“Devastating” Manufacturing Plant Fire Threatens Worldwide Vinyl Record Supply

rxbandit

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https://pitchfork.com/news/devastating-manufacturing-plant-fire-threatens-worldwide-vinyl-record-supply/

Apollo Masters—a manufacturing plant that supplies the lacquer used for making master discs, which are used to make vinyl records—suffered a fire on Thursday, February 6, at its manufacturing and storage facility in Banning, California, The Desert Sun reports. No employees were injured in the “devastating” blaze, which completely destroyed the facility. A note on Apollo Masters’ website reads, “We are uncertain of our future at this point and are evaluating options as we try to work through this difficult time.” Figures in the vinyl record production industry have expressed similar concern.

“From my understanding, this fire will present a problem for the vinyl industry worldwide,” Ben Blackwell, co-founder of Third Man Records told Pitchfork in an email. “There are only TWO companies that make lacquers in the world, and the other, MDC in Japan, already had trouble keeping up with demand BEFORE this development.” (The emphasis is Blackwell’s.)

Blackwell also wrote that there have been “whispers” of another company “entertaining the idea” of entering the lacquer marketplace, but that Apollo was also the “primary or possibly only supplier of the styli” that are used in the vinyl pressing process. “I imagine this will affect EVERYONE, not just Third Man Pressing and Third Man Mastering, but to what extent remains to be seen.”

In addition, Blackwell clarified, “I don’t want to be an alarmist. But I’m attempting to be realistic as opposed to Pollyannish.”

The Twitter account for Duplication, a Toronto-based vinyl/CD/DVD duplication, pressing, and printing company wrote, “Disaster for the vinyl pressing industry,” and “There will be a lacquer shortage and possibly plants having to close or scale back operations for a while.”

When reached by Pitchfork, David Read, a vinyl production and sales coordinator at Duplication, added that the fire “will directly affect all vinyl plants, bands/labels, mastering engineers, plating facilities etc., anyone who used lacquers as part of their vinyl production.” Read added optimistically, “In my almost 40 years experience the vinyl industry as a whole is incredibly resilient, and filled with talented professionals who will, and already are, teaming together to find a way out of this current problem.”
 

redking

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There used to be a company locally that manufactured celluloid film for the film industry and the same thing happened - massive explosion and fire caused them to eventually shut down the operation.
 
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Uncle Vinnie

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There used to be a company locally that manufactured celluloid film for the film industry and the same thing happened - massive explosion and fire caused them to eventually shut down the operation.
Let me guess, around the same time digital camera sales began to outpace sales of film cameras?

Maybe they just wanted to get the hell out of California and this was a way out.
 

redking

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Let me guess, around the same time digital camera sales began to outpace sales of film cameras?

Maybe they just wanted to get the hell out of California and this was a way out.
No, this was in Canada. This company was a major supplier of celluloid film to Hollywood about 10 years ago. I assume most films are shot in digital now? The timing seems right for your theory though lol.
 

Uncle Vinnie

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@redking My mistake.

The top line of my post was concerning the film company; the second line was about the record vinyl producer. Sorry for the ambiguity.
 

redking

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@redking My mistake.

The top line of my post was concerning the film company; the second line was about the record vinyl producer. Sorry for the ambiguity.
I think your theory has merit lol. I just looked it up - about 8 years ago Hollywood started driving hard towards digital filming and now celluloid is at about 20% of all films. If you are a company that sees the only product you make going off a cliff, why not light a match? :fingersx:
 

judson

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prolly created by a book of matches and the fire insurance policy rubbing together ......
 
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Banastre

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All those chemicals burning up- in California- will probably mean new legislation, based on lacquer alone. Bad enough getting stuff to make guitars there but I see it getting even harder. I know, different lacquer, but laws is the law~!
 

Tone deaf

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I am going to start a new company to make this elusive lacquer. I am going to experiment with burning tires to see if it produces any useful output.

The market will solve this problem, but in the near-term, there will likely be a shortage.
 


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