Turning The Tables

It may be due to the persistence of DJs and audiophiles, but the digital age has failed to drive vinyl to extinction, and there are signs that consumers are returning to the turntable ways of old. In many ways records are the very antithesis of mp3; they are unashamedly physical, and there is more than one way to spin a disc…

Turntables Get Lathe

Manta Turntable

Whether as an audio experience or a cool piece of furniture, turntables have a certain panache and credibility that no amount of touchscreen can match.

The ritual of listening to a record ensures that it captures your full attention, as opposed to the almost disposable convenience of doing your shopping with an iPod shuffle on. Obviously turntables are an essential piece of DJ kit, but in the living room they can form a talking point as well as a listening point.
Big Red Turntable
Joel Scilley runs a workshop that combines commercial turntable components with carved wood to create rather ornate and impressive devices that clearly move beyond audio and become design pieces in themselves.

Hearing The Difference

The high-end record player market is thriving too, with many audiophiles adamant that nothing beats the sound of vinyl. Some people are literally obsessed with their sound systems, as the video below illustrates.

At first glance, I was inclined to dismiss them as money-wasters chasing imperceptible gains in a funnel of diminishing returns, but a valid point was made here too: is such a knee-jerk response just fuelled by what society deems acceptable? Few people would think it odd for someone to spend 100k on a new car, and yet a sound system bought for 100k would hold its value much better over the years, and would probably actually increase in value…


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