Since September of 2016, Wheel by Miniot has been trying to enhance the ritual of record playing into a more elegant experience. Aiming to deliver by January of 2018, the Kickstarter now has 762 backers who pledged €424,457 to bring this project to life.
The center stick of the turntable controls all functions, on/off, play/pause, next or previous track and by turning the stick it also controls the volume.The turntable could also be placed horizontally or vertically. It could also be hung on the wall or placed upright. The technology a record player needs is all built into the Wheel’s platter. This provides an unobstructed view of the record. The sound is built around AudioTechnica’s AT95E cartridge along with a linear tonearm. It is so, guaranteed to provide a rich, warm and clear, detailed sound. By using a single type of cartridge it allows Wheel to fine-tune each tonearm to sound its best. The cartridge is adjusted to each wheel and it is not replaceable. The replacement stylus is available from the day the product ships.
Miniot indicated, “Music is analog. So is Wheel. The undistorted signal of the AT95E cartridge is sent straight to the RCA connectors. Without conversion or loss of signal. A switch lets you choose between phono or pre-amp line signal. The built-in high-quality headphone amp serves the 3,5 mm jack. This way Wheel connects to all amplifiers and every type of active speakers.”
Like the regular record players, to get the best sound out of Wheel, it has to be connected to a good amplifier, speakers, or headphones. The function of connecting to a wireless speaker is also possible, it does, however, require a wireless transmitter.
Miniot stated, “In essence, Wheel is a high-quality record player turned upside down. The heavy aluminum platter is driven by an electronically stabilized belt drive at a dead-on 33,3 or 45 rpm. The outer ring of the platter supports and secures the record while eliminating resonance. A vibration isolated block inside of the cavity of the platter contains the linear tonearm, belt drive, amplifiers and electronics. Newly developed bearing systems for both the platter and the tonearm guarantee an imperceptible noise level and a clean and crisp output.”
Miniot is based in Schagen, Netherlands. Driven by the love of music and design, It is established by Greet van den Berg and Peter Kolkman and a talented team of mechanics and electronic engineers. One of the most crucial aspects is that the turntable is made of wood. As mentioned on the Kickstarter page, “To us, environmental sanity isn’t about donating trees. It’s about durability. It’s about using the best components, from suppliers as near as possible. That’s why our products are Made in Holland. That’s why we choose wood over plastic.”
Nonetheless, the Wheel is designed for an elegant in-house listening session and not for scratching!