Regardless of being somebody who writes about audio products for a residing, I am now no longer a vinyl fan. I breeze away that anachronistic love affair to my colleagues, Caleb Denison and Derek Malcolm, each and each of whom will fortunately relish a total afternoon on Teams discussing the finer points of turntable compose, or any preference of different topics associated to getting the finest sound out of a scream. None of that excites me.
But what I accomplish love is irregular turntable compose, and I am fully besotted with the Fennessy Donut i5, a thoroughly novel interpretation of a gramophone. With its swish traces and conversation-appealing horn, it used to be love initially acquire out about. But, sadly, I’m compelled to tackle it from afar. Fennessy is a China-primarily based mostly producer that doesn’t currently promote its products within the U.S., and from what I can scream, the Donut (the kind of immense establish) isn’t carried by my customary breeze-to retailers for laborious-to-salvage products, love Alibaba. But when I would perchance well purchase it, it sells for 13,999 yuan (about $2,071).
As prolonged as we’re all now window-searching together, let’s dig a exiguous bit deeper into what we’re lacking. The Donut stands 5.1 ft gargantuan and weighs 66 kilos. And even supposing it’s designed to resemble an customary-timey gramophone, that phenomenal, interesting horn (which Fennessy calls a “bugle”), is merely one among three sound sources. The bugle is embedded with a 10-watt, 1-crawl tweeter. But concealed under the turntable is a front-firing, 40-watt 6.5-crawl midrange driver, and a down-firing 60-watt 8-crawl woofer. Reckoning on how smartly that system is tuned, it would perchance well sound phenomenal.
The Donut isn’t appropriate minimalist in compose, but in characteristic, too. A single knob on the front controls vitality, quantity, and enter switching. The turntable’s signal is extra healthy processed by the system’s onboard RIAA phono pre-amp and its class-D stereo amplifier, and there are no analog or digital outputs, so that you just acquired’t be connecting it to your existing equipment. There could be a Bluetooth module save in, but it looks to be receive-finest, so that you just would possibly well perchance movement music from your telephone to the Donut, but that vinyl sound acquired’t be going anyplace.
Talking of vinyl (hear up, Caleb and Derek!), right here’s what you would possibly have to snatch: The turntable is powered by a Eastern-built, microprocessor-controlled DC motor at both 33⅓ or 45 RPM. It’s a belt-driven system that turns a 2.2-pound all-metal platter that’s topped with a custom accelerate mat.
The tonearm is fabricated from carbon fiber and exerts decrease than 3.5g of tracking power via an Audio-Technica (A-T) transferring-magnet cartridge, even supposing Fennessy hasn’t said which A-T cart it’s the usage of, other than to utter it has a 0.6mm conical bonded diamond tip.
In other phrases, it’s a scream participant. I’m extra focused on the truth that it’s far available in a loopy preference of colors and designs. A former Donut i5 is within the market along with your preference of orange, banana, dragon fruit, red velvet, avocado, matcha, chocolate, or milk-colored bugles, with a unlit wood impolite and cloth grille.
But Fennessy also makes particular version Donuts, love the Van Gogh, the Marylin Monroe, and the Quicksand. They’re all, in my humble opinion, honest.
Because it looks, Fennessy isn’t appropriate about novel-having a peek gramophones. While you happen to can possess a taste for one thing extra legitimate, the firm has a immense sequence of classic-impressed designs, that comprises incredibly ornately-carved wood cupboards and horns which will most definitely be accomplished in an array of odd materials.
I’m still now no longer a immense vinyl man, but if ever there possess been a product that will seduce me to the charms of analog sound, one among Fennessy’s gramophones would be it.
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