No turntable required! Rokblok, tiny bluetooth-enabled vinyl needle on wheels, is a wonderful disaster


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/01/22/no-turntable-required-rokblok.html


#2

Wow! I want one too although I don’t think I have any records that flat.


#3

Fail: should look like a bus.

Or a Volkswagen Westfalia for Jason.


#4

So a Soundwagon aka Vinyl Killer but Bluetooth, less charming, and somehow even crappier. If I’m going to wreck my records I at least want it to look fun.

Funnily enough the Soundwagon recently came back as the Record Runner, a name which easily can be changed into Record Ruiner. There was even a point in time when you could special order a Bluetooth moded version.


#5

Pretty sure I’ve seen one looks like a Westie before.


#6

At work so i’ve been unable to see the related videos. Why is it a disaster? :slight_smile: i presume it doesn’t work well… which wouldn’t be surprising.


#7

It plays the music at an inconsistent speed, making it very distorted. Which is kinda funny at first. But once the novelty wears off and you realize you can’t listen to any actual records, you realized you just bought something worthless.

Seriously, did they not have any actual working prototypes?


#8

The concept isn’t new as i’m sure most people here are aware, and back in the day the analogue versions of this tech also didn’t sound great and destroyed records. So who thought giving it another go was a good idea?


#9

#10

Crowdfunding has greatly improved access to the sucker born every minute.


#11

Nostalgia?


#12

I have been curious for a long time but never actually looked it up. But apparently it’s possible to play vinyl records optically. Seems like it involves getting high res scans of records and then parsing the image to process sound though the results aren’t perfect. There are also laser turntables, which i haven’t heard of, and it seems like it’s inordinately expensive.


#13

And, not shown, it will rapidly destroy records.


#14

Now that everybody wants one, remember to make sure to keep it safe (in the safe).


#15

Yeah I figured that any extra friction couldn’t be good.


#16

Yeah, but it doesn’t sound as good because it uses pixels and pixels are digital, which gets away from the essence of the sound. The soundscape just lacks the depth of true vinyl when pixels are used.


#17

Why not put the record on a turntable, and just get slot car racers?


#18

I am curious why laser turntables aren’t as common. Seems like they can pick up more noise than a standard needle turntable but i’m sure some processing wizardry can bring the noise down some. And with current advances in manufacturing you’d figure they’d be more affordable but from what i can tell they’re within the $15k range, which is… something.

And yes i’m aware that the vinyl market is very niche but wow that price.


#19

It’s not the friction, it’s the weight of the thing pressing down on the stylus. Even your crappiest turntables these days have a counter-weighted tonearm that lets the stylus barely skate above your record. With this thing the whole mechanism is following the groove and using the stylus to guide it.


#20

I imagine it’s a case of the people who really want them will pay that price.