The materials science behind vinyl records

At Quality Record Pressings in Salina, Kan., the influx of orders for vinyl records has been so great that the staff has been turning away requests since September. This resurgence in vinyl’s popularity blindsided Gary Salstrom, the company’s general manger. The company is just five years old, but Salstrom has been making records for a living since 1979.

“I can’t tell you how surprised I am,” he says.

Listeners aren’t just demanding more records; they want to listen to more genres on vinyl. As most casual music consumers moved onto cassette tapes, compact discs, and then digital downloads over the past several decades, a small contingent of listeners obsessed with audio quality supported a modest market for certain musical styles on vinyl, notably classic jazz and orchestral recordings.

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