Warped vinyl

Hi, I am interested to know peoples take on warped vinyl. I have purchased 3 copies of christine McVie songbird limited edition seafoam from HMV. All 3 have been warped, the last one was from a store 100 miles away. Is it possible to just be unlucky 3 times or is there a bad batch going around?
Many thanks :+1:

Is it so badly warped that it’s unplayable on your LP12?

I’m not condoning warped records, just wondering if the LP is so warped that it’s unplayable. I find that the best thing to do sometimes is to just wait for a few months, hope that the record company sorts out the problem, then try again.

If you’ve tried three times and failed each time, you may be in what can now be called an ‘Animals situation’!

It is playable but if it cost £5 then I would probably put up with it. But the first 2 cost £35 and the third one £24. Basically the quality control department are not checking the product.

1 Like

I’ve had many problems with that retailer so I don’t use them anymore. I buy new from various eBay sellers and have had no problems in the last couple of years.

1 Like

I have no experience of QC in the record industry, but I have had cause to watch confectionery, coins, newspapers and other consumer products being made on production lines.

Essentially, the manufacturer will pull sufficient products off the conveyor belts (or whatever) to check that all is well. If all looks good, the lines roll, but if problems are spotted, the lines are slowed down or stopped altogether. Any stoppage costs money, so management tries to avoid it.

It’s clear, in retrospect, that the QC people in the ‘Animals’ pressing plant weren’t up to the job.

You may be the victim of something similar.

“How it’s made”? :grinning:

If that’s the TV programme, then Yes.

Except that I was usually looking at production lines after things had gone wrong in the manufacturing process, trying to understand what was supposed to happen, and why that hadn’t happened.

1 Like

I’ve come to accept that some new records will be warped. I generally use a device called Vinyl Flat to remove slight warps. It is not a quick process but the Vinyl Flat does work and is usually easier that returning warped disks to the store for replacement (whether a high street or online retailer).

1 Like

I buy a lot of new vinyl and honestly perfectly flat vinyl appears to be the exception more than the rule.

But there is warp and warp I guess. If it’s mildly warped I just accept and play it. Otherwise it will be an endless return cycle.

Pressing defects are more problematic IMHO. And that seems to be very prevalent as well. I’d rather had a clean sounding slightly warped record than returning and ending up with something more flat that had nasty pops and clicks in place.

3 Likes

An old way of removing warps was to put the LP (in its protective inner paper/plastic sleeve) between two heavy sheets of glass, big enough to envelop the record, and leave it for some hours in a sun-drenched space.

I don’t know if that’s still considered a good way to try to fix a warped LP.

1 Like

Yeah it makes sense. But, at the risk of sounding like a heretic, I am ok with some warp of it works.

I know the thought process is that warped vinyl will put more force on the cantilever leading to premature wear but I’m about a third of the lifespan into mine and it’s sounding as good as ever.

So even if it cuts down the lifetime a bit I’d pay that cost to conserve my sanity in messing with every other record I buy.

Personally I think a mild warp does absolutely no harm though. But I am no seasoned expert in this so if I have to come back in a year or five with another opinion I reserve the right to that right now haha

This is true, but I get a bit ‘OCDish’ about warped records, and like to see them as flat as possible (and ideally, perfectly flat) on the platter.

I suspect that I’m not alone in that respect.

I also think that storing the LPs quite tightly, and upright, on my glass shelves must help keep them in shape.

2 Likes

I purchased a copy from HMV Truro this week, it was absolutely perfect apart from being full of static… quick wash on the RCM and all fine.

1 Like

Yeah no doubt. And also not saying that is perhaps not the best way to go about it. But for me it started bordering on worrying more about record flatness than enjoying the music. Since I abandoned that I have much more enjoyment. Hey if the warp is extreme it goes right back for sure. But any mild warp I just live with.

We probably all have different levels at which OCD kicks in with regard to record storage.

Some, perhaps, not at all - and I’m not sure if that would be a blessing or a curse.

1 Like

I have been using the Sota Reflex Record Clamp for years and that takes care of any warped vinyl.

Given the price of Vinyl now, warping should not be accepted. Neither should dishing.

Send Them Back.

4 Likes

If I thought that there was even a reasonable prospect of getting back an improved copy for any LP that I returned, I would send back LPs far more often than I do.

It wasn’t always so. I don’t remember having to take back many LPs at all to the red-haired manager in Blackwell’s Music Shop in Oxford in the mid-1970s. I do remember him as an extraordinarily grumpy individual, and I would certainly remember having to make complaints to him!

(If, by any mischance he’s reading this all these years later, a Very Happy New Year to you, sir!)

No, I think that the (no doubt brown-coated) artisans who used to work in the record pressing plants have died out, and been replaced by a spotty bunch of Darrens and Kevins who don’t have a scooby! That’s a great shame, but time marches on.

Suppose I will just have to put up with it and not look at the record playing, otherwise I will get seasick :joy:

2 Likes

Well, badly warped records can cause audible “warp wow” and can actually damage the cantilever of the cartridge. I don’t play anything that could be categorized as “badly warped” - I just get a used CD or download a FLAC file and be done with it.