The minute I placed my order for the Orb DF-01iA+ Record Flattener I knew exactly which album I had in mind to test it out with: Matao with Atilla Engin – Turkish Delight. This was a nice priced reissue by Arsivplak of the rare and rather expensive 1979 original slab of Danish Jazz-Rock/Fusion with Turkish elements.
I received the record with a pretty nasty edge warp that made me very wary of playing it and risking damage to my stylus on the large slalom that was the first track. I wrote it off at the time and put it away to experiment on down the road with the Vinyl Flat I had purchased a few years back. I had flattened a few records with the Vinyl Flat for a customer as a test case, with mixed results. They were heavily warped and he figured he had nothing to lose testing it out. This sent me down a rabbit hole of researching the larger commercial units.
Once I pulled the trigger on the Orb, this seemed like the perfect test case: a large edge warp on heavy modern vinyl. So many contemporary records are being churned out at the factory as fast as possible to accommodate the huge demand on the very few pressing plants currently in operation, often running 24 hours a day. This leads to a number of warped records that haven’t had sufficient time to cool properly. I’ve received a number of inquires as to whether I can flatten records, often describing this exact scenario.
The Orb proved super simple to use and after four hours I had an almost perfectly flat record that I felt no trepidation about throwing on my turntable. You can see the before and after for yourself:
The one downside? That’s a hell of a catchy opening track that is now permanently burned into my brain from how often I’ve heard it putting this video together 😉 This was an easy case that came through with no distortion as the grooves thankfully were not damaged.
Interested in getting your own records flattened? Unlike cleaning, there is inherent risk in heating up the vinyl to bend it back into shape, so I have some caveats for you. For a full rundown of both the risks and rewards of my Record Flattening Service please visit this page to read more.