Apple’s former chief design officer, Jony Ive, is getting in on the vinyl boom with his latest project, a $60,000 turntable.
Ive’s design firm, LoveFrom, collaborated with Linn, an audio company, to create a new model of the Sondek LP12 turntable for its 50th anniversary. The firm will only be producing 250 models of the Linn Sondek LP12-50 that will be available while supplies last from August 2023 to March 2024.
With today’s average turntable costing anywhere from $150 to $1,000, the price tag attached to the anniversary edition of the LP12 raises the question of what’s so special about this product to make it worth the cost.
On the whole, not much about the much-beloved turntable has changed – its appearance has largely stayed the same with the exception of slightly rounded corners and an aluminum power button took the place of the plastic rocker. Aside from an additional change of the hinge which more easily keeps the dust cover open at any angle, Ive didn’t change much else, owing to the fear that it would affect the sound quality.
Ive told FastCompany that LoveFrom “saw a number of areas where there could be small improvements and gentle evolutions of the current design.” He added, “When it’s such a broadly recognized and respected icon, and elements of the design are familiar, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re optimal. Particularly when you have products that do assume that status of becoming iconic, and have that sort of cultural resonance, it’s easy to assume that they are beyond improvement. And this is a particularly challenging design problem to respectfully evaluate the product.”
Ive clarified that the price was set by Linn, telling the outlet that LoveFrom created the LP12-50 pro bono and didn’t sign a contract or financial agreement with Linn.
“You can imagine the enthusiasm,” Linn’s CEO Gilad Tiefenbrun told FastCompany in reference to his initial conversation with Ive.