This is a review of the Elipson Ω 100 – RIAA BT, a Bluetooth Turntable. No, read on. Elipson are the French audio innovators of long standing from whom I had the very excellent digital Music Centre, last year. There is a lot of thought going into their recent products and the Elipson Ω 100 – RIAA BT is no exception. At the top end of their turntable range the Elipson Ω 100 – RIAA BT (OK, that’s enough for the SEO) features a built in phono stage and, should you prefer, a Bluetooth output that is really surprisingly impressive.
If you are after a Bluetooth turntable, this is the one. If you are after a USB turntable to record from, this could be the one
The turntable is reassuringly heavy, it plays out of the box. The cartridge is set-up and the tone arm is adjusted for skate and weight etc. With the Bluetooth output I was up and running, with the turntable on my kitchen table and a Bluetooth enabled amplifier (a Tangent Ampster) over 5 meters away!
The carbon OTT tonearm developed by Elipson is equipped with the Ortofon OM10 cartridge, it has anti-skating adjustment, and the arm allows for better stiffness and less resonance for playback. It is certainly light and nimble. It is an excellent set up and track selection accuracy is very good indeed. My only criticism is there is no tonearm lever to enable you to softly drop the needle, it would appear to me due to the design. Not a big deal but if you are out of practice, as I am, the needle can land heavily!
The turntable can be hardwired with the phono cables provided, which feel good and fit for purpose, or you can use the Bluetooth option which is the USP for this product. Although it feels counter intuitive to convert a beautiful analogue signal to digital and the fire it across the room the turntable produces a 24 bit 48kHz digital signal that is the beamed across to a Bluetooth receiver. It really is a surprisingly good signal, the clarity is tremendous, with digital crackles included! Setting up the Bluetooth is easy, you just press the Pairing button at the back and wait for your receiver to pick it up. I have had no problem pairing this to the Tangent Ampster or the T+A Music Receiver I recently reviewed. As you can see on the picture below, there is also USB out so you can connect this to your computer, download some software and digitise your record collection as you want to.
The turntable is finished in a glossy lacquer and is available in red, white and black. There is a nice aluminium ‘centrer’ with the turntable for all of your old 45s with the middle missing, remember those? I have used it to weigh down the record too, just for the sake of it. There is a ‘moving coil’ cartridge selector should you prefer another cartridge but I would think this is unnecessary at this level to be replacing the excellent cartridge provided.
Elipson Ω 100 – RIAA BT Specification
From the website
Plate: Pressed steel
Finish: Acrylic laquer
Cartridge: Ortofon OM10
Electronic: RIAA preamp
Bluetooth: AptX 24bits/48KHz
USB: Yes, 24 bits/48KHz
RCA cable provided: Yes
Freq Resp: 25Hz-20KHz (-3dB/1dB)
Gain: MM/MC = 40.5dB/61dB
Crosstalk: MM/MC = 88/78dB
THD: MM/MC = 0.006%/0.05%
SNR: MM/MC = 82/76dB
Dimensions (WHD): 450 x 120 x 380mm
Net weight: 2.205lbs/ 1kg
As you have probably gathered, this turntable has gone down very well in this young family. There is lots of Ed Sheeran going on over here and ‘divide’ and ‘multiply’ have had a lot of needle time here. There is plenty of depth to the output from the Bluetooth connection, with resonant bass tones nicely reproduced, no complaints there. What is particularly good here is that you can pick up the turntable and ‘make it safe’ when tomfoolery happens, be that youngsters or older dinner party guests. We have found it a very flexible performer with no bother from bodies dancing in the line of sight of the Bluetooth connection.
Dynamically, I have found this turntable to be very good indeed with plenty of bounce and response from the Ortofon cartridge, the presentation from the T+A Pulsar speakers is wide and satisfying. I also feel the resolution is particularly good, surprising given the Bluetooth processing. Of course, Ed Sheeran’s current crop of albums are particularly well produced and this helps and it is enhanced by the heavy pressed 45 rpm setting delivering more data to the ears.
The turntable features a digital speed switch does seem to do the job nicely and enables speedy switching to be done easily, rather than lifting a platter up every time. There is no problem with timings and rhythm in my book here, ‘Telegraph Road’ bounds along beautifully, as usual.
It would be harsh to pick out slight sonic shortfalls, you do sort of feel there is more to be heard on occasion but these times have been few and far between. Connecting the phono cables provided in the box straight into the amplifier improves the picture but only marginally. These days, with phones and tablets you need about 5 Bluetooth inputs to be available and so when the novelty of a Bluetooth turntable wears off you can enjoy normal connected music, which does beg the question, what are you paying for? There is an Omega 100, without the Bluetooth bit I gather.
In a world of often dull Bluetooth this is a surprising development. But a good one. If you are after a BT turntable, this is the one, for sure. If you are after a USB turntable to record from, this could be the one. I think if you are after a turntable full stop there is more listening research to be done if I’m honest for this budget.
Ease of set-up
Bluetooth range and stability
7″ centre piece (weight)
There was a tonearm lever
There was a lip on the cover to help you lower it (same to you Rega!)
The Elipson Ω 100 – RIAA BT is retailing near £500, variously. I would go for a local retailer if it was me but it is on Amazon, ignore the daft rating on there. I’m going to give it five stars.