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. James_S888

    James_S888 Forum Resident

    Add a relatively backward province with no environmental laws to speak of, a friendly provincial government, some start capital and Mr. Chang, you're in business. Supplying the world.

  2. Indeed, I agree, lots of waste and bloat, it is not uncommon for RSD orders to be filled with what one did not order or with more than one wanted on a lesser item , and underfill on high demand items. Stores have to be vigilant, and those that continue to survive know this going in. Selling new major label vinyl with its thin margins is about serving the customer to have what they want when they want it (Beatles, Zep, Floyd, Sabbath, etc.,) Selling used vinyl is how one stays in business in order to sell new vinyl.
  3. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    Probably true, but margins are still thin and geez they have a ton tied up in those unsold albums! I lost a ton of money being in the biz. Once I lost close to $100K, I was out! They have literally thousands of unsold RSD albums, and the vast majority are never, ever going to sell. If you figure an average cost of $15 each, wow. They even marked down a pile of those nicely done double set McCartney gatefold albums to around $12, and you would think at least those would have sold! Obviously the fact that they are still there and bringing in yet more losing RSD albums says you are right, but that would make me sick seeing all of that money just sitting.
    Gumboo and zphage like this.
  4. MrRom92

    MrRom92 Forum Supermodel

    Long Island, NY
    It’s not the presses that prevent people from making DMM records. It’s the lathes. Nobody’s built one in over 30 years, and nobody’s going to start anytime soon. Even when these things were new and current they didn’t sell very many of them. There were significantly more VMS-80s sold than VMS-82s, and several of those VMS-82s have since been converted to lacquer cutting lathes with an SX-74. That’s why so few people even have the capability to cut DMM.
    Jrr, MisterNines, Dan C and 6 others like this.
  5. That doesn't always seem to happen, hence stores in the US dropping out of the RSD. People line up, pay for their overpriced colored vinyl, singles, etc., and leave. Then it simply becomes a game of making money solely on the RSD offerings.
    groovelocked likes this.
  6. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    Truly. Let’s stick with the free market.
    JohnCarter17 likes this.
  7. Shak Cohen

    Shak Cohen Forum Resident

    United Kingdom
    Abbey Road can do analogue DMM -Steve Albini's Shellac At Action Park proudly proclaims that it was mastered analog using the DMM process.
    GeraldB and The Gomper like this.
  8. nosliw

    nosliw Azunyan! にゃーーー!

    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    Don't forget that this doesn't apply to just RSD releases, but also more recent albums and singles schlock that became popular and die out just as quickly type or bands/singers that gained notoriety or deemed too "problematic", if you will.
    Jrr likes this.
  9. GeorgeZ

    GeorgeZ Forum Resident

    Mastering studios can survive by doing only the audio mastering services and sending the for vinyl premastered tapes/files to other cutting engineers/plants, but what about independent galvanic facilities who were processing lacquers and producing stampers? Will they survive?
  10. challenge

    challenge Forum Resident

    Just needs to be let out of lockdown so he can get on it
  11. GeorgeZ

    GeorgeZ Forum Resident

    How old is that record? There's no working DMM anymore at AR...
    zphage likes this.
  12. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    Of course. Dry satirical humor or a joke gone bad.
  13. DTK

    DTK Forum Resident

    I mostly buy used vinyl...keep your filthy hands away!
    MielR likes this.
  14. dudley07726

    dudley07726 Forum Resident

    Amazing, the state makes it tough to rebuild a business like this. Yet, you can defecate in the street, steal, and shoot up in public with impunity there. Something wrong with this picture?
  15. dee

    dee Forum Resident

    ft. lauderdale, fl
    Will a 'scarcity mentality" or and plus this kind of manufacturing setback then impact, increase, prices for vintage, used records?

    Or records that haven't been reissued on vinyl that may have seen only a limited run initially?
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
  16. Shak Cohen

    Shak Cohen Forum Resident

    United Kingdom
    That's news to me...I didn't hear any announcement about this. Shellac is from the 90s...2014/5 Rush reissues were DMM although probably with some digital in the chain.
    The Gomper likes this.
  17. DTK

    DTK Forum Resident

    Albums that were never reissued are already out of the price range for many.
    It's the price of more reasonably priced reissues that could be affected? Well, who knows.
    Shak Cohen and dee like this.
  18. Forgive my ignorance, but I find it confusing trying to wade through all the facts and 'facts' presented in this thread. Some say there's a lot more DMM going on than we think. Others say DMM equipment is just as rare and old as some lacquer equipment. Does anyone actually know a rough estimate of what percentage of today's vinyl is DMM?
  19. dee

    dee Forum Resident

    ft. lauderdale, fl
    Will the latter, 2nd paragraph, 'trickle down' (sorry) then to impact the prices of quality used copies of catalogue titles pressed from the '60-'80s though? Or have some or many of these likely been reissued a number of times any price effect will be negligible?

    Your 1st paragraph, so for instance, I wonder if I need to run out to the used store and buy any limited reissues, though if they were cut in the last few years, I'm reading those, for instance Stereo/Mono by Westerberg, can 'simply' be repressed if needed?

    An artist like PJ Harvey who hasn't had a vinyl reissue campaign and with small previous runs, I guess DMM is the only option for an artist, label that wants to do reissues of that sort? I was hoping for The Who Live at Hull on vinyl first time. Stuff like that. I guess this puts a big burden on anything like that from happening?
  20. The Gomper

    The Gomper In Another Land

    That's "progress", sir.
  21. sublemon

    sublemon Forum Resident

    considering they have a ~ $3 trillion economy in California, I think they are doing something right there. Despite what you think about "progress."
  22. MielR


    Georgia, USA
    I have a few reliable sellers on eBay that I get my used vinyl from (which is mostly singles nowadays, I'm actually selling off a lot of my LPs). You can tell pretty easily which sellers know how to grade vinyl, and which ones are just running a garage sale. Once you find a few good, trustworthy sellers, it's not hard to get the used vinyl titles you want in good shape.

    That won't help new recordings on new vinyl of course, but I wish the labels would put more effort into making and marketing audiophile-grade CDs and SACS as an alternative to streaming. I also wish more audiophiles would start demanding and supporting the formats. Maybe then the mastering would get better and the brickwalling would stop. Like I said in a previous post, I don't own any SACDs because there aren't any titles that interest me. I guess none of the bands/artists I listen to are "SACD worthy". I'd like to see that change.

    CD stampers are still in use and plentiful, cheaper to operate, and plenty of people are still alive who know how to use/fix them.
    nosliw and The Gomper like this.
  23. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    I have more than one prerecorded Beatles cassette from Korea via EMI. The packaging states that it was manufactured by Oasis Record Co. under license from EMI. “Approved by the K.R.C.P.P. Ministry of Culture and Information.” Perhaps the Korean Ministry of Culture would approve a new lacquer facility.
    The Gomper likes this.
  24. Larry Loves LPs

    Larry Loves LPs Forum Resident

    Alexandria, VA
    Just joking around.
    The Gomper likes this.
  25. mpayan

    mpayan Forum Resident

    I have been exploring newer popular alternative, electronica etc whatever you want to call it music for the last few years. The production is so dense at times that I have found the lp format can alleviate a bit of the harshness in some cases. But sometimes the lp sounds no different than the cd or at least not in a positive audiophile type way.

    Now, I dont know what type new music you are listening to but due to the way much of newer music is recorded I am not sure having it on lp (or not having it) is really that big a deal.

    Alison Krauss’ “Windy City” is one example. The nature of her music and the production/engineering is usually good sounding at least. So I picked up the recent vinyl lp of it. Does it sound good? Sure, pretty good. Does it sound better than Tidal stream or the cd? I dont really hear that much difference if any.


    Is new vinyl by newer groups really worth it? Sometimes. But, honestly, not so much to get hung up on it possibly never being able to purchase a new music album on lp vs other formats.

    I just want some well mastered albums regardless of the format.
    dh46374, Shawn, MielR and 2 others like this.

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