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  #241  
Old 11-29-2013, 12:17 PM
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unionista unionista is offline
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Orbit Plus TT- continued...Finally, some music!

Well, I FINALLY got to listen to some music! I listened to one LP in the morning before the family all arrived for Thanksgiving, then a little bit more after they left at night. As I write this, I've been listening for a couple of hours this morning.

First, I cued up an album that I didn't even remember, “A Winter's Solstice” on the Windham Hill label.
002.jpg

At first, it sounded very constricted and dull. No life at all. I hoped that it was the low-end cartridge and went about my business. It sounded a little better by the end of the first side but I thought it was just me getting used to the inferior sound. Then it happened. Somewhere around the middle of the second side, it started sounding REALLY good. By the end of side 2, after only about 40 minutes of playing time, it was so good that I couldn't concentrate on anything else. So, I played side 2 again. Sublime! I assume that this was due to the cartridge “breaking in”. Also, this was the first time I had used the phono stage in this preamp. For whatever reason, the weak link here was just starting to hit its stride.

The family was due to to start showing up any time, so I moved on the the next test- Joe Perry's “Once a Rocker, Always a Rocker”.
005.jpg

Why would I listen to this as a test, you might ask? Simple- it's the worst case of a warped LP that I have out of the hundreds of LPs I own. The first two tracks are the worst. My Revox, with its ultra-short tonearm, displayed visible and audible distress on these tracks. On the Orbit, nothing. No drama, no horrible distortion, it just PLAYED.

Next, I put on a rather obscure album from the band New England, “Walking Wild”.
006.jpg

It has some drum tracks with decent impact as well as some ethereal-sounding keyboards. Other than that, I also have it on digital so that I could compare the two. Really, not bad. Obviously, digital has the quieter background but, overall, the two were quite comparable. So far, so good

Next, I moved on to the Doobie Brothers “The Captain and Me” album of which I have on a Nautilus Recordings pressing.
004.jpg

This isn't the greatest recording in spite of the superior label but I really like the music. It was just as I remembered it when I used to play it on the Revox- a fairly black background with acceptable sonics (compared to the Warner Bros. Release).

Lastly, I cued up Michael Hedges “Breakfast in the Fields” also on the Windham Hill label.
007.jpg

By now I was having a problem with cleaning after the demise of my Nitty Gritty. I just could not get the dust and dirt off the records. The near “black” background was lost as I was trying to ignore the snap, crackle and pop. By the end of side 1, this listening session was over. Even still, the close-miked guitar had real bite and realism. The cartridge is still getting better. As an entry-level TT, this won't hold anyone's system back. I would like to see how far it can go before it does.

The Orbit TT was used with this associated equipment in my family room:

Audiosource Pre One preamp with MM/MC phono input
AudioSource Amp One power amp
Paradigm Micro speakers
Klipsch subwoofer

This isn't my main system but I thought that it would be closer to a system that most people would use this TT with. I'll try it at some point with my better gear. First, I need to address the RCM problem. Stay tuned...
001.jpg
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  #242  
Old 11-29-2013, 12:32 PM
majick47 majick47 is offline
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Hopefully the Nitty Gritty can be salvaged. Sounds like the glue on the hoses dried out causing the leak or the fluid tank has a crack. Remove the bottom cover let it warm up and dry out. Usually a simple DIY fix or if needed new parts available from Nitty Gritty. At this rate it could be July 2014 before we get a review on AK.
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  #243  
Old 11-29-2013, 12:36 PM
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wushuliu wushuliu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majick47 View Post
Hopefully the Nitty Gritty can be salvaged. Sounds like the glue on the hoses dried out causing the leak or the fluid tank has a crack. Remove the bottom cover let it warm up and dry out. Usually a simple DIY fix or if needed new parts available from Nitty Gritty. At this rate it could be July 2014 before we get a review on AK.
In the other thread someone mentioned their table being on the way and their intent to compare with their MMF 2.2.
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  #244  
Old 11-29-2013, 12:46 PM
majick47 majick47 is offline
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Sorry for my impatience, report indicates that after a short cartridge break in period the U-Turn is sounding pretty good. Key to better results will be with clean records and making sure the stylus is clean. Get the Nitty Gritty repaired/going, use a stylus brush and a carbon fiber brush to remove any light dust etc from the record before playing and the U-Turn will have a good fighting chance to show its true capabilities. I'v repaired a couple Nitty Gritty RCMs and it wasn't difficult to do.

Last edited by majick47; 11-29-2013 at 12:51 PM. Reason: Added comment.
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  #245  
Old 11-29-2013, 03:47 PM
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Pretty good review so far...and happy to hear its s good tracker with decent reproduction. Mine is designated as a gift to my son and future daughter in law so this should work out. Of course I will do the break in

Thanks for making this so comprehensive.
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  #246  
Old 11-30-2013, 09:51 AM
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Orbit Plus TT- continued...epilogue

Sorry about my battles with recalcitrant equipment. Well, that's the real world for ya.

Largely, I satisfied my own curiosity about the U-Turn Audio Orbit TT. I admit that I was a bit skeptical about its quality and performance. The long wait didn't help. I didn't expect it to be as good as it was. I really expected to hear a bit of motor noise. I expected a little trouble with tracking some warped LPs. I even expected the Ortofon 5e cartridge to be far worse than what I was used to. I expected the machine to be more resonant.

Actually, what I found is that the TT makes music. That's all I ever wanted. U-Turn delivered on its promise. I wish I had the gear to measure wow & flutter, etc. but I don't. I can only give you my listening impressions. So far, those have been only positive.

I'll be looking at some upgrades as time goes by. Definitely a cartridge upgrade, maybe a speed controller. I don't feel that I'd be throwing money away here. After all, if you can't spend money on a hobby then what good is it?

I wish this fledgling company well and hope that they made a little money on this venture. I can't wait to see their NEXT model!
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  #247  
Old 11-30-2013, 11:37 AM
majick47 majick47 is offline
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unionist we couldn't of asked for a better review of the U-Turn Orbit turntable, great job. As you said U-Turn delivered on its promise of an low priced simple turntable that will make enjoyable music without damaging records.
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  #248  
Old 11-30-2013, 12:25 PM
jonman jonman is offline
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Thanks for the review.
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  #249  
Old 11-30-2013, 01:18 PM
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KentTeffeteller KentTeffeteller is offline
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Thanks for the excellent review. Nice that there is an inexpensive good music maker which can be recommended at the price.
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  #250  
Old 11-30-2013, 02:50 PM
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Yes, excellent review. It seems like U-Turn had a clear goal in mind and managed to attain it. Well done on both parts.
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  #251  
Old 12-01-2013, 12:16 PM
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Yes, great review. Thanks.

You know, for a buck79, I might just go for one.
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  #252  
Old 12-01-2013, 12:50 PM
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Barncats Barncats is offline
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One thing I don't understand is why they don;t explain the differences in cartridges between the Basic model and the Plus -- the only place you can even find a description of why the Plus costs more than the Basic is buried in the Take It For a Spin paragraph. They say the Plus has the acrylic platter and a better cartridge. Do you suppose they are so worried about sourcing cartridges at this low price point (and therefore cartridges may end up changing from month to month), they are better off not even mentioning what they are fitting to the tonearms? Or am I missing something that is explained on the site and I just haven't seen it?

Sure is great to see someone sourcing materials and components from US suppliers and talking about that with pride!
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  #253  
Old 12-01-2013, 01:06 PM
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wushuliu wushuliu is offline
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Yes, what exactly differentiates the Plus aside from a glass platter and $100?

Never mind, saw the Accessories page. Just the platter.
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Last edited by wushuliu; 12-01-2013 at 01:10 PM.
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  #254  
Old 12-01-2013, 01:14 PM
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RamblinE RamblinE is offline
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If reviews like Unionista's keep coming in I send a Plus and a base model in mine and my girlfriends future....

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
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  #255  
Old 12-01-2013, 01:18 PM
majick47 majick47 is offline
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Barncats my sentiments exactly that finally we are seeing an affordable quality USA made turntable. Materials and parts subcontracted from USA suppliers and assembled by US workers contributing to badly needed jobs. Hopefully the trend will continue with products like those that were from Dynaco, amps/preamps etc instead of the low budget AV receivers from overseas.
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