ELP Laser Turntable – everything old is new(er) again

ELP Laser Turntable

The ELP Laser Turntable is for the audiophiles out there. The old-school, well-heeled audiophiles that is.

It’s a turntable, yes, and it will play your vinyl, but rather than using a needle to turn the grooves into sound, it uses a system of 5 lasers. ELP claim this allows you to:

  • Play your vinyl records without any wear and tear – only light beams touch the record.
  • Produce better sound from damaged records. Plus ELP claim that, “In some cases, the LT plays even broken records when all the pieces are placed on a tray without tape or glue”.
  • Hear more of the sound encoded in the record’s grooves, as the lasers reach places needles cannot.

The ELP Laser Turntable also allows you to playback a vinyl record somewhat in the manner you play a CD, skipping tracks, or cueing or reviewing parts of tracks, with the touch of a button, removing the process of the nervous lift and replace of a turntable tone arm.

If you’d like to compare the sound of the ELP Laser Turnaable to a needle turntable, visit the Sound Quality page of the ELP website, via two MP3 samples of the track “My Old Kentucky Home”.

ELP state a few times that this is not a digitisation of the vinyl tracks, it is simply the use of lasers to produce analog sound.

Video demonstration of the ELP Laser Turntable

See the ELP Laser Turntable in action, in this almost 4-minute long video demonstration. That, and admire the collection of very nice, and quite abundant, audio kit that the videomaker has at hand.

The track playing in the demonstration is “Someone To Watch Over Me”, from the album ‘This Is Chris’, by Chris Connor.

Specifications

  • Functions: Drawer system (Open/Close), Automatic lead-in, lead-out, Programming (max. 15 songs), Forward and back scan (2 speed), Forward and back search
  • Record type: Black records
  • Drive system: Computer controlled belt-drive system
  • Screen displays: Total, Elapsed, Remaining time, Record size, Revolution
  • Frequency: 20Hz – 25kHz
  • Distortion: <0.5% DIN45 543 1kHz Ref. Level
  • Signal-to-noise ratio: >55db (Weighted) Ref. Level
  • Wow & flutter: <0.07% WRMS
  • Output terminal: RCA pin jacks
  • Power supply voltage: 100V 50/60Hz, 120, 220, or 240V available
  • Size: 470 x 480 x 170 mm (W x D x H)
  • Weight: 19 kg

ELP Laser Turntable price and availability

And now we come to my mention of needing to be well-heeled. There are three models of ELP Laser Turntable available. Their prices, and playback capabilities, are as follows:

  • LT-1LRC: $US12,000; plays – 33 1/3 and 45 RPM records; disc sizes – 7″, 10″, 12″
  • LT-1XRC: $US15,300; plays 33 1/3, 45, 78 RPM records; disc sizes – 7″, 10″, 12″
  • LT-2XRC: $US16,400; plays 33 1/3, 45, 78 RPM records; disc sizes – 7″, 8″, 9″, 10″, 11″, 12″

If you’re interested, the place to order these pieces of ‘retro now’ is the Price Information Page of the ELP website.

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