LoveFrom, the design firm formed by Apple’s former design head Jony Ive, has collaborated with British audio brand Linn on a 50th anniversary edition of its Sondek LP12 turntable. Just 250 models of the Linn Sondek LP12-50 will be produced and delivered between August 2023 and March 2024, with the limited edition turntable available to reserve now for an eye-watering $60,000 (£50,000).
According to a blog post from Linn CEO Gilad Tiefenbrun, the collaboration dates back to early 2022 when Tiefenbrun was offered a meeting with Ive out of the blue over LinkedIn. Eventually, the two companies decided to collaborate on the upcoming turntable, which Fast Company calls Ive’s “first hardware project post-Apple.”
Linn has focused on the sonic elements of the Sondek LP12-50 like a so-called “Bedrok” plinth made from a dense wood designed to minimize vibrations. Meanwhile, LoveFrom focused more on its industrial design. “We saw a number of areas where there could be small improvements and gentle evolutions of the current design,” Ive tells Fast Company. Previously squared-off components have been given smoother edges, a plastic rocker power button has been swapped out for an aluminum circle, and new hinges were developed for the machine’s dust cover that can hold it open at any angle.
Interestingly, Fast Company reports LoveFrom’s work on Linn’s Sondek LP12-50 was pro bono, and there’s “no contract or other financial arrangement” between the two firms. “There’s a substantial percentage of our work which we do purely for the love of doing it,” Ive said, noting that the design firm makes money from its longer-term contracts with the likes of Airbnb and Ferrari.
The Sondek LP12-50 is a world apart from the kinds of compact digital music devices like AirPods and iPods that Ive’s name was associated with while at Apple. But it’s arguably the most Ive-style collaboration LoveFrom has taken on since the designer left Apple to form the firm with Marc Newson in 2019. Other projects have included a typeface, an emblem for King Charles’ coronation, and a clown nose for British charity Comic Relief.
You can check out more photos of the record player over at The Financial Times.