Anyone who knows about the current record industry knows that vinyl presses are hard to come by. There are a limited number of functional machines on the market, and none are currently in production (at least for the moment, although you will occasionally hear rumors). In order to locate and purchase presses, the founders of Cascade had to go on what Lanning describes as an “epic quest to locate equipment.”
As demand for vinyl continues to increase, old record presses have rapidly been escalating in price. The Cascade crew searched for equipment, while watching their dream of record production sky-rocket in cost. Finally their epic quest led them to Canada where Cascade was able to acquire six presses from the former Rip-V plant. Originally those six presses were used by the Hub-Servall Record Manufacturing Corporation in New Jersey.
However, there were still many challenges ahead, as their “new” presses were 43 years old, and needed considerable maintenance and set-up. Lanning jokes that the presses are “like tanks”; sturdy and well-made, just in need of some TLC. Amazingly, Rainey, Gonsalves, and Lanning were able to convince Dave Miller, one of the original builders who worked on those presses in the early ‘70s, to help with the project. Miller flew out to Oregon in November of 2014 to help with the set-up and repairs.
It’s heartwarming to see new vinyl pressing plants opening up, like Cascade Recording Pressing in Oregon, as profiled here on Discogs. I’ve known that an impediment to opening a new plant is the limited number of working presses available and I’m intrigued by these intricate tales of quest, like searching for the remaining Valyrian swords (Game of Thrones reference, watch out). It’s also nice how the plant aims to serve labels in their region foremost … in a perfect world, every part of the country would have its own pressing plant.
Update: Here‘s a great tale of the discovery of ten record presses in Mexico City. (via Analog Planet)
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