Is There a New Record Pressing Machine Out There?

I bought Wilco's newest Album "Cousin" yesterday and noticed something I have never seen before, the record has no lip. The label area remains raised but otherwise the record is dead flat. It is a very heavy record, probably 200 gm. I believe records had the lip to prevent the tonearm from floating off the edge with changers which were way more popular than manuals back in the 40s, 50s and early 60's. With manuals the flat record is easier to cue by hand. 


I should also note that this particular record is a fabulous pressing, as quiet as they come.

The lip served two primary purposes--when tables were automatic changes, meaning one record fell on top of another to play the second, third, etc. record, the lip prevented the playing surfaces from rubbing against each other.  The second purpose was to strengthen the record by reinforcing the most delicate and exposed part of the record.  

I have quite a few audiophile pressings that don't have a lip, and they date back a long time.  There is indeed a new pressing machine being put on the market, but, I don't think it necessarily relates to beadles records.

@larryi Thanx for the explanation. I will go back and look at a few of my audiophile pressings to see if there is a common denominator.

I also have quiet a few records with built in rumble. It would be nice if someone would come up with a new lathe. Modern computer aided machining (CNC) should be able to build better units. 

@larryi I checked a bunch of Audiophile pressings. The lip appears flatter on the heavy records, but it is still there. The Wilco Record is not only dead flat but the edge is perfectly squared off. The lip is rounded off on all the other records. When you get a chance see if you can find a record with a squared off edge. 

Viryl Technologies "Warmtone" is the newest record press. The molds are custom made for each machine and the lip would be the preference of the customer. I think it came out in 2017. 

I actually received a 180g record (Capital Records) that had around half of the circumference squared off while the other half was a normal lip. I returned it even though it played okay. I wonder if yours is a mistake too?

Not sure any record presses are new.  I visited one plant that had bought a couple of old ones from a sneaker manufacturer who had repurposed some record presses to make sneakers.  He converted them back to press LPs.

@larryi I played the UHQR Aja last night and it has the same flat squared off lip. 

@bondmanp check out Viryl Technologies Warmtone, a brand new record press you can buy. They say it takes 18 months to pay for itself. 

@gkelly Great find! It is interesting that they are having trouble finding a suitable substitute for PVC. All the suitable plastics are just as toxic. PVC is ubiquitous and very durable. Finding a better material is going to be very tough. 

The "no lip" LP is called a "flat profile", and was introduced back when Classic Records was in business. At least that is my understanding.

@bdp24 I recently recorded to hard drive the Classic Records 45 RPM Led Zeppelin box set. I do not recall the records having a flat profile, but maybe that came along after the set was published. There is an advantage to the flat profile and that is the record is nicer to cue manually. The stylus falls into the groove without skipping down the lip which sounds annoying. Since none of us use changers anymore the flat profile makes sense. The size of your mat would not matter either. 

I don't know for a fact, but VPI's choice to make their platters 11.5" in diameter may have been to prevent the lips of LP's to raise the outer portion of the groove (each LP side contains only one long groove) off the platter. 

@bdp24 They are not the only ones that do that. The Mat on my Sota is 11.5" in diameter for just that reason. Beyond that is the soft lip which forms the seal when vacuum is running.

I just happened to be playing Bags and Trade (45) - I'm pretty sure it's Analogue Productions and it's squared off with no "lip", but it still makes a little pop when the stylus enters the groove.

I know you are big on vacuum/suction @mijostyn , but for those of us who want the minimal vibration transferred to the record from the platter, you don't want the mat going to the edge of the record. The mat I use is hexagonally shaped (called the eclipse Hexmat) and doesn't reach the edge of the platter even at its 6 outer points. They also have a cheaper one called the Yellowbird I think, which has a little more contact surface area between the mat and the record.

@sokogear The mat on the Sota (the hard part) does not extend to the edge of the record. It is 11.5" in diameter. Only the soft vacuum seal extends past the lip of the record. Because there is a recess for the label and the mat is as hard as vinyl the record effectively becomes part of the platter and as flat as the platter. The main benefit of this sonically is pitch stability. Every record becomes a perfectly flat 200 gram record. People will mistake a quiet record for a digital source. 

Hey @mijostyn - wouldn't that have more vibration/rumble from the turntable transmitted to the record? You'd essentially have all the noise from the platter going  there.

The platter does not make noise. The Cosmos uses a magnetic thrust bearing. If you had a noisy turntable tight clamping might transfer noise better. With quiet turntables vacuum is a net positive. The wandering pitch of a record that is not flat is annoying.