A record player that costs as much as a small car:
This Laser Turntable, in varying incarnations, has been made by ELP Corporation in Japan for a couple of decades now. The pitch has always been the same: the laser tracks the groove, but nothing ever actually touches the surface of the record, so there is no wear or degradation.
Surely there has to be a downside, apart from that five-figure price tag. I thought about it for a moment, and this bit from the archives popped into my head:
Do not use SensEpil on naturally dark skin complexion. SensEpil removes unwanted hair by selectively addressing hair pigment. Varied quantities of pigment also exist in the surrounding tissue of skin. The quantity of pigment in a particular person’s skin, which is manifested by their skin complexion, determines the degree of risk they are exposed to using SensEpil. Treating dark skin can result in adverse effects such as burns, blisters, and skin color changes (hyper- or hypo-pigmentation). Many other laser and light devices, professionally and at home, also have the same restrictions on naturally dark skin complexion.
Our LT Master #1 is our full-featured, entry level model. Like all Laser Turntable models, this unit plays only Black records. It supports LPs and 45s. It also supports standard album sizes up to 12 inches.
For most people, this is not a disadvantage: I don’t think I have more than a dozen examples of colored vinyl. One of them is that creepy glow-in-the-dark off-white, which for all I know might actually damage the darn machine.