A challenge to all turntable manufacturers

As I sit here, listening to Miles, Live at the Blackhawk, Vol II, a thought occurred to me. I'm strictly a CD source, all tube component audiophile. While I acknowledge the sonic benefits of a quality analogue source, I cant get past the convenience of 70+ minute CDs, shuffle playback, remote pause and skip, minimal care and feeding, and low cost compared to new quality pressings that CDs offer over vinyl.

However the thought occurred to me that a laser pickup is a technical marvel. If it can read the nano sized pits on a CD, surely the technology exists for someone to make laser pickup to read the hills and valleys of an LP pressing without converting it to one's and zeros. Think of the benefits of no complicated stylus alignment or wear, platter cleaning, etc., The pickup could also be made to read both sides of the LP allowing for continuous play, random, play, skip function, etc. Am I just dreaming? Technology today has given us things never thought possible before. Come on TT manufacturers, get to work. Thoughts?


"ELP claims no digitization in the process."

I missed that. Thanks.

Well, that’s one major bugbear out of the way.

If records could be cleaned scrupulously, a big ’if’ I know, then the implications not only for audiophiles are huge.

Dragging a stylus through a groove, even with optimum stylus force, alignment and tracking ability, is changing the sound of that record forever.

For audiophiles it might not matter too much as we tend to wear out well before the vinyl, which is often replaceable.

But for archivists all over the world the benefits of preserving rare vinyl copies would be enormous.
You still have a stylus tracing the groove. Tracing the groove is the hardest part not the conversion to an electrical signal.
Opinion stated as fact. Constructing a quality phono preamp section is a challenging task and there’s no easy or inexpensive way to do it. One of the prime advantages of the strain gauge method, for example, is that it allows an inherently simplified approach to satisfying the RIAA curve.

I suspect that among the prime limitations of the ELP player are the playback electronics that follow the laser reader.

I agree and have regarded the laser stylus as primarily a super cool archivist’s tool. In my own life, it’s just a fun bit of trivia. If I’m having some light conversation that drifts in the right direction, I might ask someone if they’ve heard of this thing. After a couple minutes, they reliably conclude that it’s fascinating but unnecessary *unless* you’re an archivist. 

Well you know how we audiophiles can spend decades climbing the ladder to sonic Nirvana, then something new and potentially better comes along.

We can either accept it and welcome it, or feel threatened and attempt to dismiss it.

I mean digital has been around for nearly 40 years and yet pockets of fierce resistance still remain.

As for the Mag-Lev ML1, that got flamed in certain quarters right from the start (same for MiniDisc).

For me any contactless vinyl replay system must surely be worth investigating.
For me any contactless vinyl replay system must surely be worth investigating.
What are you waiting for? The ELP laser turntable has been around for more than 30 years. Please let us know what your investigation reveals.