Whether you agree music on vinyl records sounds better or not, the act of listening to music on the decade old format is a unique experience. Devoted vinyl fans speak to the active nature of the medium, the spin of the turntable, the lift and lowering of a needle, and the flipping of the record all make listening to the music an activity that takes attention rather than a passive and continuous background sound. Seemingly, consumers across the world agree in one way or another as vinyl sales have reached a peak in recent years and the format is seeing a resurgence.
However, the technology for playing records hasn’t changed much since its heyday 30 or more years ago but the record player, as well as the other stereo equipment involved, has a dramatic impact on the playback quality, as an audiophile can attest.
Enter the MAG-LEV Audio, the high-quality turntable of the future. At first glance, the MAG-LEV looks like the record player an Enterprise crew-member might use to listen to his antique records with it’s levitating turntable and orange LED lighting. Yes, you read that right: the MAG-LEV Audio is the world’s very first levitating record player.
The entire unit itself sits comfortably on a shelf, and the platform rests on four pegs. Once the device is turned on, however, the pegs retract into the main unit, and the recording platform floats completely unsupported, thanks to powerful electromagnets, over the main component.
While visually impressive and some pretty cool science at work, the levitating platform also serves an audio purpose as well. One of the biggest drawbacks to many a record player are the vibrations caused by the friction of the turntable action, which can interfere with the sound quality of the playback. The MAG-LEV Audio eliminates that interference with the smooth spin over the frictionless air.
Additionally, the futuristic record player has a semi-automatic tone arm that resets at the end of the record, preserving the needle cartridge life, and can play at both 33 rpm and 45 rpm speeds. The magnet used to levitate the recording platform is powerful enough to stand up against accidental knocks and the Uninterrupted Power System (UPS) resets the tone arm and raises the platform pegs before shutting off in the case of a power outage.
But, the world’s first levitating record player comes with a hefty price tag, over $1000 on Indiegogo, and a retail value north of $1300 in the future. Having said that, their dramatic introductory video, reminiscent of the Matthew McConaughey Lincoln MKC commercials, clearly aims the device at high-end luxury audiophiles and not the average consumer.
A novel device and a definite conversation starter, the MAG-LEV Audio record player offer a needed upgrade in vinyl technology for those willing to pay big bucks but with other decent turntables at half the price or less, the cool factor and frictionless play doesn’t seem worth breaking the bank.
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