After a 13 Year Hiatus, Korea's Machang Music and Pictures Again Pressing Vinyl Records

Seoul, Korea based Machang Music and Pictures a few weeks ago began pressing records at a brand new facility after a 13 year break (the email said 18 so not sure which is correct). For now the company operates two brand new made-in-Korea presses.

The plant is currently Koreas sole vinyl pressing facility. Three years of planning and development went into the vertically integrated project, which includes a lacquer cutting and plating facility at the company's studio in Majong-dong, Seoul. The two presses, which appear to be hand presses similar to the Newbuilt units at Jack White's new Detroit pressing plant, can turn out 1000 records a day.

The waiting line has already formed. The Korean vinyl market today is estimated to be worth around $9 million dollars, with 280,000 units sold in 2016 compared to 10,000 six years ago.

You can read more about it in this recent Korea Times story forwarded to AnalogPlanet by the company's marketing manager/producer.

Also, the company has produced these two YouTube videos:

gbougard's picture

that's a whopping $32 per record
Are you sure of your figures, Michael?

Michael Fremer's picture
Are in the Korean newspaper story.
allhifi's picture

Mr. Fremer: I am most shocked, but pleased at the returning proliferation of vinyl interest.

I recall, in 1988/89, an associate of mine said: " You won't find a vinyl record by 1990 (or within a few years)".

I laughed at the ignorance. I said, "What I see is that CD's will drop in price and vinyl rise".

He still doesn't recall that conversation. I do. (lol)

In any case, I finally dropped by 2,000 vinyl records all (save 100) by 2004 --twenty-one years after the release of CD's.

I truly felt that i could (by then) really enjoy CD's and begin to notice some musicality and staging emerging !

Yet, the odd time I'd hear vinyl, I'd remark at its astonishing "realism" and dynamic swings. However, the ever-present IMD I felt adversely affected mid-band (and LF) clarity/definition that digital largely avoided. And then, once I discovered what a AC Re-generator did for digital, there was no turning back.

Yet, I'm pleased to see the venerable (and excellent) turntable progressing full-steam ahead. That's incredible. A real testament to both its performance and longevity.

peter jasz

allhifi's picture

Hey, I just sent you an email that was returned ?

What is your email address (at the office) ?


peter jasz

JJZL's picture

It appears they (GZ) had plans for Korea, as they did in Canada. Any news about that?

JJZL's picture

Pacific Audio Vinyl Pressing and Yong Tong A&V Manufacture Ltd. are two suppossed pressing plants in China, but the only information I managed to find is here

Hondo's picture

Many videos like this show vinyl being pressed in a dirty manufacturing environment. Contaminates pressed in can cause noise. Machang cleanliness and QC is rarely, if ever seen.

OldschoolE's picture

If those videos are not dressed up commercials there won't be any bad pressings coming out of that plant!
I've never seen a record pressing plant that resembles an industrial clean room and so many QC steps! Not a mass production facility indeed if every record is inspected like shown. If so, we don't need no stinkin mass production. Hey, can I have all my favorite records re-pressed there, please? ha.ha.ha...

allhifi's picture

No kidding ! (i.e. Clean Room.)

Do you (as a listener/audiophile)also have and/or enjoy CD's ?

(P.S. I recall in the early 1980's, a local Hi-Fi shop I won't mention (Anderson Sound, lol) had a, I think, Keith Monks record cleaning machine. It had a tone-arm like wand/cleaner with what looked like some type of floss-like stylus/material that I swore carved some new grooves from my records -so bad were the pop's clicks/noise afterwards. Mercifully, only a handful were done (at one time unfortunately looking back).

P.S. I don't recommend that record cleaner ! lol

OldschoolE's picture

Well, I do not associate myself with the term "audiophile", so "music listener" suits me better. I do happen to have a library of CDs as well. They are mostly for stuff that was never released on vinyl or that was just done better for CD somehow (very few of those). There is room in my music world for many formats for different purposes, but my preference is vinyl for the music I am mostly drawn to.

allhifi's picture

Hello: That makes sense. The entire analog/vinyl reproduction quality is fascinating.

That it took (for me) nearly twenty years before I could enjoy CD sound is one thing, but to see, that 34-years on (since 1983) so many that the format continue to hold the ultimate upper hand astonishes me.
I really wonder whether Mr. Robert Stuart's understanding and correction of A-to-D's used in digital sound may prove the answer to narrow (or eliminate?) the gap between digital and analog. But, even so, I would continue to marvel (and enjoy) the sheer musicality that records have inspired since its inception. For if (when and if possible) digital will succeed vinyl for ultimate SQ, it does not answer the past 70-years that the format has inspired generations of music (and Hi-Fi equipment) lovers.

Long live the genuineness of those that have, can and will continue to feel the difference the superior formats have instilled.

peter jasz
(I knew I held on to those 100-125 vinyl records for a reason!)

OldschoolE's picture

I hear that. In the eighties I too foolishly believed that CD was better. I had around 100 vinyl records, mostly originals at the time and foolishly let some go. For reasons unknown at the time I held onto about 60. Sadly though, among the 40 I gave away, some were rare.
I think many of us have made this mistake though when CDs took hold. However, we have learned out lessons.
I do not buy current re-issues for several reasons.
1) Much of the music I gravitate to has not been re-released
2) Hardly any provenance info and the sound quality is often sketchy at best.
3) Expensive, especially for questionable provenance and sound quality.

I buy used original copies or early re-releases. Not just because it is less expensive (in fact, there is more work involved), but because aside from the fact that it may only be available that way, I feel that not only am I saving and preserving a part of history, but many of my 500+ records sound just as good as their first day (after careful selection and cleaning of course).