Record Roundup Volume 8: Record Store Day(s) 2021 Announced

It’s been a few months since my last Record Roundup was published. If you’re interested, you can catch up on Volume 7 from last October. What’s on tap for this edition? We have the dates for Record Store Day 2021, heads-up on forthcoming reviews that will be of interest to turntable and vinyl fans, and a hands-on review of a Beatles-themed turntable from Pro-Ject.

In 2020, we saw Record Store Day — the international, one-day celebration of local record shops and vinyl collecting — split into three separate days. The move was necessary given the pandemic and the need for social distancing. In 2020, we are making progress with vaccination, but aren’t quite there yet. So Record Store Day will be two separate days in 2021.

Mark the dates in your calendar: June 12 and July 17. The list of record titles for the RSD drops has yet to be announced and stores will have different operating procedures depending on the local Covid-19 situation. However, record collectors have a lot to look forward to this summer.

Powered speakers like PSB’s Alpha AM5 (review coming soon) pair well with a turntable for a compact, … [+]


Many turntable owners choose to go with a set of powered bookshelf speakers instead of the traditional setup of an amplifier or receiver with PHONO input and a pair of speakers. Powered speakers have the advantage of integrating the amplifier inside one of the speakers. This gives true stereo sound, but by eliminating the bulky amplifier/receiver, makes for a much more compact setup that’s ideal for smaller spaces. Most powered speakers also include Bluetooth connectivity, making them a great-sounding music streaming solution as well. Choosing active speakers also tends to be less expensive than a traditional setup.

I’ve received a series of review units that I’m currently putting through their paces, including the AM5 powered bookshelf speakers from PSB — the powered version of the excellent PSB Alpha P5s I reviewed in 2019. Also watch for new offerings from Fluance, the Canadian company that has made a huge splash in the turntable market, but built its reputation with speakers.

Electrohome recently announced the Kingston 7-in-1 system. It’s designed to scratch the vinyl and retro itch, while also offering the latest music listening technology — all in a single, affordable package.

Electrohome’s Kingston 7-in-1 system pushes all the nostalgia buttons.

The Kingston 7-in-1 obviously isn’t marketed at recored collectors who obsess over a turntable and its cartridge. However, it’s built around a 3-speed, belt drive record player so the owner can listen to those crates of records that might be stashed in the garage or basement. The system also features integrated speakers, an AM/FM radio, CD player, Bluetooth, AUX input, USB, and vinyl to MP3 recording capability — all wrapped up in a vintage, acoustically-tuned wooden cabinet.

The Kingston 7-in-1 record player is currently on pre-order, but I have a sample to evaluate and will be posting a review shortly.

Finally, if you’re a fan of Austrian turntable manufacturer Pro-Ject, or of Beatles collectibles, you’ll want to check out the Pro-Ject Essential III Sgt. Pepper’s Drum Special Edition turntable, which I reviewed in February.

Turntables don’t get much more collectible than the Pro-Ject Essential III Sgt. Pepper’s Drum … [+]

The special edition builds on the highly-regarded Pro-Ject Essential III turntable, adding an upgraded acrylic platter. This not only cuts down on static and improves bass response, but it lets you view the iconic Sgt. Pepper’s bass drum logo it spins over. The entire plinth is wrapped in blue with Sgt. Pepper’s graphics and The Beatles logo.

It’s a great turntable, and one that’s destined to be a collectible.

My primary mission is to help readers enjoy the best experience from their gadgets, consumer electronics, and accessories — through hands-on reviews, commentary and