HMV and the end of the LP




In Jazz Journal May 1955, founder and editor Sinclair Traill reported the launch of the Stereosonic tape system that some thought would signal the end of the LP:

You had better get ready to scrap that new LP equipment you have recently bought for it would now appear that disc records as such will shortly be as dead as the dodo. At a demonstration given at their studios last month His Master's Voice disclosed their new "Stereosonic", two channel tape records - a form of recording which makes Hi-Fi as outdated as Edison's hill-and-dale method.

This is really 3-D sound and until they pulled back the curtains to prove there was nothing on the stage except two loud speakers, it was very difficult to believe that the actual performers were not with us in the flesh.

Sir Malcolm Sargent in his opening address put the matter succinctly, said, "No longer does the music of an orchestra, a choir, or a dance band appear to be static and funnelled through a loudspeaker aperture; it now, by this method, has all the character of being spread out across the width and depth of the stage, with the instruments and voices in the correct perspectives".

The new H.M.V. Stereosonic Tape Records and Reproducer will be on the market shortly.

[Contemporary editor's note: jazz-related issues on Stereosonic tape were few and far between, with dance-band issues well represented by Joe Loss, Norrie Paramour and Victor Sylvester. However, there were issues on tape for The Mundell Lowe Quintet, Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong (the Ella & Louis album) and Bing Crosby with Buddy Bregman and his Orchestra (the Bing Swings Whilst Bregman Sings album, recently reissued on CD)]


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