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Record TechnologyFAQ's



We know that making Vinyl Records can be a very complicated experience. We want to do whatever we can to make your experience as easy as possible. So, we asked a few of our key personnel for their answers to some of the questions that we hear most often.

Please contact us for any questions you may have.

Our #1 Most Frequently asked question is:

Do you still make records?
The answer is a resounding, YES !!!

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What is your turn-around time?
It can vary, but, approximately 30 to 60 working days from receipt of all components. Components include a test approval, labels, jackets, stickers, inserts, etc. Whatever is required to compete your order. Please plan as far ahead as you can and be patient. We have a first come, first served philosophy, but we try very hard to work with all of our customers to meet their needs. 

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Why do all components for my job need to be at RTI before you will schedule the record to press?
It is critical for the efficiency of the packaging department that records get packaged within 24 hours of being pressed. If components are not available, the flow of operations is interrupted and your records are exposed to additional hazards, such as dust. We cannot rely 100 % that components will be here on a certain date, so we do not schedule the pressing until we are in full receipt of everything needed for your order.

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Is a lacquer master necessary?
Absolutely. A lacquer is an aluminum-based disc, covered with a plastic material that is cut by an engineer from your master tapes. It is the medium by which your music is transferred to disc to produce metal parts, which produces phonograph records. It is a vital part of record pressing.

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Do you have package deals?
No. We outline all individual prices so that the customer knows that there are no hidden charges. We customize your order to meet your needs, and you are billed for only those services and materials that you specifically require. We want to gain you as a customer who is looking for a quality product with top-notch service. We do not want to attract your attention with loud, attention-grabbing supermarket sales prices. We do not play that way.

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Why do I need extra stampers, above and beyond those that are included in the two or three step processing charges to complete my order?
Pressing vinyl records over and over again is hard on metal stampers. Causing them to wear out, split, become scratched, etc. For a regular weight LP, we can press approximately 1000 records per set of stampers before we start to lose sound quality. For HQ-180 records, the general rule of thumb is one set of stamper per 500 records, due to the longer cycle time and added pressure needed to make the thicker record. Therefore, if you have larger orders, more stampers are needed to complete that order with the highest quality surface integrity. For instance, no one wants an LP from a stamper where the grooves have been damaged due to overuse.

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My record sounds like it is distorted, especially on the "S" sounds in the vocals and the high-hat of the cymbals. This was not on my master tape. What is this and what can I do about it?
This distortion on the "S" sound is called sibilance. Some of these hottest and most dynamic sounds cannot be translated directly to vinyl without compression. See
Producing Great Sounding Phonograph Records for a complete explanation.

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Why don't my records sound as loud as my CDs and DAT master?
Digital levels do not bare any relationship to analog levels. We're talking apples and oranges here. The analog output level of a CD player or DAT deck can be anything the manufacturer wants it to be, but it is generally higher than a phono preamp output. There are two reasons for this. First the digital equipment manufacturers want CDs and DATs to sound better ( translate Louder) than records. If the DAT or CD has fairly wide dynamic range, a record can be as loud. See a complete explanation in Kevin Gray's article
Producing Great Sounding Phonograph Records.

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I have a question about my test pressing and would like RTI to check it out. How do I tell you where to look / listen?
Please be as specific as possible about the problem. If it is only a noise, the best way to pinpoint it is to time it from the beginning of the track. If it is visual, what we do is to hold the record so that the side designation of the matrix number scribing in the lead out is pointing straight up - 12 o'clock. From there it is easy to communicate to us where a problem area is. For instance, " one half inch into band 3 at 9 o'clock" would be a great description with very little guess work.

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How much music can I get onto an LP?
The amount of music that can be cut onto a 12" lacquer is a function of the level and the compression / equalization. Again, see Producing Great Sounding Phonograph Records for a more complete explanation.

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Recommendations for 12" discs are as follows:

Speed (RPM)

Optimum Time

Recommended Maximum Time*


10 minutes

12 minutes

33 1/3

16 to 18 minutes

24 minutes

45 (Dance Levels)

6 to 8 minutes

9 minutes

33 1/3 (Dance Levels)

8 to 10 minutes

12 minutes

* longer times may require compromise in level and/or equalization.

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What is the difference between 2-step and 3-step processing?
In both cases, 2-step and 3-step start with a lacquer:
For 2-step processing, the lacquer is silvered, pre-plated at low temperature, then moved to a rotary tank to complete the plating cycle. The 2-step nickel master must meet stringent weight and taper guidelines to be used for pressing. After making the 2-step nickel master, the master is used to make a mother. The mother, once approved, can then be used for subsequent stampers, if needed. After the mother is approved, the nickel master can then be converted into a stamper. 2-step is usually for small LP quantities.
3-step processing is usually for large LP quantities and/or high quality, such as HQ-180. The lacquer is silvered and pre-plated at low temperature/low amperage, but instead of being moved to the rotary tank the lacquer is left to plate at low temperature/low amperage for about 14 hours before reaching the desired thickness. The nickel master is then used to make a mother, which is then used to make stampers for test and/or production.
The major quality difference between 2 and 3-step processing is the 3-step lacquer is not exposed to the higher plating bath temperature/higher plating amperage that comes with being plated in a rotary tank.

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Where can I get a template for printing labels?

Right Here

What information do I need to know to get my own freight quote for shipping records via a truck line?

 You need to know the following info:

Phonograph Records Classification
-(Light Truck Load)
Item Number 168910


Phonograph Records International Classification
HS No.
-(Harmonized System)

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