Jony Ive Emerges to Put His Own Spin on a Legendary Turntable

Anything designed by Sir Jony Ive is pretty much guaranteed to garner a peerless degree of curiosity and attention by the sheer fact Apple’s former head of design has flown mostly under the radar since co-launching LoveFrom, in 2019 with fellow designer Marc Newson. He’s recently emerged with the announcement of his first hardware project post-Apple – the 50th anniversary Linn Sondek LP12-50 turntable – a passion project of sorts, revealing Ive’s love of classic design and his audiophile tastes.

White edition of the Sondek LP12-50 with dust cover closed.

The white finish was unsurprisingly the result of a suggestion of Ive.

The origin story behind the 50th anniversary Linn Sondek LP12 turntable reads something like a movie plot: “I got a LinkedIn request for a meeting with British design guru, Sir Jony Ive,” Linn’s Director of Engineering Gilad Tiefenbrun notes in his recollection of the beginning of the partnership. In fact, Tiefenbrun admits he originally deleted the meeting request, believing it was a spam message. “A few hours later, I had this nagging feeling – ‘Maybe it was Jony Ive’ – so I got it out of the trash.”

Detail of the corner of the turntable showing the circular, machined-from-solid aluminum power switch with red and green dot lights, designed by Jony Ive.

“We saw a number of areas where there could be small improvements and gentle evolutions of the current design,” Ive noted in a feature with Fast Company. After a year of co-development between Linn and LoveFrom, Ive’s affinity for the brand comes through in the deft and modest touches left across the turntable’s redesign: edges smoothed, plastic hinges changed out for precision-machined metal hinges, and most prominently Ive-ian, the plastic rocker power button is now a circular, machined-from-solid aluminum, power switch.

Small aluminum imprinted badge in san serif all caps font: "DESIGNED WITH OUR FRIENDS AT LOVEFROM HAND-BUILT IN SCOTLAND BY DUNCAN HENDERSON LIMITED EDITION • 1/250"

space grey anodized arm board with Sondek LP12-50 model name subtly

Small touches like the space grey anodized arm board with Sondek LP12-50 model name subtly imprinted across makes it quietly known this LP12-50 turntable is a bit special. Limited to just 250 in the world, special. More photos of the LP12-50 over at the Financial Times.

Back right corner of the Sondek LP12-50 turntable showing its new metal hinge design.

Overhead shot of the Sondek LP12-50 turntable.

The all-new “Bedrok” plinth is machined from a single block of dense wood made by compressing layers of beech under extreme pressure, resulting in what Tiefenbrun describes as an “acoustically silent platform.”

Tiefenbrun is glowingly ecstatic of the collaboration. “The result is our best-sounding, best-looking, and most usable Sondek LP12 ever… I couldn’t have picked a better way of marking our 50th anniversary than with this landmark collaboration on Sondek LP12-50.”

Even at $60,000, we expect all 250 of these Linn turntables to find happy homes. If you’re so inclined to become one of the few, Linn is accepting reservation requests here.

Gregory Han is the Managing Editor of Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at gregoryhan.com.

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