What is old is new again in Japan. Next year Sony will begin doing something it hasn’t done for 29 years. With incredible demand for vinyl records from consumers looking to recapture the excellent analog sounds of their youth, Sony will begin making its own vinyl records once again in Japan. As I wrote earlier this year, Becky and I love our vinyl record collection. And we’re not the only ones. “2015 sales of $416 million were the highest since 1988. Stay tuned for 2016’s numbers.” NPR’s Bill Chappell writes that fans want the rich sound of vinyl, and they also love the liner notes and album art that go along with the physical music medium. He continues:
Here’s what a then-28-year-old record store customer told NPR about the format’s appeal, back in 2014:
“The way I consumed music has been so instant and so immediate, especially with Spotify and online streaming services,” Veronica Martinez said. “I kind of just want to go back to the way I used to listen to it as a kid.”
Sony has already installed record-cutting equipment at a Tokyo studio and will start pressing records again in the spring of 2018 — nearly three decades after it made its last in-house vinyl back in 1989.
“Cutting is a delicate process, with the quality of sound affected by the depth and angle of the grooves,” Nikkei reports, “and Sony is scrambling to bring in old record engineers to pass on their knowledge.”
With the move, Sony will make records that could be played on the new turntable it sent to market last year — although we’ll note that the player includes an audio converter and a USB outlet for converting songs into digital files.
At the end of 2016, sales of vinyl records outpaced digital music sales for the first time in the U.K., as The Guardian reported.
Read more here.