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. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    If supply is greatly diminished and demand maintains, unless the Japan provider stays strictly loyal to long time customers, newer customers with more money could suddenly leapfrog to the head of the line. Never good to be too assured or complacent. Maybe this was an upbeat marketing statement to reassure those they sell to. Even if there’s internal consternation.
    Cat People and nosliw like this.
  2. Cat People

    Cat People Forum Resident

    West Midlands
    As an emergency measure, I have ordered multiple copies of all Mantovani lps, just in case the 5 million copies in charity shops run out.

    I can't stand such music, but that is beside the point in a crisis.. Respect to those who are collecting enya and others that they hate....

    Keep the plastic melting! ;)
  3. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    Abbey Road has money, prestige, and Paul McCartney.
  4. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    We need to form a national task force to decide what people need when it comes to vinyl. Whether they have the money to pay for it or not. Even if there’s a demand and people are willing to pay and people are willing to sell, the task force could make the final decision. On what gets produced and who gets what. There could be a reasonable quota of how many Beatles products you need and are able to obtain. And rationing. Price controls. And a lottery system.
    Johnta7 and Old Zorki II like this.
  5. Old Zorki II

    Old Zorki II Storm Watcher

    near Tampa, FL
    Many, many years when I was young in Soviet Russia they had shortage of paper (recycled or otherwise) and to promote paper recycling they had a program to give you coupon for a fiction book for every 20 kilos of recycling paper you brought to recycling center. Because otherwise the only books you could get in bookstore were bios and speeches of communist leaders.
    Perhaps with shortage of raw materials they can reintroduce this practice in states, where for 40 pounds of Mantovani, Enya and Nickelback records you can get a coupon for Beggars Banquet.
    Scott222C, Gumboo, Cat People and 6 others like this.
  6. DaleClark

    DaleClark Forum Resident

    Bexley, Ohio
    The majority of my vinyl purchases are used. I still love Hi Rez digital and have tons of SACD's -I've ripped them all). Plus, I listen to Qobuz and Tidal daily. Hopefully, the major labels will hopefully be more picky about the releases they choose for vinyl. Take a look at all the left over titles from the B&N 50% sale. Most of that stuff would not move even if it were 90% off.
  7. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Personal Survival Daily Record-Breaker

    I feel the exact same way, brother. Major blow for me, that's for sure.
    rischa likes this.
  8. Dumb question, aren't there build-up instructions for these lacquer plant machines somewhere? Or is it also the lack of the right material for that?
  9. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    Meth producers with homemade labs in their kitchens, basements, or garages could be reassigned by the State to work in vinyl factories. Those with bad teeth could get free dental care and those with no teeth issues could be offered a 401 K plan instead. Busted and convicted meth producers could be sprung from prison, receive pardons, and get free housing right next to the factory. Similar to a halfway house but with a generous supply of their favorite vinyl.
    Gumboo, Cat People and The Gomper like this.
  10. Kind of ironic that warmth was the very thing that brought vinyl down in the end
  11. vinyl diehard

    vinyl diehard Two-Channel Forever

    Maybe the CD will make a comeback after all!
    RSteven, MielR, Jarleboy and 2 others like this.
  12. Larry Loves LPs

    Larry Loves LPs Forum Resident

    Alexandria, VA
    Actually I heard an interview with the head of NASA saying it will take 4 years to get back to the moon.
    uzn007 and bpmd1962 like this.
  13. c-eling

    c-eling I never dreamed another way.

    Did it ever leave? I'm still buying new releases on the format.
    RSteven, Turmatic, Dr. Funk and 7 others like this.

  14. There is some truth to this. As there is a lot of marked down new vinyl sitting in stores. They can’t return it for credit if ordered through a One Stop, so it becomes an expensive bet a store takes and has to mark down. So a general tightening will be forced for at least the short term. But the world will not come to an end as many hand wringers here fear.
    nosliw likes this.
  15. Valkenburg

    Valkenburg Forum Resident

    I would be interested in hearing about the actual economics of producing and selling lacquer blanks. If one man in Japan is capable of producing 5% of the world's demand, the remaining 95% can't be a huge number. That doesn't sound like it would provide an incentive for anyone to invest whatever money is needed to get a new factory up and running.
  16. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    If this is as bad as people are saying, I hope not but it looks that way, then it is going to impact on me as buying records has been a major part of my life for as long as I can remember. The only consolations I can get are that I already have a good and large vinyl collection with most of the LPs I want in it and I like CDs a lot too. To be honest the overpricing of new vinyl and second hand dealers obsessions with Discogs, eBay and Popsike prices are starting to depress me anyway. I've never been as out of love with vinyl and the culture surrounding it as I have over the last year.
    Pouchkine likes this.
  17. mpayan

    mpayan Forum Resident

    If you are looking for great sound there is a universe of great sounding used lps.

    I get it, I do. My collection is embarrassing amount. 1000’s in fact. But if they never pressed another record Id be just fine. Sometimes we need to check the real reason we collect. Are we really listening to the stuff or is the purchase the thrill and high. To possess it. Like a baseball card or something.

    I guess I might feel differently if I were starting out. New lps may not be available to start a collection. But good gosh there are millions on discogs, record stores, record shows, ebay if you take your time and even sellers here.

    Its sad to see anything like this building go up in smoke for many reasons. But if collecting records is someones thing, I think itll be alright.

    Just not sure how its a major blow to collectors at this point in time. 10-20 yrs from now, maybe lp supplies will be hoarded? But thats kind of stretch isnt it?
  18. Turmatic

    Turmatic Forum Resident

    This says it all about why we collect...

  19. fmfxray373

    fmfxray373 Forum Resident

    san diego
    It depends on the ability of a business to meet demand. Also Japan is a country in which workers often stay with one company their whole working lives. The business that makes these lacquers is not going to just put customers who may have been loyal for years or decades on the back burner. I would imagine that the culture of company loyalty is vertical as well as horizontal as it relates to what are business partners i.e. customers. The people buying the lacquers are more likely wholesale suppliers to pressing plants than end users but I don’t know.
    So I would believe the company when it says they are not going to take on new customers over older ones.
    groovelocked, MielR, dee and 2 others like this.
  20. Musical Chairs

    Musical Chairs Forum Resident

    Don't get me wrong: I'm totally happy the vinyl revival happened. Just wish it was done in a more sustainable way where a fire like this didn't threaten the whole industry.
    Ash76, aseriesofsneaks, MielR and 2 others like this.
  21. Experiencereunited

    Experiencereunited Forum Resident

    I see a few things coming out of this.

    As far as manufacturing and the technology goes.

    1.) The technology is not lost as MDC still exists. The value of what is going on there is now much more than the lacquers he is selling. The value is in the equipment designs and his processes which he should now be able to sell at top dollars to interested parties.

    2.) Depending on how much Apollo digitized of their prints Apollo should also be able to come back assuming they want to and the machines can be made by someone from either MDC's designs or Apollos.

    3.) I have worked in and around manufacturing my whole career (just not in the music industry) and manufacturing companies routinely expand and replicate facilities globally as the need arises. This is nothing new. What is truly a disaster here though is that in effect the existing primary plant has been taken completely offline not allowing for a smooth production transition, buffers to be built by the existing plant or a structured knowledge exchange while the new facility is ramping up. Also the majority of existing equipment in the world has been destroyed. This is truly a disaster from that standpoint.

    4.) This means on top of a long time to get back up and running (probably a year or so) the replacement facility will be learning on the fly and will experience production and QC issues way beyond what they have to date during the ramp up.

    5.) HD vinyl looks interesting and may plug some gaps earlier. But lets be clear the technology is untested at mass scale and may not turn out as is being hoped. At one time DMM may have been thought to replace the traditional process but never did. It only complemented it.

    As far as the future market for Vinyl:

    It could be argued that this is such a big blow to the industry that by the time production is at any kind of reasonable level the interest in the format will have waned to where it no longer makes financial sense and something else like Blu Ray Audio, SACD or another physical media will permanently supplant it. I don't find that to be the case for the following reasons:

    1.) The installed base and amount of used records out there is incredibly high and those are not all going to spontaneously combust any minute now.
    2.) If a product is any kind of quality product at all people will still want it. Scarcity increases demand and humans by nature want what they can't have. So demand will still increase for those already invested.

    The future of the industry relies on a continuing refresh of new young buyers that aren't priced out of the market which was already a problem relating to new vinyl. If the recovery takes too long and price gouging starts vinyl will once again go back to an extreme niche market.

    It will be a long road back but consider this vinyl survived despite the industry intentionally trying to kill it. Surely it will survive if is intentionally trying to be saved.

    I am a big fan of Blu Ray audio (as with any format though not all releases have live up to their potential) and would like to see increased production in this arena until Vinyl is back and running at a reasonable level.
  22. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    Who is “we”? I don’t recognize that guy.
  23. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    I want to learn more about this one man operation in Japan. Does any of his family help him? How large is his garage? Is there a lower level underneath the garage where others are laboring away?
    faceinthecrowd and guy1 like this.
  24. rischa

    rischa Where'd Dizzy go?

    Madison, WI
    Yeah, I told my wife about the fire and how I was feeling and she just rolled her eyes and said that I have enough vinyl to last a life time as it is. And I do have a great collection of Jazz, Classical Rock/Pop, World and whatever else I want to listen to, but It will be hard not being able to enjoy new music on vinyl.
    dee and Pouchkine like this.
  25. trackstar

    trackstar Forum Resident

    For an industry that has many thousands of people dependant on things moving forward for the sake of their career, there's no doubt a solution will be found sooner than later.

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