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"Awaiting Repress": What It Means, and Why It Happens

Vinyl enthusiasts and music lovers dread the words "Awaiting Repress." The term, which Music Direct uses to signify that a particular vinyl LP title remains available but is currently in line at a plant to be re-pressed, often stirs up a mix of confusion and frustration. We thought we'd further clarify this term by explaining why the backlog happens, and why it is happening more often.

The reason directly correlates with the ongoing analog resurgence – and the fact that listeners everywhere continue to realize there's no substitute for the vinyl experience. With so many people all over the world enjoying the sound of analog, vinyl pressing plants are simply overtaxed. While demands for vinyl have exponentially increased, the amount of pressing plants responsible for producing LPs have remained more or less the same. Approximately one dozen plants operate in the United States. Such limited capacity has created a serious backlog – one that means the time it takes to repress a title can drag on for months. In a digital age when millions of songs are a stream or download away, having to wait a few months for a re-pressed title can be frustrating. We certainly understand how you feel.

But take a deep breath. Vinyl has made a huge comeback for a reason. The act of holding a physical record in your hands and delicately dropping the needle to hear a sonic presentation you can only get from analog reproduction (warmth, richness, and a natural immediacy of instruments and voices) offers something more valuable and tangible than streaming and downloading ever will: An all-immersive, rewarding, musical experience. One we all know is truly worth waiting for.

June 14, 2016

Comments (1)

awaiting repress
My only fear in all this is that the pressing plants will start to rush products and let quality slip. Two albums that have disappointed me are Little Feat’s “Last Record Album” and “Idlewild South,” by The Allman Brothers. Both lack clarity, and they fall way short of matching the Sonics of the original LPs. It’s unfortunate that MFSL was not able to do their magic instead of the labs chosen. Let’s hope these are not going to be the norm as more vinyl is produced, especially in higher quantities per pressing.
5/19/2018 7:39 AM
Gerald Robertson
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