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4.2 out of 5 stars218
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 30 November 2012
If you are a HiFi enthusiast, read no further. But if you are looking for a compact, semi-portable stereo record player to listen to your old vinyl records (or even new ones) then this record player could well fit the bill. I bought it as a birthday present for someone who wanted a small record player that would be easy to transport, could play second-hand LPs and singles, and would be able to copy records to mp3 files. However this record player is not designed to be connected to a PC or to a USB hard drive via a USB cable: you have to plug a USB pen drive (flash drive, USB stick or whatever you want to call it) or SD Card into the record player if you want to record to mp3. It can also play mp3 and WMA files from those devices.

The first thing that struck me was how small this record player is. Notice from the photo that a 12-inch LP sticks out at the back, front and one side of the player, which just goes to show what a small footprint it has. It's not heavy either. So moving this record player from room to room or from one location to another is not difficult. The tone arm does look fragile, tiny and 'plasticy' but at least it does not seem too heavy. Unfortunately you have to lower and raise the tone arm manually, which can be fiddly as it is small. When you switch on the record player -- one of the rotary knobs on the front serves as the ON/OFF switch and the volume control -- the turntable will start to spin when you move the arm towards the record, and will stop spinning when the arm is near the centre of the record. This worked fine with the LPs I played, but there is a switch on the back of the player that you can use to disable the automatic start/stop functionality if you find that a record stops spinning before the end of the last track. In that mode, a record carries on spinning while the player is switched ON. Three speed settings are available: 78, 33.3 and 45 RPM, and there is also a rotary knob for fine adjustment of the speeds, although I didn't need to touch it.

I copied an LP to mp3 files on a USB pen drive (there is also an SD Card slot if you prefer to use one of those instead of a USB pen drive), and have to say I am impressed with the result. To be able to do this without needing a PC is handy, although I found that I wanted my laptop nearby so that I could check the tracks had been recorded correctly, and to rename the mp3 files afterwards. It is important to note that the capacity of the USB pen drive or SD Card can only be 2 GB or less. That is the limit specified in the instruction manual. There is no need to use a PC, you just plug in the USB pen drive and follow the instructions in the user guide. You can select mp3 bit rates up to 256 KBPS (the factory default is 128 KBPS) by using a button on the remote that comes with the player (you will need two AAA batteries for the remote). I selected 192 KBPS which is what I normally use when ripping my Audio CDs to mp3 files on my laptop. You can either record a complete side of a record to one big mp3 file or you can create separate mp3 files by pressing the TS button on the remote at the end of each track. I had to read the instructions a couple of times and practice a couple of times, but it's not difficult. You quickly learn how long to wait at the beginning and end of a record before starting and stopping recording, so as not to have several seconds of silence at the beginning and end of mp3 files. I recorded mp3 files of each track of an LP that was in almost-new condition, and the result was impressive. A couple of the louder parts on a couple of the tracks had a momentary slight crackle, but overall the quality of the mp3 files was better than I expected, and they allowed me to listen on my laptop to an album that is not available on Audio CD and I hadn't heard in 30 years. You can also play mp3 and WMA files on a USB pen drive or SD Card via the record player, and there are buttons on the front of the record player and on the remote to enable you to do that.

There is a socket on the back of the player to plug in an optional sub-woofer if you want, but it's not essential. There are also RCA phono sockets on the back if you want to connect the player to an amplifier or to external speakers, and there is a headphones socket on the front panel. There is also an Aux In socket on the front panel if you want to play an external mp3 player through the record player's speakers. The record player's volume can actually be turned up quite a bit, certainly more than loud enough for me. However, as the built-in speakers are on opposite sides of the record player they are not pointing towards you and the two stereo channels are a bit too separate for my liking. Perhaps angling a book at each end of the player would bounce the sound forwards and improve this. Or you could plug a couple of portable powered PC speakers into the headphone socket if you wanted.

The needle is replaceable. If I were going to play 78 RPM records then I would buy another needle just to use for playing those, so that the needle would not spoil 33 and 45 RPM records.

Overall, then, if you are not expecting this to be a HiFi but want something compact with built-in speakers and the ability to copy records to mp3 files, this is a decent buy. For playing records easily and quickly around the house or at a friend's house, and for recording mp3 files without having to mess around with external software, it's a good choice.
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on 27 November 2011
This record player has successfully brought my old vinyls back to life. It is not able to detect gaps between tracks and does not have a tone arm return. However for the price, it does a great job> The sound quality is good and the encoding time very reasonable. Will readily recommend it to thos who need to digitise their old records collection without the inconvenience of a PC or laptop link. The USB drive records directly and can be transfered to the PC for editing and storage later. I am a satisfied customer
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on 10 August 2011
I haven't listened to most of my vinyl collection for years, but it looks as though this beauty is going to change all that.

I followed the advice and bought the T008 subwoofer to go with it, and what can be a thin sound from the record deck instantly becomes much richer when the two pieces of equipment are used together, and to be fair it's not meant to be hi-fi.

Probably the main reason people would buy a piece of equipment like this is to convert their collection to MP3 format. It performs that function admirably (once you adjust to the fact that after the record button is pushed it takes about 10 seconds for the record facility to kick in (simply delay placing the stylus on the record for 8 or 9 seconds and all should be fine).

About 3 years ago I got some software ('Audacity') and connectors and attempted to record directly from vinyl to pc - absolutely useless! I still don't know if it was me or the process but it was frustrating enough for a pig-headed person like me to give up. But this Steeletone system knocks the socks off my previous attempts.

To my (untrained) ear the reproduction in MP3 format is indiscernible from the vinyl.

OK so perhaps the stylus arm seems a bit lightweight (and it's the only reason I have not given 5 stars - but there's no facility to give 4 3/4), but it does the business, and that is what you want, surely!

Who cares if some of the components are not the best in the world (hi-fidelity it's not). If that's what you want you will have to dig deep into your pockets, but if you want to convert vinyl to MP3 and have a reasonable experience in the process I don't see how you can beat this combination without breaking the bank.

You could probably get away without buying the subwoofer, but including one (and they're dirt cheap) makes the recording experience so much better and there is always the benefit that if this equipment is your only means of playback, then when you do playback your MP3 files the system should not produce a disappointing result.

Happy listening!
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on 24 March 2012
An excellent piece of kit; the sound is tinny, but that is made very clear, so no surprise; it works well when connected to an amplifier. The easy creation of MP3 files from the records is superb - although note that you have to click a button each time a track ends so that a new file is created, it is not automatic. Good value and the product is versatile and as described. Very pleased.
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on 28 December 2012
Bought this for my daughter at Xmas as she loves old records. I have an expensive system at home, all Lynn etc, which I hardly ever use. Like many people now I tend to down load music and wonder if the CD is on the way out, but vinyl is definetly having a great revival. This is great, its fun , all the old Lps in any condition just sound great. Very simple, on, off, volume. Sound quality is retro but that just makes it more fun. Since buying this we now spend a lot of time trawling Ebay looking for old albums. Oh and it looks great too!
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on 23 June 2014
I'm no audiophile so don't expect an expert opinion on the the ins and outs of sound quality in this review, just an opinion on this piece of kit.

I had been promising myself a deck to allow me to transfer my vinyl to digital for ages and opted for the ST929R, I have not been disappointed this far, the sound quality fits the bill, for me anyway, just love that retro sound from the small in built speakers. I have had it wired through my sound system and again, fits the bill... I love it. Its light and compact and to be honest the deck is stored and set up when I need it... it was bought as a winter project but I've really enjoyed listening to some of my old vinyl again. One issue I did have was dodgy transfer to USB but this was tracked down to the memory stick, I purchased a new memory stick and have had no further issues with music transfer, I mention this because I have read some review that mentioned USB issues with other types of Digital Turntable.

Don't expect digital quality sound when transferring to CD, the sound you get is what you hear from your vinyl, like I said, it fits the bill for me and I'm very happy with it... really looking forward to getting all the old Northern Soul vinyl out of the loft! role on the winter.

One happy bunny.

Cheers
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on 19 January 2013
just bought this excellent Music Player which was delivered 24 hrs after ordering. The product is exactly as described and is very easy to use. At the moment I am running through our LP collection and recording the LPs on to iTunes via a USB-flashdrive.
Very easy although, of course, the LPs are recorded real time. This is no problem because I am doing the recording as I am using the PC and so I get to have musical accompaniment.
The vinyl LPs which I thought were to be consigned to the rubbish bin now have a new lease of life as I digitally record them. To me it's the music which is important and so I now have access to hours and hours of music thought lost because of new technology in recording. Quite the opposite! I also have 80 or so 78s which span the 1940s and 1950s. These were my parents and as I play and record them the memories flood back. Music is like photographs to me; as I listen I remember people, times and places.
My daughter is next in line for the Steepletone Music Player. She now wants to record all of her LPs and 45s.
I am really pleased that I bought this product.
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on 1 March 2012
Received this item in Feb 2012. Definately need the sub woofer I also purchased at the same time. Good value for playing old vinyl records 33 and 45, I also have a few 78's, not tried these yet.
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If, like me, you wanted a platform to replay your old vynil, then this is an ideal product to do just that. OK, it has limitations on sound quality but it does the job very well especially if combined with a sub-woofer unit, It is a pity that there is no direct link between the product and a pc so that you can download your music straight into your compuer. It has to be done via a memory stick [no more than 2GB]. Having said that, the memory stick can hold a large number of LPs and it is a simple matter of transferring it to your pc. If you want an inexpensive vinyl player then this is as good as it gets, but recommend that you also buy a sub-woofer in order to enhance the sound quality.
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on 29 April 2013
After seeing the reviews i bought this for my 14 year old to play my old music collection.
Item was packaged well and externally looked the part ...that was until the records were played.
Stylus was cheap and plastic looking -but worse still was the sound quality or lack of it - sounded like being inside a submarine...
I wasn't expecting surround sound but by todays standards something better than a ten bob radio !
Tone button was a waste of time and even at maximum volume output the sound was non existent.
The whole experience was disappointing to the point of returning the item immediately, I ended up buying a £2 deck with speakers from a charity shop which run rings around the quality of this item both in performance and sound quality.
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