Japanese Pressing Vinyl question

Ever hold a record to a light source and tried looking through it? I'm sure you're well aware that you can see through the MFSL pressings, not the heavier ones silly. I proceeded to examine other japanese pressings, ie non-MFSL half-speed and regular japanese pressings, and to my surprise they were the same type of vinyl!

Is this a special type of high purity virgin vinyl and something worth looking out for? Is this type of vinyl purely manufactured in Japan?

curious george ;^)
Try this "MOFI Discography" website,
Hope this will help.
The Japanese pressings do use virgin vinyl and it may well be the same as the Audiophile pressings, although I can't swear to it. The MOFI use JVC Super-Vinyl. In any case the sound is very quiet on japanese pressings, and will rival any audiophile pressing for vinyl quality.
C.G. Virgin vinyl is the purist, most unadulterated form of vinyl. Virgin vinyl, in it's raw form, has very little in the way of impurities. Although it is manufactured in Europe, Asia and the U.S., most audiophile record manufacturers have records pressed by JVC. JVC does in fact have their own vinyl manufacturing facilities and has always been known in the industry to have basically set the standard for quality.

During the manufacturing process, there are often "mispressings". Instead of simply discarding these bad pressings, the record manufacturer will reclaim the vinyl by remelting. Often the paper labels and glue used to affix the labels, gets "reclaimed" also. During the remelting process, the vinyl is elevated to a high enough temperature to "burn off" the paper, but the ash and other impurities remain in the raw vinyl.

This is probably one of the most significant contributions to record surface noise. Virgin vinyls have certain specific criteria established for the percentage of impurities permitted in the vinyl's raw form. JVCs criteria happens to be some of the the most tightly controlled and some of the most stringent in the industry. The major European manufacturers such as Telarc and D.G. also maintain quality criteria, but the ears will tell you that they are simply not as quiet as some of the JVC pressings.

Audiophile vinyl recording manufacturers will also have their own criteria established. They will require a specific quality level in not only the raw material, but also in the finished product by means of surface noise characteristics measured in decibels. Finished surface hardness is also an important consideration for the manufacturer as this will have an overall effect on the actual longevity of the finished product, and also minimizing degradation of sound quality as wear occurs.

And to answer your final question, Yes, if you can find pressings on high quality vinyl, try them. You can be assured they will be somewhat quieter, revealing a higher level of detail. But also, don't make the mistake of thinking that just because it is on quality vinyl that it is going to sound better. The pressing of the record is also an extremely important factor in producing a high quality recording.

Hope this helps, happy listening.
I second and third the JVC pressing. I think they are absolutely the highest quality and quietest vinyls. I bought a few in the '70s and have played them numerous times. Some of them, particularly the CD-4 pressings, are so quiet that there isn't a single pop in the entire record. I am not sure if MFSLs were pressed by JVC but I know some of the Reference Recordings were.

I remember someone told me that JVC guarded the vinyl formula very tightly. After the company decided to close down the pressing plant, they dismantled all the equipment and prohibited workers from disclosing any detail of the formula. Up to now, still no one can recreate the same quality.

Thanks to the above Audiogon brothers for the comments!!
The Japanese are the only ones I know who have formulated an industry standard for vinyl. Thus you will find the JIS letters in a circle (in the form of a circular logo) in the dead wax area on all Japan Industry Standard (JIS) vinyl.

Here in Hong Kong even some of the old local Sony pressings used Japanese vinyl and have the JIS logo. In Hong Kong the Japanese vinyl is translucent when viewed against a bright light. Locally this is called "Coca Cola Vinyl" because it looks the color of the soft drink when viewed in this manner.
Wow! This is one of the most informational threads I have enjoyed in a while. I learned a lot about the vinyl pressing process and the pride taken by the Japnese to produce quality products. Thanks guys!
I just received some Japanese "Yes" albums that I had ordered (Fragile & Close to the Edge). I was quite impressed with how quiet they are. Detail and sound quality was outstanding. Now I know why.