The Light Touch Turntable by John Tree and Neal Feay offers a new spin on sound and vision

Launching at Milan Design Week 2024, the Light Touch Turntable by John Tree and Neal Feay is made of anodised aluminium and has an automated arm to avoid scratching of records, for seamlessly tuned high fidelity

Turntable by John Tree and Neal Feay
(Image credit: Courtesy of John Tree and Neal Feay)

London based designer John Tree and Santa Barbara aluminium specialist (and long-term Wallpaper* collaborator) Alex Rasmussen of Neal Feay have joined forces to create the Light Touch Turntable. 

The pair drew from their individual experiences with sound technology (Rasmussen as manufacturer of high end hi fi aluminium components, and Tree as a designer at Sony) to create the turntable. ‘[Working at Sony] gave me exposure to a lot of advanced tech and a specialism in bringing it to the market in a relevant way,’ says Tree, whose experience also includes working as a designer at Jasper Morrison’s studio. ‘Often new technology requires a familiar reference, which is something this project explores.’

The Light Touch Turntable by John Tree and Neal Feay

Turntable by John Tree and Neal Feay

(Image credit: Courtesy of John Tree and Neal Feay)

The light touch turntable features sleek, minimal forms in dusty pink CNC cut, polished and anodised aluminium, created with a process called ‘Anofax’ invented by Rasmussen’s grandfather in the 1940s. ‘It’s like Willy Wonka for aluminium lovers, with incredible machining and finishing and creativity all under one roof,’ says Tree of the Neal Feay workshop.

An essential element of the design is an optical needle that doesn’t touch the record as it plays (a result of Tree’s own ‘scary’ experience with turntables, and the delicate interaction required to place the needle on the record without scratching it), with an automated arm that places itself over its surface. ‘I still wanted to provide the visual enjoyment of watching the record turn as the arm moves across the album - You can watch your music,’ explains Tree, noting that it was important for them to bring back the physicality that is now lacking in the way we consume music digitally.

The Light Touch turntable, by John Tree and Neal Feay, is on view at Milan Design Week 2024 as part of Blond Laboratory, 15 - 21 April

Via Palermo, 11
20121 Milano

Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.

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