Bang & Olufsen restores and updates 1970s turntable classic
Though digital music consumption rules the roost, vinyl has been making a steady comeback over the past few years. But if you find that your vintage deck is no longer up to the task of spinning records, Bang & Olufsen could help with the limited release of a bunch of restored classics. If you can afford one.
Bang & Olufsen has sourced 95 Beogram 4000 series turntables originally launched in 1972, transported them to the same facility in Denmark where they were originally built and set about refurbishing them for a limited edition run under its newly launched Classics initiative.
"The Classics initiative was born out of Bang & Olufsen’s commitment to longevity, which ensures relevance for our customers many years after buying our products," said the company's Mads Kogsgaard Hansen, who leads the Classics program. "In a world of consumer electronics, most products are regarded as disposable commodities. At Bang & Olufsen, our products are built to stand the test of time. That is what differentiates us as a brand, what the Beogram 4000c so beautifully embodies and what we want to build on in the future."
The decades-old turntables were first taken apart, inspected and thoroughly cleaned before being reassembled. Where necessary, fresh components were added and a few modern changes were made too.
The original Beogram 4000 turntables were the first from B&O to feature an automated tangential tonearm. Instead of being pivoted from somewhere to the side of the platter, the B&O mechanism moved along the back of the unit relative to the grooves in the vinyl. For this release, the company added a new high-performance stylus based on the original specifications.
The engineers also took advantage of the future-proofing space left inside by the original design team to install an RIAA phono pre-amp, so that users don't have to buy an external unit if their home hi-fi amps don't include a phono stage, or they have the option to cable the 4000c directly to powered speakers.
Other updates include polishing the aluminum and giving it an anodized champagne tone, encasing the turntable in a hand-crafted solid oak frame, refreshing the finish on the touch-enabled control panel, and providing a new dust cover.
The final stage in the process involved testing and tuning the turntable, numbering each unit and slapping a suggested retail price of US$11,000 on them, which would place these units firmly in the hi-fi collector marketplace. The Beogram 4000c Recreated Limited Edition turntables will go on sale from October 19. The video below has more.
Product page: Beogram 4000c