We live in a digital world.
From newspapers to travel, accountancy to TV, no sphere of life has been untouched by the relentless march of the internet. And that’s especially true of music. It’s 19 years since Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning set up Napster, the peer-to-peer sharing platform that bypassed the inconvenience of actually buying music, and let people have it for free instead. Today, most music is downloaded or streamed through the likes of iTunes or Spotify, and a whole generation has grown up without access to physical music. Yet despite this, vinyl sales worldwide are at their highest since 1992. Far from disappearing like tapes, eight-track cartridges and CDs, vinyl gets more popular every year, its tactile interface providing its fans with a digital detox. And if you’re buying records, you’ll need a turntable.
While many are content to buy a decent but relatively cheap deck, for some, only the best turntables can do the format’s analogue signal justice. Step forward Linn, perhaps the most respected audio brand in the world. Its Sondek LP12 record deck (pictured) is a byword for peerless sound reproduction. Originally released in 1973, the LP12 has undergone various upgrades over the years, though the exterior has changed less, a beautifully engineered platter – or ‘sound stage’ – suspended to the base, and encased by a wooden plinth of oak, cherry, ash, rosenut or walnut.
The LP12 is the perfect antidote to the switched-on society. It doesn’t have a Wi-Fi connection, can’t make calls and would find it difficult to post on social media. With a diamond-tipped needle (or cartridge) taking every nuance of the record down the titanium tonearm and out to a separate amplifier, what it can do is play music. And play it better than almost every other turntable out there.