Friday, September 9, 2016

Get You Some O' This: Rock ‘N’ Rolla™ Portable Turntables

Rock 'N' Rolla turntables

Yeah, a lot of ink and pixels have been spilled yammering on about the “return of vinyl” as if the beloved format actually went anywhere. The Reverend predicted this trend almost a decade ago with a pithy rant titled “Back To Mono,” so it’s no surprise to ‘moi’ that a new generation of music-lovin’ droogs has discovered the sound and tactile enjoyment of a vinyl record album and accompanying (large) color artwork.

As somebody who’s been buying vinyl for nearly a half-century now, I can attest to the need for a quality turntable to play one’s precious records on. I’ve owned several ‘tables through the years, with plans to add a Pro-Ject spinner from my buddy Mark at the Hi-Fi Lounge (gratuitous commercial plug!) when finances allow. I gotta admit, though, that these Rock ‘N’ Rolla™ Portable Briefcase Turntables seem like they’d be a heck of a lot of fun!

Rock ‘N’ Rolla™ turntables come in three distinct flavors (and price points), and are brought to you by a partnership between Marshall Bronstein, President of the Audio Fidelity record label that provides audio fanatics with high-quality vinyl and CD reissues, and Jonathan Kendrick, Chairman of the ROK Group, which includes U.S. wireless pioneer Rok Mobile – two wealthy guys trying to capitalize on the increased popularity of vinyl with some nifty lil’ boxes. I got no problems with that...

The turntables will be available in October, and include the Rock ‘N’ Rolla™ Jr, the Rock ‘N’ Rolla™ Premium, and the Rock ‘N’ Rolla™ XL models. The Jr. is the starter kit with two full-range dynamic speakers built into the unit; headphone and external speaker outputs; three-speed playback (33/45/78); three digital inputs including USB; and you can back up vinyl directly from the turntable to an SD memory card. The Jr. includes an AC power cord, is iOS and Android compatible, and comes in four colors – red, black, white, and teal blue – and sells for a staggeringly cheap-o $69.99 MSRP.

The Rock ‘N’ Rolla™ Premium includes all the aforementioned features of the Jr. as well as a rechargeable lithium battery pack, four digital inputs instead of three, Bluetooth, and will be available in several fashionable hues, including white with red straps and handle or with white straps and handle in hot pink, teal, or black with a suggested price of $99.99. The King Kong(™) of the Rock ‘N’ Rolla™ line is the XL model, which includes all of the above features plus a CD player tucked away in some hidey place. It includes an LCD display, and comes in basic black, white, cream, or red and can be yours for the low, LOW price of $149.99.

Retail being what it is, you can probably find one of these wax spinners for a good $10 - $15 below MSRP, and all models come with a twelve-month warranty. The Rock ‘N’ Rolla website isn’t up and running as of this writing, but you’ll eventually be able to grab one of these portable beauties from them, and probably a few other online retailers. The Rock ‘N’ Rolla™ isn’t meant to replace whatever medium-to-high end shaker box you have hooked up to your stereo, but as a portable option for spinning your 45s and a cool gadget to boot, it could be cool to add one to your musical arsenal.

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