Jony Ive has been busy since leaving Apple, with his design agency working on things like a typeface, a charity clown nose and “the future of Airbnb.” LoveFrom’s latest project takes Ive back to his hardware days — it’s a new model of a modular turntable that’s been around for half a century.
LoveFrom helped refine Linn’s Sondek LP12 for a 50th anniversary edition. Ive told Fast Company it was a “very gentle and modest project” for LoveFrom that stems from his team’s admiration for Linn. Perhaps as a result of that, LoveFrom carried out the work pro bono. "There are many things that I’ve always wanted to be able to do purely for the love of doing them,” Ive noted.
The design firm approached Linn about working together, in part because Ive is a long-time fan of the brand. The two teams examined every aspect of the LP12 but couldn't change the turntable very much owing to concerns over impact to the sound quality. Still, LoveFrom "saw a number of areas where there could be small improvements and gentle evolutions of the current design," Ive said.
The exterior of the special-edition Sondek LP12-50 looks largely the same as the standard LP12, though the tweaks include rounded off corners for some components rather than squared-off edges. There's a circular aluminum power button instead of a plastic rocker, while a new hinge seemingly enables the dust cover to easily remain open at any angle.
If you're interested in owning the first post-Apple hardware that Ive worked on, you'll have to dig deep into your pockets. The Sondek LP12-50 costs $60,000 and Linn is only making 250 of them.
At least for this project, Ive has moved on from digital audio hardware to an analog product. He played an instrumental role in the likes of the iPod, the iPhone and AirPods during his tenure at Apple as he helped the company reach extraordinary heights. We may see arguably more ambitious works from the LoveFrom camp in the next few years, as the firm is collaborating with Ferrari and its holding company Exor on several creative projects.