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 looking at.
If I could just listen to it for a few fleeting moments, it would definitely make it onto my shortlist for the best turntables on the market right now – and it wouldn’t be missing from that list.
Among the limitations I’d like to mention is the fact that Fennessy, the talented Chinese manufacturer who created this thoroughly modern and somewhat minimalist gramophone (yes, I consider that bright red “bugle” horn to be minimalist), is a hard-to-reach company – and it is. t currently sells its products in the US.
Although I live in the UK I’m also having trouble finding a UK HiFi dealer who can source one for me. Apparently it’s selling for just over 13,999 yuan (about $2,071, £1,723 or AU$3,000) before duties or shipping, but even that information has been 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 closer look at the photos Fennessy kindly snapped to show off his beautiful creation – an all-in-one Bluetooth turntable system that probably none of us will ever own.
“It’s all make-believe, isn’t it?”
Yes, that’s another Monroe quote, as is, “If I’d obeyed all the rules, I never would have gotten anywhere” — and maybe that’s how you get at one of those gems (not that I’m implying every infraction, you know ).
What I can do is provide you with some specs. The Fennessy Donut i5 comes in at 66 pounds (or 30 kg, so delivery won’t be cheap), and at just over 5 feet tall, it’s also a conversation piece. You get plenty of drivers, too: this horn (or bugle) houses a 10W 1-inch tweeter, and under the deck itself there’s a 40W 6.5-inch front-firing midrange driver, as well as one down 60W 8″ directional woofer.
There is an onboard RIAA phono preamp and a Class D stereo amplifier. So you have a complete plug-and-play turntable – and since there are no analogue or digital outputs, you couldn’t connect it to your existing system even if you wanted to. A single button on the front handles power, input switching and volume.
I’m not sure about that, but I am think the 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 ping your vinyl collection to your best outdoor Bluetooth speaker or your favorite wireless headphones like you can with the Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT, shall we say .
The turntable is belt-driven and features a 2.2-pound all-metal platter with a custom sliding mat (Marylin would ask for nothing less) and the carbon-fiber tonearm comes pre-fitted with an Audio-Technica (AT) tapered bonded diamond tip. magnetic cartridge.
Fennessy’s standard Donut i5 comes with a black wood base and fabric grille, but this charming bugle comes in orange, dragon fruit, red velvet, banana, avocado, chocolate, matcha or milk, all of which sound delicious – but it’s not the one behind that I’m here
This Monroe deck is one of Fennessy’s Special Edition Donut i5s (so named, of course, because records are shaped like donuts), including Van Gogh – a sort of pixelated version of what is arguably the artist’s most famous self-portrait, including a glorious yellow bugle – and the monochromatic quicksand .
To me, these are all works of art. I could put one in every room and be happy. In the age of streaming sites, Dolby Atmos 7.1 surround systems, HEOS and multi-room audio, would I still regret such a purchase? I really doubt it – vinyl’s continued resurgence is no coincidence and that warm analogue sound is lasting.
“We should all start living before we get too old. fear is stupid Thank you Norma Jeane. I will resume my search for a Fennessy Donut i5 soon.