Sony returns to the vinyl printing business after an almost 30-year absence

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

While the popularity of the CD saw many proclaim the demise of vinyl in the late 1980s, sales have been on the increase for around ten years now. As a result, industry giant Sony music is once again preparing to manufacture the plastic records – the first time it will have done so since 1989.

The BBC reports that the company will resume in-house domestic vinyl production in a factory southwest of Tokyo by March 2018.

As music slowly transitioned from CD to digital downloads and streaming, vinyl started to look like it was going the way of the video cassette tape. But demand from a nostalgic older generation and younger audiences discovering the format for the first time has seen vinyl press plants across the world struggle to keep up with orders. Interestingly, 17.2 million Vinyl records were shipped in the US last year, 70% of which went to consumers who were 35 or younger.

Not only do vinyl fans enjoy being able to own a physical copy of their favorite songs and albums, but many love the sleeve artwork that the format is famous for. Most of all, aficionados will always argue that vinyl gives a warm, softer sound you simply don’t get with digital music.

Sales of vinyl hit a 25-year high in 2016. Numbers were up 53 percent compared to a year earlier and were likely spurred on through the deaths of musical legends such as David Bowie, who was the bestselling vinyl artist of 2016, according to The Guardian.

Sony’s plant already has the record-cutting equipment installed, and it is trying to find former engineers to help with the process. "Cutting is a delicate process, with the quality of sound affected by the depth and angle of the grooves," writes the Nikkei Asian Review. "And Sony is scrambling to bring in old record engineers to pass on their knowledge."

No word on the type of music Sony plans to release on Vinyl, but the Nikkei writes that it will include popular Japanese songs from the past, including Sony-owned titles, as well as chart-topping contemporary albums.

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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
Amazing ..... they finally figured it out that "digital" isn't the answer in the high quality sound .....
 

ikesmasher

TS Evangelist
Interesting to see people going back to that format of music ownership, but not really much an increase in bluray movies or CDs.
 

Skidmarksdeluxe

TS Evangelist
I still have plenty of vinyl records. Now all I have to do is figure out how to install my old turntable in my car... and try minimise the needle slipping and sliding across the record when the going gets a bit rough. That could be a bit annoying. Along with making and taking calls, sending messages, posting tweets about other dangerous and inconsiderate drivers using their phones while driving, and trying to take a snap of the burger and beers on my lap to post to FB, changing the record as well while doing 100 Mph is going to be a bit of a challenge but I'm sure I'll figure it out. ;)
 

Underdog

TS Addict
Not a problem really. I had a record player in my Chevy lowrider in 1965. It took a stack of about 12 45rpm discs and played them one after the other. It only lost its cool going over railroad tracks and really bumpy bits. The downside was the high record wear due to the spring loading on the tone arm.
 
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p51d007

TS Evangelist
I still have plenty of vinyl records. Now all I have to do is figure out how to install my old turntable in my car... and try minimise the needle slipping and sliding across the record when the going gets a bit rough. That could be a bit annoying. Along with making and taking calls, sending messages, posting tweets about other dangerous and inconsiderate drivers using their phones while driving, and trying to take a snap of the burger and beers on my lap to post to FB, changing the record as well while doing 100 Mph is going to be a bit of a challenge but I'm sure I'll figure it out. ;)
In the 70's, I worked in a television repair shop (yes, they had those up until the late 80's). The owner told me that back in the 50's they had 45 rpm turntables for your car. they played upside down to keep the pressure on the tonearm or something. I said no way, lost a bet because he had one on the shelf. Of course most people didn't drive their cars over 100mph...unless they were drag racing ;)
 
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Skidmarksdeluxe

TS Evangelist
In the 70's, I worked in a television repair shop (yes, they had those up until the late 80's). The owner told me that back in the 50's they had 45 rpm turntables for your car. they played upside down to keep the pressure on the tonearm or something. I said no way, lost a bet because he had one on the shelf. Of course most people didn't drive their cars over 100mph...unless they were drag racing ;)
Television repair shops were on just about every street corner back then and some even contained a video rental facility.
 
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wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
The only way I would go back to vinyl is if I could afford a player that uses a laser to read the disk. Unfortunately, I doubt the problem of wear when playing the disk with a needle has been solved. http://elpj.com/
 

richalone442

TS Enthusiast
The only way I would go back to vinyl is if I could afford a player that uses a laser to read the disk. Unfortunately, I doubt the problem of wear when playing the disk with a needle has been solved. http://elpj.com/
I believe that was tried, it sounded like **** though, if you use a digital source like a laser, that wold defeat the analog sound that you are going after.
Get a decent turntable/tonearm combination and cartridge that will track at 1 - 1.5 grams and it will not wear down the grooves very fast, personally I play an LP only 2 or 3 times, the first time to clear the grooves of particles left over from the cutting, the second to actually listen to the record, the third time to record to a mobile format (if I want a copy) for car use, you can play a record with 1 - 1.5 grams of head weight many times without noticeable wear. Vinyl just sounds so much better and more alive than a CD.
You would have to go HiRez to get better sound, and I have several HiRez files, they sound great, but the catalog is of HiRez recordings is not so great.
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
I believe that was tried, it sounded like **** though, if you use a digital source like a laser, that wold defeat the analog sound that you are going after.
Get a decent turntable/tonearm combination and cartridge that will track at 1 - 1.5 grams and it will not wear down the grooves very fast, personally I play an LP only 2 or 3 times, the first time to clear the grooves of particles left over from the cutting, the second to actually listen to the record, the third time to record to a mobile format (if I want a copy) for car use, you can play a record with 1 - 1.5 grams of head weight many times without noticeable wear. Vinyl just sounds so much better and more alive than a CD.
You would have to go HiRez to get better sound, and I have several HiRez files, they sound great, but the catalog is of HiRez recordings is not so great.
Today's retreat to, and infatuation with, vinyl, is borne out of nostalgia, snobbery, flat out stupidity, or a combination of all the foregoing.

It's dynamic range, more so than frequency response, which determines how any content is perceived as being live, versus being recorded.

In point of fact, the maximum noise floor achievable by a vinyl record is about 65 db. Whereas, Using 24 bit depth, and 96 kHz sampling rate, has the potential of reproducing a dynamic range equivalent to a live rock concert, with virtually no noise floor whatsoever..

The weak link in any audio system, is the loudspeakers. It's their potential for producing high Db levels without major distortion, and the listener's long term ability to withstand it, which is fundamental in retrieving the live experience.

And no, ear buds and Mp3s don't cut it.

Sadly CDs and digital recording had a learning and maturation curve to obtain the best results.

At some point though, in the desire to penetrate various markets, recording evolved into over recording, and compression evolved into over compression. Which is why the crap that you hear today on CD, all sounds like an over amplified commercial.

The recording engineer occupies at position which is often referred to in automobile drivers as, "the loose nut between the steering wheel and the seat". So, it follows that the result is more dependent on him or her, than the capabilities of the equipment in use.

BTW, why didn't you reply to the current thread on this topic, instead of, "Digging up Bones", with the necrobump?
 
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