Opinions about Newvelle Records pressing quality?


Have those of you who have subscribed to Newvelle Records been satisfied with the quality of their pressings?
I ordered one of the their lp's last year when they offered the opportunity to order single pressings without a subscription and was rather underwhelmed considering the cost. While the studio's recording quality and the packaging was fine, the second side of the pressing had audible groove noise and a number of ticks and pops. Was this an unlucky anomaly?
photon46
Was this an unlucky anomaly?


Maybe. Then again, maybe not. Pressing quality is a notoriously risky proposition. One of the very best records ever pressed, the Mobile Fidelity 45 of Dire Straits Brothers in Arms is also one of the worst quality pressings ever. Not just my opinion either. What I was told when I called to return it. Only other record ever that maybe was worse, The Basement Tapes had a piece of lint or paper embedded, actually melted right into it. The MoFi skipped, popped, crackled, and not one side or track was anything less than awful. Acoustic Sounds took it right back. Last one they had. Found another at WalMart (go figure) that one was quite good.

Even when you get a good pressing, compare with any other copy, you will find no two are ever quite the same. Reissues are particularly bad. Almost always the best copy is an early run, but even then you cannot judge by when or the stamper used or anything else. We live in an age where the ability to manufacture is so near perfect we take it for granted that any one will be near identical to any other. Record pressing is not like that. Record quality is a total crapshoot.

The growth rate in sales of LPs has been double digits for so many years now that this year LP sales have actually matched or even overtaken CD sales. Well, of course. Even with all the problems they sound so much better. Totally worth it. But this rapid growth, its like when Tarantino released The Hateful Eight in 70 mm Cinemascope, there were hardly any projectors and even fewer trained projectionists capable of running it. Even Chad Kassem who has been working harder and longer at this than just about anyone else, gobbling up all the best equipment, doing the best he possibly can, even Chad can't manage to make but a few good copies every now and then. Its that hard.

Long as you focus on  "audible groove noise and a number of ticks and pops" you are bound to be disappointed. And for what? Groove noise, ticks, and pops are inherent in the medium. The best medium yet invented by man. So relax. Enjoy. Perfect need not be the enemy of good. Only you can make it so.

By the way if you want to experience just how freaking good an old record can be click on over to BetterRecords.com find one of your favorites and see. Even if you don't buy one you can get yourself quite an education just reading what Tom Port has put together there.
I've been a subscriber since season 1 and find the quality to be equally as good as any other low volume high quality presser. I received one disc with a clear defect and returned that for another copy with no questions asked.

What you describe sounds like typical pressing quality -- I clean every disc I receive before listening on my KL US machine and while not as perfect as the best Japanese pressings (something like this https://www.discogs.com/Edith-Peinemann-Joseph-Keilberth-Günter-Wand-WDR-Sinfonieorchester-Köln-WDR-...) they also don't cost $150 a set ...
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Thanks to all for your responses. I have to say, as one who's collected vinyl for fifty years, rushing groove noise so loud as to be audible over the softest passages on acoustic music has not been very frequently heard on the thousands of lp's I own. The noise I'm referring to is not the usual low level background stuff you expect from vinyl. ( I do vacuum clean everything with L'art du Son and then a purified water rinse cycle.) At around $60 per title, I had a little higher quality expectations for Newvelle recordings. I've had welded paper bits in new pressings as well. Last one was Ry Cooder's "Live at the Great American Music Hall." 
Here's the only quote above that comes anywhere even close to bashing digital:
 Even with all the problems they [records] sound so much better.

If saying records sound better is bashing digital, well snowflake, you got me.

Or maybe what triggered your outburst is:
The best medium yet invented by man.
Well, that's just a fact. Sorry.

But I also said:
The MoFi skipped, popped, crackled, and not one side or track was anything less than awful.

and
Record quality is a total crapshoot.

and
even Chad can't manage to make but a few good copies every now and then. Its that hard.
and
Groove noise, ticks, and pops are inherent in the medium.

Hard to see how all that can be taken as anything other than a fair assessment grounded in reality. Which maybe that is the problem. Because you said

digital done right can sound as good as vinyl at every level

Which is either a fantasy (because it has yet to be done right) or a total dodge, as in theoretically if it were done right. Which it never has been, which is why they have to keep reinventing it every few years. 

Bottom line, I told the OP to learn to live with an inherently flawed format. How you can turn that into bashing digital is one for the psychologists to unravel.


I've also been with NewVelle since the beginning.  During that 4-year period I had one record that had a serious flaw, and Elan Mehler jumped right on it and had a replacement shipped from the French pressing plan (NewVelle has recently switched to QRP, and those pressings have been flawless.)
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