Mixtapes will never be the same.
Though it’s been something of a wax-obsessive’s pipedream for the better part of a century, pressing your own vinyl is (hopefully,) soon to be the new norm.
According to a recent feature from Wired, a group of European designers is readying the world’s first consumer-grade lathe-cutting machine market. Promising an “idiot-proof” home vinyl-pressing experience, The PhonoCut allows users to cut any digital audio file on their hard drive to a 10″ wax disc, storing approximately 10-15 minutes of audio on each side. Which basically means your mixtape game is about to be revived in the best way possible. But only if you can afford the $1,100 investment.
Pricey as it may be, The PhonoCut is slated for a late 2020 release. And it’ll be available to pre-order via Kickstarter this Tuesday, October 15th. For more information, head over to The PhonoCut’s website. And for tips on how to cut the best possible pressing, you can refer to this handy DIY lathe-cutting guide from The Vinyl Factory.
[Update: A previous version of this piece incorrectly stated PhonoCut was the first-ever at-home lathe cutting machine. Desktop vinyl pressing systems have existed in various capacities and configurations for roughly four decades but were known to press dubplates of greatly varying qualities. They’ve become increasingly rare over the years and can be extremely expensive to purchase on the secondhand market. However, they (Vestax’s VRX-2000s, specifically) do occasionally pop-up on eBay.]