Vinyl MasteringFrom the start of my mastering career I always wanted to be involved in cutting lacquers, and in 2012 that dream became a reality. I purchased a vintage mid-'60s Scully mastering lathe with a stereo Westrex cutterhead and matching tube cutting amps, and began learning how to cut great sounding grooves. Since then I've mechanically refurbished the Scully, had the cutterhead rebuilt & updated, and developed a custom cutting preamp/amp solution with modern electronics. The system sounds fantastic and I love cutting vinyl masters.
Most of the time when cutting lacquers I use my new preamp/amp in combination with my best mastering EQs and the result is a very flat, full frequency response from the lowest bass to barely-audible, airy highs. This amp has twice the power of the original tube amp so it's clean sounding on even the loudest cuts. The vintage tube amps are still available for those that prefer the thick, powerful midrange and unique character of tubes and transformers.
Vinyl Master Lacquers:
Keep in mind that the shorter the side the better the sound. If the sides are short enough I will cut them at 45rpm, which always sounds better than 33.3rpm.
Also note that these "maximum time" guidelines are not set in stone. In some cases I can cut 26 or 27 minute sides that still sound pretty good.