Quality of Analogue Productions pressings

I was extremely excited about Chad Kassem's new pressing facility in Kansas ever since Michael Fremer cover this new development in an issue of Stereophile several months ago. Finally, a pressing plant designed and built by an audiophile for audiophiles, I rejoiced. Fremer's review of "Tea for the Tillerman," the first pressing released from the plant, reaffirmed my excitement. So with high hopes and expectations I finally purchased my first AP reissue, Norah Jones "Feels Like Home." Mastered by Kevin Gray, pressed at Kassem's in-house pressing plant QRP. "Innovation + Precision = Best LPs Ever Pressed" is their tag line. Sweet. I paid over $40 for the record, which appears to be a bit more than what some of the online retailers sell it for, but what the hell, I thought, I want to support my local record store.

The vinyl looked beautiful, and the artwork was top notch. I cleaned it on my RCM using the AIVS 3-step formula. Upon closer inspection, there was a white piece of debris lodged into the last song on Side A that could not be removed. No big deal, I thought. I then put the record on.

Side A was so warped, the record looked like it wanted to take off from the platter. I don't think the edge of the record even touched the platter at all. Luckily, I have the VPI periphery ring, which took care of the problem. Then, from the moment the stylus touched the record surface, there was an audible surface noise throughout the entire album in the left channel. I'd blame my set-up if it wasn't for the fact that numerous other records from my collection, bought new or used, do not have this noise.

Side B, aside from the surface noise, was also pressed off center.

I do admit the sound was quite good, especially Jones' voice, if I ignored the constant left channel noise. But I then put on my beat-up $5 copy of "Fleetwood Mac" and the thing was more quiet and sounded simply better.

For $35-$40, I find the quality of this pressing absolutely unacceptable, whether it's an exception or not. And it was extremely disappointing to see another reissue fail (not that there were ever Norah Jones original pressings to begin with, but her CDs sound pretty darn good) from a highly respected company that charges premium dollars for its product and makes pretty bold claims about its quality.

I thought I'd share this as I'm very frustrated after spending over $40 for this lemon.
I have had good luck with QRP. All of my QRP titles have been flat and sound wonderful. I did have a doors album that had a scratch that was replaced with no hassle.
Relax. It works with certain companies, and it doesn't with others. For example, you cannot return a Because Sound Matters record to them unless you bought it directly from them. I didn't buy my AP record from Acoustic Sounds so I asked Dodgealum since he already went through the process.
I have bought LPs from Acoustic Sounds for many years. So far, I had to return only two LPs that had something stuck on it. I also bought some QRP pressings and they all sound dead quiet. As for the sound quality, I find that some reissues do sound better than the originals, but some don't.

Acoustic Sounds has a good return policy and they have produced some very good sounding LPs. We should tell them about the issues we have with their LPs if we want them to continue to produce great records.
I have similar problems with some 45 rpm records from Analogue Production: off-center, surface noise, warped, pops. About 10% records from collecion had similar problems. For me very hard to replace as I live in Europe and purchasing records from USA.

Generally modern pressing from AP are quite dissapointing for me in terms of quality control.
I own a ton of these.. Have about 13 QRP pressed "Prestige Mono" Jazz series that just came out recentlyy.. all of them are flawless....Chad and AP will take care of it for ya.. their customer service is excellent.. and these titles that i won sound out of this world... just my .02... give them a call to exchange...