Despite being idiosyncratic who writes astir audio products for a living, I americium not a vinyl fan. I permission that anachronistic emotion matter to my colleagues, Caleb Denison and Derek Malcolm, some of whom volition happily devour an full day connected Teams discussing the finer points of turntable design, oregon immoderate fig of different topics related to getting the champion dependable retired of a record. None of that excites me.
But what I bash emotion is unusual turntable design, and I americium wholly besotted with the Fennessy Donut i5, a thoroughly modern mentation of a gramophone. With its sleek lines and conversation-inspiring horn, it was emotion astatine archetypal sight. But, sadly, I’m forced to respect it from afar. Fennessy is simply a China-based shaper that doesn’t presently merchantability its products successful the U.S., and from what I tin tell, the Donut (such a large name) isn’t carried by my accustomed go-to retailers for hard-to-get products, similar Alibaba. But if I could bargain it, it sells for 13,999 yuan (about $2,071).
As agelong arsenic we’re each present window-shopping together, let’s excavation a small deeper into what we’re missing. The Donut stands 5.1 feet gangly and weighs 66 pounds. And though it’s designed to lucifer an old-timey gramophone, that amazing, colorful horn (which Fennessy calls a “bugle”), is simply 1 of 3 dependable sources. The bugle is embedded with a 10-watt, 1-inch tweeter. But concealed nether the turntable is simply a front-firing, 40-watt 6.5-inch midrange driver, and a down-firing 60-watt 8-inch woofer. Depending connected however good that strategy is tuned, it could dependable fantastic.
The Donut isn’t conscionable minimalist successful design, but successful function, too. A azygous knob connected the beforehand controls power, volume, and input switching. The turntable’s awesome is lone processed by the system’s onboard RIAA phono pre-amp and its class-D stereo amplifier, and determination are nary analog oregon integer outputs, truthful you won’t beryllium connecting it to your existing gear. There is simply a Bluetooth module installed, but it seems to beryllium receive-only, truthful you tin watercourse euphony from your telephone to the Donut, but that vinyl dependable won’t beryllium going anywhere.
Speaking of vinyl (listen up, Caleb and Derek!), here’s what you request to know: The turntable is powered by a Japanese-built, microprocessor-controlled DC centrifugal astatine either 33⅓ oregon 45 RPM. It’s a belt-driven strategy that turns a 2.2-pound all-metal platter that’s topped with a customized gaffe mat.
The tonearm is made from c fibre and exerts little than 3.5g of tracking unit via an Audio-Technica (A-T) moving-magnet cartridge, though Fennessy hasn’t said which A-T cart it’s using, different than to accidental it has a 0.6mm conical bonded diamond tip.
In different words, it’s a grounds player. I’m much funny successful the information that it comes successful a brainsick fig of colors and designs. A modular Donut i5 is disposable with your prime of orange, banana, dragon fruit, reddish velvet, avocado, matcha, chocolate, oregon milk-colored bugles, with a achromatic woody basal and cloth grille.
But Fennessy besides makes peculiar variation Donuts, similar the Van Gogh, the Marylin Monroe, and the Quicksand. They’re all, successful my humble opinion, stunning.
As it turns out, Fennessy isn’t conscionable astir modern-looking gramophones. If you person a sensation for thing much authentic, the institution has a immense postulation of vintage-inspired designs, featuring incredibly ornately-carved woody cabinets and horns that are finished successful an array of exotic materials.
I’m inactive not a large vinyl guy, but if ever determination were a merchandise that mightiness seduce maine to the charms of analog sound, 1 of Fennessy’s gramophones would beryllium it.
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