The first-ever ‘HD vinyl’ could be hitting your turntable in 2019, with an Austrian startup receiving $4.8m of funding to develop the product.
A patent filing in 2016 described how records could be made with a superior quality to standard vinyl. It said that the LPs would boast higher audio fidelity, higher volume and longer playing times.
Now, founder and CEO of Rebeat Innovation, Günter Loibl, has told Pitchfork that the new format could hit record stores as early as 2019.
How does it work? According to the official HD vinyl site, the process converts audio digitally to a 3D conversion. Once optimized, the 3D topographic map will be engraved onto a ceramic plate.
The company can apparently cut 100kHz onto the outer edge of the disk – compared to the maximum of 15kHz on a traditional LP.
The precision of this process means that records can be produced more precisely, resulting in minimum loss of audio information and quality. What’s more, you’ll be able to play the HD records on your current turntable.
With Rebeat Innovation ordering its laser system – due to be shipped by July – Loibl is planning to produce test stampers for pressing plants.
“Our goal is to officially present our test stampers at the Making Vinyl conference [vinyl event in Detroit] in October,” he said.
“It will take another eight months to do all the fine adjustments. So by summer 2019 we shall see the first HD vinyls in the stores.”
Earlier this year, chief executive of the BPI hailed the future of British music as “very bright”, following the release of end-of-year figures for 2017. It was also found that vinyl sales had continued to grow in the last 12 months, with one in every 10 of all physical music purchases being made on vinyl. A total of 4.1 million LPs were purchased in 2017, which marks a rise of 26.8 percent over the last year.