Q&A: HD Vinyl – The Future of Record Manufacturing?

Marc HenshallCulture & Industry, Tech Talk2 Comments

HD Vinyl Pioneer, Guenter Loibl talks to Sound Matters about his ambitions to revolutionize vinyl record manufacturing using lasers. The HD-Vinyl concept first caught our attention back in 2016, when Austrian-based company, Rebeat first filed the patent for a new vinyl record production process involving lasers. Naturally, it wasn’t long before the internet was awash with speculation about the new … Read More

Vinyl’s Imperfections Improve the Listening Experience

Marc HenshallCulture & Industry, Tech Talk2 Comments

It is the prerogative of each generation preceding the next to claim that their generation’s music was better. Or at least that’s how each generation typically feels… We all get there eventually; at first you’re checking out what’s new on the block musically every day, then it’s every week – or even every month. Before you know it, you haven’t … Read More

Does 180g Vinyl Sound Better?

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Most vintage vinyl records measure somewhere between 120 – 150g, and or many years, these specifications seemed to work just fine. In more recent years, however, we’re commonly sold much heavier new pressings, often labeled as “Audiophile Quality 180g”. So does 180g vinyl really make any difference to the overall listening experience? Or is it all a great swindle set … Read More

Top Five Turntable Upgrades

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One of the great advantages of building a hi-fi setup through separate components is the option to perform spot upgrades – almost infinitely – should your budget permit. From your turntable to your speakers, and even the listening environment itself, every last piece of the signal chain is upgradable or modifiable. Before we get started, it’s worth mentioning that the … Read More

How Are Vinyl Records Made?

Marc HenshallTech Talk2 Comments

Vinyl records have a tactile quality that simply cannot be replicated in the digital realm, and for many – including myself – this tangible aspect makes up a large portion of the overall appeal. Unlike a CD – which, while a remarkable piece of technology in its own right, can hardly be called charming – a well-made vinyl record is … Read More

The Pros and Cons of Vinyl Records

Marc HenshallCulture & Industry, Tech Talk8 Comments

Few debates in the audio world create such a large divide as the analog vs digital question. Vinyl vs CD/Digital is the classic battleground, where passionate enthusiasts on both sides of the argument often partake in heated exchanges with no real conclusion. The question itself is undoubtedly oversimplified  – there are far too many variables to draw a line under such a broad debate, … Read More

Measuring Vinyl Dynamic Range – It’s Complicated!

Marc HenshallTech Talk2 Comments

As a young(ish) person discovering vinyl for the first time, I was fascinated by the claim floating around in many of the Internet’s forums that some vinyl releases have better dynamic range than their digital or CD counterparts. This immediately seemed odd to me, as digital music – on paper at least – is capable of much greater dynamic range. See figures below: 16 … Read More

What’s Wrong with Cheap Record Players?

Marc HenshallTech Talk2 Comments

As record sales continue to grow year-on-year, so too has the market for cheap starter record players. The demand is so great, last year’s hottest Christmas seller on Amazon was the Jensen JTA-230 3-speed stereo turntable with built-in speakers. Priced at just $51.99, it’s safe to say the majority of these players were bought as starter turntables. The Jensen JTA isn’t the only … Read More

Vinyl Stylus Shapes Explained

Marc HenshallTech Talk4 Comments

The hi-fi world is full of technical jargon and vinyl records are certainly no exception. In the following article, you’ll learn about the most common stylus shapes on the market designed for vinyl playback. So what exactly is a stylus? In simple terms the stylus (or needle) is the tip that tracks your vinyl record. Most styli are made from industrial diamonds … Read More

Vinyl Record Inner-Groove Distortion (A Simple Explanation)

Marc HenshallTech Talk3 Comments

While vinyl records have plenty to offer, both sonically and from a listening experience standpoint, they also come with some trade-offs. One of the most commonly cited but also misunderstood trade-offs is a phenomenon known as inner-groove distortion (also referred to as end-of-side distortion. Inner-groove distortion is an audible deterioration in sound quality that sometimes occurs when playing tracks close … Read More