Adventures In Audio

Your turntable might be one of Amazon's most returned items. Here's what you need to know.

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@GastonBulbous:  Amazon is also sending out used customer returns to other customers as if the products were new and we'd be too stupid to notice. I recently bought a new record player and what I received was missing accessories and already had been partly assembled by someone. It even had someone's long blonde hairs stuck to it. I returned it immediately. Ten days later, I still don't have a new record player or a refund.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @GastonBulbous: I know from experience that at least some of Amazon’s refund processing is manual so it’s important to check that your refund has been received.

@GastonBulbous replies to @GastonBulbous: @@AudioMasterclass Thank you! I have been calling in nearly everyday because I am so furious.

@HappyHighwayman:  I just got my Pro Ject Automat A1 and it came with a massive hole in the box and shockingly the wood was busted behind the hole. Also for $400 it felt a little cheap

@pepa007:  Today I spoke to a guy at AQ headquarters. He said A1 is produced in Germany, but now the production is being transferred to the building next door here in Cervenka, Czechia, where many other Pro-ject turntables are made. Maybe that will fix the quality issues.

@symonbuck3911:  I’ve always a considered a Record Player as having something with a built in amplifier and speaker/s. i.e. it just plays records. A Turntable needs an amp and speakers to work!

@CKGerlach:  This is Project‘s First Automatic player, so I think that many „buyers“ only want to test it and not buying it… that might cause a higher rate of returns.

@michaelwright1602:  I was looking for a TT and went to Amazon, did not see anything there that really impressed me. Quite a few questionable units. So, I went to a specialist TT outfit and discovered Mofi was having quite the sale, darn near 1/2 off their StudiDecks with MasterTracker cartridge. I jumped at that. Came triple boxed, no issues at all with it, as it was pretty much setup at the factory here in Ann Arbor MI. I had no clue that they are assembled right here in my back yard.

@gblargg:  With products like this it's important to use it a lot when you get it so you'll weed out any defects before the return period/warranty ends. It'd be awful to get something like this and leave it in the box for a year before using it, only to find it was defective (happened to me with a computer monitor once, was a huge hassle to get it replaced).

@MostlyBuicks:  The turntable I have always preferred is the SOTA Sapphire.

@crrodriguez:  Not a problem.. will never buy a record player ..again..ever.. 70s are long gone, let's keep them in history.

@hifirulezzz:  Unfortunately, this video was a waste of time. I thought you will be talking about Wow and Flutter on cheap turntables. Or cartridge quality. Sorry, not what I expected after watching your other videos.

@KRAZEEIZATION:  The amount of cheap and nasty turntables on sale today is mind boggling. But anything less than a Rega Planar 2 or a Technics SL-1200 is out of the question for me. I use both for playing my vinyl. In fact, I have 3 Technics lying around the house.

@shipsahoy1793:  Welcome to the wonderful new world were English-speaking people don’t read, write, speak, or even comprehend English correctly !! 😂

@sparky60ful:  I only buy books and CD's at Amazon. A recordplayer I would buy in a shop after a listen to it. If returned to Amazon these goods all end up on a pallet and these then are sold for €300 each, whatever is on it. So I can understand Amazon is trying to reduce this happening.

@pablov1973:  I call "record player" to a device that have integrated speakers and usually very low quality like those crappy Crossley. A turntable is a device that even having a phono preamp still needs an amplifier or a set of active loudspeakers.

@paulstubbs7678:  To me, a record player has everything, as in amplifier & speakers. on the other hand a turntable requires an amp and speakers. Not sure what to call one with no tone arm etc. Google was no help here.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @paulstubbs7678: Betty says that with no tonearm and no plinth it's a turntable chassis. DM

@robertsills2506:  So it’s got problems, but this may be because it is aimed at first time turntable uses packaged as all frills, but at a budget. Personally I have a project extension 10 £3500, worth it supplying auditioned it against other players one every time I’m not saying you get what you pay for, some people would say £3500 is a ridiculous sum to pay but horses for courses. I am surprised because the project Hi fi turntables phono amps and all the bits are generally exceptional quality and well reviewed elsewhere on the net

@LeifES:  Bought a Pro-Ject some 6 years ago. Don't remember the model, but I returned it. Overpriced. I was not happy with the operation and the quality.

@j.t.cooper2963:  It's a real "jungle" out there. 😅

@StylusDrop:  A "record player" contains everything required to play a record including amplifier and speaker(s).

@AudioMasterclass replies to @StylusDrop: As you say. However this leaves the dictionary without a word for the turntable itself, without the arm and cartridge. I suppose that whenever I want to refer to the turntable itself, without the arm and cartridge, I shall just have to call it the turntable itself, without the arm and cartridge. DM

@graemejwsmith:  Mar 29, 2023. Amazon USA
No return warning showing.

Question:Why is it returned so much?
Answer:There was an early batch that had damaged packaging. Those have been recalled/replaced with improved packaging (to prevent shipping damage), but Amazon's system software does not reflect this. We all hate receiving goods damaged in transit, but people love the sound and performance of the A1. For those who received a damaged unit. fortunately Amazon makes the return fairly painless...

@AudioMasterclass replies to @graemejwsmith: Insightful thank you. DM

@stillben:  my old project from 99 has a noisy motor and feedbacks frequently.

@richarddeluen5973:  What's the woman AI that you use for the amazon reviews?

@AudioMasterclass replies to @richarddeluen5973: Betty, my technical assistant. DM

@rancosteel:  When no physical store exists to try out anything then returns are a cost of doing business. Welcome to the digital marketplace that Amazon created. I watched a video on what happens to returns. Most end up in a landfill. I can only image what Amazon's tax write-off for losses is.

@editingsecrets:  So you're saying that with shipping out and back, these things just keep going round and round. As you have no personal experience to wrap your tone arm around the issue, you're (turn) tabling the topic for now.
Bratty Teen Girl voice for your AI popup is hella annoying.

@eancurtis9333:  Records are awesome especially 12 inch remixes !!!

@CaptainDangeax:  Newest disc players are crap like the newest tape players. Better buy is an old refurbished equipment from the 90s

@chaoticsystem2211:  You spin me right round....

@fakshen1973:  What qualifies as frequently returned? How many units must be sold before the notification is published?

@marcoluca6552:  I would like to take off a curiosity that I have had for many years: with the progress made in the last years of digital and vinyl, if I had a 1800/2200 pound budget, between a Rega Planar 8 turntable and a player in this range like the Technics SL-G700M2 for example, which one would sound better for Pop and Rock music, no classical / jazz , and no loudness war (only 80/90' music) ? Does a player in this range still sound "digital" ? Does one need a higher budget to hear "analog" like a vinyl in this range ?

@thexfile.:  Sergeant Schultz, I know nothing!

@defaultuserid1559:  I'm not seeing the frequently returned warning on Amazon in the US for this record player.

@fogbullit1000:  Unfortunately rose tinted glasses do not make vinyl sound any good

@AudioMasterclass replies to @fogbullit1000: I think you mean a rose-tinted ear trumpet. DM

@Lee.Higginbotham replies to @fogbullit1000: Negative comments about records will never sway me to throw my records into the landfill. Collecting records and maintaining equipment is a hobby not suited for lazy people. It's also not a cheap hobby.

@BoxerEngineSounds:  I know nooothing.. i am from Barcelona.

@jonathaneastwood2927 replies to @BoxerEngineSounds: It's not a rat is hamster!

@renr17 replies to @BoxerEngineSounds: LOL!

@bluevanman2008 replies to @BoxerEngineSounds: Que?

@ShirleyMarquezDulcey:  My read of the comments on Amazon suggests that the real problem is inadequate packaging. A lot of customers are receiving equipment that doesn't work or doesn't work correctly, and it's likely the damage is happening during shipping. More than one customer has complained about inadequate packaging, something that is very important for something as delicate as a record player.

Amazon and/or Pro-Ject need to improve their methods of getting these things to customers.

@rabit818:  Technics 1200, you will use it forever.

@InvisibleIink:  Not going down the vinyl rabbit hole, ever. Sticking with CDs and digital files.

@hellomeatrobots:  When I was a kid, anything that played records was a record player. I mean, that's what it did, duh. I always thought of them that way. What does everyone call that thing they use to play CDs? An "optical turntable"? No, they're CD players, and none of them have speakers built in. Now I get a kick out of calling Crosleys "turntables" because it winds up all the right people.

@andymouse replies to @hellomeatrobots: LOL !

@hellomeatrobots:  It sounds like a useful and objective addition to the sometimes less than helpful reviews.

@davechitty7700:  Records don't really sound that great unless you have the right equipment. Most people don't and are very dissappointed in the sound they get. Especially all the noise and crackle. Streamed music sounds clean and is very easy. The excitement wears off of vinyl very quickly unless you're into it.

@MichaelBeeny:  I think I would be happier if Amazon stopped selling items with poor quality control in the first place. Why upset customers at all. Plus, it must be costing them money to replace and process the retuned item, As a HiFi retailer in the 80s, I did stop selling a number of products that were unreliable. Customers would thank me for doing so.

@georgenicolaidis7550:  I live in Greece and I recently bought a PRO-JECT X2 turntable from a local authorized retailer. The same turntable was available on line at a savings of $200 but I opted for a local dealer just to be on the safe side with regards to warranty issues. From the start this turntable was a flawed product, it had a bad bearing on the sub platter axis and produced a squeaking-scratching sound when turning.

Although the scratching sound was barely audible to the ear it was certainly there so I returned the turntable to the dealer for replacement. The local distributor refused to exchange the product on the basis that his service department could not replicate the issue. Thank God I have made a video before I sent the turntable back to the distributor so I could have a proof in hand of the reported issues. I sent the video to the distributor who refused to accept it as evidence insisting that his service cannot replicate the problem and they proceeded to send it back to me.

The returned turntable of course had the problem unresolved so I tried again to contact the local distributor to resolve the issue. They refused to exchange the turntable or even attempt to fix it once again insisting that the do not see or hear any problem. Worst of all the called me an idiot and the hung up the phone on me asking me never to contact them again.

To resolve the problem I emailed the German headquarters of PRO-JECT and about two weeks of emails coming back and forth the local representative forcibly agreed to exchange the turntable with a new one. And now the real fun starts, the new turntable I received had another problem altogether with the internal tonearm cartridge wiring with a loud buzz emanating to the amplifier every time you tried to pickup the tonearm. Not willing to go through the same rounds of poor service from the local distributor I opted to send the turntable to a technician to properly fix it for an additional cost of $75.

Mind you this wan not a cheapo turntable, it retailed for $1,450 and one would have expected a flawless product from the start performing at least at par to its price level with competing products. Instead I have received twice in a row a flawed product indicating that PRO-JECT has a real quality control issue and it is a matter of luck if the product you buy is functioning correctly or not. The certainly have lost a future customer from my side, and in retrospect I cannot stop thinking that if I have bought this product from Amazon it would not only be cheaper but I would have been able to return it with no questions asked to get my money back.

@Silsoe123:  Actually I call them a deck

@richardbanks1286:  And are we to assume people don’t lie about the reason for returning an items ?

@richardbanks1286:  I have the entry level project primary E without phono stage and it’s astonishingly good for £150 👍

@ramblinginmeath4950:  Hmmm interesting and I have been a relatively satisfied amazon prime customer for many years but I wouldn't purchase hi-fi gear from them - I did purchase a Project X1 "turntable" from a specialist hi-fi shop last year - it was a toss up between Rega 3 and Project X1 and I wasted something finished in walnut to match my Leak Stereo 130 / CD changer and Linton's -- The project X1 fitted my budget and I am very pleased with it -- sorry off topic - I enjoy your presentations and I am not a "quote full blooded Audiophile" - I just like good quality sound for a reasonable budget - greetings from Ireland - Paul

@Kwippy:  Are you just reporting what you see? Do you have any knowledge if it is accurate?

@AudioMasterclass replies to @Kwippy: It could be fake. I don't see why it should be, but I'm not taking that risk. DM

@soothsayer2406:  Is that your AI girlfriend? Can you please program her to be more sensual, more feminine and less creepy?

@phillipbanes5484:  Buying records today is a ridiculous waste of money. Sorry, it’s true.

@mudi2000a replies to @phillipbanes5484: Many people even buy them only for the looks and don’t own a record player/turntable. I don’t get it…

@hifinut247 replies to @phillipbanes5484: My record player set up sounds better than my streaming set up in most ab testing. Damn my discerning ears! Streaming would be less expensive though and hence my dilemma.

@phillipbanes5484 replies to @phillipbanes5484: @mudi2000a

Yep, especially since the photography on them is usually very poor.

@phillipbanes5484 replies to @phillipbanes5484: @Victor Guevara

You are streaming low quality audio then. Of course CDs kick the crap out of records.

@hifinut247 replies to @phillipbanes5484: @@phillipbanes5484 Actually streaming 24/192 from tidal. Usually streaming 16/144 which is definitely a loser of the contest. I don't consider my CD player a fair comparison to my tt due to quality of my CD player a Yamaha S300 not bad for back in the day. Any recommendations for a good quality CD player midgrade ($500 max)?

@dirtyths:  The Automat A1 is basically the same TT (yes, I say TT) as the Marantz TT-42, it's made by the korean Dual plant and only has a few tweeks more than the TT-42 (footer, damped platter, phono preamp). Not a "real" Project TT.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @dirtyths: This is interesting thank you, something I may follow up in future. DM

@pechnik01 replies to @dirtyths: Not really, this one is made in Germany by factory previously owned by Thorens/Dual. Factory went bankrupt and, instead of closing, was acquired by KH Lichteneger, owner of ProJect. In fact, Marantz tt42 were of German origin as well.

@pechnik01 replies to @dirtyths: Btw, recently they started new brand named "Rekkord"

@dirtyths replies to @dirtyths: Must have been misinformed then. Dual was bought by korean company Namsung in 2002 and the two TTs share common genes that are not from Project origin.

@pechnik01 replies to @dirtyths: Wiki says that brand rights are split on regional basis and Namsung uses Dual brand for US only. I'm ready to believe.

@maidsandmuses:  A turntable is a table that can turn. Can either aid cake decoration, spin a vinyl record or rotate a 150+ tonne diesel locomotive depending on context... 😁.
Seriously though, a record player (turntable?) is not something I would buy from Amazon; the handling during shipping alone would worry me. I'd pick it up from a dealer who gets it straight from the importer (although that would likely imply a different price level anyway).

@vdochev:  A turntable - spinny, spinny platter. Probably.

@teashea1:  I have no experience with this turntable (I call them turntables) but I have four Project turntables and they have been excellent and flawless.

@Anybloke:  A turntable is a hifi separate. You won't get any sound out of it until it's connected to an amplifier. A record player is what Mike Oldfield called "old tin boxes". They have a crap amplifier and one or more crap speakers built in. Think of a Rega vs a Dansette.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @Anybloke: I'll see where this conversation goes. To me though, a turntable is the platter, the motor, and the top plate, to which you add a plinth, a tonearm, and a cartridge, like we used to do in the olden days. I might change my mind. DM

@theheathster2:  A record player has integrated speakers, as per Crosley et al.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @theheathster2: (Cut and paste from my reply to another comment) I'll see where this conversation goes. To me though, a turntable is the platter, the motor, and the top plate, to which you add a plinth, a tonearm, and a cartridge, like we used to do in the olden days. I might change my mind. DM

@stephenc6648 replies to @theheathster2: I'd agree. It's only a record player if it includes all you need to play records. I'm ancient (54) and remember when 'turntable' referred either to a hifi separate or the turntable component of a record player, radiogram or music centre, if you remember those terms.

@theheathster2 replies to @theheathster2: @Audio Masterclass I think your definition of turntable and mine both apply. However, I’d say it’s widely accepted that a ‘record player’ must be able to play a record with no additional equipment required.

@SteveWille:  While this new panal appears to be a service to its customers, Amazon motivation is “bottom line”, to reduce returns and the associated expense.

@EgoShredder replies to @SteveWille: They pass that expense on to the poor sellers, along with punishing their performance metrics though. So Amazon do not really care about the cost. It's probably more on the lines of Ebay and their constant meddling with how listings are created and handled. Every year they introduce ever more pointless policy changes, driving sellers round the twist and making the whole experience worse including for buyers in some instances.

@SteveWille replies to @SteveWille: Interestingly, for the record player in question, I only see the return panel warning when I visit the product page while logged in to my Amazon account. Motivations for this may be complicated.

@swinde replies to @SteveWille: You would think that this "warning" would suppress sales of this item greatly.

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Thursday April 20, 2023

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David Mellor

David Mellor

David Mellor is CEO and Course Director of Audio Masterclass. David has designed courses in audio education and training since 1986 and is the publisher and principal writer of Adventures In Audio.

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