How to Press Vinyl for Under $100

Vlad
| Last Updated: December 30, 2020

If you’re like most bands, you thought about pressing vinyl for your latest EP/LP/single until you saw the price. The kicker is most bands don’t even need the 100-250 minimum units required from a traditional vinyl pressing service.

Fortunately, a lesser-known option exists in the vinyl word that offers shorter, cheaper, and often more unique pressings. Known as lathe-cut services, you can order 7”, 10” or 12” records in quantities as small as a single unit.

So without further adieu, here’s 8 ways you can press vinyl for under $100, whether you’re looking for a run of 20 singles, or just a few fancy LPs.

7 CT 7" Records With Blank Jackets

PROS

This bare-bones package is perfect for the resourceful and visually-creative. Those handy with a pen or printing screen will easily make this package come to life. If you prefer a pre-printed option, however, Tangible Formats has a great deal that includes 10 ct. 7” records with full color labels AND a printed cover for just $155.

1 CT 12" Record With Jacket

PROS

  • Poly-sealed.
  • Full color center label.
  • Full color 2-sided jacket.
  • 1 stereo 12” heavyweight record from Austin Signal (18:00 per side max).

Total Price: $55

Not everyone needs multiple copies. Austin Signal’s single-run records make the perfect gift. This is a heavyweight 180g vinyl with a printed label, full-color jacket and poly-sealed packaging, which is basically as professional as you can get. Furthermore, if you are looking for a larger run, it’s only $35/each if you order 5 or more.

5 CT 10" Records With Sleeve

PROS

  • Blank white labels.
  • White paper sleeves.
  • 5 stereo 10” records from Tangible Formats (10:00 per side max).

Another barebones option, but for those who need something longer than a single. Tangible Formats’ 10” records can hold up to 10 minutes per side at 33.3 RPM. Pair with a high quality sleeve or jacket, and customize it with your own drawing or screen print.

5 CT 12" Records (No Packaging)

PROS

  • No packaging included.
  • 5 stereo 12” records from Vinylizer - Maxi Single Length (9:00 per side max).

Canada’s Vinylizer offers one of the most affordable ways to press high quality stereo 12” vinyl. This package is for a “Maxi Single” length pressing, which means the total record cannot be longer than 18:00 (longer records are available at a higher price). Full color jackets and labels are available for an extra $7 per record, or print your own if you’re handy with ink.

20 CT 7" Records With Plastic Sleeves

PROS

Yes, you read that right. Funky Frankenstein offers a way to press 20 records for a mere $100, or $5 a piece. Add white printed labels and cardboard jackets, and you’re looking at a full run of 20 records.

Potential buyers should note: These are available in mono only and Funky Frankenstein makes no claim to hi fidelity. That said, buyers have given positive reviews, noting the “lo-fi 60s vibe” of the lathe cut works great for the right type of music.

10 CT 10" Records With Plastic Sleeves

PROS

  • Clear plastic sleeves (labels $1/ea extra).
  • 10 mono 10” clear records from Funky Frankenstein (9:00 per side).

Funky Frankenstein also offers longer playing records, including this 10” package with up to 18 minutes of audio. For just $5 extra, you can add black and white labels, (or $10 for full color) so you can sell them as-is, or add an insert to the plastic sleeve for a classic LP look.

5 CT 12" Records With Cardstock Jackets

PROS

  • Clear plastic sleeves.
  • Full color center labels.
  • 5 mono 12” clear records from Funky Frankenstein (12:00 per side).

Last but not least, we have the most cost-effective way to print a short LP. Funky Frankenstein can provide up to 24 minutes of mono audio on a clear 12” record for just $16 a piece. Included are full color center labels and plastic sleeves. Sell them as-is, or buy separate cardstock jackets from Amazon for a more formal design.

Conclusion

Lathe cut services offer a new way to press cheap vinyl. They do this by skipping the taxing process of creating a metal stamper, and instead, record each record in real time.

As a result, lathe cut services are able to provide smaller runs -- as small as a single record. However, the cost per record can be somewhat high. If you’re interested in larger quantities, it will be cheaper per record to go with a traditional pressing service. Check out our alternate guide on the best short-run pressing services, which begins at 100 units for $895.

Vlad

I'm a 35-year-old rock-oriented professional musician from Belgrade, Serbia with 20 years of field experience in various areas of the music industry. After graduating from elementary music school I joined my first band Alogia in 2001 which had incredible initial success with the debut album and became one of the greatest Balkan heavy metal acts ever. We have recorded several studio and live albums and played as an opening act for Whitesnake, Apocalyptica, and Paul Di’Anno. Meanwhile, I got a chance to collaborate with Roland Planet shop and get familiar with various music equipment for more than a decade. For the last eight years, I have done live audio mixing for numerous bands and other live and studio events, including some TV audio mixing for national television broadcast as well. Currently, I’m playing keyboards for one of the most authentic Serbian music rock legends - Dr. Nele Karajlić, also known for his work with Zabranjeno Pušenje and No Smoking Orchestra.