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"How to create a sustainable future for vinyl"

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  • "How to create a sustainable future for vinyl"

    An informative article...appropriate, since more new lps of recent purchase have played with excessive surface noise, especially from Blue Note. With the price of some records reaching into the low $20.00 range, quality control is of essential importance. These prices, of course, do not include the audiophile releases that may top the $40-50 mark.

    Avalon Time, Walker Proscenium, Koetsu Coralstone, Air Tight PC-1 Supreme, Goldfinger Statement, Dalby record weight, Kondo KSL-SFz step-up, Jadis JP80-MC...heavily modified, Convergent Audio JL-2 Black Path, Sony NS999 ES Modwright modded, full loom High Fidelity Ultimate cables, Rel S-5 sub, Stillpoints ultra and 5's, Shun Mook, Dalby footers, Critical Mass bases, Acoustic System Resonators, Magnum Dynalab Etude, Telefunkens throughout, assorted fuses, Furutech outlets, PurePower conditioner.

  • #2
    I thought the topic would be more about "green" than the bottle necks of manufacture and QC. That said (not a Prius driver), I believe most of the compounding is done off shore viz the U.S., which I presume occurred due to EPA, OSHA and a host of other regulations that made it difficult to make here. Until the Rebirth of Vinyl tm , most of the plastics business had nothing to do with records. Think about all that plastic plumbing pipe that is used in construction today. Used to be copper or other metals. Not saying plastic is good or bad, but the needs of vinyl enthusiasts are probably not first on the list of the large entities that actually make the stuff. I suspect that, like raw hamburger custom made with different proportions of ingredients for restaurants (all those places in NYC that claim to have their own proprietary burger are made by the same couple of meat processors, who just add or mix the ingredients in different proportions per the spec of the restaurant), I suspect that if you place a big enough order, you can have some better quality compound.
    Is the quality of the plastic used by Chad any better than the stuff used by RTI?
    One thing I do notice is that the newer MoFi seems to have a better handle on QC of the finished product than some other companies, but I don't know that this has anything to do with the vinyl compound itself. (Perhaps they spec a special mix, they are, like Chad, certainly in a position to buy sufficient quantities).
    A lot of the defects I see on newer vinyl (and that is really a small proportion of what I buy) look like shoddy manufacturing or handling.
    Also, some of the pressings from the Euro plants are pretty good, in terms of surfaces- the downside is often the source material used for the mastering.
    I tried to dig down pretty deeply into the formulation of the compounds at one point and hit a wall for a variety of reasons- proprietary issues, cultural issues-- who's asking and why?, and the fact that vinyl LPs are such a tiny fraction of the output of the big offshore vinyl compound suppliers that there is little incentive to address the issue. (Again, I go back to the reason why some of this stuff got off-shored to begin with).


    • Bill Hart
      Bill Hart commented
      Editing a comment
      I figured as much. And do either claim that they use any kind of special formulation made to their spec? Does MoFi (which presses at RTI?)

    • Rob
      Rob commented
      Editing a comment
      AFAIK each pressing plant has their own recipe combing virgin pellets with reground vinyl. this seems counter intuitive, but pure virgin vinyl does not produce a perfectly playing record. that's were the 'art' and experience plays the largest role.

    • Bill Hart
      Bill Hart commented
      Editing a comment
      Oh well, so much for the virgin hype.

  • #3
    These two answers for me hit the nail on the head on - quality . Already you read through various qeb sires and in general people are sick of the poor quality of new pressings. US pressing plants in general are the biggest problem.

    What do you consider the biggest threat first to Viryl Technologies and then more generally to the vinyl industry at large?

    The biggest threat for us is that the quality standard does not improve in the industry as a whole. Currently there is a massive quality problem in vinyl manufacturing. If the industry does not react to this and make steps to improve these issues people will lose interest in the format. If someone is going to spend $30 on a record in comparison to streaming, or other very, very cheap options, it better be pristine…

    What do you consider to be the most important step that needs to be taken in order to create a more sustainable future for vinyl?

    Manufacturing. Not just the pressing of records, but also quality plating and cutting. There is room for improvement across all 3 steps of making a vinyl record. This industry is beginning to catch up but there is still a lot of work to do.


    • #4
      If anyone sees a similar article about the future of cd's, please post away
      Front End: Vitus SCD-025 Mk2, Oppo BPD-103 Amp: Vitus SIA-025 Speakers: Magico S5 Mk2 Isolation: Taoc ASR series racks, Taoc SCB-RS-HC50G, Stillpoints Ultra 6's + Bases/Mini's/LPI's AC Power: Furutech GTX-D(G), Gigawatt PC-3 SE Evo, Jorma Prime pc's (re-terminated with cryo'd Oyaide M1/F1’s), Jorma Unity pc (re-terminated with Oyaide P-004/C-004’s) Cables: Jorma Prime xlr's + Statement sc's, Siltech Classic Anniversary rca's + HDMI Tweaks: Acoustic Revive (various), Akiko E-tuning Gold MkII


      • #5
        You hear it everywhere - the medium itself is the weakest link. Bill and Shane seem on the mark. My understanding has the number of vinyl pellet providers as few and the quality as variable. The pellet formula continually goes through changes over time as regulators continue controlling what substances are allowed and verboten. Eg., Cadmium (Cd) was used as part of the mold release formula.

        I don't know if there is competition for pellets among the major pressing houses but it wouldn't be surprising. Or any effort to band together to create larger volume pellet order that can be customized/tailored for vinyl records. But the crux of the biscuit is the quality (to paraphrase FZ). Low quality vinyl can kill all following efforts at perfection. As long as some manufacturers believe the Rebirth of Vinyl tm is temporary and best to make the profit now and quickly they may self fulfill their own prophecy. Typically resellers are unable to return shoddy releases to manufacturers which keeps prices high. AP/QRP, Speakers Corner, and Impex seem to do a good job.

        ... and concentricity.
        Spkr: Wilson Alexias series 2; Amps: Lamm M1.2Ref; Linestage and phono: ARC Ref 10 and ARC Ref 10 Phono; TT: GPA Monaco 2.0; Arms: Kuzma 4Point, Tri-planar Mk. VII U2-SE; Cartridges: Allnic Arrow/Puritas, Benz LP S, Lyra Etna, Transfiguration Phoenix, Denon DL-A100,DL103R; Cables: Shunyata Σ / Σ NR PC/SC/IC; Pwr Cond: Shunyata Triton III, Typhons(3); Isolation: SRA Scuttle3 rack, SRA Ohio Class amp stands, ; Acoustics: Stillpoints Apertures; Audio cat: Finzi


        • #6
          Looks like the re-birth of vinyl is complete. Check out this article about vinyl quality from 1975. Starts on page 12 - Behind The Scenes.
          Tape: Teac X-1000R, Teac 40-4, Pioneer RT-1050
          Vinyl: Technics SL-1310, Dual CS-506, Dual 1219, AR XA
          Amps: Apt Holman preamp, APT-1 power amp, Technics SU-7300, Marantz 2220B
          Speakers: Large Advent, Advent Model 1
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