These South Korean Turntable Designers Want to Make Your Records Float
Jimin Hwang and Jihyo Seo share their sleek concept for a turntable that makes records levitate as they play.
Turntable technology has hit quite the stride in the last decade or so. New models typically feature computer interface functions, as well as a range of audio outputs and USB ports galore. But a team of South Korean designers is hoping to (literally) bring your records to a new level and redefine "high fidelity" all at once.
Jimin Hwang and Jihyo Seo have shared the concept design for their LEVI turntable system, a record player that makes your wax float as it spins. Previewed in a demo video, the LEVI features a minimalistic design and four playback settings for both LPs and 7-inch singles. Hwang and Seo's turntable concept utilizes electromagnetic drive and coils to suspend the platter in air. In the video, the LEVI also boasts a Harmon/Kardon logo. However, it's unclear whether the audio company is actually involved in the development of the turntable in any capacity. Harmon/Kardon is typically known for well-built speakers, receivers, and amplifiers. Should they welcome the LEVI, it would be the company's first turntable in over 40 years.
While it certainly holds an awe factor, the LEVI would not be the first levitating record player to go into production. MAG-LEV Audio, a Slovenian audio company currently offers turntables with floating platters for between $2,400 and $2,900, depending on the model. So Hwang and Seo are actually tasked with making one that would be somewhat reasonably priced (though hi-fi fans tend not to spare any costs in assembling the ideal rig.) Suppose we'll just have to wait and see.
Watch a product demo for the LEVI turntable below. Hold tight for updates on whether it gets the green light from Harman/Kardon (or any audio company,) in the months ahead.