16.04.18

High definition vinyl in the works

close-up of vinyl record playing on record player

In light of the resurgence of vinyl, one startup is hoping to bring a new take on the classic technology in the form of ‘high definition’ vinyl.

Despite its recent renaissance, the technology powering the record industry hasn’t changed for a while, but thanks to a $4.8 (€3.9) investment, a new way of enjoying vinyl could be on the horizon.

With the CI market is seeing its fair share of projects incorporating vinyl right now despite the continued growth of streaming, this could be welcome news.

According to Pitchfork, the company tasked with bringing such game-changing innovation to market its Austrian company Rebeat Innovation, who are working on R&D from a patent filed back in 2016. The company’s CEO, Günter Loibl, says the new technology could be available for purchase as early as “summer 2019.”

As part of the product development, Rebeat has reportedly invested a cool $600,000 (€485,000) in a laser system fit to create a “HD” vinyl listening experience, though it’s not yet got its hands on the equipment yet (with delivery expected for July time).

The Pitchfork report outlines that manufacturing HD vinyl involves converting analogue audio information onto a 3D topographic map of music, which is then etched into a platter with light – creating an altogether more detailed listening experience. This method also handily avoids the chemicals usual used to create standard vinyl.

Rebeat’s head Loibi claims that HD records are something to really look forward to, due to offerings listeners "30 percent more playing time, 30 percent more amplitude, and overall more faithful sound reproduction."

We’ve just got to wait for the company to product its test stampers and source its own pressing plants before we see if high definition vinyl will be music to the ears of audiophiles everywhere. But for now, the idea of not turning a record every 5 songs and buy new kit to enjoy higher (and critically, more uniform) quality vinyl is something to get excited about, but its yet unclear how much being a “HD vinyl” collector could set you back.

You can check out the patent here to find out more.