You will have three questions:
Question Number One: Did it damage your records?
Question Number Two: Will the record stay flat?
Question Number Three: How much does it cost?
The test record was Linda Rondstadt's Living
in the USA. Hers is a voice that comes along once in a generation.
Unfortunately, my LP copy had a warp that comes along once in a generation.
Altogether, I had four LP copies of this album. The one with the worst warp
sounded the best, naturally. The other three sounded the same as far as I could
tell. These three I used as my reference so as not to rely on fallible aural
The first test record sounded like the other two references and weighed 128 grams. Furutech says not to treat any record weighing less than 110 grams which is 3.88 ounces. Nor any record made during the oil crisis weighing between 100 and 115 grams.) Naturally, you should clean the record before flattening. I use the first three stages of the excellent Walker system. It seems that only Mr. Walker and I used stage four until I found out no-one else was doing stage four. Now only Mr. Walker uses stage four of the VPI HW-17 cleaning machine.
The Furutech DF-2 ($2550) lies flat and opens up clamshell style. You put the record in and close the lid. It only has two buttons. A rocker switch to the right turns it on and off. A single round button in the center operates the machine. Pushing this button once heats the record for 1.5 hours. Pushing again within 5 seconds cycles through heating times of 2 hours, 2.5 hours, and 1 hour. Furutech recommends the longer heating times for colder climates. I ran it at the standard 1.5 hours. After the heating cycle is over the DF-2 automatically switches to cooling mode for 2 hours. The record is then ready to be played. It emerged from the machine mostly but not perfectly flat.
My main concern was whether the DF-2 would damage my record. Imagine my surprise to find that flattening had actually improved the sound. I confirmed this by comparing with the two reference records. The flattened test record was more open and transparent than the references. This could be because the test record was heavier. The other two references weighed 110 and 106 grams.
I now used the DF-2 to flatten the severely warped record that I thought had the best sound. Even warped, it was definitely more involving than the reference records with punchier bass and more extended highs. I didn't find flattening improved the sound with this particular record, but neither did it make it sound worse. It still sounded better than the other three records including the first one that I had flattened with the DF-2. Enough with the equipment. Let us kick back and enjoy the music.
Linda Ronstadt Living in
the USA [Asylum Records 6E-155]
Did I mention that hers is a voice that comes along once in a generation? No-one, but no-one belts it out like Linda. On the opening, Back in the USA, she does not just long, she longs. She does not just search, she searches. Matching her note for note in intensity is Don Grolnick banging it out on the piano and Waddy Wachtel ripping out joyous chords on guitar.
Mike Manieri's vibes on When I Grow Too Old to Dream sound absolutely gorgeous and at the end of the number, Linda lets loose with a trademark scorcher. Nice touch, Doug, leaving a longer than usual gap between tracks as this is better to savor that last note. Just One Look is just sheer fun with great crashing guitar chords by Dugmore and Wachtel. Linda turns poignant on Alison with a world of regret in the line take off your party dress. The best comes last in White Rhythm & Blues. She takes the world weariness of Alison and turns it up a notch. Sure she can belt it out with the best of ‘em, but she can also caress a ballad to jerk tears ably abetted by Don Grolnick with some tasty piano. Side one is one of the perfect sides in rock. Side two not as good, but it is worth the price of admission to get that wonderful side one.
It would be remiss not to mention Russ Kunkel keeping the big beat on drums and Kenny Edwards pulsing on bass. The recording quality albeit very good falls just short of the very best. There is a slightly closed in quality to the dynamics and a sense of processed rather than natural sound. I would love to hear the master tape.
The System That Time Forgot
Ah yes, let me also mention there is a Manley Wave pre-amp between the Lumi and the power amps connected by NBS cables.
So you think
planars cannot rock? The Eminent Technology 8Bs will make your pants legs
flap. How much so? Loud enough to earn a midnight visit from the City's Finest
with a polite request to turn the music down.
But I could tell he was not, you know, serious.
He was a Whovianfer sure. He understood. You
cannot play Who's Next at
ordinary sound levels, as this certainly makes no sense.
Note: The following LPs should not be treated in the DF-2.
Dimensions: 17" x 20" x 7" (WxDxH)