Fire disrupts vinyl record making

A fire earlier this month has destroyed the manufacturing plant of a firm that produces the lacquer-coated aluminum master discs from which vinyl records are pressed, potentially slowing the growth of a once-retro, now increasingly popular medium for recorded music.

The destruction of the Apollo Masters factory in Banning, CA,, which has made about three-quarters of blank lacquers used in recent years, leaves only one supplier, the Japanese firm MDC, which is at peak capacity and is not accepting additional work, the Los Angeles Times’ Randall Roberts reports:

“Blanks are only needed for new, previously unpressed albums,” Roberts notes. Production of existing titles should not be affected.

In 2019, vinyl records accounted for about 4 percent of US sales of recorded music – nearly 19 million albums. Vinyl’s share has been growing faster than that of any medium other than digitally streamed music.


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