As with all custom manufacturing, vinyl manufacturing is subject to overrun or underrun (shortfall) percentages based on the quantity ordered, otherwise known as a production tolerance.
You may receive a small additional quantity on your order, an overrun, or conversely less units than you ordered, a shortfall.
While this aspect of the production process can understandably be a source of confusion, it’s worth understanding and anticipating in the event your final quantity is different to the amount you actually ordered.
You may be thinking and asking yourself, “Why do manufacturing overruns and underruns occur?”
Due to the high-speed process of custom manufacturing; complex, large-scale vinyl presses and print machines are unable to stop at the flick of a switch.
Imagine you’re riding a bicycle downhill, at full speed. It’s not wise (or safe) to stop immediately. You must gradually hit the brakes before you can fully stop. This is also the case for presses and machines, as they too need time to come to a halt due to the speed at which they operate.
As a result, there can be small deviations between the requested and final quantity, depending on when the machine was slowed to a stop.
With the complexity and multi-faceted nature of vinyl manufacturing, production tolerances are essential to manage the considerable variables between all of the different parts of the process; vinyl pressing, printed parts, cutting, scoring, folding, gluing and packing – all before any bespoke elements are considered and quality control is implemented.
Currently all production tolerances are set to neutral.
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 lead times are currently 6-7 months from receipt of master tracks, approved artwork files, copyright declaration and payment.
Lead times have increased significantly due to the increased demand on vinyl production capacity worldwide in response to the knock-on effect from COVID-19.
If you are planning an upcoming release, we recommend that you give drop us an email to find out current lead times, and if we’re in a position to accept new vinyl orders.
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 the pressing. 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.
Please note that your assigned pressing date is only an estimate of when records will be pressed at the plant, after which the order must be quality checked, assembled/wrapped, checked again, packed to boxes and then queued in the expedition warehouse for shipping. Please allow plenty of time between the pressing date you are assigned, and the date that you expect to receive your order, as delays can happen at any stage of these final processes.
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 14-28 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.