Help! Vinyl Pressing Defect?

No Regrets

Well-Known Member
Jan 24, 2012
413
462
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Midwest USA
Hello,

I feel very blessed to have an amazing collection of vinyl records from both the classical and jazz genres, dating back to the late 50's to present era. I've had these records for decades, getting lots of play time over the years and to this very day they play flawlessly :)

However, there are times when I'll purchase brand new records from the various online retailers that are on relatively newer record labels... Reference Recordings, Chasing the Dragon, Yarlung, etc. Most of the times the records are pristine. But, just recently I have received three brand new records that came with what I believe may be pressing defects.

1. On one record, side B has noticeable distortions in the left channel at various times throughout that record side. It persists after three cleanings on my VPI record cleaner. I even lessened the A.S. and not only did it not help, but the overall sound quality diminished because it had the incorrect A.S. now. The other 3 sides play beautifully using the correct A.S.

2. On another record, side B has a very pronounced "thump" recurring through a section of the record lasting a few minutes. Again, I tried cleaning it a few times with no beneficial results achieved. Side A plays perfectly!

3. On the third record, side A has noticeable loud Tics and Pops throughout the entire side. The other sides play perfectly quiet!


All three records are sealed and brand new and are expensive. Two records were from one online retailer and the other from a different online retailer.

My questions are this....

1. Is it reasonable for me to ask to return these three records for replacement copies?

2. If these defects are from the pressing... Is it likely that the replacements will have the same issues? Or is possible that it happens just on an individual record or small sampling of records?

I love the records, the music that is on them, the performance and the other sides play very well... but with the money spent on them, I was expecting them to play as "new" without defects.

What would you do?

Thank you so much for taking the time to read thru this longish post and sharing your thoughts with me.

Best wishes,
Don
 
Last edited:

No Regrets

Well-Known Member
Jan 24, 2012
413
462
970
Midwest USA
Hello,

I feel very blessed to have an amazing collection of vinyl records from both the classical and jazz genres, dating back to the late 50's to present era. I've had these records for decades, getting lots of play time over the years and to this very day they play flawlessly :)

However, there are times when I'll purchase brand new records from the various online retailers that are on relatively newer record labels... Reference Recordings, Chasing the Dragon, Yarlung, etc. Most of the times the records are pristine. But, just recently I have received three brand new records that came with what I believe may be pressing defects.

1. On one record, side B has noticeable distortions in the left channel at various times throughout that record side. It persists after three cleanings on my VPI record cleaner. I even lessened the A.S. and not only did it not help, but the overall sound quality diminished because it had the incorrect A.S. now. The other 3 sides play beautifully using the correct A.S.

2. On another record, side B has a very pronounced "thump" recurring through a section of the record lasting a few minutes. Again, I tried cleaning it a few times with no beneficial results achieved. Side A plays perfectly!

3. On the third record, side A has noticeable loud Tics and Pops throughout the entire side. The other sides play perfectly quiet!


All three records are sealed and brand new and are expensive. Two records were from one online retailer and the other from a different online retailer.

My questions are this....

1. Is it reasonable for me to ask to return these three records for replacement copies?

2. If these defects are from the pressing... Is it likely that the replacements will have the same issues? Or is possible that it happens just on an individual record or small sampling of records?

I love the records, the music that is on them, the performance and the other sides play very well... but with the money spent on them, I was expecting them to play as "new" without defects.

What would you do?

Thank you so much for taking the time to read thru this longish post and sharing your thoughts with me.

Best wishes,
Don
Hello,

Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts / guidance they would be willing to share with me on the above?
Thanks in advance :)

Best wishes to all,
Don
 

Another Johnson

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Jan 13, 2022
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I would call the vendors and ask. Especially if you have a history of buying with them and NOT returning.

Barnes & Nobel’s policy at our local store was to accept returns as an exchange … another copy of the same thing. I bought records from them regularly, but only rarely returned.

If you get exchanged copies and the second are bad in the same way, you might escalate your complaint to the record company level.

You’ve got to decide how much trouble this is worth to you. The occasional crummy mastering, and the more frequently crummy pressing are just part of the quirky charm of vinyl. Life’s too short to waste.
 
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No Regrets

Well-Known Member
Jan 24, 2012
413
462
970
Midwest USA
Especially if you have a history of buying with them and NOT returning.
Thank you for your reply!

The one on-line retailer is here in the USA and I have bought many records from them, without ever returning a single one to them.

The other on-line retailer is in the UK. This was my first order with them. I bought three expensive records from them and 2 of the 3 have the defects:( If I will have to pay shipping costs to send them back overseas, it may not be worth the trouble, as you say. But, I would never buy from them again then.

I have bought many new records over the years from Music Direct, Acoustic Sounds, and The Elusive Disc and never once returned any of their records. Recently I had purchased records from Amazon. All of them have been great with the exception of one of my The Original Source Series records which took three tries to get one that didn't come to me with scratches on it. Amazon was great with letting me return and exchange it. Very simple process, and I didn't have to pay return shipping either ;) As a result of their great customer service, I wouldn't hesitate to order from them again... and I have. I think I have ordered a dozen from them since then.

It's just really disappointing to receive brand new and sealed records that arrive with pressing defects. I held up my end of the deal buy paying the expensive price for their records. I wish the quality control people at the pressing plants would hold up their end of the responsibility and send me records that play as new, which is the expectation that I paid for.

I think I will send a polite email to each vendor explaining what is happening with each respective record and see what they suggest or offer.

Best wishes,
Don
 
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astrotoy

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May 24, 2010
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My experience with the big three (MD, AS, ED) as well as Amazon is that returns are pretty easy, especially being a good customer who doesn't return everything. Overseas is more complex issue, since shipping can be more expensive than the return is worth. Good luck. Larry
 
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No Regrets

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Jan 24, 2012
413
462
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Midwest USA
Just a quick little update...

I emailed both online retailers and very politely explained the defects in the recent records that I had purchased.

1. The first retailer, which is overseas, offered for me to return both records. They will refund my purchase price and also refund me the cost of me sending them back by airmail via the US Postal Service. They did not offer to just simply exchange the records for replacement copies. This is the retailer that I have never purchased from before.

So, I don't know what to think. Did they not want to do business with me anymore as they think I may be too picky? But, pressing defects are pressing defects... nothing that I did wrong.

Or maybe they didn't want to pay for overseas shipping back to me again?

Or maybe they know there is a history of pressing problems with these two records and they thought the replacements may have the same issue?

2. The second retailer is here in the U.S. that I have bought many records from over the years and I have never returned anything to them ever. They emailed me a return shipping label for me to return via FedEx and will replace the record and send it back out to me once they received the defective one. Really looking forward receiving the new record... fingers crossed that it plays as new :)

Wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate this holiday.

Don
 
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Argonaut

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Jul 30, 2013
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Sorry to read about your trials and tribulations Don , with regard to vendor No1 , for my part I would just accept the refund and put it down to experience … Life is too short No!
 
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Tangram

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Nov 10, 2022
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Frustrating! When this happens, especially for expensive new records, I scout around the Net, including Discogs, to see if others have issues with their copies. It may be that regardless of how much you like the record, you may not get a satisfactory copy.
 
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