Each record is cut individually, in real time, using a lathe diamond stylus guided by hand.
Lathe cut vinyl has been around since the 1950’s. It is a completely different process than vinyl from a pressing plant, though quality and durability are comparable to pressed vinyl.
Pressed vinyl s a three step process where a vinyl record is first cut into a lacquer, from which a metal (often silver or zinc) master disc is then moulded. Vinyl copies are then pressed from this metal master disc.
Direct-cut vinyl cuts each record one-by-one, making each piece unique. The records are made in real time. If the record is 15 minutes long, then it takes 15 minutes to cut (not including prep time).
The material we cut on is not the same that is used for pressing, though it has the same lifespan as pressed. We cut into PVC (not acetate) that is as hard as normal vinyl plates, but soft enough to directly cut into them with the super-sharp pointed diamond stylus with minimum surface noise.
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When we talk about lathe cuts and turnaround, its good to keep in mind that each record is being cut in REAL TIME, therefore both quantity and length of the record play a major role in how quickly DISC_ARCHIVE can complete your order.
Inquire at the time of ordering if you have a specific timeline in mind. Depending on our workload and stock availability, we can cater to last minute deadlines for an additional fee.
Hand-guided stylus on the lathe
A blank disc ready to be cut!
Close up on the diamond cutting stylus
Vinyl Recorder T560