House of Marley recently launched a luxury wireless turntable, The Stir It Up Lux. Like everything else from HOM, you admire the looks and modern craftsmanship before you plug it in or turn it on. In true Marley branding style, their products are all about sustainability.
The Stir It Up Lux has that HOM look with a natural bamboo base, a double-sided cork slip mat and first-ever HOM features. One side is black, and the other has a vibrant zoetrope. This zoetrope side creates the illusion of motion when the turntable is spinning.
The turntable design includes aluminum, glass, and cork. The reason, as stated on the HOM site: “One of the world’s fastest-growing plants, bamboo can grow up to a meter in height in just 24 hours – making it extremely renewable. Aluminum and glass are both infinitely recyclable, while cork is made from stripped-down bark as opposed to cut-down trees”.
For some reason, I take time to select a first record to play on a turntable (not that it means anything), and for the Stir It Up Lux, I took the timely route with Jimmy Buffett. The Stir It Up Lux has Bluetooth V5.3, so there’s no need for a receiver or audio connection. It was ready to spin records after a quick set and pairing with HOM Get Together Duo wireless speakers.
The combination of the vinyl with the Get Together Duo was perfect. So much so, as usual, when I get a turntable out, the day goes by quickly with all that I wanted to listen to. It’s built with a replaceable Audio-Technica 95E elliptical stylus with a narrower profile and larger contact area. HOM chooses the 95E to capture even the most minor details of your favorite albums by delving deeper into the record groove.
It has a lightweight aluminum headshell and tonearm for smooth tracking. The lighter tonearm effortlessly follows the record’s contours for distortion-free tracking. The AC-powered, belt-driven turntable has an auto start/stop and plays 33 and 45 RPM records (adapter included); the speed is set with a knob on the top of the turntable, which turns it on or off. A 3.5 mm headphone port is to the left of the knob, and it has a USB-C out port for charging any of your devices or use to power speakers.
The Get Together Duo speakers are built with the HOM looks with a Bamboo front. The speakers have superb clarity with a 15W bass rating and 5W tweeter rating. Each measures 7.9-by-4.1-by-5.1 inches and has a 5200mAh internal battery good for about 25 hours of play before a USB-C charge is needed. They also have ports for RCA and aux cables.
To use the zoetrope side animation, the Bob Marley designs can be viewed in a dark room under a strobe light (some smartphone apps can work as a strobe light). Or record it and then download an app to change your smartphone’s camera’s frame rate. The zoetrope works best at 33RPM and 11 Hz or 11 FPS.
The Stir It Up Lux is a complete package for record spinners with perfect, easy functionality and an eye-catching modern look. Combining it with the Get Together Duo speakers is an ideal combination to get the crisp sound that vinyl delivers.
www.thehouseofmarley.com $399.99 for the Stir it up Lux turntable, $519.99 for a bundle with the Get Together Duo speakers
The GrooveWasher is a manual vinyl record cleaning kit for keeping records, which are always dust magnets, clean and ready for the next spin. It takes little time to figure out that dirty records will not sound good.
With the return of vinyl, the GrooveWasher cleaning system was created to update and enhance the Discwasher, the most popular record cleaner of the 1970s. It keeps records clean of fingerprints, dust and dirt to ensure there’s a maximum listening experience. They have a mission of helping people enjoy the music played with dirt-free vinyl.
The Mondo Record and Stylus Care System is a complete kit for vinyl cleaning and upkeep. It includes a walnut display block with a walnut handle and replaceable microfiber cleaning pad, a G2 high-tech record cleaning fluid mist spray, a “Big G” record cleaning mat, and a record label protector mask.
My record collection is valuable to me, so I was hesitant to use fluids and brushes on any of them. But recently, I scored a bunch of records at a garage sale, so I took a few of them I would never listen to for testing. After cleaning a few B sides, I have no hesitation in using the cleaner on any of my valuable vinyl collections.
The GrooveWasher site has complete and clear instructions on how to clean vinyl records and cartridges. Cleaning a record player’s stylus cartridge is as important as the records. They quickly build up dust and dirt picked up off of records and can be cleaned with the fluid and brush.
The company has tested all the parts, pieces and fluids of the kit, and after using them, you’ll see they are highly effective. In the past, I’ve cautiously used eyeglass-cleaning clothes. The Mondo kit is the way to go.
The Mondo kit is $99.95. Among the other cleaning kits available from GrooveWasher is the Walnut Record Cleaning kit with the 5-inch American walnut handle brush, microfiber cleaning pad, a record label protector mask and solution (4 ounces), available for $39.95.
(Contact Gregg Ellman at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @greggellman.) ©2023 Gregg Ellman. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
This story was originally published October 4, 2023, 12:21 PM.