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TONE Factory Turntable Plays to a Minimalist Tune

While a turntable’s primary purpose is functional, it is also a piece of audio componentry most likely to be left out in the open within the home – a large flat plane that can either attract or detract from a space. Tone Factory’s Tone minimalist turntable is intended to belong to the former, a handsomely designed vinyl player recently awarded the recognition prize from the Austrian Design Prize 2019 at the exhibition “Best of Austrian Design” in Vienna.

The elegant minimalism of the TONE can be attributed to its circular pedestal base, where all operational componentry like the motor, the integrated phono stage, and the Bluetooth module are stored within. The decision to allot functional components with the foundation result in a slimmer architectural profile that looks sophisticated from all angles. A CNC-engineered MDF chassis sits atop with a one-piece light-weight tonearm finished with a cartridge co-developed with Danish manufacturer, Ortofon.

The TONE’s belt drive can easily switch between playing either 33 and 45 RPM records, with a simple electronic switch control; OFF is in the middle, right switches to 45 PRM, and left is for 33 RPM playback.

Any suspicions about the TONE’s performance is put to rest noting the turntable was developed with the aid of engineers from the Austrian company Pro-Ject Audio Systems, a respected stalwart within the industry whose catalog reflects a similar minimalist ethos of delivering great sound for a modest price.

Additionally, the TONE designers recognize while the vinyl resurgence can be attributed to a fondness for an analog medium, listeners today will likely pair this component to existing wireless speaker systems. Thus, the TONE can be set-up via Bluetooth or with traditional RCA cables to a hi-fi system, offering a degree of flexibility to move the music to any room.

The Tone is to be offered in black, white and green in a carefully painted, satin finish.

The TONE is currently in crowdfund mode over at Kickstarter, with early investors being offered a $257 price tag ($318 with shipping to the United States included), with an option to purchase an optional matching dustcover to complete the package. More information here.

Gregory Han is Tech Editor of Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at gregoryhan.com.