News broke in 2016 about an Austrian start-up Rebeat Innovation, which filed a patent for “high definition vinyl.” Obviously there were a lot of questions about this, but the inventors claimed that the new vinyl would have higher audio fidelity, louder volume, and longer playing times than the vinyl you find in stores today or your parent’s LPs. It all comes down to how they manufacturing process. Now after $4.8 million in funding, they may be ready to launch next year.
According to Pitchfork, the HD vinyl process involves “converting audio digitally to a 3D topographic map.” Then lasers inscribe the map onto a “stamper,” that stamps the grooves into the vinyl, like you see in most vinyl. According to founder and CEO Günter Loibl, the methods allow for less loss of audio information. According to him, the results are quite remarkable. His vinyl LPs can have up to “30 percent more playing time and 30 percent more amplitude.”
His HD vinyl would still play on old record players. There are still some moving parts that need to happen before it can come to market. Rebeat has ordered a large laser system for almost $600,000 with the hopes it will ship by July. He hopes to present his first test prints by October at the Making Vinyl Conference in Detroit. With that timeline in mind, a summer 2019 launch date is what he is shooting for to have HD vinyl in stores.