Friday, October 7, 2016

In the hi-fi, the marriage of old and new … – The Echoes – The Echoes

The festival Sound & Image, which is being held this weekend in Paris, will make this year the best of… vinyl. An anachronism ? Absolutely not. The good old-fashioned cakes black make a comeback. And this is not a question of nostalgia, as the public of the vinyl, an antique in the light of technological developments, is very young. Half of the buyers were between 13 and 25 years old. In the United States in 2015, the market for vinyl has exceeded $ 400 million, an increase of 28 %, with 16 million records sold, according to a study of Audio Marketing Services. The never-seen since the late 80′s. In France, he is up on the same period 750.000, a figure that has more than doubled in three years, while the physical media on which audio in general are falling drastically (- 15% last year).

Hybridization growing

When Daft Punk releases a new disc, it is simultaneously in CD and vinyl, noted Jean-Marie Hubert, the founder of the festival Sound & Image. the Take the French MPO (Moulages plastiques de l’ouest), the largest manufacturer of historical records. After going through the CD, and then becoming the first european player Blu-Ray, they have revived the manufacture of vinyl records. “

with respect to the turntable, behind the austrian Pro-ject, which has revived the mode, and remains no. 1 in the market, many brands (Thorens, Audiotechnica, Transrotor, etc.) are positioned. Technics has re-launched its platinum ” Grand Class “. the ” Even Sony, who can’t stay out of the trends, has released her own “, welcomes Jean-Marie Hubert. the ” And that’s not all. It manufactures new tube amplifiers, at the time of the transistors ! “ says he. For this passionate about sound quality, it is not a step backwards, but a hybridization is increasing, which allows to both take advantage of the heat-incomparable recordings to the old and features offered by the digital. “today, turntable, vinyl will often have a Bluetooth connectivity, or a USB port for to connect to a computer. This hybridization is everywhere, and takes the market. There is not so long, to know the age of an amp, it was enough to return it : the most recent did not have phono input. Today, on the products Devialet for example, the phono input is returned. “

The multiroom rest trend

This passion for vintage goes hand in hand with a quality that benefits the top of the range, whether it’s music players, high-resolution, speakers, or headsets, including the prices soar. “The public realized that this is not because it is listening to music with his smartphone is that it should be slaughtered with small headphones white cheap “, has fun Jean-Marie Hubert.

The other major trend in the audio, remains the ” multiroom “, the speakers connected which co-ordinate between the different parts. Popularized by Sonos, which remains the undisputed leader, the segment has attracted many manufacturers : Bose, Yamaha, Samsung, LG… or even Blue Sound, a historical actor (he bought NAD, known for its amps in the 70′s), which offers multiroom, but in high-resolution audio. Another example of hybridization.

Sébastien Dumoulin, Les Echos


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