IMF Transcription 300 Review

Few people have ever seen or heard of this piece of Plexiglas perfection, which first debuted in the mid-1970s. It was allegedly designed and constructed by IMF Electronics, and a deeper examination reveals why…

The deck featured an electronic speed controller to drive the split-level podule platter through a fine rubber belt, which was unusual for its time. A 30cm aluminium disc contributed mass to the platter assembly and had stroboscopic markings to provide visible indication of speed variation beneath the perspex plinth assembly. For vibration isolation, the entire deck was supported by very compliant leaf springs.

The aluminium armboard featured a revolutionary sled arrangement to slide the entire tonearm assembly for very easy arm/cartridge alignment — this foreshadowed the approach SME would eventually use on its high-end tonearms, and is a fantastic feature that no other turntable, to my knowledge, has used since.

Apart from its low production numbers, the Transcription 300 is remarkable for being owned by French actor/singer Serge Gainsbourg, and it even makes a brief appearance in one of his 1970s music videos! IMF Electronics made its fame with transmission line loudspeakers, which were later picked up by TDL. Production was quite limited.