Back in January, I featured an unusual £369 record turntable from Austria, the Pro-Ject Juke Box E. Its USP was that it had its own amplifiers stowed away below deck, so to speak, so while it spun up a vinyl storm, it also served as a modern variant on an old‑ school music centre. Connect up a couple of good speakers and, as well as playing LPs, you could bypass the turntable and stream anything you like to it.
This, from the niche London-based radio maker Plus Audio (I have reviewed, and continue to love, its The+Radio DAB+), goes one step further. As well as amps, it has the most brilliant speakers built in, so the hefty but handsome cuboid machine is a self-contained stereo record player – like your old Dansette, just hundreds of times better. The+Record Player also does the streaming thing, but for me that is of secondary, even tertiary, interest. It’s a proper chuffing record player – no extra wires, no complications. It sounds fantastic and I found myself more excited by it than anything I’ve had delivered here to Technopolis Towers in months. I think the reason it sounds so good – or “shockingly good” as one famous audiophile said when he heard it at the New York Audio Show in November – is that our ears are just not used to such quality sound coming from harsh old recordings; the six amplifiers in The+Record Player provide a generous soundscape, even when playing mono records. Once you start playing your old LPs on it, you can’t stop. I absolutely love this product that was designed in Milan by a Swede, and engineered in Boston, with a Czech turntable and a Danish cartridge. I think you just might too.