Unlike music downloads and CDs, the demand for LPs continues to rise, one of the very few areas that the recording industry is seeing growth. The problem is that the plants still capable of printing vinyl count in the dozen and all are running equipment from the 1970s or older meaning that some production runs can "take up to six months to turn around a vinyl order."
“The good news is that everyone wants vinyl,” Dave Hansen, one of Independent’s owners and the general manager of the alternative label Epitaph, said on a recent hot afternoon as the plant geared up for production.
“The bad news is everything you see here today,” he added, noting that the machines had to be shut down that afternoon because of the rising temperature of water used as a coolant. To replace an obsolete screw in one machine, Independent spent $5,000 to manufacture and install a new one.
The vinyl boom has come as streaming has taken off as a listening format and both CDs and downloads have declined. The reasons cited are usually a fuller, warmer sound from vinyl’s analog grooves and the tactile power of a well-made record at a time when music has become ephemeral.
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