With the incredible rise in vinyl sales last year, record pressing is becoming a downright lucrative industry once again. However, it’s posing manufacturing issues for plants across the country, which are finding it difficult to keep up with demand due to the scant number of presses available. That’s why Quality Record Pressing in Salina, Kan., recently invested in 13 vintage presses -- which brings its total up to 27 -- to double their production capacity, effectively making it one of the largest presses in the country.

QRP will refurbish the presses, which haven’t been operational since the ‘90s when they were believed to bootleg 78 RPMS sold in India. Since then, they’ve remained unused in a Chicago warehouse until QRP’s owner, Chad Kassem's -- who founded QRP four years ago and also owns vinyl retailer Acoustic Sounds, record label Analogue Productions and recording studio Blue Heaven Studios -- recent purchase.

Kassem says the presses will help the plant catch up to the ever-growing demand.

“Finding these presses is like opening Al Capone’s vault and actually finding something,” Kassem said in a statement. “It was getting aggravating because everyone all over the world is looking for presses, and I knew that without them, we simply couldn’t deal with all the orders for vinyl we had on the books.”

Those orders have added up to about four months worth of back orders for QRP, which currently produces one million albums every year.

“It is our understanding this puts us potentially in the top three [presses in the country], size-wise, when all these newly acquired machines are refurbished and operational,” QRP communications director David Clouston added. “At that point, we’ll be pressing more than two million records annually, but exactly how far above that is yet to be determined.”

It’ll definitely put QRP in the same ranks as United Record Pressing -- the largest plant in the country -- which bought 16 record presses last spring.

QRP currently works with Universal, Sony, Warner Bros. and EMI and has helped manufacture Neil Young’s 2014 effort, Storytone, plus Death Cab for Cutie’s upcoming Kintsugi, as well as Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliott Smith.

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