Yamaha’s turntable links past and future

Those who still consider turntables and vinyl the stuff of yesteryear should take a look at the new Yamaha TT-N503: a belt-drive turntable that also includes network connectivity, music streaming and multiroom capability.

At face value, the TT-N503 looks just like a conventional turntable, complete with a sleek plinth, a straight tone-arm fitted with a moving magnet cartridge, and an aluminium platter. But the rear panel reveals some interesting connectivity additions.

Most notable is the Ethernet socket, confirming the Vinyl 500’s network capability. It also offers 802.11 Wi-Fi for wireless network connections and is both Bluetooth and Apple AirPlay compatible.

Built-in UPnP and music streaming not only allows the Yamaha to stream the music from the vinyl record it plays to other devices, but also to access content from streaming services such as Spotify Connect, Tidal and Deezer, while also being able to play music files from NAS devices.

Since the TT-N503 is part of Yamaha’s MusicCast multiroom family, it can connect and share content with any other MusicCast devices on the same network, including MusicCast loudspeakers, soundbars and receivers. That opens the door to completely wireless vinyl playback system. It will even react to voice commands via Amazon’s Alexa system.

Stereo RCA outputs still allow the turntable to be linked up to an amplifier with or without a phono stage in more conventional stereo set-ups. Except for actually placing the record on the turntable and lowering the tonearm, the turntable is controlled via Yamaha’s MusicCast app.

The TT-N503 should go on sale in South Africa in November. Pricing will depend on foreign exchange rates at the time.

Balanced Audio