New Vinyl Record Pressing Plant Planned in Southern California

Photo credit: Joyce G.

A new vinyl pressing plant will come into operation in Southern California in 2023 to meet high demand.

Fidelity Record Pressing says it aims to be the nation’s “first vinyl production facility”. Factory co-owners Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab and Music Direct’s Jim Davis teamed up with vinyl engineers Rick and Edward Hashimoto, a father and son team with 60 years of vinyl pressing experience.

Vinyl production has continued to experience delays as factories face massive backlogs. In March 2022, Jack White tapped major labels like UMG, Sony Music and Warner Music to help alleviate manufacturing issues faced by vinyl pressing factories amid record high demand.

“It’s 2022 now and it’s not a fad anymore. Vinyl records have exploded over the last decade and the demand for them is incredibly high. A little punk bank can’t get their record for another 8-10 months. And now I’m asking the big labels — Warner, Universal and Sony — to finally rebuild their own pressing plants,” White said in a YouTube video.

Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab is a California label specializing in the production of reissued vinyl and other physical formats. It is owned by Music Direct, which is the world’s largest online retailer of high-end audio accessories. Fidelity will become the future production house for all of Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab’s vinyl releases.

“The biggest opportunity is the increased capacity of our sister label, Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab,” said Jim David. Billboard about the announcement. “It has been frustrating to see the demand far exceed our ability to deliver discs to our customers. The increased capacity will allow us to release records that are not just the classic rock and jazz we are known for.

According to Davis, a good starting goal for Fidelity is to press two million records a year. He hopes the factory will eventually be able to increase production to up to 12 million vinyl records a year, depending on the size of the facility. Davis says the biggest challenge has been coordinating the acquisition of disc presses and the infrastructure to run them.

“Conversations about opening a new record pressing facility began in mid-2020 when it became apparent that demand for vinyl far exceeded capacity,” Davis continues. “My partners and I saw this not only as an opportunity to capitalize on a growing music industry, but also to advance the standard of vinyl quality.”

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