It’s understood that digital music will never come close to the sound quality attainable with analog vinyl, but there’s an unfortunate side effect to playing your favorite records over and over again. You’re killing them. Every time you want to hear your beloved plastic disc, you’re grinding a needle into it at 45 revolutions per minute. Unless you opt never to play a record, those grooves won’t stay groovy for long – until now.

The folks at ELP have found a way to increase the longevity of analog records. Instead of reading a record’s information with a stylus, which wears away vinyl’s precious grooves, ELP uses a laser, leaving the vinyl untouched. Now, some may call this invention stupid and label it as an oversized CD player, but it’s not. The laser turntable is still reading the vinyl in an analog format, whereas a CD is read in digital format. Watch the video below to hear ELP’s CEO explain more about the analog/digital difference and how they developed the tech.

“The Laser Turntable employs patented technology that produces phenomenal fidelity while never physically touching the record, thus eliminating the deterioration to the album’s surface inflicted by conventional turntables. The laser’s precision allows you to pick up audio information that has never been touched or damaged by a needle. This virgin audio information is then reproduced without digitization maintaining true analog sound as close as possible to when the master tape was recorded. The Laser Turntable even allows you to play records that have been severely warped or damaged over years of wear and tear.”


It’s an innovative application of technology, but at the tune of $14,000 for ELP’s basic turntable, it’s a bit out of reach. I’ll stick with iTunes for now.


Source: Decoded Magazine