Yes I purchased one a few months ago. The item works pretty good. It is important that you follow the directions to the letter or you will have very bad results. Let me back track a little bit. The build quality is very good. The item weighs 12 lbs. and comes with instructions.
My first album I experimented with was just a junk album with a lump in it. I heated the over to 150 degrees for a half hour as the instruction stated then placed the album in the Vinyl Flat, tightened the unit down and placed it in the oven for 30 minutes. Took it out after 30 minutes and let it cool for 40 minutes per the instructions. What a disaster! I kind of melted the album, distorted the grooves but the lump in the album was gone!
OK now let me share with you my mistakes I made. First my oven was not 150 degrees, it was 163 degrees. The temp reading on the oven is not accurate. I purchased an oven thermometer to check the temp against the oven dial. Off by 13 degrees. My next mistake was I tightened down way too much on the Vinyl Flat clamping knob. When the album heated up I was squeezing the hell out of the vinyl, which distorted the grooves of the album. If you go to the Vinyl Flat website they have a really good video on how to use the flattener.
Now armed with all of the knowledge on how to use the flattener properly I made a second attempt with an album that I wanted to fix and would be upset if I messed it up. I set the oven temp to 150 degrees and verified it with the oven thermometer, placed the album in the Vinyl Flat and just finger tightened the knob. I placed it in the oven for 25 minutes and took it out and let it cool for 40 minutes. The Vinyl Flat worked GREAT! The album was almost perfectly flat. Was able to play it with no problems and the sound was not distorted. Very happy with the product.
I will buy the heated pouch when it becomes available, I think it will make the process a whole lot easier because it will take out the variable of oven temperature which is critical and varies from oven to oven.
Overall I would recommended this product. I have done 3 more albums and have gotten excellent results with all 3.
How do you get warped records? I live in the middle of the desert in sunny, hot, Scottsdale, Arizona. I store my records in the garage that goes to 120 or so, yet, I don't have warps in the records. I store them on shelves in an upright position, and they have been fine.
How do you get warped records?
I don't know about you, Stringreen, but both my used and new LP retailers provide them @ no extra charge ;~) In fact, it's the flat ones that cost extra, since you have to return the bloody things a half-dozen times to get a one that isn't warped !!! As I remember (not so sure; it was late 60s when I started buying lots of LPs) it has always been that way.
I guess I've been lucky...
Ya it's pretty bad when you drop x amount of money and the shipping cost x amount and a record shows up either warped or dished. The friggen shipping cost depending on where it's coming from can quickly eat up money fast so depending on the specific pce sometimes I feel it's not really worth returning.
I have been looking at the Furutech flatener for a while now but because of the cost of over $2K I just feel it's too exspensive.
When this came out it does look very interesting but waiting for the heating bag to come out because I have no interest in using my oven, if it works will most likely be on my list to purchase.
Does anyone know when the heating bag is scheduled to be available.
I know outer rings don't work well on some TT's, especially suspended designs. That said, if you do like the sound of an outer ring on your TT, there is no need to flatten records as the ring will do it in all but the very worst cases. YMMV.
Thanks gents and Benjie for the review. The dealer ad that was on here has since been pulled, maybe because they were listing it at around +$50 to the mfrs website price. I wrote to the mfr about availability of the pouch and John Martindale got back within an hour to say it'll be $60 and available mid-september. I'll probably wait, I'm oven-challenged. but I'll definitely buy it. I have 3000+ lps, even a small ripple can defeat the seal on my vacuum SOTA.
The price has gone up, from the $60 you were quoted: (http://www.vinylflat.com/index.html)
Incorrect. That was the price quoted yesterday for the 'pouch'. The flatener is $79.95, $50 less than the dealer ad on Agon. $59.95 quoted for the pouch, price not showing on their website yet. $80 for that flattener? Clearly these guys are not out to steal, well done on them.
Will the Groovy Rings mis-shaped after prolong use??
I looked at the website about a week ago, decided to hold off until they come out with the promised 7" adapter and the pouch, then I'll probaby bite (even though I'd guess that out of several thousand records in my collection, I'd only have occasion to use it on maybe a hundred or two at most, and of those I could probably count on both hands the few that are actually unplayable as-is).
somewhere in the archives here there is a discussion of how to flatten warped LP's using your oven and 2 pieces of glass. I bought 2 granite tiles at Home Depot (the shiny finished ones, and follow that procedure: heat oven to 200deg, place LP between 2 (room temp) tiles, turn oven off, set the tiles w/LP in the oven and leave it there for several hrs. Remove and test . . .
I've done 2 LP's and had perfect results. Cost me $12 I think for the tiles.
I've always been too chickensh*t to try that with a valued record...
I've always been too chickensh*t to try that with a valued record...
. . . so was I, but I had one record with the edge so warped I couldn't play the first 2 tracks. It was possible to find a replacement, but would have cost. I tried a less valued record first, and then the one I really wanted to fix. There's no evidence anything was ever done to it (ie the warp, or the fix) .
Mfr says the pouch will be available mid September and they will offer bundled pricing.
Does not look to well made.
Emb, it is a very well made tool. The pieces are precision machined and fit together perfectly. This is not some backyard part. I own one and I am very satisfied with its performance.
When management of a company catering to audiofools actually encourages you to hold off on your purchase and take advantage of an upcoming package deal, it sorta reinforces (to me at least) that they're in if for the long haul, so I have no doubt it will be well made.
One of these devices shipped in my direction today; the Decca London Reference rides so close to the vinyl surface that a bit of a warp can throw the cartridge halfway across the disk. Can't have that.
Hi drmoss_ca, will appreciate your view on how well it works. I am waiting until the pouch is available, and no time really to spin vinyl much right now anyway. Are you in the GTA area, I'm in Burlington, ON? Nice system you have....
I'm in NS. I've got three discs ready to try it on - I'll let you know how it goes.
I'm waiting for the pouch to become available as well. Excited that there's an affordable option out there now!
Also, waiting on the pouch before I purchase.
First disc is in the (calibrated) oven now. I'll let you know in 80 minutes how it went.
This disc had a short but profound deformation involving about 15 degrees of arc. It was about half gone after the first go. I repeated the treatment and it is cooling again now.
Perfect result second time around! It's up next for a go on the turntable.
The listening test will provide the complete answer, THANKS!!!
I have an LP purchased new a couple of years back that was unplayable it was so full of ripples. It'll be the first to hit mine once I get it....
Due to manufacturing problems the pouch will not be available until the end of Sept.
Dang. They're now saying another 3 weeks with customs involvement. They must be having the pouch made you-know-where, which might explain the reasonable pricing (although some cough cough grcoughant fidelity might pocket that)....
I have the Vinyl Flat record flattener and love it. Its all to easy to get the records dead flat. The product is very well made and thought out.
I think the instructions err on the side of caution as I have also experimented with not so valuable records leaving them in the heat for longer than first recommended - no problems at all.
The choices to expertly flatten records are Furutech at $2000 or Vinyl Flat at under $100. I can't believe anyone needs to even think about it!
Anyone tried this with *really* warped records?
I got an e-mail from John Martindale to say the pouch is available and shipping, so I have ordered one. Since I am due in two weeks to acquire another two boxes (each box is ~ 100 LPs) of the record collection I am inheriting piecemeal, I kind of hope one of them will be warped! None have been as yet, but there are 900 more classical LPs to come. They have taught me to love the Nonesuch label.
Thanks for the head's up Doc. I have ordered the package/bundle and it's shipping today.
Got my VinylFlat/Groovy Pouch combo today! Did my initial test on a copy of Eagles The Long Run that would launch the stylus out of the groove on the outer cut. Followed the instructions and four hours later the album is about as flat as I could ask for - only minor vertical movement of the cartridge and tonearm on each revolution.
So, this is a product that garners my full support and recommendations!
Picked mine up last night, free next business day delivery from Texas to NY. Well packed (but no fancy retail packaging which would just add to the cost) , and much heavier than I expected. I havent had a chance to test it yet. Somewhere around I have an album bought new a couple of years ago, that was so warped and rippled, it was completely unplayable. I'm gonna round that one up and put it to the test in the next few days and will report back. Certainly on first blush it appears a well-made device for the $$$, and they shipped immediate.
I tried mine out today with the pouch. 5 hours heating time and a couple of cooling hours. Pretty severe edge warp gone in a new pressing of Lucinda Williams "West" which all four copies I tried were next to unplayable. So far, so good.
After flattening, is there any negative effect on the sonics of the album? In other words, is there detectable groove damage?
No negative effects that I can hear. The Band's Rock of Ages (2nd LP) is in the flattener now. I'll try and post some short video of before and after.
My first attempt at 5 hours on a severely warped (it was unplayable)new 180 gram LP did not work. It appeared it may have improved somewhat but still pretty warped. So now it's in for a second run....
Based on my understanding from conversation with Vinyl Flat, multiple rounds may be required for more warped records. Especially 180g I would expect.
My problem may be the Pouch. It has been plugged in for about 4 hours, and when I went by just a few minutes ago, I put my hand on it and it was cool. Fiddled with the connection a bit and it started warming up.
It was warm yesterday after I set it up initially, but I moved it to a preferred location and it might have gone cold. So another 4.5 hours as long as it remains working.
The connection on the pouch needs a little fiddling but the third time is a charm. 2nd and 3rd efforts it was on all night, ie 8 hours plus each. Came out flat enough the last time that my Sota Star was able to seal the vacuum lip. I'm not familiar with the LP and it is basic garage/shoe gazer rock so guitar distortion is abundant but nothing seems out of place sound-wise. Success I'd say...
Yeah, evaluating an improvement in sound or correct sound based on a shoegaze album is a bit tricky for sure.
Yeah, I'm not about to put a flat well-heard and cherished Bluenote in there to be absolutely critical, but I dont hear anything untoward in the few acoustic bits and quiet passages. I think we're alright here.....LOL
I've got a mighty warped Lampchop LP I could send you to put it through its paces. Totally unplayable as is. And simple well-recorded material. Or maybe I finally just pull the trigger on one of these myself...
Hey Roscoe, I'm in Canada, the shipping back and forth might prove problematic. I'd say pull the trigger. And thanks for addicting me to yet another artist I hadn't encountered prior....
Oh, happy to turn on anyone to Lambchop. "Damaged" is ironically enough the LP I have that is damaged. Also my favorite of theirs. Seeing Lambchop and Belle & Sebastian back to back with their full accompaniment was a real treat 6 or 7 years back. Guess I will need to just pull the trigger.
I'd be happy to try and flatten it for you. Contact me at WntrMute2@aol.com