Akai Professional intros BT-500 audiophile belt-drive turntable


Akai Professional has announced the introduction of its one-of-a-kind BT-500 audiophile belt-drive turntable.

Akai Pro BT-500

Responding to the rapidly growing demand for high-performance turntables in the resurgent vinyl market, the BT-500 offers the record enthusiast a unit with no-compromise audiophile performance and luxurious, elegant styling.

However, in addition to its superlative basic turntable performance, the BT-500 offers a unique combination of modern digital technology and convenience features that sets it apart from anything else: The BT-500 is a wireless streaming turntable, so it can send the turntable’s signal to any Bluetooth speaker (not incl.). It has a built-in switchable phono pre-amp so it can be used with a traditional stereo or connected directly to powered speakers. The BT-500 also boasts the ability to convert analog records into digital files with its included on-board software and USB port for quick connection to any computer.

Of course, its basic turntable performance is beyond reproach: it has a quiet belt-drive system with a mechanically-isolated motor that eliminates any residual motor noise and vibration, a heavy die-cast aluminum platter that ensures an exemplary signal-to-noise ratio, a drive system with vanishingly low wow and flutter and a low-mass straight tonearm with precision damped cueing. The unique leveling bubble with adjustable feet ensures a perfectly level installation for optimum sound. A high-quality pre-mounted magnetic cartridge completes the package.

BT-500 features

  • Isolated DC motor and belt-drive system ensures silent operation.
  • Die-cast anti-resonance aluminum platter with heavy non-slip rubber mat.
  • Low-mass tonearm with precision damped cueing.
  • Built-in switchable phono pre-amp for use with powered speakers.
  • Streams music wirelessly to any Bluetooth speaker (speaker not inc’l).
  • Converts vinyl records into digital files via USB connection to computer.
  • Selectable sampling rate: 44.1kHz or 48kHz.
  • 1/8” headphone jack; gold-plated RCA jacks for optimum signal transfer.
  • Unique leveling bubble and adjustable feet keeps unit perfectly level.
  • Heavy MDF base minimizes vibration to eliminate acoustic feedback.
  • Includes dual moving magnet cartridge and removable headshell.
  • 2-speeds: 33 1/3 and 45 RPM.
  • Includes 45 RPM adapter, USB cable, audio cable and AC adapter.
  • Luxurious walnut finish with brushed aluminum controls.

“We’re very excited about the BT-500 turntable and its absolutely unique combination of amazing analog performance and modern digital technology,” said Dan Gill, Product Manager for Akai Professional. “This is a turntable like no other—a traditional audiophile’s dream coupled with incredible cutting-edge digital capability and convenience, all in one unit.”

The BT-500 will have a U.S. retail of $399.99 USD and be available in Q2 2016.

See the full line of Akai Professional equipment, including the BT-100 Bluetooth-streaming/digital conversion turntable (lower-priced companion to the BT-500), at Winter NAMM, Hall A Booth 6700.

More information: Akai Professional

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