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DIY Vinyl Cutter, guidance needed :+)
DIY Vinyl Cutter, guidance needed :+)
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Old 9th January 2004, 02:33 PM   #21
loonatron is offline loonatron  Australia
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When a DJ plays a CD, after playing Vinyl, I can tell straight away. I like the sound of vinyl better, and the cleanest recording I have heard was on vinyl. (Words, by Paul Van Dyk, on mute records, nice, heavy pressing, if I ever see it in the shop again, I'll get another copy, to use as a reference record!)

and I've listened critically, to many CD's, on several systems, in two different recording studios.

anyway, it is mainly cos of the wonder and awe I experienced, whilst watching records playing when I was a lad that makes me want to get my material onto them! (not that I have much material as yet)

And when I (rarely) DJ, I hate using CD's!

oops double post, that was an accident!

I'm in Pennant Hills area, where are you?

BTW An internet buddy of mine was thinking of building his own version of Final Scratch!
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Old 26th January 2004, 01:27 PM   #22
loonatron is offline loonatron  Australia
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anyone want to talk vinyl production with me? I have only been able to find the basic principles on the net, not assembly drawings of the machinery, or component drawings or how to get the chemicals and supplies etc!

I came across one site that sold supplies, but I couldn't find it again!

apart from that I'll have to sneak up to the closest vinyl pressing plant, and peer through the windows! (several thousand kilometers away)
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Old 5th February 2004, 11:26 PM   #23
loonatron is offline loonatron  Australia
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Well I found some pictures of the vinylium cutter, but I still need to find out how to build a cutting head. I don't understand why so many people are bent on building their own TT but don't want to experiment with cutting discs themselves. (trying to challenge )

BTW my previous post on Direct Metal Mastering was wrong... the mother is cut direct, not the stampers!
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Old 7th February 2004, 01:42 AM   #24
junoman23 is offline junoman23  Germany
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hi loonatron,

i saw this thread, its really funny.
i own a neumann vms 70 lathe + sx74 cutterhead etc.

don´t like to demotivate you but forget it. !

do you think somebody gives you a plan how to build a cutterhead? this i a secret of neumann and i only know two persons who got it and one you rebuild it.
The Westrex heads doesent sound that good so only a SX74 is interesting.
A Cutterhead by the way, if you find one, cots min. US$3500 in a good condition, removing coils, service etc. additional 3000.

And a cutterhead without cutting electronics, pitch control, a 14" turntable which is levelled to 1/1000 high difference + amps. etc. etc. is useless.

if you are able to build a good sounding fullrange loudspeaker then you maybe have a chance to do, because a cutterhead is working similar in a way but much more complicated.
I just distroyed my head 2 months ago, and the one and only guy in europe who is able to repair a head properly explained me a lot how it works and how long neumann took to finally, after 25 years of scientific work, build a good sounding cutterhead.
if you can work accurate of 1/1000 mil. be a mechanican, etc. it is possible, but you need a plan, and nobody will give you one !
if you are really interested buying a machine, the easiest way is to buy a a machine. i just saw a good one on ebay 2 weeks ago fr 17000 US$ in NY which was very cheap. usually u pay double.
other thing is that you live in australia. i think there is no pressing plant there, and if, can they do the galvanik for the lacquers???
usually pressing plants in warmer coutries use DMM, its easier for them, galvanic process is not too much work. but soundwise, forget it. if you like the sound of vinyl you need to cut in lacquer not hammering it in copper. that sounds like a early digital recordings.

best regards

junoman 23

PS: i have never seen any working vinylium dubplate cutter. the vestax sounds like **** and is just a joke.
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Old 11th February 2004, 11:36 PM   #25
kalinski is offline kalinski  Cocos Islands
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ok well,
i started with the same question some years ago...
and wanted to build my own cutterhead and lathe...
I searched around and found vinylium.ch !!!
these guys also had the same question as you and me long long time ago
and by the time they not even managed to get a used cutting lathe, they collected nearly all of the evermade models.
After years of work they now are the only people on this planet, knowing how to repair a neumann head and lathe (maybe there are two or three more still alive...)
they knew there are people like us out there so they
invented the kingston dubplatecutter, which now is ready to sell.
Although there are two more homestudiocutters available (vinylrecorder.com and vestax..while the vestax is not working) this one is the best thing for you, if you just want to start recording your own plates in highend quality. I know it works! There are people out there using it! check vinylium they will tell you how it goes.
The vinylrecorder works too (and there are some studios in germany and
austria which use it) but it has no so called feedback coil (correct me if i am wrong) which is not very professional IMHO
the technics mk2 is not the best lathe for a vinylium or neumann cutterhead
(you saw the pictures of the neumann and scully !?that s heavy weight!)
so maybe you are able to build your own lathe (vinylium managed to build a neumann-lathe clone as students on their own and it still works!!!)
if you find a very good motor and you know how to control the speed, if you can build a huge solid metal disk like 15" or something and find a way to get itself turned by the motor without any kind of undesirable vibration at 33 or 45 RPM?
after that you'll need a "bridge" to fix the cutterhead on and move it slowly and very exact towards the center of the disk. (with something like a big screw...)

40-50 (or even more) years ago their where some lathes on the market for homerecording,
like presto, wuton, reko-cut,brennemann & berger, truembach
which had poor soundquality in terms of hi-fi...but they had some little
and working mechanics to move the cutterhead over the plate while
cutting it...at that time you could also purchase just the parts e.g. from brennemann & berger to build your own custommade cutting system. but I have found only few documents about that yet...

if you want to know more(all) about vinylcutting get this book:

AES: Disk Recording Vol. 1 Anthology series direct from the Audio Engineering Society...
but beware: this book is for _real_ analogue nerds !

sorry for my uneducated english
good night
max kalinski
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Old 12th February 2004, 01:39 PM   #26
loonatron is offline loonatron  Australia
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Hey guys!

First of all, thanks for the replies! They were good ones, so you must have thought it through well, so thanks!

Junoman 23,

Yes it is silly. But not funny. This is very serious OK, so it may seem funny, but that hasn't stopped me looking into it.

Well lately I've been trying to decide whether or not it is feasable. I have found good information on the whole process, the physics of cutting, the cutting head, with lots of photos of dissassembled cutterheads, and even a photo of an old Neumann stereo cutting head that has had a section cut out of it, so you can see how it fits together! (How could anyone do that!? )

And the electronics, the equalisation, the equalisation of the negative feedback, the temperature of the heated stylus, etc. This was after only five minutes of looking in my college library! (after spending months looking on the net ) So I wonder what I'll find after looking in the State Library of NSW. I even found a circuit of the Westrex cutting amplifier! (though I wouldn't use valves, unless I knew it would all work first... I would try a solid state solution first.)

I've also found photos from the aardvark mastering website, of the coils being re-wound! (though the guy also said that he would never do it again!)

anyway, I wouldn't bother with the equalisation coupling for when the cutter goes closer to the middle, I would probably have manual controls for that, if it needed it at all. (only 4dB change at most affected frequency from 12" to 8" if I remember correctly, and that changes to 2dB if stylus is heated, according to the book I'm reading)

There's nothing stopping me from bolting my T1210 to something heavier, ok, I agree, I'm going to get a higher noisefloor than with a purpose built one. I could also make a heavier platter, to smooth out the ride a bit, but maybe that would be a bit harsh on the poor old T1210?

And I'll use a manual feedscrew to start with... ok, so I'll need 2 operators, until I make a feed mechanism! But, being an experienced machinist, I have a steady hand for that. I'll put up with less recording time than with a computer controlled feed. OK I'm only going to have about 6 minutes if I'm lucky, but this is a DIY project.

Well, I hope I earn lots of money quickly, so I can buy all this before I get silly enough to try and build it!

OK... now for the bodgiest idea... I've been wondering if I could use a full range speaker coil and magnet for the drivers... will they try to travel too much, or will the negative feedback keep the excursion distance down? Will they handle the power, without distortion, to be able to make the cut? (shows my lack of knowledge of voice-coil design)

OK, so this is all a bit ambitious, but I guess that never stopped Edison.


thanks for that tip on the AES publication, I'll have to look for it! Vinylium seem to have sold most of their old gear now, BTW. No more pressing, either, bit of a shame!

Oh yeah, the Technics TT can be modified for more torque, too, but I'm not sure how that will affect the life of the unit!

Maybe I should find out if Vinylium will sell me just one of their cutting heads?

I also didn't realise that the "vinylrecorder" didn't appear to have negative feedback circutry! Surprising, as the rest of the electronics apparently handles everything properly (controlling feed pitch, equalisation)

BTW, when they talk about the radius of the cutting stylus, they talk in 'mils' What measurement is that? (I've only worked in thousandths of a millimeter before, and seen surface finish references in um)

Oh! I hope I stop this crazy idea before I spend too much time on it... (serious)

Does anyone know of someone who can cut dubplates in Australia? (not the guy in Melbourne who tries to charge $195 Au) That would be a more sane option!

Thanks for taking an interest, those who have had a look, or a talk...

Junoman, thanks also for the tip about DMM. I will take this into consideration when I come to, and send out any cutting/plating/pressing to those who can do it.
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Old 12th February 2004, 05:53 PM   #27
kalinski is offline kalinski  Cocos Islands
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don't know about a cutting studio in austria...
but not too far away (looking on the whole globe)
you will find:

Peter King Lathe Cutting
Address: Peter King Record Manufacturing
21RD, Woodside Road
New Zealand

Telephone: + 64 3 303 9755 / Cell phone: 64 25 623 5389

very interesting and unique cutting studio....

about the DIY-cutter: maybe the movingcoil system of a fullrange speaker
will be good enough to cut some sound on plate (and i heard..the vinylrecorder was built of a pair...but i may be totally wrong...)
but it will be very diffcult to bring a second coil for the feedback in and to
fix the styli to the two coils!
I don't want to spread someones personal secret but I once saw a pic showing a cutterhead build from two supercheap speakers with the membran cutted out
perhaps it would be best to start with a non-feedback system and take
an EQ to correct the output to "flat" (haha)

maybe you could use the ortofon design:

coil1 coil2
|¦ ¦| |¦ ¦|
\ / \ /
°_______° bridge
V styli

maybe not

let me see a photo of your cutterhead if its ready
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Old 12th February 2004, 06:48 PM   #28
Evaas is offline Evaas  Canada
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Default mils

regarding the "mils" reference - is the company american? It might mean millions of an inch
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Old 12th February 2004, 07:34 PM   #29
Havoc is offline Havoc
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Mill is normally used for 1/1000 of an inch. Like a millimeter is 1/1000 of a meter.
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Old 12th February 2004, 08:12 PM   #30
Evaas is offline Evaas  Canada
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yeah, what he said
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