Rekkord Audio F300: an audiophile automatic turntable

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Borrowing the aesthetic of iconic 80s models, the Rekkord Audio F300 turntable has an entirely automatic design. Thanks to its pre-mounted cartridge that is adjusted in the brand’s factory, the Rekkord Audio F300 is designed to be quick and easy to install and use. Available for €549, will it be able to compete with big names in the automatic turntable market such as Thorens and Audio-Technica?

Rekkord Audio F300 usine
The Rekkord Audio F300 is an entirely automatic model equipped with a pre-installed Audio-Technica AT91 cartridge.

Rekkord Audio F300: packaging & accessories

The Rekkord Audio F300 comes in simple packaging. Inside of the plain cardboard box is the turntable’s chassis, held in place by two polystyrene blocks. The platter and its cover are kept in place with a cardboard insert. The cartridge is mounted and the alignment is preset, but the counterweight is not installed. It is individually wrapped and must be fitted by the user.

The contents of the box are as follows:

  • The ​​Rekkord Audio F300 turntable and Audio-Technica AT91 cartridge
  • An aluminum platter and a platter mat
  • A dust cover
  • Hinges to install the cover
  • A counterweight
  • A mains adapter
  • A 45 RPM adapter

Rekkord Audio F300: the brand

The German brand Rekkord Audio arrived on the vinyl market in 2021 and offers turntables handcrafted in St. Georgen, in the Black Forest region of Germany. Although the name Rekkord Audio is not yet well known in the hi-fi industry, the company boasts several decades of expertise: its turntables come straight from the Fehrenbacher factories, which also produce Dual turntables. This explains their familiar look. 99% of the components used in Rekkord Audio turntables are also made in Germany and come from nearby factories to guarantee a high level of quality.

Rekkord Audio F300 lifestyle
Rekkord Audio’s turntables are built in the Fehrenbacher factories that also produce Dual turntables.

Rekkord Audio’s catalog includes a range of automatic turntables, a specialty of the brand. This range features the following entry-level models: the Rekkord Audio F100 and its preamplifier version the Rekkord Audio F100P, the Rekkord Audio F110 and the F110P (preamp version). It also includes the Rekkord Audio F300 and Rekkord Audio F400 mid-range models. With this series of entirely automatic turntables, Rekkord Audio competes with big names such as Thorens and Audio-Technica. 

Rekkord Audio also offers two high-end manual models, the Rekkord Audio M500 and Rekkord Audio M600, respectively equipped with pre-mounted Ortofon 2M Blue and Ortofon Quintet Red cartridges.

Rekkord Audio M600
The brand’s flagship model, the Rekkord Audio M600, is equipped with an Ortofon Quintet Red moving coil cartridge.

Rekkord Audio F300: presentation

The Rekkord Audio F300 is an automatic belt-drive model equipped with a pre-installed Audio-Technica AT91 cartridge. It consists of a vinyl-coated MDF chassis combined with a sub chassis to ensure optimal vibration absorption. The tonearm, platter base and selectors are mounted on the sub chassis to effectively decouple the entire playback unit and isolate it from the unwanted vibrations that cause distortion. The turntable’s chassis is mounted on four damping feet to reduce resonance and provide the best possible detail extraction.

Rekkord Audio F300 dessus
The Rekkord Audio F300 turntable’s structure is composed of a chassis and decoupled sub chassis to isolate the entire playback unit from unwanted vibrations.

At the back of the turntable, the power connector and RCA phono cable are built into the chassis. This design can be found on vintage Dual models of course, but also on Rega turntables. However, Rega differs by using a thicker cable that seems to be of higher quality. Dual and Rekkord Audio are content with a standard RCA cable that we would have gladly changed.

Rekkord Audio F300 arrière
The Rekkord Audio F300 turntable’s RCA phono cable is built into the back of the chassis.

The Rekkord Audio F300’s tonearm is a proprietary 21cm ultra-low mass (ULM) model with steel ball bearings designed to produce a minimum of friction for smooth and steady playback. The headshell is a fixed carbon fiber model, which provides high rigidity and optimizes vibration damping. It is compatible with the 1/2″ mounting format, making it easy to replace the original cartridge. The ULM tonearm of the Rekkord F300 turntable benefits from a magnetic anti-skating system developed to allow for both simple and ultra-precise adjustment.

Rekkord Audio F300 Ortofon 2M Red
The Rekkord Audio F300 turntable features an ultra-low mass tonearm and carbon fiber headshell for optimal vibration damping.

The Rekkord Audio F300’s platter is made of aluminum and comes with a mat for better coupling with the record. It is placed on an axis with a sub platter that is connected to an electronically controlled motor via a belt. The rotation speed can be easily changed from 33 to 45 revolutions per minute using the switch located on the right of the platter. Below the speed switch is the start/stop switch. There is another switch above the speed control to lower and raise the tonearm.

Rekkord Audio F300 détail sélecteurs
Simply set the switch to start to activate the rotation of the platter and move the tonearm to the beginning of the groove.

Rekkord Audio F300: key specifications

  • Automatic belt-drive turntable
  • Speed: 33 and 45 RPM
  • Electronic speed adjustment
  • Rekkord Audio ultra-low mass tonearm
  • Pre-installed Audio-Technica AT91 cartridge
  • Included dust cover

Rekkord Audio F300: configuration

For our review, we paired the Rekkord Audio F300 turntable with the Thorens M-008 phono preamplifier which was connected to the Cayin CS-55A KT88 tube hi-fi amplifier using a NorStone Skye RCA cable. The Cayin amplifier powered a pair of Focal Chorus 726 floorstanding speakers and was connected to them using Viard Audio Premium HD cables. During our review, we also replaced the Audio-Technica AT-91 cartridge in order to test the turntable’s performance with cartridges in different price ranges. First, we mounted the Ortofon 2M Red moving magnet cartridge priced at €105. Then, we tried the Audio-Technica VM540ML. When we swapped the cartridges, we readjusted the alignment using the Ortofon digital stylus pressure gauge and set the tracking force using the Elipson digital scale.

Balance numérique Elipson
The Elipson digital scale is our go-to tool to quickly and easily set the tracking force.

To set up the Rekkord Audio F300, you simply have to place a record on the platter and set the lower switch to start and the table does the rest. Very practical for an evening with friends for example, the fully automatic mechanism allows you to play records quickly without worrying about anything. Once playback is finished, the tonearm is raised and returns automatically to its support.

The model we received for this test had a nice finish and an elegant vinyl coating that looked like light oak. However, the plastic switches looked a bit fragile. We would have preferred for them to have a nicer finish, like the potentiometers found on Thorens turntables, for example.

Rekkord Audio F300 détail
The Rekkord Audio F300’s light oak vinyl covering has a very realistic texture and a perfect finish.

Rekkord Audio F300: listening impressions

With the Audio-Technica AT91 cartridge, the Rekkord Audio F300 turntable was good for a model in this price range. We couldn’t hear any background noise and the sound was quite warm. With Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, the Rekkord Audio F300’s performance was satisfactory, without really carrying us away. The table’s potential seemed to be bridled, with a restricted soundstage. However, it didn’t suffer from any excessive distortion.

We could immediately hear the difference when we replaced the original cartridge with the Ortofon 2M Red. The soundstage became wider and gained depth. The sound was more dynamic. With the album Hisaishi meets Miyazaki Films, we found the spatialization to be realistic with distinctly layered sounds. On the track “One Summer’s Day” from the soundtrack of the movie Spirited Away, the piano was rendered with a rich and convincing tone and the upswings benefited from great dynamics that gave the track all its impact.

Ortofon 2M Red
The Rekkord Audio F300 and Ortofon 2M Red pairing provided richer tones and better dynamics.

The Rekkord Audio F300 and Audio-Technica VM540ML pairing was a real revelation and the turntable was able to show its full potential. The Micro Line stylus cartridge uncovered all of the details in the groove. The warm and noise-free sound signature of the turntable was a perfect match for the precision and breadth of the Audio-Technica cartridge. The soundstage gained in breadth and amplitude, without the reproduction becoming clinical or excessively focused on the highs. Returning to Dark Side of the Moon, we were able to rediscover both the album and the turntable. The album’s famous stereo effects were reproduced with great smoothness thanks to a coherent and well controlled sound.

With the album On the Corner by Miles Davis (MoFi Original Master Recording version), the Rekkord Audio F300 and Audio-Technica VM540ML pairing was very impressive. This challenging recording was reproduced without any sibilance. The percussion effects filled the soundstage on both the left and right, while the bassline had a fullness and precision that made it a solid foundation for Davis’ sonic experimentations.

Audio-Technica VM540ML
The Rekkord Audio F300 and Audio-Technica VM540ML cartridge provided a dynamic and detailed sound with a realistic sense of scale.

Rekkord Audio F300: compared to…

Audio-Technica AT-LP3: sold for €299, Audio-Technica’s automatic turntable is equipped with an integrated phono preamplifier and an SME removable headshell. A feature that is only found in the Rekkord Audio F400. However, when it comes to build quality and resonance control, the Rekkord Audio F300 is the undisputed winner.

Thorens TD 102 A: equipped with an integrated phono preamplifier, this automatic model from Thorens is available for €890. The Thorens TD 102 A’s carbon tonearm also uses a magnetic anti-skating system and is equipped with an entry-level Audio-Technica cartridge. While the Rekkord Audio F300 turntable offers great sound performance and a solid build, it falls just short of the Thorens turntable. The F300 is an excellent alternative for those looking to get something similar to the Thorens model with a smaller budget and who don’t have the need for an integrated preamplifier.

Installation Rekkord Audio F300
Together with the Thorens MM-008 preamplifier and the Cayin CS-55A KT88 tube hi-fi amplifier, the Rekkord Audio turntable offered a warm sound that made us want to continue listening to album after album.

Rekkord Audio F300: who is it for?

The Rekkord Audio F300 turntable is very simple to use and has a vast and easily accessible potential. It is designed for fans of 33 and 45 RPM records looking for a turntable with an elegant retro design that is easy to set up. You can enjoy your vinyl records simply by flicking a switch. Easy to use by connecting it directly to the phono input of a compatible hi-fi amplifier, it can also be upgraded by being associated with a higher quality phono preamplifier and cartridge.

Rekkord Audio F300: conclusion

The Rekkord Audio F300 turntable impresses with its build quality and its compatibility with many different cartridges. Its automatic design and anti-vibration structure make it a great choice for those who want to obtain a great performance and fully enjoy the sound signature of a cartridge, all with great ease of use. The finish of the Rekkord Audio F300 turntable’s chassis makes it easy to integrate anywhere. A straightforward turntable that will charm both audiophile collectors and beginners looking for an upgradable model.

We liked

  • The retro design
  • The ease of use
  • The fact that it can be upgraded
  • The wood finish

We would have liked

  • Higher-quality switches 
  • A removable RCA cable

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Amateur de disques vinyle et passionné d'obscurs sous-genres musicaux, mes préférences cinématographiques s'orientent vers les films d'horreur, des classiques Universal aux slashers et films fantastiques des années 80, ainsi que vers la période américaine d'Alfred Hitchcock. Côté matériel je privilégie une installation hi-fi épurée et sobre pour l'écoute de supports physiques et l'utilisation d'un ensemble DAC / écouteurs intra-auriculaires pour les plateformes de musique dématérialisée telles que Qobuz et Bandcamp.

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