Handsome players

Ready for an eargasm?


WORDS NICKKY FAUSTINE DE GUZMAN

In music, as in fashion, there is a price tag for premier experience. While the usual MP3 players with Bluetooth connectivity are convenient and sell for a song, high-end turntables can elevate the way you experience harmonics to eargasmic levels.

According to Tony Boy de Leon, music enthusiast and organizer of the November Hi-Fi Show, an annual fair of good audio equipment in the Philippines, cheap music players compress music and reduce its quality. “If you are not critical and choosy in listening, you can buy them,” he said.

But then again, if music is life and if you think music is an investment, choose turntables for a suave session of classic and contemporary songs. “High quality turntables still present music in a different way,” said Mr. De Leon.

Not all turntables, however, are created equal. He said nothing beats the good old turntables made in the ’70s and ’80s.

The legendary Japanese brand called Technics is well-loved by the DJ community  and by music connoisseurs here and abroad. Count yourself lucky if you find a secondhand Technics turntable, which range in price from Php4,000 (a steal!) to Php35,000.

Technics and other classic vinyl players from the ’70s and ’80s have direct-drive motors, which were instrumental to the development of turntablism. 

Classic turntables are hard to find, but fortunately there are a bevy of modern turntable brands, with prices ranging from Php30,000 and above. Word of caution: never buy plastic turntables.

VPI INDUSTRIES PRIME

At 20 kg, VPI Industries’ Prime turntable has sexy curves that deviate from the classic boxy style we know.  The vinyl-wrapped chassis is bonded with an 11-gauge steel plate to provide the ultimate resonance control that rejects feedback. Meanwhile, the 300 RPM, 24 pole, AC synchronous motor is capable of high torque and quiet operation. Visit vpiindustries.com.

MCINTOSH MT5 PRECISION TURNTABLE

The illuminated, magnetically suspended platter of the MT5 Precision Turntable produces an inviting glow that’s sure to be a conversation starter among friends and guests alike. Called “the turntable of the gods” by Rolling Stone magazine, the 14.3-kg MT5 is factory adjusted for perfect playback. Tracking force, anti-skate force, cartridge overhang, and arm height are all preset for maximum performance. US$6,500. Visit mcintoshlabs.com.

Michell Engineering GYRODEC

The Michell GyroDec is a three-point spring-suspended turntable of medium mass, which is compatible with most quality tone arms in existence. Weighing 14 kg, it has a standalone DC motor and an optional HR power supply. Visit michell-engineering.co.uk. Price: £1,600.

EUROPEAN AUDIO TEAM FORTE TURNTABLE

European Audio Team (EAT) turntables “have been designed to bring us as close as possible to the meaning and spirit of the original composition and performance,” says its Web site. And its Forte turntable in wood nails the company brief. At 65 kg, it operates on two principles: a separate chassis and magnetic feet to support the table. The motor is a stand-alone, decoupled AC unit. It uses a sophisticated electronic circuit to create 100% clean AC. It is a very heavy motor with a lot of mass to reduce all the existing vibrations. Price: €7,800. Visit europeanaudioteam.com.

Bonus: Sleek speakers for your man cave.

BANG AND OLUFSEN BEOSOUND WIRELESS SPEAKERS

Bang and Olufsen’s BeoSound 1 and 2 are portable wireless speakers with conic aluminium bodies that hover slightly above the ground, letting the thumps of the bass units out beneath. “Simplicity was paramount,” said Torsten Valeur, the man behind the design of BeoSound 1 and BeoSound 2, “and our dream was to create something that resembled musical instruments. Products where every part conveys its purpose which is to spread beautiful music.” It has integrated access to your Spotify, TuneIn, and Deezer QPlay accounts to match your moods: a weekend party, a romantic date at home, or a mundane after-work music session. Price: €1,295 for the BeoSound 1, €1,795 for the BeoSound 2. Visit bang-olufsen.com.