The renewed interest in vinyl shows no signs of abating. Roberts is the latest high-profile audio brand to announce that it’s moving into the market in time for the Christmas rush.
Roberts, known for making a wide range of digital radios, is launching the RT100 turntable. Despite being an audio brand with a history stretching all the way back to 1932, Roberts has only released a few turntables before, and hasn’t done so since the 1960s.
Click here to to jump straight to our first look review of the Roberts RT100 turntable.
Best brands for vinyl
Roberts’ move into record players is a sign of just how popular vinyl has become again, and it isn’t the only big brand that sees a future in the format. In June, Sony announced that it was to re-open one of its old vinyl-pressing plants in Japan to keep up with the growing demand.
The slow but steady stream of companies getting back on board with vinyl proves that there’s more to the trend than just throwaway nostalgia. However, that hasn’t stopped some unscrupulous manufacturers from taking advantage, producing cheap, poor-quality products.
We got our hands on a sample of the new Roberts RT100 to get an idea of whether it’s a genuine hi-fi product or just another cheap pretender.
Roberts RT100: what is it?
It’s a stylish turntable aimed at those who want to get great sound out of their record collections. At £250, it’s a lot pricier than the cheapest models we test and on a par with some serious hi-fi competitors.
It comes with a built-in preamp, so you’ll be able to plug it straight into any hi-fi or set of powered speakers. There’s also a USB connection, which allows you to connect the turntable to your computer and make digital copies of your records.
The design of the RT100 is very similar to the Audio Technica AT-LP3. The two turntables share the same Audio Technica cartridge and stylus. This makes a lot of sense from Roberts’ point of view – better to rely on the expertise of an established turntable brand for your first foray into the market.
Putting the Roberts turntable to the test
In anticipation of putting the RT100 through our full lab test, we had a go at setting it up and playing a few of our favourite records. Among the selection were records from Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin and Four Tet.
Unsurprisingly, the sound isn’t a million miles away from that of the Audio Technica AT-LP3. In general we thought that sound was quite sharp and clear, but there is plenty more testing that needs to be done before we’re ready to give the RT100 a full test score.
Read our first look review to learn about the Roberts RT100’s features, and find out more about what it’s like to use, including why it might be a bit of a pain to set up.