VINYL LIVES: Rock ‘N’ Rolla Jr. Offers A Decent Option For The Vinyl Novice

So maybe you’re not an “audiophile”, or maybe you just don’t have time to comb Craigslist and ebay looking for that mint condition record player and stereo system. Or, maybe, you just want something easy and casual, you know, because maybe that’s how you listen to records. If you consider yourself part of any of these realms, the good folks behind the Rock ‘N’ Rolla are on your team.

These Portable Briefcase Turntables are sort of record players for the common man. They come in three different models; a lower tier (Jr.), mid-tier (Premium), and top (XL). I have spent the last month giving the Jr. a spin. As you may have guessed, the difference between each model comes down to size and added features. The Jr. is your bare bones basic record player with three speed playback (33/45/78) with selectable automatic stop function, two high quality full range dynamic speakers, headphone and external speaker outputs, USB encoding to record and backup vinyl directly to a memory stick and three input options for connecting digital devices. The more expensive models include features like a CD player and Bluetooth capabilities, both useful but also negligible if you want to save a buck. One thing that seems like a major plus is the fact that the Premium and XL models include a rechargeable lithium battery pack. Having the option to play records wherever you want is pretty freakin’ cool and almost seems worth shelling out an extra thirty bucks for.

It’s unlikely that the audio quality is better or worse with each model, and it’s about as decent as you would expect from a portable record player. This means it’s not great, but not too bad either. After all, you’re sacrificing audio quality for the ability to take this little box with you wherever you may go. What is impressive about the Jr. model is how lightweight it is, seemingly less than that of an empty briefcase it is made to look like.

For someone just getting into vinyl, the Rock ‘N’ Rolla Jr. is a properly priced introduction. This explains why it’s for sale at places like Target and Urban Outfitters. The kind of people who obsess over audio quality and record collections don’t shop at those places. Compared to the garbage that is Crosley, the Rock ‘N’ Rolla is a perfectly good accessory for any music lover, and if all you want to do is throw a record on from time to time, this little machine will get the job done.

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4 thoughts on “VINYL LIVES: Rock ‘N’ Rolla Jr. Offers A Decent Option For The Vinyl Novice

  1. Tom of Texas Reply

    I guess my description of “decent” differs from the author. Portable playback systems rarely have an arm that won’t accelerate the wear of vinyl and this one looks no different from the BSR and lesser options of the past. Tiny speakers guarantee caca playback. Was there a free sample kept by the author as payback for the writeup?

  2. Mike Reply

    As yes, another elitist who completely misses the point of this product. This is not an audiophile unit. It is a fun, retro item that happens to be very popular at the moment. No it’s not going to please the purist, but they are not the target audience. This appeals to the thrift store flea market record buyer who wants to experience vinyl records. Something many of them never saw let alone heard. Most record players ( yes, these are record players, not turntables) were portable units like this that were carried around with a bag of 45s. Only later were more serious versions popular. I have found truly classic rock records that are a joy to listen to, but I wouldn’t attempt to play them on my high end turntable. Believe me, the heavy tone arm and cheap stylus are fine for tracking used records that have seen far worse. Besides, the trendy 180 gram records don’t play well at all on the light tracking force of more sophisticated players. Tinny sound was part of the charm because we could carry it anywhere and listen. I even had a Singer (yep, the sewing machine company) player that ran on 6 D batteries and could literally go anywhere. We had great times sitting in the park spinning records and loving it. That’s the experience these units offer. And it a great thing that some of the landfill fodder can be enjoyed again. And as for freebies why would anyone give a good review to a piece of crap because the were getting a piece of crap in return…

  3. Ezra Reply

    And these stores hzve the ability to provide rings at affordable prices for their low overheads.
    In the conclusion she’ll develop the perfect ring on her behalf taste and you’ll be the
    hero with the show. Thhe cost is often inflated iin line with market demand.

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