Is the new Ikea record player any good?

Originally published at: Is the new Ikea record player any good? | Boing Boing


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My 40 year Thorns is still going strong, so I’m not in the market, but if I was I would never want this Ikea unit if for no other reason than that there is no cover for the deck. Dust rules! Got to keep it away.


Plus, this is possibly the ugliest tt I’ve ever seen - and ugly in ways that would likely negatively affect sound quality.

Excuse me?

The only reason stuff from cheap stores like Ikea / Aldi / Lidl is cool is if it’s cheap. There’s nothing appealing about a turntable from Ikea if it’s priced like a normal turntable.


OMG, flash back to pre CD … belt drive vs not, automation vs not, the all important cartridge quality … now MP3 carries “perfect” quality to a tiny laptop speakers…

I like the clunky Ikea design …

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Oc Layin GIF


For US$160, the sound quality is only so-so

So, it’s a turntable, is what you’re saying.

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Maybe. But if you’ve got records, you can’t play 'em on anything else. Might as well be the highest quality you can reasonably get.

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I’m still rocking a Numark TTUSB which I’ve had for years. I switched out the cart with an Audio Technica 95E. I’ve replaced the stylus many times over the years and it still sounds great.

Buy your audio gear from an audio company. It would be possible for Fluance or Audio Technica to make a turntable and let Ikea sell it under their brand, but . . . why would they.


Or buy a quality used vintage table. Both of mine (a JVC AL-FQ5 and a Realistic Lab-400) I got for $25 and $50 at Goodwill and at auction respectively. A quick cleanup and stylus replacement, and they sound fantastic.


This is the Correct Way. I’ve got a lovely old Garrard AP76 and a spare one under the bed


Whatever happened to laser turntable technology? Are people fond of knowing that they are slowly destroying their records every time they play them?

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Expense and general availability. But they’re still being made! E.g. :

Eventually the universe will die in a prolonged heat death. I’m not worrying too much about it. :slight_smile:

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As a vinyl/audio nerd.

One of the things I really like about vinyl is that with vintage records you are listening to the orginal mastering and get a better appreciation for the music as the Artist wanted it to sound at the time.

So many modern re-releases were re-engineered with excess loudness and are missing some of that warmth the old versions have.

So yes a well mastered digital file trumps vinyl but well mastered vinyl trumps loud digital IMHO.

For new vinyl I think its a personal preference thing. But there is some value in getting a good turntable. Vintage is an excellent option, or for modern deck something like a Project Elemental are reasonably priced and substantially better than the lowest end. Add an economical preamp (like an art dj pre ii) and you have great sound for not much more than this IKEA one.

I personally have a couple decks (one stupidly expensive), and CDs and streaming in my everyday repetoire and they all have their place.

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If it had the same design, but was made out of metal and wood (even IKEA “wood”) it might be something. Mass matters when it comes to turntables.


I tried our a laser turntable once it was pretty neat. Like magic but expensive and of moderate quality.

Also any reasonable quality stylus / tonearm combo is doing really minimal damage.

The cheapest of the cheap turntables… Thats a different story. “Oh you bought a 20 dollar turntable that’s fun. Uh yeah no you can’t borrow my 1973 Australian pressing of dark side of the moon” :joy:


All the absurd audiophile things that people sell to improve the sound of a CD player

kind of make sense when applied to record players.

An isolation platform made for electron microscopy? Couldn’t hurt.
Tone arms in the thousands of dollars? It’s the rigidity, you see…

so in the end, people with unlimited funds will end up with hundred thousand dollar appliances that have the potential to be more than expensive looking fascia over bog standard equipment sourced from Sony.

With digital sources, your money goes a lot further, and the “ultra high end” is just silly.

Well, sure, but I’m not talking about any of that. If you’ve got records, like the collection my Dad amassed in the 60’s and 70’s and bequeathed to me, or you just enjoy collecting new ones, you can’t play them on a CD player or a hard drive. You need a record player. And if you want good sound from those records, you need a player with at least a minimum level of quality. I did say “reasonable” - I’m not talking about audiophile woo. Good analog sound doesn’t have to cost a fortune!