Linn Products – without doubt the UK’s most important turntable manufacturer of recent times – is celebrating the 40th birthday of the company and its first product, with a special an very limited edition of the legendary Linn Sondek LP12. The Scottish company has hooked up with whisky distillery Highland Park to produce a run of 40 LP12s, with a plinth crafted from the Spanish oak casks used by the distillery to make the company’s highly respected whisky. Each Limited Edition Sondek LP12 will be supplied at the current top specification for the turntable (LP12 with Keel subchassis, Radikal DC motor and power supply, Urika internal phono stage, Ekos SE arm and Kandid MC cartridge), will feature a special Highland Park logo on the rear of the plinth and the serial number burned into the wood of the turntable, and comes with a special bottle of Highland Park’s award-winning 40 year old whisky, which is itself valued at about £900. It may come complete with a limited edition Glencairn whisky nosing glass featuring the Linn logo, itself likely to be a collector’s item in future years.
The price of the turntable is £25,000.
Given the price of the top-flight turntable is normally a shade under £16,000 in the UK, that’s a pretty steep premium to be one of the 40 owners of this rare collectable. Despite this, we have it on strong authority that Linn received orders for ‘all 40 turntables’ from several of the first distributors it contacted.
This is something exceptionally rare. Like many things, sales of turntables hit a wall at a few hundred pounds or dollars and then drop exponentially after that. The vinyl revival notwithstanding, the idea of 40 turntables costing £25,000 being snapped up in moments is striking in 2013.
It’s also geographically interesting that Linn should ally itself with Highland Park when Glasgow has a long and illustrious distilling history. Scotch whisky regions are strictly divided up, and Glasgow is firmly in the ‘Lowlands’ (the distillery Auchentoshan being situated about 20 miles from Linn’s factory), while Highland Park is Scotland’s most northerly distillery, based in the windswept and treeless Kirkwall on the island of Orkney. As a consequence, it is classified as an ‘Island’ malt. In a country where geographic boundaries are powerfully defended, this could be a source of irritation for hard-core Glaswegians.
From a personal standing however, I welcome the connection. In part because Highland Park’s 18 year old bottling is a favourite of mine (and Auchentoshan isn’t… sorry), but also because it reinforces a connection between the finer things in life. Many of us enjoy a glass of the good stuff while kicking back and listening to our music. OK, if I had a glass of whisky for every record played, I’d be on my third liver by now, but this natural partnership made me think… what would be your ideal accompaniment to a night of great music?
It doesn’t need to be your whisky (or whiskey) of choice… if you enjoy listening to Bizet with brandy, Portishead with a glass of port, the Stones with shiraz or vodka with Vivaldi, that's fine too. Even enjoying Charlie Christian in a cloud of cigar smoke, Doritos with Miles Davis , or just a bottle of suds while you are performing a drive-by on GTA V, now’s your chance to divulge your secret (or not so secret) tipple. The wittier the better; just keep it legal. And if you can’t keep it legal, keep it anonymous.
We’d love to award the most entertaining musical accompaniment with a bottle of 40 year old Highland Park, but we don’t have one to give away… and if we did, I’d make damn sure I was the winner. So, it’s just for fun. Knock yourselves out, figuratively at least.