One of the rarest turntables in existence, few have either seen or heard of this piece of Plexiglas perfection which appeared in the mid nineteen seventies. Designed and manufactured by IMF Electronics, it reputedly won several design awards, and a closer look shows why…
Unusually for its time, the deck used an electronic speed controller to drive the split-level podule platter via a fine rubber belt. Beneath the perspex plinth assembly was a 30cm aluminium disc which added mass to the platter assembly and had stroboscopic markings to provide visual indication of speed deviation. The whole deck sat on highly compliant leaf springs for vibration isolation.
The aluminium armboard used a novel sled arrangement to move the whole tonearm assembly for very easy arm/cartridge alignment – this presaged the system SME was later to use on its high end tonearms, and is a superb feature that no other turntable has used since, to my knowledge.
Aside from its very low production numbers, the Transcription 300 is notable for being owned by French actor/singer Serge Gainsbourg, and it even features in one of his nineteen seventies song videos briefly! Production was very limited, with IMF Electronics making its name with transmission line loudspeakers, which later lived on with TDL.