Stockholm-based Transparent makes a lot of minimalist audio tech. For the first time, they’ve released their very own turntable, and it’s mouthwateringly gorgeous. The transparent tempered glass cover lays atop an aluminum body (“meticulously crafted” in either black or white), and it looks like it comfortably fits right along with Transparent’s lineup of high-end speakers — which use similarly minimalistic design elements.
From a technical standpoint, it’s also just a really nice, modern turntable with plenty of gadgetry for today’s hi-fi enthusiast. The preinstalled Elliptical Diamond Ortofon OM Stylus 5E provides warm and rich sound quality, though it can also be swapped out for fancier stylus models or replaced once it wears out. In fact, the entire build is designed for modularity, including its SME-compatible headshell mount.
The tech specs are pretty impressive on the performance front as well. Its low speed variance means it should play vinyl records more accurately for a smoother sound. It’s geared up with digital optical and analog inputs as well as Bluetooth 5.0 support via its Qualcomm CSR8670C chip, which basically translates to high-fidelity audio output at a low latency even when playing MP3 files directly from your phone.
The built-in 20-25,000Hz +3 / -3 frequency range is also reasonably wide for a hi-fi audio component of the Transparent Turntable’s caliber, meaning it can process rich, deep bass and bring out the crispness of higher frequencies. For instance, when playing a song containing a mixture of low bass, high woodwinds, and additional sounds placed further out to the edges of the soundstage, the Transparent Turntable should be able to accurately reproduce all of that detail without crunching the mid-range.
It looks like everything from its groovy (literally) tonearm right down to its gold-plated contacts are built with high-quality materials and peculiar attention to detail. The unit is also relatively low-profile, weighing only 14 lbs and using a maximum of 15W of electricity per hour. That makes it easy to stick into an eco-friendly household, or even take with you on the road in a minimalistic tiny home.
The Transparent Turntable costs $1,300 on the Transparent website, and you can order it now — ahead of its estimated shipment window in mid-November.