Return of the Vinyl

New tech bringing old tech back to life. h/t Bertram Cabot, Jr. on A♠

Healthy Vinyl Plant Growth
New pressing plants are sprouting up across the globe

Neville Roberts on

Due to the growing market for records, the aging pressing plants around the world became increasingly unable to keep up with the mounting numbers of orders. Now, with demand for vinyl at a 25-year high and news that vinyl is on track to become a billion-dollar industry, we are seeing a new breed of pressing plants springing up, which is certainly great news for vinyl devotees. However, this also brings new challenges – not only to keep up with the orders flooding in but, also, to maintain the quality of the LPs.…

…Many of us will remember the low point for vinyl LPs in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In an effort to cut costs, pressing plants started using increased amounts of recycled vinyl, which resulted in an increase in background noise. Furthermore, they made LPs so thin that they were nearly as flexible as the record sleeves in which they were stored.…

…The Vinyl Factory uses the former EMI Records vinyl pressing equipment, but where do they go to find operators who know how to operate the 50-year-old EMI 1400 presses? On a more general front, pressing an LP requires highly skilled staff who understand the intricacies of getting the balance right between temperature, pressing pressure, and subsequent cooling of the finished record.

The problem doesn’t stop with pressing LPs. Now, only a few months after equipping its Tokyo studio with a cutting lathe, Sony is struggling to find experienced mastering engineers who know how to cut master lacquers.…

Featured image Beatles LP:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s