Vinyl has seen a huge resurgence of popularity in recent years. That’s down to a potent mixture of nostalgia, warmer sound quality and an appreciation of the tactile nature of vinyl over the digital world of streaming and downloads. You can buy a simple turntable easily enough, but what about a solution that feels more 21st century? Love, dubbed as the “world’s first intelligent turntable”, hopes to be that, maintaining the intimacy and quality of vinyl records while also adding a series of smart features.
Love reads vinyl records with a traditional stylus, while also connecting to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and can be controlled with an app. Unlike conventional turntables, which leave the stylus static and rotate the record on a spinning platter to create sound, Love puts the needle into motion. It’s light enough that it won’t damage your records, with it also being conveniently sized for easy transportation.
Through your smartphone, you can choose to play, skip, or repeat tracks, as well as alter the volume, and even choose different RPM speeds. Think of it as an enhanced conventional turntable, and you’re not far off. It’ll connect to speakers, headphones, receivers and multi-room systems, along with wireless options too.
Founder and CEO, C.H. Pinhas, talked to us about how the idea came to be.
“Love was born out of frustration. Listening to vinyl on a daily basis, l thought the experience could be simplified,” he says. “I also wanted to democratize vinyl and make it accessible to everyone.”
Designed by world-renowned product designer, Yves Béhar, Love is both a simpler solution and a much more stylish choice, too. Crucially, many of Love’s benefits come from its sensor. “The linear tracking sensor scans the record, measures the diameter, maps the grooves and defines the number of tracks,” Pinhas says.
While Love doesn’t work automatically with rarer and oddly shaped records, it can easily be set manually via the device or its app. Love is also able to analyze the speed required for each record, doing so through a combination of “Shazam-like [features] and Discogs database.”
“The benefit from the exhaustive Discogs database is that it includes each record’s specific speed (a few 7” records play at 33? rpm and some Maxi 12” play at 45 rpm). Alternatively, the speed can be set either by a button on the bottom of Love or via the app,” Pinhas says.
Unsurprisingly given the depth of knowledge involved, Pinhas has many years of experience working for several different record companies. That experience has been reflected in Love, which aims to appeal to both vinyl enthusiasts and those keen to dip their toe in a more traditional and satisfying form of music playing.
Love will be sold at a retail price of $599, but its Kickstarter launch offers various substantial discounts. As Pinhas explained, “Kickstarter is the perfect opportunity for Love”, allowing the firm to use grassroots funding alongside boosting its visibility within a rapidly growing market.
With Love easily surpassing its goal already, the project runs until March 8. You can make a pledge of $319 for one turntable or $574 for two, but bear in mind there’s limited stock available. For those who miss out, keep an eye out for Love. It could just be a revolutionary change in vinyl technology.