AS AN AVOWED music nerd in my 40s, the amount of energy I’ve spent fawning over audio equipment is rivaled only by the incalculable number of hours I’ve logged aimlessly wandering through record stores or flipping through bins of dusty vinyl records at flea markets and thrift stores. Even though I’ve been obsessively hoarding music for the better part of 30 years now, I only recently opted to step up my game in terms of equipment, finally indulging my long-term obsession with Danish electronics company Bang & Olufsen. The company has been producing impeccably designed audio and visual equipment since the 1920s, and their pieces are known not only for their incredible fidelity, but also for their museum-worthy aesthetics. In the past year I’ve acquired two pairs of Bang & Olufsen headphones (the classic Beoplay H95 and some noise cancelling wireless earphones). I’ve also used this very space to write a love letter to the saucer-shaped Beoplay A9 speaker.
Given the intense collectability of vintage Bang & Olufsen equipment, it’s no surprise that audiophiles everywhere celebrated this year’s news that the company was resurrecting the Beogram 4000c – Recreated Limited Edition, an iconic turntable that was first launched in the early 1970s. The newly revamped Beograms are painstakingly rebuilt at the Bang & Olufsen labs in Struer, Denmark. It’s a process that breathes new life into vintage machines, incorporating refurbished components along with new technology that makes them perfectly compatible with modern speaker systems. This limited-edition Beogram 4000c is currently available only by request and in very limited quantities, but the turntable’s resurgence has generated a new groundswell of interest in the brand’s historic archive.
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Worshipped by record collectors and housed in the permanent collections of various design museums, the original Beogram turntable was a celebrated collaboration with designer Jacob Jensen, the man responsible for many of Bang & Olufsen’s most iconic designs. Known for its distinctive look — a minimalist sunburst pattern on an aluminum platter, dual arms that sweep seamlessly across the record — the turntable is not only perfect in its functionality, but is also widely considered a hallmark of contemporary product design. As such, it’s no surprise that Gideon Schwartz’s forthcoming book, “Revolution, The History of Turntable Design,” features none other than the Beogram on the cover — a perfect marriage of sound and vision.
T. Cole Rachel Writer
T. Cole Rachel is the deputy editor of Departures. A Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and teacher with over 20 years of experience working in print and digital media, his writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Interview, and the Creative Independent.
Robin Broadbent Photographer
Robin Broadbent is a New York–based photographer. His work has appeared in publications such as Numero, Vogue, the New York Times Magazine, Wall Street Journal Magazine, and Harper's Bazaar.