Pros:ease of use, style
The Bottom Line: NO, The vibration issue stops me from truly enjoying my records. I would find a different player.
I started buying records a couple of years ago. Then I used a 1970's Voice of Music portable record player. This was adequate but didn't produce a full sound, it also was monaural only. I decided that I needed an upgrade. I looked around and found three record players at REX audio stores. They had two TEAC's and this Sony. I chose the sony based on name alone, so I was surprised with what I got. I had expected a simple, clean, and refined sound. What i got didn't quite measure up to my ideals.
Recommend this product?
This product cannot be played right out of the box. After a few seconds of muttering and cursing, I realized that the belt drive had not been connected and that it was up to me to put it on. I looked at the instruction manual for instructions, but only recieved this one hint: "remember to take off the ribbon after installing the belt." There was no instruction as to how to connect the belt or dismantle the player. When I attached the belt and removed the ribbon, the turntable played fine.
I was happy with the ease of use of the product, just put the record on and press play. The player takes the needle out of its cradle and plays automatically, no need to cue in and out. I also liked the way the stylus protected the needle. Instead of a sperate cover like I was expecting, it was a hingeable plastic cover, so protecting the needle was as easy as flipping it down when i was finished and back up again before playing. The product looks nice, it blends very well with my stereo and has a nice finish. It has nice functions, such as a cue switch, and a preamp option for stereos that do not have phono inputs.
However, the player is very sensative to vibration. Listening to something at anything above low levels causes the needle to shake visibly, although sound quality remains the same. When pushed past that the sound becomes distorted. When put away from the speakers this effect becomes less of a problem. I was also displeased with the RCA outputs of the player. The cord is only 2" long, so trying to place the record player can be a challenge. I eventually bought RCA couplers and a 6" cord to correct this problem. I also disliked the placement of the preamp switch. To access the switch you have to dismantle the player.
I think that Sony pulled one over me. Buying on brand name alone is not the best option when looking for stereo equipment. I would not recomend this player to someone, rather I would try to find an older model at a second hand store or garage sale.