This week at CES 2016, Sony added a reference quality turntable, the PS-HX500, to their line-up of hi-res audio products. This turntable accommodates audiophiles who love their LPs and want the best sound possible to come from them while letting you create high-quality rips of vinyl records.
The PS-HX500 uses Sony’s state-of-the-art digital tech resulting in true playback. The built-in A/D converter facilitates hi-res digital transfers up to 5.6 MHz (native DSD) or up to 192KHz/24-bit resolution (WAV files). So the PS-HX500 lets you digitally store your favorite music from your vinyl recordings and then replay them on another hi-res audio device. Another great perk of the PS-HX500 is that it works with a dedicated app for easy editing on both PC and Mac Platforms. Here you can combine tracks or split tracks and save them. All of the files involved will be in Sony’s proprietary DSD file format, so this turntable will work best with other Sony products, like the next-gen Walkmans.
It may be innovative, but that is not to say that all vintage era features are traded out. Much like its predecessor, Sony developed a straight tone arm with a central axis stylus that creates perfect stereo balance. The head shell is low resonance and lightweight with a moving magnetic cartridge that creates well rounded three dimensional sound, even if a record is warped. That’s coupled with a two-speed belt drive system on an aluminum die-cast platter with a thick rubber mat, which stabilizes disc rotation while diminishing vibration. The phono-equalizer is mounted on a glass epoxy circuit for superb structural rigidity. This all sits in a high-density, acoustically inert cabinet that negates vibration and limits resonance.
The PS-HX500 should be available sometime in the spring, but we’re not yet sure about pricing.