returning vinyl for warpage?

Ok so I am kinda new to vinyl so I am not sure if I am just being too picky so here is the deal:
I purchased 2 new LPs, Beatles white, and Them Crooked Vultures. Both are double lp, and the first song or so has a noticable warp. They play fine...but it's awful nerve racking to watch the needle ride up and down over the waves LOL. I have purcased about 30 records new from the same store and never had this problem before. Since they play fine, is it unreasonable to go back and request another copy? TCV wasn't that big of a deal but the darn Beatles cost a chunk of change!

thanks for your input.
Sorry to hear about your bad luck.
It does not hurt to try asking.
Besides, what is the worst they could do, say "No"?
(Good Luck!)

Question: How good of a pressing is the album of Them Crooked Vultures?

(I like the CD fairly well, and was thinking of getting the vinyl version.)
Absolutely return it. This is something record stores have always had to deal with, even when vinyl was the only medium available.
if they play fine, they are fine. absolutely flat records are more rare than you might think.
Record stores don't get to return their records to the manufacturer (although maybe MusicDirect does), I don't know why.

You should try to return them though, I have the Crooked Vultures album, and mine is fine, so you should definitely return your.

Where did you get a new Beatles White Album??
"Too picky audiophile" is an oxymoron.

Do what you need to do you sleep well at night.
You don't say where you purchased them. But if they came packaged together maybe they were poorly packed and that caused the warp. Also maybe they have a record flattner that so many of the record stores sell.
Yes, you should return them! Music Direct and Acoustic Sounds are not always happy to take them back but they will if you insist; don't be afraid to insist, it's your money!

The vinyl of TCV is quite good - I don't own the CD but it is interesting to note that the free MP3 download card included with the LP proudly proclaims that the high bit rate transfer is derived from the vinyl master.

I like the LP's sonics - it's a big sounding crunchy hard rock LP, with a very good low end, and decent transparency for a contemporary recording of the genre. My pressing is flawless.


The LP is much better, at least to me it is. I had the cd for about a month before going out and getting the album.

It's actually the 2nd copy. The first copy was warped as well and I returned it. I bought the Beatles on that return trip. Now that this one is warped as well as the Beatles one... started making me doubt if I should return them again. I found last night that there is a spot in track one that won't track / skips so it's going back again for sure.

The Beatles I am not sure about, it was the last copy and was $50.00. I have found it elsewhere ( on line ) but they want 70 bucks for it.

All of this was from School kids in Raleigh NC. Like I said though, I have purchased 30 or so LPs from them and all of them have been great. I don't want to put a hurting on one of the only places I can get LPs locally, it's about the only new Vinyl store in business around here. I went there when I was a kid... and that was a LONG time ago LOL...
Palasr, thanks for the info!

No_money, Thank you too, and if they won't exchange it, you should do a search here, and on AudioAsylum, on how to do record flattening with two pieces of glass in your oven.
(I am not sure of the temperature or the length of time to do it, but I have read that it works very well, and does not damage the vinyl.)

Good Luck!

PS I am off to find and buy a copy of TCV!
I'm glad this thread came up again, it gets discussed often enough, but I've noticed that many more records that I've purchased (new) in the past 2-3 years have been warped.

I've especially noticed that the albums that are so called 'audiophile quality' '180 gram!' pressings suffer the same problems as some of the much cheaper records. center holes punched of center, scary lip warps, etc.

I know the 180 gram argument is tired, but when you are buying these albums that are advertised as the best quality pressing yet, and are priced as such, you should get what is advertised. Instead you get, in my opinion, suckerd.

This has to be a Q/A thing happing at the plants. I've got records that are decades older than myself that are glass flat and probably were stored like an old couch for many hears. So, does anyone have any ideas?

Not letting the vinyl cool properly? Shrink wrapping too tightly or getting the heat source to close to the product? Different vinyl compositions due to environmental regulations or overall cost savings?

I just dont buy the damaged in transit argument anymore, because all my records were transported similarly 8-10 years ago as they are today.

for the record, I agree with Jaybo, that if it plays fine its fine, but I can help but think it imparts some unnecessary wear on the cantelever and suspension of the cartridge.
It's not the easiest or most economic desicson, but I bought a periphery ring so I wouldn't have to worry about that again.
Macdadtexas, I have thought about getting a ring but I am not sure there is one compatable with a Rega p-5? Or is it a one size fits all type thing?

Do you use a record clamp of any sort?

I ask, because I have a Basis turntable, and I use their proprietary clamp, and I never have an issue with warped records. I just play right through through them, and the stylus just tracks great. It is not a periphery ring, of the sort that VPI makes, but still, it does seem to flatten out the records so that I have not had ANY issues with any of the new records I have purchased, or even the older, used, records that I buy.

You might want to check into getting some sort of clamp first, and see if that works. (I am sure that it is much less expensive, albeit it probably is not as effective as a peripherial ring, in reducing warpage.

Also, you might want to check with Rega, or your Rega dealer, as to what they recommend. Some turntables do not work well with heavy clamps.

My two cents worth anyway.
I would definitely not apply heat to it. There is an estimated 1000,000 bits of information in every inch of record groove which is why digital , with about a relative third of that, still can't compete with a great pick-up system. If your tone-arm is reverberating, it's definitely causing undo stress. If it's a tall, gradual warp, it's affecting the anti-skate position for that segment as well as rake angle. Depending on how much of a privilege it is to obtain records these days in your area, I would take it back.
Both of the albums are warped on the outer edge so a center clamp won't do much to help in this case.

The TCV is more of a single warp and the beatles while not as steep as the single warp on the TCV has several "wavy" warps in it.... scares the crap out of me watching the stylus track through it. After the first song or so all is good.
I would return them if it is within the time limit.It is making it sound worse.
I have purchased three lps on a well-known label lately and all three were warped out outer edge. One was the worst I have ever seen. 3/3 warped on this label (won't say who because I wrote a post about it before that the moderators apparently didn't let through), and I won't buy from them anymore. I was stunned that lps in such poor shape were sold, and sold as "audiophile 180gr" pressings. Then I was stunned at the horrible customer service when I returned 2 of them. I'm too young to have been into vinyl before the advent of the cd. Was encountering badly warped lps common back in the day? Seems like any company worth its salt would be horrified to have such poor lps go out to customers. Speaking for myself as a consumer, I'm not going to shell out $20+ for a new lp and just live with severe or moderate warping, I will always return.
I agree; records are no different than any other product you are buying. The product should be in good condition and ready to play. I can not tell you how many records I have purchased over the last couple of years that were warped, bent, with off-centered holes, torn labels, and various other defects. I am not expecting total perfection, but the record manufactures really need to tighten-up and spend some more effort on good old quality control!
records never were completely's are flat. returning records that won't play well is one thing, but returning because they are not 'visually' completely flat is another. they are vinyl.....
I couldn't agree more with Fightingwords' post. In the past few months I've returned quite a few of those "high-quality audiophile pressings" that cost over $30 but were either warped, had a visible crystal residue, or sounded distorted in part of songs/tunes. My latest purchase, Cannon Adderley's "Something Else," 180 gr vinyl from Blue Note, first came visibly scratched on one of the songs from musicdirect. I wanted it badly so I bought a copy from my dealer the same day and after we opened it at the store, it had a visible imprint/residue on the edge of the record, which my dealer identified as the mark made by the plastic sleeve put on the record too early. The record sounded fine so I kept it but c'mon, 2 same records both defective right out of the box from 2 different sources? There's obviously a problem with lack of quality control and care in manufacture at Blue Note.

I also had to return "Kind of Blue," (also from Blue Note) a 180 gr $33 pressing as it was producing 1-2 second distortion on Flamenco Sketches on both my set-up and my dealer's $60,000 rig. Same with Cold Play's "Viva La Vida," another "high quality" 180 (possibly 200 gr--I don't remember) pressing. Produced distortion for most of one of the songs. It also had a crystalline residue on it when I looked at it against the light, which might have been what caused the distortion. Brand new.

Btw, the both of the Blue Note records I've mentioned, are also next to impossible to insert back into their cardboard outer sleeves without some serious struggle. The paper/plastic sleeve is bunching up and the record simply won't go in. You have to move it up and down by the edges to ease it into the sleeve. Do these people have any sort of quality check for God's sake?

I also returned "Dark Side of the Moon" the 30 Anniversary Special Edition pressing, as it was warped way too much for the money and a special pressing label. I felt like my stylus was on high seas simply trying to stay afloat. The new copy is also slightly warped by not as much and at this point I just gave up and felt bad exchanging it yet again at my dealer's store.

All of this in the span of a few months. It should be absolutely unacceptable. All these so called "audiophile quality" or heavy vinyl releases are at least $30. It makes me so angry that established record companies such as Columbia or Blue Note have the balls to charge so much, advertise as "high quality audiophile pressing," and pay no attention to the actual quality. It's time to call them on their BS.
I use this one ..I made by myself .. one month close there and you 'll find your LP perfectly flat!
Interesting. Perhaps you should patent it.

I am not asking for completley flat, just not so warped that when the stylus hits...if it hits wrong... oh.. I don't even want to think about it!

These are pretty good warps, playable, but big enough that I wasn't even sure I was going to try and play them at first.
I have had 3 different versions of the 30th anniversary DSOTM and all of them have absolutely sucked. Noisey, scratched, and warped. I found a perfect 1st pressing, and although it doesn't sound as good as the parts of the 30th anniversary that were in perfect shape, it's much better on the whole because it's not warped, and doesn't have a ton of surface noise in different parts.
Don't forget when they were converting people to CD's,they said records are cheap to make and CD's aren't,that's why CD's are expensive.That was in the 80's I believe.So if records are cheap to make,they shouldn't have any problem giving us a quality product with these premium prices they're charging.
since there are only a handful of plants, and records are pressed in very small runs...they ain't cheap. i still think the 180/200 gram is b.s. however.
I returned both today, no problems at all. They did not have more in stock so ordered me replacements. Picked up the last Toadies LP while there as well and it sounds awesome!
"01-15-10: Curio
I use this one ..I made by myself .. one month close there and you 'll find your LP perfectly flat!"

Guys, This actually works. Of course, we aren't talking about totally trash albums, but those which won't spin on one side when placed on a non-compliant platter surface.

Curio, You really should make and sell them. A lot of guys either don't have time to make one, or aren't inclined mechanically. If you don't seize the day with this, someone else will. Let me know if you don't want to, and I'll be that guy. It is a needed item.
Well.... on my 3rd copy of TCV... SAME DANG WARP!!! AARRRRG.. this is getting really frustrating.
Will return it next weekend for them to take a look at. Honestly, it plays but dang.. this is a big warp man.
So Curio, and Mosin, is that made out of glass or acrylic?

I would be interested in buying it, as it looks fairly cheap to make, hence it should be fairly cheap to buy.

Thanks for the info.
Since I'm not as handy as Curio, I decided to create a more primitive "device" for flattening warped records using the same principle. I went to a plastics warehouse where they cut sheets of acrylic to order and purchased 3 sheets of 12.5"x 12.5", 3/18 thick acrylic for about $12 a sheet. I bought 3 to be able to do 2 records at the same time to maximize the return on investment, so to speak. I then put a stack of heavy books on top of the acrylic and intend to keep it undisturbed for a month. For some reason I felt uncomfortable stacking records on top of one another, rather than have only one between the sheets of acrylic.

I could have also bought thinner sheets and save a few bucks per sheet but 3/18 seemed just the right thickness for the job. It doesn't look pretty, but it's in the bedroom by my side of the bed in the corner of the room so my better half acquiesced...I'll report the results in about 3 weeks.