‘High Definition Vinyl’ might be here as soon as 2019, according to Austrian startup Rebeat Innovation, which claims it could have units shpiping by next year following a $4.8million investment.
Two years ago, a European patent filing described a new method of producing black plastic which would offer a higher audio fidelity and louder volume. Now this looks set to become a reality.
The manufacturing process involves less loss of quality and more precision by converting audio to a 3D topographic map, using lasers to inscribe this onto a ‘stamper’, which in turn cuts the sound onto the record.
According to Gunter Loibl, CEO at Rebeat Innovation, the records can offer 30% longer playing times and a 30% improvement to amplitude, resulting in a more faithful reproduction of sonics.
Fewer chemicals associated with record production are required, too, and the new HD vinyl will still play on regular turntables. The news comes as vinyl sales continue to soar in countries such as the U.K., spurring on a comeback for the old Record Token scheme at independent stores, while market-leading brand Technics recently unveiled two new models of decks— the ultra-high end SL1000R and SP-10R.
A gift card-style Record Token scheme is set to make a return to independent record stores in the UK this May to cater for a new generation of vinyl collectors.
During the ‘90s similar schemes were worth millions and its hoped that a new, more modern scheme will be able to tap into the resurgent vinyl market.
Like a credit card, the gift cards can be used at participating independent record shops to purchase vinyl, CDs and cassettes.
The tokens will be available to purchase online or in-store from May and will help independent record stores compete against larger retailers like Tesco and HMV who have begun to sell vinyl in-store and online.
The Entertainment Retailers Association’s CEO, Kim Bayley said, “There has never been a better time to bring back record tokens and we predict they will be much-coveted gifts this year for music fans of all ages.”
In 2017 alone, vinyl sales were worth £87m million in the UK, with an impressive 4 million units sold in the last 12 months.
The biggest selling vinyl in the UK in 2017 was Ed Sheeran’s ‘÷’ which shifted an impressive 51,700 copies in the UK.
Earlier this week, the 11th annual Record Store Day announced what limited edition vinyl will be made available for this year’s annual record store celebration on 21st April and it features releases from the likes of David Bowie and Prince.