"Garage Sale" Find Has QRP Adding 13 Additional Record Presses! (Now Video Enhanced)

Quality Record Pressing announced today that thirteen additional presses will soon go online at its Salina, Kansas facility after discovering them recently lying dormant in a Chicago warehouse.

QRP owner Chad Kassem says he's been looking for months now for additional presses because the demand for press time has so outstripped capacity. QRP is currently backordered three to four months. The plant is about to go to triple shifts, which means 24 hour a day operation but even then, order delivery will be several months.

A fellow vinyl enthusiast recently alerted Kassem to the warehouse full of dusty presses that had last been used in the 1990s to produce "bootleg" 78s for export to India. In 2003 the presses were sold to Joell Hays who planned on renovating and using them in a new pressing plant that due to financing issues never happened.

Alerted to the warehouse find (which he likens to "...opening Al Capone's vault and actually finding something") Kassem jumped on the treasure trove opportunity and in a meeting with Hays in one of Chicago's famous pizzerias quickly made the deal.

The inventory consists of ten Hamilton presses, two SMTs, and one Lened. With the addition of the lucky thirteen, upon their restoration and installation QRP will have a 27 press capacity, making it among the country's largest record pressing plants.

One of the Ten Hamilton Presses

Though the presses, manufactured between 1968 and 1972 look dirty, rusty, old and useless (which is pretty much how vinyl haters describe vinyl buyers), Kassem says they are anything but. As soon as they are restored (and the restoration will include all of the computer programmable innovations QRP introduced on its original restored machines when it opened in 2011), QRP will more than double its pressing capacity.

QRP's reputation of quality helped seal the deal with Hays, who had rebuffed all offers until now. “Even though it breaks my heart to see them go,” Hays said, “it's good to see them going to the right place and to someone who could do what I just could never get done.”

The presses have all been loaded onto flatbeds and shipped to QRP's Salina, Kansas plant

akovo's picture

Great news that capacity is being added.These guys produce a great product.

mraudioguru's picture

Congrats Chad! Hope QRP gets these up and running soon. I need to get over there to see the operation. It's been a few years.

srmusic's picture

I'm genuinely exited to read about these extra presses soon to start production and I'm thousands of miles away in New Zealand!
Go Chad!

vinyldaddy's picture

I guess that means a new production facility in Salina.

Jim Tavegia's picture

that anyone on this planet is putting in new CD pressing facilities? About Zero or less I would think.

It is really sad that vinyl is dead. Oh well.

Jay's picture

Nice one Chad!

Paul Boudreau's picture

"...dusty presses that had last been used in the 1990s to produce
'bootleg' 78s for export to India."

Just when you think you've heard it all...

cgh's picture

I got hung up on this too. 1) Bootleg, 2) 78, and 3) export to India. WTF? I get their may have been a time in recent history where we exported to SE Asia but what was the business plan to press bootleg 78's? Crazy.

Paul Boudreau's picture

Well, there's old school and then there's antique school.

ReggieRocket's picture

They had 78's right up to the mid 1960's, including Beatles material, so there's probably a small market for new 78's there still. Or at least in the 1990's.

Michael Fremer's picture
That Beatles albums were legitimately issued on 78 during the '60s. Apparently many of the poorer people there ( and probably a few 78rpm audiophile types) were stuck with 78s for a long time. I'm sure the boots were filling a void in the market for new material on 7s8...
Paul Boudreau's picture

Now that I'd like to see, just for fun. Another reason might have been that wind-up (i.e. non electrical) 78 players were once the standard and many were and are still around (I have one myself). I've never heard of a wind-up player that could handle 33 or 45 r.p.m. records, although they may have existed.

cgh's picture

I don't doubt that it happened. I watch people lose money all the time for all kinds of seemingly obvious reasons. Hopefully it wasn't a monoline business and capitalized on some other aspect of the international trade. Maybe the freight containers were filled with returns: black market kidneys and endangered wildlife.

rockit's picture

just great news
the sooner they spit out records again, the better.

DLKG's picture

I wonder if that means Roger Waters Amused to Death album will be pressed anytime soon. It's been a pre-order for a year now. I think that's Chad's label going to press it. I'm really looking forward to a great vinyl version of that.


Jack Gilvey's picture

For the past few years it seems every once in a while Acoustic Sounds will put it in the "coming soon" column, but it's always BS and goes away. It's become the Chinese Democracy of re-issues.

Michael Fremer's picture
Reissues licensed and about to be pressed get pulled for reasons beyond the reissuing company's control. You really need to cut some slack here.
Jack Gilvey's picture

And I don't blame AS for the delay at all. Just don't say it's "coming soon". I'd imagine you'll know months in advance if you'll actually be shipping something or not.

cgh's picture

+1. I thought the same thing. I have been waiting for AtD for what seems like years.

DLKG's picture

78's That's kind of cool actually.

tube dog's picture

I think they should learn how to press records before they double their production. The records I bought from them all have noise issues and some came scratched. I stay away from them now.

Michael Fremer's picture
I buy and receive some promos that are SEALED records from QRP---nothing special done for me and they are consistently the quietest, best pressed records I get. If those aren't good enough for you, whose records are? In any case, Acoustic Sounds replaces defectives (even those from other labels) and guess what? They have to "eat" the costs because the majors don't take returns.

Really, for anyone in this record business, the smartest thing to do to make money is SOMETHING ELSE. There's money to be made, don't get me wrong, but it's not the easiest or most lucrative way to make money....EVERYONE in this that I know does it for the same reason you do: LOVE.

tube dog's picture

Mr. Fremer, if they would arrive undamaged. Then I wouldn't be running my mouth on your website. I calls it like I sees it.

tube dog's picture

Mr. Fremer, if they would arrive undamaged. Then I wouldn't be running my mouth on your website. I calls it like I sees it.

Miner42's picture

I, too, have had quality issues with QRP pressings - most recently, the 45rpm box set of Stevie "Rave On". That was my last QRP purchase.

crosscatch's picture

I've not had quality issues with the vinyl but I have had issues - more than one occasion - with their shipping room talent. Wow! Disgraceful service!

zzcorey's picture

They could not be more rude, this is why I now stick to elusive disc and music direct, nice people and service, that whole customer service dept at acoustic sounds needs to go

crosscatch's picture

The guys name on both occasions was Jay Quest.

crosscatch's picture

The guys name on both occasions was Jay Quest.

crosscatch's picture

The guys name on both occasions was Jay Quest.

Michael Fremer's picture
With every pressing plant. Anything else is really luck but QRP like the other HQ plants tries and usually succeeds in pressing great records (those would be RTI, Pallas, Optimal, etc.).
rdh79730's picture

...without somebody bitching and moaning about something. I have had good, bad, or indifferent service or pressing quality from everyone. Shit happens. Overall, I think QRP and Chad's team do a bang up job. You never know when you might call with a problem and the person on the other end just got back from the proctologist.

mrgroove01's picture


Anton D's picture

I always thought the music sounded more like 45's....played as 78's!


Great find for Chad and I look forward to pics of those beauties after they are restored.

Mike - you should have bought one of 'em. Maybe invent a LP-direct-to-LP process where, as you play a disc on your rig, it goes right to a cutter and then press.

vince's picture

Me too! I ordered that thing 1/17/2013 and have seen it not. I also ordered, You Get More Bounce with Curtis Counce. That arrived right away, sounds great and has been for a few spins on the Victrola. My longest backorder, and I am prepared to wait as long as it takes.

bergerfry's picture

It's always good when a "collector" lets go of something instead of watching it rot away. Class move for him to sell to Chad.

crosscatch's picture

I've had nothing but good experience for music direct and elusive desk. It couldn't be nicer or more helpful. Acoustic Sounds however, blech!

Michael Fremer's picture
A belch isn't particularly descriptive, especially when in public you make a serious complaint. What you've posted will not help Acoustic Sounds do better.
crosscatch's picture

Haha. It wasn't a "belch". It was another word for "yuck". But, thank you for reading and your commentary. My problem has been that Acoustic Sounds at one point sent me an item (among others) that was mis-stated. It was to be a damaged cover but in fact, the vinyl was VERY scratched and quite dirty. I was filmed while opening it so there wasn't any argument once I got service. It took two or three calls.

Ok, so, I later placed an order for about $750 and bought several items, some that I didn't open for quite a while. When I did, I found that either a stereo was in a mono jacket or vice versa. These were new Classic 200 gram items. I called again for service and somehow, it had become my fault for not opening them sooner - as if it wouldn't have happened then. I can accept that a mistake was made in packaging but I don't accept the attitude.

I like what QRP is trying to do but customer service will help determine where I make my purchases. I'm pretty forgiving about these things regardless of how I might sound. I've never called while on attack. Rather, I've tried to give them the opportunity to render good service but that service was rendered grudgingly.

cement_head's picture

that's lasted and lasted and lasted and lasted about 100 years...

probably die off in a few hundreds years....

;-) Great to Hear! QRP's pressing of Duke's Masterpiece was astounding!

pbnaudio's picture

Very nice to see investment and optimism in this and any industry.

Good Listening

Peter Noerbaek
PBN Audio

samman's picture

I have had nothing but great service every time I deal with AS. If anyone is rude, or if you receive bad product, pick up the phone and ask to speak with a manager. There's no way they are going not replace defective pressings or deal with a situation where someone has been rude.

isaacrivera's picture

I place an AS order every couple of months and buy a lot of their Jazz reissues. Every time the service has been flawless. The way they package those things, even on small orders, is impressive. There has been 2 instances when a record was defective, once an AS reissue and once a Speakers Corner. Both times no questions asked. I have had the opportunity to speak with Chad on the phone and he was quite amiable and willing to talk to a new customer. Just excellent.

HalSF's picture

So cool to see this.

Puts me in mind of Neil Young's last verse of "Ordinary People" —

Out on the railroad track, they're cleanin' up number nine.
They're scrubbin' the boiler down, well, she really is lookin' fine.
Awe, she's lookin' so good, they're gonna bring her back on line,
Ordinary people.
They're gonna bring the good things back, nose-to-the stone people.
Put the business back on track, ordinary people....

planarhead's picture

I just saw this news in an email from Acoustic Sounds. Three words for this- Too Bloody Cool.

I will pour a drink to this.

Jack Gilvey's picture

I've been impressed without fail with the quality of my QRP pressings. In fact, after receiving my Beatles "Blue" Optimal pressing, I decided to wait for the QRP "Red". And maybe buy the QRP "Blue" as well.

kenkirk's picture

I have found the QRP pressings to be the best around. Now Chad just needs to find a huge, monster wad of that JVC vinyl that you can see through. Then the circle is complete! :)


planarhead's picture

I've heard from one of the guys that works at Furnace pressing that the JVC formula contained lead, so it's unlikely we'll ever see it in use.

kenkirk's picture

I always heard it was carcinogenic. But I quit chewing vinyl years ago. Maybe just a little MA warning label, do not eat your record. :) But I am sure the risk was to the pressing plant workers. But Chad could get them clean room suits. Man I miss that vinyl. It just stays quiet for years and play after play. And the top end just stays sweet. Its the missing link in all of this.


BillK's picture

I've submitted at least two reviews and have personally talked to the folks at Acoustic Sounds about AA&M 535108, a 180g version of "The Carpenters - Singles 1969-1973." This album should be avoided at all costs, as rather than being the album advertised, it instead only contains the tracks listed on the cover.

(For those unfamiliar with it, Richard remixed the tracks for this album, tying many of them together with instrumental bridges.)

This release features just the songs, as if it were made using the tracks from a "Greatest Hits" master someone had lying around because no one wanted to go through the hassle of pulling the actual master for the album.

To date, Acoustic Sounds has not published either of my reviews, and it remains available for sale without so much of a warning to prospective buyers. :(


amarok89's picture

are meaningless. It is easy to get a review posted if it's for an item they just sell but if it is something they have pressed and bragged about it can be very difficult. Although one time I don't blame them as much because I sounded a bit caustic (the LP was a real dog), but they eventually posted a second do over after I calmed down and gave the LP an average rating rather than a poor one.

eugeneharrington's picture

Great news! I would agree with Joell Hays that these have gone to the right people. I have been delighted with the quality of QRP's work and now that its capacity is increasing significantly we should see even more quality releases.

How long does it take to restore one of these presses and to incorporate the 'add-on' technology that QRP has introduced? It would be great to see photos of the newly restored presses in due course, too! Exciting times, no doubt about that.

atomlow's picture

have a cool job.

OldschoolE's picture

I don't purchase new records because I can't afford them and I don't know the source. I would not want MP3s pressed to vinyl if you know what I mean. That said, I trust Mr. Fremer's recommends if I ever get lucky enough to purchase a new record.
As to the find of presses, I can only hope it will help lower the price on new records, but even so it will be quite a while before we see it. It's going to take a looooong time to restore those guys, not to mention a giant string ball size wad of cash. All in all though we can still say YAY!!

StevieG's picture

Truly good news. Quite often there are a lot of back ordered records on Acoustic Sounds. Now, if Chad would only adopt a mastering code to label all records, so those of us who are looking for AAA LPs could buy with confidence...

Toptip's picture

...but watching this video made me realize, yet again, what a primitive, brute force business record pressing is! Gigantic, heavy machines, in ordinary industrial buildings, churning out plastic with microscopic grooves for our ears!

I wonder what a record may sound like if it were instead produced in a clean room, by machines with the finesse and precision of silicon wafer cutters, that make computer chips?

It is fascinating to see new technology applied to old systems. In my car restoration shop they are producing a fender for a Cunningham convertible using laser guided equipment which also copied the fender from an existing original.

Can a 3D printer one day make a more precise, cleaner LP than any traditional press ever did? The answer is most probably yes but not sure anyone will bother. Given the amount of digital technology which will be needed to accomplish it, it may be irrelevant as an analog product but it may still show what today's cartridges, etc., are capable of.

Imagine downloading and printing your own pristine vinyl at will!

alabamawoody's picture

Better than URP :-)