OT: So, what do you do when you've retired from Apple and

… you’re as rich as, well maybe not Tim Cook but at least, Croesus?

You design a HiFi turntable for the masses of audiophiles in the 1% or less.

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At that price I would expect it to solve the most vexing problem of turntables: the skew caused by the tone-arm angle changing as it travels from the outer circumference to the inner.

When the disks are cut, the master is done on a turntable which keeps the stylus at exactly 90 degrees to the radius, when it’s played back (from pressings) it’s at a somewhat oblique angle as the tone arm pivots from a stationary point.

The needle, of course, picks up the left and right channels from the waveform pressed into the groove, so the needle should match how it was cut in the first place, rather than raking across at a different angle.

There have been turntables which correct for this but they’ve never caught on, mostly because they’re quite expensive. Which, in this case, would seem to be irrelevant. If only Ives would listen to me! And I’m available to consult, although this is pretty much the extent of my helpful advice.


I sorta get the nostalgia aspect of LPs. Certainly as someone who grew up with the physical product of albums as a kid, the art associated with the physical packaging drove its own art forms and actually added value (lyrics and detailed liner notes you could actually read). But does this story bother anyone? Think of all the design problems waiting to be solved in the world that could occupy the time and focus of someone with an engineering bent, much less the time and focus of someone as obviously talented as Ive. Is “perfecting” a “product” that is 80+ years old when that product has been completely superseded by solutions with vastly higher audio quality that is perfectly consistent under all playback conditions the best use of time? And not just any recreations of an old classic Technics, Garrard or Marantz model so people can play old albums that are unobtainium in digital format but a $60,000 model? If LP turntables, why not wax cylinder players?

Maybe it links via wifi through your Mac to a cloud compute instance that processes the signal from the cartridge, factors in the propagation delay and playback volume and goes back in time to inject an offsetting signal to counterbalance any rumble from the room that might generate feedback. Or an optical dust sensor that spots ground-in dirt in the groove and sends an SMS text to your phone telling you it’s time to buy Dark Side of the Moon for the seventh time.

I guess there are dumber things rich people could be doing with their money and idle time. Maybe paying for rides in rockets or deep sea submersibles.


Oh my! A Linn LP-12! A truly amazing and wonderful sounding turntable. I know someone with one and I always enjoy hearing it. I’m also a big fan of all things Linn, having own a pair of Sekrits plus Tukans bi-amped with active crossovers. Thanks for sharing.

Goofy, understand your concern. But perhaps go hear one… :slight_smile:


Liner tracking turntables were a thing in the 80s, and not particularly expensive. Of course, Garrard’s turntables used a simple parallelogram linkage to correct the tracking. I had a Z-92 back in the day. Because the headshell pivoted on the tone arm, the thing constantly broke the tone arm wire harness. I paid a shop to rewire it once, I rewired it a second time myself.

This is a Z-92, like the one I had.


Yes, now that you mention it I do remember those. But I was thinking of the models which had an actual radial track with a floating head that stayed perfectly perpendicular to the grooves. I saw a couple in a high-end stereo shop, but never in anyone’s house.

My memories of these types of turntables is the problem of keeping that tonearm correctly aligned to the groove – making that tone arm move horizontally from outside to inside the record as it plays. This is brain-dead simple in a traditional pivot mechanism. The issues with linear tracking tonearms did not seem to deliver the benefits promised. I even seem to remember a turntable that tried to read the groove with lasers rather than by dragging a pointy diamond through the groove and make it vibrate a pair of magnets or coils.

Note, the linear tonearm when mastering the disc is a DRIVEN tone arm, not a TRACKING one. That is a big difference.