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So, saw this today.
A company in Japan has come out with a turntable that uses a laser to read the vinyl.

Here is the link: http://elpj.com/

Any thoughts?
 

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Interesting concept! My first concern - and one that has most likely been anticipated and addressed - would be the beam temperature of the laser. It would obviously need to be low enough so as not to permanently deform vinyl undulations in the groove. I vaguely remember something about other laser 'tables, so did some digging and came up with this bit of history from a Wikipedia entry:

"The first working model, the Finial LT-1 (Laser Turntable-1), was completed in time for the 1986 CES. The prototype revealed an interesting flaw of laser turntables: they are so accurate that they play every particle of dirt and dust on the record, rather than pushing them aside as a conventional stylus would. The non-contact laser pickup does have the advantages of eliminating record wear, tracking noise, turntable rumble and feedback from the speakers."
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"In late 1989 Finial's investors finally cut their losses and liquidated the firm, selling the patents to Japanese turntable maker BSR, which became CTI Japan which in turn created ELP Japan for continued development of the 'super-audiophile' turntable. After eight more years of development the laser turntable was finally put on sale in 1997 – twenty years after the initial proposal – as the ELP LT-1XA Laser Turntable..."

I imagine the latest incarnation utilizes updated digital circuitry along with it's novel signal extraction method. Your link states that noise has been minimized, because the groove is read near its top edge rather than its bottom where dirt tends to collect. Having the LP protected inside a drawer while playing is also a bonus. Even better are the CD conveniences like track-select.
 

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Great idea but at what looks to be a starting price of 9 grand, As the sharks say, I'm out....:coocoo: For the amount of wear I put on my lp's they will last as long as I need them to.
 

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Prices range between $9,000 (for the "Classic" model) to $19,000 (for the "Ultimate" model).

My thoughts are:
- No thanks!
- Any one of these would make a fine trinket in an "audiophile's" equipment collection.

:)
 

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LOL, ya I saw the prices however besides that do you think it would "color" the sound?
 

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LOL, ya I saw the prices however besides that do you think it would "color" the sound?
I would think it would to some extent. There has to be some difference when you go from physically touching a record with a needle to just using light. I would love to hear one and see.
 

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This was done quite a few years back and the technique is used to read archival phonograph records (such as Edison cylinders) to avoid damaging them. It has quite an interesting history that is well documented on Wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_turntable.

Now, if they come up with one at a low price, that will be something new!
 

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My uncle said they were around for a long time probably the late 80s. Stereophile and absolute sound at one point had both reviewed these laser LP players and said that it was great that someone was trying to do this but in the end could not out performer even the cheapest of players.

The main problem is when you have discs that are not perfectly flat.... perfectly round that you end up with stutter issues where there are missing bits so the digital fills those bits through a buffering process.

This was all based on all the reviews he had read about these and also mentioned that nothing would come close to his $30k Basis audio LP turntable unless you spent $100k+ and even then he doubts you'll hear much difference.
 
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