That’s not all, there are five different colour options to choose from, and you can also select between a walnut or maple finish for the turntable.
Being a basic belt-drive turntable, the Orbit Plus does not have too many tech features. But the good thing is, there are some features of these turntable which you can customize to your preferences.
Built-In Phono Preamp
The Orbit Plus turntable comes with an inbuilt phono preamp which means you don’t need to get a separate phono stage to use it. Awesome right? You will save some space and avoid cable clutter as it connects directly to powered speakers and amplifiers. This also helps you to save some money at the same time.
Optional Cue Lever
The turntable stylus features an old-fashioned, simplistic design. The only problem is, this means the turntable does not come with a cue lever and you will have to go through the more traditional route of picking up the tonearm manually and moving it into position before carefully dropping it on the record. The tonearm has finger lift that makes this easier. However, you can decide to get yourself an extra cutting lever for if you prefer a more modern approach.
MDF or Acrylic Platter
While the base model of this turntable has an MDF platter typical of turntables in is the price range, you also get the option of choosing an acrylic plate in place of it which seems to spin more accurately and with less flutter. You will most likely even get a slightly better quality sound with an acrylic platter than the MDF
You will also have a choice of two different platter materials on the Orbit. The base model’s MDF platter, similar to what we see on some tables in the $300 price range.
Choice of 5 Cartridges
With this turntable, you get the choice between five different cartridges. This particular model comes with the Ortofon OM5e cartridge, which is a favorite of most entry-level audiophiles. However, you can choose to upgrade to any of the other cartridge options as well.
Let’s dig in a little deeper into the performance of this Orbit Plus turntable. Let’s face it, you probably want something that is on par with some of the best high-end turntables and surpasses many others in its price range by far. Good, because that’s exactly what you get with this turntable. While it offers a dynamic range which sounded a little bit compressed especially when you compare with some other top models, it still provides a range that is wide enough to deliver the loud notes with clarity and resonance that accentuates the sound.
Frankly, asides the fact that the Orbit Plus was able to deliver top-notch clear sound during testing, the speed and consistency were also up to standard. On the downside, you might begin to hear slight static vibrations in the background when you turn up the volume, and this distortion doesn’t seem to go away even after adjustment. A bit of a bummer if you ask me, However, this doesn’t seem to be too much of a bother especially since it is entirely non-existent at low volumes and doesn’t seem to affect the sound quality too much even at higher volumes.
Frankly, this table might have some limitations in comparison to some high-end options, but one thing is sure, it still holds its ground and performs quite optimally especially when placed side by side with others in the same price range.
- Built-in Pluto preamp which
- High-performance, top quality turntable
- Easy to set up and use
- Comes with dust cover and adjustable counterweight
- You have to select the platter speed manually
- Sliding weight is harder to adjust than threaded weight
- Does not come with a cue lever but it can be bought as an additional accessory
Without any doubts, this turntable is very functional and serves its purpose pretty well. The bottom line is can you afford it or not? If you can, then you should go for it as it is among the best you can get in its price range. Of course, if you want something more high-end and you have the money to spend, there are some other options available as well. But as far as turntables go, the Orbit Plus is a good purchase.
We hope that we gave you enough information with our Orbit Plus turntable review article, so you can make a better buyer’s decision.