Talk About Something Old, Something New

For the mobile gadget enthusiast who nonetheless loves to have that period look at home, one U.S. designer has come up with the ultimate iPhone dock.

The iPhone Gramophone borrows the iconic analogue horn speaker from the earliest sound playback devices and uses it to amplify the sound from Apple gadgets’ speakers.

Simply place your iPad or iPhone in the solid walnut base and the metal horn will boost the volume of the gadget’s speakers by three or four times – with no need for electricity.

The retro device is the brainchild of Matt Richmond, a San Francisco-based furniture designer who built the original prototype from a Twenties horn speaker bought from an East Bay antiques shop.

‘I found this old Victrola horn that had a shape I really loved, and I thought, “How cool would it be if I could use this with my phone?”,’ he said.

‘I held up my phone to the opening on the speaker, and I could immediately tell it was something that would work.’

Taking a heavy piece of hardwood, Mr Richmond carved a hole for the horn, a slot for his phone, and a channel to connect the two.

The result was a elegant but functional iPhone speaker dock, with no battery or plug required.

The nascent product needed little in the way of marketing: everyone who saw Mr Richmond’s original device wanted one of their own and soon, after word reached the internet, he had more orders than he could hope to fill.

So Mr Richmond refined his designs and teamed up with luxury brand Restoration Hardware to bring his product to a wider audience.

Compatibility: The solid walnut base of the retail version of the Gramophone accepts all iPhone models - the new connector on the iPhone 5 poses no technical problems for its iron and brass hornWith a base hand-crafted from solid  walnut, the Gramophone accepts all iPhone models – the new connector on the  iPhone 5 poses no technical problems for its iron and brass horn
Inspired: The retro device is the brainchild of Matt Richmond, a San Francisco-based furniture designer who built the original prototype from a Twenties horn speaker bought from an East Bay antiques shopThe retro device is the brainchild of Matt  Richmond, a San Francisco-based furniture designer who built the original  prototype from a Twenties horn speaker bought from an East Bay antiques shop

With a base hand-crafted from solid walnut, the retail version of the iPhone Gramophone accepts all iPhone models – the new connector on the iPhone 5 poses no technical problems for its iron and brass horn.

Like Mr Richmond’s original prototype it needs no electricity or batteries, and so can be used wherever its owner bothers to heft it.

However, its old-school amplification technology means its not for head bangers.

‘It’s not overpowering, so it’s great in the background,’ Mr Richmond said. ‘And it’s directional – you can point the horn  where you want the sound. If you put it in a corner it’ll really fill a room.’

The iPhone Gramophone is available online from Restoration Hardware for $249.

Attribution: Damien Gayle

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About thecommonconstitutionalist

Brent is not a scholar. He’s not an author or speaker (yet). He hasn’t published a book nor does he write articles for magazines (yet). He has no advanced literary degree or pedigree (never will). He is just an American who writes and shares what interests him. He cares about the salvation of this country and a return to its Constitutional roots. He believes in God, country and family.
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