Off center records driving me crazy!

name that tune
hoolio
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Re: Off center records driving me crazy!!

Post by hoolio » 17 Aug 2016 08:38

You don't say what turntable you have and I'm wondering if the arm and cartridge match is good. A high compliance cartridge on a heavy arm might cause problems and pitch instability would not help.
I find that most records are off centre to some degree but I can't hear anything untoward, I don't have the best hearing any more. (sigh)
Pressing plants are flat out and I too are disappointed with paper sleeves, scuffs and hand prints on new pressings.
On a lighter note someone said to me 'cheer up things could be worse' so I cheered up and things got worse!

lintwind
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Re: Off center records driving me crazy!!

Post by lintwind » 18 Aug 2016 20:38

Maybe, as a cheap solution, if you have a turntable with adjustable arm height (like Technics SL-1200 and variants) you can get a very thick mat (thicker than the height of the spindle) and raise the tonearm height to the max (keeping the VTA as close as possibly recommended) and position the record freely, adjusting its center as needed, without any mechanical alteration to the record's center hole?

ps. i have in my collection a record that is massively off-centered and warped on one side, and perfectly centered and flat on the other, a complete mystery...

plyscds
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Re: Off center records driving me crazy!!

Post by plyscds » 21 Aug 2016 15:19

lintwind wrote:
ps. i have in my collection a record that is massively off-centered and warped on one side, and perfectly centered and flat on the other, a complete mystery...
May I inquire, did it previously belong to a Gallifreyan Time Lord?

philbrown
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Re: Off center records driving me crazy!!

Post by philbrown » 21 Aug 2016 21:46

analogaudio wrote: PS this is one of the reasons CD was invented :-)
No, it wasn't.
Phil Brown

sysynn
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Re: Off center records driving me crazy!!

Post by sysynn » 21 Aug 2016 23:43

chewbaccasrobot wrote:I am starting to lose my mind!! Just wondering what others might think about off center records and quality of new records in general. A quick background on myself, I'm manager at A record store in Pennsylvania. Been doing it for over 20 years. Loved vinyl all my life. So, I'm buying new records for myself all the time. I swear the quality of vinyl, from the 20 or so pressing plants in the USA, is suffering. Yes, they are over-worked. But I honestly don't know if new records have ever been this bad. My ears are sensitive to wow and flutter and off center records bother me worse than slightly warped records. I have tons of old used vinyl and I'd say one in ten is off centered. To give an example of how bad it has become, here's a list of my recent purchases from this last Saturday's Record Store Day and their problems:

Social Distortion - warped and off center. Sounds like crap.
Johnny Cash - off center on one side. Sounds like crap on side 2.
Lydia Loveless 7" - off center both sides. Sounds like crap.
Blitzen Trapper - slightly warped. Sounds good.
Slayer 7" - warped. Sounds good.
OFF 10" - excellent!!
I still have other things to listen to but the RSD run is not doing too well yet. And a few more of my recent releases, which are not RSD, that I purchased recently:

Johnny Cash: American III - off center on one side. Crap sound on side 2.
Gill Landry - crackle on side 2. Looked kind of scuffed fresh out of the paper sleeve.
Real Mckenzies - excellent!!

Many times I open up a new record and they look slightly scuffed. And usually the record is in a paper inner sleeve. It is becoming rare to get a perfect record when bought new.

As for the Record Store Day records, I had to inspect record after record when we were pricing them. I would say that over half of the 7" records were slightly warped or worse. Not one copy of Devil Wears Prada went out. Each 7" was like a bowl. I would say that 70% or more of the colored 7" records were warped or slightly warped.
A lot of the warping with the LP records, I would say, was due to shipping. There were boxes we would open and it was a mess of different sizes of records all over the place with no packing material in the box. It was very frustrating. There were 7" boxes stuffed with 10 too many records in them. Ugh!!

It seems that quality control is in the toilet. In this day and age, you would think that we would have the technology to produce excellent machines to make records. Pressing plants should be opening all over the country. But, the plants all rely on old machines. And the machines and the staff are over worked. With the resurgence of vinyl in full gear, I have my doubt it will continue in high gear if the quality of new records is as bad as it is right now.

Back to off center records, does anyone have a fix? I read that some people will file the hole bigger and center it. If I have a record that is off centered, would that then effect the good side also? Anyway, thanks for reading my rant.
Thanks for honest and candid posting !
I really love this kinds of posting.

Sometimes, we need healthy Criticism.
What if the test record or his favorite record is off centered ?

sysynn
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Re: Off center records driving me crazy!!

Post by sysynn » 24 Aug 2016 14:17

Queen Greatest Hits, EMI, 1982 (OLE411) - One side off center, sound also sucks.
If I found wrong one, keep reporting in this thread

jives11
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Re: Off center records driving me crazy!!

Post by jives11 » 24 Aug 2016 14:37

Also the hole size seems always bigger. In the past not all were smaller but I routinely get second hand albums that are a tight fit. I even found a cheap OST of Big trouble in little China where the hole was too small (a mighty wind :) ) . The hole seems always large with new vinyl meaning manual centering is required.

webkrawler
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Re: Off center records driving me crazy!!

Post by webkrawler » 22 Sep 2016 08:47

I mainly collect and play 45rpm records and this is a problem from time to time.

I purchased an Echotone Adapter from echotone .org. The 2-in-1 that is currently
out of stock but I am sure they will get more in.

The adapter itself is off-center and so when aligned properly it will fix most
problems with off center 45's.

pcourtney
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Re: Off center records driving me crazy!!

Post by pcourtney » 09 Dec 2016 16:08


analogaudio
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Re: Off center records driving me crazy!!

Post by analogaudio » 09 Dec 2016 21:54

philbrown wrote:
analogaudio wrote: PS this is one of the reasons CD was invented :-)
No, it wasn't.
Phil Brown
Let's see........

playing time of LPs was too short
sound quality of LP playback was inconsistent due to hardware variables (still is)

but most importantly Philips and Sony wanted to make money with their patents

can you suggest others?

analogaudio
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Re: Off center records driving me crazy!!

Post by analogaudio » 09 Dec 2016 23:03

PS it should be added that Philips and Sony probably also wanted to make money by re-releasing their extensive music back-catalogs on the new format.

BMRR
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Re: Off center records driving me crazy!!

Post by BMRR » 27 Jan 2017 02:48

I have more off-center records than I care to count or think about. #-o I've experienced this with a lot of old records too. I would take a warped record over an off-center record any day of the week. My cartridge handles warps like nobody's business, but the pitch variation off off-center records gives my ears the audio equivalent of nausea.

SoundMann
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Re: Off center records driving me crazy!!

Post by SoundMann » 27 Jan 2017 04:54

analogaudio wrote: Let's see........

playing time of LPs was too short
Not an issue for the serious, dedicated listener.
analogaudio wrote:sound quality of LP playback was inconsistent due to hardware variables (still is)
Totally surmountable.
analogaudio wrote:but most importantly Philips and Sony wanted to make money with their patents
Greed trumps all!
analogaudio wrote:can you suggest others?
Convenience! The only area where digital is truly an improvement.

E.Man
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Re: Off center records driving me crazy!!

Post by E.Man » 27 Jan 2017 08:41

OP: you had it at this "...quality control is in the toilet".

(Apologies to the few plants doing a good job.)

scho2684
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Re: Off center records driving me crazy!!

Post by scho2684 » 27 Jan 2017 12:15

Yes indeed, I also have some off-centre records, even from labels such as "quality records"...
Off-centre on one side (wtf?!..) so bottom and top press where not aligned properly...
I have one here from Linda Ronstadt like that...
Its a sad observation...