Luxury turntable company in Wisconsin sells record players across the globe for up to $30,000

Posted at 10:07 AM, Feb 29, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-29 11:07:52-05

DELAVAN — Music is consumed in so many like with headphones, car stereos, and portable speakers. In a world where our listening experience is improving with new technology every day, SOTA Turntables has emerged as a world-renowned company from Wisconsin specializing in crafting record players.

As the popularity of buying records continues to rise, according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the need for turntables has grown. SOTA Turntables which is in Delavan, Walworth County offers a range of products, with prices starting at $1,500 and reaching up to $30,000, depending on the specific customization. These turntables are found in stores worldwide and are shipped to audiophiles across the globe.

“If you’re going to drink a fine wine, you’re not guzzling something. You’re appreciating it on every level," Christan Griego, the owner of SOTA Turntables said.

Christan Griego
Christan Griego, owner of SOTA Turntables, stands in front of one of his company's record players at its Delavan manufacturing shop.

SOTA stands for state-of-the-art. Griego wants his customers to experience his turntables just like a fine wine by appreciating the nuances of the wood, stylus, design, materials, and overall build of the record player to allow for the best sound possible.

“That customer may be putting a $10 to $12,000 or $20,000 tonearm, and then a $10 to $12 or $20,000 cartridge on there," Griego said.

Some of the turntables can take warped records and flatten them out with a vacuum for a better listening experience.

"When you're only hearing the music, and you're not aware of the turntable, I'm happy. And that doesn't happen with a lot of turntables," Griego said.

Often with lower-end record players, there can be static or low hums. Occasionally, the record player picks up vibrations through the floor or when it's touched which degrades and muddies the sound quality. SOTA Turntables are designed to avoid all these issues.

SOTA Turntables offers listening sessions every Saturday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Adagio Studios in Elk Horn. It allows the public to play their favorite records on SOTA turntables to compare their home set-up to that of SOTA's.

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SOTA Turntables in Delavan sells luxury record players and kits for up to $30k

Despite being a small company with just about a dozen employees, SOTA Turntables manages to sell approximately 750 record players annually. Each one takes between 40 to 60 hours to make.

The recent surge in vinyl sales noted by the RIAA, has been a pleasant surprise for SOTA Turntables.

“2020 was insane. That 2020 into 2021 because everyone was staying at home, so there was a lot - audiophiles were listening. So we had explosive growth which is very difficult as a manufacturer to keep up with," Griego said.

Griego's journey to owning SOTA Turntables began in 2018 when he purchased the company after establishing a successful trombone and trumpet mouthpiece manufacturing business.

“So I’m a trombone performance major, and this is what happens when you get a music performance degree. You have to figure out something else," he said.

He still plays the trombone, but he made his life's work a pursuit of the perfect sound.

“(It's) like being one of Santa’s elves. You get to work with these products day in and day out and then you get to hear them at the end," Griego said.

SOTA Turntables isn’t the only luxury manufacturing company in Walworth County either. Grand Craft makes luxury vintage boats ranging from $250,000 to $1.5 million

In a digitally dominated world, SOTA Turntables stands as a testament to the enduring allure of vinyl records and the craftsmanship required to create the perfect listening experience.