Fidelity Record Pressing to Launch Q1 2023
By Bes Nievera

Fidelity Record Pressing (Fidelity), a state-of-the-art record-pressing facility constructed from the ground up in Oxnard (Ventura County), California, will launch in Q1 2023 as the country's premier vinyl production facility. Fidelity is owned by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab and Music Direct proprietor Jim Davis in partnership with the father-and-son team of Rick and Edward Hashimoto, vinyl engineers who have 60 collective years of vinyl-press experience. While Fidelity will help unclog the years-long backlog impacting the industry, its mission and organization remain distinct from all other pressing facilities. Intent on capturing a particular segment of the vinyl market and meeting the demand for truly great-sounding LPs, Fidelity is strictly focused on quality — not quantity. It will be guided on a daily basis by on-site specialists who have the irreplaceable experience and superior expertise necessary to achieving its goal. Fidelity will also serve as the future production home of all Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab vinyl releases.

"Record pressing is an intricate pursuit; it shouldn't be about achieving specific volumes," says Davis. "By adhering to excellent standards and leveraging the most experienced experts, Fidelity will prove to analog lovers how LPs should really sound. We're excited for people to hear and see the results."

Dedicated to making the best-sounding records available, Fidelity will give each step involved with the manufacturing and packing of LPs meticulous oversight and superb quality control. Fidelity's design, concentration, setup, and investment in advanced equipment and the very best personnel will ensure complete success. Intimately involved with record pressing for decades, its team of engineers is acutely familiar with the art and science behind the mechanical procedures. Just as importantly, they possess an instinctual awareness for navigating the countless variables that often impact vinyl production and understand the process from start to finish — from lacquer cutting to pressing, plating, jacket assembly, and everything else that ultimately leads to the moment when a listener pulls an LP from its sleeve, places it on a turntable, and drops the needle in a groove.

Recognizing that every distinguished craftsman requires effective tools, Fidelity has not overlooked the importance of exceptional machinery and form-follows-function architecture. Combining the soulfulness and techniques of classic machinery with the convenience, efficiency, and power of modern technology, the plant will use brand-new hydraulic presses that mechanically parallel those from the 1960s but which employ innovative controls. The operational logistics will result in unprecedented levels of across-the-board consistency and accuracy, and allow the team to adjust for even the slightest changes. Fidelity's blend of the finest of older, proven technology and new, enhanced methods — combined with the staff's intelligence, skill, care, and ingenuity — make it distinct from any other U.S. pressing plant.

Separate from Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab and Mobile Fidelity Electronics, Fidelity serves as the final link in an audio chain that begins in an advanced mastering studio, extends to vinyl production, and continues in listeners' homes on innovative stereo equipment.