Love vinyl but want streaming too? This fantastic, affordable system ticks both boxes

Turntable streaming system
(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

It’s not often that we at What Hi-Fi? get to test a turntable from a new brand. The vinyl disc, after all, was clearly facing a rapid demise in the early 1980s with the stunning arrival of digital media in the form of the compact disc; or so the hi-fi industry (What Hi-Fi? included) thought. As it turned out, though, not so much. 

It is common knowledge that the turntable is enjoying a great revival, and sales of vinyl records have been on the up for a couple of decades now. Still, a new brand to extol the virtues of the old analogue medium is something of a turn up for the books.

So please join us in welcoming Rekkord Audio (and forgiving its spelling of its name), whose excellent fully automatic turntable is paired here with equally excellent Marantz and WiiM electronics and Wharfedale speakers for one of the most versatile and affordable systems we could build.

The system

Turntable: Rekkord Audio F110

Rekkord Audio F110 turntable playing pink vinyl on wooden hi-fi rack

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

The joy of this deck, as a glimpse at our Rekkord Audio F110 review will tell you, is that not only is it a very fine performer in its own right, but it is also one of those relatively rare beasts, a fully automatic turntable. So all you have to do to enjoy all that your vinyl collection has to offer is to place a record on the platter and hit play. The deck will do all the hard, and potentially stressful, work of lifting the tonearm, moving it into position above the spinning groove, and gently lowering the cartridge into place for the needle then to spiral its way towards the middle of the disc and the music’s end; finally, as a departing party trick, the F110 will pick the arm up again and put it back in place to rest. It’s all rather reassuring – especially for those with less experience of playing records. 

It makes sense, then, to use this new deck as the starting point for an effective, and relatively low-cost, hi-fi system that suits this, the final year of the first quarter of the 21st century, rather nicely. 

Integrated amplifier: Marantz PM6007

Marantz PM6007 in silver showing detail of controls

(Image credit: Marantz)

We marry the Rekkord deck with a perennial favourite budget amplifier – Marantz’s oft-decorated PM6007. Its sonic character is as familiar as its casework: smooth, full-bodied and balanced, with a pleasing spaciousness. As we say in our Marantz PM6007 review, this is about as agreeable a performer as you could ask for at this price. Particularly useful for our purposes here though – to go with the class-leading sound, of course – is that the PM6007 has the phono stage that the base-level Rekkord F110 lacks. And it’s a decent example of the breed. 

Standmount speakers: Wharfedale Diamond 12.1

Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 pair against white backdrop, one with grille attached

(Image credit: Wharfedale)

The third part of our four-piece puzzle here arrives in the form of a fine pair of standmount speakers. The Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 gave us a pleasant surprise when we first reviewed them. At their modest price, these little boxes are fighting against some really very good and nimble standmount rivals. As we say in the review: “Speakers at this level have to achieve a difficult balancing act. They have to be forgiving enough to work with microsystems, but still have the transparency to make the most of dedicated separates components. The Diamond 12.1s manage this task well.”

These speakers have a surprisingly bold and full-bodied presentation. They sound confident and composed in a way that evades most budget rivals, and top that with a good degree of refinement.

Tonally they are smooth and forgiving but remain nicely balanced, with enough in the way of bite. Feed these Wharfedales a poor signal and they will certainly tell you all about it, but they also refuse to over-egg things and that’s an important quality at this level.

We like the reassuring way the Diamonds handle larger-scale dynamics, delivering more in the way of authority and scale than their modest price and size suggest. Low frequencies come through with confidence and more fullness than expected. Impressive stuff for 250 quid.

Streamer: WiiM Pro Plus

WiiM Pro Plus music streamer held in hand in front of house plant and wooden table

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

The system above wouldn’t look out of place back in the early ’80s, however. So, to bring things properly up to date, we complete this hi-fi with the little streaming wonder that is the WiiM Pro Plus. This remarkable piece of kit caused a fair bit of consternation when we tested it – it delivers a performance that can’t be matched for getting on for twice the price. 

Wireless functionality is where it’s at for a music streamer, of course, and the WiiM Pro Plus has plenty going on in this respect. As well as dual-band wi-fi and Bluetooth 5.1 (with SBC and AAC codec compatibility), Chromecast is built in, AirPlay 2 is available too, and the Home control app has support for Spotify Connect, Tidal Connect, Qobuz, Deezer, Amazon Music, Pandora, TuneIn and plenty more slightly less high-profile alternatives too. The app can also access any music stored on a common network thanks to DLNA compatibility.

“The WiiM Pro Plus does its best work when given a big, information-rich high-resolution audio file to work its magic on,” we say in the full review. “But one of the most satisfying things about the entire Pro Plus experience is just how forgiving it is of inferior sources. No matter how compressed or otherwise poverty-stricken the audio information you give it to deal with, the Pro Plus is a clear, detailed and even quite dynamically adept listen.”

And, when used in conjunction with the other members of this set-up, and the addition of some other WiiM products, you could quite easily have your vinyl playing through many rooms in the house at the same time, using the Pro Plus to send the music out from the system. It’s very neat; and, as we say in our conclusion to the review: “It sounds poised and accomplished, it has a surprisingly well-executed control app, and it’s ready to form the basis of a multi-room system too. If you want to do better than this, it’s going to cost you quite a lot more money.”

It rounds out this system really nicely then, as a quartet that does its main job with great enthusiasm and ability, but that has upgrade and multi-room potential at the same time. And all for the price of a decent television; this set-up, though, should provide sterling service for a good deal longer than a TV before it becomes obsolete. 


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Jonathan Evans
Editor, What Hi-Fi? magazine

Jonathan Evans is the editor of What Hi-Fi? magazine, and has been with the title for 17 years or so. He has been a journalist for getting on for three decades now, working on a variety of technology and motoring titles, including Stuff, Autocar and Jaguar. With his background in sub-editing and magazine production, he likes nothing more than a discussion on the finer points of grammar. And golf.