In a world where you’re able to download and listen to music instantly, it’s easy to forget about the days of turntables and records. But talk to any fan of vinyl and you’ll hear that the experience of record playing is by no means dead, and just can’t be replaced by listening to an mp3. U-Turn Audio, a venture that works with IDEA, is aiming to bring turntables back into the music spotlight. Peter Maltzan, Bob Hertig and Ben Carter, the founders of U-Turn, have loved vinyl for years and wanted to make listening to records a more accessible and valuable experience. The trio has created the Orbit, an innovative turntable that bridges the gap between quality and affordability. U-Turn describes the Orbit as a “back to basics” turntable that “outperforms any similarly-priced offering.” What makes the Orbit different is its superior listening experience that you would find with a high-end turntable, but for an affordable price and with options for customization.
U-Turn recently completed a Kickstarter campaign, hoping to raise $60,000 in financial backing for the Orbit. While U-Turn was confident it would reach its goal, it was completely unprecedented that their venture would pledge nearly four times that. Their campaign raised nearly $234,000 and landed U-Turn on Kickstarter’s top 40 Most Funded List By Design. U-Turn co-founder Peter Maltzan found the the campaign process very rewarding, saying it was “great getting all kinds of support and gratitude from the vinyl lovers out there.” The Kickstarter campaign was more of a relief than a stressor for U-Turn, especially after working for over a year on the Orbit. While the Kickstarter enabled the online audiophile community to watch U-Turn’s every move, the team feels that they have grown very positively from participating in the campaign.
U-Turn first became involved with IDEA in the spring of 2012, when the venture was awarded a prototype grant through IDEA. Peter said that this helped U-Turn adequately prepare for the Kickstarter campaign: “The prototype grant was what allowed us to get any traction at all in developing the Orbit. Soon after that, IDEA steered press coverage our way, which was very helpful. We were given exposure with which we could build a small fan base, and this was necessary during the first crucial days of our Kickstarter campaign.” U-Turn sees 2013 as a make or break year and is looking forward to setting up their online store and producing the orders they procured through Kickstarter.
IDEA is very excited to have been a part of U-Turn’s success so far, and is looking forward to helping the venture continue to grow!