Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by AcidPunk15, Feb 20, 2017.
LASER-hot stampers, of course...
They're not using a consumer grade 3D printer. According to the interview and the website, they have a special device that is capable of the precision required. Otherwhise they wouldn't be ready to go.
They claim a frequency range of up to 100 kHz, that would be quintuple. The claim is not unreasonable, as the frequency range during cutting is limited by the size, inertia, and overheating of the cutting needle. They don't have a cutting needle, so all of those limitations go away. (They remain at the playback end though).
The next limit to frequency range is the granularity of the vinyl, but it is much finer than a cutting needle. We know from the CD4 format of the quad era that vinyl can carry at least 50 kHz at 33 RPM.
It's not a "3D printer". It sounds like it's a laser-etching system that first plots out exactly how tightly it can pack each groove before it begins cutting anything, to maximize the playtime and fidelity. In theory a laser is also smaller and more precise than a traditional cutting head - no mass, so it can perfectly replicate the incoming signal - but I suspect trying to get that much fine control over a laser powerful enough to blast into something to leave a groove is going to prove far more difficult than they assume.
I've often wondered if 3D lithography could be used to create a vinyl stamper.
Its not your average household plastic 3d printer you can make little decals with.
IIRC, although they haven't cut a full lacquer, they have been testing it out on various materials so they know it works at least on a smaller piece of material. There was an interview conducted by Mike Fremer post awhile back where they mention they were testing different materials to see which would work the best.
I’m not an analogue purist, so am happy with vinyl sourced from top quality digital masters. I agree that audiophile reissues from bands like Pink Floyd could in theory use ‘HD Vinyl’ to deliver a sonic upgrade when compared to their recent pressings.
My post relates to brand new album releases, where thanks to modern mastering trends the CD master will average DR6 or DR5 . In recent years many of these releases have been saved by the vinyl, thanks to the mastering engineer preparing a separate more-dynamic vinyl master.
In this context - my concern is that by overcoming the physical limitations of the normal vinyl cutting process, 'HD Vinyl' could lead to more vinyl releases being sourced from brickwalled CD masters, as I can’t envisage the major labels spending money on preparing separate vinyl masters for each album if the new vinyl technology means there is less of a need to do so.
This is NOT 3-D printing. A computer program will be used to create a 3-D map that will represent the music and that map will guide a laser that will directly cut the stamper. The stamper will be a ceramic material that is longer lasting than a nickel stamper, but, it will act like a conventional stamper to press records. It does not look like they even have a working model of this system, so I would not hold my breath on when product will actually be produced.
Won't happen. Cutting a record requires expensive equipment, expensive lacquers, and skilled operators to drive that Scully or that Neumann.
Well .... Obviously, I was kidding because the technology we are are talking about in this thread is directed towards sculpting metal not vinyl. The technology would also be far too expensive right now for home use. By the way, if you take some time to actually read the thread then you will understand that this new technology would completely replace lacquers and lathes.
How much cheaper can it get? A great deal more is factored into the cost of a vinyl record. It's ALL perception, vinyl was not popular when it was 50 cents a disk.
I must admit that, even assuming that a record can be 3D printed this precisely (something which I have yet to be convinced of), I can't help but wonder about whether this is likely to suck some of the magic out of records.
The last thing I read about this is that they have not yet bought the very expensive/very high power laser needed to actually cut a disc, so they have never once tried this process out in practice. Who knows, it may have some problems. Not being negative, but it sound like a difficult thing to pull off. I hope it works and sounds great.
It has to pass the Kevin Gray test, the Bernie Grundman test, the Ray Staff test and other cutting engineers tests before it is good enough. The people who cut records and have for many years are the ones who's perspectives I want to hear on this new technology. Also, I want to hear what Steve would have to say about it. Professional perspectives. Not some neo hipster comments. If 3D printed vinyl is superior where it counts, I will say it is. But my ears and system will make that judgement and real world testing by me will be done before I call it one way or another.
They aren't 3D printing records though. The records will be made just like they are made today in traditional presses.
The lacquer-cutting process clearly impacts the sound to some degree. And if the molds are 3d printed, the whole cutter-head signal-chain has been removed and replaced by an entirely new all digital chain. My point was: Who knows how much of the analog magic which people love so much is inherent in the old-fashioned process.
Dude, thank you. Thats what I was trying to say earlier but didnt seem to make my point clear enough in the thread.
Has the market always been the same until the vnyl "boom" when trust fund hipsters started buying vinyl.
Hipsters: simultaneously the cause of, and everything wrong with, the vinyl resurgence. Will no one stop these audio boogey-men from driving up vinyl prices with their trust funds?
I have it on good authority (audiophiles on internet forums) that hipsters only listen to records because vinyl is "cool." Don't they know that vinyl definitely isn't a fun way to enjoy music by their favorite bands, and is only worthwhile if played on a $10,000 rig by dudes over the age of 50? Posers.
The molds aren't being 3D printed, either. They're using a laser to etch the master instead of a cutting head. That ain't "printing".
A friend of mine who is on his 50's (but his mind is still in the 80's when he was 20 something) and is wealthy, he's rich for a living, he inherited 30 something apartments right in front of the beach,he rents them, he gets all the job done by a real state so he just checks that money is on his bank account every month. He can afford to spend all his time thinking about what's cool or what's not.
He asked me for advice to buy a turntable and talked to him about a Rega or a new Marantz, but I warned him that his old and trashed LPs (i've seen many of his old LP's) from the 70's and early 80's (he got his first CD player in 1983) won't sound good regardless on the TT he plays them with. He went and got an inexpensive Sony turntable, the one with an USB output that can convert records to either Hi Res PCM or DSD, he set it up the best he could (he wanted me to do it but I wanted him to do it by himself and feel the disappointment by himself) and played some of his Abba records. He called me in a panic state saying that all he gout out of his records was some music with loud frying French fries noise-like. I camed him down by saying him that his new TT would look cool (his key word) next to some of his records and the rest of his equipment. It was like a miracle, he relaxed like if he just got a 10 mmg. needle of Diazepan.
I hate when people takes analog playing like records or R2R in a posch and unserious way, I get so much pleasure out of my records and my humble Goldring GR-1 TT with its new Audio Technica VM540ML cart and an EAR 834 "clone" Phono preamp with my beloved Matsushita 12AX7/12AU7 tubes that is unthinkable for me to see them as decoration.
Was he rich at the time?
I don't know whether to laugh or disagree with you
Very likely, if they equate frequency range (response) with "audio fidelity". I believe although the terms are related, they aren't synonymous. I think frequency range is only one of a number of characteristics of reproduced sound that make up "audio fidelity".
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