Vinyl Flat with Groovy pouch heater is everything you need at much lower cost than either of those two.
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The Furutech is made by Orb (it is the DF-2). The one that is branded Orb in the States is the DF-1 [something], which was the original model but updated- I think Acoustic Sounds was selling these. There is also an Orb DF-3 that is not brought into the States, but is available in the Far East (and Europe, I believe).
I have the Furutech DF-2. I also have a Vinyl Flat w/Groovy pouch. I have used both successfully. There is a guy on the Hoffman board (I'm not sure if he posts here) with the user name Satrus. He may be worth reaching out to- he owned the original DF-1 for many years, and recently bought a DF-2 or 3 (sorry, can't remember). But, he could probably give you some insight into the differences in operation. If you are talking about buying from the East as opposed to the U.S., the prices are considerably lower, but you are buying a good that is not necessarily authorized for import into the States, may need a power adapter, and may not be able to get service or support (again, assuming you are in the States, which may be an unwarranted assumption). Frankly, there isn't a lot to go wrong with these units, but I guess you'd have to calculate the risk into the equation.
Yes. Orb make all record flatteners globally and OEM them to Furutech and Air Tight.
I have owned the Orb DF-02 for around 7 years and it has worked flawlessly.
Orb have the DF-03 now, but you may be able to get NOS of the DF-02 on ebay.
Buy direct from Japan - All you need is a step down transformer.
@downunder : Question for you downunder-- will you do repeated sessions (not necessarily back to back, but over time) with the DF-2 if the record still has problems in playback after a single session? I have had some records that flatten and play well after a single cycle. Others- not so much- the records will get flatter, but in some cases, there still seem to be anomalies- the record looks "out of round" or even if not something visible, on playback, the record will still skip- sometimes, it seems that edge warps on old vinyl are the worst due to vinyl memory and long standing warps (though that isn’t consistent either- I flattened an early UK pressing of Truth on the EMI-Columbia label easily in one session though the record had edge warps in addition to larger gradual potato chip type warps). Sometimes, and this is just conjecture on my part, I think the groove path is "off" and flattening does not fix that, in fact, it may exacerbate the problem-
I’d be interested in your experience. The instructions that come with the DF-2 suggest that only a single session is appropriate and caution against repeated sessions. TIA.
Yes I do give some albums more than one flatten session. I generally use the 2 hour timer or the 2.5 hour if it looks a little more dished than normal. some warps which are localised on one area will need a couple of flattens. I will generally let go overnight, then cook again while I am at work. Does not happen to much these two days.
the flattener will work perfectly on any dished lp or mild warps. Any warp that has caused the grooves to be deformed cannot be fixed. The flattener only flattens, it can't move the grooves forward or back when they are deformed - have to throw those out unfortunately.
You will find some GZ pressings of the late 2000's and early 2010's will actually fry in the flattener as GZ decided to change to some POS soft vinyl compound. They don't do that anymore.
Agree with Dave. Vinyl Flat with Groovy Pouch does the job. I usually go straight to 4 hour heating and it is enough, unless a record has a sharp warp. For very heavy records (like today´s 180 g) I give 5 - 6 hours treatment.
As Downunder says, flattening only flattens not fixes deformed grooves.
Vinyl Flat is a great best buy. Highly recommended.