Has T-Bone Burnett Invented the Indestructible Lacquer?

In a press release today first reported by Variety of all places, record producer and analog advocate T-Bone Burnett announced that he's just completed a special recording session with Bob Dylan that will be released in a new analog format he calls "Ionic Originals". Burnett claims it is "The first breakthrough in analogue sound reproduction in more than 70 years". I assume magnetic tape is the 70 year old breakthrough to which he is referring.

Burnett has formed a new company, NeoFidelity, Inc. to record artists and provide a platform for the distribution of Ionic Originals. Burnett claims to have "...developed an analogue disc that possesses a depth, resonance and sonic fidelity that exceeds that of vinyl, CD, streaming or any other means of experiencing recorded music."

Exactly what is an "Ionic Original"? Burnett says, “It is archival quality. It is future proof. It is one of one. Not only is an Ionic Original the equivalent of a painting, it is a painting. It is lacquer painted onto an aluminum disc, with a spiral etched into it by music. This painting, however, has the additional quality of containing that music, which can be heard by putting a stylus into the spiral and spinning it.”

By definition a "lacquer" is lacquer painted onto an aluminum disc. Is Burnett recording to tape and selling "one off" lacquers ala SuperSense? That cannot be! Yet it's "one of one". And it's a spiral groove played using a stylus. Obviously it's not a "direct to disc" lacquer sold to one person only and it's not the SuperSense model, so what is it?.

The press release says: "Through the creation of the patented Ionic Original, Burnett has built upon his mission as an advocate for the sonic excellence of analogue sound by making unprecedented strides in fidelity and durability of the medium." That asks more questions than it answers, one question being, can it be played on my current turntable using a normal stylus?

We need answers and we will do our best to get them for you including what songs Dylan performed and with whom he performed them!

Anton D's picture

Just so long as he is the purveyor and not the producer, I am good with a new way of listening.


Between his ear and Dylan's voice, we really have something to anticipate.

Tasingegade's picture

I am a card-carrying audiophile and love it, BUT, the comments I found here (https://www.stereogum.com/2184752/bob-dylan-t-bone-burnett-new-audio-for...) when looking into this further are hilarious and accurate.

To quote a couple of highlights
"I'm not sure if I envy or pity the people who can hear the difference between good sound and perfect sound."

"Does anyone else feel like this is a hilarious mismatch of audio technology and artist? "It's the pinnacle of recorded sound! You can hear every mumble!""

And others..

MalachiLui's picture

i love the sound of AAA vinyl as much as every other audiophile, but analog recording in this day and age is so not practical at all and digital, while lacking that sparkle, is beyond adequate now...

Jazz listener's picture

Since you collect vinyl prodigiously. Are you now just looking to pick arguments with yourself Malachi? This is a very strange comment, both in terms of its being on Analog Planet but also in relation to this article. Ironically you’ve become the old guy yelling at clouds with this comment, lol.

MalachiLui's picture

i was talking about recording not playback. analog recording is impractical. listening to vinyl (of digital recordings, cuz they often do sound better on vinyl) is not that much of an inconvenience.

Glotz's picture


I couldn't agree more. I wish the digital reality wasn't the case, but it is.

The cost to completely provide and utilize a full analog chain is ultra expensive and hard to access. Many artists won't go down that road, as the facilities are not nearly ubiquitous as they were 30 or 40 years ago.

That means many would have to create their own all-analog studio or pay top-dollar to use them. That is not feasible to most of the artists making music today.

Yes, in a perfect world AAA recording chains would be the more desirable and laudable.

ivansbacon's picture

There was no mean spirited attack in his comments.

I see no point in recording digitally and then pressing it to vinyl except to cash in on the vinyl resurgence. (Meaning it is not done for the warmth and soul that only analog recording can capture)

Also, i strongly disagree that it is "adequate".
IF perhaps you meant to say that is adequate for YOU personally then that is your opinion, and should be stated as such, and not an inferrence that it is adequate for ALL other lovers of quality music.

It is not adequate for me, I have my standards and adequate does not meet them.

I no longer spend money on digitally recorded music, I do not stream or buy files. I may buy a CD if it is the only way to get something i really REALLY want.

I realize my standards are far above those of most people, i am OK with that.
Now, get of my lawn. ;)

Michael Fremer's picture
You ought to read mastering engineer Dave McNair's article on the Part Time Audiophile website about this. He explains why vinyl cut from digital can sound better than the digital source... https://parttimeaudiophile.com/2020/10/17/hi-fi-why-do-records-sound-better-the-ivory-tower/
anodyne jones's picture


Of course a "mastering engineer" would not care one way or another. Ka-Ching.

ivansbacon's picture

"vinyl cut from digital can sound better than the digital source" That may be but if it can not equal an analog recording then i am still not interested. The operative work is "Can"

Given the CHOICE i will choose the analog recording over digital.
I would not buy it without hearing it first so i know if it is worth my money.

A comparison listening of a recording would be interesting, Digital file, digital pressed on vinyl and analog on vinyl, my money is on the later. I am open to hear it or listen to your opinion if you were to hear it.

rich121's picture

Even though you purport otherwise...

Mark Cherrington's picture

Thanks, Michael, for the link to that article about vinyl cut from digital. Very interesting, indeed. When he talks about engineers adding distortion to make a more pleasing sound, I wonder if it's second-order harmonic distortion, which would make sense.

anodyne jones's picture

Not a surprise Mariachi has gotten into name calling and smug "comebacks"..he has the best mentor.

anodyne jones's picture

I really don't know who you think you are, but you have some chutzpah. Not surprising, working with Fremer, a classic narcissist who is never wrong. Analog recording is quite alive and well, as if you had a clue. Earn your stripes then run your mouth.

Anton D's picture

You are one tiresome troll.

Get out of mom's basement and find a hobby other than trolling.

anodyne jones's picture

Better a troll than a pathetic sycophant.

Anton D's picture

Go be a pest somewhere you are appreciated...err...that would be nowhere, man.

Scoot along troll, don't you have some homework to do?

azmoon's picture

..to many others it is not. Digital is inadequate. Obviously you don't love the sound of analog as much as every other audiophile.

MalachiLui's picture

i never said i didn't love the sound of analog as much as every other audiophile! many of the best sounding records in my collection are AAA, or were at least tracked to tape. however, there's no disputing that recording, mixing, and mastering in the analog domain is a ton of work compared to digital. digital captures of analog recordings are often inadequate, of course. but all-digital recordings can be pretty good! digital recording might not have the realism and three-dimensionality of analog but it's MUCH easier to work with, plus most current, relevant music doesn't necessarily demand realism and three-dimensionality.

anodyne jones's picture

Of course digital is much "easier" to work with. Because you and everyone else wants instant gratification. "A ton of work:..something your generation knows nothing about.

Glotz's picture

And you show your ignorance in doing so. AAA chains are expensive and rare these days.

Jazz listener's picture

a new type of TT which also won’t play regular vinyl, it will be a hard pass for me, unless the sonic results actually match the hyperbole. Current audiophile vinyl pressings are fantastic, so why would I or anyone with an extensive vinyl collection buy into this? It represents everything I hate about digital, namely the regular need to upgrade your hardware (read dac) and ever-changing formats. The fact that T-Bone is now seemingly trying to introduce obsolescence to vinyl actually pisses me off, to be honest. Will be interesting to see the results of this new technology. Any bets that the sonic improvements will require about a 5 figure investment in a new table?

Anton D's picture

Two visionaries working in new payback formats!

If anybody can find a reference, in the 1980-ish era, the Grateful Dead claimed to be working on a playback device that had a triangular receptacle 'media reader' that would play back 'triangular shaped cylinders," I think using gravity to past the triangular peg though the triangular hole.

Great minds, and all.

Glotz's picture

What DOESN'T piss you off??

Tom L's picture

It seems to me that Burnett may have developed a way to produce an aluminum disc coated with lacquer that can be played using a regular turntable and (perhaps) cartridge. Very few people will invest in a totally new analog playback system when digital rules the roost and the vast majority of people are happy with that.
That's just a guess, there are so many unanswered questions...

PeterPani's picture

Dylan gives us new songs!!

scottyh777's picture

Really Bad

xtcfan80's picture

Ahh...T-Bone..we have the long playing vinyl LP. I'm interested to see how your team can improve on that, might be just another music icon flushing $ with no real breakthrough or possible mass adoption. Record on tape if possible and release on vinyl or reel to reel and enjoy the vast variety of recorded music.

Anton D's picture

I think T-Bone simply saw the market for ultra-fiddled reel to reel players and "master" reel to reels that sell at 450 bucks each and thought, "I need to translate that into something I can cash in on."

So, he will be selling "one of one" lacquers.

1) Get the tape.

2) Cut it to a lacquer.

3) Sell lacquer.

4) Repeat.

I hope he makes some money, but these are just gussied up lacquers. Maybe he can emulate Wu Tang Clan and sell some to Pharma Bro.

Lemon Curry's picture

This is unhinged stuff. He's got a gimmick. This isn't going anywhere.

swimming1's picture

What's this bruhaha all about?

ivansbacon's picture

Until we see/hear the self proclaimed breakthrough then there is no point in speculating.

anodyne jones's picture

This blog has become a joke, first with the ridiculous political and social commentary and arguments, and the non stop press releases masquerading as posts.


Anton D's picture

Set an example for everybody by leaving this dying place.

Glotz's picture


Glotz's picture

Let curious minds create!

Inventions that propel thought are not always successful, but the additional designs that grow from it may indeed lead to something meaningful to the market.

The lacquer tech out of this design may mean better vinyl down the road, if not a completely new technology.

One won't ever know until one tries.

Keep an open mind... Oh sorry. Keep on hating!

Jazz listener's picture

that's now two cheap shots you've taken at me for a very reasonable post on my opinion about this new vinyl technology. Other posters have added their own thoughtful comments. Maybe take their example. The only one hating here is you my friend...

Glotz's picture

... is a cognitive bias that cause one to make snap judgments about a product or a service based on an initial feeling.

Deacon Dan's picture

I might not have seen without Analog Planet. Even if it is a format I do not buy or is not long lasting it will still be intriguing to follow and fun to talk with friends about while listening to vinyl. Kind of like following the Pono saga. In any event, not sure why such consternation over different formats. When listening by myself or a friend or two vinyl is the way to go. If I am outdoors streaming music is what I do. With a party what is wrong with a Spotify playlist. I even know an audiophile store owner who has owned it since 1977 and practices piano a couple hours a day to try to avoid dementia like his father had, listens to mostly CD's. My son recorded his own music and as he is a graphic artist designed his own cassette case and had some produced. Much cheaper than finding someone who will press a few pieces of vinyl. So maybe just listening to music is a good thing and use whatever format you feel like in that situation. And if you have the chance listen to Jellico Coal Man by T-Bone on Johnny Cash The Music Forever Words.

anodyne jones's picture

"I might not have seen without Analog Planet."

Simply laughable. A simple Googel search turns up hundreds of the same copied and pasted text. Even mainstream media like Variety.

Glotz's picture

Of course.. So that's where you get your information from!

You are pretty laughable.

And an angry, sad troll.

We're still waiting on your departure.

anodyne jones's picture


Jeff Glotzer, you mutha humper, if I looked you I also would never leave the house and crown my self a self appointed moderator for AP. You are one ugly bastardo. Truly. They say some faces only a mother could love, but you are the exception, wholly hell.

Glotz's picture

Only show how childish and frustrated you are.

Warsawa.. Sorry man. I defend those that get crapped on by trolls who don't bring anything meaningful to the discussion. They also further denigrate young reviewers like ML and I won't stand for it. He deserves positivity and respect for his intelligent reviewing. Those that attack him deserve my bile and complete derision.

scottyh777's picture

Seems like a waste using this with Bob Dylan.He has a horrible nasal voice 70 years ago and it's gotten worse.He sucks and so does his music.

rich d's picture

...to get my Elcaset deck hooked up to my Pono player and now you tell me something better has come along? Color me skeptical.
Also, could some of you turd droppers please find a different punch bowl? Honestly.

bdp24's picture

Analogue is rare? Not at all; there are many analogue recorders---both multi-track and 2-track---in regular use today. I've been in many studios---large and small---in the past quarter-century (as recently as last year), all with multi-track machines recording onto 2 inch tape, the multi-track tapes mixed to 2-tracks on either a 1/4" or 1/2" tape machine, pure analogue. Where is all this repeating of inaccurate information coming from?!

Yes, indi artists with home studios rarely have a 24-trk 2" machine (though I know a couple who), but Rock stars like Dylan, Tom Petty, and Mike Campbell (as well as numerous others) do. And ALL pro studios do. When I recorded with the late Emitt Rhodes, he had both a 24-track Otari 2-inch analogue recorder and four digital recorders. Get out of your basement and book some time in a pro studio!

bdp24's picture

How do I delete this post?!

bdp24's picture

How do I delete this post?!

bdp24's picture

Analogue is impractical (and therefore presumably uncommon now)? Not at all; there are many analogue recorders---both multi-track and 2-track---in regular use today. I've been in many studios---large and small---in the past quarter-century (as recently as last year), all with multi-track machines recording onto 2 inch tape, the multi-track tapes mixed to 2-tracks on either a 1/4" or 1/2" tape machine, pure analogue. Where is all this repeating of inaccurate information coming from?!

Yes, indi artists with home studios rarely have a 24-trk 2" machine (though I know a couple who), but Rock stars like Dylan, Tom Petty, and Mike Campbell (as well as numerous others) do. And ALL pro studios do. When I recorded with the late Emitt Rhodes, he had both a 24-track Otari 2-inch analogue recorder and four digital recorders. Get out of your basement and book some time in a pro studio!

Glotz's picture

That have access to an all analog chain recording studio...

You reinforce my point about it being 'rare'... just like a mint first pressing of the first Velvet Underground album being super expensive and rare.

All recording artists would find it more expensive as well as harder to find (rare).

MalachiLui's picture

the examples you listed all have tons of money to go into a pro studio outfitted with all the greatest analog gear. most people don't. not to mention, the workflow of digital helps a lot of people be more creative with songwriting, sound design, etc. and of course, no one has to worry about files sounding worse on the 30th play compared to the 1st, and even those who've recorded all-analog in the past will now tell you that digital's gotten very good and isn't a pain in the ass to work with.

infohou's picture

Yes, I cannot address the cost, but analogue recording is not rare. I have a two track reconditioned MCI JH-110 coming next week from Mara Machines. Chris Mara will be happy to sell you up to a 24 track machine. My 2 track pro machine was less than 7k. Cheaper than what I paid for a rebuilt/upgraded prosumer Technics 1506.

I don’t know who is spreading rumors about analogue recording, but check the facts. There are plenty of studios with analogue capability.

Deacon Dan's picture

Obviously not an expensive high quality machine but my 20+ year old with not a lot of money did buy a Concord reel tape machine to do some recording with. But a place to start and to recognize that analog is very alive and relevant. By the way, I listened to Michael's advise about Le Noise by Neal Young in 2011, bought the album and what a great example of excellent analog production. Not a bad investment either.

Keen Observer's picture

The late 70s was less than 50 years ago.

PeterPani's picture

I own everything from 78 shellacs up to two track 15 ips tapes from tape project and AP Ultra Tapes (wonderful) up to real master copies. And I can tell you, if the analog track of a Laserdisc is properly done it beats or equals the best analog carriers. If somebody would reinvent the LD as ALD (analog laserdisc without video) it would be the analog carrier of our choice!

MalachiLui's picture

how any semblance of real world practicality is completely lost on many in this comments section. analog recording is great for sound quality, no doubt about it, but it's not practical. the workflow of digital is much better in supporting creativity and allowing artists to experiment without having to worry about permanently ruining their recordings. and when it comes to mixing, i've been told that it can take DAYS to set up a mix in the analog domain... not to mention all the detail that is lost when you play a tape too much. oh, and did i mention that it's expensive? EVERYONE can have pro tools on their computer and with a few good plugins, make a recording and mix that sounds cohesive. take that digital production into a pro studio with analog outboard gear and it's leagues better. it won't have the sparkle and airiness of tape but it'll still sound very good if done right, and it's so much more flexible and less expensive. not to mention, the sound of tape isn't even suitable for many styles of music.

anodyne jones's picture

Hilarious how you are trying to sound like an expert on matters you have no clue about. Time to have your wings clipped.

MalachiLui's picture

i never claimed myself to be an expert because i'm not an expert. there are many out there with more knowledge about this subject than me who could elaborate on this even more but i had to bring some common sense back into this comments section. and i think we should really assess who actually has no clue regarding what they're talking about.

anodyne jones's picture

You have no common sense. I just bough the discographies of 3 artists on Bandcamp. 2 of the 3 recorded all their music 100 percent analog. One Chris Brain, and the other George Boomsma, both out of the Uk. Small independent artists. Not millionares. No major label cash.

You should be far more humble until you have earned your stripes.

Glotz's picture

Great example with the UK, where access is much different in the US.

Take your own advice. You are the farthest thing from humble.

Glotz's picture

and further reinforce my example.

Those releases aren't on vinyl, as you state. Lol.

Humility indeed.

Glotz's picture

the vast majority of modern music recorded in an AAA chain.

WHY could that be??

You already know the answers, yet you imply the only way to listen to vinyl is a pure AAA recording chain.

Record collections would be severely limited if one only bought AAA recordings. To imply anything else is hairshirt music-loving and quite unrealistic.

Great example of a dynamic and accurate DDA LP is Thom Yorke's ANIMA. Checks all of the boxes.

MalachiLui's picture

not to mention that many of the best albums of the analog era were extensively edited in expensive studios with tons of assistant engineers, and the master tapes of many of those albums are rapidly degrading. unfortunate but true.

your example of 'ANIMA' as an excellent sounding DDA LP is on point. the digital files for that sound fine but not spectacular... but the vinyl is fantastic.

MagneticFlux's picture

Hello all,

first post here - intended as enlightenment rather than hostility. I'm a working recording engineer, and I've been making records for the past 30 years. From my side of the fence, the audiophile community revolves around a lot of great stuff, but is also very ill-informed about what goes on in the studio; tracking, mixing and mastering.

In this particular case, I'd like to add some real-world, every day facts to the "analog recording" comments:

1. Aside from the hip-hop and electronic based worlds, the majority of recording studios are still centered around large format analog consoles. Most of the Neves, SSLs, APIs, etc, that were making your favorite records in the 70s and 80s are still maintained, functioning, and used every day to make records. It may be true that most of these records are recorded digitally - this often has more to do with editing capability, unlimited takes and comping, etc, than anything else. I am not just talking about multi-million dollar facilities, but right down the one-person operations billing $50/hr with engineer...

2. Analog tape machines - multitrack and mixdown - are not as absolutely ubiquitous now as they were before the computer-based digital platforms - ie, Pro Tools. (Bear in mind, digital recording dates back to the early 70s - on magnetic tape decades before on computers.) BUT, analog machines are still widely maintained, very inexpensive to purchase used - albeit needing repair and maintenance. They exist and are maintained in perhaps 50% + of recording studios (across the USA at least), including very affordable rooms.

3. Tape itself has increased significantly in price - more than double what it was when I started. $350/15 min vs $125 in 1990. This is entirely because it went from large companies like 3M to boutique manufacture as all uses for magnetic tape dwindled. But, almost all studios will rent you multitrack reels, and back them up to digital for archiving.

In regards to all this technology being available only to millionaires... completely incorrect.

I work in Chicago, and there are several dozen studios with analog tape machines. These studios work every day of the week with indie artists and small labels in jazz, rock, folk, etc.

Any artist can make an all-analog record in any of these studios in the same price range as recording digitally.

The biggest obstacles to recording analog - "AAA" as the audiophile community likes to call it - are the need to arrive at the studio better prepared and rehearsed (as editing is FAR more limited), and the inability to keep unlimited takes (of full songs, of vocal overdubs, etc)... in other words, what everyone managed to do and afford *before* digital recording.

anodyne jones's picture

Thanks for schooling the uninformed.

In a nutshell, you can't be lazy, untalented, or a joker and hang with analog.

But aside from that, no one here ever said that analog multi track and mix down was still the main way of recording. Of course it is not. But it is far from extinct. And no one ever said that digital was junk, from from it, especially on the best DAW, with great interfaces, and the right gear.

Also, digital as a final delivery medium makes a lot of sense, even for an analog recording. It will retain all the organic goodness with the convenience of a portable container. That is why download codes are very much coveted by vinyl buyers. Because we want both.

Good to hear from some one who actually knows what they are talking about.

MagneticFlux's picture

To clarify; any of my clients could make an "AAA" recording next week if they chose. None of them are millionaires, even the ones with Grammys, gold records and major label contracts. All of the studios I've worked in recent years have tape machines. Cost may have fluctuated - usually up but in some cases down - between tape cost, mixing expense and overall workflow.

anodyne jones's picture

Also worth mentioning is a many artists, at all levels, often blend analog and digital. I know this first hand. I have friends in bands signed to well known indie labels who will record multi track digital, then mix to tape, and even vice versa. They follow what their ears tell them.

bdp24's picture

Okay, one non-millionaire who has a 16-track 2" analogue recorder (a 3M, similar to the ubiquitous Ampex) in his little studio in Los Angeles is the bassist in Los Straitjackets. In addition to the Straitjackets, he has recorded Nick Lowe, I've done a few tracks there myself, as have lesser-known Roots artists (Rockabilly, Surf), who wouldn't dream of recording digitally.

Well known Jazz/Instrumental guitarist Bill Frisell has recorded a number of his albums at Flora Recording And Playback in Portland, Oregon, a studio I too have recorded at, in pure analogue. Owner/engineer Tucker Martine is not a millionaire, but the sound quality he gets out of his equipment (which includes a Studer 2" 24-track and ATR 1/2" 2-track, both of course analogue. His microphone collection includes a Telefunken U47!) is world-class.

The little studio in Atlanta I recorded at with Evan Johns (three albums on Rykodisc) has a 2" Ampex 24-track, and a 1/2" 2-track.

I could name a dozen more, but if you want to insist analogue is impractical, it's not up to me to dissuade you. Look on the list of contemporary artists who have recorded at Flora; that is, if you want to learn something. Artists often record home demos on cheap digital equipment, but when they go in to do the recording which will be used to make LP's and CD's, you can bet they record onto analogue. Go ahead, investigate. Then stop spreading bs.

Glotz's picture

The fact remains that most of the productions made these days aren't fully analog recordings, for all of the reasons elucidated many times on this site and others.

The original argument surrounded around ML stating that digital recordings pressed on vinyl can and do sound accurate and excellent. MF seconded his comments. To only purchase all-analog recordings means many are missing out on most recordings commercially released.

Jazz listener's picture

Malachi is spreading his usual BS by acting like he knows everything. And as usual, you are running around trying to fight anyone who second guesses him, even when an industry professional tries to set him right. It's actually quite comical.

Glotz's picture

I heard him use phrases like 'not an expert' and those that are experts, like MF, agreed with him on the subject of DDA LP's.

In fact, he even provided further example from Part Time Audiophile's resident audio engineer, who speaks directly to this (and ML's) argument. Look above for his post.

The engineer posting above, in fact partially disagreed with AJ and further clarified the 50% mark, not the circumlocution that he provided and proffered over. AJ of course saw that as vindication for his rabid, childish behavior. Moreover, to say that one engineer has the pulse of the entire industry completely figured is silliness.

I find it ironic you take one expert's opinion on gospel (because it fits your argument biases) over another, and yet don't even acknowledge the other viewpoint. I find that disingenuous, and it's a pattern for sure. I'm not sure you have argued effectively and fairly to any post.

Digitally sourced vinyl (DDA LP's) has nothing to apologize for sonically, and given that many artist do use a mix of both analog and digital, it is a completely valid statement ML made. It is far easier and exponentially less expensive (time, technology, medium, engineer experience requirements). Again, Thom Yorke and Radiohead's Kid Amnesiac are excellent examples of stellar recordings in DDA (easily surpassing their DDD counterparts). Many reviews exist; this month TAS is further proof.

Lemon Curry's picture

Big Nick fan here. Love his recent work with Los Straightjackets. You telling me all that is tape? The vinyl sounds great but I assumed they were going Pro Tools like everyone else....

MalachiLui's picture

i'm sure that many artists still record analog, though it's also true that many seem to much prefer the flexibility of digital. analog works for those who have their songs prepared and basically perfected before recording, but that's not how most artists work these days. not discrediting what you're saying, but there's no disputing that the workflow of digital is highly valued by many these days.

Trius's picture

… to NOT read the comments? LOL

RG's picture

If Mr. Burnett thinks I’m going to once again, re-purchase my music collection in yet another format, in addition to whatever hardware is required, well he better guess again. Vinyl, reel to reel, cassette, CD, iPod and back to vinyl. I’m done. This thing has Pono and mini disc written all over it.

thegage's picture

One could always do a little informed searching and thereby find U.S. Patent US10629227, but as is usual with the internet it's a lot easier to show how smart you are when ignorant.

Basically it's an LP lacquer disc that has the recording inscribed onto it, and then a specialized coating is applied to the lacquer to harden and protect it from wear. Playable on any turntable. So, theoretically a one-off, direct-from-the-cutting-head LP that never degrades. Dog knows what one will cost!

BTW, I never knew Burnett's given name is Joseph Henry.

thegage's picture

Also note that the invention claims among other things that the coating can be used on a vinyl substrate or a metal stamper, both for increased durability.

Glotz's picture


Tom L's picture

my earlier guess that these discs will be playable using current turntable and cartridge technology. Burnett must be well aware that a format requiring new playback equipment for a very limited catalog would not have much commercial potential.
All things considered, this is very interesting indeed.

Jazz listener's picture

my Tone Poets Out of the Blue album...perfection. I really don't need better... Even if these play on a regular TT, the cost will likely be out of reach for casual vinyl fans.

rosiemax's picture

Hoped for this.No analog to digital to analog.Better than tape?With no digital problems? The future is now!

Tasingegade's picture

for adding something worth reading to these comments.

Malachi, you get plenty of advice but if you are open to one additional piece, it is that you are wasting your time arguing in an online forum with this crowd. You are a talented kid. Do some learning from a recording engineer or acoustic engineer if you have the interest. Maybe they would let you hang around their studio as an intern or something. I bet the experience would be eye-opening, and it will help sort through much of the BS that pervades this hobby. Kind regards

cundare's picture

...after reading through Ionic's issued patent is that this new format, like so many other inventions, is an innovation in materials only. (To be honest, I'm amazed that this patent was issued. It would be interesting to look at the prosecution history to identify which features the Patent Office found novel enough to justify issuance.) I just read through quickly, so I may have missed something, but it looks to me as though the patent discloses a normal LP that is made of coated aluminum, rather than vinyl. Will it last longer than a vinyl LP? Well, I'm not sure that that's the issue for analog audiophiles. (And the answer will probably be "no" when a disk is not played.) Since vinyl aficionados generally align their cartridges and keep their records clean (ahem!), record wear is not a huge concern for many of us. But two other issues certainly are of interest: sonics & stylus wear. The physical interactions between diamond and vinyl will certainly differ from those between diamond and lacquer-coated Al. So I'll reserve judgement until somebody like Mikey or J.R. Boisclair has one of these beasties inhouse & files a first-hand report. Of course, it'll be impossible to draw early conclusions without assurance that control & variable differ only in the delivery medium -- that is, that Ionic and vinyl test disks are made from identical sources. We'll see. In the interim, check out how T-Bone's earlier "Code" invention made out.