HD Vinyl is An Exciting Concept But It's Last Year's "News"

Last May, 2017 AnalogPlanet published a story about HD Vinyl complete with an interview conducted in Vienna with the inventor of the process.

Yesterday as your editor was packing for the AXPONA 2018 show, his inbox was filled with emails from readers and friends asking "did you see this story just published about HD Vinyl?" or "in case you missed it" etc.

AnalogPlanet did not miss it! We broke the story a year ago.

What's doubly galling is that the author of that story also wrote one about how to buy a turntable. Guess what audio writer(s) this WRITER consulted or gave a shout out to in his story? You'll never guess so I'll tell you: NONE. He didn't contact me, or any writer for TAS, Positive Feedback, enjoythemusic, Audio Beat, you name it. NOT ONE. That WRiTER is a self-loathing writer.

He did his "research" asking retailers. Love them but if you're going to cover in an online music rag a story on TURNTABLES you'd think the WRITER would consult with other WRITERS. But no...

Now I feel better. Can I have my money back?

Anton D's picture

Someone wrote and article about choosing a turntable and didn't consult the audio press?

That is some serious self-loathing, as you say!

I am sad to admit, I give people advice on Hi Fi gear without availing myself of the proper authorities on these matters, as well. I will go get a "Self Loathing Audiophile" shirt as penance.


Michael Fremer's picture
Of course if you offer a friend advice you are not obligated to consult with the audio press! Your friend asked you because he knows or trusts your knowledge. I was referring to an ARTICLE in an online magazine written by someone who clearly does not know a great deal and felt he need to consult with someone. He's a WRITER who chose to not consult with any WRITERS in the field about which he'd chosen to write.
OldschoolE's picture

I usually don't get into giving advice on how to buy a turntable or other gear. I did write a general article on the basics of shopping for audio gear for my site based mostly on my own experience and learning. However, I have referenced Michael in subsequent articles involving turntable set up and such.
That said, I don't reference other writers in live situations. I'm not well known or famous like my friend Michael here, but there are times when I get approached with questions about turntables and such and I just happen to be the guy in the room who knows something about it. Why? because I learned some from other writers, mostly Michael on the subject of all things analog and vinyl. I also acknowledge that I am still learning, it is a life-long process.

Ortofan's picture

... is two years old. Why are you carping about it only now?

I miss the good old days of getting hi-fi equipment advice from Hans Fantel's column in the Sunday NY Times.

Roy Martin's picture

Here's a nice appreciation/obituary of Mr. Fantel from Wes Phillips:


Michael Fremer's picture
Nice old guy but hardly critical. He wrote lovingly about Dynagroove but he's forgiven. It's a miracle he was given Times space to write about audio but it was mostly simple stuff. The paper covered other subjects with great sophistication.
Ortofan's picture

...simply mainstream. He provided practical advice for customers who typically shopped at J&R, Crazy Eddie and Harvey Sound, rather than Lyric.

audioholic63's picture

Hans Fantel was my entry into the concept of high end audio. Kept my teenage self from wasting money on bad new shiny things and instead discovered the value proposition of good used audio at the old Audio Exchange on 8th street. He may not have been the most critical but his information and his column was valuable.

Harry Adamidis's picture

The mere thought of improved, high definition vinyl is incredibly exciting. My biggest fear is that promises won't live up to the hype...and if it does meet expectations, that only a limited selection of classic albums will be pressed in HD...Anyone ready for the next round of boxed sets?

PeterPani's picture

As I understand the input for the 3D-laser has to be a digital file. So, no chance to pass a pure analog signal through HD Vinyl. Or, did I understand something wrong (hopefully..) from their homepage?

DaK's picture

Get over yourself :)

mauidj's picture

You do yourself and the industry no favors ranting like this over something so childish and unimportant. So what he asked some retaiers and not you. Maybe they know as much as you do about the subject. Either way are you really that insecure? And then to hide it under a headline that has nothing to do with your rant. This is a Facebook moment not a post on a professional web site.

infohou's picture

Yes, HD vinyl uses digital files.

No thank you!

And retailers are biased to what they sell. I once sold audio equipment, so i know from experience. It would have made more sense to talk to Fremer or someone at TAS.

Y'all be cool,

gbougard's picture

At least two comments are saying in essence that they reject this new format because the source appears to be digital.

I find this silly:

1. a tonload of today's vinyls are made from digital files
2. you want to reject something without even testing it yourself?

geez, talk about open mindedness

PeterPani's picture

I did not want to condemn the idea. I find it quite fascinating. And for sure, I will buy some of the HD-Vinyl and try it. I would just embrace an idea how to improve AAA by coming out with a new carrier. Out of my own experience all digital stuff sits on the shelf (or USB-stick) and analog sources pleases my music listening much more. This is also true for vinyl from digital sources. And I spent already so much money on digital equipment, trying to get good sound out of it. A lot of wasted money on already outdated stuff, without giving pleasure to me at any time in the past. It is quite hard to stay openminded after nearly 35 years disappointment from digital sources, but I try hard!

RoJo's picture

I agree, just bought the Gladiator sound track and couldn’t get any life out of it. Just sounded compressed and unbalanced in tone. I decided to record it on my Nak BX300E cassette deck and had to increase the levels to almost max just to get any kind of dynamic range. It reminded me of the early Philips pressed LP’s from the 1980’s that used early digital in the recording process. Rather than AAA more like ADA.

davip's picture

You are all Really, Really missing the point here.

Re: the chap who says that we shouldn't condemn this digital vinyl without first hearing it -- if you wish to be a paying guinea-pig for music-industry-couldn't-care-less then more fool you; don't berate others for their unwillingness to join you. Many of us spent decades trying to coax fidelity out of digital media and have given up and returned to analogue.

Re: the two guys who -- reasonably and empirically -- have no interest in digital vinyl, whilst I side with you entirely you are also missing the point.

The point of this HD vinyl -- if its makers (and potential buyers) would just realise it -- is not to provide an even quicker and cheaper way of profiting from the renewed interest in black discs. It is a way to provide flawless vinyl copies of modern music that the music industry has lost all previous expertise in pressing. Consider: when those of us of a certain age started buying vinyl in the 1970s, it was the norm that this vinyl would be perfectly pressed and noise-free (in the UK at least) -- never once did I find a new disc with surface noise, pops or clicks, despite buying 100s over the course of a decade. Contrast this with today's experience -- after 30+ years of CD-crap, those who knew how to press vinyl are mostly all long-gone (one way or another), and it's the rare vinyl release that isn't plagued with pops, clicks, noise, non-fill, warps, etc. HD vinyl will rectify that. However, it's a digitised signal, and that completely negates the point of placing it on an analogue carrier in the first place. I get that entirely -- but here's what you're all missing: like it or not, much of contemporary music is Recorded Digitally. As such, it lends itself perfectly to HD vinyl. Imagine buying a Radiohead or Tori Amos LP -- digitally-sourced and seemingly beyond the wit of the modern vinyl industry to press competently -- that was completely silent and flat. Indeed, the digital source could presumably be passed directly to the cutting laser in that format (i.e., without the multiple, redundant DAC-ADC conversion phases involved in cutting a digital source to vinyl, so such an HD vinyl disc would actually have better sonics as well as physical quality than a digitally-sourced disc cut from lacquer.

Lastly, once HD vinyl is mature tech it will be possible to do in the home or in a 'booth' in a shopping mall, as per user requirements, and this will bring the biggest (and only, to my mind) boon of digital to vinyl -- the ability to make your own compilation. Imagine printing your own copy of 'Synchronicity' without 'Mother'. Imagine making your own Radiohead vinyl compilation from the streamed 24/192 master without having to pay $100s for the noisy vinyl originals.

Don't throw this baby out with its bathwater -- it could be just what we need for today's music -- for all other, earlier-and-analogue music. there's sealed vintage. We all have Ebay and Discogs for that...