With the renewed popularity of vinyl records, people are starting to make more innovative players, too, from one that rides atop the record like a train to one that adds modern connectivity to the mix. Based on everything we’ve seen, the Miniot Wheel just might be the most innovative of the lot.
Unlike every other player before it, the rig doesn’t use a design that puts the cartridge and stylus assembly on top. Instead, it hides all fragile moving parts are hidden right on the base, so the whole thing is self-contained, minimizing the chances it will incur any damage.
The Miniot Wheel consists of nothing but a round base with an upright stick at the center. That’s as far as it goes for exposed parts, with everything else discreetly nestled under the enclosure. Instead of a platter spinning the record, the center shaft rotates to get the record moving, while a modified AudioTechnica AT95E cartridge at the base handles playing the pressed music. The same stick in the center, by the way, also functions as a multi-way mechanical switch that controls power, playback, and volume.
Since everything is self-contained, the player doesn’t have to be set down flat on a surface – it can also play records while set it down on its side or mounted up a wall for more versatile placement options. Features include a linear tonearm, an electronically stabilized belt drive running at a dead-on 33,3 rpm, and a newly-developed bearing system to ensure an imperceptible noise level.
A Kickstarter campaign is currently running for the Miniot Wheel. You can reserve a unit for pledges starting at €568.