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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

May 18, 2006 at 1:14 PM

For true vinyl freaks


ELP

It costs $15,000, for the record.

It probably won’t appeal to people who buy old albums for their retro look or their musty scent of authenticity. But if you’re crazy for the sound of vinyl records, a Japanese electronics company has just started selling a laser turntable in the U.S. that won’t wear them out.

ELP sells the device for $15,000 — about the cost of the entire inventory at the average used record store in Fremont. ELP says there’s a big market, with 20 billion to 30 billion vinyl records still floating around, and it sold 1,000 of the machines in Japan last year.

If this device had been around 50 years, the CD may never have come into existence. Jim Russell, a Bellevue audiophile who developed key optical recording technologies, made his discoveries after being frustrated by the way turntable needles wore down his records.

Comments | More in | Topics: Gadgets & products

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