Jack White’s Lazaretto Ultra LP Might Be the Greatest Manufactured Vinyl Record Ever

Posted May 7, 2014 by J Matthew Cobb in Features

Jack White raises the dead on “ultra LP” with new technologies and advanced vinyl production

For those seeking to purchase Jack White‘s forthcoming Lazaretto LP in the form of a mp3 will probably be the most boring people around.

The proprietor of Third Man Records and indie rock sensation, who recently turned heads after recording and releasing a single in four hours for Record Store Day, has unveiled the latest information on an upcoming limited edition for Lazaretto that’s been properly coined the Ultra LP. The name might grip the imaginations of vinyl wonders, but White didn’t spare the small talk about the surprise-filled entree. The disc is loaded with technical goodies and state-of-the-art tricks that will keep vinyl buffs glued to their turntables for hours.

Here’s what you can discover inside the economic-friendly $20 purchase of the Ultra LP.


1. Side A plays from the inside out.







Remember that when you drop the needle. The record starts at the traditional end and fades to the traditional beginning. How cool is that?


2. Two vinyl-only bonus tracks hidden beneath the center labels.







One of the hidden tracks plays at 78 RPM, the other plays at 45 RPM. This makes the record a 3-speed record, probably the only LP to do feature this event.








3. Dual-groove technology infused.







This state-of-the-art technique will allow one track, “Just One Drink” on Side B, to play either an electric or acoustic intro depending on where the needle is dropped. Eventually as the song progresses into the middle, the grooves join together.


4. Side A of the record features a glossy shiny appearance while a matte black finish highlights Side B.







That unique matte black finish, developed in conjunction with George Ingram of Nashville Record Productions, gives off the appearance of an fresh 78 RPM record. The edge of the record also features a flat dye edge.


5. Both sides end with locked grooves that plays a continuous tune.





History notes that the Beatles’ 1967 landmark LP, Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Band, was one of the first commercial releases to include the “locked groove” feature. It’s not a highly unusual trick in the vinyl world, but one that still impress tech aficionados.


6. If you look at the dead wax area on Side A from a certain angle, you will see two hand-etched holograms spinning as the record plays.







The design was cut by Tristan Duke of Infinity Light Science. This trademark is the first time this has been etched on a vinyl record.


7. Despise¬†compression and want to see the end of the loudness war? You’ll find Jack White to be on your team.

The vinyl cut of Lazaretto possesses zero compression during recording, mixing and mastering.


8. Adding to the rarity of the vinyl version from the digital or compact disc versions is that the LP utilizes various mixes that defers from the ones used on CD and digital versions.

Let me remind you that Third Man Records is selling the Lazaretto Ultra LP for $20. Wowzers.

Lazaretto hits stores on June 6, 2014.

To pre-order a copy of the Ultra LP, click here.

Watch an exclusive nine-minute promo of the Ultra LP below.

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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