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by Peter Familari

2nd March, 2018


The backwards playing LP is the brainchild of the record label, Tacet.

Early after a few drinks, the folk at Tacet came up with a better way of playing an LP. To get a better sound, their idea of how the ideal LP should behave requires a tonearm to play backwards.

Yes. You read correctly. The Tacet contribution to “better” vinyl sound, is to have a record that has a play direction that’s in reverse to every other vinyl LP.

Before you shake your head in wonder, allow us to explain that no, the Tacet LP does not spin in an anti-clock direction.

But the spiral groove of the brand’s innovative LP unravels from the spindle to the outer edge of the novel LP.

If nothing else the Tacet LP is a neat party trick. Although seeing a tonearm move in reverse may prove problematical for anyone who’s had more than a few drinks or has imbibed some of nature’s finest substances.

As this video link explains, the Tacet LP was created to provide a better sound. But it creates a few glitches: the video shows the LP won’t work on an automatic turntable with a tangential tracking tonearm.

Probably because the electronically controlled models are loaded with sensors that tell the tonearm to move one way. And that way is to track the LP conventionally, starting at the outer edge of the record and stopping when it reaches the end nearest the spindle.

Curiously, the dude presenting the video who is using his Denon DP47F turntable to demo the Tacet LP, makes no mention of anti-skating mechanisms.

Anti-skating is designed to compensate for the natural, added force a vinyl groove adds to a stylus as it tracks. Because there’s more inner force on the spindle side of the groove, the anti-skate mechanism attempts to neutralise it.

Yes, on some tonearms the anti-skate mechanism can be disabled. But, and it’s a significant but, the backwards tracking LP will create an extra force on the outer groove of the LP.

To this day, no tonearm known to man, beast or audiophile (which some say are the same thing), has been designed with a backwards-tracking mechanism.

The Tacet LP is another zany invention that tries to give us better sound than vinyl.

At least it’s far less expensive than Nakamichi's unlamented high-end, uber expensive model called the Dragon CT.

This convoluted contraption could measure an LP and then move the whole platter in an attempt to centre each LP perfectly.

The Nakamichi was a zany idea, prohibitively expensive and hardly a great sounding model.

So what to make of the Tacet backwards LP?

We’re simply filing this innovation into the same folder as our brochures about The Dragon turntable. A folder marked “Zany.”


Peter Familari's avatar

Written by:

Peter Familari

One of the veterans of the Australian HiFi industry, Peter was formerly the Audio-Video Editor of the Herald Sun for over two decades. One of the most-respected audio journalists in Australia, Peter brings his unparalleled experience and a unique story-telling ability to StereoNET.

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Posted in: Hi-Fi