Rekkord F100 turntable and Record Doctor X, a fast multiport charger and music streaming without a subscription (Week 50, 2023)

Sound Advice
By Don Lindich

Week 50, 2023

This week’s gift recommendations include a high performance, high value USB multi-charger and two excellent products for vinyl lovers.

Vimifuso PD3.1 Charger, $35.99: This charger provides tons of power, speed and flexibility in a compact package. Suitable for use at home and for travel, it has six ports, comprised of four USB-C ports and two regular USB ports. It can also power a USB-C laptop, making it potentially the only charger you need. Having so many ports, especially USB-C ports, allows you to charge a phone, a tablet, a Bluetooth speaker, headphones, earbuds and one additional item simultaneously from a single AC outlet, which saves on clutter in your computer bag or backpack and your home. The Vimifuso PD3.1 lists for $44.95 on Amazon and is an excellent value at that price, but it is currently on sale with a 20% checkbox coupon to bring the price down to $35.99, making it an even better buy.

Record Doctor X Record Cleaning Machine, $599: Though ultrasonic record cleaning machines are all the rage these days, I still prefer a vacuum record cleaning machine for the thorough cleaning, ease of use, fast operation and simple cleaning process. A good record cleaning-machine will change the life of a vinyl lover, and it is very hard to do better than the Record Doctor X. Based on the best-selling manual version of the Record Doctor, the Record Doctor X is motorized and has simultaneous suction on both the top and bottom of the record to make cleaning even easier and more efficient than before. One thing I like about having a record cleaning machine is it makes buying used vinyl is even more appealing, since you know you can clean it easily and throughly and get rid of a lot of, if not all of the surface noise from dust and dirt. Buy one of these for anyone who likes to buy used records or who has a substantial collection, and they will flip! (No pun intended.)

Rekkord F100 Automatic Turntable, $399: I often receive emails requesting recommendations for an affordable automatic turntable, and when I reply I typically explain the advantages of buying a manual model. The best budget turntables are manual, and buying an automatic turntable typically involved serious sonic and build quality compromises. This has changed with the Rekkord F100. The Rekkord F100 is handmade in Germany out of 99% German parts, in an over 100-year-old factory responsible for making some of the most iconic and desirable automatic turntables of the past 50 years. A built-in phono preamp means it can be connected directly to your amplifier or even a pair of powered speakers, and a cartridge is pre-mounted to complete the package. I am looking forward to including it in my system recommendations in the years to come, now that you can get excellent quality with automatic convenience.

Q. My 11-year-old grandson wants to listen to his favorite music using wireless headphones, so I bought him a pair of Beats. The problem is that all he has is a Samsung tablet, no phone, no music streaming subscription. Is it possible for me to buy him a gift card to download music to the tablet? If not, is there any other affordable option?

-A.A., New York, NY

A. You can get him an Amazon gift card and he can buy MP3s on Amazon Music. Both albums and individual music tracks are available. All he will need is the Amazon Music app. Please note you will have to register an Amazon account under an adult’s name to buy the music.