Portable turntables have been around since the 1950s but not with any assumed caliber of fidelity. The Vestax Handy Trax turntable I carried in the early aughts offered a preview to many records at flea markets around the world making shopping efficient. What a gift it was to both save a few bucks on something I didn't like and also explore a mysterious find that would be added to my collection.
When Victrola introduced the Revolution Go turntable and asked if we would be interested in trying one out, I was game, but these days I tend to spend more time at my desk than hunting for records in dusty basements.
We were about to find out!
The turntable arrived in the midst of holiday madness here at the bag shop, and without the dedicated time to play with such a toy, it remained boxed up and at the corner of my desk.
Finally, the day came early in the new year when I had just enough coffee in my system and a clean slate for the afternoon.
The Revolution Go features:
Knowing that we could connect via Bluetooth, I was interested in trying to connect the Revolution Go to an Echo device that is run into a small, solid-state headphone amp. This 30-watt amp powers a hulking Klipsch La Scala speaker parked a ways from my desk. It's a beautiful speaker, huge and tucked as far away as possible. The sound translates wonderfully, but just to note, it is overkill on the speaker using underwhelming amplification with the efficiency of Paul Klipsch's design rather than a high-powered amplifier.
To accomplish pairing the Revolution Go with a Bluetooth device, we needed to connect it in what they refer to as "Vinyl Stream mode".
Connecting on Vinyl Stream mode is a task that can be a little tricky, especially if you are the type who likes arcane technology and are prone to frustration. We found that connecting to an Echo is done by voice and must be completed within a 30-second window. Truth be told, I found this to be a little bit of a pain when I first gave it a shot, but practice makes perfect, and after a while, I was able to get the Revolution Go connected.
These days when I am ready to connect the two devices I simply ask our Alexa to "connect to Revolution Go", and most of the time if I have trouble with it, that is due to the short window of time or my own distractedness.
I have also found that if you go back and forth between streaming audio from Spotify or another source, reconnection can be a bit more difficult unless you disconnect the source first.
Once you have the Vinyl Stream mode figured out, you can sit at your desk and flip through the piles of records you’ve bought over the years, determining if they are still ticking the right boxes for your ever-evolving taste in music.
That's a big deal, especially if you have a nice set of speakers to connect to and the time to spend with a turntable at arm's length.
Over the past month of using the Revolution Go turntable at work, I have found a more healthy balance in my listening than in the past. For a person who prefers to spend much of the day listening to music, this is a gift. If you like to listen to records while you chop in the kitchen or have to do homework on your bed, I could see the Revolution Go working great for you.
Victrola did not pay for this review. I hope it brings music a little closer so you too can listen to music, at your desk or elsewhere.
The new book Son of the City: A Memoir by Dante Ross, is the first release by the new author. Preorder is in limited supply and available now