The Electrohome Signature has the mid-20th century look down pat. Back then it’s doubtful that they could have made anything like this, but it looks like it could have been from that era.
If you were looking for a record player that is styled from that era then you’ve found a winner here already. The whole look of the Signature is warm and inviting. The little clues that this is actually a modern 21st-century product are pretty well hidden.
From those big analog knobs to the sliding frequency indicator, this is pure retro nostalgia. The natural wood finish looks great to me and the whole overall aesthetic is just exactly right.
All The Things
As you may have noted, the Signature is more than just a record player. It will play your vinyls as well as CDs, MP3s, and AUX input from a phone or tablet. The only thing they didn’t include is Bluetooth, which doesn’t really matter in this context, I think.
In addition to all of this you can also listen to both AM and FM radio. Yes, I know the world is moving to digital radio, but free-to-air broadcasts are still the norm and you can pick them up just fine with this unit.
The wood cabinet is apparently of acoustic value and Electrohome says that its four-speaker configuration is “room-filling”.
The vinyl side of things is equipped with a diamond-tipped, ceramic stylus. It can also play all three standard speeds of record with its fully-automatic belt-driven turntable. I prefer semi-automatic products myself, but there’s nothing wrong with going full-auto.
Electrohome takes great pains to remind us that this is real wood and those are premium acoustic chambers they’ve made. All in all it sounds like a very good deal for the money.
This system includes the ability to convert your vinyls to MP3s with a built-in encoder. Unlike the ION I looked at for the cheaper turntables, you don’t even need a PC. It will encode straight to USB storage. Although, I suppose you’ll still want to trim the files down a bit with software.
This is pretty useful if you have old LPs that you want to preserve and that’s doubly true for any 10-inch records, which not all turntables can play.
It’s a pity that the recording function does not seem to extend to the radio, which would have been a neat feature – but, oh well.
What matters in the end is how good it sounds. Electrohome promises us that all the measures it has taken will provide that rich, warm sound people are yearning for when they turn to vinyl, but with more detail and quality than you remember. Do they succeed?
The only way for me to tell is by resorting to the ears of all the people who have bought one of these, and there are a lot of them.
The general consensus is that although this isn’t up there with a $400 TEAC, what you get is a great listening experience for very little money. In fact, it seems safe to say that this is probably the best-sounding record player you can buy online for this price today.
The Final Countdown
If there is one criticism that I ran into a few times, it’s the lack of adjustable arm pressure. Some modern vinyls are not made with the thickness and groove depth older albums had, so the needle is more prone to skipping if there is any vibration or shock. It’s not a common complaint, but people who run into it are frustrated since they have no way to increase the weight on the needle that isn’t ghetto or prone to damaging something. Still, with hundreds of people taking the time to give their impression, and with this complaint being in the single digits, it doesn’t look like it’s worth worrying about unless you live next to a tap dancing school or the train tracks.
The bottom line is this: the Signature is a lovely product that’s well worth the money, and if $200 is what I had then this is what I would spend it on. No doubt at all, every day of the week.