If you're in the market for a new turntable, look no further than Onkyo's CP-1050. We really could end the review right now.
Let's start with how it looks and feels
The biggest point of contention could be found in this section. If you hate that retro '70s look, then bingo: this isn't for you (tip: Project make some pretty modern-looking turntables, if you want something in a similar price range.) However, for anyone that feels like sipping whisky on a leather chair whilst listening to Fleetwood Mac - or for anyone that could care less about the aesthetics - you'll find a lot of joy here. The MDF cabinet, and brushed aluminium control panel completes the minimalistic look, which we're totally on board with. It's also worth noting that it's pretty damn heavy.
What is it trying to do and does it do it well?
Well, according to the blurb, it offers "a turnkey solution for audiophile-level analog sound with less hassle and expense" (the expense part being around £300-400 depending on where you purchase it). This is achieved through the previously mentioned MDF body (which provides superb vibration dampening), the direct drive, the quartz-lock 33/45 DC motor and the MM cartridge.
Based on our testing, the only thing we'd suggest could be improved is the cartridge itself, and possibly the aluminum tone arm, but the former could always be upgraded depending on your needs (so much of that will come down to personal preference).
- Direct-Drive System
- Customized Brushless DC Motor
- Quartz-Lock Control System
- Wow and Flutter Less than 0.15%
- Signal-to-Noise Ratio Over 60 dB
- Aluminum Static-Balance S-shaped Tonearm
- Moving-Magnet (MM) Cartridge
- Detachable Headshell Compatible with Aftermarket Cartridges
- Tonearm Counterweight Supports Range of Cartridge Weights
- Gold-Plated RCA Phono Output Terminals with Dedicated Grounding Post (Cable Included)
- Easy Button-Selectable 33 1/3 and 45 rpm Speeds
- Quickly Spins to Playback Speed Stability
- Large Height-Adjustable Anti-Vibration Feet
- RCA Phono Outputs
- Grounding Post
- AC Inlet
The Sound? The All Important Sound
Based on Onkyo's mission statement for the turntable, the level soundstage is exactly what we expected. Getting that balance between warmth and clarity isn't easily achieved, but they've somehow pulled it off here. In terms of testing, keeping on a Fleetwood Mac tip, Rumours sounded beautiful and intimate, whilst every sample on Nas' Illmatic packed a lethal punch - what more could you really ask for?
So, is it worth the money?
Yes, yes, and yes. Given the revival vinyl has had over the past few years, the CP-1050 is a great example of affordable quality. If you were one of those people that bought a Crosley from HMV over the festive period, throw it in the garbage and spend a bit more on something like this - you won't regret it.