On the subject of the best medium for music playback, most audiophiles agree that vinyl records offer a unique listening experience. On paper, modern digital formats are awesome when it comes to quality. However, it could be just plain nostalgia or the distinct acoustic nuances that make it appealing. The Black Wheel from Miniot is an excellent starter for those interested.

Advancements in technology and engineering are unleashing the creativity of manufacturers. What was deemed impossible due to the limitations of older systems is now achievable. Hence, the fine folks over at the Schagen, Netherlands-based company are out to impress. Their turntable is by no means revolutionary, but it’s certainly fascinating.

Instead of the usual form factor wherein the plinth, platter, tonearm, and other components are arranged for horizontal use, the Black Wheel is more versatile. The product page notes “it works upright on a stand or can be hung on a wall, or flat on a table.” Its craftsmanship is exceptional and uses premium materials.

There is no mass production facility as great care goes into each item to ensure superior performance and sound output. Thus, expect a growing waiting list as only 5-10 units are due each month. The Black Wheel features three closed-loop motors for all manner of articulation. Unlike regular turntables, the platter spins counterclockwise.

Meanwhile, a linear tonearm reads the grooves on the face-down side of the record. At the tip is an Audio Technica Nude Shibata cartridge. Shaped like its namesake, the Black Wheel features a new Slide Track control setup. The Black Wheel ships with a new stand which is heavier and improves damping.

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Images courtesy of Miniot