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What is "non-fill" defect on an LP?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Beagle, Nov 18, 2005.

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  1. Beagle

    Beagle Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    I would assume it is improperly formed grooves due to insufficient heat, not allowing the stamper to fully form the groove. Is this correct?

    I'm also not sure if I have heard this sort of defect on an LP. I have heard a ripping sound that lasts for about a second, and held the record up to the light and seen "silver dots" along the groove. Canadian Capitol pressed LP's (Capitol, Chrysalis, Arista) in the late 70's had problems with this.

    If I'm off course here, does anyone know what non-fill "sounds" like? (yeah I know this is a strange question from an owner of some 6000 LP's!)
  2. blind_melon1

    blind_melon1 Forum Resident

    i have that ripping sound on my yellow submarine re issue and on my chilli peppers californication lps....

    never heard of a non fill defect..... interested though..

  3. thegage

    thegage Forum Resident

    It sounds like the ripping you hear. A recent notorious occurrance of this was with the MCA Heavy Vinyl reissue of "Who's Next."

    John K.
  4. CaptainOzone

    CaptainOzone On Air Cowbell

    Beaumont, CA, USA
    Non-fill was a big problem for me in radio in the late '70s. Usually part or most of the first song on both sides of an LP will have intermittent noise or static that sounds like someone lightly scraped the edge of it. Unfortunately it is usually the first song on the side that you want to play when broadcasting. We used stock copies as we didn't get many promos, perhaps the promos were better.
    Years later I heard the term non-fill used to describe the problem. It seems that the manufacturers placed an inadequate amount of vinyl in the press in the interests of holding down costs and the record sometimes did not form correctly at the edges. This was primarily in the years from 1978 to 1981, however it could happen any time the vinyl is "short".

    It surprises me that the "Who's Next" vinyl would have this problem as it is supposed to be a premium item. You'd think costs wouldn't be as much of a concern. Perhaps it's just outright defective?
  5. Sckott

    Sckott Hand Tighten Only.

    Hyannis Ma
    Depending on polymer used, the "flashy" bits from the press can be re-used with very little effect on the product. Usually what's re-used are fully made records minus the label, cut out with a drill-press.

    I barely remember this, but the "non-fill" ARE the flashy bits. Creating records with this stuff can produce a noisy record - but that's all the way through. I think this depends on a lot of conditions.
  6. MikeyH

    MikeyH Stamper King

    Berkeley, CA
    IIRC it's a press operation problem; your vinyl biscuit will not flow to the edge of the disk and take the full shape of the outer grooves, leading to that swishing grating each revolution, usually on one channel . Either you're pressing too cool (the stampers are heated and cooled with each press) or somewhere you're not taking the right amount of time each cycle. It's complicated because the parameters change during production runs and with different vinyl.

    Like making pancakes. There's a few dodgy ones to start. Sometimes you have an entire bad breakfast.
  7. Beagle

    Beagle Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Thank you. That sounds reasonable enough. I do remember reading something about warped records and pressing plants, where it was explained that "we could press a perfectly flat record every time but the non-fill would drive you crazy". It did not explain what non-fill was.
  8. DrJ

    DrJ Forum Resident

    Davis, CA, USA
    Well, great information folks, a topic I wasn't familiar with. This likely explains the terrible ripping that, yes, lasts a second or so on the title track of an MCA DMM pressing of Sonny Rollins' ALFIE (originally on Impulse!) I picked up used for cheap. Record is pristine and good-sounding otherwise. First time I heard that ripping sound I about fell out of my chair.
  9. MikeyH

    MikeyH Stamper King

    Berkeley, CA
    Some infamous non-fill occurrences:

    Original first pressing UK Virgin Tubular Bells. (Side 2)

    Original first pressing UK The Faust Tapes (side 1)

    You'll know if you have the originals here, because of the faults. Many were returned to the stores.
  10. fxsuperglide

    fxsuperglide Well-Known Member

    I remember one collector's guide refer to this particular condition as "PLATE STICKING" (which causes the "silver dots" that can cause this "ripping static" sound when played). I acquired a still sealed Mark Germino "London Moon and Barnyard Remedies" album on RCA - 1986 (some obscure artist album that I actually received as a freebie in a stack of albums). Once I listened, I grew to enjoy the album, but was disappointed by the ripping static on the first track of side 2. Fortunately within a few years, I found another near mint copy without this flaw. Just wanted to share my experience.
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