Nestled in a quiet suburb just outside of Boston, the story of U-Turn Audio reads like the ultimate underdog tale in the world of turntables. Established in 2012 by the trio of Benjamin Carter, Robert Hertig, and Peter Maltzan, this small startup embarked on a bold mission: to craft affordable turntables right here in the United States and challenge industry giants like Rega, Pro-Ject, and Audio-Technica.
Fast forward nearly 11 years, and U-Turn Audio's journey is nothing short of impressive. With over 120,000 turntables sold to a diverse clientele of vinyl enthusiasts, they've proven that crafting quality record players domestically is not just a dream but a successful reality.
The U-Turn Orbit, their initial brainchild, was groundbreaking at its inception, but the industry evolved. Thus, U-Turn embarked on a mission to refine and innovate, culminating in the release of the Orbit Theory in 2022.
However, these advancements came with a price increase - the new Orbit Theory retails at $999 USD. Convincing loyal customers to upgrade from their $300 entry-level model to this premium offering might seem like a challenge, especially when affordability was the key to U-Turn's success.
Enter the New U-Turn Orbit Series
Today, U-Turn Audio unveils its latest creations, the new U-Turn Orbit Series, complete with a suite of features designed to elevate your vinyl listening experience. This release marks a significant step in U-Turn's evolution, offering a range of models tailored to various preferences and budgets.
The new Orbit Series consists of four distinct models:
1. Orbit Custom: Starting at $249, the Orbit Custom boasts modular design, allowing users to customize various turntable components, including the cartridge, preamp, speed control, platter, and isolation feet. This versatility makes it easy to upgrade your turntable over time to suit your evolving audio needs.
2. Orbit Basic: Positioned as the entry-level model in the new Orbit lineup, the Basic starts at $249. It now features U-Turn Audio's magnesium OA3 tonearm, a grooved MDF platter with a seamless silicone belt, and offers new color and wood options.
3. Orbit Plus: The Orbit Plus, starting at $399, targets everyday vinyl listeners looking for premium audio quality and a sleek design. It includes an upgraded acrylic platter, precision-machined for flatness, improving speed stability and reducing resonance. It also comes with an Ortofon OM5E cartridge, featuring an elliptical diamond stylus.
4. Orbit Special: Priced starting at $549, the Orbit Special is the flagship model, equipped with electronic speed control for seamless switching between 33 and 45 RPM. It also features a cue lever for precise tonearm operation and the dynamic Ortofon 2M Red cartridge with an elliptical diamond stylus.
Bob Hertig, U-Turn Audio co-founder and Orbit designer, shares his vision, saying, "Our mission is to make great analog audio more accessible...This new generation of Orbit represents a decade of experience, learning, and turntable development. We were able to take something that was already great and make it even better."
These new Orbit turntables introduce impressive features:
OA3 Tonearm: The OA3 tonearm is a single-piece magnesium arm tube that tracks records precisely, minimizing record wear and delivering exceptional musical detail. It includes adjustable counterweight and internal anti-skate.
Electronic Speed Control: Available on the Orbit Special and Custom, this feature allows users to effortlessly switch between 33/45 RPM playing speeds with a simple turn of the knob.
Revamped Drive System: Enhanced grooved platter designs combined with an all-new seamless silicone belt offer stable operation at your chosen speed.
New Colors and Hardwood Options: The Orbit Series now offers a choice of five stunning colors and two sustainably harvested US hardwood options - Oak and Walnut.
Built-in Preamp: An optional built-in Pluto 2 Phono Preamp is available, enabling direct connection to powered speakers, eliminating the need for a traditional amplifier or receiver.
Iso-Level Feet: Premium adjustable-height aluminum feet with Sorbothane technology reduce external vibrations for more precise turntable playback.
These features not only enhance performance but also allow users to personalize their turntables to suit their individual tastes and preferences.
U-Turn Audio's commitment to quality is evident in the fact that each Orbit is hand-assembled at their Woburn, MA production facility. Backed by a three-year warranty and lifetime customer support from in-house turntable experts, U-Turn ensures that your vinyl journey is supported every step of the way.
Whether you opt for a pre-configured model or choose to customize your Orbit turntable, U-Turn Audio's latest offering promises to deliver a superior vinyl listening experience, ensuring that you get the most out of your cherished record collection. With its rich heritage of affordable excellence, U-Turn Audio continues to redefine the turntable landscape for a new generation of audiophiles.