A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
It’s just the record - It’s Wheel
Wheel is an minimal record player. It’s only a wheel. Simple, pure and easy to use. Just place a record on Wheel and it will play the bottom. All functions are controlled by the center stick.
I've always admired the technical marvel of gramophone records. And for years, I wondered why the ritual of record playing wasn’t more elegant. The cd made this even worse, and streaming music definitely anesthetized the experience. Thank God the record got a second chance. With Wheel, we aim to honour vinyl and bring Emile Berliner’s creation full circle.
Wheel loves records
All technology is built into Wheel's platter, below the record. You have an unobstructed view of your precious record, and the delicate stylus is well protected. Everything happens behind the scenes. Because it’s a closed shape, all technology is safely hidden from dust and accidents. Wheel is very easy to use. Wheel is the most compact true turntable you’ve ever heard.
Horizontal and vertical
The construction of Wheel allows it to be used horizontally or vertically. You can put it flat on a table, place it upright on a stand, or hang it on the wall.
Wheel’s linear tonearm is built around the beautiful AudioTechnica AT95E cartridge. With our tonearm, the AT95E offers a warm, rich sound, and outstanding clarity and detail. For a perfect match, the entire arm is micro machined out of a single piece of laminated mahogany. By using a single type of cartridge, we can fine-tune each tonearm for damping, resonance and weight distribution to make Wheel sounds its best.
Please note: The Modified AT95E cartridge is adjusted for each Wheel and can't be user replaced. The stylus is user replaceable. Replacement styli will be available from the moment Wheel ships.
Wheel is easy to use
In the center there’s a stick that controls all functions. On/off, play/pause, volume, even next or previous track. Turning the stick controls the volume of the headphone port. The stick uses real switches, so you feel a solid click with every action. All fragile moving parts are built in. No more scratching your records or destroying the stylus.
Music is analog. So is Wheel. The undistorted signal of the AT95E cartridge is sent straight to the RCA connectors. Without conversion or loss of signal. A switch lets you choose between phono or pre-amp line signal. The built-in high quality headphone amp serves the 3,5 mm jack. This way Wheel connects to all amplifiers and every type of active speakers.
Wheel is an analog record player. It doesn’t run on batteries, and to unleash its full potential, it has to be wired to a good amplifier, speakers or headphones. However, it’s perfectly possible to connect a wireless transmitter to one of Wheel’s outputs (it still needs a power cord). This way you can use your Sonos or other wireless speakers.
We’re in the process of selecting wireless devices that work best with Wheel. We’ll publish the results on this page as soon as possible.
Records and dust
Wheel plays the bottom of your records dust free in a closed space. Each Wheel comes with a transparent LP. One side contains a few tracks of great music from the best Dutch musicians we know of. The other side is blank. You can play this record, enjoy the music and see what happens inside Wheel. You can also use it as a dust protector, on top of your own record.
What is Wheel?
In essence, Wheel is a high quality record player turned upside down. The heavy aluminium platter is driven by an electronically stabilized belt drive at a dead-on 33,3 or 45 rpm. The outer ring of the platter supports and secures the record, while eliminating resonance. A vibration isolated block inside of the cavity of the platter contains the linear tonearm, belt drive, amplifiers and electronics. Newly developed bearing systems for both the platter and the tonearm guarantee an imperceptible noise level and a clean and crisp output.
Made in Holland
Wheel is capable of recreating music made long ago. Music is timeless, and so should Wheel. To us, environmental sanity isn’t about donating trees. It’s about durability. It’s about using the best components, from suppliers as near as possible. That’s why our products are Made in Holland. That’s why we choose wood over plastic.
How it works
Wheel is an instrument
Like your records, we want Wheel to become part of your life. That's why only the finest components and materials are used, to make Wheel last for years to come.
During development we want to involve al our backers with inside info on the technologies we're implementing, and the smart stuff we came up with. Whe want Wheel to be a shared project as much as possible.
The Miniot team
Miniot is a small family business with big ideas. Our unique team is an inspired mix of youth and experience.
Greet van den Berg and Peter Kolkman are the founders of Miniot. Designers at heart and true music lovers. They’re supported by a devoted team of mechanic and electronic engineers, and communication and logistic talents.
Although we’re still at the beginning of our journey, we would like to thank the people who made Wheel’s dream start possible. BJ Baartmans, Daan Baars and Wouter Siteur helped us with some great music. Pieter van der Wal, Peter Boven and Berend made the videos possible. We thank Marian Bijl, Peter Hovestad, Jet and Piet for their fine support. A very special thanks to Greet, without whom this adventure would never have happened.
And naturally all crucial backers for making this campaign an instant success!
Risks and challenges
A pile of prototypes have convincingly nailed the essentials that already make Wheel a great audiophile machine.
At Miniot, design, development and manufacturing are all done in house. By conviction.
Over the years, we’ve been able to refine and hone our manufacturing systems to achieve a constant and very high product quality.
We’re perfectly equipped tot make Wheel a success.
We run a tight shop with state of the art cnc mills, lathes, lasers, finishing, assembly and measuring systems.
The way we design our products is the way we design our manufacturing processes.
Our office is organised in much the same way. Process monitoring, calculation, logistiscs, communications, and customer support are a well oiled machine.
Having an idea and bringing it to market, and everything in between is what we do best.
Even with all we have to offer, developing a new product like Wheel is a time and moneygobbling journey. And a challenge to our financial resouces.
We’ll need another couple of months before Wheel is ripe for production.
Wheel is a project we want to bet our company on. With your support, we can devote 100% of our time, talent and passion to turn Wheel into the design icon whe believe it will become.