Obegränsad: That's a Mouthful

I like Swedish meatballs and I cannot lie. Moreover, I would seldom say a discouraging word about cinnamon rolls. Therefore, when IKEA announced that it will be serving up a turntable, my appetite was immediately whetted.

Aperitif Much like Brussels sprouts, vinyl is an acquired taste. However, a steadfast segment of the population has acquired, and maintains, a strong preference for vinyl. One might say that they liken vinyl to fine dining, whereas to them digital is fast food. Personally, I confess that I don't mind sinking my teeth into a Whopper now and then. But I digress.

Appetizer IKEA is widely known for its furniture, which is affordable, functional and even stylish — in a medium-density fiberboard sort of way. But the Swedish company also dabbles in wireless speakers (the Eneby) as well as some furniture with built-in charging capabilities. Even so, an IKEA turntable comes as a bit of a surprise.

Soup The furniture giant's marketing department has teamed up with the electronic music trio Swedish House Mafia to produce a very robust-looking turntable — simultaneously stylish and Soviet in appearance, with a bit of Lego thrown in. Details are scarce, but it appears to have an integrated preamplifier; the RCA jacks on the side of the case suggest that it can be plugged into a plethora of downstream devices. You can spin at either 33-1/3 or 45 rpm. Also, reportedly, and interestingly, the turntable is powered via USB — although, I can't confirm that.

Entrée A press release touts a stylus “of well-known make and good quality.” I'm not sure why they needed to be coy here; a quick glance at the photo shows a swappable Audio-Technica cartridge, which is not a bad thing. For those who value convenience above all other things (such as sound quality), there is also Bluetooth on board. Leaving no liner notes unturned, the Obegränsad brand will encompass furniture such as a music-production desk with two speaker stands and a pull-out shelf for MIDI keyboards (or QWERTYs) as well as an accompanying stylish armchair. Meanwhile, I have questions. Lots of questions: 1) Does the turntable come in a flat box? 2) Do you use cam-lock fastener screws to put it together? 3) Is the turntable case made of medium-density fiberboard? 4) And of course, does it come with instructions with those weird IKEA pictures drawn by Martians?

Dessert Just the facts: 1) Available sometime in the fall. 2) Price was not announced. Probably just as well. With the current rate of inflation, whatever figure they quote today would have to be multiplied by twelve million by the time it goes on sale. 3) I'll buy one just so I can frame the instructions and hang them on my wall next to my Elon Musk poster.

Coffee In Sweden, Burger King establishments serve beer. However, it is non-alcoholic. What a disappointment — that's like listening to vinyl records via Bluetooth — the aural equivalent of empty calories. Ideally, calories that are consumed via cinnamon rolls.

Electroliner's picture

I’m curious whether this turntable mechanism is the same china one that Matt from Techmoan said to avoid.

John_Werner's picture

I get "because they can", but I can get on line with an Eastern mass producer of turntables and if I want my own "proprietary" design they can change this and that if I will put down the money for enough units. It will incorporate a lot of old designs, none of them as good as the original yet good enough to get the product through the process from agreement to delivery. If it fails after the first year (likely since these are casual LP buyers), well, the retailer is home free (the maker is likely home free prior to even delivery as the money required upfront usually covers their cost, and, there are no returns to the manufacturer from the retailer-only possible leverage for future negotiations). Welcome to "first cost" manufacturing and retailing. I don't know about you but I'd be a bit more suspicious when a furniture maker becomes a turntable seller. This seller is usually vertically integrated in their core business even owning their own sustainable forrests as a quality and environmental measure. This turntable smacks of someone else's innards disguised with IKEAS visual DNA. The cheap tonearm is the real tip-off. I think I've seen this one before. So while I have contempt already from a personal audiophile slant I will admit the is a win for the continued vinyl renaissance.