Pre­miere De­sign

Sound Leisure Sgt. Pep­per’s Lim­ited-Edi­tion Juke­box

Sound & Vision - - CONTENTS - Bob Ankosko

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 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 • deer­

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