Not only is today Good Friday today, it’s also Record Store Day tomorrow. That’s right, a day of celebration for all things vinyl, and although records may seem like an outdated concept, there’s actually still a thriving industry, with some seriously inventive-borderline-insane models on sale these days. We’ve been taking a look at some jaw-dropping creations to blast out your tunes the old school way at London’s Audio Lounge, but with prices to make your credit card run screaming down the street, it may well be kit to add to your lottery wish-list! Still, it’s nice to dream…
TechDAS Air Force One
The Air Force One name sounds more like an aeroplane than a record player, and it has an eye-watering price tag to match! It’s the most expensive of our quintet, and even if you’re happy to scrimp and save every last penny, the chances are it’ll still be tantalisingly out of reach unless you resort to selling body parts or family members. Costing a cool £75,000, it’s for the most serious of audiophiles only, but it certainly looks the business.
As you’d expect at this end of the market, the Air Force One is constructed from tough, premium parts, including a super robust material known as super duralumin, along with anodised aluminium and stainless steel. The result is a platter that turns with absolute accuracy and concentricity. The turntable itself is housed independently from the amp and power supply, further helping to eradicate any unwanted vibrations.
Compared to the other turntables here, The Concept is a bit of a bargain – at £995 it’s even something we could imagine one day being able to afford, maybe. The design is far cleaner than the more expensive turntables in the group, but that doesn’t mean that Clearaudio has scrimped when it comes to materials or features.
The Concept is constructed from exotic-sounding high-dense aluminium-magnesium alloy, and the company proudly adds that a ceramic coating further helps to minimise unwanted resonances. With low noise bearings helping the Concept’s motor to run as quietly as possible, the Concept should be an audio delight!
Meh, too cheap? How about the $150,000 turntable!
The Ovation is the bigger brother of the Clearaudio Concept, and it comes with the same minimalist design. Achieving sound quality that’s out of this world is all about isolating unwanted noises, vibrations and anything else that can ruin the listening experience, and to this end Clearaudio has used magnetic bearing technology at the heart of the the Ovation. Reseller Audio Lounge adds:
“An elaborate internal resonance system incorporates a series of mats, each containing up to one thousand tiny stainless steel ball bearings, ensuring that no unwanted energy is fed back into the listening experience.” Interested? You’ll need £2,500!
The Clearaudio Innovation eschews the minimalist designs of the Ovation and Concept, adding instead an exquisite blend of polished metal, shiny black acrylic, wood and carbon fibre. It’s designed around a trio of legs, with the motor housed in one, the platter sitting neatly in the middle, and a pivoted arm standing on one of the others.
A custom-designed optical speed controller helps to keep your vinyl spinning consistently, and helping your music to sound as good as possible, but the mix of style and tech doesn’t come cheap; the Clearaudio Innovation costs £6,500.
Metronome Technologie Gaia
Still, look on the bright side, at least if you sell your car, abandon holidays for the next ten years and get a small loan, the Innovation is still a feasible purchase. Possibly. That’s not really the case with the Metronome Technologie Gaia, which costs a whopping £30,000!
Like the Air Force One, this state-of-the-art turntable also aims to cut out every possible vibration to the stylus, resulting in staggering clarity when it comes to lower volumes and quieter tracks. The Gaia looks out of this world, with heavyweight materials and feet that look more robot than record player!
Want to get your hands on any of these turntables? Check out Audio Lounge for more details!
How about a cheaper alternative… Audio-Technica AT-LP60 USB turntable
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