Yamaha unveils its MusicCast Vinyl 500 turntable, an all-in-one deck that's designed to add LP playback to a wirelessly connected home
Turntable sales may have stabilised in 2018, but Japanese tech giant Yamaha hopes it can break new ground with the launch of its first MusicCast record player. On display for the first time at Berlin's IFA Show at the beginning of September, the Vinyl 500 is no regular LP spinner. The wireless belt-driven deck is designed to take the classic vinyl replay experience for a new spin by combining classic design with multi-room streaming.
Priced at £549, the Vinyl 500 looks traditional enough and offers both 33 and 45rpm playback speeds with a 300mm aluminium die-cast platter, a straight tonearm that's fitted with an unspecified moving-magnet cartridge and is supplied with a dust cover.
Its first turntable design in serval decades, the MusicCast Vinyl 500 is part of Yamaha's connected life series of components that can wirelessly stream to any MusicCast speaker system around the home over a wi-fi network using 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.
The company's MusicCast range has been around for several years now and takes a different path to many rival network-connected wireless music systems. While at its heart MusicCast uses a home network to distribute audio around the house, it does so using your home network rather than by utilising a MESH equivalent like Sonos. In terms of its communication system, MusicCast is more of a two-way street, which means while compatible products can access music stored on a network and connect to external music streaming services, they can also send other audio sources to connected MusicCast components around the home.
More than just a pretty-looking LP spinner, the MusicCast Vinyl 500 is also a network streamer that can access and play music files stored on a network up to 24-bit/192kHz and DSD256, as well as from streaming services including Spotify, Qobuz, Tidal and Deezer. AirPlay and Bluetooth connectivity are also built in and system control is brought together via the MusicCast controller app that allows you to navigate and listen to all your favourite tunes in different rooms around the home. Integrated voice control via Amazon's Alexa completes the picture, and the MusicCast Vinyl 500 is touted as an effortless, hands-free design for the vinyl enthusiast of the future. It's available in black or white finishes. Available to buy from November, you can find out more details here.
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