As Norma Jeane Mortenson (aka the incomparable Marylin Monroe) once said, “A wise girl knows her limits, a smart girl knows she has none” – and this is how I feel about the all-in-one, high -end Bluetooth turntable you are viewing.
If I could listen to it for just a few fleeting moments, I’m sure it would make it on my list for the best turntables currently on the market – and it wouldn’t be at the bottom of that list.
Limitations I can mention include the fact that Fennessy, the talented Chinese manufacturer that created this completely modern and somehow minimalistic gramophone (yes, I consider the minimalist bright red horn) is a difficult company to reach – and it doesn’t currently sells its products in the USA.
Although I’m based in the UK, I’m struggling to find the UK HiFi dealership able to provide me with one too. It apparently retails for something over 13,999 yuan (approximately $2,071, £1,723, or AU$3,000) before any taxes or shipping, but even that information was hard to come by.
And yet I don’t care. As Marylin also said, “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”
So without further ado, let’s take a look at the photos Fennessy kindly snapped to show off his beautiful creation – an all-in-one turntable system with Bluetooth, which none of us likely own.
“It’s all make-believe, isn’t it?”
Yep, that’s another quote from Monroe, as it goes: “If I had followed all the rules, I would never have gotten anywhere” – and maybe that’s how you get one of these gorgeous items (not that I’m suggesting any breaking of rules). rule, you understand).
What I can do is provide some specs. The Fennessy Donut i5 comes in at 66lbs (or 30kg, so delivery won’t be cheap) and, at just over 5ft tall, it’s also a conversation piece. You get plenty of drivers too: that horn (or horn) includes a 1-inch 10W tweeter, and under the deck itself is a front-firing 6.5-inch 40W midrange driver, plus a 60W woofer. and 8 inches of downward firing.
There’s a built-in RIAA phono preamp and a Class D stereo amplifier. So you have a full plug-and-play turntable – and since there are no analog or digital outputs, you couldn’t connect it to your existing system, even if you wanted to. A single button on the front takes care of power, input switching and volume.
I’m not sure about it, but I think Bluetooth situation is receiver only. So while you can stream music from your phone to the Donut i5’s built-in speakers, you can’t send your vinyl collection to your best external Bluetooth speaker or your favorite wireless headphones the same way you can. with the Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT, say.
The turntable is belt-driven and features a 2.2-pound metal platter, including a custom slide mat (Marylin wouldn’t require anything less) and the carbon fiber neck comes pre-equipped with a tapered bonded diamond tip. Audio-Technica (AT) mobile-magnetic cartridge.
Fennessy’s standard i5 Donut is available with a black wood base and fabric grid, but this charming bugle comes in your choice of orange, dragon fruit, red velvet, banana, avocado, chocolate, matcha or milk, which look delicious – but it’s not what I’m after.
This deck of Monroe is one of Fennessy’s special-edition Donut i5s (so called, of course, because the discs are shaped like donuts), including Van Gogh – a sort of pixelated version of the artist’s most famous self-portraits, including a glorious one. yellow bugle – and monochromatic quicksand.
They are all works of art to me. I could put one in every room and be happy. Would I live to regret such a purchase in the age of streaming sites, Dolby Atmos 7.1 surround systems, HEOS, and multi-room audio? I really doubt it – vinyl’s continued resurgence is no accident and that warm analogue sound lingers.
“We should all start living before we’re too old. Fear is stupid. So are regrets.” Thank you Norma Jean. I will resume my quest to get a Fennessy Donut i5 soon.