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ORB DF-01iA record flattener - Help*

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Stereolove, Sep 12, 2019.

  1. Satrus

    Satrus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cork, Ireland
    They are made in Japan and the cost of living in Japan is expensive. Of course the economies of scale do not come into play. Orb doesn't sell that many of these devices in that only a small outlier group of enthusiasts will purchase. I actually have one ordered but owing to the continued mayhem with COVID-19 and the shipping problems, I have deferred getting it until later in the year when hopefully things will have settled down and the Covid-19 virus will have been rendered less injurious due to the various vaccines. I have two machines actually and to be perfectly candid I would not be without either one. If I recall correctly, when the DF-01 was introduced in 2005, it cost something like £/€/$ 2,500. At $1,200 or €1,350 or so, it's a steal given the previous price and it fixes all vinyl not just 12" records like previous models. But I know, it's all relative and 1,200 to 1,500 in whatever currency takes time to accumulate. Worth it though, if my 16 years of ownership is typical.
     
    GeraldB likes this.
  2. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
    ORB DF-01iA price directly from Japan is 1200 US with free shipping. So, it sounds like the US retail isn't crazy. Mine- the DF-2 was more than double that retail in the U.S. branded as Furutech.
    I suppose you could make one cheaper, but the market for these is even narrower than record cleaners, so I'm not sure there's enough there to support the effort.
     
  3. Satrus

    Satrus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cork, Ireland
    I am very happy that a device like this is made in Japan and not China, for instance. €1200 shipped to the U.S.A. is a fantastic price. I have to pay shipping from Japan together with Customs Duty and VAT at 23% on importation to Ireland. The U.S. consumer wins big time with this kind of pricing. But, I'm happy to live here (Ireland) and our Government will certainly need the funds to pay for this horrible COVID-19 health crisis. Do I understand correctly that the importation of the DF-01iA to the U.S. is not subject to importation taxes?
     
  4. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
    This is some gray market seller. I was just pointing out that the ask for a legitimate one in the US isn't really that much more through the authorized distribution channels. I would have to go back to the listing to see if the unit even ran on US power or you'd need an adapter, there's probably no warranty support, etc.
     
  5. kiwi_pressing

    kiwi_pressing New Member

    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Ok, this has piqued my curiosity. I would much prefer to purchase through an authorized seller. Music Direct is sold out, and their website states the product is no longer available for purchase.
    Is Mockingbird Distribution an authorized dealer? Do you have any information on dealers in the US?

    A quick internet search reveals little in the way of authorized dealers here in the US. Short of importing direct from Japan, the Vinyl Flat may be the next best alternative.

    Thanks for your post!
     
  6. Satrus

    Satrus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cork, Ireland
    I see. It is better to go through an official source, I think. If you happened to run into any problems you could be in a spot of difficulty. Besides, if I recall accurately the U.S. price from the official distributor is very attractive to the extent that any saving made by dealing with a gray market seller would be a false economy.
     
  7. Satrus

    Satrus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cork, Ireland
    If you look at this link ORB co.Ltd. [DF-01iA+] from ORB Japan's website these units appear to be available. It would be a shame if the product has been discontinued. So versatile.
     
  8. richbdd01

    richbdd01 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    If I buy this from Japanese sellers on eBay etc, it’s a lot cheaper. Sorry to sound like a stupid question...but does that mean I can’t use it in the UK with the voltage etc? Do I have to buy from a UK dealer?
     
  9. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
    I don't really have much more information than you do- I'm not familiar with the model. There's no downside to calling the distributor and asking what's up- is this model now being discontinued? I will tell you that I like using these far better than the Vinyl Flat--granted, the price difference is significant, but if you could get one of these for the 1200 or so that the unit was selling for, or its replacement for a similar amount, it is money well spent if you buy a lot of used records. Mine is badged as a Furutech as I think I mentioned, but was made by Orb and was discontinued several years ago.
     
  10. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    It's 100v in Japan and frankly the UK price is a lot lower than once was. Also there is warranty support. False economy importing one with the wrong voltage.
     
    richbdd01 likes this.
  11. richbdd01

    richbdd01 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Thanks , what about if you get a 230v to 100v adapter/transformer? The Orb is £750 on eBay from Japan. It’s not like I’m buying hifi equipment and I just want to flatten the odd record and an adapter/transformer would probably still be quite a bit cheaper?
     
  12. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    Good luck finding one. Japan to US voltage are easy to find. How much on top of £750 is the transit cost? Plus there is customs handling and VAT at 20%. UK price is around £1200. It will cost you near to £1K and you will have to buy the step down transformer on top. No backup if there are any issues down the line.
     
    richbdd01 likes this.
  13. richbdd01

    richbdd01 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Yeah that’s true. I’m not ready to buy one just yet anyway so will probably just do it when I have the funds...
     
  14. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    I would suggest get the + version at £1400 which can deal with flat non groove guard pressings. Certainly if you have any Classic Records SVP or the new UHQR AP pressings.
     
    richbdd01 likes this.
  15. Satrus

    Satrus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cork, Ireland
    Yes. Invariably, what you will find with Ebay Japan Sellers is that they will only supply a model equipped for Japan/U.S. voltage values. You should ask of course, but if I recall correctly they are not open to providing a European model usually. If you go with the Japan/U.S. model, you will then have to bear the additional cost of a suitable step up transformer in order for the unit to work properly in England (220-240v; 50Hz). I may be wrong, but I think that Japan and the U.S.A. may use the same voltage standards? I think you would be better advised to take Classicrock's advice and buy domestically in the U.K. Remember also, that if you buy from a Japan Ebay Vendor, you will have to pay Customs Duties and VAT when your unit 'lands' in the U.K. With all of the additional hassle involved, I think £1,400 isn't a bad deal at all? Good luck with whatever option you decide upon!

    Just as an afterthought, make sure that whatever unit you purchase that it can handle all records, i.e. those with Groove Guards and flat profile discs (no Groove Guard) and of course 10", 7" etc. The later iterations of the DF-01 (after 2005) and the later upmarket DF-03 model (which I also have) will not fix records without a Groove Guard and will actually melt them, rendering them unplayable. Another reason probably why I would recommend that you purchase from a U.K. dealer.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
    richbdd01 likes this.
  16. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
    Nope. See Electricity
     
  17. Satrus

    Satrus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cork, Ireland
     
  18. Satrus

    Satrus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cork, Ireland
    I had an inkling that they were similar, if not the same! Do they use
    Very close though. I had an inkling they were ‘similar’ if not the same. Is it 60Hz in both the U.S. and Japan? Don't know why this reply transmitted three times??
     
  19. William Laskowski

    William Laskowski Well-Known Member

    I purchased an earlier model. DF01i from Mockingbird. It has basically one cycle for 4 hours. I've found that it damages about 50% of the records I cycle through it. At the time I purchased it the instructions did not refer to any rings or such. I put a thermocouple sensor in the unit and found that it heats up to exactly 120 degrees during the first two hours of heating. I received a few 180 gram Pallas pressings from Speakers Corner and have found them to come out perfectly flat but the audio has become very noisy. From what I read here the new "a" or "a+" model has different time settings and different temperature settings. Can someone here elaborate on those details? This is a great idea and when it works its a great item to have. Thanks in advance for any comments.
     
  20. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
    Scroll down on frequency. I don't know if the east/west divide is still accurate. Perhaps someone here who lives there can enlighten us: https://www.furniture-rental-tokyo.com/useful_info/electricity.htmltokyo.com/useful_info/electricity.html
     
  21. Satrus

    Satrus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cork, Ireland
    You are talking about 120 degrees Fahrenheit? 120 F is about 49 degrees Celsius. My DF-03 model heats to 57 degrees Celsius. The DF-03 is a fine unit but it will not work with 120 gram pressings or lighter, records without a groove guard and RCA pressings/Sheffield Labs etc. It is a little unpredictable so I have to use a certain amount of caution when using it. I use it sparingly but when it works as specified, it does a good job. My original DF-01 model purchased in 2005 fixes everything! When I bought it, I had no information on 'Groove Guards' or anything like that. If fixes everything from ultra light vinyl right up to 200 gram pressings, with or without 'groove guards'. I have fixed a number of Speakers Corner albums too without any issue whatsoever. I had heard however that later samples of the DF-01 (post 2005) actually melted records that didn't have a 'groove guard'. It's a bit of a mystery really. The reports I have read on the unit under discussion have been excellent until you posted. It seems as if these units are being re-designed constantly? I have heard of people who have had bad experiences with the DF-03 too.
     
    GeraldB likes this.
  22. kiwi_pressing

    kiwi_pressing New Member

    Location:
    Austin, TX
    The new 'a' and 'a+' models do indeed have different temperature settings (low, medium, and high). Medium is generally recommended. One can start on low for precious and rare records etc. The time is fixed at 4 hours (2 hours heating, 2 hours cooling). I know there is some more information floating around out there, but I cannot find it. I shall keep looking.

    Some form of adapters (so, the 'a+' model) or the groovy rings, as it's been suggested are required to fill the space between the groove guard and the label.

    This is what Phillip from Mockingbird has to say about this:
    "You want to help the machine touch the label and edge, but not the playing
    surface. The heat is supposed to flow through the label and edge, and
    direct contact with the playing surface can damage some records (depends
    on the settings of the machine, and also the vinyl formulation). You also
    want to help press the playing surface, the area between the label and
    edge, to be pushed flat, which will not happen without the paper rings or
    the Groovy Rings from VinylFlat. The Japanese also make a version that is
    even better, but very expensive for what it is. Thick poster board actually
    works really well."


    Also, as a general update, I have been in contact with the manufacturer in Japan. They have confirmed Mockingbird Distribution is an authorized distributor in the US. His prices are excellent.

    I've seen a few people commenting on voltage. Even between 100 and 120v a transformer is still needed, as even that difference would be enough to overheat the heating element and either melt the record or destroy the unit, or both. My understanding is the units imported to the US through Mockingbird come with a 110 - 125v AC 50 - 60 Hz power supply. Please someone correct me if I am wrong on that!
     
    Satrus likes this.
  23. GeraldB

    GeraldB Forum Resident

    Any chance you could ask Orb about making the adapter kit available separately? I tried but did not get a response. With Mockingbird not stocking the "+" model, it would be nice to be able to get the adapters separately, after purchase, if one needs them.
     
  24. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
    Welcome from Austin! One of our members, @Satrus has the much more expensive unit, along with his old DF 1 and found the new, fancy unit to be less than satisfactory. I have the DF 2, sold in the States as a Furutech and now discontinued and couldn't be more pleased. I've flattened quite a few records in the several years I've owned it, and though there are a few limitations re very light vinyl, oil crisis era stuff and one other category that escapes me at the moment, it will work without rings or any issue on thick records, flat profile without groove guard and pretty much anything I throw at it from the past. (I'm mostly buying older records).
    PS: apropos your description of the different heat settings on the newer model, the DF 2 varied duration of the heat cycle at the user's option but not, as far as I know, the temperature. (There is a digital read out of temperature on the front panel but I haven't really paid attention to it). I gauge duration by guesstimating the nature and degree of warp taking into account the thickness or weight of the record.
     
  25. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    The version that comes with spacers for non groove guard is available in UK for about £200 extra from Analogue Seduction. Not clear how this performs with thin pressings? They also have the Furutech DF2 which is over £2K. Nothing in the description about suitability limitations. I think someone mentioned issues with Vinyl produced by GZ but that may be historical.
     

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