Linn LP12-50 50th Anniversary
Fiftieth anniversary of the most iconic product in hi-fi history.
The story behind Linn and LoveFrom’s collaboration on the Sondek LP12-50
At the start of 2022, I received a LinkedIn request from a sender I didn’t recognise for a meeting with British design guru Sir Jony Ive. Of course, I deleted it immediately believing it was spam. However, as the day continued, I had this nagging feeling building in my stomach.
Suddenly the feeling crystallised into a thought: What if it actually is Sir Jony Ive?
I then spent the next 15 minutes figuring out how to retrieve a message from Trash in LinkedIn, before arranging a FaceTime meeting via a personal assistant with what turned out to be the real Sir Jony Ive.
The conversation happened a week or so later, during which we discussed Jony’s admiration for Linn and our products, in particular the latest Klimax LP12 and Klimax DSM which he was keen to purchase.
He went on to explain that his new company, LoveFrom, is built to collaborate and ran through an impressive list of upcoming partners. He started the venture after leaving Apple, where he was Chief Design Officer for over 20 years, with his old friend and colleague Marc Newson.
Jony said that if Linn ever needed help on a project, LoveFrom would love to get involved.
I replied: “Next year is the 50th anniversary of Linn and the Sondek LP12 turntable.”
The next morning there was an email in my Inbox from Jony expressing his desire to help Linn design a special edition of the Sondek LP12 to celebrate Linn’s 50th anniversary.
And that’s how it began.
From there, the LoveFrom team took some time to get to know the Sondek LP12 before Jony called me to discuss their suggestions, initially focussing on improvements to the plastic hinges and speed control / power switch. If you’ve ever had a real estate agent look around your house, you’ll be familiar with how I felt. At Linn, we care about sound quality above all else and so, whilst we are aware that there is indeed room for improvement in these areas, we haven’t found the time in recent years to make them a priority over our long list of potential sonic improvements.
As you can imagine this gave me a very good feeling; with LoveFrom homing in on the areas with greatest potential for aesthetic and usability improvement, it was becoming abundantly clear to me that this was to be the start of a beautiful friendship between our companies, each bringing their own complementary and synergistic skill set to bear in a true collaboration.
Gilad Tiefenbrun & Sir Jony Ive
“This project has been so life-affirming and so joyful to work on… LoveFrom has worked together with brilliant, kind people at Linn who share our obsessiveness to make something wonderful and without compromise. And at the same time, we have been able to play a small part in celebrating fifty years of an icon.”
Sir Jony Ive, LoveFrom
“Last year, I was approached by Sir Jony Ive. He shared his own enduring admiration for Linn – our designs, our ethos and our relentless pursuit of musical perfection. I was pleased to be able to reciprocate his admiration, and to discuss our shared values of beauty in design, peerless performance, user experience, and attention to detail. Our upcoming fiftieth anniversary year presented the perfect opportunity to create something extraordinary, together – and where better to start than with the product that started it all, Sondek LP12? “
Gilad Tiefenbrun, Linn CEO
Over a series of meetings, we worked through a range of design options for new, precision-machined metal hinges that would make the dust cover ultra-responsive to the user, and for a new, circular, machined-from-solid aluminium power switch.
The design proposal also included curved edges on the top plate and arm board to mirror the new power switch’s curves, as well as a new lid badge.
By happy coincidence, Linn’s engineers had for some time been hard at work on an all-new plinth technology that would take the Sondek LP12-50 to a new level of sonic performance. The turntable’s plinth provides the foundations for its inner mechanics, ideally creating an acoustically silent platform on which the inner and outer platter, bearing assembly and sub-chassis can function. What has now become known as the new “Bedrok” plinth is machined from a single block of an incredibly dense new type of wood, which is created by compressing layers of beech under extreme pressure. We are delighted with how it performs.
Space grey anodised arm board with Sondek LP12-50 model name
It has indeed been a collaboration in the truest sense, each team showing total respect for the other’s skill set, each contributing the very best they have to offer in the most wonderful spirit of friendship and cooperation.
The result is our best-sounding, best-looking and most usable Sondek LP12 ever.I couldn’t have picked a better way of marking our 50th anniversary than with this landmark collaboration on Sondek LP12-50.
Sondek LP12-50 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the most iconic product in hi-fi history. This limited edition turntable was designed with our friends at the creative collective LoveFrom and more specifically with the collaboration of the legendary Apple designer, Sir Jony Ive.
Sondek LP12-50 produces the best vinyl playback performance Linn has ever achieved, alongside the immediately recognizable and iconic design language of Sir Jony Ive and his team at LoveFrom, applied in key visual and tactile interfaces.
The sonic improvement comes by way of Linn’s all-new Bedrok™ plinth technology; formed of orthogonal layers of beech placed under extreme pressure to create an entirely new, solid and massive material. The consequent ultra-dense wood has negligible resonance and offers a superior isolating housing for the turntable’s mechanism.
LoveFrom has applied their design expertise to the new, precision-machined power/speed control button and hinges – providing delightful and precise interaction with the turntable. Further aesthetic refinements to the classic Sondek LP12 form have been made with deep respect for the quality and integrity of the product.
The combination of performance, usability, and aesthetic improvements result in an historic piece with unrivalled sonic quality and beauty. Only 250 of these limited edition Sondek LP12-50s will ever be produced – with each bearing an embossed aluminium plaque celebrating this landmark collaboration with individual numbering.