Bang & Olufsen turns 95: a Happy Birthday b&o tt thread

@SeleniumFalcon kindly pointed out elsewhere that b&o (ahem, Bang & Olufsen -- they do capitalize the name... or at least they did) is celebrating their 95th anniversary.
Among other things, they're re-introducing a version of their iconic 4000 tangential-tracking turntable (for $11,500) -- a limited run of 95 of 'em, apparently.

Here's the web page, including a heartwarming video on the timelessness of vinyl. :p

Here's the new morph (apparently).

I thought I'd lighten the load of the "dream tt" thread (I don't think this is quite what @Joey_V had in mind! ;) ), so I thought I'd try my luck at starting a separate thread on b&o and their not-insubstantial tt history.

Bang & Olufsen bought into the notion of high compliance, low mass cartridges and minimalist arms fairly early on. They also were all-in with the use of moving iron (sometimes known as "variable reluctance") cartridges, with decreased moving mass -- which they called "Micro Moving Cross" (MMC). Soundsmith in NY carries on the b&o MMC cartridge tradition to this day.


  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 32,316
    edited March 14
    The b&0 4000 dates to the early 1970s. Its beautiful aesthetics were the work of Jacob Jensen, who passed away in 2015.

    As mentioned in the other thread, the b&o 4000 is enshrined at MOMA in New York


    Here's a mid-1970s version, the 4002, from a stylishly minimalist black & white pamphlet I acquired ca. 1976 by filling in one of those 'reader service cards' in one of the hifi rags of the era (probably Stereo Review, but memory is hazy on such details).



    Here's the scoop on the 1976-ish version of the MMC family of cartridges.

  • SeleniumFalcon
    SeleniumFalcon Posts: 3,163
    Happy 95th Birthday!

  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 32,316
    B&o's perspective on their history as portrayed ca. 45 years ago.

  • DaveHo
    DaveHo Posts: 3,439
    I've always thought of B&O as higher end Bose. Am I wrong,?
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 32,316
    Historically, they made some outstanding products. They only leaned hard into the lifestyle stuff around the turn of the century.

    David Hafler (Acrosound, Dynaco, Hafler) sold OEM b&o tonearms and tape decks as Dynaco products in the 1960s. :)

  • SeleniumFalcon
    SeleniumFalcon Posts: 3,163
    I always thought the Beocord 9000 and the 5000 were excellent cassette decks.

  • Joey_V
    Joey_V Posts: 8,336
    I do enjoy B&O
    I wonder if they’re going to come out with an updated version of the beolab90
    Magico, JL, Emm, ARC Ref 10 line, ARC Ref 10 phono, VPI, Lyra, Boulder, AQ Wel, SRA Scuttle Rack, Bluesound
  • SeleniumFalcon
    SeleniumFalcon Posts: 3,163
    edited March 16
    I remember attending Bang & Olufsen sales training when I worked at Gramophone in Baltimore and learned that they have/had one of the most sophisticated speaker research labs in the world. I always thought their speakers were very good, not tuned for American taste, but very good. Their narrow aluminum, self-powered tower type speakers were the inspiration for some of Polk's tower type speakers.
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 32,316
    I liked the 1970s b&o loudspeakers. I do have one pair here; small three-ways. I am not sure which model -- maybe S-60(?). I should disinter them. The woofers need to be re-surrounded (imagine that?!). I think the drivers might all work, though.

    Their signature loudspeaker of about 20 years ago (Beolab 5) was designed by a guy, Dave Moulton, who lived in Groton, MA, just a hoot and a holler from our old digs in Harvard. He was locally quite well known. There were lots of hifi luminaries in Central Mass even in the early 21st Century. :)
  • dromunds
    dromunds Posts: 9,866
    Interesting read
  • engie490
    engie490 Posts: 393
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    Among other things, they're re-introducing a version of their iconic 4000 tangential-tracking turntable (for $11,500) -- a limited run of 95 of 'em, apparently.

    Does this mean I should ask $6K for my old 4002?!?!??!
    Infinity RS-II / Rowland Model 1 / Accuphase C-200X / Oppo BDP-105 / Technics SP-15 w/SAEC WE-308SX & Ortofon AS-309 arms / Ikeda 9C2 & Audio Technica ART-1 carts
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 16,976
    Quick funny story about that Turntable.

    A client of mine purchased a very high end Turnable and also owned the B&O table pictured here. He also purchased an external Phono Preamp that you can run 2 tables on. He wanted to keep the B&O in his system and have his new table as well.

    When we compared the 2 tables on that system, funny thing is the B&O to all 3 of use actually sounded much better. I was kinda shocked as the B&O table was very old, it fair condition but was no where near as precision built like the VPI table that he just got. I had to check all the connections, the Tone arm setup etc and make sure we had the external no attached motor to spin the table all balanced and aligned properly. Everything was in spec yet this old B&O table just overall sounded so much better, it wasn't even close.

    B&O makes some crazy designed equipment but it's damn good quality and seems to last for decades. I'm not really a fan as I always hated installing their stuff but the end results is some fantastic sounding gear. Linn is basically the same way.
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.