Advice: Short Run Vinyl

Hi all-

When it comes to doing a run of 100 or so records on vinyl, where have you had a good experience? It seems like there are plenty of variables, so I feel like word of mouth on lines is as good a bet as any with regards to picking a vendor. Tips?

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Oof. That’s a pretty big question. If there is somewhere local that doesn’t have a reputation of being terrible, I’d recommend start there. Especially if you don’t really know/understand much about the process. You might pay a bit more but if you can go in and talk to them and see things rather than making decisions you don’t understand, that’s worth paying more. Also freight is a real drag and can wind up gobbling up any savings you might THINK you are going to have by using a plant somewhere else.

Also, consider pressing more than 100. Here, 100 copies costs about $1800CAD… $18 /copy. But 200 is $2400… $12/copy. Repressing another 100 will not be only $600 more.

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They are the only company I’ve used, but I had a great experience with Gotta Groove in Ohio. I did a single LP and then a double LP through them and they both turned out sounding great. (Both editions of 100) The first I pressed 180 gram, but the double I did on their normal weight which is heavier than most places. I’d just go with the normal weight again on future projects, it’s already nice and hefty.

Again I don’t have much to compare to, but they clearly cared about how the final result sounded, and I got the mother stamper back from both of them covered in notes where they’d obviously made a bunch of quality passes and redos before even saying anything to me.

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Seconding Gotta Groove from personal experience. Also, 180g is basically a scam and does very little (if anything) for sound quality.

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My band had great luck with Burlington Record Plant who are fairly new. We did 200 records which I think was around $1400? We printed the jackets and sourced outer plastic sleeves ourselves. Turnaround was also only 3 months compared to 9-12 in most other places because of Record Store Day.

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Looking briefly at Gotta Groove’s website, this seems to be great advice. It would appear that pressing 300 is a kind of sweet spot for total cost vs. cost per unit. Thanks guys!

Also, make sure to order test pressings. There can be nasty surprises. You definitely need test pressings.

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I’ve heard a lot of good things about New Orleans Record Press:
NORP

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If you are in Europe (esp. Germany), check randmuzik. A friend used them and was very pleased.

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just used micorforum in toronto for cutting and pressing of my label’s first release, and was extremely happy with the results.

shorter turn around time than gotta groove (6 weeks from approvals), a beautiful and quiet cut, and very competitive pricing.

https://microforumvinyl.com/

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I’m sure this doesn’t need to be said, but per unit cost matters most if you think you’ll sell out and you intend to do a second run when you do.

I really have no idea how many records any little independent is selling these days. I have many stories from friends and first hand experience of boxes of heavy stuff that clutter guest rooms and storage units.

ETA: and I still love the idea of physical releases and am excited to read people making them! Not trying to discourage anyone from doing a run of some size.

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