A stunning Philips GA 312 turntable, circa late 1970s. People were wowed by its touch-sensitive illuminated controls.

     

    Close-up of the GA 312. The light-up controls are the three buttons along the bottom.

    Close up of the GA 312. The light-up controls are the three buttons along the bottom.

     

    Photos of the GA 312 courtesy of Howard Kneller, who still has its original box!

     

    Quad electrostatic loudspeaker ad, 1959. Many would say the tagline is still true today.

     

    Another design that’s stood the test of time: the Thorens TD 124 turntable, made from 1957 to 1965, and in its MkII version until 1967. It was reissued in 2020 in updated form as the TD 124 DD.

     

    For those with more modest tastes and budgets, here’s a Philips ad from the 1960s.

     

    Howard Kneller’s audio and art photography can be found on Instagram (@howardkneller@howardkneller.photog) and Facebook (@howardkneller).

    2 comments on “Timeless Elegance”

    1. Thanks for the memories! I had a GA312 when I was in college and beyond. Due to the suspension, the best place to put it was on a sturdy shelf below the window in my dorm room. The only problem was those touch sensitive controls were sensitive to high humidity, I had to use a coin on the “33” control when it rained or it would turn off on its own. It had a great feature that would raise the tonearm at the end of the record or when the table was turned off. The tonearm itself is a great example of design simplicity.

    2. I also had a 312 back in the ’70. I mounted an ADC XLM II which worked very well. That was fortuitous since we did not understand so much about matching compliance with mass in those days.

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