Sure my CarePack-1 is cheap! Cheap, yes, but it’s not junk by any stretch of the imagination. Cheap junk is made of plastic, the important parts of my CarePack-1 are all metal and wood. Cheap junk sounds tinny or ‘quacky’, not this little system, CarePack-1 sounds ‘warm’ and deep. Cheap junk is disposable and doesn’t last long. I’ve sold versions of this same system for the best part of twenty years and I can still say I’ve never had one in for repair yet. For a cheap sound system, my CarePack-1 is really very, very good.
Brands at the heart of this system are Yamaha and Pro-Ject.
The warm, deep bass from these tiny timber speaker boxes never fails to impress. It doesn’t go ‘loud’ – that’s not what CarePack-1 is about at all – but it’s certainly loud enough to enjoy music. Full-range speakers set into relatively deep ported cabinets produce a sound that is agreeable, honest and musical. It’s kind of what Yamaha ‘natural sound’ stereos have been all about since 1974. Pro-Ject Audio was borne out of a high-end hi-fi in Austria retailer in the 1980s. They have ridden the ‘vinyl revival’ to become one of the biggest specialist audio manufacturers in the world!
The Pro-Ject turntable borrows from high-end turntables of the 1970s and ’80s.
Its timber plinth and platter won’t vibrate along with sound from your speakers and distort the tone. An aluminium headshell and arm tube transfer energy through a sapphire bearing into a heavy brass ring up at the pivot. You find the Pro-Ject Primary turntable has more in common with a $10,000 deck than other turntables in this price-range. The Pro-Ject Primary Phono is deliberately manual – you start the motor and lower the stylus at the start of the record, raise it at the end – because the auto-return mechanism degrades sound quality. High-end turntables don’t have auto-return! It’s this simple high-end ethos that sets Pro-Ject apart from anything else. It comes fitted with a Danish Ortofon cartridge that, itself, retails for over $100. This turntable will give you decades of reliable service and delight with uncluttered sound reproduction.
CDs are serviced by a reliable slot-load mechanism in the Yamaha microsystem.
CarePack-1 plays audio CDS or your own data CDs that could contain hours of continuous MP3 files. Simply push the disc into the front slot and playback begins automatically. Control the system with the remote handset or simplified buttons on the front panel. You can even play continuous music from a USB stick!
DAB+ digital and FM radio is provided by an internal tuner
The system comes with an indoor antenna or it can be connected to an external antenna for improved reception. In Geelong, a TV antenna pointed toward Mt Dandenong is usually sufficient for perfect DAB+ digital radio reception.
Bluetooth allows wireless connection
Connect to a portable music device like your phone or tablet and enjoy free radio services like TuneIn or the ABC ‘Listen’ app allows for hours of entertainment. How much internet does music streaming use? I wrote a blog post that you might be interested in here: http://sbhifi.com.au/internet-chew-through-how-much-internet-will-you-use-to-steam-music/
You can find out more about the cCarePack-1 components here:
Setup and connections are very simple
Just 2 power cords, 2 speaker wires, a patch cord and an antenna: that’s all the cabling you need for CarePack-1. My preferred layout sets one speaker and the microsystem on the right side of the turntable and the second speaker on the left. Ideally, there will be about a metre span between the speakers.