Pricey Laser Turntable For Vinyl Re-Lit

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St. Albans, Vt. — High-end audio retailer Audio Turntable has begun marketing ELP’s Laser Turntable in the United States.

The product, said to be the only non-contact phonograph player in the world, has been available since 1989 from Japan-based ELP, but ELP sold it to U.S. consumers, music professionals and archivists only if they wired the full price in advance, thus limiting demand, said Audio Turntable’s president Keith Taruski. Now, Audio Turntable stocks them and is selling through its Web site, www.audioturntable.com.

The Laser Turntable replaces a traditional electromechanical stylus with a five-laser pickup for record collectors fearful of wearing out their vinyl 33-1/3, 45 and 78 RPM records. It’s available in three versions: a $14,999 model that plays 45s and LPs, a $16,999 model that adds playback of 78s, and an $18,999 model that plays all of those formats as well as any size LP. All come with preamp output or phono output for use with a phono preamp.

It requires no vertical-tracking force, anti-skate or tracking-angle adjustments. It’s said to play severely damaged record without skipping. Its output is comparable to a moving-magnet phonograph cartridge output and connects to any phono preamp.

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