Starting with the Winter 2016 issue, I have become the Techno File columnist for International Architecture & Design magazine. Published in Toronto, the 50,000-circulation publication covers luxury design, architecture and art both within Canada and internationally.
My job is to introduce new consumer technology to affluent homeowners who have a penchant for fine design and unique functionality, as well as the budget to indulge their tastes. In this first issue I concentrated on music, looking at additions to a home stereo system that would please a true audiophile.
In “Sound So Good,” I introduce the $50,000 (apiece!) BeoLab 90 speakers. Danish manufacturer Bang & Olufsen knows that true sound seduction begins with visual foreplay. The speaker features a craggy 360-degree design with a complex, 1.2-metre-tall aluminum cabinet sitting on a curved wooden base, in which a Scandinavian aesthetic channels its inner Klingon. It delivers aa skull-ripping 8,200 watts through a complex setup of drivers and amplifiers.
Or for a modest $40,000, an audiophile could also get a SG1.2 turntable manufactured by Spiral Groove of Berkeley, Calif. The turntable taps into the huge resurgent demand for LPs, both old and new, driven in part by superior music systems that mine records’ inherent, but previously untapped, sound possibilities.
Designed by sound engineer Allen Perkins, the SG1.2’s clean lines and simple vintage look disguise the fanatic attention given to getting every detail right, including ensuring a clean sound, with no pops, squeaks or sizzles. The extra-wide bearing, or pivot, of the turntable is made of the same case-hardened steel that’s used in a Formula One racing car’s crankshaft, which ensures smooth, wobble-free performance. The mass of the 20-pound platter also aids in this, while its weight is kept off of the bearing’s steel-ball-and-sapphire thrust plate by a custom-designed magnet system.
Thanks to editor Carolyn Kennedy for the assignment. You can see a layout of the article here.