There's something special about putting on a record. And by that we mean actual vinyl. You know, those giant CDs they talk about in 80s films. They have a wonderful warm sound to them. If you have an audiophile in your life (or are one), you've probably been subjected to talk of the quality of different mediums, the lack of fidelity of many mp3s and how it's not a good idea to stack your LPs. To keep them happy (and blissfully quiet while listening) here are some beautiful high-end record players to consider (and drool over).
1. The Shrine (about $5200)
More than just a turntable, the Shrine is a maze of locked drawers and thus possibilities for the well established audiophile. There's space for headphones, LPs, converter plugs and just about anything else in your listening routine. It's even got a hidden compartment. The side also shows it being used for a seat, though if we're dropping this much on a device we aren't going to sit on it.
2. Braun SK55 (about $1,700)
While it's not exactly in production, it's definitely a classic. The clean lines, restrained use of color and beautiful simplicity screams Dieter Rams (if that scream is a loud and expensive whisper). Any of the line of Braun's vintage vinyl players will satisfy the audio as well as visual tastes of the purist audiophile.
3. Music Hall MMF 2.2 ($449-499)
This is the company's most affordable model, but still a contender for one of the best out there. The MMF 2.2 has an adjustable arm and adjustable feet, handy depending on where you place it. While otherwise pretty minimal in features (a power button and a speed changer), we like it for it's striking gloss finish, price compared some of the other high end models and Ferrari-red paint job ($499 model).
4. Montegiro Legno (about $13,000 depending on tone arm)
The Legno is a design that reminds the user of its analog nature. A curved edge that plays with the circular nature of records, glossy wood body and minimal use of steel keep the design simple and beautiful. The device comes with adjustable feet, stabliziing o-rings and a synchronizing motor help make the sound excellent.
5. Denon DP-200USB ($250)
While it may be hard to drag the vinyl lover into 2011 because of the aforementioned differences in audio technology, the Denon certainly makes an effort. Purists can play and rip their favorite tracks through this warm sounding device and instantly transfer the songs onto a thumb drive through the usb port on the front. Songs are broken up and metadata is added to the tracks using software that checks for breaks and the first 15 seconds of music. Sadly this only works on PC, however. We like this for it's bridge between the old and new, and price point.