Vinyl Mastering

In 2012 I purchased a mid-'60s Scully mastering lathe with a stereo Westrex cutterhead and began learning the fine art of lacquer mastering. 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. As of 2018 I've cut several hundred sides for production and counting.

My audio chain for the lathe is based on Flo Kaufmann's Caruso preamp and Hypex power amplifiers. It also includes a finely tuned equalizer to even out the frequency response of the Westrex 3D head. The system has a flat frequency response (+/-1db) from 30hz to over 15khz with loads of headroom and the overall transient response is excellent. I have also developed a procedure for controlling the lines per inch while cutting that rivals that of some computer controlled lathes. This combination of equipment and procedures can properly handle long and dynamic sides as well as DJ single volume level hot cuts.

I am also equipped to lacquer master purely analog from tape using my Studer A80 1/2" tape machine running at 15 or 30ips (1/4" available on request). AAA mastering offers a unique set of challenges and rewards, contact me for a quote.

Master Lacquers for Vinyl:

  • 12" - $290 ($145/side). Up to 25 min per side (20 or less is better)
  • 10" - $250 ($125/side). Up to 16:30 min per side (13 or less is better)
  • 7" - $120 ($60/side). Up to 7 min per side (4:30 or less is better)
  • Plus shipping to the duplication plant of your choice (usually $13 to $35)

    Keep in mind that the shorter the side the better the sound. If the sides are short enough I can cut them at 45rpm if desired.

    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.