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. JohnO

    JohnO Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    The HD Vinyl outfit in Austria claims to be just about ready to go. Using a laser to "cut" a master stamper. Has been discussed here:

    HD Vinyl in 2019?

    Interesting timing.
     
  2. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    My guess exactly.
     
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  3. MielR

    MielR THIS SPACE FOR RENT

    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    Those are great articles-- thanks for posting the links.
    Two passages really stuck out:

    “Today, these styluses are produced by one company worldwide,” says Lubich, “by Apollo in the USA, where the lacquers are also made.” One person, Maria, was responsible for the entire production of the styluses and she had mastered the process, according to Lubich. “Maria knew exactly which adhesives were the right ones, and that you couldn’t use the large vats because the consistency of the adhesive would change. Then she retired, and for a long time the styluses were qualitatively just not as good.” Her successor had to acquire the highly specialized knowledge step-by-step."
    ---------
    "I highly doubt there will be any serious development in DMM. All the Neumann engineers who designed and knew about this stuff are dead. All of them. They did not write everything down which will probably make reverse engineering DMM technology prohibitively expensive. "


    So, in other words, everybody who knows how to do this is retired or dead.



     
  4. 56GoldTop

    56GoldTop Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nowhere, Ok
    Yes, I just bid on a dozen Mrs. Miller LPs.
     
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  5. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    I think some are forgetting that it isn’t the end of the vinyl collection you currently own, nor the end of having fun hunting for those awesome vintage pressings. What it might do, as I doubt a solution will be at hand in less than two years, is that will likely stifle younger buyers who were continuing to grow the industry by buying all the new releases(of which I buy few of). They will get tired of new stuff not being available and get out of the habit of going to their local store and browsing. I think we are in for seeing a quick decline in vinyl sales and if and when a new place is built and brought back on line, I just think so much momentum will have been lost that it may be very difficult to bring it back. And there is no doubt we will lose an awful lot of vinyl retailers that haven’t been around that long. What an incredible blow to a revival I never thought would happen.
     
  6. Michael Renwick

    Michael Renwick Forum Resident

    Location:
    Colorado
    LMAO - I was thinking the same...I can see the guy from HD vinyl with a gas can in his hand fleeing the scene, in my mind anyway
     
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  7. Michael Renwick

    Michael Renwick Forum Resident

    Location:
    Colorado
    Yep, you can tell who is commenting without reading the articles.
    I think it's far worse than most realize.
     
  8. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    See below.
     
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  9. fmfxray373

    fmfxray373 Forum Resident

    Location:
    san diego
    That plant has been pressing a lot of new vinyl lately. They are the reason you see Made In Canada on so many recent releases.
     
  10. angelo73

    angelo73 ⬚⿻⬚⿻⬚

    Location:
    Orbiting Sgr A*

    This ^ fact, and, that the fire happened at one of only two then-operational facilities is a painful reminder of the ages-old saying .. "never carry all of your eggs in the same basket". Sadly, it seems our world and society have continuously ignored this wisdom within a profoundly vast scope of opportunity. Of course **** happens. History is built on innumerable examples of now-extinct modes of operation and lost forms of craftsmanship.
    If we, as humans, are smart - and decide to act it - then we develop new ways of achieving transcendence while learning from past error. It's all we can ever do.
     
  11. Tullman

    Tullman Senior Member

    Location:
    Boston MA
    :thumbsdow
     
  12. Tullman

    Tullman Senior Member

    Location:
    Boston MA
    Downer Danny. :thumbsdow
     
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  13. Tullman

    Tullman Senior Member

    Location:
    Boston MA
    Sure, in horrible condition.
     
    DRM likes this.
  14. Tullman

    Tullman Senior Member

    Location:
    Boston MA
    Digital :thumbsdow
     
  15. andy obrien

    andy obrien Forum Resident

    Location:
    watford
    ... or maybe they could melt down and re-use all those James Last and Klaus Wunderlicht lps clogging up the charity shops? I hope you are wrong about prices here in the UK, but I fear the industry will use this as another excuse for as price hike!
     
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  16. That was precisely the problem in the 70's with record companies in the West using recycled vinyl that sounded like crap, and so thin they warped. In Japan they made records only from virgin sources, you could shine a torch through a black Vinyl record and see through it, it was so pure, if you could do that with a non Japanese pressing it was because it was almost a flexidisc.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
  17. Roland S.

    Roland S. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Rostock, Germany
    We can fly to the moon, but we can´t rebuild a plant for vinyl-lacquers?
    Of course, it will need time but there should be a wide interest in the industry to do it and to help.
     
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  18. LoveIsInControl

    LoveIsInControl Well-Known Member

    Well, if disasters like this help to bring about the end for new vinyl, I guess that gives me an easy excuse to pick up all of the cheap and unfashionable ‘70s/‘80s R&B I’ve been ‘meaning to get to’ for so long. Hopefully, the prognosis will be nowhere near that bleak...
     
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  19. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    A high profile person with a lot of disposable income could step in and really make a difference. And a few local and state officials who love vinyl in a state that is pro-business and isn’t hyper-regulative could offer incentives. Of course, if the new manufacturing plant produced an inferior product, a high profile investor and entrepreneur would suffer significant blowback from the audiophile community. But nothing ventured, nothing gained. He or she would get a lot of points and good will (not to mention publicity) for just trying. If would have to involve a group of people who love vinyl and analog music.

    Florida is open for business and has no state income tax. (The tourists pay a lot of the taxes, God bless them.)
     
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  20. RPM

    RPM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Easter Island
    Is GZ Media DMM only?
     
  21. Old Zorki II

    Old Zorki II Storm Watcher

    Location:
    near Tampa, FL
    I am not sure Florida climate, being very humid, will work. Plus Florida never was a hotbed for chemical (to an extent) plants)).
    Texas may be ))
     
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  22. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    True enough that Florida is humid. But we have advanced cooling systems. Although maybe I’m missing something. Texas does have a lot of oil and chemical plants. I used to live in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area and I can attest to the dry climate. Although I hear Austin is humid. And certainly Houston is. The middle of Florida is drier and slightly less humid than the coastal areas, of course. And you’d be amazed at the wide open spaces that still exist in central Florida, away from the Orlando area. North of the Everglades and far enough away from swampland.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
  23. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

  24. angelo73

    angelo73 ⬚⿻⬚⿻⬚

    Location:
    Orbiting Sgr A*

    Not even close to being extinct.
     
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  25. I have to disagree with that analogy. The collapse of the honey bee population directly affects the food chain and could lead to world hunger. We need food to live. We don't need records to live. And, even if we did, DMM is alive and well.
     
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