One of the many fascinating aspects of Simply Vinyl is that we are reviving a part of the music industry which has been wilfully neglected and run down over the last ten years. Namely the manufacturing of real vinyl records.
Since the dawn of the CD age the record manufacturing industry has been slowly eroded, regularly rationalised, severely downsized and almost killed off by the growth and convenience of those ugly little 5" blighters.
Even the art of Mastering and making Lacquers for full length vinyl albums is slowly dying out. Everything these days seems to be based on the premise that digital technology is less stress and more efficient. One of the net results of all this is that most of the old boys that knew all about pressing records and manufacturing vinyl have either been made redundant, been sacked or just plain died. These were the guys who really knew their stuff. Things like getting the temperature right in the acid bath where they dip the metalwork or, making sure that the right amount of vinyl pellets are being poured into the mould etc, etc.Needless to say, the manufacturing of vinyl in this day and age can be a very hit-and-miss scenario. Vinyl is not exactly a nice clean easy affair. In fact, it’s a filthy, messy unseemly process and it seems nobody wants to get their hands dirty in this super clean antiseptic sterile age. Except, of course, for us here at Simply Vinyl.
Naturally, staying on top of all the different parts of the Mastering and Manufacturing processes is pretty much a full time job in itself. So, whilst we all pretty much troubleshoot the different aspects of the above processes we leave the quality control of both the test pressings and finished pressings to Virgil. Which is a job in itself, if you know Virgil! Every time Virgil gets passed a new bunch of test pressings he is meticulous about every single little tick or minute sound on every single pressing. So even just the mere act of quality control has a real edge to it and can induce a sense of collective paranoia throughout the whole company.
The fact of the matter is that Simply Vinyl has one of the highest rejection rates in the industry outside of specific audiophile products (which can afford a luxury amount of Q.C. only at a vastly increased cost to the consumer). However, our high rejection rate has to be tempered with the fact that we are one of the only companies in the world doing what we do and we have extremely high standards. Sometimes too high for some of our suppliers! All of which means that we are involved in a constant process of re-evaluation which covers the whole spectrum of producing perfect finished vinyl LP’s for our customers.
The quest for always getting a perfect blemish and noise free finished album pressed on blemish free vinyl is literally a never-ending odyssey. But don’t worry we’re on it! And better than most.