Third Man Records Sets Opening Date for Vinyl Pressing Plant

Third Man Pressing Plant
Courtesy of Third Man Records

Third Man Pressing Plant

Jack White's Third Man Pressing vinyl plant in Detroit is ready to get rolling on Feb. 25. Since announcing plans of opening the production facility back in late 2015, the company has been busy outfitting the plant with eight brand-new, energy efficient presses capable of pumping out 5,000 platters every eight hours.

The 10,000-square-foot record pressing plant is located behind White's Third Man Records store in Detroit's Cass Corridor neighborhood, and brings with it 50 new jobs to the area. The plant, which joins 20-or-so other similar facilities in the U.S, will press vinyl for Third Man releases but also take orders from outside labels. (Third Man Records will continue its relationship with United Record Pressing in Nashville, however.)

"The resurgence in popularity of vinyl records has left many small imprints, 'bedroom' labels, and independent artists without the ability to press small runs of records in reasonable amounts of time," the company notes in a press release. "Third Man Pressing aims to dedicate a percentage of its capacity each month to pressing records for clients of this ilk, alleviating the bottlenecking of the production caused by major label orders, and bringing more niche, regionally-interesting pressings from inspired individuals onto record shelves worldwide."

Third Man also touts efforts to make the plant environmentally sustainable, with advances like a "closed-loop, chilled-water system that maximizes water sustainability" and a series of high-efficiency hydraulic systems. There are also digital touch screens for temperature -- helping to make it the "only fully climate-controlled pressing plant work environment in the world" and measures were taken to limit noise pollution from the loud machines.

Opening day festivities will look a lot like Record Store Day -- meaning there'll be exclusive releases (including new pressings of White Stripes albums) and live performances. Third Man also hints at a "few additional surprises," which could mean anything from a Jack White set to additional, yet-to-be-ironed-out releases. The pressing plant will always be on display via a viewing platform inside the store, though tours will be made available later.

Third Man announced plans to open the plant when it debuted the Detroit store in late 2015. They had just purchased eight machines from Germany and initially hoped to open by spring 2016.

"We reached a point where we wanted to start pressing our own records," Third Man principal Ben Swank told Billboard at the time. "It wasn't something we ever wanted to do in Nashville; we've got a really good relationship with United there and felt like if we were going to start pressing our own stuff we shouldn't do it in (Nashville) and directly compete with someone we've worked so closely with and will continue to work so closely with. We'll do our own stuff but we'd like to help out smaller labels, the bedroom labels, that have to wait longer to get their stuff (pressed) sometimes and maybe work with those types of clients. We'll have to see as we get into it."


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