Vinyl Flat & Groovy Pouch

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by DR.J, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. DR.J

    DR.J Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago Suburb
    Based upon the great input from this site, I recently purchased a very nice Beatles Blue Box. It is a 1982 version of the Box. Maybe not the Holly Grail but really nice all analog records. The one problem I had with the box is that several records were warped. Two of the records, With the Beatles and Revolver, would not track on my VPI Scoutmaster with Soundsmith VPI/Zephyr cartridge. I started looking around on e-bay for replacements of similar vintage. The problem is that other than the warps, the records were in fantastic condition. Maybe played once or twice at the most.

    A year ago or so, I read about the Viny Flat in Stereophile in a Stephen Mejias article. He is a skilled writer, and in-spite of a catastrophic failure, I figured I would give it a try. Since Stephen’s failure involved cooking the record in the oven, I skipped the oven and bought the Vinyl Flat Groovy Pouch.

    I went right for it and tried fixing With the Beatles. My first attempt followed the instructions and cooked the record in the Groovy Pouch for 4 hours. I allowed the record to cool in the Vinyl Flat, without heat, for another 4 hours of so. Yes, the record was approximately 50% better but it still caused my cartridge to miss-track. I then tried 6 hours in the Groovy Pouch. Now the record tracked but still had a hump that caused an audible noise. I next let the record cook for 12 hours and cool in the Vinyl Flat for another 12 hours. What came out of this process was a nearly perfectly flat record without any trace of damage to the record. It played and looked perfect!! Next was Revolver which I just let cook right off the bat for 12 hours and allowed it to cool in the Vinyl Flat for nearly a week. On the first attempt, Revolver was fixed. I now have a nearly perfect Beatles Blue Box.

    I cannot say enough about this product. I also cannot imagine a scenario where the system, using the Groovy Pouch, would damage a record. It cooks it low and slow. My advice to anyone who tries the Vinyl Flat is to be patient. Let it cook a long time and then let it cool a long time in the Vinyl Flat. Also, spend the extra $60.00 and buy the Groovy Pouch. I would not use the oven. Also note that the Beatles Blue Box records were pressed on pretty thin vinyl. I don’t have any experience using this product with heavier vinyl. My guess is that the cook times would be very long. My start time for any record, heavy or thin vinyl, would be 8 hours and move to longer times depending upon the result.

    The Vinyl Flat and companion Groovy Pouch is a fantastic product at a nice price. It is very well constructed and should last a life time. If there is one concern, the Groovy Pouch seems a bit fragile but I handle it with some caution and expect it to last a life time. If you have some valuable, but warped records, give this product a shot. I think you will be happily surprised at the results.

    Dale
     
    CMT, vinnn, Alexander Coles and 9 others like this.
  2. jopageri321

    jopageri321 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    Thanks for posting this!!
     
  3. mikemoon

    mikemoon Forum Resident

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Interesting. I might have to check this out one day, so it appears that for $160 you can flatten warped records. This isn't too bad of a deal.
     
  4. Wasatch

    Wasatch Music Lover!

    Cool, thanks for the info.
     
  5. dasacco

    dasacco Senior Member

    Location:
    Massachussetts
    I may have to experiment more with mine, but my initial results are a little disappointing.

    I flattened several LP's that were unplayable previously to where they were playable after. That's the good news. But I did notice that overall surface became less flat and more "bumpy", even showing somewhat of a mottled look in the deadwax.

    I ran a cycle no longer than 3 and a half hours so I'll have to try an extended cycle and cool as you did to see if I get a smoother record in the end.

    Did yours have the felt mats?
     
  6. DR.J

    DR.J Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago Suburb
    Yes, mine has the felt mats. If you are using the Groovy Pouch, I can't imagine a time period that would damage a record. The process seems very gentle. As always, YMMV.

    Dale
     
  7. johnnypaddock

    johnnypaddock Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lowell, MA
    Thanks for posting this. I've been wondering about this thing for awhile.
     
  8. Mikey679

    Mikey679 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Worcester, MA
    Yes, thank you for the reviews, I was wondering about this product and was a little put off by having to stick LP's in the oven. Sounds like the pouch is the way to go with the flattener. I may have to put this on my Christmas list.
     
  9. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Senior Member

    Location:
    US
    Huh? You didn't have a Barbara Streisand album lying around? :sigh:
     
  10. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan

    Location:
    Atlanta
    I had a thread earlier in the year on this. It is a very good product that works as advertised.
     
  11. dasacco

    dasacco Senior Member

    Location:
    Massachussetts
    Yes, I'm using the groovy pouch. Perhaps I didn't leave it in long enough? It does get pretty hot. I could not hold the vinylflat with my bare hands after a three hour cycle. Yours the same way?

    Thanks!
    Dave
     
  12. DR.J

    DR.J Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago Suburb
    Don't really know. I have never taken the vinyl flat out of the pouch without letting it cool for a very long time in the pouch. The pouch itself doesn't seem that hot on the outside while cooking the record. I would describe it as warm. hope that help.

    Dale
     
  13. dasacco

    dasacco Senior Member

    Location:
    Massachussetts
    Ah - ok, I thought it was supposed to come out right away. I'll try your method. Thanks for the tips!
     
  14. quicksilverbudie

    quicksilverbudie quicksilverbudie

    Location:
    Ontario
    Great review!

    Been thinking about this as I have a few Dished records....that play well on the flat side...but awful on the dished side!


    sean
     
  15. jeff kleinberg

    jeff kleinberg Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ct
    Just wanted to reiterate I have had great success with 6-8 hours in the groovy pouch and a long cooldown in the pouch. Though I feel like maybe the compromise is some surface noise. Any one else notice this?

    Jeff
     
  16. dasacco

    dasacco Senior Member

    Location:
    Massachussetts
    Yes. I tried a longer cycle today, and the record, while flat, is now almost completely "orange peeled", and it's audible. I have an e-mail in to John at vinylflat asking him about it. I think it's from the felt mats. It's as if they are making an imprint in the vinyl.
     
  17. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan

    Location:
    Atlanta
    I have not experienced surface noise from the flattener.
     
  18. MikeyH

    MikeyH Stamper King

    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    I'd be wanting to double-check the temperatures. I don't like the sound of felt leaving an impression. Also, how much pressure does this thing exert? I've had impressions on vinyl from just moderate weight (say 20 LPs or so) and room temp. To my mind, the pressure should be quite gentle.
     
  19. DR.J

    DR.J Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago Suburb
    The instructions say to apply minimum pressure. I turn the wing nut to just slightly snug then back off a quarter turn or so. I have flattened several records in my BC-13 set and none of them have been harmed in any way, only improved.

    Dale
     
    The FRiNgE likes this.
  20. TLMusic

    TLMusic Musician & record collector

    Does yours have felt on the groovy rings, or whatever they are called?
     
  21. MartyTem

    MartyTem Forum Resident

    The Vinyl Flat is on sale from now until December 31, 2012 for $69.99 (reg $99.99). The Groovy Pouch is also on sale for $49.99 (reg. $59.99).
     
    Rmono likes this.
  22. JackJD

    JackJD All I Want is the Truth...

    Location:
    PA

    Plus another $19. for shipping... :thumbsdow




    :wave:
     
    stevenbell likes this.
  23. DR.J

    DR.J Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago Suburb
    Crap, that's a nice price!
     
  24. Combination

    Combination Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans
    They must have taken away the free shipping on the Vinyl Flat itself - that's kinda lame, because they send both of them in the same flat rate Priority Mail box.
     
  25. traveller03

    traveller03 Forum Resident

    Thanks for the heads up on the sale! I've been interested in one of these for a while and just placed my order.
     

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