“We were just disgusted with it,” Hertig says, reminiscing on sitting with his friends outside, listening to vinyl. “You could audibly hear variances in the scratch.”
The worst part — the turntable was the one people were buying, popular because of its price. So, they decided to “shift the priorities a bit,” and started looking for ways to construct a turntable that produced quality sound at a reasonable price, all under the name U-Turn Audio.
As a mechanical engineering major, recently graduated from Northeastern, Hertig got to building. He says he started taking bits and pieces from what’s out there, “putting them together to make something.” Maltzan, a bass guitarist studying at Berklee, then brought his music expertise, while their newest teammate, Cornell alum Ben Carter, offered his business background.
Through their collaboration, the trio earned a $2,500 grant from Northeastern’s Prototype Fund, allowing them to put the finishing touches on their first turntable, The Orbit.
Focused on sound quality and simplicity, The Orbit’s made of a wood composite base, which Hertig admits is relatively inexpensive. The turntable’s all analog, fully manual platform also provides for, what the team calls, “top sound quality and a pure vinyl experience.”
To Hertig, less is more. “The more high-end turntables are actually pretty simple,” he says, referring to the idea others think you need to keep adding more features to create something of quality.
The team plans on launching this summer, heading to Kickstarter to gain initial interest. They’ve also started approaching local record stores to see if they can sell The Orbit on their shelves.
And for those shaking their head, muttering vinyl’s lost on the world: Vinyl sales were up 39 percent in 2011, according to Digital Music News. We’re all a bunch of old souls, and U-Turn Audio’s just here to tend to them.