Jony Ive designs Linn's new turntable. Got $60,000?

Originally published at: Jony Ive designs Linn's new turntable. Got $60,000? | Boing Boing

I’m honestly a trifle surprised.

Aside from replacing the prominently mechanical power switch seen on the vendor’s other models with that low-profile circle with LEDs, and rounding some of the corners I’m not sure I see any Jony here.

Grabbed the “Majiik LP12” below for comparison: the power switch is a simpler mechanical one and the two metal enclosures are squared off rather than rounded; but (at least within the limits of my untutored perception) the amount of Ive design is very limited and appears to have been carefully smeared on the edges in places where incorporating it would require little or no modification to the system as a whole(not necessarily a bad idea, looking back on the Apple products where he was allowed too close to control over the entire design…)

Am I missing something because I’m a philistine, or is this the thinnest possible veneer of Ive?


Mostly I’ve known Ive for is work at Apple crafting the face of cutting edge technologies. Is working on retro tech a new direction for him, or has he been doing this all along?

Got $60,000?

If I did, not for a turntable.

(read in this voice)
revenge of the sith GIF by Star Wars


I don’t even see any rounded corners!


Sure $60K. And it reminds me of my $78 AR turntable from the 60’s. About right.


Sorry, I wasn’t very clear. First image is one of the company’s non-Ive models as a baseline, second image is the Ive Collaboration Special:

Relatively simple power switch, the lighter grey box structure under the turntable and the darker grey one the tone arm emerges from are both rectangular with angular corners. Interior corners of the outer enclosure are angular and both boxes are separated by small gaps.


Power switch has been recessed into the body, interior corners of the outer wooden housing(though not exterior corners) have been rounded off; all corners of the darker grey tone arm box have been rounded off; the left, but not the right, corners of the lighter grey turntable box have been rounded off. Instead of uniform small gaps the turntable box is now flush with the outer enclosure; while the tone arm box is surrounded by a much larger gap.


I rather doubt I could hear the difference between this and a $500 turntable on my system. And certainly not between this and the $6000 models from the same company, some of which IMO look better. No way I’m paying a premium based solely on the notion that the guy is famous for something else.


So, plywood, then.

I’d bet good money that there’s no audible or measurable difference between the sound of this plinth and that of my 1979 Realistic LAB-400, bought at auction for $50, provided they’re decked out with the same stylus/cart.

But then, most “audiophiles” are interested in bragging rights, not sound.


There are a lot of other turntables in the $60K range that have much more extensive engineering than this overpriced LP12 modification. If I were to blow this kind of money on a new turntable, I’d probably buy one of the huge SME models.
In the meantime I’ll continue to enjoy my vintage Thorens TD-126 Mk.III with a (gasp!) high output moving magnet cartridge.

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He’s going full Steve Jobs.


Ooh, it comes in Zune brown. Retro.


I’ll go even further and guarantee you couldn’t.

I have a turntable and I like my LPs as much as any hipster. Hell, I even have a vacuum tube pre-amp because it looks cool (and it glows). But I’m not under any delusions than any of this fancy ass crap makes it sound better.

Records are noisy as hell. They pop and hiss and squeak and they have poor dynamic range. We like the experience of listening to them and there’s nothing wrong with that, but the idea that tens of thousands of dollars worth of optimizing around the edges can offset the fundamental weaknesses in the media format is silly. You can spend $500k on a turntable setup and it’ll still sound worse than a raw WAV on a $10 Creative Labs MP3 player from 2001.

Spending all this money and effort on making records sound good is like sanding down the paint on your car to remove weight and make it faster. Sure, there’s some effect there, but way too small to detect, and it’s such a silly use of time and effort to optimize that way.


A lot you know - I’ll bet you don’t even use Monster Cables.


Hilarious. Only the most advanced materials for your expensive machine that drags a sharp object over a flat object to make noise.


If you are talking giant money for a turntable how do the laser options stack up?

I’m absolutely not the target market; but if I were interested in media that I can’t copy and checksum whenever I want I’d be willing to consider a fair premium to not have to think about the read head slowly flaying the storage medium alive while trying to listen.


I was with you until then. God they sounded shit. Crappy DACs iirc.

But yeah, I do listen to records and I like the sound but I’m not under the illusion it’s somehow super high quality (I’m playing a Numark through a USB out into a Sonos system right now) and I do enjoy playing records that aren’t on streaming services and they sound cool but it’s a noisy system.


I’d rather have one of these:

Ive’s is effing boring.


Well, one reading of this:

LoveFrom has applied their design expertise to the new, precision-machined power/speed control button and hinges – providing delightful and precise interaction with the turntable.

is that the power button & hinges are the only part that have had any input from Ive’s company.

Here’s a nice video of a guy making a very shiny and expensive plinth from plywood for an old Garrard turntable:


I should hope so for 60 grand - the Linn LP12-style hinges are notorious for their springs bulging and breaking through their flimsy plastic after not too much use. They’re used on a lot of different turntables, including mine. Maybe these new hinges will make their way into the wild, replacing the older style.

Yeah, nothing wrong with plywood - it’s a very good material for a plinth - what I take exception with is the all the high-falutin’ fancy-pants language dressing it up to justify the outrageous cost.