Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Review
Cons: Poor sound quality, difficult to use, low quality construction
Compare to Similar Products
Victrola Vintage 3-Speed
$51.22 at Amazon
|$400 List||$279 List|
$279 at Amazon
|$199 List||$129 List|
|Pros||Inexpensive||Exceptional sound quality, high quality construction, easy to use||Great sound, high quality construction, easy to use||Good sound quality, fully automatic cueing||Inexpensive, good sound, fully automatic operation|
|Cons||Poor sound quality, difficult to use, low quality construction||Susceptible to skipping if bumped, expensive||Expensive||Somewhat prone to skipping||Dynamic range is a bit stunted, little adjustability|
|Bottom Line||A very inexpensive model that sounds like a very inexpensive model||Great for audiophiles that want the best possible listening experience||Great sound quality and user-friendly features will please vinyl veterans and newcomers alike||A solid performer that offers the convenience of fully automatic cueing||A great and budget-friendly entry point to listening to music on vinyl|
|Rating Categories||Victrola Vintage 3-...||Pro-Ject Debut Carbon||Audio-Technica AT-L...||Audio-Technica AT-L...||Audio-Technica AT-L...|
|Sound Quality (40%)|
|Component Quality (25%)|
|User Friendliness (25%)|
|Vibration Resistance (10%)|
|Specs||Victrola Vintage 3-...||Pro-Ject Debut Carbon||Audio-Technica AT-L...||Audio-Technica AT-L...||Audio-Technica AT-L...|
|Cartridge||Innovative Technology ITRRS300||Ortofon 2M Red||Audio Technica AT95E||Audio Technica AT91R||Audio Technica ATN3600L|
|Operation||Manual||Manual||Manual||Fully Automatic||Fully Automatic|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Victrola Vintage 3-Speed was the least melodious of all the turntables we tested, and also our least favorite overall.
The Victrola Vintage 3-Speed earned the lowest overall score of all the turntables we tested. Below we discuss all of the tests we used to determine those scores, and how the Victrola performed in each.
The Victrola was the worst scorer in this metric, earning just a 2 out of 10. No matter what we did it created a lot of distortion, which in turn made everything sound very muddled. The dynamic range was also the narrowest of any of the models we tested, giving the music a very thin and lifeless quality. Overall we would much rather listen to a low quality Pandora stream on a cheap Bluetooth speaker than listen to the Victrola. The other model that we tested in this price range, the Jensen JTA-230, sounded slightly better, but not much.
The Victrola's construction quality directly corresponds with its low price, earning it a low score of 3 out of 10 in this metric. It uses a flimsy plastic platter with no sort of soft mat material to reduce vibration and protect your records. The tonearm is metal, but is thin and quite flimsy. Its outer suitcase is fairly sturdy, but all the parts actually used to make music are not.
The Victrola was again a low scorer in this metric, earning a 3 out of 10. It can automatically detect what type of record you're playing and adjust the speed of the platter to 33, 45, or 78 rpm as needed. Beyond that, nothing is particularly easy. It has almost no adjustability, no tracking force adjustment, no pitch control, no nothing. This makes it hard to tinker with the sound, and its sound could use some tinkering. It does have a cue lever, however it didn't seem to work too well, so we had to resort to hand cueing most of the time, which took a very steady hand because of the flimsy tonearm.
This is the one area where the Victrola was at least average, earning a score of 6 out of 10. It was able to withstand some fairly solid bumps to the table it was resting on without skipping, but we were able to get it to skip with a very strong bump.
Though the Victrola is quite inexpensive, its performance is so poor that we wouldn't consider it a good value.
The Victrola Vintage 3-Speed is a very inexpensive record player, but unfortunately its performance very much reflects that low price.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata