Monoprice Monolith Turntables
I don’t know if you have been paying attention, but Monoprice has decided to get into the AV game big time. They’ve long been purveyors of mounts, stands, cables, and other accessories. But recently, through their Monolith brand, Monoprice has branched out into subwoofers, speakers, and now turntables.
As you’d expect from Monoprice, the Monolith turntables are an exceptional value. They come in two flavors – a $200 model and two $250 models. The two $250 models are exactly the same except for the finish on the turntable. In fact, all three are built on identical technology. The difference in prices is because of different cartridges. Let’s take a closer look!
Three Cartridges, One Platform
If you glance over the specs of all three turntables, you’ll notice that the only differences are in the cartridges. These have been sourced from Audio-Technica and the more expensive models (the 600046 and 600047) sport the Audio-Technica AT-VM95E cartridge while the 600045 has the AT-3600L cartridge. Everything else about these turntables (other than the finishes) is exactly the same.
Monoprice Monolith Turntables Features
All three turntables from Monoprice’s Monolith line have carbon fiber arms, counterweights, and anti-skating systems. The turntables have belt drives and aluminum die-cast platters. The two knobs are machined aluminum and control start/stop and speed (33 1/3 or 45 RPM). All the turntables have a clear dust cover.
The Monolith turntables feature a ton of connections, sure to please any user. They have line-level and phono-level outputs. This means you can use the internal preamp or add an external one if you prefer. For a wireless connection, they have Bluetooth to stream to your playback device (AV receiver normally). On top of that, there is a USB connection that can be sent to an outboard DAC or computer.
The big difference between the two turntables is the cartridge. The more expensive offerings (the 600046 and 600047 priced at $250) come in either gloss black or walnut finishes. The AT-VM95E cartridge has an elliptical stylus and provides 4.0 mV of output. Since all the VM cartridges are interchangeable, you can swap this one out for a more expensive (and theoretically more capable) version if you like. The AT-VM95E cartridge retails for $69.
The less expensive 600045 model ($200 retail) comes only in gloss black. The AT-3600L cartridge has been around for a long time and is considered one of the best budget cartridges on the market. Retailing for $24, it features a conical shape.
Are These Turntables Unique?
Whenever we see a new product from a manufacturer that hasn’t been in that sector, we often wonder. Is this a new product or a rebadge of something else? That happens far more often than you think. Since Audio-Technica cartridges were used with these Monolith by Monoprice turntables, it would make sense that perhaps they had just licensed one of their turntables and slapped the Monolith logo on it.
That doesn’t seem to be the case. We’ve looked through the Audio-Technica offerings, as well as done a search online, and couldn’t find anything that matches. This indicates that these turntables from Monoprice are their own creation. They only outsourced the cartridges. Given how well respected Audio-Technica is in this field, that doesn’t seem to be a bad choice!
Every so often someone will ask us about turntables. We love having budget offerings to suggest. For a long time, Audio-Technica was our go-to choice. With the new Monoprice Monolith turntables, we now have another!
For more information, visit Monoprice.com.