Off center records driving me crazy!

name that tune
chewbaccasrobot
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Off center records driving me crazy!!

Post by chewbaccasrobot » 22 Apr 2015 05:15

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.

gorlokrg
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Re: Off center records driving me crazy!!

Post by gorlokrg » 22 Apr 2015 06:00

:? ...

Honestly I haven't had this problem at all with any of my album purchases (1990 black metal with labels such as peaceville, back on black and others...)

But, if anything you could try getting a record clamp to even the warped albums (except for the 7''..)

Not exactly what you mean by "off center," are you referring to the machine (lathe?) that cuts the groove? If so, I've definitely been hearing a lot of bad news about pressings. A artist named "Wussy" had a RSD album,two of my friends they were disappointed from their purchase (only vinyl players I know...)

Maybe it the scuffs could be a transportation rush. I know I saw way too much stuff at Shake it Records. Typically Varying stock but sooooo much of the same album (practically 15-25 Wussy albums I saw.)

chewbaccasrobot
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Re: Off center records driving me crazy!!

Post by chewbaccasrobot » 22 Apr 2015 06:04

Off center meaning the hole in the record is drilled a little off center. When record spins, you will see the cartridge moving side to side. The sound produced is pitchy. It is fairly common but seems much worse these days.

chewbaccasrobot
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Re: Off center records driving me crazy!!

Post by chewbaccasrobot » 22 Apr 2015 06:08

I do wanna invest in a good record clamp.

jives11
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Re: Off center records driving me crazy!!

Post by jives11 » 22 Apr 2015 07:38

I completely agree, I have found quite a few new vinyl purchases I have made have off centre hole, so the cartridge oscillates from side to side during play. II see this far less on older vinyl, which i predominantly buy. It seems we have lost the art of drilling the hole in the right place ?

Coffee Phil
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Re: Off center records driving me crazy!!

Post by Coffee Phil » 22 Apr 2015 16:40

Hi Chewbaccasrobot,

You need one of these: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUgOUftRSjk

They come up on eBay from time to time, but they will be $pendy.

Phil


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.

circularvibes
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Re: Off center records driving me crazy!!

Post by circularvibes » 22 Apr 2015 17:39

You could also go a cheaper route and buy a turntable with a removable spindle, like a Dual 1000 or 1200 series. It is more work for you, but will allow you to center the disc better than it is.

analogaudio
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Re: Off center records driving me crazy!!

Post by analogaudio » 22 Apr 2015 18:15

Ovaling the center hole with a scissors or file works, then you have to nudge the disc to find the best position on the platter. It affects both sides. The real fix is a Nakamichi self centering turntable, they made two models, one was called the Dragon CT, everyone should have one :-)

PS this is one of the reasons CD was invented :-)

spittenkittens
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Re: Off center records driving me crazy!!

Post by spittenkittens » 23 Apr 2015 15:33

I bought two new Beatles records from Amazon a couple years back and both were a joke. I have not bought any new vinyl since. The only thing some bushiness understand is losing money when people refuse to buy poor quality products. What good are 180 gram pressings if the they com pre-warped and pre-scratched.

lewisdhead
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Re: Off center records driving me crazy!!

Post by lewisdhead » 23 Apr 2015 17:00

My copy of the new Sufjan Stevens album Carrie & Lowell is badly off centre. It's the plain black vinyl pressing not the limited clear vinyl pressing. :(

Alvabass

Re: Off center records driving me crazy!!

Post by Alvabass » 26 Apr 2015 04:48

Since I noticed the effect of a seriously off-centered record for the first time back in 1987, I've had absolutely no problems with that annoying situation after learning how to fix the problem myself, taking into account that, unlike many other people, I don't think that widening the spindle hole and putting some drawings on the labels ruin the records (maybe I'd think so if I bought records with the intention of selling them, but all my records are keepers). Here you can see what I do:

https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v639 ... f272c2.jpg

https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v639 ... 33deff.jpg

After eye-sighting the spot in which the spindle hole needs to be widened, I use a key to perform that task. The arrows remind me of the direction in which I must push the record against the spindle to make the grooves to spin perfectly centered. Again, many of you may consider it an assault, but I'm perfectly fine with it since it works like a charm.

chisa
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Re: Off center records driving me crazy!!

Post by chisa » 28 Apr 2015 01:54

i have a few off-centre. i file the hole then set it on the platter in the right position. annoying, but what can you do!?

chisa
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Re: Off center records driving me crazy!!

Post by chisa » 28 Apr 2015 02:01


Willem54
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Re: Off center records driving me crazy!!

Post by Willem54 » 28 Apr 2015 21:19

No matter what excuses record manufacturers give, they should do their job better! There is no excuse for delivering a product that shows any sort defect. I have a brandnew copy of the double record album by War on drukqs, "Lost in the Dream". Record one is badly off center on both sides. I wonder where in the process exactly these annoying defects are caused. The second copy of the album has exactly the same problem, so I guess all copies of a certain run are bad. The customer is left with a bad product, there usually is no information what plant pressed the record or who in the chain is responsible. I'd say the publisher because he doesn't mention the record plant's name. I'm sure, old records not only sound better, they also are less off centered. 180 grams new vinyl, a joke!

chewbaccasrobot
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Re: Off center records driving me crazy!!

Post by chewbaccasrobot » 17 Aug 2016 04:36

I'm at the point where I don't want to buy anything by United Record pressing ever again. I've heard the matrix of a record from URP shows a U in a circle to show it is pressed here. I'm going to start keeping track of where good pressings come from. If an album I need is pressed at URP, I will find an import version instead. However, I'm pretty sure Sundazed is pressed at URP. A little birdy told me that they pay more for the good presses. I will say this...I purchased Leon Bridges Coming Home last year. It was pressed at MPO. Fantastic pressing. Fantastic packaging (with rice paper sleeve) with a less than $20 list price. Gotta look into them more.

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