‘Downton Abbey’ Movie Isn’t Streaming Yet, Sorry

Downton Abbey: A New Era, the latest feature-length film drawn from the popular period drama series, hit US theaters Friday. But fans who want to take it in from the comfort of home will need to wait a while before it’s available on a streaming service. 

Last year, an unprecedented number of new theatrical movies streamed online the same day they hit cinemas. But this year, as COVID-19 restrictions have eased and audiences have returned to cinemas, the practice has nearly vanished. Pretty much all movies now get at least a month and a half in theaters exclusively — often longer. 

Where is Downton Abbey: A New Era streaming?

For now, nowhere. The latest Downton Abbey movie is being released exclusively in theaters at first. 

But it’ll stream on Peacock eventually. The Downton Abbey movie is being distributed in the US by Focus Features, which is owned by NBCUniversal. Peacock is owned by the same company, and the service has a deal to be the first place to stream movies distributed by Focus. 

Where can I stream the original Downton Abbey show and its 2019 theatrical film? 

If you want to catch up on Downton Abbey’s past, all six seasons of the show are currently streaming on both Peacock and Amazon Prime Video in the US, and Peacock is also streaming the 2019 Downton Abbey movie. 

When will Downton Abbey: A New Era start streaming? 

Peacock hasn’t confirmed the streaming release date for the movie yet. But the publicly announced terms of Peacock’s deal to stream movies like A New Era gives us a timeframe to expect it. Downtown Abbey is likely to start streaming sometime after it has 45 days in theaters but before hitting four months since its theatrical release. 

If the Downton Abbey movie hit Peacock exactly after the 45-day period, then it would become available to stream there on or around July 5. 

But if it takes nearly the full four months before landing on Peacock, then the movie would start streaming sometime in mid- to late September. 

Will Downton Abbey be free to stream on Peacock? 

No, Peacock routinely puts new movies like Downton Abbey: A New Era behind its paywall. 

If you don’t already have a premium Peacock subscription, you’ll need to sign up for a $5-a-month or a $10-a-month premium tier if you want to watch A New Era or any of Peacock’s other paywalled programming (like YellowstonePremier League matchesWWE, The Office and other popular stuff.)

Peacock has some deals that could reduce — or even eliminate — your cost of being a premium member.  

But the movie is expected to be available to Peacock premium subscribers without any additional fee. So if you’re already a premium subscriber to Peacock, then you’ll be able to stream Downton Abbey just like anything else on the service. 

How long will Downtown Abbey: A New Era be on Peacock? 

Once the Downton Abbey movie arrives on Peacock, it’s expected to stay there for four months. 


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Refinance Rates for May 20, 2022: Rates Keep Declining This Week

A few closely followed refinance rates declined again today, as they have been since the start of this week. Both 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed refinances saw their mean rates drop. In addition, the average rate on 10-year fixed refinance also sank.

Though refinance rates do fluctuate slightly on a daily basis, homeowners can expect to see rates rise over the course of this year. In recent months, rates have been trending up from historic lows seen during the pandemic, and are now closer to 2018 rate levels. That means if you’re looking to shave dollars and interest off your current monthly mortgage payments, these could be the lowest rates of 2022. Make sure to think about your goals and circumstances, and compare offers to find a lender who can meet your needs.

30-year fixed-rate refinance

The current average interest rate for a 30-year refinance is 5.33%, a decrease of 20 basis points over this time last week. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) One reason to refinance to a 30-year fixed loan from a shorter loan term is to lower your monthly payment. If you’re having difficulties making your monthly payments currently, a 30-year refinance could be a good option for you. In exchange for the lower monthly payments though, rates for a 30-year refinance will typically be higher than 15-year and 10-year refinance rates. You’ll also pay off your loan slower.

15-year fixed-rate refinance

The average rate for a 15-year fixed refinance loan is currently 4.68%, a decrease of 15 basis point from what we saw the previous week. With a 15-year fixed refinance, you’ll have a larger monthly payment than a 30-year loan. But you’ll save more money over time, because you’re paying off your loan quicker. 15-year refinance rates are typically lower than 30-year refinance rates, which will help you save even more in the long run.

10-year fixed-rate refinance

For 10-year fixed refinances, the average rate is currently at 4.65%, a decrease of 14 basis points from what we saw the previous week. A 10-year refinance will typically feature the highest monthly payment of all refinance terms, but the lowest interest rate. A 10-year refinance can help you pay off your house much quicker and save on interest. However, you should analyze your budget and current financial situation to make sure you’ll be able to afford the higher monthly payment.

Where rates are headed

At the start of the pandemic, refinance rates dropped to historic lows, but now interest rates are hovering around pre-pandemic levels. The Federal Reserve recently raised rates for the second time in 2022, and plans to increase them several more times throughout the year. Given this policy, along with strong economic growth and inflation, which reached its highest in four decades, rates are expected to keep going up this year. While there have been some temporary dips in interest rates, it’s impossible to predict when another drop might occur. That means it’s a good idea to try to take advantage of refinancing now and lock in a decent rate.

We track refinance rate trends using data collected by Bankrate, which is owned by CNET’s parent company. Here’s a table with the average refinance rates reported by lenders across the US:

Average refinance interest rates

Product Rate Last week Change
30-year fixed refi 5.33% 5.53% -0.20
15-year fixed refi 4.68% 4.83% -0.15
10-year fixed refi 4.65% 4.79% -0.14

Rates as of May 20, 2022.

How to find the best refinance rate

When looking for refinance rates, know that your specific rate may differ from those advertised online. Your interest rate will be influenced by market conditions as well as your credit history and application.

Having a high credit score, low credit utilization ratio, and a history of consistent and on-time payments will generally help you get the best interest rates. You can generally get a good feel for average interest rates online, but make sure to speak with a mortgage professional in order to see the specific rates you qualify for. And don’t forget about fees and closing costs which may cost a hefty amount upfront.

You should also know that many lenders have had stricter requirements when it comes to approving loans in the past few months. This means that if you don’t have great credit ratings, you might not be able to take advantage of lowered interest rates — or qualify for a refinance in the first place.

Before applying for a refinance, you should make your application as strong as possible in order to get the best rates available. You can do that by monitoring your credit, taking on debt responsibly, and getting your finances in order before applying for a refinance. Also be sure to compare offers from multiple lenders in order to get the best rate.

When to consider a mortgage refinance

Generally, it’s a good idea to refinance if you can get a lower interest rate than that your current interest rate, or if you need to change your loan term. While interest rates have been low in the past few months, you should look at more than just the market interest rates when deciding if a refinance is right for you.

A refinance may not always make financial sense. Consider your personal goals and financial circumstances. How long do you plan on staying in your home? Are you refinancing to decrease your monthly payment, pay off your house sooner — or for a combination of reasons? Also keep in mind that closing costs and other fees may require an upfront investment.

Note that some lenders have tightened their requirements since the beginning of the pandemic. If you don’t have a solid credit score, you may not qualify for the best rate. Refinancing can be a great move if you get a good rate or can pay off your loan sooner — but consider carefully whether it’s the right choice for you.


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Mac Studio Deals: Where to Shop For Apple’s Newest Desktop Computer

While many were expecting Apple to unveil a new model of the Mac Mini desktop at its “Peek Performance” event in March, that’s not exactly what we got. What we got instead is a whole new line of compact Apple desktops, the Mac Studio. These sleek desktops are as small as they are powerful, and are akin to a supercharged version of the Mini. One of the most notable changes is that they’re equipped with Apple’s most advanced M1 chips — the M1 Max, which is used by the latest MacBook Pro, and the brand-new M1 Ultra.

Whether you’re a developer or content creator, having a fast and powerful computer is a must, which is why Apple says this machine can “deliver an unprecedented level of performance, an extensive array of connectivity, and completely new capabilities in an unbelievably compact design that sits within arm’s reach on the desk.” 

Apple was serious when it spoke about power. You can configure the Mac Studio to come with up to 128GB of RAM, 8TB SSD and up to a 64-core GPU. Like with many other Apple desktops and laptops, you’ll need to make your configuration choices while ordering. You can make changes to the System on a Chip (Processor), Memory, Storage and opt to include preinstalled software if you wish.

Read more: Apple Mac Studio Review: A Compact Desktop for Creators

At the moment, not many retailers are carrying the brand-new Mac Studio. We expect it to become available from more places in the coming weeks, so be sure to check back for additional retailers and deals.

If you want complete customizability without having to navigate certain configurations being in or out of stock, shopping from Apple directly is the obvious choice. There are two variants, one with the M1 Max chip and one with the brand-new M1 Ultra chip. Pricing starts at $1,999 for the former and $3,999 for the latter.

If you just want the base model M1 Max Studio, Best Buy has got your covered. The big-box retailer has the M1 Max available for $2,000, while the M1 Ultra is currently sold out. There aren’t any straightforward discounts, but you you are determined to grab one of these new Mac Studios at less than list price, you can shop open-box models starting at $1,800.

Adorama currently has several different configurations of the Mac Studio M1 Max in stock, while the M1 Ultra appears to be on back order, though it’s still available for purchase. There aren’t any discounts available, but this is one of the only retailers that has multiple configurations available.

B&H Photo is in the same boat as Adorama at the moment. It has multiple configurations of the M1 Max Studio in stock now, while the M1 Ultra Studio is currently back-ordered, and expected to be available by the end of July. Like Adorama and Apple, you can customize your Mac Studio by adjusting the processor, RAM and storage.


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Apple Showed AR, VR Headset to Company’s Board, Report Says

Apple’s board of directors recently previewed the company’s mixed-reality headset, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. The company’s board, which meets at least four times a year, got a demonstration of the headset during a meeting last week, according to Bloomberg, citing “people with knowledge of the matter.”

Apple has also ramped up development of its reality operating system, which will run on the headset, people familiar with the work told Bloomberg. 

The headset reportedly combines elements of augmented and virtual reality. The headset would be Apple’s first new product since the Apple Watch in 2015.

Apple has planned to unveil the headset by the end of this year or at some point next year. People might be able to get their hands on the headset by 2023. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reportedly predicted that Apple’s “goal is to replace the ‌iPhone‌ with AR in 10 years.” 

Last year, another Bloomberg report suggested internal disagreements on Apple’s AR and VR plans. The report said Apple could pursue a split strategy, meaning it would develop a VR headset first, and AR smart glass would come later. 

Apple didn’t immediately respond to CNET’s request for comment.


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CDC Recommends COVID Booster for Kids Ages 5 to 11

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday recommended boosters for children ages 5 to 11, following a vote by the CDC’s independent advisory panel to endorse a third shot for younger children, five months after their second dose. 

The booster is made by Pfizer and BioNTech and is one-third the companies’ adult COVID-19 vaccine dose. On Tuesday, the US Food and Drug Administration gave emergency use authorization to Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for kids 5 to 11.

Everyone age 12 and older was already eligible for a third shot, or booster dose. In its statement, the CDC also strengthened its recommendation that everyone age 50 and older, as well as all immunocompromised people as young as age 12, get a second booster, or fourth shot. Previously, the CDC language was that those groups “may” get a shot if they choose.

Even though boosters for children ages 5 to 11 are now available throughout the US, only 28% of 5- to 11-year-olds have completed their primary COVID-19 vaccine series (two shots), according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Roughly 35% of children of the same age have gotten one dose. 

“Vaccination with a primary series among this age group has lagged behind other age groups leaving them vulnerable to serious illness,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. “With over 18 million doses administered in this age group, we know that these vaccines are safe, and we must continue to increase the number of children who are protected. I encourage parents to keep their children up to date with CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine recommendations.”

The recommendation comes as COVID-19 cases are rising steeply in the US, driven by newer, more contagious versions of omicron. After last winter’s omicron surge, about 75% of children in the US had evidence of a COVID-19 infection, according to a CDC report.

“While it has largely been the case that COVID-19 tends to be less severe in children than adults, the omicron wave has seen more kids getting sick with the disease and being hospitalized, and children may also experience longer term effects, even following initially mild disease,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert M. Califf said in a statement following the authorization. 

When it authorized booster shots for children as young as 5, the FDA said its decision was based on immune response data from the ongoing randomized trial that supported the October authorization for the primary vaccine for younger kids. Antibody responses were evaluated in 67 children who received a booster dose seven to nine months after getting their second shot. Safety of the booster shot was evaluated in about 400 children. Side effects of the booster in children were similar to common side effects in adults, including pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache and fever. 

The FDA didn’t hold a meeting with its independent advisory committee prior to this authorization, which it has typically done before authorizing COVID-19 vaccines or boosters for specific age groups. Pfizer’s request for emergency use authorization “did not raise questions that would benefit from additional discussion by committee members,” that haven’t already been addressed in other discussions on COVID-19 vaccine boosters, the FDA said. The agency noted that it will make documents related to the request available on its website. 

Children under age 5 still aren’t able to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The FDA has loosely scheduled three dates next month — June 8, 21 and 22 — for its panel to discuss Moderna’s and Pfizer’s authorization requests for vaccines for babies and younger children.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.


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Best Xbox Racing Games for 2022

You may think that all racing games are the same — this is a common misconception. The truth is racing games are super diverse. There are hardcore racing sims that let you put your skills to the test against digital and real players while testing out rare and exotic cars that appear close to life. On the other hand, arcade-style racing games focus on speed and fun and are less concerned with mimicking reality. From here, the list goes on. I’m here to recommend some of the best Xbox racing games that I’ve played.

This list is by no means exhaustive, rather it’s a collection of just the best driving and racing games for the Xbox family of consoles that I’ve personally played and enjoyed. I’ve played all of these games on the newest Xbox Series X, but all of them are also playable on the Xbox Series S and are backwards compatible with the previous Xbox One generation consoles. I’ve noted which ones are available for no extra cost with Microsoft’s excellent Game Pass subscription, but games do come and go from that service.

Read more: 3 Great VPNs for Xbox for 2022 

Screenshot by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

A worthy follow-up to my previous pick for the best Xbox driving game, Forza Horizon 5 moves its automotive playground to the beautiful and diverse biomes of Mexico. Thanks to Horizon 5’s new dynamic weather system, players can now blast through sandstorms in the desert before traversing into dense wetlands or the top of an active volcano, sometimes all in the same mega race.

Like the previous Forza Horizon titles, Horizon 5 is a massive, open-world love letter not just to racing but to car culture and all things automotive. And players have more freedom than ever to explore only the race types, vehicle classes and elements of the game that they like. For example, I know plenty of Forza fans who aren’t great racers, but lose themselves for hours just in the photo mode or livery creator.

With over 500 cars to customize and modify, hundreds of miles of road and trail courses, and a large online community, if you pick up just one racing game for the Xbox, this should be it. Note that Forza Horizon 5 is available as part of the Xbox’s Game Pass subscription.

Turn 10/Microsoft

Players looking for a more serious racing sim should look to the more mature member of the Forza franchise. Where Horizon focuses on car culture and, at times, cartoonish street driving, Motorsport is all about real circuit racing on real tracks from around the world. Forza Motorsport 7 is an older title, launching in 2017, and a next-generation sequel is in the works for the new Xbox Series S and Series X consoles, but with an unbelievable 700 cars to drive, modify and customize, and 30 tracks, each with multiple configurations, the Xbox One’s premier racing franchise still manages to feel fresh. 

Screenshot by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Want to get a taste of the most realistic GT racing sim the Xbox platform has to offer? Look no further than Assetto Corsa Competizione. This hardcore racing sim is laser-focused on the world of the Blancpain GT World Challenge, putting you in the driver’s seat of real racing cars from the 2018 and 2019 series, complete with authentic liveries. Drop right into the championship, work your way up through the ranks in the career mode or head online to run wheel-to-wheel against players from around the world.

Assetto Corsa is a challenging sim and its steering model and racing physics are extremely realistic — so much that it can be frustrating to play with a controller’s thumbsticks. You’ll definitely want to get set up with a good force-feedback racing wheel (and maybe also a racing sim cockpit) for maximum enjoyment. Players looking for a Forza alternative that plays nicely with a controller should perhaps check out Grid Autosport.

Electronic Arts

The latest title in Codemasters’ F1 franchise builds on last season’s entry with new tracks, updated cars and a new My Team mode that lets you build and grow your own F1 franchise, rather than play one of the established teams. Got a friend who’s also an F1 nut? Play together in the new two-player career mode as teammates or fierce rivals.

The most interesting addition to F1 2021 is the new Braking Point mode. An evolution of the rivals feature that I loved so much in the 2019 title, Braking Point is a narrative story mode that follows your player as you navigate the victories, defeats and rivalries on track — as well as the drama off-track and in the pits — over multiple years of your F1/F2 career. If you’re a fan of the documentary series Drive to Survive or films like Rush, F1 2021’s Braking Point is definitely worth experiencing.

Mattel

This thrilling arcade racer stars the miniature machines from the Hot Wheels series of diecast toys, which you can drift, boost and jump around wild courses made of familiar orange track. Hot Wheels Unleashed is easy to approach for racers of all ages and skill levels. Kids can enjoy unlocking wacky racers like the Tricera-Truck or the Buns of Steel burger car. Meanwhile, there’s still plenty of fun, challenge and nostalgia for adults. Plus, there’s a highly flexible course editor that lets players build and share crazy courses and challenges.

Nancon/KT Racing

With the Dirt series pushing deeper into the arcade end of the racing sim spectrum, I was glad when WRC 10 debuted earlier this year to scratch my itch for rallying realism.

WRC 10 improves over its predecessor with more cars, locations and ways to play, including a new 50th anniversary mode that celebrates and recreates great moments from World Rally Championship history dating back to its inception in 1973. The sim now features 19 locations and environments — breaking out to over 120 rally stages to master — and 22 legendary and historical cars from Mitsubishi, Peugeot, Subaru, Toyota and more.

The physics engine has also been updated, with improvements to aerodynamic and suspension simulation, which makes vehicles feel more accurate to their real-life counterparts. Newcomers to digital rallying can activate a revised selection of assist features to help ease into the franchise. Graphic and sound quality have also been improved to take advantage of the processing horsepower offered by the Xbox Series S and X consoles.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat at a glacial pace: SnowRunner, the latest in the Spintires series, is sort of the anti-racing game. Players take control of an assortment of unlockable 4×4 SUVs, heavy equipment and big rig trucks to crawl, haul and tow their way through the dirt trails, deep mud and icy snow of the game’s brutally rural maps. Precise wheel placement, a slow and steady pace and, occasionally, liberal usage of a winch matter more than speed. This isn’t a game for everyone; spending up to a real-time hour hauling lumber up a mountain can be absolutely maddening if you fail, but it’s unbelievably satisfying to get the job done. It’s available now on Game Pass.

Screenshot by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Normally, opponents crashing into me during a race is the bane of my existence. In Wreckfest, on the other hand, putting your opponent into a wall or spinning them out of a corner is par for the course. Encouraged even. This demolition derby title pits drivers piloting all sorts of beaters — from muscle cars to panel vans to ride-on lawn mowers (yes, freaking lawn mowers) — against one another on a variety of dirt and tarmac tracks. Players can choose to be a bruiser or, with surprisingly good driving physics, rely on skill and nimbleness to be the last man standing. It’s available now on Game Pass.

Players who prefer their crashes a bit more high-speed and stylized should consider Burnout Paradise Remastered, an older arcade racer game that got a new coat of paint for the Xbox One. Here, winning means “taking down” the competition with gratuitous collisions and crashes. It’s also available on Game Pass.

Comparison of the best Xbox racing games for 2021

Racing game Price
Best Xbox racing game overall Forza Horizon 5 $55
Best Xbox circuit racing game Forza Motorsport 7 $32
Best Xbox racing simulator Assetto Corsa Competizione $25
Best Xbox Formula One racing game F1 2021 $60
Best Xbox arcade racing game Hot Wheels Unleashed $48
Best Xbox rally racing game WRC 10 $30
Best Xbox off-road simulator SnowRunner $39
Best Xbox demolition derby game Wreckfest $20

There’s a driving game for everyone

Whether you’re looking to sharpen your skills or just relax and enjoy the ride, there’s a little something for every kind of racing fan and automotive enthusiast to enjoy. As I mentioned, this is by no means an exhaustive list and, with the next generation of consoles now pretty well established, I expect to rediscover enhanced versions of my favorites as well as a few new additions to this list. Have fun and drive safely… or drive recklessly; they’re just games after all.


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PS5’s First Official Bundle Includes Horizon Forbidden West

Some retailers have been bundling the elusive PS5 with games and accessories to get you to spend more on the console, but Sony is packaging the next-gen PlayStation console with major exclusive Horizon Forbidden West for its first official bundle. The US listings for both the PS5 and PS5 Digital edition are available through the PS Direct store.

They aren’t live yet, but you can register for a chance to purchase a PS5 from PS Direct, as previously highlighted by Twitter user Wario64.

We don’t know how much the bundle will cost in the US yet, but UK retailer listings suggest it’ll be a saving of £20 (around $25) compared to buying the console and game separately. The standard price for the PS5 with disc drive is $500, while the PS5 Digital edition is $400. The game’s recommended retail price is $70, so you can expect the standard PS5 bundle to be $550 and PS5 Digital one to be $450.

“This game was well worth the five-year wait,” CNET’s Nicole Archer said of Horizon Forbidden West, in case you’re hesitant about the bundle. “It’s gorgeous and fascinating, and I can’t wait for you to play it.”


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Lego ‘Starry Night’: 2,316 Bricks to Build Your Own Van Gogh

Lego’s newest set doesn’t pull from pop culture but instead from one of the most influential painters ever. Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night is the upcoming 2,316 piece for art and building block lovers. 

The Starry Night set from Lego is a three-dimensional version of van Gogh’s famous painting and was done in conjunction with The Museum of Modern Art in New York. Its design comes from Truman Cheng, a 25-year-old doctoral student based in Hong Kong who submitted it through the Lego Ideas platform. 

Along with the set of the painting, featuring the Monastery of Saint-Paul de Mausole asylum in Saint-Rémy, France, there’s also one minifigure, of van Gogh himself. 


Lego

The Lego set is scheduled to come out May 25 for Lego VIP members and MoMA members for $170. It’s set to receive a wide release on Lego’s website on June 1. Lego also has a competition for fans to make their own Starry Night, which could be used to inspire an installation at the MoMA. 


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Metallica Gets Its Own Metal-Themed Pro-Ject Turntable, and I Will Fight You for One

For the fans who stuck with Metallica’s journey from ’80s metal heroes through their period as the internet’s punching bag, to their eventual redemption, here is a turntable seemingly worthy of a devil’s horn salute. The Metallica Limited Edition Turntable is a collaboration between the band and Polish manufacturer Pro-Ject.

The turntable features an MDF plinth, which mimics the band’s logo and boasts a mirror finish for extra metal cred. But it’s not just flash designed for heavy rock fans, as this table appears to have audiophile-level appointments, too. 

The player features a glass platter and the new aluminum subplatter, while the tonearm is S-shaped with a detachable headshell. The Pro-Ject Pick it S2 C cartridge comes pre-installed while tracking force, antiskating and VTA are all user-adjustable. To finish the package off, the metal feet are height-adjustable while speed adjustments can be made by flipping a switch (rather than by removing the platter and adjusting the drive belt).


Pro-Ject

For me, I had friends who liked them in the ’80s but they always seemed a little too… uncool. I came to appreciate the band after reading Jason Newstead’s interviews in Bass Player magazine at the peak of their “pop” period. Do I want one of these turntables? Yes — yes, I do. I mean, just look at all… that *waves indistinctly* Do I need one? Not at all. But if you have even a passing interest in heavy metal on vinyl, this turntable looks to have the sound chops as well as the look.

The Metallica Limited Edition Turntable will be available this summer for $1,599.


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