Vinyl Flat & Groovy Pouch

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

  1. skuhn8

    skuhn8 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Los Gatos, CA
    Just got the combo - I suspect this is a newer generation Groovy Pouch as only a couple people here mentioned the heating options: Low, Medium, High.

    Have had great success on the 5 LPs I tried....and only one orange peel. Sadly it was a Queen debut (embossed cover). Medium at just shy of 2 hours. Then realized that it was from '73 so likely suffering from oil embargo materials. Still perfectly playable, but penultimate tracks on each side have some rumble in the sound floor.

    I've accumulated some warped cheapo vinyl over the years in the event that I'd find a solution and want some test discs (bunch of Foreigner, Journey, etc). I have a beat up Renaissance Carnegie double LP that has a dish warp on the first LP. Tried two hours at medium: no change. Left overnight on Low (approx. 7 hours) and it came out pretty much dead flat.
     
  2. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Are you still going with medium? I just got a Vinyl Flat and went with the recommended low setting. Baked a record for 2 hours and nothing, then 4 and still not much. Giving another record that is unplayable a 2 hour bake with medium now just to test it. I'll let the record cool in in the pouch for another two hours minimum and then make sure the VF is at room temp before checking the record. When I tested the temps with the included digital thermometer I got various read outs. 134F at low and then just over 150F at medium on the kitchen table. We needed the table for lunch so I moved it to a plywood board over a foot stool and now it reads ~122F or so at low and ~144F at medium. The instructions recommend anywhere between 132F and 150F so I'm hoping medium is the magic temp. I did notice the temp goes down with the VF in the pouch so I'm guessing it's absorbing that heat. What's odd is you'd think the temp would eventually go back up, but it doesn't. I contacted VF and they said to keep it set to low and to just increase bake times by 30 minutes. I get they don't want me to ruin the vinyl and are being conservative. I've read people run it overnight on low.
     
  3. Jam757

    Jam757 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    I definitely highly recommend the medium setting and 4 hours of cook time. I’ve pretty much had a 97% success rate and even corrected some really horrendous ones. One of my failures was 200g vinyl on a 45rpm set and I just couldn’t seem to get it right finally after trying a third time it was more flat but still had ripples causing skips so I called it a loss. I typically do 4 hours medium and let it cool at least 2-3 hours or usually overnight if possible. The low setting didn’t seem to do much for me.
     
  4. Jam757

    Jam757 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    Also just to add in my experience the minor-moderate edge warps common with 180g reissues are pretty much easily correctable. The older thinner vinyl from the 70’s can be more tricky as far as also having some audible whooshing each rotation depending on how bad the warps were. I’ve also one time tried to correct a fairly minor warp on a Scorpions album and although it was perfectly flat it “created” a skip in the first song. Overall this thing is a lifesaver!
     
  5. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    3 hours on medium didn't do much. Trying 4 hours on medium with the label cut-out rings next . I've been using the full rings. This is on vinyl with a wave going through it and not a concave warp. I'm beginning to think low overnight is the way to go. If this 4 hour try doesn't work, I'll go 8 hours during the day on low next. I'm beginning to get a little frustrated. I think the VF guys are playing it too safe with their recommendations as they probably do not want to be liable for anyone ruining any expensive vinyl. Good for them, but for people that want to actually use it like me, it sucks.
     
    All Down The Line likes this.
  6. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Quick question regarding cleaning the vinyl before using it. Will small amounts of dust that float onto the surface adhere to the vinyl or is it more about dust within the grooves? I'm doing my best to get floating dust off the records but the second I have it 100% clean a tiny bit of dust lands on it. I gave up. I'm not noticing any dust being baked into the vinyl itself but I'm curious what others think.
     
  7. Jam757

    Jam757 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    Clean it as best as you can prior to baking. I do a wet clean with my Spin Clean, let it dry and set it up. A few specs of dust shouldn’t affect it, I, like you through trial and error completely gave up on anything less than 4 hours. It seems like 3 hours doesn’t quite cut it and that last hour is crucial.
     
    matrix-6 likes this.
  8. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Do you use the full rings or the ones with the center label cut out?
     
  9. Jam757

    Jam757 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    You’re talking about the felt I think. I almost always will use the full but have used the cut out one specifically for a dish warp. For edge warps I’d say use the full.
     
  10. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Correct, the felt. I used the one with the cutout for the label for 4 hours on medium and it came out much better. The warp is still there so now I think I'm going to go with 8 hours on low with the full felt.
     
  11. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I take that back. I tried heating the GP again at Low for 20 minutes and it only got up to 125.6. At Medium it went up to 139.1, so I think I will stick with Medium.
     
  12. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    If you ever get the chance can you let me know what the temp reads for yours set to Medium w/o the VF in it, after 20 minutes warm-up? I contacted VF and they said not to measure the temp with the VF in it. I'm curious what yours reads. One thing that's a little concerning is when I first got it, setting it to Medium brought it over 150F. Now I measured 139.1. I measured the initial temp with it on a table, then on a plywood board resting on a foot stool, and finally on the plywood board resting on carpet. Each one measured a different temp, so I'm guessing the GP temperature is fluctuating depending on the surface and surrounding temp. I also noticed the heat pouch inside was off center, so I centered it.
     
  13. Jam757

    Jam757 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    Unfortunately don’t think I still have the thermometer but I wouldn’t stress too much about the temp. If I recall correctly I did measure it once and it was cooler than expected on medium. I’d just continue to experiment and exercise caution over 4 hours if on medium. I think it’s better to bake for an adequate length of time and get it flat the first go at it versus repeated sessions. I have mine raised maybe 1/2 inch off of a table with one of those metal racks for cooling cookies or something.
     
    matrix-6 likes this.
  14. vinylsolution

    vinylsolution Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver, CO, USA
    Before I bought my first VinylFlat (I had v1 and now have v2 w/ GP, but not the multi-temp) I tried building a few of them.
    I wrote to several heating pad and heating blanket companies like Sunbeam, and NONE OF THEM would cite or quote any temperature nor suggest there was any accuracy of any settings other than to suggest their safety limits. I tried multiple tests with heating pads & blankets, using thermometers on my own and found them to all be very variable.

    I now use my single-temperature v2 GP elevated on a small bowl to avoid it gaining thermal assistance from sitting on something that offers additional insulation.
    I do not see it rise much above 125 degrees inside the GP ever.
    My process is to use a 24-hour timer that runs 6 on / 6 off / 6 on / 6 off.
    Most LPs with moderate warp take at least one 24-hour cook, more common to leave it this way for 2 days.
     
    GeraldB and matrix-6 like this.
  15. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Sounds good. Thanks. Going to give 5 hours a try. I have a couple of trashed records I'm not worried about ruining.
     
  16. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Interesting. Thanks!
     
  17. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    So I tested an EMI from ‘86 for 8 hours on Medium and it started showing the orange peel effect on it. Fortunately it was a throw away copy. Just wanted to let others know. It definitely depends on the vinyl. I would recommend going with the VF instructions and just have patience.

    I'm also thinking of letting it heat up for the recommended 20 minutes on Medium and then switching it to Low when I put the VF in to be safe. The instructions recommend measuring the temp at low. If it's between 135 and 150 then use it. If it's less then try Medium and check for the same, and then finally High. Contacting VF they recommend going with Low to be safe and they said the previous pouches you see on YouTube are closest to the low setting. They said the thermostat in the heating element can vary.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2020
  18. Jam757

    Jam757 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    It’s been my experience that 4 hours on medium will correct some of the most horrendous warps almost in entirety as in, perfectly flat. I’d be very hesitant to do
    longer than that on medium. It’s also important to remember you only want to flatten to a playable level, in other words, achieving perfect flatness is not needed (and can create issues). I’m scared to do a picture disc but one of my Metallica pic discs from a box set is warped so I might give it a go. I actually like playing pic discs occasionally.
     
  19. bob_32_116

    bob_32_116 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Perth Australia
    "Vinyl Flat & Groovy Pouch". What a great name for a hip hop duo.
     
    matrix-6 likes this.
  20. vinylsolution

    vinylsolution Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver, CO, USA
    Heat matters, but I suspect that the pressure very much amplifies the risk of too much heat.

    I have wondered if there were nuts that ‘click’ as you tighten them to indicate how tight it is, since I suspect a real torque gauge would be impractical?
    I do know some pressure is needed, even though seems like the weight should be sufficient when coupled with the heat, it does require some tightening in my experience.

    I am thinking of my gas cap for example, when I screw it on, it clicks 2 or 3 times as it tightens so I know it is on securely.
    It would be cool if the VF had a nut that indicated how tight / torqued it was.

    As an aside: My first DIY unit was 2 glass plates from Hobby Lobby (12" round with holes, intended use was a clock) and a heating pad in a thermal bag.
    I used 4 binder clips around the edges since that is where my warps were.
    In my tests though, the glass was not thick enough, I needed more binder clips to get a good flat seal, which resulted in too much pressure and orange peel results.
     
  21. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    You are supposed to just twist it enough so it spins on a table. The weight of the top is supposed to be enough. That said some people are using binder clips to add more pressure. :(
     
  22. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I heard picture discs won't work because of the paper center. If you try it, definitely let us know! I'd be leery of the thin clear vinyl. There's a video of a guy on youtube that destroyed his clear 180g red Blade Runner vinyl at only 4 hours on the equivalent of low.
     
    Jam757 likes this.
  23. Kyle Mooney

    Kyle Mooney Kwisatz Haderach

    Location:
    Central PA
    I used binder clips once in the beginning of my journey with this device - it resulted in orange peel - never used binder clips again. I am careful to just barely tighten the thumb screw when using.
     
    matrix-6 likes this.
  24. Jam757

    Jam757 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    Yikes too bad, yeah I think I cannot risk it. Honestly I already have the original 12 inch 45rpm for playback purposes so I guess I shouldn’t sweat it.
     
    matrix-6 likes this.
  25. Kyle Mooney

    Kyle Mooney Kwisatz Haderach

    Location:
    Central PA
    One observation I'm left with after using this system for over a year now is, it seems like new vinyl records (esp 180 gr) are easily and quickly fixed with a moderate 4-6 hour run. The older 80's records seem to be impervious to the flattening, and are a lot harder to fix. I am constantly having to do multiple heating sessions to get just barely an improvement. Then, after having been fooled by these old stubborn records that require long bake times, I come across the odd 80's record that reacts in the opposite and goes straight to orange peel after a 6 hour bake, thus leaving me apprehensive again. My 70's records are hit or miss. So I feel much more confident getting a consistent positive result on brand new records that arrive with a dish or edge warp but I hesitate to risk/bake anymore of my 80's new wave collection. I don't bother trying with any 70's records anymore.
     
    matrix-6 likes this.

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