Vinyl records now in crisis: Apollo Transco Mastering lacquer plant is a total loss*

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by SoCalWJS, Feb 6, 2020.

  1. brimuchmuze

    brimuchmuze Forum Resident

    Bring on the SACD resurgence :)
     
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  2. dee

    dee Forum Resident

    Location:
    ft. lauderdale, fl
    Jrr, Devin S and Pinknik like this.
  3. Dougthesnail

    Dougthesnail The Big Gabagool

    Location:
    Winnipeg
    Strange that anyone on a forum about our mutual love & interest in music would wish the death of a format.
     
    RSteven, art, Vinyl Socks and 18 others like this.
  4. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    The Beatles stereo AAA shouldn't be a priority. Vast amounts of those out there.
     
    ODShowtime and patrickd like this.
  5. rischa

    rischa Where'd Dizzy go?

    Location:
    Madison, WI
    So can the viny play-back gear industry survive on the numbers of a used vinyl-only market? I want to know what the guys at a place like VPI are thinking/feeling about this.
     
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  6. domesticmachine

    domesticmachine Resident forum

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I think when people reference AAA stereo pressings they want them done with the care that the 2014 Mono LPs were done.
     
  7. c-eling

    c-eling I never dreamed another way.

    Agreed, kinda un-called for.
    I do however wish the death of the current run of the mill mastering practices found on most :winkgrin:
     
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  8. Michael Renwick

    Michael Renwick Forum Resident

    Location:
    Colorado
    RSteven, Ash76, DJ WILBUR and 6 others like this.
  9. Mr Bass

    Mr Bass Chevelle Ma Belle

    Location:
    Mid Atlantic
    They did for decades. It was called Vinyl Winter and I lived it.
     
  10. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    They were wonderful and I agree a stereo box equivalent would be a fine thing. It should really have been done for the last stereo vinyl box. But there are plenty of excellent AAA UK 70s and early 80s pressings out there. If there is a hopefully only hypothetical situation where there are big limitations on how much vinyl can be pressed for a long while, then I think reissues of huge selling Beatles, Zep, 70s Floyd etc should be nowhere near a priority. All have been almost constantly in print for well over 40 years. The Beatles LPs didn't even go OOP on vinyl in the 90s.

    Of course, if there are no restrictions then a stereo AAA Beatles box would be fantastic. Done like the mono box, including a Let It Be with box and book,. I'd probably end up buying it.
     
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  11. Mr Bass

    Mr Bass Chevelle Ma Belle

    Location:
    Mid Atlantic
    If MDC can really produce lacquers in the garage than it should be a piece of cake or slab of vinyl to replicate that as the US is loaded with garages.
     
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  12. 56GoldTop

    56GoldTop Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nowhere, Ok
    If I had access to any of the players who I thought would, could or might want to get the ball rolling, I'd be making calls right now.
     
  13. domesticmachine

    domesticmachine Resident forum

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    While many of the comments I’m reading share the opinion that existing LPs pressings can still be manufactured what is the reality of that for the cross section of artists and albums pressed today? I imagine many major labels and artists keep the plates around but I can’t imagine many smaller labels keep them or that artists still have access to them? Just thinking about new LPs I’ve bought in the last year or so and even if there’s a somewhat recent original pressing from 1995-2010, the label represses the album for a current edition. This is now not an option. What is the likelihood that plates exist for a given album released in the last 10 years or so, let alone before the beginning of the vinyl resurgence?
     
  14. brianplowe

    brianplowe Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kansas
    Okay but they should stop cutting digital completely now unless dmm. Use the last precious lacquers to cut tape.
     
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  15. Michael Renwick

    Michael Renwick Forum Resident

    Location:
    Colorado
    I think what is being missed here is there are no machines, not something you run out and buy.
     
  16. MrRom92

    MrRom92 Forum Supermodel

    Location:
    Long Island, NY

    IMO I’m a little less concerned about the cutting styli situation. Apollo can temporarily license out their designs or have another manufacturer step in, so they at least have some money coming in the meantime. I think any of the playback stylus manufacturers would be able to easily enter this segment of the market if necessary. JICO already has experience working with artificial ruby/sapphire.


    Plating facilities and pressing plants will typically hold onto your metal parts for a couple of years since your last pressing run, and then offer to send them back to you, or they’ll recycle them as scrap metal. Anything pressed somewhat recently should be able to be repressed very easily.
     
  17. DrZhivago

    DrZhivago Hedonist

    Location:
    Brisbane Australia
    Yeah. This article read so ominous few years ago.
     
  18. Mr Bass

    Mr Bass Chevelle Ma Belle

    Location:
    Mid Atlantic
    I realize no humor is allowed on SHF, but the point is that if it is really in his garage then the operating environment is hardly an issue and the equipment is not very big nor difficult to operate.
     
  19. biggysteve

    biggysteve Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego
    Perhaps we should start a GoFundMe for a hypobaric chamber to help preserve the old man who still knows how to make lacquers out of his garage in Japan. :hide:
     
  20. MrRom92

    MrRom92 Forum Supermodel

    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Given this description of the MDC facilities (one elderly man alone in his garage) and the video of the Transco facilities (doesn’t look like much more than a glorified Krispy Kreme glazer) I have to wonder if we’re vastly overestimating how difficult it will be to come back from this.
     
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  21. Michael Renwick

    Michael Renwick Forum Resident

    Location:
    Colorado
    LMAO
     
  22. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot

    Location:
    Atlanta
    The way I see it, there are at least two possibilities:

    1. The equipment required to produce these lacquers is so antiquated that it is unlikely that anyone would bother to reproduce it at any price. If it were easy to reproduce then there'd be ten other places producing lacquers right now trying to take advantage of the vinyl resurgence.

    2. No one's bothered to start another place to produce lacquers because they haven't needed to - the two facilities have been sufficient to produce lacquers for the last several years and no entrepreneur or investor has believed it necessary to start another one. The technology is not necessarily impossible to reproduce, it's just that no one's bothered to do it, and this disaster may provide the impetus for more than one person to invest in this enterprise.

    This question comes to mind - were there more facilities producing lacquers when vinyl was in its heyday? If so, how many more?
     
  23. MrRom92

    MrRom92 Forum Supermodel

    Location:
    Long Island, NY

    I can think of a few offhand. In the US there was Audiodisc and Presto. Audiodisc was eventually bought out by Capitol Records in the early 70’s and then later sold off again, becoming Apollo in the 80’s. Transco was making lacquers till Apollo bought them out in the late 2000’s. Not sure of any other US manufacturers, or at least none others come to mind.

    In Europe there was Pyral, and I believe EMI was manufacturing their own cutting blanks as well.

    it seems there was never really a ton of players in this segment of the market.
     
  24. MielR

    MielR THIS SPACE FOR RENT

    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    There are so many albums deserving of a SACD, that have never been done. I just got my first SACD player (that also plays blu-rays), and I don't own any SACDs, but would love to build a collection of titles that interest me.
     
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  25. Musical Chairs

    Musical Chairs Forum Resident

    It seems to me that the vinyl revival is essentially the major labels realizing they can move LPs at a $20-plus price point but not believing in its non-faddishness enough to invest in lacquer makers, pressing plants or even distribution.
     
    JoshD, nosliw, LivingForever and 6 others like this.

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