An Austrian startup is striding ahead to manufacture the first HD vinyls on the market.
With an idea that has been coming true for a couple of years, Rebeat Innovation recently received an investment of 4.8 million dollars (approximately 3.9 million euros) to put its plan into practice.
But after all, how is this revolutionary process of HD Vinyls presented by Rebeat made?
Well, it’s a laser cutting process, patented in 2016, that replaces the traditional electroplating process characterized by its toxic and unstable characteristics.
First it converts a high-resolution audio file into a topographic 3D map of a stamper (the master plate for creating vinyl records). Given the resolution of the file, unnecessary gaps between the grooves can be virtually eliminated, correcting tangential/radial errors.
All this reduces the constant tilting of the needle, allowing 30% more playing time on each side of the vinyl with the same volume of traditional vinyl, or the increasing of the quality of the sound, adding this space to the amplitude that will create a louder vinyl with better dynamics and a more faithful sound.
This process is characterized by the laser engraving of the grooves onto a ceramic plate, instead of the traditional process with nickel plates. This difference causes the sound quality to be maintained throughout the copies, the first being as good as the last. In the traditional vinyl pressing process (with nickel), due to the wear of the stamping plates, the last copies would not have the same quality as the first ones. Another important aspect of stamping in ceramic plates with laser technology is the non-use of toxic waste in this process.
Moreover, these new vinyls can be played on traditional turntables, without the need to purchase new equipment!
For now, founder and CEO Günter Loibl said he will invest about $600,000 (487.000€) in a large laser system that will produce test stamping plates and present them at the “Making Vinyl” conference in Detroit, in October 2018.
After that, it will take about 8 months to make final adjustments to the system, prompting Günter to believe the first HD Vinyls will go on sale in stores by summer 2019.
It is certainly a great technological advance in the manufacture of vinyl, with very positive aspects for the environment and for the musicians who can eternalize their productions, with much more sound quality. Furthermore, Rebeat has the great advantage of these new vinyls be able to play on traditional turntables.
Now, will the great vinyl lovers accept the loss of that very characteristic vinyl sound? Will they keep up with technological developments or be reticent?
Tell us your opinion!