By : Theo @ Samma3a
The packaging for the Turn 2 is just a basic full-colour box used to show the colour variant and a few key aspects, along with protecting the product during shipping, of course. The packaging is average in quality and on par with what you’d expect from modern consumer electronics.
The Turn 2 comes with all the essentials that you’d need to hook it up to a phono-preamp. The bundled stereo RCA cable isn’t anything fancy, but it doesn’t seem to be of particularly poor quality either. What is nice is that there is a ground cable attached to the RCA cables, making cable management just a little easier.
As you would usually expect from an entry-level turntable, a felt mat is included to help protect your records when being use don the turntable. This is usually the first part to be swapped out for a more static-resistant solution like cork, leather, or acrylic.
The design of the Turn 2 is, well, it’s a turntable – they all have pretty much the same basic design, right? But, Reloop has managed to create, what I consider anyways, to be a tastefully minimalistic design. The white colour version especially has a nice simple and clean look to it. Other colour options include black and red, with the black variant sporting a metallic accented platter, whereas the red gives a bit more of a colour “pop” compared to the white variant.The Turn 2 is designed around a belt-driven setup to ensure quieter operation and thus a better signal-to-noise ratio. What I particularly like about the Turn 2’s design is that the drivebelt isn’t wrapped around the outside of the platter. Instead it sits underneath the platter, keeping the belt away from dust or potentially getting snagged.The platter is pretty hefty at just over half a kilo, but nowhere near as weighty as, for example, an acrylic platter. Generally, you’d want a heavier platter as the weight of the entire turntable as a whole does affect how well things are dampened. A heavier turntable setup equates to a better absorption of unwanted vibrations and other resonances. But the downside here is that a heavier platter can also put more stress on the drive motor and belt.
Moving on to the rest of the design – one particular design element that I found to aid in this minimalistic approach is that both the power and speed selector buttons are situated underneath the plinth, but on opposite sides of each other. The power switch is located on the left, whereas the speed selector can be found on the right-hand side. Neither of them are in particularly hard-to-reach places, but you’ll just have to get used to which one sits on which side.
Of course, you can use the Turn 2 without the dust cover, which will give it an even more minimalist look, but the added risk of dust accumulation is just not worth it in my opinion. If you’re at all familiar with vinyl records you’ll know that keeping things clean is pretty much the most important part of handling records, but this extends to the turntable itself as well.
Along the rear are the analogue outputs, ground, and power connection, but no USB-output. The Turn 3 and many other turntables do offer USB-output if you’d like to save a digital copy of you vinyl records. But, for many people this is a function that they’ll never end up using, and so the Turn 2 caters more for people who’d like to pay only for functions and features that they’ll actually use.
The stereo outputs are phono outputs, so you’ll need a phono preamp in order for the audio to sound correct. Having a built-in phono preamp would obviously be useful, but if you already have an external phono preamp that you’d like to use, then there would be no point in paying to have a built-in preamp to begin with.
Something to note about the ground connection – the power adapter only has connections to live and neutral, but not to an earth, so this means that, if your phono preamp or whichever other components you are using don’t have a proper ground connection either, then you’ll experience an annoying and consistent hum through the speakers (headphones). But don’t worry, creating a ground for the system is super simple. All you’ll need is a 3-point wall-adapter and a length of wire. Connect the one end of the wire to the centre-post of the wall-adapter (also called an “Earth”), and then connect the other end to any of your other components that have dedicated ground connections. You’ll probably only need to do this once for the entire system.
So, getting back to the Turn 2, another key aspect of any turntable is the tonearm and cartridge. The Turn 2 features a straight tonearm which can be adjusted for proper tracking force, and an anti-skating system is also present.
The included cartridge is an Ortofon OM10, which has relatively decent specifications, but it can always be swapped out for something more exotic and/or better performing such as an Ortofon 2M Blue or perhaps a Nagaoka MP-110.
Lastly, whilst the Turn 2 does have anti-vibration feet, they are unfortunately not height-adjustable, so you’d either have to use some paper or perhaps some Blu Tack to alter the height of each corner to ensure that the platter is level.
Judging the sound of a turntable is actually pretty difficult to do, as most of the sonic characteristics comes from the cartridge rather than any of the other components. However, insufficient damping can introduce unwanted resonances into the analogue signal and thus affect the overall sound quality.
But thankfully the Turn 2 seems to be well-designed and there were no issues in this department that jumped out at me. I couldn’t really pick up on any rumble from the DC motor or anything like that, so it seems that, as a turntable, the Turn 2 is a perfectly fine performing product. The included Ortofon OM10 cartridge is pretty much at the budget end of the scale, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a poor performing product. What I did notice though is that this cartridge seems to favour the bass region a bit more than the rest of the spectrum, resulting in a slightly veiled midrange and not quite as much upper detail as I’d personally like. This can be especially apparent if you’re more accustomed to digital systems which generally tend to offer a much lower noise floor. But overall, it’s still a very pleasant-sounding setup.
At an asking price of around $350 or so, the Turn 2 seems like a really good value product. People who are browsing around in this price-bracket are likely looking to buy their first turntable.
The Turn 2 is easy to setup (even for beginners), and it gives you pretty much all you could want from a turntable, especially if your intention is to do some upgrades. The fact is, if you don’t already have a power amplifier that has a built-in phono-preamp, then you’ll have to factor this additional cost into your purchase as well. Without a phono-preamp, things just aren’t going to sound right. So, if you fall into this camp of people looking for a more “complete solution”, then you’d perhaps be better off looking at the Turn 3 or competing products form Rega or Pro-Ject. No, the Turn 2 perhaps doesn’t look quite as cool and retro as some of the turntables from those companies, nor does it have any auto-start or stop features, but keep in mind that we’re talking about a mere $350 here. If you’re looking for a no-frills turntable that gives you no more features than what you might actually need, then the Turn 2 comes highly recommended to anyone looking to dip their toes into the world of vinyl.