House Of Marley Stir It Up Wireless Turntable Review Belt Driven Bamboo Record Player

Tuesday, February 08, 2022

When Bob Marley's soothing voice and blissful music hits you, you feel no pain! The song "Stir It Up" is one of Bob Marley's most peaceful songs and also House Of Marley's first wireless turntable in their audio line up! 

The Stir It Up Wireless Turntable is a belt driven record player - same as the new Stir It Up Lux turntable version - with a detachable drive belt platter, which has to be manually installed by the user, although it is fairly straight forward and, there are only two steps to it. First step is to mount the platter over the turntable spindle and then, attach the drive belt around the motor pulley. The drive belt is literary an elastic rubber band, which is thin and flat and, it's attached around the base of the platter. The platter is the thick aluminum metal disk driving the rubber belt. The platter weighs 636 grams and has notched teeth around its base to prevent the platter from slipping off.

When the platter is mounted, you have to loop a finger through one of the hole openings on the platter and pull the rubber band over the motor pulley. It literary takes a few seconds and no special tools needed. Once the drive belt platter is installed, you can place the included rubber mat on top of it. The rubber mat is made of recycled silicone and weighs 183 grams.

A counterweight is also included with the Stir It Up Wireless Turntable, which is useful to prevent the weight of the cantilever tonearm from damaging the vinyl record. Once the counterweight is attached to the back of the tonearm, you can rotate it to lower the vertical pressure of the tonearm so, that the stylus needle doesn't press too hard against the vinyl record. The counterweight is a weighty (90 grams) piece of metal with a knurled texture backing and line markings on the front. Like with most turntables, there is a cue lever too, which is allows you to gently lower the tonearm so that the stylus needle doesn't break or scratch the record.

The House Of Marley Stir It Up Wireless Turntable weighs a little over 3kg (3126 grams) and measures 42cm long, 35cm deep and 7cm high. It is made of a solid bamboo plinth and branded on top with a metal House Of Marley badge. The bottom half side of the plinth is covered with canvas cloth material all around it. The base of the turntable is rubberized and contains four spring loaded rubber feet, as well as standard securing screws, which allows you to easily open up the unit and access the RIAA pre-amp should need to replace it.

On the backside of the Stir It Up Wireless Turntable, there are 3 connectivity ports (DC input, RCA line out and USB out) and the pre-amp switch built-into a metal plate. When the pre-amp switch is turned off it produces a phono output signal, which is a very low audio signal, although you can still hear it. On the front side of the turntable, there is a 3.5mm audio port housed inside a square metal plate. The audio port can be used for headphones or for connecting external speakers too.

The Stir It Up Wireless Turntable components are primarily made of recycled aluminum. These include the cartridge enclosure, speed (RPM) control knob (45 RPM and 33 RPM), outer ring and bluetooth volume knob. The bluetooth button (small black button) is also made of aluminum metal, as well as the tonearm main weight and anti-skating control knob. 


The base holding the tonearm is made of plastic. The RPM knob and bluetooth volume knob have a grippy knurled texture and they also have a strong resistance, which provides a very satisfying control. The tonearm has a laser engraved quote of Bob Marley, which reads "One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain". The quote is from Bob Marley's Trench Town Rock song, which he wrote with The Wailers' in their 1975 album - The African Herbsman. 

The bluetooth volume knob only works when the turntable is connected to a bluetooth speaker. When the turntable is connected via RCA to 3.5mm connection, the volume has to be adjusted from the external speaker. The Stir It Up Wireless Turntable uses a bluetooth 5.0 chip, which allows the turntable to wireless stream audio to an external bluetooth speaker. Being bluetooth 5.0, it is backwards compatible so, you should be able to connect the Stir It Up Wireless Turntable to a bluetooth 4.2 speaker too.

The USB to PC/MAC recording feature can be a good selling point too for those who like digital music. The Stir It Up Wireless Turntable can be connected to a Windows computer or Mac computer for recording vinyl records into digital files, using Audacity, which is a third party audio software.

Because the Stir It Up Wireless Turntable doesn't have built-in speakers, there is no way to connect it to a phone or tablet to stream music, which would have been neat. The House Of Marley Stir It Up Wireless Turntable comes inside an eye-catchy outer packaging box, which is well packaged with protective cardboard padding and alongside several accessories neatly stored.

Accessories include an RCA to 3.5mm cable (1.7 meters), a USB-A to USB-B computer cable (1 meters), a 3W power supply with interchangeable plugs and 1.3 meters long DC barrel cable, as well as a thick canvas cloth (weighs 110 grams) for covering the top half of the turntable and prevent dust and water spillages. While the included cloth is useful, some turntables come with a hard plastic cover built-in, which is more effective at protecting the turntable.

The user friendly design of the Stir It Up Wireless Turntable means you can easily replace most parts such as the drive belt, which is the weakest part of a belt driven record player. The cartridge is also user replaceable and needs to be changed periodically - usually after 1000 hours of record playing time. The cartridge will require a screwdriver and pliers to remove.

The included user guide is detailed enough for getting a first time user started. That said, the user guide does not list any details on how to replace any of these parts, which would have been useful since turntable cartridges aren't universal. There is also no schematics included either, which would have been a good selling point for those interested in right to repair. Aside from a 45 RPM adapter, which is sold on the House Of Marley website, there aren't any other replacement parts being sold for the Stir It Up Wireless Turntable.

When buying the Stir It Up turntable, be aware that there is a wireless version (seen pictured on this review) and a regular non-wireless version. Both are virtually the same with the same price tag too. The only notable difference is the bluetooth feature you get with the wireless version. You can buy the Stir It Up Wireless and standard Stir It Up from amazon.

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