Sound Leisure Sgt. Pepper’s Limited-Edition Jukebox
Sound Leisure made headlines in 2016 when it introduced the ’50s-inspired Vinyl Rocket Jukebox, its first 45-rpm-record-playing jukebox in 20 years and, at the time, the only new vinyl-playing jukebox in the world. Last year, the U.K.-based company—one of two remaining jukebox manufacturers, the other being jukebox pioneer Rock-Ola— partnered with Apple Corps to build an “analog dream machine” that would memorialize the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ 1967 masterpiece, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The Sgt. Pepper’s Vinyl 45 Jukebox may well be the ultimate tribute to the most influential rock album of all time, evoking both the era and the album. Each record machine is built by hand—a painstaking process that takes around 70 hours—with the album’s iconic artwork cleverly adapted to the vintage three-dimensional structure. Most striking is how the cover art is repurposed inside the jukebox. “We wanted the interior to feature the 3D look with The Beatles themselves standing forward over the vinyl mechanism, just like the original photograph was set up,” the designer explained. “You don’t get that impression from the album, but imagine looking at it when the photograph was taken with the cardboard cutouts behind The Beatles. That’s the sort of thing we wanted to incorporate into the jukebox design.” (Visit SoundLeisure.com for a fascinating making-of video.)
The record mechanism—the same one used in the Vinyl Rocket—remains the only vinyl-playing apparatus in production today. The glass-encased, rotating rack holds 70 double-sided 45 rpm records for a (now quaint) 140 selections. You can select songs by pushing the buttons (just like teenagers did back in the day) or pick up the supplied remote for more modern control (sorry, no voice…yet); the remote has keys for volume, reject, shuffle, and lighting. The company also includes Label Magic software as a “quick and easy way” to create and print multi-colored record labels when it’s time to switch out some 45s (the purchase price includes a one-year subscription).
Each jukebox is numbered and features a wood base cabinet, spraypainted red and appointed with chromed-aluminum accents and a custom cloth speaker grille emblazoned with the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” insignia, which conceals a 120-watt speaker system comprising two tweeter/midrange driver complements and a 12-inch “twin-cone bass speaker.” In case you’re wondering, the remote control isn’t the only modern amenity: The jukebox also supports wireless streaming via Bluetooth.
The initial shipment of Sgt. Pepper’s Vinyl 45 Jukebox sold out late last year and the company is now accepting orders for a second shipment, expected to deliver in April. The price is $12,995, which includes delivery anywhere in the continental U.S. For an extra $299, you can ship a batch of 45s to Sound Leisure, and they will create labels and load the jukebox for you. The company also offers several collections of new 45s ($75 for a set of 10) that they will label and load. Put another dime in the jukebox, baby.—
Sound Leisure (distributed by Deer Park Distributors) • (618) 427-3761 • deerparkdist.com