Brand New Warped albums!

First, let me say I LOVE Music Direct.  They have always provided me with good service, very quick shipping and very high quality products.  I will be a forever customer.  I received 4 albums for Christmas that I ordered.  I received Pink Floyd "Obscured By Clouds & "Meddle" and also Led Zeppelin 2 and 4.  All but one of the albums were warped.  I contacted MD and they arranged 3 new albums to be sent to me and I returned the old ones at no charge to me.  All 3 of the new ones were warped but I decided to live with it.

Last weekend I ordered 4 more albums from MD, Yes "Fragile" & "The Yes Album Box set recorded at 45rpm.  I also received Stand Up by Jethro Tull & DSOTM by Pink Floyd.  The packaging was more than perfect.  Excitedly, I opened and played the first record from The Yes Album box set and the record is severely warped.  It is so warped that the tonearm looks like it's going to fly off the record!.  I haven't played the other records yet and will probably play them on Saturday.  I did not write this to bash MD as I know they will do right by me but I am concerned about receiving so many warped records.  What I would like to know is this the new normal?  I can't believe I just have bad luck.  All of the records were 180gram vinyl.

I would like to hear from others who have ordered from MD and if your records arrived warped.  Again, let me be perfectly clear....I am not blaming MD as they just ship out the records which they receive from their distributor and have no way of knowing if the records are warped or not and they always make good on anything the customer finds unsatisfactory.  Am I being too picky?
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We all get the warped records from time to time. There's something going on at Music Direct, or their sources, that needs to be addressed. I would be calling customer support, not just to ask for replacements, but to have them be sure to investigate the cause of the warped records. That's too many at one time to be a coincidence, IMO.

No, not picky at all. I made the decision to get a record flattener years ago to make my life easier.

I'm surprised MD paid for return shipping! I've been a customer from day one and they never offered that for me. One of the main reasons I went to SSD for all new lp purchases. Now that option is gone.

The person I spoke with at MD knew how angry I was. Perhaps that is why they offered? How much was the record flattener?
Hey, I bought the Vinyl Flat which is around $150.00 shipped.  If you decide to go that route I can give you some tips on using it.
I wouldn't try to fix a warped record that was purchased new if it gets further messed up it's on you. For the price we pay for records they should be received flat or returned.
What happened to Q. C. anyway.
Just stick em in the oven between two panes of glass, top pane weighted a bit, for 5-10 minutes at 150 deg. F. Problem solved.

I received 4 albums ... All but one of the albums were warped ... they arranged 3 new albums to be sent to me ... All 3 of the new ones were warped ...

I ordered 4 more albums ... I opened and played the first record from The Yes Album box set and the record is severely warped. It is so warped that the tonearm looks like it’s going to fly off the record! ... is this the new normal? ... Am I being too picky?
That’s difficult to say. Certainly, no LP should be so warped that the pickup arm nearly flies off the record. (Presuming, obviously, that the arm and cartridge are set up properly in the first place.)

How warped were the other LPs? I’ve not had any issue at all with Music Direct and like you, I’ve found their packaging to be excellent. Perhaps I’ve been extra lucky, or you’ve been extra unlucky.

I do get a mildly warped LP from time to time. My turntable has a reflex clamping system, and that is usually sufficient to keep the disc tight against the platter.
Only had one badly warped new record of late.
It was Mumford and Sons, bought from our local Target.
It was pretty bad and I decided not to even try playing it once I watched it on the platter.
Returned it for full refund same day.
So they are out there for sure, that was mid December 2018.
I think I am going to send the box set back for exchange or refund.  It was $59.00 and not chump change.   After I play the other 3 records, I’ll call them.  I hope it is only this 1 record and not all of them.  
@slaw , just googled the Vinyl Flat and that is interesting. Do you use it with the Groovy Pouch they offer for the heating or do you use the oven. Don't get many albums where this would be needed since I use a record clamp with a peripheral ring clamp with my VPI but when I do it looks like a cheap way to fix that problem.
Back in the late 70's early 80's when buying LP's, I had them open them up and put them on a TT and verify it was good.   The most disappointing warped LP was Clapton & Winwood "Live From Madison Square Garden" 3 LP Box Set.  I bought it while visiting California (I live in Nevada) and opened it weeks later.  Of the 3 albums, two were warped so bad they were unplayable.  I called them and the Manager said, "Didn't you see the sign, All Sales are Final on box sets".  It pisses me off every time I cross the border which ain't often.
@tooblue ,

I use the pouch.
@slaw, if it's not asking too much, I would love to hear your tips on using the Vinyl Flat (and Groovy Pouch, if you also have that).

I have been a Music Direct customer since the beginning. #0001. I received the new Beatles, "White Album" , Rocky Racoon had  a skip pressed into it. Called MD customer service and they emailed a return FedEx shipping label that afternoon. The next morning, I drove to MD and they cancelled the return, notified their shipping dept. and exchanged my copy for a new copy. The best, as always. Yes, it is nice to live a 40 minute drive away. MD will take care of you.

I agree, that is a lot of warped records, in such a short time. No, that is Not being too fussy. Flat Records play and sound better. Flat records is what we should all expect. Back in the day. I was fussy and returned all records that had too many tics & pops, warps etc. Never a problem, just exchanged for new copy of the same: as I did with MD and the White Album.

Except for a few albums that I bought used and escaped my visual inspection, 99% of my records are mostly flat. A lot of albums do have (for lack of a better description), a "Wave" They play fine, the tonearm does what it is supposed to do. Still, I do think that the records could play and sound better if they were really flat. Just play a record that is flat and a copy that has a "Wave" or play a new MOFI UD1S or a UHQR and watch your tonearm. I think that, you will agree.

This is exactly why I have been saving my "nickles". I am, almost ready to purchase an "AFI Flat". A record flattener made in Germany. It not only flattens records; It has a, RELAX Cycle, that relieves the stresses introduced to the record when pressed. Yes, It is Spendy. 2850 euros.

It is a risk, for an esoteric audiophile tweak. Aren't they all ?  I thought the same thing when I got a VPI16.5, Furutech De Stat and De Mag,  Ultrasonic cleaner, TipToes,  First pair of ICs  and many that I would be embarrassed to mention. I have a boxful.

All of us, should be fussy. Especially about our Source / Records. It all starts here.

Best on your Journey.

Is their a dealer network set up for the AFI yet?
@bdp24 ,

I may start a thread for the Vinyl Flat /user’s tips if there's noting out there already good enough to add on to.

No, Other than the Wittmann site and the Roy Gregory Review: there is little info that I can find. I have been in contact with 2 A' gon members that use and recommend the AFI Flat.  More info and user reviews and actual use would be appreciated. I forget the dealer in Canada, who offered me an AFI Flat for 2500.00 shipped. It was right then, right now, no return. He was looking to become a distributor; Don't know if that came about.

IF you have one and start a thread, that would be great.


@slaw @bdp24
There is a long thread or two on the Hoffman board from a few years ago with people comparing notes, but it isn’t definitive- more a trading tips and questions thread- the main difficulty was treating edge warps. I did have a Vinyl Flat and Groovy Pouch and it does work--i used a very incremental approach, and repeated heating/cooling cycles, to avoid what some users complained about with overheating and orange peel. I suspect part of the problem is overtightening of the wing-nut which in my view is unnecessary given how heavy those plates are.
I think a thread on this would be valuable @slaw - go for it!
cleeds was the first to offer the most effective way to flatten warped records....heat and pressure. I have not used Vinyl Flat but it seems that you can get the same results for a lot less money.

Home oven temperatures can vary greatly from what the setting (dial/digital) is to what the actual temperature is. An oven thermometer would be useful. Placing the record between 2 sheets of glass is a good idea but the main thing to consider is that the bottom support surface is very flat and sturdy (unless the glass is very thick).

If you try the DIY method start with a record that is warped and is not of particular value to you. That may be hard to find. If you use a warped record you purchased from a vendor and the vendor accepts returns, make sure you don't cause any visible damage to the record.
In the Summer months I have used parchment paper placed on both sides of the record, solid supports top and bottom, and HEAVY weight on top. Do that near a window or open area that receives direct sunlight, walk away, and forget for a day or two. This time of year that's probably not an option. But, the main things to pay attention to are flat surfaces, mild temperature, heavy weight, and time. Good luck.


There are quite a few "I have not used", or "is a good idea", or  "If you try". I assume you've tried a few things but …… there seems to be no definites in your post.
I had a problem with that 45rpm  Yes album to but it was both albums spindle hole was WAY off center. The other issue on this pressing, no bass,nada zip.
I had to eat it since I waited 4 months to open it to play. The ended buying The Steven Wilson re mix cd. Sounds uber.
@qdrone ,

Your experience with the 45rpm Yes is opposite from mine in that mine had bass that was previously not there.

Never wait to play lps, my friend,.....for that very reason.

I must have lucked out on my Yes Album Box. You win some, you lose some.
I buy records from multiple sources and have seen a number of warped records.  I had two copies of Amused to Death show up warped before I finally got a flat one. 

I had a seller tell me this when both discs of my Weezer red album showed up warped.  "'s pretty common these days for new vinyl to have a slight warp. They make stuff so fast and so much, it's just the way it is. I can't tell you the last new record that I got that didn't have a slight warp. It's not going to affect anything. "

It goes without saying that will be my last purchase from that seller.  The other sellers I've bought from have been good about sending replacements and paying for return shipping.

This is a little off topic, but I just ordered an Analogue Productions Rickie Lee Jones - It's Like This from MD and played it for the first time last night.  It was flat, but had more ticks and pops than a lot of used records I buy.  There seem to be a lot of quality issues with new vinyl in general.
It's not just MD.  I purchased two new Dianna Krall "pressed at RTI 180g 45 RPM audiophile" album sets at the DC Audio Show this summer from Elusive Disc.  One Diana Krall/Live In Paris record had a nasty skip on one side.  I had to pay return shipping.  The replacement record was warped.  I called ED, and while their written policy is the customer pays return shipping, they agreed to pay return shipping "this one time."  I don't blame ED for these problems, but I'm not sure if I'll buy from them again.  When I pay ~$50 for an album, I expect it to be in "perfect" condition - and if its not, I don't think I should have to pay return shipping.      

On a positive note, I ordered four Gregory Porter 180g albums from Amazon.  All of them were (are) in excellent condition.  No quality issues whatsoever and they sound fantastic.  
I played the second record from the Yes box set and it was perfect, perfectly flat and sounded amazing.  The reissue DSOTM I opened today from that order was also perfectly flat and was wonderful.  I have 2 more new records to play from that order, will do it tomorrow or Monday.  I wonder if MD would just take back The first record of the Yes Box Set?  It would make my life easier.  I guess it won't hurt to ask.
I recieved 2 Primus albums last week with no issue of warpage from Musicdirect. 
I sent the box set back and they replaced it.  The new one was fine. I just received 6 more records from them last week but I am under the weather so I haven’t opened them yet.  I haven’t played the stereo since my illness as I have a continued splitting headache and music will just make it worse.  I hope to get to them in the next week.   My wife has been absolutely wonderful taking care of me. 
What happened to Q. C. anyway.
This has been discussed on the forum. Many of these pressing plants are new startups and can’t keep up with the demand.
QC on new production vinyl is terrible. Compromises are made in the rush to get the product out the door. In addition, there is a level of inexperience; there are no maestros of vinyl pressing and processing as there were in days of old when vinyl ruled the roost.

With regard to warped records, not enough drying time is allotted. An entire batch of records will have the same flaws and a given vendor may receive many of these units.

It's a shame that after a century of pressing records and technological advances that we have to resort to using a record flattener. 
If all these warped records are being returned to the dealers and/or distributors, you would think they could make a better product.

 @stereo5 Hope you are well soon !
Thank you!