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  • Record Flatteners

    Who owns one. Did you think it was worth it. I am talking about the ORB or Furutech flatteners. Yes they are expensive.

  • #2
    I know Mike Levigne has one. Personally the cost of the machine vs replacement of the lp dosn't add up, besides the record has to be significantly warped to cause a problem for me.

    David
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    Comment


    • Johnny Vinyl
      Johnny Vinyl commented
      Editing a comment
      I agree! Warpage is not really an issue for me at all (maybe I'm just lucky). And through the years as I've come across one, they were easily replaced.

  • #3
    I have the Furutech DF-2 which I recently acquired, so I don't have years of experience with it (yet). Some records- once and done. A few weren't fixed by a single heat and cooling cycle, but I am reliably informed by other long time users that repeated sessions (not necessarily back to back, but over time) will make a difference. I like the build quality and the one button operation. Will it cure all ills?- probably not, but so far, so good- worth it? Depends, I guess on the extent of your collection, the degree to which you are willing to budget for this item, which in my estimation, is a luxury item (though a necessary one in some form). For example, I have a somewhat recent soundtrack, pressed once in a batch of one thousand copies, with a small batch reissue. The record cost 40 bucks and arrived warped as a potato chip. It was sold out. Out of print copies, when they are offered, are now asking $500. One pass didn't fix this badly warped copy but improved one side considerably. I think old, long warped records may be more problematic than newish warped records, given the vinyl's 'memory', but can't really give you any solid info on what records get fixed more easily than others. Happy to report my progress once I've had more experience with the unit over a variety of records. The Furutech is an ORB, just rebadged. There are three models as far as I know, the 1, which is/was sold under the Airtight brand in the States, the 2, which is sold as a Furutech here, and the 3, which as far as i know, is not retailed in the States.

    Comment


    • #4
      I'm using the ORB DF-1i and I find it indispensable for the reasons Bill cites and because I'm sensitive to warp-wow even tho my 'tables have adequate clamping systems. It has paid for itself just in the vinyl I have already restored.
      Simon Yorke S10 | My Sonic Lab Eminent GL | AcousticPlan PhonoMaster | Wadia X32 | Innuous ZEN Mini Mk II | Valvet Soulshine2 | Linear Tube Audio ZOTL10 MkII | Avantgarde Uno Fino XD

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      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by Bill Hart View Post
        I have the Furutech DF-2 which I recently acquired, so I don't have years of experience with it (yet). Some records- once and done. A few weren't fixed by a single heat and cooling cycle, but I am reliably informed by other long time users that repeated sessions (not necessarily back to back, but over time) will make a difference. I like the build quality and the one button operation. Will it cure all ills?- probably not, but so far, so good- worth it? Depends, I guess on the extent of your collection, the degree to which you are willing to budget for this item, which in my estimation, is a luxury item (though a necessary one in some form). For example, I have a somewhat recent soundtrack, pressed once in a batch of one thousand copies, with a small batch reissue. The record cost 40 bucks and arrived warped as a potato chip. It was sold out. Out of print copies, when they are offered, are now asking $500. One pass didn't fix this badly warped copy but improved one side considerably. I think old, long warped records may be more problematic than newish warped records, given the vinyl's 'memory', but can't really give you any solid info on what records get fixed more easily than others. Happy to report my progress once I've had more experience with the unit over a variety of records. The Furutech is an ORB, just rebadged. There are three models as far as I know, the 1, which is/was sold under the Airtight brand in the States, the 2, which is sold as a Furutech here, and the 3, which as far as i know, is not retailed in the States.

        A lot depends on the table design (neglecting the album weight, when it was made, etc.):

        1) Has no clamping system
        2) Just a center weight
        3) Center weight and ring clamp
        4) Vacuum hold down

        I fall into group 3 and warpage is only an issue with those records that aren't exactly 12-inches. Classic Records and the original paper thin TBM albums seem especially prone to warpage, being less than 12-inches in diameter and not being able to flatten out the album. But even some of the early Analogue Productions, take my favorite 45 rpm Poll Winners 3 album, is less than 12-inches. But luckily it's not warped.

        Personally, I don't know how anyone who falls into category one and sometimes two, deals with record warps. Especially if they listen to rock albums that weren't particularly known for their Q/C.

        Has anyone tried this less expensive alternative? This is an old video and there have been improvement to the product including its own heating pouch.



        http://www.vinylflat.com/index.html
        Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
        Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
        ________________________________________

        -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
        -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
        -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
        -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
        -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
        -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
        -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
        -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
        -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
        -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

        Comment


        • #6
          Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post


          A lot depends on the table design (neglecting the album weight, when it was made, etc.):

          1) Has no clamping system
          2) Just a center weight
          3) Center weight and ring clamp
          4) Vacuum hold down

          I fall into group 3 and warpage is only an issue with those records that aren't exactly 12-inches. Classic Records and the original paper thin TBM albums seem especially prone to warpage, being less than 12-inches in diameter and not being able to flatten out the album. But even some of the early Analogue Productions, take my favorite 45 rpm Poll Winners 3 album, is less than 12-inches. But luckily it's not warped.

          Personally, I don't know how anyone who falls into category one and sometimes two, deals with record warps. Especially if they listen to rock albums that weren't particularly known for their Q/C.

          Has anyone tried this less expensive alternative? This is an old video and there have been improvement to the product including its own heating pouch.



          http://www.vinylflat.com/index.html
          Yes, I have the Vinyl Flat and Groovy Pouch (the heated bag you use to control temp rather than use an oven) and have had some success. It is not only more labor intensive, but requires that you incrementally apply more heat in repeated cycles to avoid causing problems with the vinyl. So, you may start at 2.5 hours heat, and after cool down, find that it really didn't do anything; you then go to 3 or 3.5 hours heat and see what happens, etc. (Note that the Furutech apparently is not a 'once and done' proposition either, so this factor, alone doesn't necessarily justify the cost difference between the Orbs and the VF/GP). One issue with the VF/GP is that if you have successfully flattened a record, by say, heating it for 5 hours- that really isn't a benchmark for the next record- different vinyl, different warp problem, age of warp, etc. So, you start all over. There are a number of folks on the SHoffman fora who have had great success with the VF/GP, and have tweaked it, adding binder clamps along the outer rim to put edge warps under greater pressure. There is also the degree to which you torque the nut that 'clamps' the two plates together. I never really torqued the nut, because the plates are heavy, and some users reported orange peel effects, which may have been a combination of overheating plus too much torque on the clamping nut. The VF/GP is a great product for the money if you are patient, and willing to keep working on a record.
          It's funny- I will take the time to clean a record- using multiple steps, machines, rinses, etc. but the idea of fiddling with heat and vinyl scared me. The VF/GP essentially heats the entire surface, whereas the ORBs, as I understand it, heat the rim and center. I figured that might be more prudent, but honestly, given my very cautious, incremental heating approach to the VF/GP, I never experienced orange peel or any other damage to a record.
          FWIW, I helped a guy out who had a valuable record- we cleaned it, then ran it through one cycle of the Furutech- 2.5 hours heat/2 hours cool. It did not fix the problem which was a deep edge warp affecting the first two minutes of play on both sides. The record's owner had told me he had experimented with heat already --not sure he used any sort of machine-- but I loaned him the VF/GP to take home. He has been whacking away --I think he did 4 heat/cool down cycles so far, and has improved the record, using binder clamps and other 'tweaks.' I just don't have that kind of patience.
          Some of the records not 'fixed' by a single run through the Furutech will get a further treatment--i'm told by other users that you give it a little time, and try again (not back to back heating and cooling cycles).* I like the one button convenience of the Furutech and am interested to see how effective it is across the board- it has 'fixed' several records in a single cycle. BTW, even the records it doesn't 'fix' in a single pass get way flatter, they just won't play cleanly. Some may simply be unfixable. You are messing with a groove path in a kind of "gross" (read: large) way. I could write more, but I think you get the gist.

          *N.B. The Furutech owner's manual says only run the machine once on the record, that repeated cycles won't do anything and may damage the record. I have been reliably informed otherwise by longtime users of the Orb machines.
          Last edited by Bill Hart; 03-15-2016, 12:55 PM.

          Comment


          • Barry
            Barry commented
            Editing a comment
            I have the Vinyl Flat too and agree with you. It's fiddly and you're never sure if you're overdoing it. I did multiple cycles on a heavier record with an edge warp and couldn't fix it much. Didn't think to try clamps on the edges of it which sounds promising. Summary: not bad; not great; not expensive.

        • #7
          Originally posted by Bill Hart View Post

          Yes, I have the Vinyl Flat and Groovy Pouch (the heated bag you use to control temp rather than use an oven) and have had some success. It is not only more labor intensive, but requires that you incrementally apply more heat in repeated cycles to avoid causing problems with the vinyl. So, you may start at 2.5 hours heat, and after cool down, find that it really didn't do anything; you then go to 3 or 3.5 hours heat and see what happens, etc. (Note that the Furutech apparently is not a 'once and done' proposition either, so this factor, alone doesn't necessarily justify the cost difference between the Orbs and the VF/GP). One issue with the VF/GP is that if you have successfully flattened a record, by say, heating it for 5 hours- that really isn't a benchmark for the next record- different vinyl, different warp problem, age of warp, etc. So, you start all over. There are a number of folks on the SHoffman fora who have had great success with the VF/GP, and have tweaked it, adding binder clamps along the outer rim to put edge warps under greater pressure. There is also the degree to which you torque the nut that 'clamps' the two plates together. I never really torqued the nut, because the plates are heavy, and some users reported orange peel effects, which may have been a combination of overheating plus too much torque on the clamping nut. The VF/GP is a great product for the money if you are patient, and willing to keep working on a record.
          It's funny- I will take the time to clean a record- using multiple steps, machines, rinses, etc. but the idea of fiddling with heat and vinyl scared me. The VF/GP essentially heats the entire surface, whereas the ORBs, as I understand it, heat the rim and center. I figured that might be more prudent, but honestly, given my very cautious, incremental heating approach to the VF/GP, I never experienced orange peel or any other damage to a record.
          FWIW, I helped a guy out who had a valuable record- we cleaned it, then ran it through one cycle of the Furutech- 2.5 hours heat/2 hours cool. It did not fix the problem which was a deep edge warp affecting the first two minutes of play on both sides. The record's owner had told me he had experimented with heat already --not sure he used any sort of machine-- but I loaned him the VF/GP to take home. He has been whacking away --I think he did 4 heat/cool down cycles so far, and has improved the record, using binder clamps and other 'tweaks.' I just don't have that kind of patience.
          Some of the records not 'fixed' by a single run through the Furutech will get a further treatment--i'm told by other users that you give it a little time, and try again (not back to back heating and cooling cycles).* I like the one button convenience of the Furutech and am interested to see how effective it is across the board- it has 'fixed' several records in a single cycle. BTW, even the records it doesn't 'fix' in a single pass get way flatter, they just won't play cleanly. Some may simply be unfixable. You are messing with a groove path in a kind of "gross" (read: large) way. I could write more, but I think you get the gist.

          *N.B. The Furutech owner's manual says only run the machine once on the record, that repeated cycles won't do anything and may damage the record. I have been reliably informed otherwise by longtime users of the Orb machines.
          Thanks so much Bill. Great info!
          Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
          Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
          ________________________________________

          -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
          -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
          -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
          -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
          -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
          -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
          -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
          -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
          -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
          -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

          Comment


          • #8
            I have had the Air Tight flattener for quite a few years. Works great on dish warps, the most common ones I see. Not very good on edge warps (the ones with ripples on the edge). I found the many of the records I buy in boxs have dish warps. Having a collection of 15,000 records means that I have used my flattener quite a bit - certainly has more than paid for its high cost. If you live in the Bay Area, I would be happy to lend you the flattener for a few weeks.

            Larry
            Analog- VPIClassic3-3DArm,SoundsmithZephyrII+MiyajimaZeroMono, 2xAmpex ATR-102,Doshi3.0,Merrill Trident Master Tape Pre,Herron VTPH-2A
            Dig Rip-Pyramix,IzotopeRX3Adv,Mykerinos,PacMicroModel2
            Dig Play-mchNADAC, LampiPac, Roon, HQP, Oppo105
            Electronics-Doshi Pre,CJ MET1mchPre, Cary2A3monoamps
            Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR
            Other-2x512Engineer/Marutani Symmetrical Power, AudioDiskVinylCleaner,AirTightRecordFlat, Scott Rust Interconnects,
            Music-15KRecs(90%classical),1.3KR2Rtapes,50TBrips

            Comment


            • MylesBAstor
              MylesBAstor commented
              Editing a comment
              Interesting comment about dish warps. Not necessarily my experience, though have seen a lot of box set dish warps. Like the new single step MOFIs. Box sets maybe comprise the majority but not exclusively. I found some of the Classic 45 rpms has dish warps. Take the 45 rpm S&G. Could have used it as a fruit bowl when not playing.

          • #9
            As I do not have as large a collection as some, nor as large a bank account I went decidedly cave man. Two 3/8" plates of glass, two sheets of fine white paper from an artists pad with circle cut out in the center to match the labels. Do not use printer paper which is impregnated with diatomaceous earth. A long preheat of the oven to 200 degrees confirmed by two thermometers, one an instrument grade thermocouple with leads to the exterior meter. Take the temperature at the rack in the location the record and glass will sit on. DO NOT allow direct radiant heat, use something like a very large cookie sheet on the next rack down if using the bottom element bake setting. Takes a few hours and removed some egregious warps. Let the whole assembly sit until cool, just turn off the oven and open the door. Don't even move it until cool to the touch.

            It was either this or toss the records. It wasn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination but it sure helped. And if you try, your mileage may vary. Start with a not valuable record and experiment. DO NOT start with something irreplaceable. As a matter of fact, if you have an irreplaceable valuable record, find someone with the high speed low drag commercial flattener to use. Seriously.

            I think that was enough disclaimers and warnings but let me reinforce that, you're on your own. If you burn down your house don't come crying to me.

            Comment


            • #10
              Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
              Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
              ________________________________________

              -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
              -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
              -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
              -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
              -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
              -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
              -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
              -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
              -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
              -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

              Comment


              • #11
                I got a 1988 unopened Charlie Brown Christmas and its warped. Has a lot of jumps. Would anyone be willing to flatten if for me. It does not look that bad, but its not good. I think it is a good candidate. Thanks

                P.S. I have had a couple Charlie Brown Christmas as well as the CD. This version has lead lines on side 2 that are not the usual I am accustomed too. They are interesting.
                PAP Trio 15 Horn speakers, Audion Black Shadow monoblocks, First Sound Audio Mark 3SI Paramount preamp,
                Mojo Audio Deja Vu server, Mojo Audio Mystique V3 DAC, STST Motus II TT, Vertere SG1 arm, Hanna ML, Allnic H1201 Phono pre, The Linear Solution Ethernet Switch, LPS to Modem Router and Switch, Blue Jeans Ethernet cabling throughout network, Akiko Corelli, Custom power strip direct wired to panel with OFC copper wire.10 awg dedicated branch circuits to amps bolted to power cords. Significant upgrades to 120 volt main power panel. Inakustik Ref Air 2404 Speaker cable. Genesis and Inakustik NF2404 Air Interconnects. ADDPower Symphony and Electraclear.

                Comment


                • Spla'nin
                  Spla'nin commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Some audio dealers or local audiophile club in your area may be willing to help (plus a great service/sales magnet if you are one). I do know Kitsap Audio does and has a Furutech that they have shared in the past with their vinyl oriented customers. He had an interesting used vinyl inventory for sale also when I was there last time.

              • #12
                Rex- if you send me an email: [email protected], I can coordinate with you, happy to give it a shot on the Furutech. Since my earlier posts here on the subject, I've had more time to use it. One thing I've found is that for thinner records, I use a shorter heat duration, and that seems to work better- the record will play without some of the negatives I've experienced, though it may not be perfectly flat.
                Just be aware that it is not a foolproof solution. If the record isn't profoundly warped to the naked eye, but skips, it may not be just warps, but some defects in the groove path that flattening won't salvage.
                Is this a valuable record? I have no idea....

                Comment


                • #13
                  Thanks. I appreciate any help. Its not valuable so no need to worry if it melts.
                  PAP Trio 15 Horn speakers, Audion Black Shadow monoblocks, First Sound Audio Mark 3SI Paramount preamp,
                  Mojo Audio Deja Vu server, Mojo Audio Mystique V3 DAC, STST Motus II TT, Vertere SG1 arm, Hanna ML, Allnic H1201 Phono pre, The Linear Solution Ethernet Switch, LPS to Modem Router and Switch, Blue Jeans Ethernet cabling throughout network, Akiko Corelli, Custom power strip direct wired to panel with OFC copper wire.10 awg dedicated branch circuits to amps bolted to power cords. Significant upgrades to 120 volt main power panel. Inakustik Ref Air 2404 Speaker cable. Genesis and Inakustik NF2404 Air Interconnects. ADDPower Symphony and Electraclear.

                  Comment


                  • #14
                    I’ve been thinking about one for a while but looking at some of the records. Problem is the problem warpage (and which type???) or being pressed off center? Some of the records giving me a headache tracking with the VPI ring clamp—especially surprisingly some of these MMJ pressings—are scarily off center. Yes the ring clamp has been around the block a few times being close to 15 or more years old and could be the culprit and not doing its job with warps. But the ring clamp isn’t doing much on the new MOFI UCD1s, two of which have real dish warps. It really seems like RTI Q/C isn’t what it should be.

                    I recently saw an ORB on eBay up for bid that was part of an estate sale. Some lucky person got it for $600. Just not sure about investing the money when there’s no guarantee it will always-or even being less demanding—90% of the time.
                    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                    ________________________________________

                    -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                    -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                    -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                    Comment


                    • #15
                      I still worry about slight groove deformation from the heat/melting. I have no direct experience however.
                      Christian
                      System Gear

                      Comment

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