House of Marley – Stir It Up Review
By Kareem Hamwi on 09 Jun,2019
We here at OFOUR believe there’s something to be said about listening to music the old-fashioned way. A classic record player and a vinyl plays music in a way that can’t be heard in today’s digital world. I may even forgive hipsters and old-school thinkers for complaining about what music sounds like today. But we’re in 2019; how would we even attempt to replicate that sound authentically?
Well, thankfully House of Marley are one of the companies who wanted to deliver something to satisfy that market. Named after a song Bob Marley and The Wailers recorded in 1967, House of Marley made the Stir It Up record player – a record player built with more than just modern technology, it is also made of recycled material; thus helping the environment! Can’t dock them any points there. Anything that helps the environment is always given bonus points in my book. In fact, House of Marley’s whole premise is sustainability, and this product was even released on Earth Day!
They tried to include as little plastic as possible, but where they had to, they made it from recycled plastic. Even the packaging is made of recycled materials. The wood is made of bamboo because bamboo is the most sustainable and fastest growing wood. Bamboo also has great acoustic resonance properties, so there was a technical reason for that too. The speed control (or the knob that controls the speed) is made of recycled aluminum. The fabric is made of recycled material including hemp. Point is, wherever you look, you’ll find they kept environmentalism in mind.
The turntable comes with a regrind silicone matt for the platter, a counterweight, RCA cables, different plugs for whatever your country region requires, and a soft dust cover. It’s also built with a pre-amp that you can turn on and off depending on what you require.
Visually, the turntable looks amazing. It ticks every aesthetic box on the list; but how is it functionally? Well, in the video, I couldn’t play any records because we’d get flagged for copyright infringement, so you’ll just have to take our word for it.
I’m no audio expert or audiophile, nor am I super picky about sound quality; so, I honestly have to say these sounded just fine to me. I mean, these aren’t the top of the line, high-quality, blow-your-mind turntables – there are better ones on the market for sure – but if you like it for the looks and are fine with good (not the best) sound, then this is for you. I have friends who are quite snobbish with their music and say they would prefer other sets, but I personally liked the Stir it Up.
There are two actual downsides but they’re not major. First of all, there’s no “start button”. By that I mean there’s no button to automatically move the needle to the record. It’ll have to be done manually, but that’s not the worst thing in the world. Second thing to point out is the tone arm is hard to balance. The counterweight can just pull the back end of the tone arm down onto the bamboo and the anti-skate control (that is meant to work alongside the counterweight) doesn’t always do what it’s supposed to.
But there is a magic balance, and it’ll take you a few minutes trying to find it; but when you do, you’ll be good to go and ready to listen to all your favorite vinyl records.
All in all, this is a good mid-range turntable that anyone who wants it to act as both turntable and a home décor piece. The Stir it Up looks amazing, that’s a definite. It’s environmentally friendly in regards to its manufacturing, and lastly the sound quality is good. I’d say this is a buy!