The Reasons Why HD Vinyl Won’t Take Off

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HD Vinyl


Rebeat Digital are going ahead and looks like they are getting a patent for HD Vinyl. Apparently HD vinyl, has more capacity, more volume, more audio fidelity.

Plus the production of HD vinyl will also be at a lower cost and they will use topographical mapping. This eliminates the dreaded distortions and you can play HD vinyl on you’re existing turntable. However even they have to be HD compatible.

So HD vinyl wins right ?

Wrong.

The Costs Of HD Vinyl

Simply put if HD vinyl cost more to play on existing tables, it’ll be doomed.

The Quality Of HD Vinyl

If it’s cheaper, people will pay, it matters not about quality. Audiophile is not the norm. Even when vinyl was the norm it was played on poor sound systems. If everyone was clamouring for WAV, they’d be everywhere music is sold.

The Equipment Of HD Vinyl

If HD Vinyl needs new turntables once again it will be doomed. Rebeat say there will be HD vinyl compatibility turntables but this is not specific and they are not locking down their position.

But if HD vinyl does have top notch quality on standard turntables, then you might as well discard HD vinyl compatibility turntables. It must be remembered that the best selling audio product for Christmas on Amazon was the Jensen turntable costing $50 but it can guaranteed that HD vinyl compatible turntables are going to cost less than $50.

The Piracy Of HD Vinyl

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3D print technology is coming on leaps and bounds which means a drop in price, sure 3D print records are pretty poor at the moment, but that will change.

DJs Have Abandoned Vinyl

hd vinyl

They’re not coming back. Don’t get me wrong as a vinyl lover, they are not going away either. But Dj’s manipulate their digital files with control vinyl discs or with media players. You will get DJ’s who play vinyl, but it’s much easier carrying your tunes on a USB stick rather hauling your music in crates of vinyl.

All in all I’m Gen X. I grew up with vinyl, which I would then carefully record to a tape for portability in my Walkman. When CDs showed up, I moved to those and stopped buying vinyl. Then the iPods came and I digitized everything and now, with all the options on the table, I opt for “all of the above”.

I have started buying vinyl again, because sometimes I feel like spinning records and the used record bins often contain music that never even made the jump to CD, let alone MP3.

I have iPods and iPhones and portable media devices all over the place with crap tons of music on them. I have boxes of cassette tapes and a big ol’ 400-disc CD changer I got off Craigslist which is full. The point is, I like having options and no one solution is perfect and it’s all just fun anyhow. No one format is always the best option (although, admittedly, cassettes are generally always the least best option)

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is art of why vinyl is cool is because of its sonic profile. HD Vinyl is just an incredibly bad idea even if it could be made a ‘success’. But I challenge anyone to hear the difference between 256k mp3 and .wav in a club. You can’t. And ‘twice’ the fidelity is non-information without specifics. Put another way trying some crap like this would make probably make SD vinyl even more desirable than it is.

You can’t ‘mess’ with it. It is a mature, fixed, legacy, and most importantly , ‘retro’ tech. Try to cut corners while ‘improving’ sound may sound a little ‘better’ but the just slightly. Low-fi quality of vinyl is part of the appeal. Thinking that people would want an ‘improved’ record that sounds more like digital seems almost counter to the point of choosing vinyl. Laser etching? Really?

That is a CD-type thing. I guess they are talking about the master obviously. But the 30% higher density thing sounds scary. Are they talking about a different
formula for the material for the copies ? This is just not cool. Somebody is either trying to maximize profits or has a misguided need to improve a sound that is already everything it needs to be.

There may be something to an artist being concerned that something about the style or quality of what they are making would translate best on digital. But that seems far fetched, it’s hard to imagine what kind of detail, spectral, and dynamic profile that would be. If there ever could be such a ‘marginal’ a concern they would have no interest in any kind of vinyl anyway.