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New vinyl pressing plant to open in California

The new plant will be equipped with eight presses from Nashville's Record Pressing Machines 

Vinyl

A new vinyl pressing plant is set to open in southern California.

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

The plant, which has designs on becoming America’s “premier vinyl production facility,” will install eight presses from Nashville's Record Pressing Machines and will initially aim to press two million records drawing on “quality—not quantity".

The new plant is a commercial team-up between MoFi, Music Direct’s Jim Davis, and vinyl engineers Rick and Edward Hashimoto. “The biggest opportunity is the increased capacity for our related record label, Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab,” Davis told Billboard. “It’s been frustrating watching demand far outpace our ability to deliver records to our customers. The expanded capacity will enable us to issue records that aren’t just the standard classic rock and jazz for which we are known".

Vinyl production has been fraught with delays as pressing plants face huge backlogs caused by legacy reprints from major labels as well as an increase in pressing for their biggest artists such as Adele, Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran. In March 2022, Jack White called on 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 slated to open a new plant in Denver in the coming months. The 14,000 square feet plant, which will also feature host listening areas, guided tours, as well as a daytime cafe, and a full bar, aims to be operational by October, with the bar, lounge, and tour to follow by the start of next year.

On a less positive note, the cost of shipping vinyl from Germany to the rest of the world is set to significantly increase as a result of pricing amendments to 'vinyl-sized' parcels by DHL. Currently, shipping two records from Germany to most of the world costs €6, but could rise to €19.98 from 1st July under the new guidelines. The same service shipping a UK address will cost €16.70. 

Taiwanese press plant Mobineko has unveiled a new pressing machine specifically for short runs, aiming to reduce the global bottleneck for vinyl production. Can this pressing plant revolutionise the vinyl market?