Turntables and LPs have made a bit of a comeback in recent years. Although they never lost their luster to audiophiles, hipsters and people looking for a more physical attachment to their music have been flocking to the format that looks good on a shelf. So for those not faint of wallet and who want the ultimate sound, we give you the Spiral Groove SG-1.1.
At $36,000, this turntable has precision design, as Electronic House describes:
Spiral Groove’s new SG1.1 turntable is engineered to provide vinyl enthusiasts with a benchmark turntable that delivers the highest levels of performance and functionality. Using its Balanced Force Design approach, the made-in-USA turntable incorporates two constrained layer platforms that are separated by elastomers that mechanically decouple the two assemblies to form a dense and rigid non-resonant surface that enables the isolated mounting of the turntable’s components.
So what does all that mean? Basically that everything in the turntable is designed to keep the disc flat and eliminate any bump or vibration that might interfere with perfect playback. But that’s just the actual turntable. The Centroid tone arm, which is $6,000 alone when sold separately, is engineered for low mass and transfers the mechanical energy generated by the playback away from the cartridge. If you’ve already got hundreds of thousands invested in the perfect audiophile sound system, what’s another $36,000?
I’ve always loved the aesthetic of vinyl…the beautiful and large cover art, the lyrics, the liner notes. But the crackles and pops after a few plays have always spoiled the party for me; maybe I’m just not that meticulous or had to much dust in my house. And while this may be a product for the serious audiophile who wants to play his or her vinyl at the best possible quality, a whole new breed of album lovers is in the making, and those who may have put their albums in the attic are dusting them off.
In fact, earlier this month at the Sony press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show, Sony played a Hi-Res Audio clip collaboration from A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera, “Say Something,” that Sony president Mike Fasulo said would bring Hi-Res Audio, which contains three to seven times the information as traditional CD, to a whole new audience. Headphones also have a lot of sway over this set, with high-quality ‘statement’ headphones introducing better quality to a generation raised on those poor-quality white headphones from Apple.
While $36K may not be the right price for you, there are other great-sounding turntables on the market. But maybe after hearing a few of my favorite albums on this turntable, I’d change my tune too.