Sunday, March 08, 2015

Turning 13 pieces of scrap metal into record presses (again)

Cries of joy by vinyl enthusiasts were heard around the internet when articles appeared about 13 abandoned vinyl presses that had resurfaced in Chicago recently. They were acquired by Quality Record Pressings (QRP) n Kansas and shipped there. As you know if you’ve read this blog before, every report about a pressing plant needs a statement about their sizes. Because size really does matter in this business I guess. So the article goes on to state that Quality Record Pressings thus “has just doubled its capacity to become one of the USA’s largest vinyl pressing plants.” Oh well.
Check out the video above about the operation so far. You can find a more down to earth article than the Fact Mag one about the find here on Analog Planet. I really gotta give it to Quality Record Pressings – They got their PR skills alright. They are not in business for long but they have the most videos about vinyl pressing of any company out there on Youtube. The news about the 13 presses spread really fast. In the videos the owner of the plant comes across really nice and dedicated. I just wish the video above spent less time showing cruising forklifts, but more on technical details on how they want to refurbish these pieces of metal trash. At least during the last 60 seconds you can get an impression how the new owners are a little unsure about how many presses they can bring back to life. It will not be all of them because the condition varies a lot and they are different models, too.
So these machines don’t look too great to me and they might need a lot of restoration work to make (some of) them function again. Only then the pressing capacity could indeed double. Also, as the article and the video says, the presses were “last used in the ’90s to produce bootleg 78s for export to India.” Not exactly the top-quality products in a demanding market.
Check out this video about Quality Record Pressings which explains vinyl pressing in general and their operations. Their workflows look very lo-tech to me, but that is not a bad thing in my book. The final result matters. And just like everyone else, they are mainly doing rereleases of old classics, i.e. Cat Stevens, Jimi Hendrix, Doors, Johnny Cash, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. But that's better than 78s of bootlegs of Beatles and Beach Boys that the presses churned out during their Chicago days in the 90s. Also note that in this video during the tour of the place you can see a PLASTMATICS LP and poster as well as a DEATH IN JUNE cover on the wall. So I guess they also do some punk vinyl at Quality Record Pressings.  

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Blogger jade said...

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Jul 13, 2016, 2:51:00 PM  

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