Even with Record Store Day right around the corner, it’s hard to think of music as a physical object. MP3s and music streaming services have turned the processes of loading a CD or gently placing a vinyl record on the mat into simply pressing a button. Inventor Jesse England thought this begged the question, “In the record listening experience, how important is the still environment and kinetic spectacle? With modern tangible media supplanted by cross-platform, network-based storage and playback, is contemporary record and turntable ownership a novelty, or an effort towards meditative stability?”
To answer this, England built a Bluetooth audio receiver he calls the Universal Record. The device works much like those aux-cable cassette adaptors you used to use to play your iPod through your car stereo, except here you’ve eliminated cables and can use any Bluetooth-capable device. You can even hook up a Bluetooth transponder to any old Discman or Walkman and play your old Eagles tape on your fancy turntable.
Inside the Universal Record is a transducer that uses the information received via Bluetooth to vibrate the vinyl ring atop the device. The turntable’s needle rests upon this ring, and the vibrations acts like a groove in a record, resulting in a pretty comparable listening experience. Though the device works best when stationary, a level of scratchy nostalgia will be added if the turntable is spinning.
There’s no word if England will be selling this as a commercial product, but it’s an interesting flipping of technology either way. Is the method of the listening experience equally important to the sounds themselves? And if so, does reverting modern technology to classic modes of audio transmission recapture any of those old feelings?
See how it works in the video below, followed by a few more images of what it looks like up close.
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Bron: Consequence Of Sound - 13-04-2015