A classic becomes modern 


(Published in The Produktkulturmagazin issue 2 2017)

Record players are the interior trend of the year, with the comeback of vinyl music currently omnipresent. But what exactly makes the sound system of yesteryear an absolute must-have today? Using new technologies, these new record players usually come with a USB connection, allowing music to additionally be played on mobile phones. The fabulous retro design of many systems also make them en-vogue eye-catchers. But there is an alternative, as made clear by Love Turntables. 

To date, the turntable has always rotated under the stylus. The intelligent record player from Love breaks this law – a law seemingly set in vinyl. Things take on a slightly different twist here. “The idea behind this system was the result of my frustration”, stated company founder C.H. Phinas, talking to Wired US magazine. For him, listening to a record was always too fiddly, the frequent turning of the record itself irritated him, not to mention the non-existent ‘skip’ function. Phinas wanted to exploit all the comforts of the Spotify age – without losing that vinyl sound. “In terms of sound, the Love delivers precisely what you would expect from a traditional record player”, comments Phinas. What is new however is the more user-friendly concept. Because, in the case of Love, listeners can also determine the track of their choice by means of smartphone app, if desired. Furthermore, the portable device is Bluetooth- and WiFi-enabled and – according to manufacturer specifications – equipped with a high-quality sound pick-up that, thanks to its standard size, appears to be replaceable. 

“This record player does not require special furniture to place it on”, states Love Turntables on Kickstarter. The portable device is about as large and as heavy as the record itself and comprises a base and a pick-up arm which resembles a super-sized mouse or a cordless telephone. Those who want to listen to a disc using the Love simply place it on the turntable – which is considerably smaller than those in traditional record players – and position the pick-up arm on its holder. Once activated using either a smartphone or analogue on the device itself, the arm starts to rotate anti-clockwise on the record and the stylus traces the groove on the record. 

Technology which is similar to the music identification app Shazam allocates numbers to individual tracks. Press twice, and the Love skips to the selected track. To ensure users do not forget which track is playing at any given time, the numbers are displayed in glowing red on the pick-up arm. And the number of revolutions per minute can also be set by the programme. The music is listened to using Bluetooth loudspeakers that can be linked to the Love. Head Designer Yves Behar believes that such gadgets – which establish a bridge between the old and the new, between the analogue and the digital – will be blazing a trail in the future: “We can detect a clear trend towards new technologies improving traditional ones, without betraying the original craftsmanship.” Love comes with two turntables, on which both singles and albums or 12-inch singles can be played. 

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Picture credits © Love Turntable

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