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t_mike

Vinyl Flat - 2. Warp - 0.

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Posted (edited)

Having recently purchased a Vinyl Flat from SNA member @Ross B I finally got around to giving this a run. It came with the Groovy Bag heater which is the latest Sunbeam type. Being 110v I had to aquire a step down transformer, and decided to get a probe thermometer to keep trace of the temps. I had an Australian pressed record from the early 80's with an edge warp which raised the tonearm about 1cm at the edge, went about 3cm in and about a quarter of the way around the record. I installed the record as per the instructions and turned it on. I used the low setting to start with and obtained a temperature of about 110 deg. farenheit. The instructions recommended a temp. of between 130 - 150f so I turned the temp controller to medium. This brought the temp up to 135f, so this is where I left it for about 5 hours. When time was up everything was left to cool for about 8 hours. The result? 100% flat! Not even the slightest warp, and no sound degradation. I couldn't be happier with the results, and am considering keeping a log of sorts to keep tabs on the origin of the pressings and type of warp, and the success rate. Hopefully we can get to the point where there is no reason to overcook a record.

Edited by t_mike

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I got a bunch of warped records from moderate to severe so might have to invest in one.

 

Wouldn't it be great if SNA had on on a loaner program (user pays for shipping cost and maybe even a deposit & donation at the end), I know i'll be in....

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13 minutes ago, t_mike said:

The result? 100% flat! Not even the slightest warp, and no sound degradation. I couldn't be happier with the results, and am considering keeping a log of sorts to keep tabs on the origin of the pressings and type of warp, and the success rate. Hopefully we can get to the point where there is no reason to overcook a record.

wow ! thats fantastic !

 

do you provide a community service :D

 

but seriously this is great news.

 

can you post some pics of the contraption/s ?

 

and is it something that can be easily bought ?

 

when was a kid family records unfortunately were washed and left in sun to dry ! most thrown out, but some remain but too warped to play ! some havent been played in 40 years !

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The website address  http://www.vinylflat.com/

 

There's no way it will straighten a crinkle cut chip, so it won't be a miracle worker, but I am really surprised at how well it worked in this case. Everything I've read has stated records of Australian manufacture at around the same vintage were amoung the most difficult to flatten, this came out pretty much perfect. When holding the record up by hand it appears there may be a slight warp, but when on the platter it's perfect on both sides. The transformer I bought was $35 on ebay. I believe @soundfan has stated he bought the flattener because he was sick of sending new vinyl back. So basically, dealing with the warps. I'll post some photos later.

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Posted (edited)

Next up I have a reissue of Fred Neil - Sessions. This is a later reissue in 180 gm vinyl, a US press on the Capital. This album has a wave which is 2 up, then 2 down, so really quite bad. It also has surface noise due to distortion, so let's just call it junk. This makes it an ideal candidate for test purposes. I'll be happy if I can make it flat, let's see how it goes. First, some photos of the vinyl flat. It is basically 2 pieces of flat steel, the upper one a little thicker than the lower. A bolt runs through the centre to clamp them together with the record in between. There are 2 felt like mats which sit between the steel and the record. 

15238774732051974700000.jpg

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The pre cleaned record is placed on the lower plate/felt, and the top layer of the same is placed over and LIGHTLY snugged down with the wing nut.

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Now the assembly is placed in the heating pouch and switched on. I also place a probe thermometer into the fold of the pouch to keep an eye on the temps.

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15238783198171363515124.jpg

Edited by t_mike

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Are you sure you need a transformer? Mine came with this..

D9D6AAE2-EE52-4AAC-8B95-F94DFFE2E89E.thumb.jpeg.d37a616d8e586027f6d88878e9073fb7.jpeg

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Mine came with the same as Stump's but its the older style pouch without variable heat control.

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15 minutes ago, Stump said:

Are you sure you need a transformer? Mine came with this..

D9D6AAE2-EE52-4AAC-8B95-F94DFFE2E89E.thumb.jpeg.d37a616d8e586027f6d88878e9073fb7.jpeg

 

10 minutes ago, Citroen said:

Mine came with the same as Stump's but its the older style pouch without variable heat control.

As @Citroen said, later models have a variable control heater made by Sunbeam, and it is direct 110v. I bought a 500 watt transformer as it may come in handy for powering something else. ;)

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being able to flatten records is almost mandatory in in this age of POS 180gm vinyl that seem to have dishing, mainly due to poor QC in some of the record plants.

 

  Great to see Vinyl Flat is continuing to provide a cheaper alternative to expensive record flatteners.

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The temp guage is sitting between 145 and 149, so I'll leave the temp setting where it is until morning, then switch it off and leave all day to cool while I'm at work. 

 

1523882131912123015467.jpg

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Update: I just edited the title, and for good reason. Record 2 is 99% flat. Further to that, the distortion in sound due to the warp has been reduced to the point where it is quite listenable. There is crackling on the lead in on side 2 which is so limited in area, but so pronounced, it has to be warp distortion. It stops when the music starts. Side 1 has a deep thump which can be heard in really quiet passages for the first track only. All of the wooshing noise that was evident prior to flattening has gone. This one has gone from being a placemat (if you don't mind your plate wobbling), to a keeper. So far I give the Vinyl Flat a big thumbs up. You don't have to save too many records for it to pay for itself, and that has to be a positive. 

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I think I need to get one of these myself, have a few records that need to be flatten..

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@Bass13 put out an add as I did to see if someone local has one they wish to sell. They are weighty, and post will cost. Otherwise, they are only available direct from Vinyl Flat as far as I know. 

 

www.vinylflat.com

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