The Gearbox Automatic bridges the gap between analog and digital technology.
London-based mastering studio, record label and audiophile playback room Gearbox Records has launched a Kickstarter campaign for a turntable that combines traditional analog and digital streaming technology.
As the team explains in its Kickstarter video, though vinyl is undergoing a resurgence in popularity, people also enjoy the convenience of streaming, prompting the team to create a “bridge between analog and digital.”
The Gearbox Automatic features a vacuum tube phono stage for high-quality vinyl playback alongside Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. It also features built-in technology for converting analog sound to digital.
It also has the ability to recognize any tracks played on vinyl and automatically add them to a Spotify playlist (assuming the music you’re playing isn’t an obscure ‘70s funk record or a white label techno release).
Gearbox has shared images of a working prototype, though the company says there will be a turquoise body and cream platter version available. It’s expected to be ready to ship in December 2017.
Gearbox’s turntable is surprisingly affordable for a company that specializes in audiophile experiences: it costs just £399 if you back it on Kickstarter before the campaign ends on February 1. However, it will only go into production if the company reaches its £85,000 goal.