Gadgets vinylplay

Published on August 15th, 2015 | by Greg


Flexson VinylPlay: Analog For A Digital World

Let us go on record as saying: records are pretty cool. They might seem like an ancient technology without a place in the modern world, but you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who is manufacturing cassette tapes or eight-track players. What is is about the LP that continues to captivate? Sure, they’re big and bulky, but they encode music in a higher-definition manner than CDs or MP3s. And needles might sound awkward, but they’re sensitive, leading to results that are warmer and smoother rather than clinical.

Authenticity is definitely part of it. And the Flexson VinylPlay USB Turntable takes old-school technology, melding it with modern decoding and connectivity. Basically, your record player has taken a flying leap into the 21st century, featuring a built-in DAC or digital-to-analog convertor that allows your to connect directly to a computer and record your vinyl over USB. There’s a phono pre-amplifier too, so you can connect to your stereo or A/V system via RCA cables (both sets are included). And unlike most fiddly record players, the Flexson VP is ready basically out of the box, made to plug-and-play- there is still a balance arm of course, requiring a moment of fine tuning. Just move the balance weight to the labeled point, then set the bias slider to “2.” Install the cartridge- a solid Audio-Technica one is included in the package- and you’re good to go.

Like several competitors, the VinylPlay uses a simple rectangular base with a lovely transparent cover, with rubber feet to keep it steady and prevent shock/vibration (though only three, somewhat oddly). Built in the UK, it uses a tone arm similar to some well-regarded models out there, like those from Pro-Ject (we tested out their Debut Carbon previously). The sleek design continues to the controls, absent from the top and invisible at first glance, so you don’t have to lift the cover to start the tunes. Playback starts quickly and stops on a dime, and one of the most interesting things about Flexson’s marketing is the push to showcase this as the Sonos-ready solution- which is true, and we tested it without an issue.

Want to archive your old music collection? Or simply listen to it in a lovely package that looks like a work of art? Connect it to your whole-home audio system? There are some downsides to the VinylPlay- you’ll have to manually lift the platter and felt mat off of the cradle in order to change speeds from 45s to 33s. It’s a belt-driven model rather than direct-drive, and those who flip between lots of different records might find it a little cumbersome. But everyone else will appreciate a hi-fi component that will fit in nicely with just about any decor. Available now, online and in stores, the Flexson VinylPlay is available in black or white for around $480.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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