Bang & Olufsen is launching a project that will see it restore some of its most iconic heritage designs from the past decades. The first of its products to get the refurbishment treatment will be the Beogram 4000 series turntables, which were designed in 1972 by Jacob Jensen, B&O’s chief product designer at the time.
The Beogram 4000’s large and weighty platter was belt driven by an electronically regulated servo motor when idler drive and induction motors were still the norm. The user could easily vary the speed within small limits, if for example, it was desired to accompany a recording of another instrument that required a slightly altered pitch.
What really set the Beogram 4000 apart though was the arm. Truth be known it actually had two, both of which were moved by an electronic analogue servo, at a tangent of a fixed angular relationship to the record, keeping the pickup at the same angle to the groove as the cutter would have been at when the master was originally cut. This system was known as tangential tracking and remained in use with minor updates until the last Bang & Olufsen’s last turntable, the Beogram 7000.
The Beogram 4000, as well as being a styling triumph, was a technical masterpiece when it was first released in 1972. Bang & Olufsen’s engineers and designers have come up with brilliant ideas that reimagine some elements of the turntable while staying true to the original design intent. We are certainly looking forward to the refurbished Beogram 4000s.
Pricing and availability are yet to be announced, but the recreated Beogram 4000 series turntables are expected to launch in limited quantities by the end of this year.