Published Apr 11, 2018Back in 2016, Austrian-based music distribution company Rebeat Digital revealed it had filed a patent for technology to manufacture vinyl records with a longer playing time and a wider frequency range. Now, the promise of "high definition vinyl" has moved closer to becoming a reality.
As Pitchfork reports, Rebeat founder and CEO Günter Loibl confirmed that the company has received $4.8 million in funding for the technology, adding that the first albums pressed to "HD vinyl" could arrive on store shelves as early as 2019.
As previously reported, Loibl's system involves writing digitally processed record grooves to a stamper with a laser, which reportedly allows vinyl records to "hold" up to 30 percent more information in their grooves, making for a greater range of frequencies.
The new technology also results in lower wear on the vinyl stamper and shorter production times, in addition to being more environmentally friendly and less expensive. The high definition records would still be 100 percent compatible with all turntables.
Loibl told Pitchfork that the company has ordered a laser system that they expect to be shipped to them by July of this year, saying that the first step is produce test stampers that will be sent to five "early mover" pressing plants this September.
"Our goal is to officially present our test stampers at the [Detroit's Making Vinyl conference] in October," Loibl told the site. "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."