What Happens When the Most Famous British Designer in the World Calls You?

That’s just what happened at the start of 2022 when Gilad Tiefenbrun, the CEO and second-generation owner of Linn Audio, received a LinkedIn request to have a meeting with Sir Jony Ive. Tiefenbrun immediately deleted the note thinking it was spam, for why on earth would Jony Ive, the past Chief Design Officer behind Apple’s greatest hits including; the iMac, iPhone, iPod and iWatch be calling a Scottish audio company?

Tiefenbrun’s uneasy feeling of “what if that is a legit solicitation?” had him retrieve the note from the LinkedIn trash and about a week later Tiefenbrun and Ive were meeting each other via FaceTime.

the special edition Sondek LP12-50

Turns out Ive is a great admirer of the Scottish brand in particular the Kilmax LP12 and the Klimax DSM which Ive was keen to purchase.  Sir Ive told Tiefenbrun that since leaving Apple, he had joined forces with an equally impressive name in design, Marc Newsom to form a new company called LoveFrom.

Each turntable will come numbered and plated

LoveFrom, Ive explained is a company built for collaboration and that if Linn ever needed help on a project, that LoveFrom would love to be involved and Ive suggested that perhaps the two companies could get involved in designing a special edition Sondek LP12 to celebrate Linn’s 50th anniversary.

The new dust cover hinge allows the cover to be kept open and at angle

And that’s how the special edition Sondek LP12-50 turntable came to be with Linn taking orders for the $85,000 CDN turntable starting this month. Ive after twenty years working with Steve Jobs, knows a thing or two about sweating the small details and some of the improvements suggested by Ive’s team included a redesign of the dust cover plastic hinges to precision metal hinges and a re-think of the speed control / power switch that is now circular machined from solid aluminium.  LoveFrom focused on the esthetic areas of the product that can often be overlooked by a company mainly focused on sound enhancements.

Gilad Tiefenbrun, the CEO and second-generation owner of Linn Audio with Sir Jony Ive (right)

Other changes for the limited-edition turntable included curved edges on the top plate and arm board to mirror the new power switch’s curves as well as a new lid badge.  Linn also used the special edition turntable to release a new plinth design that the company had been working on known as the Bedrok plinth that is machined from a single block of an incredibly dense beech wood layered under extreme pressure.

The Sondek LP12-50 will be limited to 250 units on a first-come-first-served basis and will be available in both Linn’s classic natural wood and perhaps as a nod to Ive’s Apple years, also in white.  Delivery of the turntable will be shipped from a pre-assigned Linn specialist between August 2023 and March 2024 who will also be responsible for hand delivering and setting the player up in one’s home.

This is the first hardware collaboration from Jony Ive and loveFrom since Ive left Apple four years ago. 

all photos courtesy Linn Audio