The House of Marley Turntable Review: Pros, Cons, and Final Verdict

Published Categorized as Turntable Reviews

In this House of Marley turntable review, we thoroughly examine the pros, cons, and overall performance of these eco-friendly turntables. Renowned for their commitment to sustainability and quality, House of Marley turntables offer a unique blend of style and functionality. Join us as we delve into the key features, assess the audio quality, and weigh the advantages and drawbacks of these turntables. Whether you’re an environmentally conscious audiophile or simply in the market for a new turntable, our review provides the insights you need to make an informed decision about the House of Marley turntable.

Table of Contents

house of marley turntable review

Overview

For those who just want a quick scan of the various pros and cons of the House of Marley turntable, then help is at hand, for you will find them neatly arranged in the sections below.

Pros

  • This turntable has a low amount of noise interference, at least in terms of the noise its motor generates and how this might otherwise affect the overall sound.
  • In some versions, this is even a wireless turntable. Indeed, in some versions, this is even a wireless turntable review.
  • The materials from which this turntable is made are mindfully sourced, the centerpiece being the solid bamboo plinth that offers a considered way of constructing a turntable with robust yet renewable resources.
  • Much like similarly-priced competitors like the Audio-Technica AT-LP60, this turntable has plenty of access to jacks and switches. Thus, anyone looking to outsource their audio to some external speakers or simply customize the sound a little bit is going to have a great time.
  • This turntable, though it certainly has its faults and isn’t the best-sounding turntable on the market, it is still pretty good in terms of performance, especially considering the fairly low price point.

Cons

  • Some believe that capitalizing on the legacy of Bob Marley in this way is a little bit of a kick in the teeth, especially as he is no longer alive to defend himself.
  • The power supply is considered by some to be annoying and quite ugly – termed by some as a ‘wall wart’. Seeing as it is attached to the turntable, there is technically no escaping it.
  • This turntable does not come with a dust cover attached, at least not a solid one made of a robust material. Rather, there is only a fabric dust cover which, though perfectly suited, might not be enough for some of you who might prefer a plastic cover, though this is still an attractive turntable.

Key Features

Let’s run through some of the key features that make up the parts of this turntable.

Belt Drive

Yes indeed, this is a belt drive turntable, as with most relatively affordable turntables on the market today. Thankfully, this option is preferred by most audiophiles and hardcore vinyl fans, though if you are a DJ you kind of have to use direct-drive turntables. This is because these kinds of turntables can stop and start relatively quickly and have better speed accuracy owing to the fact that the motor is often directly next (and, in some instances, even connected) to the mechanism that spins the platter.

Belt drive turntables offer a warm sound that also boasts shock-absorption thanks to the rubber that the belt is usually made from.

Two Speed

This turntable offers two-speed functionality. This means that it can play at the two most common speeds, 33 1/3 rpm and 45 rpm. The option to play at 78 rpm is elided here completely, but this is fairly common in most turntables, even including those in far higher price ranges than this one.

This speed is rarely used at all anyhow, though there was a time when there were few other speeds than 78 rpm, for this was deemed by Emile Berliner, inventor of the gramophone, to be the optimum speed for the playing of records in order to maintain fidelity. Still, this was at a time when shellac was used as the material for constructing discs.

Plinth

Forget about where the headphone jack is or whether or not this thing has USB output. Have you seen the plinth on this thing?!

No doubt you will already be familiar with woodgrain-style plinths on modern record players, a look that has become extremely popular of late. Even if you do not buy into the notion that wooden plinths enhance the overall sound of a turntable, you must surely marvel at the aesthetic properties of this turntable, especially considering how renewable the materials are.

Platter

The platter for this turntable is made from aluminum alloy, a classic choice for manufacturers looking to cut some costs along the way without sacrificing the overall sound quality too much. Thankfully, because it is an alloy, there should be no electrical interference from the electromagnetic field of the record player.

Due to the light weight of this material, there is not much strain put on the motor or the belt, meaning they will typically last longer than some other choices of material. The belt is typically the first part of a turntable to go on a more affordable piece of kit, especially if your area is hot and dry.

Cartridge

You will be pleased to know that Audio-Technica provides the cartridge in this turntable. Famed for their simple but adept approach to the manufacture of audio equipment, they as a company, strive to make the best equipment as affordable as possible, for the people.

Audio-Technica is particularly renowned for its cartridges as well, so you can rest assured that you are getting the very best treatment, even if it isn’t the most high-end of their cartridges. Thus, you might need a slip mat (or a USB cable come to think of it).

Jacks & Switches

Thankfully, the location of the jacks and switches is in a centralized and convenient position. Often, manufacturers simply do what is convenient for them rather than the user, and the House of Marley gets it dead right!

Slip Mat

In line with the solid bamboo plinth and the ideology behind the company, the slipmat itself is made from organic cotton.

This ideology is one of the things that sets House of Marley apart from other bigger turntable manufacturers who, more often than not, seem to adopt a posture of conservation and environmental awareness without actually doing anything about it, certainly not in relation to how much they could do.

Besides the plinth and the slipmat, the platter is made from recycled aluminum, and the plastic parts are from recycled plastic. Beat that!

Competitors

How does the Stir It Up compare to a competitor like, say, the Fluance RT80?

Well, for a start, the latter comes with a plastic lid that closes on a hinge. They both come with an Audio-Technica cartridge, though the Fluance only has RCA outputs, unlike the Stir It Up, which has USB outputs too. The sound is going to be very hard to distinguish between as they are both fuelled by the same fire so to speak.

Whether or not you prefer one or the other will have to do more with your aesthetic preferences than the actual quality of the materials or the sound performance, as they are both very evenly matched in those regards.

Final Tones

So, there you have it! Hopefully, your questions and qualms have been sated in more ways than one.

FAQs House of Marley Turntable Review

Are Marley turntables good?

This depends on your metric, though they are objectively good if you consider their price tag. For not too much, you are getting a turntable that not only performs reasonably well but also does not leave as lasting a footprint as some other competitors out there.

Does the Marley record player need an amp?

Though the Stir It Up turntable comes fitted with a modular Audio-Technica cartridge and a built-in preamp, there still needs to be an external amplifier or stereo through which the turntable is sent that the sound can then be properly amplified forth through speakers. These you will also have to purchase or already own, lest you be left listening to the raw sound of the needle against the face of the record.

Does the Marley turntable have a built-in speaker?

Sadly, though the House of Marley’s Stir It Up comes fitted with an Audio-Technica cartridge and a preamp, you will still need to purchase your own set of speakers and amplifier or stereo system. In this way, this is a turntable and not a record player. Though the two terms are used rather interchangeably nowadays, the latter technically refers to a unit that can both spin the record and play it aloud at once. A turntable, by contrast, simply spins and reads the record and then sends the information forth.

How much does a House of Marley turntable weigh?

Thanks to the lightweight recycled materials and climate-conscious ideology, the House of Marley’s Stir It Up weighs only 5.5 kilograms, perhaps a sign that it does not have so heavy a conscience weighing on its mind. Could also be the fact that it is made from recycled plastic and aluminum, which are both light in the first place.

By Robert Halvari

My name is Robert Halvari - audio engineer and a total audiophile. I love vinyl because it has that natural character which brings music to life. I've been using and testing vinyl record players for around 15 years and I'm sharing my love and knowledge of vinyl by publishing all I know at Notes On Vinyl

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *