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Audio-Obsessed Music Execs Dish on the Equipment and LPs They Can’t Live Without

Audio-obsessed executives including Steve Bartels, Sam Kling and more dish on the (pricey) equipment and LPs they can't live without.


SAM KLING, Senior VP, SESAC // LYNN FAINCHTEIN, Music Producer/Supervisor

The Setup: Both Kling and Fainchtein rely on discontinued models by Technics. “I bought my Technics 1200 back in 1985 when I was a teenager, before I had status,” says Kling. “It’s always a reliable brand,” adds Fainchtein, who is known for her work on such films as Birdman and The Revenant.

LP He Wishes He Owned: Beastie BoysCooky Puss hand-written white-label 12-inch that disappeared along with a few other rare 12-inch records in the late ’80s.”

LP She Treasures Most: The Beatles‘ Decca audition tapes; Pete Best was still in the band, and any time I get a new turntable, it’s the first record I play. I also still own complete recordings from Broadway plays like Macbeth with Liv Ullmann. My grandmother loved these theater recordings.”

Above Model: Direct Drive Turntable System SL-1200GAE, $4,000; go to for U.S. dealers.

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Stabi Ref 2 with Stogi Ref Tonearm, $14,170; 323-466-9694, ext. 22. Courtesy of Kuzma Archives



STEVE BARTELS, CEO, Def Jam Recordings

The Setup: “My Kuzma has a ‘Reference Stogi ­Tonearm’ and is powered by an ASR Basis Exclusive Phono equalizer that allows power to come from batteries so it has no noise floor from the current.”

Speakers He Swears By: “Legacy Audio Focus. They only project what gets given to them: pure sound.”

Above Model: Stabi Ref 2 with Stogi Ref Tonearm, $14,170; 323-466-9694, ext. 22.


Oracle Audio
Delphi MK VI turntable, $14,000;  ­ Courtesy of Oracle Audio Technologies



The Setup: “I use the Oracle Audio Delphi MK VI, which was a gift from a client. I was told it was made by people very dedicated to their craft.”

LP He Treasures Most: With The Beatles. My father-in-law found it at a flea market, and it complemented a signed Robert Freeman photograph.”

Above Model Delphi MK VI turntable, $14,000; ­

This article was originally published in the April 16 issue of Billboard.