Haynes are a legend in UK book publishing. If you’ve got a car or a motorbike, there’s every chance that you’ve also got a copy of the Haynes Manual that allows you to keep the damn thing running. Need to change the carburettor on an ancient Mazda? There’s every chance your Haynes manual will lead you safely through the process.
The success of the manual — and the iconic cutaway technical drawings that adorn their covers — has led to some unusual publications. There’s a Haynes Manual for the Space Shuttle. There’s a manual that features the schematic diagrams from the Imperial Death Star. And now there’s a manual for vinyl owners.
Capitalising on the resurgence in vinyl sales, the Vinyl Owners Workshop Manual features 188 pages of vinyl-related detail, including a beginner’s guide to turntables, plus sections on vinyl manufacturing, culture and technique.
Here’s Haynes’ guide to the 10 most expensive turntables in the world.
TechDas Air Force One
Air by name, air by nature. How many decks do you know with an air bearing to support the platter, or achieve isolation from its support through air suspension? But it doesn’t stop there. Those with warped discs – that’s us too – can rejoice in the Techdas’s ability to suck a record flat onto its platter, giving the cartridge an easier ride.
Price: £75,000 ($97,000)
The Statement v2 is made from bulletproof wood sandwiched between aluminium plates and can accommodate up to four tonearms, including the £18,500 Statement TT1 v2 tangential tonearm (should you have some cash left over). Unlike the TechDAS there’s no air main bearing, with Clearaudio choosing to float the platter with magnetism instead. More realistic Clearaudio turntables are also available.
Price: £92,500 ($120,000)
J.C. Verdier La Platine Magnum
The La Platine is huge, has a 50cm platter (that’s a 12in record in the picture) and weighs a colossal 400kg, thanks to a base made of granite. And say what you like about the design, it certainly looks better than the company’s website.
Price: £95,000 ($123,500)
Rossner and Sohn MOTT
MOTT stands for Mother of TurnTable and this is one serious mother, with an overall weight of 325kg. There are various specifications available for this German turntable, but the top-end model comes with automatic pneumatic adjustment and an air bearing. You’ll have to wait six months for one to be made to order, mind.
Price: up to £105,000 ($137,000)
OneDof One Degree
The One Degree was designed by NASA space engineer Aleks Bakman and claims to eliminate all resonance thanks to ‘liquid suspension’. Naturally it uses ‘aerospace grade metals’, too. It features 24-carat gold plating and weighs a rather more manageable 23kg.
Price: £105,000 ($137,000)
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Basis Audio Work of Art
Billed as a ‘tribute to the science and art of vinyl music reproduction’, this Basis Audio turntable uses a vacuum system to hold the record down on the platter and even claims to be able to restore warped records to ‘exact flatness’. There’s a non-vacuum version, too, but in for a penny in for a pound, we reckon….
Price: £105,000 ($137,000)
Transrotor hopes your £105,000 will be well spent on the Artus, thanks to the deck’s ability to deliver a completely level playing platform using ‘cardanic suspension’ – a gimbal design ensures it pivots around a single axis. Made from solid aluminium and acrylic, it also features a contactless magnetic field drive and a balanced tonearm (you’d hope so, too). And it weighs a quarter of a tonne.
Price: £105,000 ($137,000)
Audio Consulting R-evolution Meteor
This battery-powered turntable is apparently made from ‘one entire tree’. And not just any tree, either, but one that’s been dried for at least 20 years. Craftsmen then spend two weeks getting the surface ‘just right’ by hand. It uses a two-chassis construction designed ‘to avoid any standing waves’ and can support two tonearms. You can even have the platter in Ferrari red, which is arguably fitting given the price.
Price: £130,000 ($169,000)
Goldmund Reference II
The Reference II was limited to just 25 units, has a platter that weighs 20kg, and some 15kg of brass shielding for the motor. There’s no end to the fantastical-sounding features – ‘liquid nitrogen-rectified belt’ being our favourite – but sadly the £165,000 doesn’t go quite as far as you might hope; you’ll still need to shell out for a tonearm and cartridge….
Price: £165,000 ($214,500)
AV Designhaus Derenville VPM 2010-1
We think the Derenville VPM 2010-1 might just be the most expensive turntable ever made. You’d expect a great deal of technology in something costing the best part of half a million pounds, and you’d be right.
The VPM 2010-1 has two frequency- controlled motors on the belt, a solid 60kg chassis (made from a special material called Corian, fact fans) standing on four air- suspension feet, laser toe angle measurement and an integrated digital scale. There’s an HD camera and screen for checking everything is running smoothly, too, plus a touchscreen remote control.
Price: £460,000 ($600,000)