Regarding any downsides, I have only a few nits to pick with the PolyTable. One concern arose after I had borrowed the stellar Constellation Perseus phonostage preamp from JV. As it turned out, I could not actually connect the PolyTable and the Perseus because the RCA plugs of the Jelco ’arm would not separate far enough to span the distance between the preamp’s widely spaced right and left-channel inputs. Obviously, this would not be a real-world pairing anyway, but I wanted to mention this just in case folks at home have phonostages with inputs that aren’t positioned in a close side-by-side configuration.
On the aesthetic front, some might find the GEM a little too light and stripped-down-looking. Personally, as noted, I think it has its charms. The PolyTable is actually more substantial and somewhat heavier that photos of it suggest. In keeping with its minimalist overall design, changing speeds from 33 1/3 to 45rpm involves removing the top platter, lifting the little rubber belt, and moving it from the smaller sheave on the pulley to the larger one beneath it. Talk about hands-on! A certain analog-hound audiophile I know (who shall remain nameless) was vaguely appalled by this, but I didn’t mind it at all. I felt more “in touch” with the ’table—kind of like my preference for cars with manual transmissions. I feel like I’m actually driving the thing.
Of course, keeping an eye on belt or general mechanical/motor wear-and-tear is part of belt-driven-turntable ownership. Listening will inform you of any major problems. Not that I foresee a problem with the GEM. Even though we’re talking about a ’table that’s intended to be fairly entry-level and basic, it has still been designed and built with a care and quality that should keep it running happily (and keep you listening happily) for years and years to come.
If you’re an analog lover who doesn’t have a big living space and/or a big budget, this high-value, small-footprint, belt-driven turntable could be just your ticket. From setup to playback to overall musical enjoyment, I found the PolyTable to be a delight in every way. It avoids fuss and frills, boasting a sleek, modern form, while its sturdy, two-piece platter, easy-to-install bearing, and adjustable feet make for easy assembly and operation. Additional optional accessories include a clear PolyCover ($49) and a PolyWeight ($59). If you’re seeking more features and flexibility than a typical mass-market turntable offers, give this rather unique-looking number a look—and a listen. With both the mm and mc cartridges I tried, the PolyTable delivered serious analog pleasure worthy of far bigger bucks. A gem, indeed.
SPECS & PRICING
Type: Belt-driven turntable with two platters
Tonearm: Jelco SA-250 (SA-750D or SA-750E can be specified)
Speeds: 33rpm and 45rpm
Dimensions: 18" x 7" x 12" (18.5" with SA-750E 10" tonearm)
Weight: 12 lbs.
GEM DANDY PRODUCTS, INC.
820 Herbert Rd.
Cordova, TN 38018