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
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
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 12" Records (No Packaging)
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
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
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
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.
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.