Opening of a new vinyl pressing plant in California

A new vinyl pressing plant is about to open in Southern California.

California-based Mobile reissue label Fidelity Sound Lab (MoFi), which is owned by online audio accessories retailer Music Direct, is behind the company, as Billboard reports.

The plant, which plans to become the “first vinyl production plant” in the United States, will install eight presses from the Record Pressing Machines of Nashville and will initially aim to press two million records by relying on “quality, not the amount”.

The new factory is a business team between MoFi, Music Direct’s Jim Davis and vinyl engineers Rick and Edward Hashimoto. “The biggest opportunity is the increased capacity of our sister label, Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab,” Davis told Billboard. “It has been frustrating to see the demand far exceed our ability to deliver discs to our customers. The expanded capacity will allow us to release records that aren’t just the standard classic rock and jazz we’re known for.”

Vinyl production has been fraught with delays as pressing plants face huge backlogs caused by legacy reprints from major labels as well as increased pressing for their biggest artists such as Adele, Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran. In March 2022 Jack White enlisted major labels such as Sony, Warner and Universal to build their own pressing plant for vinyl releases.

In other vinyl pressing plant news, online subscription record service Vinyl Me, Please is set to open a new plant in Denver in the coming months. The 14,000 square foot factory, which will also include listening areas, tours, as well as a daytime cafe and full bar, is expected to be operational by October, with the bar, lounge and visit to follow by early next year.

On a less positive note, the cost of shipping vinyl from Germany to the rest of the world is expected to increase significantly due to DHL’s ‘vinyl format’ package pricing changes. Currently, shipping two discs from Germany to most of the world costs €6, but could reach €19.98 from July 1 under new guidelines. The same service shipping to a UK address will cost €16.70.

Taiwanese press factory Mobineko has unveiled a new press machine specifically designed for short runs, aimed at reducing the global bottleneck for vinyl production. Can this pressing plant revolutionize the vinyl market?

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