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Vinyl Flat & Groovy Pouch

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

  1. Preston

    Preston Forum Resident

    Location:
    KCMO Metro USA
    I think that if you have a lot of records, it's a no-brainer and will pay for itself pretty quickly. I still haven't used it on any of my thicker LPs (150-180g), but that's next on the agenda.
     
  2. tubesandvinyl

    tubesandvinyl Forum Resident

    I almost think it works better with thicker, 180 to 200 gram records.
     
  3. hvbias

    hvbias Midrange magic

    Location:
    Northeast
    Has anyone tried it on Pallas records? Some of them have minor edges raises, like 1-1.5 mm.
     
  4. tubesandvinyl

    tubesandvinyl Forum Resident

    Thanks for the idea. I tried it on a couple records with edge "speed bumps" that didn't flatten with regular use of the VF/GP. The clip did the trick. Brought down the speed bump without causing any problems.
     
  5. tubesandvinyl

    tubesandvinyl Forum Resident

    Yes, I tried it on a Pallas record and it worked fine. Most of the records I've flattened so far have been United pressings, and a couple RTI pressings.
     
    hvbias likes this.
  6. hvbias

    hvbias Midrange magic

    Location:
    Northeast
    Was the Pallas pressing really warped, or just minor?
     
  7. tubesandvinyl

    tubesandvinyl Forum Resident

    Minor. Warped enough that I wanted to fix it, but not a major warp.
     
    hvbias likes this.
  8. Preston

    Preston Forum Resident

    Location:
    KCMO Metro USA
    That is great news and kind of counterintuitive. I figured it would be harder to flatten thicker records. I have several top-notch 180g LPs that have a slight warp that is audible. Those are almost more objectionable that more severe warps, since you are so close to that elusive goal of perfection. Thanks!
     
  9. tubesandvinyl

    tubesandvinyl Forum Resident

    You're welcome. I thought the same thing at first: that it would be easier to flatten thinner records. But so far I've found thicker records are quite easy to flatten. I almost have no concerns about putting a newer pressing in the GP for 6 hours or so. I'm really glad I bought the VF/GP.
     
  10. TLMusic

    TLMusic Musician & record collector

    I cannot fathom that you guys are not reporting any "orange peel" effects with these ultra long times.

    I just cooked a warped older Mofi record for about five hours, which is what it took to get rid of a warp. The record plays and sounds great after the treatment. But, close inspection under a bright light reveals an changed, almost misty, appearance on the surface, especially in the deadwax. Obviously, the Groovy Rings are leaving impressions. On the Mofi record the visual damage is pretty plain to see, as the surface was stone mint before. Now, I'd have to grade the record visually as VG++. This issue is potentially bad if I ever wanted to sell a record that displayed the "orange peel"--it could lower the perceived value of the vinyl.
     
  11. Preston

    Preston Forum Resident

    Location:
    KCMO Metro USA
    I always check out my records under a bright light after they've come out of the Groovy Pouch and I've never noticed any orange peel. Let me look at some of the LPs I've flattened again and I'll respond later. One thing I can note is that I was surprised at how little the Groovy Pouch heated up the records: I thought it would be much hotter (i.e., I opened the pouch after it had been on for 4-5 hours and I could easily keep my hand on the metal parts). I also have the hard, acrylic rings, instead of the felt ones, if that could possibly make a difference.
     
  12. Kustom 250

    Kustom 250 Active Member

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I say the value is exactly the same if not more now. Mint surface but warped vs slightly less then mint surface but not warped. Would you seriously grade a record with a warp higher then VG++?

    What's the value of a record with mint surfaces that can't be played?


    Not seeing any orange peel on the ones I've done But I've also not gone anywhere as long as some people. I've maxed out at about 2 hours.
     
  13. TLMusic

    TLMusic Musician & record collector

    That's cool. I also have not noticed orange peel on records that were in for an hour or two. But, in those short times I have not seen any improvement to the vinyl warps. Hence, now I'm doing the longer times. It fixes the warps, but affects the visual appearance.
     
  14. TLMusic

    TLMusic Musician & record collector

    That's interesting you have the acrylic Groovy Rings. It seems to me that if they were to leave impressions, it would be different than the little microspots from the felt rings.

    I do wonder why the manufacturer radically altered the design of the rings.
     
  15. Kustom 250

    Kustom 250 Active Member

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I'll keep an eye on 'em. So far I've had good luck with 45 minutes to 2 hours.

    That may be because I've only really tried thicker vinyl and reports seem to suggest those go easier.

    The only one so far that hasn't really worked is my copy of Issac Hayes Black Moses. After 2 hours disc one maybe got 30% better. But at least it plays now. It's really thin vinyl so maybe I'll try a much longer time with disc two. I'll keep an eye out for surface changes too.

    The felt does seem to have a smoother side so maybe that's a factor?


    Overall the VF/GP gets a big thumbs up from me. So far it's worked well on everything except the very thin Black Moses and one other one that was really more deformed then warped. While it got much flatter it still remain distorted. So no miracles but a really handy device to have.
     
    Preston likes this.
  16. tubesandvinyl

    tubesandvinyl Forum Resident

    I totally understand your concerns about lowering the perceived value of the record.

    I'm only flattening records that I would consider "unplayable". They are records, mostly newer pressings from the last couple years, that are too warped or dished to play comfortably on my MC cartridge. These are records I would prefer returning to the vendor, except it will cost me $15 per record to ship with tracking. So I'm happy to salvage the records with the VF.
     
  17. KALEX

    KALEX Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    I spoke on the phone with a gentleman (Bill?, can't recall for sure) at Vinyl Flat and asked this very question. He said the decision to switch from the acrylic Groovy Rings to the synthetic fiber rings was done for a few reasons. The primary one, as you might expect, was cost. The synthetic rings are far less expensive to produce. In addition, the 12" synthetic rings can be safely used on 7" and 10" records as well. Whereas, he said, separate 7" and 10" acrylic rings were required to flatten records of those respective diameters. He also mentioned the potential design flaw of the acrylic rings (pointed out in one of the threads here) whereby they have the ability to create an indentation in the run-in area of a record if not properly centered.

    I asked him about the "orange peel" effect after long cycles in the groovy pouch. He said it is possible, but would result from heating times much longer than what they recommend. He went on to say that there has been a revision to the most recent Groovy Pouch being sold. He said that it gets significantly hotter than earlier models. Consequently, instructions inluded with these more recently produced pouches recommend shorter cooking times. He said the variations in the products currently in consumers' hands can make comparison of experiences problematic on forums like ours.

    Oh, one more thing ... they're experimenting with a larger diameter vinyl flat that might better address edge warps. However, he couldn't say when, or even if, it will be offered for sale.
     
  18. tubesandvinyl

    tubesandvinyl Forum Resident

    Thanks for the info! Great stuff.
     
  19. Preston

    Preston Forum Resident

    Location:
    KCMO Metro USA
    I checked a couple of the records that I flattened and did not notice any orange peel. What I did notice was what looked like water spots. So, I took a soft cloth and rubbed the deadwax area first and the spots disappeared. Then, I gently rubbed on the grooved area and the spots were removed there too. Not certain if this might be what you were refering to, but they were easily removed. I guess that this might be from evaporation of water (?) since I clean all records on my VPI record cleaning machine before they go in the Groovy Pouch. I also agree with Kustom 250: I grade my LPs on sound quality only. I have too many LPs that look perfect, but don't sound that way and many that look trashed, but somehow play perfectly.

    Also, from KALEX's post above, I was a pretty early adopter of the Groovy Pouch, so I believe mine probably doesn't get as hot as those of many of the persons on this thread. As I stated in a previous post, mine doesn't seem to work miracles, but it does make an audible difference, it just isn't always VISIBLE. Let me give you an example, I have a first pressing of Los Lobos' How Will the Wolf Survive? (bought on day of release) that has an edge warp that is audible. It's not terrible, but it is definitely audible. After I clean every LP, I always put it back on the turntable and play the warped portion of the LP, mainly looking at the magnitude of the vertical oscillation. I guess I think I'm going to remember how bad it is and be able to remember in order to do a before and after comparison. Anyway, after a session in the Groovy Pouch (after cool down), I always play the LP, looking first at the oscillation and then listen to the record. When I put the Los Lobos LP on, my eyes told me there was no difference in the magnitude of the oscillation, but when I listened to the LP, the warp wasn't audible. I guess my visual memory isn't as good as I think, or that even a minor reduction in the magnitude of a warp is very beneficial.
     
  20. Preston

    Preston Forum Resident

    Location:
    KCMO Metro USA
    Great information: thanks for posting. I haven't had an issue with not getting the acrylic rings centered (yet). I carefully place the LP and the rings and then tighten it down very snugly, so the LP can't move. See my above post about edge warps, but I would also be very interested in a larger version too.
     
  21. bubba-ho-tep

    bubba-ho-tep Forum Resident

    Location:
    Texas
    So if I take a pretty well-dished 180-gram LP and put it in the Vinyl Flat and Groovy patch (150 degree version) before I go to work in the morning and remove it about 12 hours later, will that do the trick? I tried six hours and that didn't really work.
     
  22. Akhorahil

    Akhorahil Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Need advice for Picture Records. Anyone tried?

    My version is 150 with felt rings.
    I was successful most of the time (about 10 records) with just 2 hr/2hr heating/cooling in GP regardless of vinyl age or record thickness.
    One exception - Dire Straits, Making Movies on Vertigo 6359034. Changed from unplayable with huge warp to playable, but small edge warp survived after 3 session in VF/GP using 6 binder clips as tubesandvinyl suggested (great idea BTW).

    And I can also confirm the "orange peel" effect and ruined record in just under 3 hr in VF/GP, which I beleive was due to overtight.

    Overall I am very pleased with this product, since I was very tired to return the modern pressing records back to the stores (sucks time), as some of you already reported.
     
  23. bubba-ho-tep

    bubba-ho-tep Forum Resident

    Location:
    Texas
    Okay, so I've been getting a lot of dished records lately (all new) that I have been unable to flatten using the Vinyl Flat with 150 degree Groovy Pouch. I've been barely tightening the wing but and going for 3 hour cycles. I'm thinking I should go the 1/4 turn past snug route to see what happens.
     
  24. bubba-ho-tep

    bubba-ho-tep Forum Resident

    Location:
    Texas
    Well, 3 hours didn't even improve the dish at all. I have yet to repair a dished record with this thing. Am I doing something wrong or did I waste $160 on this thing?
     
  25. Humungus

    Humungus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    In my experience 3 hours is not enough. Usually i go for 5 to 6 hours, then the same time for cooling.
     

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