Worldwide vinyl supply may be threatened after devastating Apollo Masters fire

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/02/07/worldwide-vinyl-supply-may-be.html

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But there is some good news. The manufacturers of molecular-aligned stereo cables and artisanal sandalwood speaker bases are ramping up production.

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I’m investing everything I have in cassette tapes. I think they are the most likely successor to vinyl.

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Is there any reason Apollo Masters can’t rebuild and be back up and running in a few months? There’s certainly enough demand if the article is to be believed. They still have their expertise and industry contacts so the biggest question mark is replacing the equipment. Finding a new building might be slightly difficult due to the tight market supply in Califorinia, but shouldn’t be impossible.

It’s not like Vinyl buyers in 2020 are overly price sensitive.

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Yeah, I expect Mr White to Jack up his prices soon enough.

https://thirdmanstore.com/bands/jack-white#

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Ha! That’s where you’re wrong! When my wax cylinder phonograph futures come in, I’ll be sitting pretty.

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Why would anyone settle for a single track of magnetic tape when they could have EIGHT?

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“A Kaleidoscope Of Contemporary Quadrasonic Sound”? That is quite the mouthful, my friend.

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Interestingly, during world war 2, the source of shellac for making of 78s was in SE Asia, and thus inaccessible (Japanese occupation, etc), thus the plastics industry started to ramp up production of vinyl for making records (which was rarely used as it was more expensive to produce at that point), and the first wide scale use of vinyl records (which were more durable than shellac 78s) was for Victory records, the federal government’s record label, which sent albums of American artists to soldiers in the field. It sort of worked as a proof of concept, and in the post war period, vinyl started to become the standard of the industry…

But this sucks. I wonder if other companies will get into the business of making those lacquers?

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Nothing screams delightful listening more than a carefully curated 8 track of Ford Motor approved quadrasonic tunes. A Kaleidoscope of Contemporary Quadrasonic Sound indeed!

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It’s not the vinyl that’s the issue here, it’s cutting lacquers, which are then used to make the vinyl LPs.

Pressing plants can continue to press LPs/45s/etc as long as they have stampers, but for any new release on vinyl (or for any release where the stamper is damaged and a new one can’t be made off the mother) there will be delays. (It goes master tape -> lacquer -> mother -> stamper -> vinyl.)

I will say: there are a lot of records being reissued that don’t need to be reissued, and the reissues are holding up new artists from pressing their latest work.

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So my take away from this is to go ahead and buy those vinyl albums I’d been on the fence about NOW before their prices start to creep up up up.

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Business opportunity.

This is truly a horrible thing to happen. I hope they will be able to reopen quickly. Their contribution to the industry is difficult to overstate.

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I used to collect vinyl; but I evolved to digital. The MP3 format was the beginning. What percent of ALL recorded music would fit on a few 8-terabyte external drives? Anyone may summon any music from the satellites. I suspect the record companies, watching their sales continue to fall, created the new-found interest in vinyl.

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Truly awful news. I have a few friends with small labels who are really wondering what’s going to happen now. My buddy Dave Read, “The Vinyl Record Guru” is interviewed in this piece, he has a great psych band called Moths & Locusts.

This hits close to home. One of my local friends is a maven of old record cutting machines, so he’s evaluating the options. He thinks that Apollo isn’t likely to rebuild, as it’s not a profit center. By the way, these nitrocellulose lacquer discs are used to make masters, they aren’t usually the final product.

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This, right here, is 1) why I love having scholars among the BBS rank & file, and 2) why I love reading posts like this.

Thank you!

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green-wing-sue-mwah

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What about floppy?

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