We believe storing and selecting records demands to be a simultaneous, intuitive, and engaging experience that stimulates all your senses.
Storing records (usually done sideways) is counter-intuitive to how we like to select records (which is cover-forward). For the past 70+ years the mechanical aspect of record storage has been left untouched whilst many cosmetic design changes flooded the marketplace. It was time to rethink vinyl record storage at the roots level and make it intuitive to the way we like to experience the medium.
We are not envisioning any serious collector to exchange the shelving of their entire collection with Toneoptic rpms. Instead, we see people having one or a few units to rotate a good amount of records out at a time in order to rediscover their collection, which usually sits in shelves with most records untouched because thin or illegible spines leave them unpicked.
Many record collectors end up in a dedicated room, the listening or audio room. The Toneoptic rpm further enables music to enter into design-forward living spaces again so the beauty of the vinyl listening experience can be shared and enjoyed by everyone.
OUR DNA: DISCOVERY
The record we always skipped because it had a plain spine. The treasures we never saw that had too thin of a side to get discovered by us. Our mission is to have you enjoy all the records you own, get lost in the wonderful cover art and find delight in the artful process of selecting the next record to play.
Music is discovery, and so is art and design. To us, the Toneoptic rpm combines these discoveries and based on its scarcity and sophistication turns into a discovery in of itself.
As a lifelong vinyl collector (I am at 1,706 records as I write this) I struggled with the way I liked to store my records, which, naturally, is library-style. I kept selecting records to spin that had fat spines or easy-to-read titles – the ones where I was quickly able to recognize the record – over and over. By doing so I was fully aware that I was leaving out any thin spines, older second hand records where spines rendered illegible, or the many that had no titles displayed on their spines altogether.
As a trained graphic designer (turned brand strategist) I also absolutely love flipping through vinyl. The discovery part and the wonderful artwork are half the fun of selecting which record to play and it's also what makes going to record stores so exciting (which I do religiously and globally - see snapshots from my hunts via below gallery).
One day I quickly sketched out a solution: A cube housing records that, upon touch and pull, would spin 90 degrees forwards so I could easily flip through them while still stashing them away again in the manner we all love, spines facing outwards, which in my mind really is the only proper way to show off your collection without your home looking like a record store.
The sketch collected dust for years, then came the pandemic and I had more time to spend at home with my collection and one fine day I started to slowly work on turning that dream (and personal need) into a reality. I put in my own money so that I was independent from day one and hired the best designer, engineer and advisors (from Frank Gehry Partners, Boeing Aircraft and Cambridge Audio amongst others) to ensure I'd bring the most suitable mechanical solution coupled with the most sophisticated design to market. A unit that would not only elevate my vinyl experience, but also my home, and that I trust would look stunning in the most sophisticated listening rooms and studios around the world.
The Toneoptic rpm is that very unit, but we've only just begun on this journey of discovery.
Please reach out to me directly with any questions or suggestions. I am all ears.
Fabian Geyrhalter, Founder