Vinyl Pressing Plants - top 5

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Jellis77, Sep 6, 2017.

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  1. Jellis77

    Jellis77 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Brighton, UK
    Based on my experience I would rate the top current pressing plants as follows:

    1) Pallas - Germany (99% pristine, always has static issues, but I have found them to be the best in terms of quiet surfaces and pristine, flat, unmarked vinyl - based on a sample size of 300+ titles)

    2) QRP - USA (around 95% pristine, no static issues, some marks on the vinyl but generally not affecting play, some problems with non flat vinyl - based on a sample size of 200+ titles)

    3) Optimal - Germany (around 95% pristine, again some static issues and some marks on the vinyl, always flat, based on a sample size of 50+ titles)

    4) RTI - USA (around 90% pristine, not sure what happened at RTI - for years they would have been number 1, but in the past few years, I have had more problems. Especially with noisy, marked vinyl, admittedly this doesn't always affect play. They do seem to do a good job in most cases with MFSL and Music Matters though, based on a sample size of 500+ titles)

    5) Record Industry - Netherlands (again around 90% pristine, but slightly more warps and noisy vinyl than either RTI or Optimal, based on a sample size of 50+ titles)

    Of course there are other pressing plants around, Rainbo, GZ etc. and sometimes they do good work but more often they don't.

    A couple of disclaimers, I have been a vinyl buyer and lover for over 30 years and never fully went away from buying them. I say this because my tolerance for slight ticks and pops is maybe much higher than some of my friends who have come from digital to vinyl - no prejudice just a comment.

    I also note that in this forum we seem to get a lot of comments about returning unplayable vinyl and whilst I think a lot of this is down to those that are happy with their titles not commenting, which is why it seems high, I have been very lucky with quality and have had to return very few, certainly less than 1%. I will say that a well maintained and set up system often means less issues with the software. Again no criticism intended, just my thoughts on the matter.

    What does anyone else think?
  2. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic

    My ranking is currently like this but its a little unrepresentative as I narurally have more records from some plants than others.

    1. 70s Japanese JVC plant / some Mofi
    2. QRP a.k.a Analog Productions
    3. Pallas

    Above Average:
    1. Optimal (Almost at Top for me)
    2. RTI

    1. MPO
    2. GZ
    3. Memphis Record Pressings ( Only have 1 record )

    Below Average / Bad:
    1. Rainbo (although getting better I hear)
    2. United

    Not sure where Third Man Records would fit in as I dont have any and havnt heard much about them yet.
    I actually dont have any records from United either, but I have seen and heard plenty to never want to try my luck with them.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
    OldMusicOnVinyl1 and nosliw like this.
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