Robb Vices “Romance of Retro” Subscription Box Review – March 2018
Robb Vices is “a membership program centered on a monthly delivery of storied treasures.” Each month, they send a collection of curated products and/or experiences.
Subscribers should expect boxes to include “vices” like “exceptional wines and spirits to enjoy, foods to taste, tools, toys, accessories, and gadgets.”
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About Robb Vices Subscription Box
The Subscription Box: Robb Vices
The Cost: $99.95 + shipping (For reference, shipping to PA is $7.95.) Save with longer subscriptions.
The Products: Each box contains a curated selection of products and experiences and provides subscribers with a taste of the good life!
Ships to: Robb Vices ships to all states except ND, UT.
Robb Vices “Romance of Retro” March 2018 Review
As is the case with every Robb Vices shipment, this one was topped with a mini magazine.
This month, Robb Vices is appreciating simpler things and moments. The mini magazine begins with an intro letter and a short essay about the nostalgic finds in the box.
Next up is a feature on Dawes. There’s also a short Q&A with their guitarist and lead singer, Taylor Goldsmith.
The star of this box (at least for me) is the sleek, minimalist turntable. Of course, there are oodles of turntable brands out there. What made Robb Vices choose Altec Lansing? These next few pages explain what makes this innovative, American company worthy of this box.
I’ll admit that when I saw the simple, solitary bottle of root beer nestled next to the other wow-worthy items in this box, I was kind of like… “Huh. Okay.” But reading through the booklet helped put it into context. Root beer is a classic, after all. And this artisanal version really drives home that simple, slowed-down vibe that the box is built around.
Alrighty, let’s take a closer look at the items themselves, shall we? Oh, wait, one last thing I figured I should mention! Maybe I’m just a nervous person in general, but my first thought while reading through the booklet was “Oh man, I hope nothing broke!” Glass bottle, sophisticated electronics, record… eek! There’s a lot that can go wrong. But Robb Vices had. It. Covered! The record player was nestled between thick, sturdy styrofoam and surrounded by custom-cut black foam. The root beer bottle had its own little seat carved out for it in the foam, and the record was laid flat on top. Another foam pad went on top of all of that, for good measure. Opening the suitcase felt like when someone in a spy movie opens a metal suitcase and everything inside is in its own custom-fit space in the black padding.
Altec Lansing ALT-500 Classic Turntable
I love the minimalist, no-frills simplicity of this silvery gray turntable. I’m so used to seeing brightly colored, suitcase-style turntables for sale at places like Urban Outfitters—it’s not that I don’t love a pop of color here and there, but personally, I prefer low-key, timeless pieces when it comes to my decor. (I’m prone to overdoing it with my decorating, so I’ve learned to keep things as simple as possible and be really discerning about when/where I make a statement. What’s your decor style like? Does this record player fit it?)
I found a listing for the ALT-400 on the Altec Lansing site and an ALT-500 model on Amazon Canada. Maybe the ALT-500 is a newer model not yet available for US customers? Seems weird being that it’s an American-made electronics company. The ALT-400 is worth about $60.00, and I’d imagine this one would be somewhere around that number. That’s the low-end value-wise, compared to other record players I’m seeing online. I’d probably attribute that to the simplicity of the design, but if you’re more of a gearhead than I am, definitely leave a comment about how this model stacks up to others!
I was happy with how easy it was to set up this turntable and get it goin’. It pretty much plugs and play. The turntable has its own speakers, but boy, do I love that it’s Bluetooth compatible, too! As I mentioned, I’m picky about keeping things as simple as possible in my space and nothing breaks that vibe faster than a cluster of cords. I also like the idea of not having to be in the same room as the record player to enjoy that nice vinyl sound. I can bring a speaker into the kitchen when I’m cooking, back by my desk… It’s all good!
Dawes All Your Favorite Bands LP – Retail Value $19.99
I’ve been a Dawes fan for a while now. Their music is the kind of easy-going, yet engaging stuff that I like to have on when I’m hanging around the house. It’s romantic, nostalgic, having-a-drink-at-a-California-hole-in-the-wall-with-your-friends kind of music. This album was actually a 2015 release (their latest came out in 2017), but I’d only ever heard the title track before. I think vinyl is definitely the way to go with a band like Dawes. The throwback vibes they capture in their songs feel all the more convincing when played through this physical, rich medium.
Rocky Mountain Root Beer All Natural Root Beer, 12 oz. – Buy a 12-pack for $18.00 here
Last but not least, our root beer! I love a good label, and I think the old-fashioned illustrations on the front of this bottle are super cool. The gold details and old-timey fonts make it feel rustic. The root beer itself is gentle on carbonation but big on sweet, almost maple-y flavor. I’ve had other kinds of artisanal sodas, and a lot of times they strike me as a little too intense. But this flavor is smooth and yummy. I almost wish I hadn’t sipped on it straight—I bet it’s lovely in the brown cow they recommended!
Verdict: This box was right up my alley. I’m a music-lover, so I’m happy to have a new turntable to add to my space. (You’re awesome, Spotify, but sometimes a gal needs something a little more sophisticated.) I mentioned that the root beer wasn’t as much as a “wow” item for me compared to the record player and album (which were actually more like “whoa!” items), but I did think it was a sweet complement to the theme they were trying to create. All in all, I think this box was a good example of how just a couple awesome, big-ticket items often leave me more satisfied with a box than getting a whole bunch of smaller products. It’s still a pricey box, but I truly felt like I got my money’s worth on this one. Maybe not a deal, but I got the quality of items that I’d expect from a higher-end box.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No. Sign up by the 1st of the month to receive that month’s box.
Value Breakdown: This box cost $112.90 (cost + shipping to us in PA). I could only find a reliable retail value for the Dawes album online, which clocked in at $19.99. That means that I paid $92.91 for the turntable and the root beer. My guess is that the root beer is only worth $2.00-$3.00 max, so that means the turntable would have to be around $90.00. The ALT-400 model I found is only about $60.00, but it’s possible that the ALT-500 is priced higher.
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