Crosley To Open a Record Pressing Plant

Turntable manufacturer Crosley is set to announce the opening soon of a new pressing plant. No this is not an early April Fool's Day hoax.

Crosley will shortly announce that it has acquired the assets of a closed pressing plant—I believe from somewhere in Europe—and is moving it all to a location in the midwest near its Louisville, KY headquarters. This story will be updated as more information becomes available. A review of one of Crosley's Pro-Ject sourced 'tables is in progress. Stay tuned.

COMMENTS
Jack Gilvey's picture

plastic records. ;)

Ryan L.'s picture

Well, given that all records are made of plastic already...

Jack Gilvey's picture

:)

Bob Levin's picture

It would be great to welcome more of those to our shores. They're "hens' teeth" on this side of the Atlantic.
BTW, does anyone know if Apollo is on the NYSE? If so, what is their stock trading at? :-D

rockdoc's picture

Would love to see a vinyl pressing plant in my home state of Ky.

avrcguy's picture

...so their turntables don't destroy them.

zzcorey's picture

I guess this would make owning a $70 turntable and a $30 digitally sourced copy of Dark Side make more sense :D

Jon's picture

what corporate strategy they have in mind for this. It is very hard for me to imagine they will press audiophile stuff. Perhaps low-priced stuff from digital masters to suit the corporate identity (I'm not knocking them, it is a good way for young people on severely restricted budgets to get into vinyl, especially since Project got involved and the quality went up about ten notches).

Michael Fremer's picture
Let's give them a chance!
Daniel Emerson's picture

They got a toehold in the record-player market and, now it has been a success, they want to move up a level or sixteen billion.

If they still have budget instincts, maybe we'll see some new vinyl coming out that isn't $30 audiophile pressings, but cheaper (while still fairly decent) LPs, and there's certainly a market for that at the moment.

Like it or not, they are a market behemoth, and where they take this will be interesting and influential. Selling Pro-Ject made turntables under the Crosley badge could be very influential, too.

Just like the partwork magazine company DeAgostino selling 180g Jazz LPs in UK high street newsagents, this is properly mainstream.

wkjeffers's picture

I work for a Kentucky electric utility as an account manager, I saw this huge new building in the industrial park right outside Louisville with CROSLEY on it, I thought " wow that's a great building, wonder what they are going to make there". So now I know. I think they will do bourbon infused vinyl!

wkjeffers's picture

I'll take a pic of the facility tomorrow.

Michael Fremer's picture
Thanks. I'll post it.
Rudy's picture

Don't let QRP teach them how to (not) center a record. ;)

SLS's picture

with your comment!

SLS's picture

that MF never refers to any sort of defect in a vinyl pressing such as this? I wonder, is he the only person buying vinyl these days that has no/received no off center records, no warped records, no dished records, no records that have trash embedded in the pressings???

If he has, why not write about it?
Must be nice!

sunderwood's picture

I seem to remember that when Michael posted the video of running into the Crosley exhibit at the audio show that the representative stated that the Crosleys like we find in Target were meant to be a novelty item. If that is the case then they never should have been compared to a good quality audiophile turntable and more along the lines of the record players many of us listened to as kids. With this news they seem to be moving up to the level of equipment that are worthy of a $30 record. Let's reserve judgement until Michael does his tests. Hopefully he can also check out one of their records when the pressing plant starts production.

Nellomilanese's picture

Michael please enlighteen us with what camera was that picture taken? I mean they stopped making such low quality/low-res camera about 15 years ago! This website is a top destination for analog lovers...yet everytime I visit it's like an early 2000's time-machine. Send me an address so I can donate an 8MP camera I have thrown around in my drawers.
That pic above looks like 400x300 pixels and so compressed that you can barely make out there's a turntable in there LOL

Toptip's picture

Copied from a digital CCD

Bob Levin's picture

Looks like it's playing a mid-sixties Mercury Living Presence L.P.
(And I have low-res eyesight for crying out loud!)

vinyl_ninja's picture

Looks like a photo taken with a low light level.

Michael Fremer's picture
I realized when I got home that I'd not taken a still image and only had GoPro video so I was forced to use that. Sorry. I will have better images for the review underway now.
Nellomilanese's picture

on my 5k retina Mac looks like a post-stamp LOL

tube dog's picture

This must be a sign of the apocalypse.

singhcr's picture

I agree with Mikey. Let's give them a chance before bashing them. Maybe they will create some nice pressings!

Rayman's picture

They seem to be doing just fine so the bashing must be helping.

Jon's picture

there is lots of room here:

Crosley announces the reissue of the full Telarc Soundstream LP catalogue. Remastered by Bernie Grundman on 45 RPM vinyl.

DarioO's picture

Was that an accurate depiction of a pressing plant in the new outstanding HBO series?

Michael Fremer's picture
I bet they went to Brooklyn Phono
DarioO's picture

You are not watching it? Highly recommend it. Great performances music, real feel of NYC in the 70's (i was there) and very very funny.

my new username's picture

I can't say why a re-branded Pro-Ject actually fits in with the rest of what Crosley offers (like home furniture? --- it's on their website!) but the addition of a pressing plant is certainly no joke.

Their existing record erasers have probably been a big factor in helping United pump out those $20 digital repressings of $1-$5 used classic rock LPs but so what? We all need pressing plants, this is only a good thing.

Also, if you look on their site, not everything uses a cringeworthy ceramic cartridge. Some are setup with MM Audio Technicas which for about $150 might not be horrible. AND Crosely now has competition in the über cheap market, so maybe they need to finally go upscale a little.

Sal1950's picture

LOL,
Good for them, another US company poised to make some big $ off the backs of vinyl audiophools.
Then they'll go home and listen to a good digital system. :)

Michael Fremer's picture
And you are here because?
elliotdrum's picture

Hi Mike:
Are going to go back to reviewing the sound quality of releases
such as the Capitol 180 gm. Frank Sinatra re-releases?
I'm very interested in how Come Dance With Me sounds?
Just the sound I don't need a music review-
Thank you!

Michael Fremer's picture
And Yes.
GrooveJunkie's picture

When they decided to take baby steps toward higher end equipment, they leaned on Pro-Ject, hopefully that's an indication of where they are headed with the pressing plant. They definitely have the $$ for the right resources.
...and props for bringing it to the US.

avanti1960's picture

If I were opening a new pressing plant I would challenge my material engineers to develop vinyl composition that would not be capable of holding a static charge- example some non-magnetic electrically conducting additives.
In addition my plant would ship records that are certified to be dust and contaminant free and meet a cleanliness requirement specification.
I would bet there are people willing to pay a slight premium if their records were certified clean right out of the sleeve and would never become statically charged.
You would approach CD like maintenance with vinyl.
Somebody needs to do this.

dbowker3d's picture

All great ideas but... Remember that viny itself (the material) plays an actual part in the sound. Additives may well alter the sound in a negate. Mikey could probably speak to this better any.

goblin141's picture

expensive. I just picked a 1941 Rachmaninoff Concerto No 1. Sergei is on the piano, Ormandy conducting the Philadelphia orchestra. Its 78s of coarse, 3 records and it has the liner notes inside with pricing for other albums each of which cost 5.00 to 5.50 each. Thats over 500.00 in todays dollar. Records are cheap.

Great recording by the way, a few pops here and there not bad. RCA was also selling cactus needles boxes of 12 for .35. I guess they softened the hard edge some 78s had back then.

dbowker3d's picture

It's a good thing on a number of levels: More investing in US business, expansion of manufacturing, and greater access to vinyl. Honestly even if the records they press are only so-so who cares? I grew up buying a lot of crap vinyl that was GREAT music! It's how most people who love music (or anything) get started. Analog is appealing to kids today because it's something fun, something special to share in person, and tangible in an increasingly intangible world. And even an OK record on a basic turntable will sound better than ANY MP3! So relax guys, and see the big picture.

avanti1960's picture

Of course the material is important to the sound. The idea would be to engineer a semi conductive vinyl that still sounds good. There are conductive vinyl materials / additives used for vinyl flooring in hospitals that might be an avenue to explore.
The idea is to make it a goal that if vinyl was static free (via conductive material or coating or embedded layer, etc.) it would not attract air borne dust and debris.
In addition the record label should contract with the pressing plant to clean the LPs prior to shipping.
For the price of LPs I believe they should improve their product.
The goal should be clean out of the sleeve and near CD like maintenance requirements. It can be done.

Sulfamate's picture

Very interesting reading here. From the armchair experts to the real down to earth people who are happy to see a plant in the area
Suffice to say that running a pressing plant it's no walk in the park
Surely the people here who have been with the format for a long time appreciate it, the new comers are looking for improvements which are in the realm of almost dreaming.
There are 45 odd plants worldwide with around 300 presses in production to supply demand far exceeding their output
A new plant should be welcomed by everyone with interest in the formats continued survival.

wkjeffers's picture

a few people in Louisville are saying they are excited about the Crosley Mastering facility coming with the pressing facility. I can't find anything saying they are going to do mastering......anyone know anything about this?

Aussie0zborn's picture

I believe Crosley has a Neumann VMS70 disc cutting lathe and possibly two.

On the subject of anti-static vinyl, it was patented and produced in Germany back in the heyday of vinyl and we used this in our plant. You could hold a record over an overflowing ashtray and ..... nothing. The inventor however does not have any documentation on the formula today and so it is lost forever.

As suggested, there is no need to clean sleeves before putting the record in, or even cleaning the records before sleeving them. There is no reason for either to be, or to get, contaminated except through mishandling.

howlinblind's picture

Sounds like most of you are making fun, Maybe Crosley made turntables as a Novelty at first, but now they are making some decent ones. As far as a record pressing plan.. we need as many as we can get. There used to be over 200 pressing plants in America, now we are down to maybe 20 or so.. The more record pressing plants we have the more records we will have, I say bring it on

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