Pro-ject on the Up and Up

Pro-ject is a big name in turntables, particularly turntables that are relatively affordable (as high-end turntables go). The VT-E BT ($499), however, just might be more of a conversation piece than a statement product. The photo here isn't misleading; the record actually sits vertically, with a clamp in place to keep it from falling off!

Tonearms that could track at other than the conventional horizontal were produced as far back as the late 1950s (though not much since then). They could actually play a record upside down (if you could keep the turntable platter in place), since the tracking pressure is applied by generating upwards pressure to the arm behind the pivot point by an adjustable spring or something similar.

But designing a turntable/arm that plays conventionally or upside down is relatively easy, but getting one to play vertically, or somewhere in between, is harder. Apart from the tracking force itself, there's the issue of a gravity-caused variation in the anti-skid force as the arm moves toward the center of the record. Perhaps Pro-ject has a solution for that, but in the 50s anti-skid discussions applied only to cars!