Last Tuesday evening, SoundStage! Australia attended a soirée, organised by Advance Audio Australia, at Rekōdo Restaurant and Vinyl Bar, to celebrate and officially launch the new AU$90,000 Linn Sondek LP12-50 in Sydney. The new turntable is a 50th Anniversary limited-run refinement of the company’s iconic deck and one certain to become a desired collector’s item.
Attracting, Creating and Allowing
Linn’s Sondek LP12 is the longest running product in high-end audio. Certainly, at the very least, in terms of its aesthetic form factor which, barring some minor refinements over its 50 year run, has remained almost identical. Quite fortuitously, as the iconic product was about to celebrate its 50th anniversary, Linn CEO Gilad Tiefenbrun was contacted by renowned industrial designer Sir Jony Ive who, simply, had a desire to acquire an LP12. This is where the classic product’s immense gravitational pull drew the two stars, CEO and designer, towards its 33 ⅓ rpm orbit.
Near-fresh from starting his own design company LoveFrom after departing from Apple, where he was responsible for iPhone, iPad designs and more, Ive was merely seeking advice as to where best to get his hands on an LP12. Spam suspicions and the shenanigans of recovering deleted messages resolved, Ive’s first contact and Tiefenbrun’s subsequent response led to a connection between the two company leaders. After many discussions, a Linn/LoveFrom collaboration to refine the LP12’s aesthetics was locked-in. As a consequence, the product of the association was a venture into the creation of a limited production offering to celebrate the LP12’s 50-year longevity.
Also fortuitously, Linn engineers at the time were in the closing development stages of a new super-dense, ultra-inert plinth material which was set to elevate the LP12 to new standards of sonic performance. What an opportunity!
There were many back and forth design meetings between Linn and LoveFrom. Yet, one thing was to remain steadfast. Linn had a clear mandate to uphold the LP12’s sonic performance as an unwaveringly intact aspect, with the exception and potential enhancement of the new plinth material. Enter Sondek LP12-50 Anniversary Turntable.
To celebrate the occasion of the LP12-50 Anniversary Turntable, Linn importer Advance Audio Australia hosted a launch event at Sydney’s Rekōdo Restaurant and Vinyl Bar, a larger scale Jazz Kissa-style bar by the water at Barangaroo’s vibrant bar and restaurant district.
Advance Audio Australia’s Nigel Ng introduces Linn’s Gilad Tiefenbrun…
Introduced by Advance Audio’s Principal Nigel Ng, Linn’s CEO Gilad Tiefenbrun, with support from Export Sales Manager Steve Croft, presented the LP12-50 within the context of a full Linn system (which was also used, like heretics, to stream background vibes prior to the presentation). The system comprised the LP-12-50, of course, mated to the multi-functional Selekt DSM and onto the awesome 360 Exakt Integrated fully active loudspeakers which, volume-wise, had no trouble in terms of filling the large open space with high levels of dynamic SPLs.
… and Gilad Tiefenbrun introduces Sondek LP12-50 Anniversary Turntable
Gilad Tiefenbrun introduced the Sondek LP12-50, the star of the evening, and went on to describe the often humorous circumstances by which he synched-up with Sir Jony Ive (you’ll have to watch our SoundStage! Talks video for the low down). He then covered important aspects of the LP12-50’s design, like the fact that only 250 individually numbered decks will be produced. The mix of improvements, its historic caché and its status as a true high-end classic are guarantees the Sondek LP12-50 will become a collector’s item in the very near future.
Barry Johnston advocates the wonders of high quality whiskey…
Next, Barry Johnston, engineer, music lover, importer/creator of super-fine whisky and SoundStage! Australia reviewer, took the stage for a short intro of his and Nigel Ng’s ‘Blackbird 1929’ Balvenie single malt whisky. As part of HEVN PR and Marketing, Johnston also made mention of Blackbird 1929’s umbrella company Platinum Cask while touting cask investment opportunities plus the inherent qualities of the limited-to-fourteen (AU$6500/bottle) rather special whisky.
… while Josh Gibbs advocates the wonders of vinyl playback
Johnston then passed on the baton to Josh Gibbs from Crosstalk Records in Leichhardt, Sydney who talked about the status quo of the record industry from a retailer’s point of view while also shedding light into the activities at Crosstalk Records. Pleasingly, he described the abundance of passionate, and rather youthful, clientele frequenting the store and who also attend its many vinyl music events. At the Linn event, Gibbs’ DJ duties included, coincidentally, spinning one of my personal favourite tracks – “Bombtrack” from Rage Against The Machine’s self-titled debut album. Gibbs then went on to the Beach Boys’ Endless Summer and D’Angelo and the Vanguard’s Black Messiah albums. I look forward to visiting Gibb’s treasure trove next time I’m in his ‘hood…
I finish with what I found to be an evocative closing statement by Gilad Tiefenbrun who, as he wrapped-up his part of the presentation, shared a few poignant last words, given all the more weight in light of events around the world at this time. Tiefenbrun, in his casual manner, which itself is in kinship to us Aussies, in a simple summation which resonated with me pronounced, “Music is a miracle, and a miracle that connects us all”. What he said!
… Edgar Kramer
Linn Sondek LP12-50 Anniversary Turntable Launch
Rekōdo Restaurant and Vinyl Bar
21 November 2023
Australian Distributor: Advance Audio Australia
+61 2 9561 0799
Linn Sondek LP12-50 Anniversary Turntable