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The Future of Vinyl

0 Comments Entertainment   (on 22-May-2018 03:56 AM)

It wasn’t so long ago now that for most people, vinyl was a thing of the past. Although enthusiasts clung on to the format for the beautiful analogue sound, gorgeous artwork and collectability, almost everyone else had jumped ship at some point to a competing format.

 

For some of us it was the cassette, others waited until the CD and some even held out until the MP3 revolution, but each shared one thing in common – a belief that vinyl was over.

 

Today, however, vinyl is in the midst of a full-scale resurgence. 2017 alone saw sales of vinyl records hit an astonishing 4.1 million in the UK, numbers which put it on par with 1991, an era before the convenience of downloaded and streamed music.

 

Alongside those record sales is a renewed interest in the hardware which makes the records audible, with dozens of new turntable options appearing from some of the most respected brands in HiFi and electronics with a focus on modern features and effortless retro style.

 

Quite simply, vinyl is back in a big way, but you’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s as good as it’s ever going to be. After all, vinyl records and their accompanying hardware has been around in some form since 1877, where could they possibly go next? The answer, is HD Vinyl.

 

What is HD Vinyl?

 

HD Vinyl is a marketing term for a new type of vinyl manufacture.

 

Traditionally, a record is made by a needle etching grooves into rotating lacquer, which is then used to create a ‘mother’ copy that is used to form the stamper mould, which then creates all subsequent copies.

 

This is an analogue way of producing records and due to the limitations in production means that records can only be a certain length and have limits to their loudness. However, HD Vinyl tackles things slightly differently.

 

Firstly, the audio is converted into a 3D topographical map. From there, a series of lasers is used to engrave that map onto a stamper, which is then used to create new records. The parent company behind HD Vinyl, Rebeat Innovation, say that this method results in up to 30% longer playing time or a 30% increase in loudness (depending on artist preference) and more faithful audio reproduction.

 

Another major advantage of HD Vinyl, Rebeat suggest, is that the new method does away with the toxic chemicals required in traditional vinyl record production.

 

Will your existing equipment support it?

 

Unlike, say, the move from DVD to Blu-Ray and from Blu-Ray to Ultra HD 4K Blu-Ray, HD Vinyl will not require any new equipment. Amazingly, you won’t need to change a thing to hear the benefits!

 

It’s great news for those of us looking to get on board with the vinyl resurgence in 2018, as we can be safe in the knowledge that the equipment we buy now won’t be out-of-date by the time HD Vinyl appears on shelves.

 

Rebeat Innovation have recently received $4.8m in funding to pursue the technology and are planning a commercial launch for summer 2019.

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