Sunday, August 10, 2008

The ELP Laser Turntable

VINYL RECORD DAY #2

Last year on August 12th, the anniversary of the invention of the phonograph, the Honorable J. A. Bartlett, owner and proprietor of the excellent pop music blog The Hits Just Keep On Comin', hosted something he referred to as a "blogswarm." It's a term I had never heard before. A blogswarm occurs when a lot of like-minded bloggers post about the same subject on the the same day. This year Mr. Bartlett has invited many of his fellow online acquaintances to join him again in celebrating the second annual Vinyl Record Day.

Based on the number of emails and comments I received about Bloggerhythms' 2007 submission to the swarm, last year's contribution became this blog's most discussed article ever. I don't expect the same reaction this year because nothing seems to generate discussion like nostalgia and last year's post had it in abundance. You can read it here. This year's post is not nostalgic. It's not futuristic either. It's something lovers of records will drool over today.

I know this may sound like a commercial but I must tell you about a true audiophile's dream. ELP, a Japanese company, has developed a laser turntable that has no tonearm or stylus. Instead it uses five laser beams to play your old 45 and 33 RPM vinyl records. If you use this turntable there will never be any damage or wear to any of your old records again. One thousand plays later your records will sound exactly the same as they did when they were first played on this equipment. Unfortunately there is a MAJOR drawback. Prices range from $9,000 to $13,900 and believe it or not, these price are down from two years ago when the top model was listed at $17,000.

In addition, if you want to take advantage of all the benefits this turntable has to offer you must purchase the ELP Declicker for an additional $2,800. Only with the Declicker can you successfully eliminate all clicks and pops from your old albums. It will even improve sound to your old 78s. You can listen to audio samples of how effective the Declicker is online.

Just like most CD players the disc is played inside the turntable so those vinyl fans who love to watch the record spin (me) will be disappointed. (Hey, nothing is perfect). Also, there is a remote control that allows you to play any track while the turntable tells you either the elapsed time or the remaining time of the album.

This component is far out of my price range. I'm sure it is out of range for almost everybody, but it sure is a fascinating piece of equipment.

For those who missed it last year here are all of the participants and their posts from Vinyl Record Day, 2007.

4 comments:

  1. you got me all excited...till I saw the price!

    ReplyDelete
  2. As a committed audiophile (God only knows how much I've spent on decks amps speakers etc over the years) this sounds like a really ace bit of kit. Pity that I'll have to wait about another 10 years before they are cheap enough to be knocked out on eBay at bargain prices.

    Still, might be worth the wait?!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would love to own it too, but since I can't rb two nickels together most days, I'll be content with my Click Repair program and my trusty Numarks... One day though.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It enjoyable to at least drool over it. Great post!

    ReplyDelete