We Might Be on the Verge of the First Major Innovation in Vinyl Records Since 1948

Columbia Records introduced the long-playing 33 1/3 RPM album in June 1948. About six months later, RCA launched its rival format, the 7-inch 45 RPM single. Since then, the vinyl record has pretty much stayed the same.

Sure, there were a few attempts at innovation, including quadraphonic vinyl in the 70s, but an album or 7-inch released in 1949 is technologically the same as one you’d buy today. It works. What needs changing?

An Austrian company called Research Joaneum has figured out a way to cram more audio information–30% more–into the grooves of a vinyl record. The result is a longer playing time beyond the 22 minutes(ish) of the standard album along with a wider frequency range.

A well-recorded and mastered recording press onto heavy virgin vinyl already sounds great, but this new manufacturing method promises “high-definition” sound. And the good news is that it’s 100% compatible with all current turntables.

Read more at Exclaim.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “We Might Be on the Verge of the First Major Innovation in Vinyl Records Since 1948

  • March 17, 2016 at 12:59 pm
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    Allan you have submitted a well-written story about the possibility of “next generation” vinyl discs. More detail is needed about how this 30% improvement will be accomplished. The link to EXCLAIM doesn’t work for me when reading this article on my LG phone. Thanks for your hard work on this article and I look forward to reading more.

    Reply

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