High-definition vinyl: coming soon to a turntable near you

Peter Macdiarmid  Getty Images

Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Plus, the harmful chemicals that are used in the current process for manufacturing vinyl will not be needed and DH vinyl still works on ordinary turntables.

The idea of HD vinyl has been explored before in a patent filed a couple of years ago in Europe, and now the startup, Rebeat Innovation, has been giving a grant of $4.8 million to help further the initiative.

Rebeat Innovation says using this method, vinyl LPs can have up to 30 percent more playing time, will be 30 percent louder, and boast more faithful audio reproduction.

This improved technology could make the turnaround time for record production several days instead of months, as well as stretch out the lifespan of the stamper to press more records before needing a replacement.

If you're wondering just what sort of benefits you, the consumer, will actually see as compared to your regular "Standard Definition Vinyl" records, well there's a few.

To create HD vinyl, the audio is first digitally converted to a 3D topographic map. Unlike traditional vinyl pressing, which uses a nickel stamper, this process utilizes ceramics that don't wear out as quickly as nickel. All from a disc that's compatible with existing turntable set-ups.

There's still quite some time before HD vinyl will hit shelves.

Austrian company Rebeat is looking to fundamentally change the way vinyl records are mastered, promising to bring what it calls "HD vinyl" to stores sometime in 2019. These will then be presented, it is hoped, at the Making Vinyl conference in Detroit this October.

Founder and chief executive officer Günter Loibl told Pitchfork that the company has ordered a laser system, worth around $600,000 (£420,000) which, when up-and-running, will produce test stampers for five pressing plants.

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