Why vinyl is the purest form of audio playback!?


Vertere Acoustics writes: "Back in the days when music was first recorded and played back, things were kept simple: the nature of the early all-mechanic recording limited the content to not much more than solo voices singing down the horn of the recorder, with piano accompaniment – and even that was a step on from the very first recordings, which were of just voices: it was long thought that Edison reciting Mary Had A Little Lamb in 1877 was the first recording, but more recently an 1860 recording by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville has been unearthed."

"OK, so Scott’s recording was a ‘phonautogram’, which recorded sounds on paper, but it has proved possible to play back his recording of Au Clair de La Lune, as you can hear here, courtesy of the First Sounds collaborative: Scott-Feaster-No-36.mp3


So it all started with voices, and as the story of the record progressed recordings became more ambitious, but if you’d ever told those early pioneers that one day we’d be able to fit an entire orchestra with its full dynamic range onto a disc, they’d have told you you were crazy. But it can be done – to spectacular effect.

Of course, these days it’s possible to record spectacular dynamic ranges on digital media and – provided you’re listening on a full studio system with all the digital components properly locked to each other, of the kind used to record and master recordings these days it can sound superb. 

The problem arises when you want to listen at home, with the limitations of domestic equipment different in quality, hardware and software to what’s used in the studio.


And in the future, when digital recording has moved on, and formats have come and gone? Well, we were reading somewhere the other day of the problems of the Digital Audio Tape format once heralded as the format of the future: it seems the video recorder-style heads used to record and play DAT tapes are now unrepairable and, as the author put it, there are now fewer DAT head hours recording remaining than there are hours of DAT tape in existence. So some of those recordings will never he heard again, simply because the equipment won’t be there to play them.

Analogue recordings? Well, as long as you have a record player you can play them and, provided the player is designed to deliver a sound as close as possible to what was heard when the master was cut, you’ll hear it as the engineers meant it to be.

How do we know? Well, at Vertere we work closely with mastering engineers, so we have access to the acetates of recordings – including those on our own label – and know the work that goes into cutting a disc, and the tricks a good engineer uses to get the best possible sound quality.

So when we design and build our record players, we have those terms of reference and experience in mind – and we know they will keep on playing music as long as there are records."