Well, it finally arrived! Electrohome’s newest All-in-one turntable stereo is out and we just received ours yesterday. I’ve spent some time getting familiar with this latest addition to the “nostalgia” console stereo market and here’s what I think of the Kingston RR75
For this review, I’m really going to try to control my enthusiasm and present some objective opinions and reasoning. But, if you can’t be bothered with such things, I’ll just sum it all up for you and say, this console is awesome and is the best all-in-one stereo I’ve ever seen or heard. Electrohome really did a fantastic job designing and producing this console stereo. Not only does it sound great, it also looks fantastic!
So, with that out of the way, here are some reasons as to why I like the new Electrohome Kingston RR75 so much.
This RR75 is classified as a 7-in-1 turntable. Along with being able to play records, it can also play music via CD, AM/FM radio, USB, a paired BlueTooth device, and the aux-in jack. The turntable can play at speeds of 33³, 45, and 78 RPMs and comes with a sapphire tip ceramic stylus. It also has a “soft touch” cueing lever and 45 spindle adapter.
The stereo can play MP3s and WMAs from either a CD (or CD-R/W) or a FAT32/exFAT formatted USB device. It can also record in MP3 format to a FAT32 formatted USB device, from either the phono, CD, BlueTooth, or aux-in. It encodes the MP3s at 128kps quality. You can sort your collection of MP3s into folders, on your USB device, for easy playback of the music you wish to listen to at the time. You can either repeat playback of a particular track, folder or all MP3s on the device. There’s also a “shuffle” feature, if you just want to randomly play your MP3s in no particular order.
For audio playback, the RR75 uses two 2″ 10 watt and two 3-½” 30 watt speakers. But, if you’d like to listen to your music through an external amplifier system, then the RR75 also has RCA left and right channel output jacks on the back.
One of the key features that makes this console sound so good is the built-in equalizer. With it, you can easily adjust the bass and treble to suite the media being played. You have seven level settings, for both the bass and treble. The EQ levels only affect playback on either the main speakers or the headphones. It does not affect the audio going out over the audio-out channel.
On top of all of this, you also have at your disposal a headphones jack on the front and an IR remote that controls volume, track selection (for CD and USB playback), equalizer levels, and programmable presets for the radio (nine for AM and nine for FM).
So, as you can see, the RR75 is pretty well loaded.
I have to say that the RR75’s build quality is superb; it’s the best I’ve seen on any all-in-one console turntable. The cabinet itself is sturdy and weighs in at a respectable 23.75 lbs. It’s made of medium density fiberboard (MDF) with a real wood veneer finish. The veneer is down-right beautiful. The colour is very rich and the quality of the wood used for the veneer is top notch, with a nice raised-grain finish. The model we bought has the red cherry wood finish, but they also offer a black and a walnut model.
The buttons and knobs, used on the front panel, are nice and solid. They don’t feel like they’re going to break off in your hand, like some other nostalgia-style console stereos on the market. And, I really like the style of the red LED on black display, it goes so well with the cherry wood finish. Although I do like the charm of the old-style radial dials found on other consoles, the modern look of the control panel, combined with the vintage design of the cabinet is refreshing and very unique; somewhat “steampunk” in design.
As for the turntable, well, the platter is still plastic, but the tone arm and it’s cueing lever is metal. So, not having the entire record player assembly made of plastic is an improvement over other all-in-one consoles. I don’t have one of those special scales for weighing the downward pressure (aka tracking force) of the tone arm, but I do have a jeweler’s digital pocket scale. And when I put that under the Kingston’s tone arm, it reads 5.8 grams. From what I’ve read about other all-in-one turntables, that’s not too bad. Of course, I understand that weighing the tracking force this way isn’t the most accurate method to use.
The tone arms on our other all-in-ones, when weighed like this, come in at around 6.5 grams. We’ve been playing our LPs on them for several years now with no noticeable damage to them, so I think the Kingston RR75 is going to be just fine.
This thing sounds great, no ifs ands or buts. It’s hands down the best sounding console stereo that I can ever remember hearing. The range of the RR75 just blew me away; I wasn’t expecting to hear what I heard. The bass is rich and deep, but doesn’t overpower or drown out the higher tones. It has a very well balanced sound, and having that equalizer to help fine-tune the sound makes this console the best on the market, at least as far as I’m concerned. Apparently, if the printing on the box holds any merit, I’m not going to hear the speakers at their best until after the 10 hour break-in period. So, I guess this thing is going to sound even better in a couple of days! 🙂
For our small living room of 20′ x 10′, the RR75 fills the space with rich, well defined sound with ease. We don’t typically have to go above the 17 volume mark. But, when I do push the volume higher, there is no distortion that I can detect.
One of the LPs we enjoy listening to is our picture disc LP for Guardians of the Galaxy. But, the thing about picture discs is that, sometimes the sound quality is compromised by the use of colored vinyl, producing a background “hiss”. We certainly hear it when we play this LP on our other all-in-one console stereos. However, on the RR75, I don’t hear that background “hiss” at all. If it’s there, then the console’s equalizer does a great job of covering it up.
The Little Extras
I just wanted to touch on a few of the “little extras” that I’ve noticed with the Electrohome Kingston RR75. The first thing I noticed about it, that was different from the other all-in-one turntables, is that when you pause playback on the CD or USB the music doesn’t just stop, there’s an actual fading-out that happens (albeit very quickly). And when you start playing again it very quickly fades back in. I thought that was pretty classy.
Another nice thing about the RR75 is that the MP3 recorder is actually really good. I’ve heard some recording done by other all-in-ones and they always seem to mess it up in some way. The MP3s that I tried recording on the Kingston sound good, with a nice range of sound and at a good volume level.
And lastly, I like the remote control. I know, it’s only a remote control, but this one looks and feels like it isn’t about to break apart if you hold it for too long. The buttons on it are made of a nice rubber, too, that just feels better to me than other remote control buttons. It reminds me a bit of my old Pioneer LaserDisc remote control, which I also liked. It’s certainly a lot better than many remote controls you find with today’s DVD or Blu-ray players.
Okay, enough gushing. Nothing is perfect, so here’s my list of things I wish were better about Electrohome’s Kingston RR75, or what is missing:
- There’s no cassette player. The marketing on the box says “… to play your entire music collection.” Well, I’ve got a mountain of cassette tapes, too. What am I supposed to do with those?! I know, I know… plug a cassette deck into the Aux-in port. I just wish they included a cassette player.
- The record player does not have a tone arm return mechanism. Rather, it just turns the platter off when the end of the LP is reached. Everything about the RR75 oozes class, so it really deserves a tone arm return mechanism.
- I’m still waiting for an all-in-one that can play OGG files, as well as MP3. I have a huge collection of music encoded to OGG. It’s just a much better sounding digital format, in my opinion, compared to MP3. It would be great if more electronic devices supported it. The codec is free and open source, so I don’t see why it would be that much of a problem adding it to the decoder/encoder.
- To help improve the playback of LPs, it would really be nice if manufacturers would include a felt or rubber mat for the turntable’s platter. It’s not like it has to be anything expensive, just something to help cushion the LP from the plastic platter during playback.
Apart from these things, I don’t have anything more critical to say about Electrohome’s Kingston RR75. It’s a fantastic record player and all-in-one console stereo. From what I’ve seen and heard, it’s the best one out on the market today and I’m sure many people (even a few who despise all-in-one consoles) would enjoy listening to in their homes.
Well done, Electrohome! It’s a shame that this great little stereo was released at a time when the world in such turmoil. But, perhaps for the music lovers who find themselves in self isolation and going a bit stir-crazy, something like the Kingston RR75 can be a nice distraction. It would certainly liven up any living area, but won’t take up a lot of space.
You can find out more about the Kingston RR75 by visiting Electrohome’s website, here. Note that I’m not affiliated with Electrohome, I just like their products.