HomeTechnologyNewsAn entry-level turntable you can take anywhere

An entry-level turntable you can take anywhere

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Ratings:
7/10
?

  • 1 – Doesn’t work
  • 2 – Barely functional
  • 3 – Very poor in most areas
  • 4 – It works, but has numerous problems
  • 5 – Good but leaves a lot to be desired
  • 6 – Good enough to buy on sale
  • 7 – Great and worth buying
  • 8 – Fantastic, approaching the best of its class
  • 9 – Top of his class
  • 10 – Borderline perfection

Price: $100

Kris Wouk / Instruction Geek

Vinyl records have made a comeback in a big way, and with so many people getting into vinyl, it makes sense that Victrola would offer an affordable and easy-to-use model for first-time turntable owners. That being said, the Victrola Re-Spin is more than just an entry-level turntable.

Victrola’s turntables revisit classic designs with modern sensibilities, and this continues to be the case with the Re-Spin. This is a take on the classic suitcase-style turntable, albeit with technology you’d never see on those older turntables. The Re-Spin also takes sustainability into account that classic spinners didn’t.

Is the Re-Spin a perfect purchase for vinyl-curious music fans, or should this design be a thing of the past?

build and design

Victrola Re-Spin Cap Retention Registers
Kris Wouk / Instruction Geek
  • Dimensions: 325 x 307 x 115mm (12.83 x 12.09 x 4.53 inches)
  • Weight: 2.30g (5.09 lbs)

All it takes is one look at the Re-Spin to notice its retro styling, but it’s more modern than it looks. For starters, it’s much more environmentally friendly than a typical turntable, being made in part from recycled plastic and coming in 100% recyclable packaging.

The Re-Spin weighs just over five pounds, so it’s easy to transport with the built-in handle. This light weight shows in the feel of the plastic: it’s thin, but not insubstantial. You probably don’t want to drop it, but it seems like it will hold up well to daily use.

Like Victrola’s Revolution GO, the Re-Spin features a removable lid that does double duty. In its normal function, it keeps your turntable clean and free of dust. Take it off the turntable, however, and it doubles as a stand that holds five records, including two double album slots.

Unlike many spinners, you have a selection of colors to choose from for the Re-Spin. We’re looking at the turntable in light blue, but it’s also available in Basil Green, Poinsettia Red, and Graphite Grey.

Portability

Victrola Re-Spin on a tree
Kris Wouk / Instruction Geek

When I first took the Re-Spin out of the box and removed the dust cover, I couldn’t help but notice that the tonearm and some accessories were taped together. Considering this is supposed to be portable, I was curious how well everything would stay in place when the player was on the go.

Fortunately, packing up and moving the Re-Spin several times, I never noticed anything out of place. The tonearm has a clip to keep it in place, so you don’t have to worry about damaging the cartridge. If you’re taking the Re-Spin on a hike, you might have to worry, but it should be fine for everyday use.

As I mentioned earlier, the Re-Spin is a suitcase-style turntable, complete with a built-in handle. This means you’re supposed to take it with you, but it has a drawback that you’d find with older suitcase turntables.

While the Victrola Re-Spin has a built-in speaker, it does not have a battery. Yes, a battery would add weight and might not fit Victrola’s green goals for the Re-Spin, but it’s impossible not to wonder how much better this would be with a built-in battery.

connectivity

Victrola Re-Spin Jacks
Kris Wouk / Instruction Geek
  • bluetooth version:5.0
  • Departures: RCA stereo jack, 3.5mm headphone jack, vinyl streaming

While the Re-Spin is a turntable, it’s also so much more. This starts with the built-in speaker that allows you to listen to records regardless of whether there’s a hi-fi system nearby.

Like other Victrola turntables with similar form factors, the Re-Spin also features Bluetooth 5.0. This works in two ways. The first is what you’d normally think of: you can stream music from your phone or other devices to the Re-Spin just like you would any other Bluetooth speaker.

The other way is more interesting. Victrola’s Vinyl Stream turns the Re-Spin into the transmitter, allowing you to wirelessly stream music to any nearby Bluetooth speaker. This is especially useful if you want to play some records at a friend’s house, but they don’t have a turntable.

Of course, you also get the standard connectivity you’d expect from a turntable. On the back of the device, you’ll find an RCA line output for connecting the Re-Spin to a stereo system. There’s also a headphone jack that lets you listen to your records solo.

turntable and playback

Victrola Re-Spin Tone Arm and Cymbal
Kris Wouk / Instruction Geek
  • playback speeds: 33, 45, 78RPM

Like most consumer turntables, this is a belt drive model. For some turntables this means a complicated setup process, but this is not the case here. The Victrola Re-Spin comes ready to play out of the box, complete with a preloaded tone arm.

While a tonearm without an adjustable counterweight means easy setup, it also means less adjustability down the road. This, combined with the unbranded cartridge, indicates that Victrola does not necessarily intend to play this reproduction frequently for years and years.

When it comes to playback, the Re-Spin offers the typical speeds of 33 RPM and 45 RPM. That being said, this turntable also boasts 78 RPM, which is useful if you have some older records in your collection. The turntable does not offer auto start, but it does feature a switch to automatically stop playback when it reaches the end of a record.

To the right of the platter and tonearm, you’ll find some controls. The volume rocker doubles as the on/off switch, just turn it all the way down to turn it off. Above this is a selector for vinyl playback, Bluetooth playback, or streaming vinyl playback.

sound quality

Victrola Re-Spin playing a record
Kris Wouk / Instruction Geek

While the Re-Spin does feature a built-in speaker, it is a mono speaker, which means that some of your records may sound unbalanced. To test the speaker, I figured I’d dive right into the deep end and play something outside of its comfort range.

Listening to Power Trip’s “Soul Sacrifice”, it sounded thin and somewhat uneven. I figured aggressive metal wouldn’t sound any better through the speaker, and I guessed correctly. Thankfully this is just the speaker as playing the same record on the turntable through my stereo sounded fine.

Next, I decided to try something that would work with the mono speaker, choosing “King Harvest” by The Band. This worked perfectly with this speaker. All instruments were well represented, even the bass, and even when I pushed the volume beyond comfortable volume levels, I didn’t notice any audible distortion.

Finally, I tried something more complex musically, but not necessarily in the choice of instrumentation, by playing Faraquet’s “Parakeet”. The clean guitar sounded great, and the bass came through loud and clear. There’s still a quality here, some might say “vintage” while others would say “lo-fi”, but it worked for the sound.

Something I’ve noticed with other Victrola turntables is that the built-in turntables are surprisingly good, both when it comes to sound quality and power-hungry headphones. That’s still the case here, as the headphone jack offered superior sound to the built-in speaker.

Overall, it’s much better as a turntable than a speaker. The built-in speakerphone works in a pinch, but chances are you already have a better-sounding Bluetooth speaker that you can pair with the Re-Spin.

Should you buy the Victrola Re-Spin?

The Victrola Re-Spin performs much better than its base price might suggest. The built-in speaker won’t blow you away, but plug in some headphones or play the Re-Spin through a proper stereo system, and it sounds great.

Unfortunately, the portability of the case’s design is somewhat let down by the lack of battery life. The Victrola Revolution GO offers a built-in battery in a similar design and has a better-sounding speaker, but costs twice as much as the Re-Spin.

That said, not everyone needs an ultra-portable turntable to carry around while digging through crates of vinyl for a rare find. For most people, the Victrola Re-Spin is a great entry into the world of vinyl, and it has style to spare.

This is what we like

  • Many connectivity options
  • Fun retro-inspired look.
  • Multiple playback speeds, including 78 RPM
  • The built-in speaker is useful for having

And what we don’t do

  • No battery limits portability
  • The sound quality of the speaker is not very good
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