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Daniel | 26/04/2021
The Roberts RT100 is a sleek, stylish, and altogether modern turntable. Roberts are better-known for their vintage-style DAB radios, which we've found to be excellent quality. Turning their hand to another corner of the audio market, can they pull off another winner? Our audio experts put it to the test in another in-depth review. Read on to find out what we thought of it!
Roberts are best known for their distinctive retro-styled radios, like the Revival series. The RT100 is a little different to their usual design, in that it feels a lot more timeless. With its real-wood veneer in an attractive oak-like colour, it's in line with current trends from the likes of Pure. Most entry-level turntables feature an abundance of plastic, which often makes them look and feel quite cheap. On the other hand, the wood used here lends the RT100 a touch of class. If you care about style as much as substance, then this record player's neutral style would fit in well with a wide range of different decors.
When you first take the Roberts RT100 out of the box, there's a bit of setup to do. Most of this is fairly straightforward. The only vaguely complex thing you'll need to do is attach the belt drive. However, this isn't that tricky when following the instructions- and with the setup out of the way, the RT00 is remarkably easy to use.
Lift the arm towards the platter, and the turntable will kick into life automatically. Similarly, when you get to the end of the record, the RT100 will stop by itself, to avoid unnecessary wear to the stylus. As for controls, there's not much to be said here. There's a button to switch between 33 and 45RPM, along with a clearly-labelled wheel for balancing the tonearm.
Finally, the RT100 comes with a detachable dust cover. Strictly speaking, it's attachable rather than detachable, as you'll need to put it on yourself. However, this will be a welcome feature for many, as it ensures that your records won't pick up a layer of dust from the platter.
Ultimately, record players stand or fall on their sound performance. As an entry-level turntable, the Roberts RT100 aims for a more neutral overall sound. That makes it a good choice for those who like to listen to a wide range of different music. Out of the box, it comes with an Audio Technica AT-3600L moving-magnet cartridge. If you want to swap this for something else, you can; the RT100 is really designed for flexibility and convenience, so changing cartridges is a doddle.
During testing, we felt that the RT100 provides a generous amount of body to the sound. While it can lack a little expression at times, it's good on the whole, and copes especially well with vocals and high-end.
Normally, cheap turntables tend to offer convenience, whereas more expensive models offer better sound but not a lot else. With the RT100, Roberts have tried to bridge the gap between the two, including a number of features that are unusual for a record player at this price point, without compromising on the sound.
The most noteworthy feature here is the Roberts RT100's built-in phono stage. This means you don't need to connect it to a separate preamp if you don't want to. Instead, you can plug it straight into some speakers and start listening. The RT100 will work with virtually anything that takes an auxiliary input, making it a truly beginner-friendly option. You could even link it up with one of Roberts' award-winning DAB radios!
If you already have a preamp, or if you just want to get the best possible performance from your new turntable, then you'll be pleased to hear that the RT100 can still be connected to one. This does give noticeably better sound reproduction, and means that newcomers to record players have the option of easily upgrading their system.
Lastly, the RT100 comes with USB connectivity. This allows you to hook it up to a computer and rip your records for a digital copy. Anyone who has actually gone through this process will know that it can be fairly time-consuming- you need to manually crop each track in an audio editing programme like Audacity. However, it's a welcome feature to have, especially in an entry-level turntable.
The Roberts RT100 is an great little entry-level turntable. The built-in phono stage makes it excellent value for money, and while the sound quality isn't quite up there with high-end hi-fis, it's certainly good enough for most listeners. Whether you're new to the world of vinyl, or want something simple to set up to rediscover all your old favourites, the RT100 is well worth considering.
This entry was posted in Reviews, Audio on 26/04/2021 by Daniel.