What do LPs pressed with worn out stamper sound like?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by 12" 45rpm, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. 12" 45rpm

    12" 45rpm Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York City
    Always been curious about this. Is it something subtle like more pops/ticks or does it actually affect the sound quality, i.e distortion/sibliance?
     
  2. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    If the stamper is really shot, it'll sound really, really bad. A few years ago I bought a polybag-sealed, Jamaican pressed Heptones LP on Studio One that was like that. Word is they were using worn stampers that dated back to the 70s and grinding up old records to make the new ones. It was probably the worst sounding record I've ever had, even counting records in horrible condition.
     
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  3. crazy eights

    crazy eights Truckstop lovechild

    Location:
    new york
    they've been doing that in jamaica for decades, mostly grinding up singles
     
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  4. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    And also this got done in the USA too, regrind is the industry term. Pressing plants had several quality options available for their clients. The more money you paid, the longer the heating/cooling cycles were, the purer the vinyl. Cheapest pressings used a good bit of regrind in the vinyl mix, the more money the label spent on pressings, the better quality on average the records were. Classical typically always got the best available. Pop got usually lower to middle quality.
     
  5. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore

    I have an early '70s blue label Blue Note/UA Horace Silver LP that was cut with c.1960 stampers (VANGELDER in deadwax).

    The stampers must have been worn because it sounds pretty grainy.
     
  6. TheVU

    TheVU Forum Resident

    I heard this is a dangerous process, because some old record formulas had lead in them.
     
  7. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    No idea about that, but anything with a large percentage of regrind in it usually sounds noisy, even if it's made with brand new stampers. There are some labels and time periods of certain labels that were famous for putting too much regrind, regind with paper labels, etc. at their plants.
     
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  8. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I have a few of those 70s BN pressings. The quality can vary a bit. In general 70s vinyl is all over the place w/r/t quality. I've had sealed cutouts from the 70s that were a little noisy.
     
  9. c-eling

    c-eling Somehow I See There Are Ships In Her Eyes...

    I'll have to pull it out, but I found a I think a Polynesian, or one of those island's of Howard Jones-Dream Into Action, at a local thrift of all places- thing is dreadful, full of sibilance, distortion etc..
    It's not even submitted on discogs.... :laugh:
    The only redeeming character to it, carries the Elektra Butterfly art :D
     
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  10. Stone Turntable

    Stone Turntable Dedicated Listener

    Location:
    New Mexico USA
    Just jumping in to join others not answering the OP's question to say I, too, am not answering the OP's question, because apparently like everyone else weighing in so far, I don't know the answer.

    Looking forward to hearing the actual answers, though.
     
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  11. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore

    Yup, that matches my experiences.
     
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  12. Not Insane

    Not Insane You talkin' to me?!

    Location:
    Kentucky
    The OPEC oil embargo had an effect on record quality as well. Less virgin vinyl.
     
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  13. c-eling

    c-eling Somehow I See There Are Ships In Her Eyes...

    I think Ot pretty much summed it up. I'll have to check my HoJo to see if I can match up the numbers to any UK stampers.
     
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  14. EMI UK must have used a load of recycled vinyl in the mid-to-late 70s because a lot of their singles and albums, including some classical ones, had long, scraping noises that could be heard every revolution of the disc. The discs all looked fine, but how they sounded was horrible.

    As for Jamaica, I have a Jamaican pressing of “Dreadlock Holiday” by 10CC and that’s pretty rough, even though it was pressed specifically for the UK. The idea of farming pressing out to Jamaica was classic, however.
     
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  15. Ripblade

    Ripblade Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    One characteristic, the vinyl surface will be heavily dimpled leading to anything from a loud continuous surface roar to frequent, random bass thumps that come and go. Another, is that that a fresh stamper will produce a record with grooves that appear in high contrast and that throw a colourful rainbow when viewed in the right light. Records pressed with worn stampers won't have these traits, and will sound as dull as the look.
     
  16. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    You think EMI Classical is bad, you really need to hear USA Angel pressings from the same era to hear really bad. Along with the even worse surfaces (you also get to hear Capitol's idea of mastering too).
     
  17. Ripblade

    Ripblade Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    The classical reissue labels (Seraphim, Ace Of Diamonds, Camden, Masterworks) frequently recycle old stampers. Rarely do the records contain regrind vinyl, IME....the noise would be unacceptable.
     
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  18. Bob Y

    Bob Y Member

    I have a VeeJay "Introducing The Beatles" that was printed when they were trying to push out thousands of them a day, it sounds very soft and weak, lacks clarity and pops out of the groove, it fact it's near unplayable. I haven't played it for years.
     
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  19. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    LPs made from warn-out stampers sound like you have thrown wool blankets over your speakers. Just look for some used records with labels like "The Nice Price" on them. Those were some cheap LPs which they stamped at the end of a run, after the stampers were showing some significant signs of wear. Sometimes these were not too terrible, and were just a little dull sounding. Other times, these sounded like throwing a thick blanket over your speakers.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
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  20. Larry I

    Larry I Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    Re-grind vinyl was commonly used. It was too difficult to remove the paper label, so the records were re-ground paper and all, with the hope that the grind would be fine enough that the paper in the mix would not cause too many problems. However, I have seen records with really big bits of paper sticking out of them, so that theory didn't always work out.

    The proprietor of a modern pressing plant says that current vinyl stock used to make records is inferior to vinyl that was available in the past. He claims that this can be ameliorated by re-grinding the virgin vinyl before using it. I hope that works for him. I think that most modern records are not as good, in terms of noise, than records made from the late 50's to the 90's.

    Even the ultra premium record companies no longer have access to the JVC vinyl that was originally formulated for quadraphonic records; that vinyl had to be super durable so that the high frequency carrier signal would not be destroyed in playback. I hope records make enough of a comeback that higher quality vinyl and new presses, etc. become economically viable.
     
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  21. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    For a while USA Angel pressings even had some regrind. Not for long, but they did. Capitol had insisted Angel use Capitol's plant to press their records. And they were no better than a typical rock LP in pressing quality. Records so noisy, getting through the first 1" was especially bad. Their set of "Coppelia" destroyed an almost brand new Shure N75ED stylus in that era. Returned the records, showed to my HiFi Dealer and record shop's owner (this shop sold both) what the record did along with the stylus (which I bought there). Dealer gave me a replacement stylus (I took the damaged stylus with me along with the defective records), a new copy of the defective LP set, and he also gave me another LP of my choice. This was in 1981. He took care of his customers. Around 16 months later, Angel pressings vastly improved (even budget titles)
     
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  22. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    My question is if I get an old LP (or new one) that sounds bad, how would I know it was from a worn out stamper versus just (ab)normal wear and tear of the LP?

    Not that it really matters, a crappy LP is a crappy LP --- just wondered if it was really possible to tell "yeah, this one sucks due to the stamper!"
     
  23. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    Once you've heard a record pressed from worn out stampers, you will never forget the sound. Sometimes a record can look fine, but the listening tells all.
     
  24. Ripblade

    Ripblade Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    Wow, I never heard of a record causing such rapid needle deterioration but I suppose anything is possible. I don't believe I have any Angel records pressed in the US, but I do have samples from several other small American labels that didn't have pressing affiliates in Canada, like Nonesuch, MHS, and Vox. Of these, I'd say Vox had the most uneven quality, but I don't believe it was due to regrind vinyl so much as other pressing defects such as non-fill. I may be wrong, of course.
     
  25. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    My stylus got knackered when it caught a label fragment. Deep enough that it got the tip when it tried to track through that.
     

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