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Author Topic: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)  (Read 24721 times)

Viitalahde

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Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2010, 03:55:42 am »

Gold wrote on Mon, 05 July 2010 16:25

If I was going to DIY it I'd make it dual purpose. Engraving table/ cutting lathe. I think the mechanics of an engraver could be quiet and accurate enough.  If you had software that could take a live input you might be able to do automation too.


Interesting idea. If it was worthy to develop a completely new kind of a lathe, software assistment and precicion mechanics from CNC engraver.. They could be really good and stuff a lot of audio on a single side.

Not that there's anything wrong with current options.

BTW, yesterday I checked what the plants I most frequently send premasters to use for cutting. Optimal Media uses a VMS82 and Flight13 has a VMS70. The VMS82 looks great, and I don't think there's too many of them around.

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Jaakko Viitalähde
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Bonati

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Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2010, 07:22:42 pm »

I guess you just really have to decide if you're interested in cutting lacquers for production or just dubplates / random cuts as a hobby. If the latter is the case then maybe the Vinylium dub cutter is worth a look. It's the only modern plug-n-play lathe I've seen for that application. Supported, too. I wouldn't mess with the Prestos. Beware the lathe trolls that exalt them.
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Josh Bonati
Brooklyn, NY
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hnewman

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Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2010, 09:30:09 pm »

Bonati wrote on Tue, 06 July 2010 19:22

I guess you just really have to decide if you're interested in cutting lacquers for production or just dubplates / random cuts as a hobby. If the latter is the case then maybe the Vinylium dub cutter is worth a look. It's the only modern plug-n-play lathe I've seen for that application. Supported, too. I wouldn't mess with the Prestos. Beware the lathe trolls that exalt them.


Folks across the road have one of these vinylrecorder things up and running.   I believe they've only cut one-offs so far, but it can apparently do lacquers, they are supposed to get back to me with details once they've had one plated.

Bonati

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Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2010, 10:39:52 pm »

hnewman wrote on Tue, 06 July 2010 21:30

Folks across the road have one of these vinylrecorder things up and running.   I believe they've only cut one-offs so far, but it can apparently do lacquers, they are supposed to get back to me with details once they've had one plated.

Never seen one in person, but I'm not into that system for a variety of reasons. The big ones being that you have to buy special blanks from the system's designer and that you have to kiss that designer's ring before he'll sell you the blanks. Long-winded, hilarious lathe trolls thread about it here.
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Josh Bonati
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TotalSonic

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Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2010, 11:15:40 pm »

Quote:

title=Bonati wrote on Tue, 06 July 2010 19:22]I guess you just really have to decide if you're interested in cutting lacquers for production or just dubplates / random cuts as a hobby.


Yup - because there are so many places offering vinyl mastering using the best equipment out there there's definitely expectations that any master someone will provide will be able to match this quality to some degree.  So if you're going to offer it as a professional service it might be hard to find many clients that are going to want to pay a price that you can actually do better than break even on for a middle-ground product that's better than lo-fi "lathe cuts" but that still doesn't compete with Neumann VMS-70/SX-74/SAL-74/Zuma cuts.

Quote:


If the latter is the case then maybe the Vinylium dub cutter is worth a look. It's the only modern plug-n-play lathe I've seen for that application. Supported, too. I wouldn't mess with the Prestos. Beware the lathe trolls that exalt them.


The Presto 1C, 1D and Audax cutter heads that originally these came with are fluid damped and as such have poor frequency response.  

The K and J series were portables designed for the consumer market in the 1940's and get results that are lo-fi as you would imagine - but the 6N, 8D and 8N were designed for broadcast use and as such some hit 7" records from the 1950's were actually cut using these.  These Presto's used changeable feed screws for fixed pitch - and so they're not really capable of competing with a cut you get from something like the pro systems of today - but as far as transcription turntables go some of these things are in fact decent if they are in good shape.

The rare 8G (the last lathe Presto made) is a solid looking lathe to me and with a good cutter head mounted to it the performance probably could almost compete with something like an older Neumann AM131 system.

Quote:


Folks across the road have one of these vinylrecorder things up and running.   I believe they've only cut one-offs so far, but it can apparently do lacquers, they are supposed to get back to me with details once they've had one plated.


The issue with both the Vinylium Kingston Dubcutter and the Souri Vinyl Recorder is that if you use a Technics 1200/1210 as the turntable with the stock overhead systems you get way more wow, flutter and rumble than you get with a professional Neumann or Scully setup.  If they have modded their dubcutters to use something like a SP-10 or a Presto or similar then you could expect better performance in this regard.

The Vinyl Recorder comes stock with proprietary diamond styli and these afaik will cut poorly on lacquer - and the maker of the Vinyl Recorder states that this system is designed to cut on PVC and not acetate or lacquer.  Perhaps they could mod theirs though.

Best regards,
Steve Berson

bigaudioblowhard

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Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
« Reply #20 on: July 07, 2010, 02:31:22 pm »

I think theres a guy on Lathe Trolls who has a Presto portable with Stereo Vinylium head and amps. (try search) Somewhere I found a pic of a guy who built his own stereo head out of 2 Piezo tweeters. A Presto bed seems the to  way to go for a DIY head/amps setup. Shouldn't be too hard to sell if you decide to upgrade to a pro setup, I doubt you'd lose money, at least principal on the gear.

Sounds like alotta fun.

bab

TotalSonic

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Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
« Reply #21 on: July 07, 2010, 02:57:01 pm »

bigaudioblowhard wrote on Wed, 07 July 2010 14:31

I think theres a guy on Lathe Trolls who has a Presto portable with Stereo Vinylium head and amps.


That's Flo Kaufmann's lathe.  It's a Vinylium SC-99 cutter head stuck on a modded 6N -
Info on it is here -
http://www.floka.com/lofi/portable_lathe.html

http://www.floka.com/lofi/presto_flo.jpg

Best regards,
Steve Berson

Bonati

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Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2010, 03:31:20 pm »

Gold wrote on Sun, 04 July 2010 18:17

Maintenance of old junk is a different head space than building stuff. The temptation of 'making it work better' before you understand why it was done the way it was done is hard to resist. It must be resisted.

The sage advice.

Quote:

It really is a commitment. It's both fun and a big headache. They go hand in hand. There is no way around it.

Sho'nuff. Lathes can't be done on the cheap, even the cheap ones. Everyone figures it out the hard way.
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Josh Bonati
Brooklyn, NY
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bigaudioblowhard

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Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2010, 05:46:41 pm »

yeah Steve, thats it, badass setup, how long a side ya think that thing cuts?

note vital equipment in background, soldering iron

http://lathetrolls.phpbbweb.com/lathetrolls-ftopic410-20.htm l

bab

TotalSonic

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Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2010, 06:16:28 pm »

bigaudioblowhard wrote on Wed, 07 July 2010 17:46

yeah Steve, thats it, badass setup, how long a side ya think that thing cuts?  



First it depends on the cutting speed, Lines Per Inch of the feed screw you are using, and the size of the plate you are cutting on -
A theoretical guide based on all these parameters that was posted by Steve Espinola is below
http://www.steveespinola.com/presto6n/lpi1.gif

- but again with fixed pitch as you go to more LPI you have to make sure that your bass and level don't cause overcuts a lot more strictly than what you can get away with when using a pitch/depth computer.  

Best regards,
Steve Berson

Viitalahde

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Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
« Reply #25 on: July 10, 2010, 09:36:34 am »

Bonati wrote on Wed, 07 July 2010 02:22

I guess you just really have to decide if you're interested in cutting lacquers for production or just dubplates / random cuts as a hobby.


Cutting dubplates only could be a good thing If I stayed working in Helsinki, but I don't think it's going to make any sense from the countryside. But I reckon dubplates would be the first things I cut if I ever get a lathe.

TotalSonic wrote on Wed, 07 July 2010 21:57

http://www.floka.com/lofi/portable_lathe.html

http://www.floka.com/lofi/presto_flo.jpg



Yes, I saw that at the Lathe Trolls forum. Very inspiring. I think I'm actually, genuinely interested in the actual mechanics & electronics of different lathes. Thus such a project could be a nice learning groove type of a thing, buying a set of working lathe mechanics and modifying them with better cutterheads - and whatever's needed.

The dubplate cutters attached to Technics turntables has always seemed suspicious to me.

I wonder how good Les Paul's lathe (that used a Cadillac flywheel) was, compared.

If I ever invested in a good Neumann lathe, am I in the right ballpark if I say I'd need to invest about 20k EUR/USD or more in it if I wanted a working system instead of a project? VMS-66 or 70 for example.



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Jaakko Viitalähde
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Gold

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Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
« Reply #26 on: July 10, 2010, 12:48:45 pm »

Viitalahde wrote on Sat, 10 July 2010 09:36

am I in the right ballpark if I say I'd need to invest about 20k EUR/USD or more in it if I wanted a working system instead of a project? VMS-66 or 70 for example.



I'd say somewhere between $20k-30k USD for a VMS66/70 in good condition. You could get an AM132 or VMS62 Special for $15k-20k. They have the older tube pitch and depth amplifiers which work well but can't compete with a Zuma or VMS80. The audio is no different though and you'll probably be 1-2dB down on a 23 minute side.

I would keep an eye out for a Lyrec. They made the turntable motors for the Neumann from the very beginning. And they are fine motors. I would imagine that there are some hiding in and around Denmark. They are not sought after and were very well built according to Sean Davies. That's an opinion I trust. Since you are in the general area you might be able to visit the invariably old and strange guy who might sell it if the stars align.

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Paul Gold
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Viitalahde

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Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
« Reply #27 on: July 10, 2010, 01:15:57 pm »

Gold wrote on Sat, 10 July 2010 19:48

I would keep an eye out for a Lyrec.


Lyrec seems like good advice. In fact, I have someone in mind I could ask.

Damn it, I probably should try to focus and stay away from these unholy thoughts. I heard Mr. Kellogg developed corn flakes & eating them as substitute activity for keeping you away from touching yourself. Maybe there's something similar for this desire.
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Jaakko Viitalähde
Virtalähde Mastering, Kuhmoinen/Finland
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TotalSonic

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Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
« Reply #28 on: July 10, 2010, 06:36:01 pm »

Jaako -
Right now on the Lathetrolls' classified section there is a complete VMS80 system being offered out of Frankfurt for 25000 Euro - which relative to other recent sales for this seems to be a very good deal.  Apparently the pedigree of this lathe was Dyam in Paris, with upkeep done by Sean Davies - so it likely would be in good shape.

Best regards,
Steve Berson

Greg Reierson

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Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
« Reply #29 on: July 30, 2010, 02:56:17 pm »

What do you guys think of the Vinylium pitch system?


GR
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