Horo WJE168 Turntable

And now for something completely different—a turntable shaped like a piano with a tonearm made from a violin bow. Italian maker Horo calls the WJE168—named in honor of jazz legend William J. (Bill) Evans—a "tunable turntable."

According to the Horo website, the WJE168 is "produced with the forms and materials of a lute maker...the arm is made from a violin bow, and the platter is constructed like a musical instrument."

The site goes on to say, "The vibrations created by the pickup while the record is playing are treated in a way that is similar to strings of a guitar, a piano, etc." There's even a guitar tuning peg mounted on the arm that is said to modify the sound according to the user's expectations, though there's no description of exactly what it does.

Like many high-end turntables, the belt-driven platter is powered by an outboard motor that is completely isolated from the main structure.

This photo shows a surprising number of connections for a turntable, including several RCA and XLR jacks, but I was unable to learn what they are. I was also unable to determine the exact retail price of the WJE168—the rep I communicated with said he would discuss it only with prospective customers. He did reveal that the starting price is in the tens of thousands of dollars, which isn't really surprising.

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uavtheo's picture

Scott, always love to see some of the esoteric stuff that comes out. Personally, I think that the piano shape and string arm is nice but a bit over the top. Seems to too much of a gimmick to me and that is only reinforced by the conversation you related. I personally believe that if someone has a stellar product they shouldn't be afraid to hide the science or to let people under the hood. But then again, if someone has tens of thousands of dollars of disposable income, then I would think that the seller can tell them that it also has 8 coats of piano black finish too ;-)

uavkelsci's picture

I once had a semi-automatic Pioneer turntable that was belt driven. To me the belt thingy is a problem. Not because they do not work well, but when they wear down and you have to replace them. Replacing them can be a problem if say a company like this went out of business or was unable to supply that item. On top of that, when you replace the belts if you get them, you hope that the replacements work as well as the originals. So while this turntable looks like a jewel and costs like an expensive one, it could turn into an expensive endeavor and a piece of worthless poo-poo. I wish AR made their $79 dollar turntable of years past. It wss belt driven and played vinyl quite well. Its only flaw was that you had to use caution screwing on a cartidge to the headshell whose screw mounts were rather flimsy. 79 dollars is not tens of thousands of dollars either.

Jarod's picture

This is gotta be the most unique piece of audio equipment, let alone just turntables, that I have seen! I love how they infuse other music instruments together. Very cool!

guitarstores's picture

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