Due to the complex nature of vinyl production and the manufacturing process, production tolerances are utilised to cover shortfalls which can occur between the quantity of products ordered and the final delivered quantity. There are three types of tolerance:
As standard, a negative tolerance is applied to all vinyl orders. A negative tolerance may not exceed -20% for pressing splits up to 499 units, -10% for pressing splits in the range 500 - 1999 units, -6% for pressing splits above 2000 units.
DMS will credit any shortfall in the event that we deliver less than the ordered quantity.
We know how disappointing it can be to receive less than the ordered amount, especially when units have already been allocated in pre-sales or promised to distributors. In these circumstances, we would always recommend requesting a positive tolerance.
A positive tolerance follows the same variance as above, only inversely. This means that you are always guaranteed to receive, at the very minimum, the full quantity ordered. Any units pressed beyond the ordered amount would be invoiced before the order shipped,.
Upon completion of the pressing, DMS will issue an additional invoice for any units produced beyond the quantity that was ordered.
The other option available is to split the difference with a ‘neutral’ tolerance (+/- tolerance). This essentially means that we will aim to press up to half of the total positive tolerance amount, and will deliver no less than half of the negative tolerance amount. To put that into perspective on short run terms - say a pressing of 300 - the lowest number of units you could receive would be 270, and the most would be 330.
Please request neutral or positive tolerances when placing your order with us. If not specified, your order will be produced with a negative tolerance as standard.
Sometimes it is possible to make changes to your order depending on what stage of production it has reached. If you request changes prior to product parts being manufactured, we should be able to amend the order without incurring any charges, If however, the parts in question are already manufactured, you will likely be subject to some sort of monetary fee to update your order. Please contact your account manager immediately if this is something you require and we will be happy to help.
Test pressings (TPs) are for checking and approving the acoustic quality of the vinyl record and to ensure you are happy with the transfer process of the supplied audio onto the vinyl format. You should focus on evaluating the quality of the acoustic sound and volume levels but also listen for any untoward pops, clicks, excessive hiss, basically any unwanted artefacts that directly disturb or distract from the listening experience. This is also the time to check any requested record engravings are present and correct.
We supply a minimum of 5 test pressings so that you can identify any serial issues with the vinyl pressing. Any serious issues that are consistent on every copy can indicate there is a problem with the metalwork and new stampers might need to be made before the final pressing. All copies should be the same, but due to the mechanical process of vinyl record production, things like pops and clicks can and will vary from copy to copy. Due to the short-run nature of test pressing production, on occasion the vinyl presses may not have reached optimum temperature for the first few records, so it's important to listen to all 5 copies. It is common for a test pressing to have more “surface noise” than the main pressing run will have, as the latter will always be pressed under optimum heat conditions.
The correct set up of your turntable can have a massive influence on how accurately a record is played back, in many cases simply adjusting your turntables counterweight can improve playback dramatically. For example, if your tracking force is too low, the needle will not sit deep enough in the groove to accurate trace the encoded information. This can result in a perceived loss of frequency, whereas the real issue lies with the playback equipment. With many angles of possible error, it is very important to be able to effectively highlight where a problem actually exists, and where a false impression is being created.
With this in mind, we recommend that you listen to your TPs on several different set-ups so factors that can affect the way a record sounds on playback. These factors include the type/condition of your stylus, the weight and setting of your tone arm, the speakers and the room acoustics. As a final piece of advice, it certainly doesn't hurt to have a second set of ears to evaluate. If you have any concerns after listening to your test pressings, please contact your account manager.
Once you have checked your test pressings thoroughly and decided that you are definitely happy to proceed, please send your approval to your account manager in writing. We will then release the full run into production as quickly as possible.
Please note that lead times for vinyl production can vary substantially from week to week. Assuming that your master and graphic files are supplied to the specifications required, our average lead times are as follows:
Test pressings generally deliver within 2-4 weeks of receipt of master tracks, copyright declaration and payment. This can be longer during peak times, and we always recommend that test pressings are approved before you schedule any release date.
Vinyl production runs typically ship around 4-8 weeks from test pressing approval, or from submission of all audio and artwork files if foregoing test pressings. Please note that lead times vary considerably throughout the year, with high summer being an especially busy time for us due to a routine shutdown of the presses for essential maintenance.
Due to the situation with COVID-19, lead times across Europe have increased in response to the additional precautions and restrictions in place to help prevent an outbreak at the plant which would halt production completely and cause huge delays. We’re operating on a reduced capacity to ensure staff safety, so right now we’re looking at approx. 28-30 weeks turnaround all in all, from when your order enters production. Once things start to open up again, we should start to see lead times falling back to where they used to be (6-8 weeks), but for now we would definitely recommend giving yourself a decent sized buffer with regards to setting any kind of release date, as everything is still pretty uncertain in the world.
Please note that lead times for picture discs can sometimes be 8-9 weeks following receipt of audio, approval of artwork proofs and settlement of invoice. Please contact us for an up-to-date estimate of picture disc production turnaround times.
If you are planning an upcoming release, we recommend that you give us a call or drop us an email to find out current lead times and chat through feasible dates and deadlines. We are of course happy to try and meet demands. If you have something urgent with a specific deadline date, please ensure you let us know as early as possible so we can look to schedule the order into our processing and production schedules.
We ship worldwide. All goods are dispatched to you through leading global courier companies. All deliveries will require somebody to sign for the goods at the address you have specified, so please make sure somebody will be available at home, in the office or at the warehouse. We will always tell you when your goods are dispatched so you are able to plan receipt of your order. Unfortunately, our courier companies will not be able to specify the delivery time until the day of delivery, although some couriers will text you with an ETA where possible.
Approximately 2-3 days after your artwork is signed off, audio processed and payment received. At this stage we will be able to give you an estimated date for delivery. Please bear in mind that with such an industrial manufacture process delays can and do happen, so please do not plan any launch shows or events too close to your estimated date as it cannot be guaranteed until all parts are produced. We will give you a delivery date as soon as production is complete, which will usually be 24-72 hours in advance.
We would always recommend awaiting confirmation of estimated shipping dates and transit times before any planned release date announcement or finalising of events around the release. We also advise adding 10-14 days to this estimate, as it is always best to have stock on hand when you organise the event, rather than arriving along with your guests.
You can change your shipping information during the order, providing your orders has not been despatched or due to be despatched in the next 48 hours. The price of delivery will be subject to change depending on the location of the new delivery address. If the request to change is within 48 hours of despatch additional administration charges may apply to change the address.