Cascade Record Pressing Tour

Last year (April 8th 2019) while visiting contributing editor Malachi Lui in Portland, we paid a visit to Cascade Record Pressing in nearly Milwaukie, Oregon. For one reason or another the tour video never posted, until now.

Mr. Lui, now 14, has gruesome since last year and did not want to be seen or heard as he appeared and sounded last year so you will see and hear a few oddities in this video tour conducted for us by Jeff Truhn, Cascade Record Pressing's Maintenance Chief.

The pressing plant is located in a small industrial complex in what was formerly a Yellow Pages repository. The presses themselves are Hydramold, made by Tracy Valve in New Jersey and according to Mr. Truhn, are most often referred to as "Miller" presses, after the family that owns or owned the company. The presses, fitted with Hamilton automation, came from Hub-Servall in New Jersey, a pressing plant that became operational in 1970.

As you'll see, Cascade runs a clean, tidy operation that caters mostly to indie bands in need of small runs of fewer than 1000 records, though they've done some big jobs as well. Cascade has but one 180 gram press. The photo at the top shows the press about to close. You can see the spindle on which is the "biscuit" and labels. Above and below, clearly visible are the two stampers.

Enjoy the tour!

shawnwes's picture

You could see the wheels turning as to how to answer you. Overall a great video Michael.

mraudioguru's picture

...thanks! I've been fortunate and lucky enough to visit several pressing plants, (and a couple of mastering & plating). This is a very decent smaller company!

lol..."gruesome" :-)

shawnwes's picture

Where do you trolls hide during the day? Under the bridge?

Tom L's picture

...made from old CD jewel boxes under the bridge. Wraps himself in a blanket woven from ancient copies of ICE whilst listening to troll podcasts.

JEB-42's picture

Intended or not, very funny!

Michael Fremer's picture
Play on words!
JEB-42's picture

I had hoped it was intentional. It was funny for all the reasons I had hoped! Cheers!

Mikey2's picture

Thanks Mikey,
For providing videos to YouTube for me and my wife.
I look forward to every video you put out because i know I learn something and also will be intertained.
I would like to see a video of you hanging out in your office/listening room to listen to something different or hear little known facts of a recording. thanks for continuing your work through these difficult times.

richiep's picture

Better late than never! Great to see the ingenuity that America was built on. Search your shelves for maybe some other great passed over visits we all would (really need) at this time. I called on manufacturing companies throughout NJ in the 80's & 90's (mostly gone now thanks NAFTA) and one of my customers was looking for a larger manufacturing facility and looked at the closed pressing plant in Rockaway, NJ, huge with presses left as their last record was pressed. No one would contract unless all was removed, they were offering a substantial credit to dispose of the rows of pressing stations and associated equipment, no one cared, how times change if we only knew. Thanks Mikey more content please.

Michael Fremer's picture
You'd called me back then! I'd have at least visited to take pictures!
richiep's picture

It was like an equipment graveyard, they couldn't move away from that medium fast enough. The Presses were left in every state of condition and its operating process which i'm sure made any recovery much more difficult. One bright idea was to dig a big hole in back of the building by the rows of loading docks and just bulldoze everything into them! Another solution for an easy way out, all the best.

Eskisi's picture

As audiophiles some of us sweat over the exact amount of copper or silver in cables, seek subtle changes in sound from any little change to a system.

Yet, as this video shows, the actual making of records is a brutal, primitive process. It involves tons of pressure, heat and steam, not much different than how those avocado green melamine plates were made in the 60s.