The Hunt For Vinyl Record Presses
While we all know that record pressing plants are facing a shortage of presses, we also know that some plants are finding new presses somewhere, somehow. Mark Guarino at The Washington Post does an excellent job of finding out more about the pressures plants face seeking presses, parts and keeping equipment running. It's a "mo' money, mo' problems" situation until someone is inspired to make the leap to press production. But I think I have the solution.
The Hunt for Record Presses
Recently I speculated about the possibility of a record press Kickstarter in response to post-Record Day concerns about the difficulties record presses face trying to keep up with spiraling demand.
"United said its expansion was made possible because it had planned ahead, stockpiling old presses over several years.Other plants say word of mouth, odd luck, and a large bankroll have led them to their finds, usually abandoned presses left dormant once CDs took hold and became the dominant format. "
Chad Kassem, founder of Quality Record Pressings:
"searched both regionally and overseas and found many of his discoveries had already lapped the world, as far as South America and as close as Los Angeles. He says restoration costs totaled nearly $30,000 for each press. Then there are the infrastructure costs: cooling tanks, boilers, plumbing, and more. Today, his plant pumps out up to 6,000 records per day, over two shifts, five days a week."
Which brings us to another problem, those presses are getting overworked.
As Bob Roczynski, president of Record Products of America points out:
"That old machinery will continue to run if you change the parts, but at what cost? If you run a press 24 hours, six or seven days a week, there is one rule of thumb: You are wearing the machine out twice as fast."
And as Guarino was told, the likely price point of a new record press would probably be too high for most pressing plants.
So Which Big Brand Will Save The Vinyl Revival?
While a record press Kickstarter sounds kind of cool and grassroots-oriented, it's the big brands that have the money and they're spending it on music from emerging artists to big stars.
With international brick and mortar chains getting into vinyl sales, why wouldn't some big brand fund a special vinyl press project?
How much would it be worth to be able to say that you saved the vinyl revival?
And how much would it be worth to say you got the brand that saved the revival to make the connection in the first place?
- Top Vinyl Seller? Amazon's No. 1, Urban Outfitters' No. 2, Barnes & Noble Getting Back In
- Vinyl Crunch Worsens For Indie Labels: Time For A Record Press Kickstarter?
- Nashville's United Record Pressing To Add Even More Vinyl Presses
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) recently launched DanceLand. Send news about music tech startups and services, DIY music biz and music marketing to: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.