Platine Verdier - more than 25 years and still going strong...

It cannot have escaped anyone's attention that awareness of analogue music reproduction has been growing these last few years. If you have been visiting hi-fi shows recently, in Germany and elsewhere, you will have seen a bewildering spectrum of record players from a diversity of brands, chrome-plated high tech alongside refurbished classics from EMT, Thorens and Garrard.

We'd like to take a moment to reflect on this. We are not opposed to progress, or to digital music reproduction as such. Still, we ask you to spend a couple of minutes and think about the recent past.

There are many who are tired of chasing after one digital standard after another, not knowing if the expensive silver discs bought today will still be playable on tomorrow's next high tech wonder (think Blu-ray). Digital technology has been triumphant not just in audio. Our approach to data carriers has changed fundamentally over the last 15 years. For music, we are enjoying the new possibilities offered by downloads - the music industry may not always be happy, but the user and his wallet certainly seem to be - and seem to have accepted the data reduction that so far comes part and parcel with downloads. The sonic results appear to be of little interest to many people, so long as the price is low enough. MP3-players have become a commodity, judged only on the amount of data they can hold and not on how pleasing they do or do not sound to our ears.

For those among us who have come to this conclusion, digital and analogue are no longer mutually exclusive. Peaceful coexistence of both technologies in one's home is possible. Those who have kept their vinyl collection enjoy the benefits - not least because every record is a part of their unique biography, often bought at a young age and with tight means, an artefact of their time, often with an astonishing artistic quality of the record covers and giving a totally different impression of value from today's silver discs.

Given this background, it is not too surprising that the dinosaurs of analogue music reproduction are enjoying a renaissance. At the 2005 CES, our fellow U.S Shindo distributor achieved considerable notoriety with a Garrard 301 modified by Ken Shindo - not out of nostalgia, but by surprising people with the sheer quality of its sound. 6moons, an internet magazine, has run a multi-part report on such a turntable.

In Germany and France, another turntable has achieved legendary status and has proved to be a lasting and exceptional achievement - La Platine Verdier. In France, it was an essential element in the legendary demonstrations at La Maison de L'Audiophile. From there, it found its way to Germany.

La Platine Verdier - the French word "platine" (pronounced pla-teen, with the accent on the last syllable) means turntable; it was conceived by Jean Constant Verdier, so the name means the Verdier turntable - was first presented to the public in 1979.

With the introduction of the first CD players in 1982, Jean Constant Verdier decided to stop production of the turntable that he had been offering to the French market exclusively. The foundation for the Platine's popularity had been laid by its description in some very early issues of the French underground magazine L'Audiophile (issues 13, 14 and 15). In the light of the jubilant reception accorded to the first CD players and their ease of use, turntables appeared to be redundant. page