Old-fashioned vinyl records are apparently the hot new thing at CES this year.
First, Panasonic revived its turntable business. Now Sony has announced its own hardware for audiophiles: The Sony PS-HX500 turntable is designed for LP collectors to easily convert the music from their records into high-res digital audio files, in the DSD and WAV formats — not MP3s — for playback on compatible devices. This comes amid continued growth in sales in vinyl records.
Pricing has not been announced, but Sony is not positioning this as a low-end product, as you can see from the official feature description below.
The HX500 comes with a newly developed app with exclusive software that allows simple and intuitive editing on either PCs or Macs. Users can conveniently combine tracks from both sides of an album or multiple tracks can be split and saved. A special driver is also provided for recording compatible DSD streams.
Additionally, the HX500 incorporates the type of quality analog components associated with reference standard turntables. A new Sony developed straight tone arm designed with the stylus located in the central axis of the arm helps achieve superb stereo balance. Its integrated lightweight, low resonance integrated head shell also comes complete with moving magnet cartridge and produces three-dimensional sound while ensuring optimum tracking, even on warped records.
A two speed belt drive system is also used which includes an aluminum die cast platter and thick (5mm) rubber mat to help stabilize disc rotation and minimize vibration. The built-in phono equalizer incorporates special parts selected for their sound quality, which are mounted on a glass epoxy circuit board to improve structural rigidity. A high density acoustically inert cabinet is further utilized along with insulator feet to off-set vibration and reduce resonance. Even the dust cover is designed to minimize vibration.
The Sony PS-HX500 turntable is due out in the spring.