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n8tron's picture
Last seen: 6 years 10 months ago
Joined: Jul 30 2008 - 5:18pm
bad vinyl pressings and Rega P1 question

are bad vinyl pressings pretty common? I don't have a huge collection, but have started buying more LPs lately. So far I've had a few that are not performing very well. One is extremely scratchy and distorted on the "outside" songs, then gets fine toward the middle.

Another LP I noticed intense pitch ...warbling, as if my turntable was turning at an inconsistent speed. I never have this problem with any other records so I looked at the vinyl while it was spinning and I noticed the stylus and arm moving horizontally quite a bit...maybe half an inch per rotation. As if this side of the record was printed off center or something...

Are these common things? I'm wondering if I should request a new LP from the label or what...

On another note (hate to hijack my own thread) but I also noticed my Rega P1's platter has a bit more wavy motion than I thought it would have. Is this common? It doesn't seem to affect the sound any that I can tell.

judicata's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Jun 26 2008 - 11:55am
Re: bad vinyl pressings and Rega P1 question

First, yes, there are bad pressings. Sometimes bad recordings. In the case of a bad pressing, if the SQ is affected, I generally return it. It happens more than I'd like, but not more than 10% of the time (although it seems I get bad runs sometimes). If the warbling (probably wow and flutter) is consistent on the same record (i.e. happens at the same parts) each time you play it, and it doesn't affect all records, it is probably not your TT (at least not primarily). If there is some wow on your TT, it may just be accentuated on certain records. If it is a new P1, any speed stability issues should NOT be clearly audible. Also, few records are perfectly flat and they are usually okay, but if your cart is bouncing up and down or you can hear a difference, then you should replace it.

Second, the subplatter (which I think is ceramic/plastic composite of some sort like it is on the P2) will usually be very, very slightly imperfect. They are made with molds that have small, but noticeable tolerances. If it affects the sound quality, or is very visible, you should return it or seek a new subplatter (it is more likely to be off than the actual platter, but YMMV). But usually it is okay. You may want to measure it by placing a ruler next to the subplatter and seeing how much lower/higher it gets as it spins.

rvance's picture
Last seen: 4 years 2 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2007 - 9:58am
Re: bad vinyl pressings and Rega P1 question

Good advice, judicata- and to chime in with my own 2 cents, Yes- bad pressings abound. Just opened up my limited edition "Cold Fact" by Rodriguez. Nice big warp that gives my arm/cartridge a good workout and a center hole so small it requires HEAVY prying to remove. Amazon had it discounted at $30. I guess those are just the cold facts. Ouch.

Counterpoint- Picked up a "Best Of Cannonball" Adderley for free from a co-worker who was given 20 absolutely classic jazz records from the '50's and '60's. Unfortunately only this one and a Jimmy Smith title were salvageable out of the bunch.

Because of a mixed bag of re-issue engineering quality only 2 cuts were outstanding- but they are so dynamic and clean it made my whole day. Little discoveries like that make it all worthwhile to me.

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