Vinyl Reissue Labels and Pressing Defects

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 10156 times.

jsaliga

Vinyl Reissue Labels and Pressing Defects
« on: 5 Nov 2009, 11:34 pm »
I'm starting this topic because the subject has been on my mind a lot.  Last year I nearly gave up on buying new vinyl because I was caught in a hailstorm of bad pressings, most of them pressed by RTI.  I thought it would be helpful if everyone shared their experience with different reissue labels.  I'm buying more new vinyl than ever these days, but that is only because things seemed to have improved a lot in the last 12 months.  But there have still been some stinkers.  In this topic I am not interested in talking about mastering, only physical defects and pressing quality.  The best mastering in the world won't do you lick of good if it was pressed by the Snap, Crackle, and Pop label.

Here's a label by label run down of how things have gone for me, with the labels graded according to overall quality of the vinyl pressings.

A+ Speakers Corner - Easily the most consistent where high quality of pressings is concerned.  I own many Speakers Corner reissues and have only had one with a physical defect of any kind.  I sent it back and the replacement was fine.  I am always impressed by the look and feel of their records.  I have never had one that had sloppy triming jobs and the dead wax areas are always nice and clean.  They look like high quality pressings and they play like it.  They are not quite as quiet as Classic Records QUIEX 200g pressings -- but then Speakers Corner doesn't have the quality control problems that seemed to plague Classic Records over the years.  In my opinion at $30+ per LP one should expect high quality pressings.  Pops and clicks are what one might expect from albums bought from the bargain bin.


A Music Matters - Their Blue Note reissues on 45 RPM 180g vinyl have been excellent overall.  I had to send two back out of the 18 that I own, and it took months for me to get a replacement Kenny Drew album (which is why I didn't give MM an A+).  I also really appreciate the heavy gatefold jackets of Music Matters pressings.  True, you throw down $50 or more for one of these things, but at least the package feels like it is well made.  I can't say the same for Analogue Productions on their Blue Note 45 reissues.  But this all about the quality of the vinyl.  I've been very happy with Music Matters.


F  4 Men with Beards - What a goofy name for a vinyl reissue label.  I got excited when I found out about the artists they were licensed to reissue: Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Dusty Springfield, and a truckload of others that I would have gladly bought.  Sadly, I have bought 8 albums on this label and the only one that was a nice clean pressing was Dusty Springfield - Dusty In Memphis.  The rest sounded like a bowl of Rice Krispies.  I won't waste my time with another album from this label.


C  Classic Records - I have had a love-hate relationship with Classic Records for years.  I love them because I managed to get the complete Led Zeppelin 200g reissue set without a single problem on any of those LPs.  For that I am really grateful.  I hate Classic Records because I have had more defective vinyl bearing the QUIEX 200g label than all other reissue labels combined.  I fall into the same patterns with Classic Records.  I buy three or four albums and they are all fine.  So then I have confidence that the worst of their QC problems are behind them and will order $300 or so of their LPs, and the order will show up and half of them are defective.  Some have scratches on them right out of the sleeve.  So now I limit my orders to only a few titles here and there no matter how many I might want.  I do this because now my policy is to not buy more vinyl than I can play test within the return window.  I failed to do that once and got stuck with $250 in bad vinyl -- all of it from Classic Records.  I would really like to give CR a higher grade, but as recently as two months ago I ordered six 200g Everest 35mm reissues on Classic and 3 of them had major defects and had to go back.  The last five or so LPs have been very nice...but I am not confident that this will be a recurring experience.  I don't know if Classic Records is still having RTI do their pressings...but something needs to be done because quality control is still a problem.  I wish Classic Records would drop 200g pressings in favor of 180g vinyl.


A+  Pure Pleasure Records - If I am not mistaken PPR is part of the Speakers Corner family of labels and these records, like SC, are pressed in Germany.  My experience has been very similar to SC though I have not bought nearly as many LPs on this label.  But for the dozen or so I do have the quality of pressings has been very high.


B Analogue Productions - This is another case where I will beat up on RTI a bit.  When I first started buying Analogue Productions Fantasy 45 series a lot of the vinyl was showing up with discolorations -- white streaks running through the vinyl.  Some of the folks on Vinyl Asylum were speculating that RTI was putting the vinyl into the inner sleeves before the records were properly cooled and there was some color bleed through.  I don't know if this was true or not.  I do know that it did not impact the sound as far as I could tell, but you don't expect to get sloppy looking pressings for $50 each.  Having said that, the AP Blue Note reissues I have been receiving now have plastic inner sleeves, and overall the vinyl seems to be of higher quality and better trimmed.  There has been a steady improvement in quality with AP and they deserve credit for it.  The last few dozen albums I have bought bearing their label have been quite nice indeed.


A+  Warner - Not a vinyl reissue label per se, but Warner Music has had a pretty successful vinyl reissue series.  I don't own them all but have about 15 of them or so, remastered by Steve Hoffman and pressed at RTI on 180g vinyl.  So it isn't like RTI isn't capable of pressing nice clean vinyl.


A-   Rhino - I own many Rhino vinyl reissues and again they use RTI and I have not had any problems with bad pressings unitl now.  I recently purchased the Genesis 1970-1975 Rhino boxed set and there are two LPs in it with pressing defects so it has to go back.


A Universal Japan - I almost forgot about these 200g Japanese pressings.  I own 10 of them and so far I have not had any problems with physical defects.  My favorites among these are the 200g pressings of Steely Dan's Aja and Nick Drake's Pink Moon.  But $50 is a lot to pay for a 200g 33 LP, otherwise I would own a lot more of them.


A+ Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs - I have had very good experience with MFSL.  I own about 45 titles on vinyl and only have an issue with one where there are a few light pops.  I have generally been impressed with their mastering and choice of titles.  Right now I am jazzed about the Elvis Costello reissues, and already have My Aim is True, love it, and can't wait for This Years Model and Armed Forces.


B- Sundazed - I don't own very many Sundazed titles, but I have been buying recently from their catalog and own about 14 titles.  Not many, but enough for me to comment about their quality.  I am grading them here strictly on the quality of the pressings.  I can't say that I found any with serious defects...but I am marking them down a bit because every single Sundazed pressing I own is considerably noisier than new vinyl I buy from all other labels combined.  I not sure what the issue is.  Perhaps it is the quality of the vinyl that goes into their pressings or perhaps it has something to do with how the lacquer masters are cut.  Recently Sundazed decided to abandon 180g pressings and have gone down to heavy vinyl (I think it is about 120g).  I find the thickness of these lower weight records to be sufficient, and I really don't see any difference between these and the four or so Sundazed 180g pressings I own.

--Jerome
« Last Edit: 27 Dec 2009, 08:34 pm by jsaliga »

orthobiz

Re: The Vinyl Reissue Labels and Pressing Defects.
« Reply #1 on: 5 Nov 2009, 11:40 pm »
Great post! I don't have enough reissue stuff to rate them consistently.

I do have a nice The Who Tommy on Simply Vinyl, A- is my rating. It would be hard (but interesting) to have some kinda grid with individual albums and individual ratings and come up with consensus. Like metacritic.com for our own use.

I have a terrible copy of Carole King Tapestry on Classic. Bought it out of town and didn't listen to it for something like a year. Your comment about buying it and listening to it in the "return window" is a wise one!

Paul

bunnyma357

Re: The Vinyl Reissue Labels and Pressing Defects.
« Reply #2 on: 6 Nov 2009, 12:29 am »
I don't by a lot of new vinyl - too pricey compared to used. Here's my limited experience.

C  -  Classic Records  -  I have 3 Led Zeppelin Reissues one is really good, one OK, one has a ton of surface noise.

A  -  Sundazed Records - Various Link Wray albums and they all sound great.

A  -  AKARMA (Comet Records)  -  Blue Cheer "Vincebus Eruptum"  sounds great, no issues.


The only of these that I was real familiar with was the Led Zeppelin stuff, and the other stuff is pretty primitive - so I don't know if my experience would cary over to other genres.

Jim C

jsaliga

Re: The Vinyl Reissue Labels and Pressing Defects
« Reply #3 on: 6 Nov 2009, 12:34 am »
I own four Simply Vinyl and three Sundazed pressings, but that's not enough for me grade either of them as a reissue label.

--Jerome
« Last Edit: 6 Nov 2009, 01:57 am by jsaliga »

kenreau

Re: Vinyl Reissue Labels and Pressing Defects
« Reply #4 on: 6 Dec 2009, 03:29 am »
Great write up Jerome.  I'm really getting disgusted with the piss poor quality control being dumped on us and the Record retailers (as of today).  In addition to the 4 out of 7 defective LPs I had to return mentioned in the new vinyl thread, I just had another similar experience today.

Last night I found a NOS Neil Young Greendale boxset at a different store than the above experience.  I've had this on my wish list for some time as it is one of my top 5 Neil Young albums.   I bought it, took it home and sure enough the very first LP had a big scratch across it.  WTF is going on?  I can have some tolerance for this kind of crap with the basic high volume $12.99 stuff, but not when we are shelling out $50+ for a premium box set. 

This morning I take the boxset back to the store and the guy behind the counter starts telling me that they typically do not take back defective LPs.  WTF?  He said the distributors are not allowing the stores to return or get credit for any defective LPs.  They are a total loss for the retailer.  He mentioned they even had to eat a full box shipment of LPs that was damaged in shipping and another that obviously sat in the sun too long and warped a bunch of the lps.  He said it was total BS but that is what they have to deal with.  This is a local independent record store in Portland, Oregon.  He said they see a significant amount of defective LPs and hence the need to not refund or swap out for another copy.  They actually had a sign at the counter indicating this (the first time I saw it)  We both agreed it was total BS and he went ahead and just gave me a refund.  We talked for about 10 minutes about what has been going on and he mentioned he was familiar with the SHF as well.

It's one thing for us as the consumer to go through the hassle of a defective return as long as we get a new product exchanged or refund.  I feel really bad about the already struggling retailers at the end of the production food chain now being forced to suffer further due to the lack of proper business management and quality control starting at the pressing plants.

This gives me the idea of us all starting a thread to voice these concerns and make it known to the industry we are disgruntled and we can vote with our $$$.  Maybe even boycott buying vinyl during the holidays to get their attention.  I imagine the Steve Hoffman forum would be ideal place to propose starting a thread given the high volume and industry types that hang there.

Anybody interested in contributing to this if it gets started?

Thx
Kenreau

Wayner

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 6753
Re: Vinyl Reissue Labels and Pressing Defects
« Reply #5 on: 6 Dec 2009, 12:44 pm »
I just picked up the Yes, Relayer LP from Music Direct. The LP came opened. I suspect that they have been having the same problem and have decided to look at the pressing, before shipping. I think they will take defects (not entirely sure) but could you imagine the expense of all the shipping back and forth, shipping junk.

That is why buying used LPs has it's merits. You can take it out of it's sleeve, look for obvious damage, and usually your good to go.

I have been impressed with at least the handling of Rhino and Friday Music. Monument also has done a fantastic job. Can't say the same for Hollywood records. Buyer, beware.

Wayner  :o

Niteshade

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 2425
  • Tubes: Audio's glow plug. Get turbocharged!
    • Niteshade Audio
Re: Vinyl Reissue Labels and Pressing Defects
« Reply #6 on: 6 Dec 2009, 12:57 pm »
Are reissue LP's made from digital sources? Are they made from original molds?

What's the scoop with them? I always wondered how authentic they are in nature.

wgallupe

Re: The Vinyl Reissue Labels and Pressing Defects.
« Reply #7 on: 6 Dec 2009, 01:17 pm »

I have a terrible copy of Carole King Tapestry on Classic. Bought it out of town and didn't listen to it for something like a year. Your comment about buying it and listening to it in the "return window" is a wise one!

Paul

I have the Tapestry LP on my short list. Will have to reconsider now. Are you refering to clicks and pops or sound quality? Should I just stay away from it? 

Wayner

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 6753
Re: Vinyl Reissue Labels and Pressing Defects
« Reply #8 on: 6 Dec 2009, 01:46 pm »
Are reissue LP's made from digital sources? Are they made from original molds?

What's the scoop with them? I always wondered how authentic they are in nature.

You can pretty much bet that the master is digital on stuff from the mid-eighties, at least as far as rock goes. I think there are a few "audiophile" labels that have the origianl master in the analog tape format.

I have no problem with an LP pressed from a digital master, as long as they did it right. There are problems at the cutter with dynamics and volume, which leaves the poor cutting engineer with a big headache.

Wayner

jsaliga

Re: Vinyl Reissue Labels and Pressing Defects
« Reply #9 on: 6 Dec 2009, 01:48 pm »
Great write up Jerome.  I'm really getting disgusted with the piss poor quality control being dumped on us and the Record retailers (as of today).  In addition to the 4 out of 7 defective LPs I had to return mentioned in the new vinyl thread, I just had another similar experience today.

I hear ya.  It is what nearly drove me to stop buying new vinyl completely in 2008.

Quote
Last night I found a NOS Neil Young Greendale boxset at a different store than the above experience.  I've had this on my wish list for some time as it is one of my top 5 Neil Young albums.   I bought it, took it home and sure enough the very first LP had a big scratch across it.  WTF is going on?  I can have some tolerance for this kind of crap with the basic high volume $12.99 stuff, but not when we are shelling out $50+ for a premium box set.

This morning I take the boxset back to the store and the guy behind the counter starts telling me that they typically do not take back defective LPs.  WTF?  He said the distributors are not allowing the stores to return or get credit for any defective LPs.  They are a total loss for the retailer.  He mentioned they even had to eat a full box shipment of LPs that was damaged in shipping and another that obviously sat in the sun too long and warped a bunch of the lps.  He said it was total BS but that is what they have to deal with.  This is a local independent record store in Portland, Oregon.  He said they see a significant amount of defective LPs and hence the need to not refund or swap out for another copy.  They actually had a sign at the counter indicating this (the first time I saw it)  We both agreed it was total BS and he went ahead and just gave me a refund.  We talked for about 10 minutes about what has been going on and he mentioned he was familiar with the SHF as well.

I won't shop at local independents for the above reason.  But if you want to shop at locals then I would check the consumer protection laws in your state.  Hanging a sign saying they don't take returns on vinyl might not mean much if it runs afoul of the law.  Never pay cash for vinyl, always use a credit card.  That way you can dispute the charge if there is a problem with defective records later and the retailer refuses to take them back.  I had a firm discussion with Acoustic Sounds last year after receiving a third consequtive order of $300 or more and nearly half of those records were bad.  At first they said they would take back scratched records but not those with loud pops and clicks.  I said that I failed to see the distinction: the first is damage caused after pressing and the second is a defect caused during pressing.  Both are bad.  I told them that if they did not take them all back and provide replacements that I would dispute the charges with my credit card issuer and this would be the last order I placed with them.  I spend a lot of money on audiophile vinyl, perhaps as much as $2,000 to $5,000 per year.  I don't believe for a second that Acoustic Sounds or any other vinyl dealer would miss that revenue.  But if 10 or 20 other audiophiles were to walk then that would leave a lot of unsold inventory lying around in the warehouse.  I was fairly certain that what large dealers don't want to see is a lot of customer dissatisfaction being aired out on public forums such as Audio Circle, Audio Asylum, and Head-Fi.  They are especially concerned about vinyl products that are marketed and sold to audiophiles, because they have very high profit margins built into them.  After that conversation with Acoustic Sounds I have never had a problem sending back a defective record.  I have also had very good experiences with Elusive Disc and Soundstage Direct.  Seth Frank at Soundstage Direct is particularly customer service oriented.  I once expressed a concern to him about shipping delays and he took care of it.  I have only had to send two records back to him but he never gave me a hard time about it.  The bottom line: it is not worth driving a customer away who might spend hundreds, or thousands of dollars on vinyl over returns on a few bad records.  I won't do business with anyone who doesn't see it this way.

I have also recently started buying some vinyl at Amazon.com.  Their selection is not as vast as that of Acoustic Sounds, Elusive Disc, or Soundstage Direct.  And I do have concerns with how Amazon packs vinyl for shipping: the records are loose in a largish box with some bubble wrap tossed in.  They do not use boxes that are specifically designed for shipping records.  However, I purchased about 40 LPs from them so far and have not had a problem with damage.  And to Amazon.com's credit they do have a hassle-free return policy.  What makes it worthwhile is that sometimes Amazon will offer really nice discounts on certain records.  I just purchased a couple of Roxy Music LPs on 180g vinyl and got them from Amazon.com for $14.95 each when everyone else has them for $19.95, and since I have Amazon Prime I had my LPs two days later at no additional cost.

--Jerome
« Last Edit: 6 Dec 2009, 04:26 pm by jsaliga »

jsaliga

Re: Vinyl Reissue Labels and Pressing Defects
« Reply #10 on: 6 Dec 2009, 02:00 pm »
Are reissue LP's made from digital sources?

Not the reissues I am mostly interested in.  Most of what I buy are jazz titles that were recorded on analog tape in the 1950s and 1960s, and rock albums that were also recorded on analog tape in the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s.

I know some vinyl reissue labels such as Simply Vinyl have been accused of using digital transfers of content that was originally recorded on tape, though I don't know if that is true and I don't own enough Simply Vinyl titles to really care.  I also know that the Rolling Stones 180g vinyl reissues were sourced from DSD masters, but they have largely been very well received by critics.

--Jerome

twitch54

Re: Vinyl Reissue Labels and Pressing Defects
« Reply #11 on: 6 Dec 2009, 02:08 pm »
Jerome, as was said.....good thread, thanks for starting.

As for my current experiences........well truthfully I don't know that they are any different than 'back in the day' 30 plus years ago. I got good and bad back then as well, now granted I wasn't paying $20-30 for boutigue, heavy pressing Lp's either. Some of my early 'Audiophile' pressings from Sheffield Labs and American Gramaphone remain to this day as my favorites.

Currently I will add an solid 'A' for Chad Kassems offerings from his Blue Heaven Studios (I love that Church !) and of course APO records.

Refrence Reocordings jazz recordings along with Kieth Johnson's 'miking excelence' desrves kudos as well

Niteshade

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 2425
  • Tubes: Audio's glow plug. Get turbocharged!
    • Niteshade Audio
Re: Vinyl Reissue Labels and Pressing Defects
« Reply #12 on: 7 Dec 2009, 01:49 am »
This is the part that gets confusing: If the LP is made from a digital master, doesn't that defeat the purpose? Wouldn't it be better to buy a CD?



Are reissue LP's made from digital sources? Are they made from original molds?

What's the scoop with them? I always wondered how authentic they are in nature.

You can pretty much bet that the master is digital on stuff from the mid-eighties, at least as far as rock goes. I think there are a few "audiophile" labels that have the origianl master in the analog tape format.

I have no problem with an LP pressed from a digital master, as long as they did it right. There are problems at the cutter with dynamics and volume, which leaves the poor cutting engineer with a big headache.

Wayner

Toni Rambold

Re: Vinyl Reissue Labels and Pressing Defects
« Reply #13 on: 7 Dec 2009, 07:03 am »
... all whom it may concern:

Quote from: Bob Ludwig, Gateway Mastering Studios
A few years ago I cut a vinyl release of
a really big group, but I was never sent
a test pressing to approve. I finally got a
pressing, and either the plant had polished
the stamper too heavily and removed topend
or something went wrong with the
cut. I asked which approved master they
were comparing the test pressing to for
quality control, and I was told, none. The
moment I heard that I decided to sell our
lathe. I don't want my name going out
on records that are not properly quality
controlled. Today I send all projects that
need to be cut to Stan "The Man" Ricker
who knows what he is doing. I generally
send Stan 96kHz/24-bit masters on my
projects. This means the commercially
released vinyl can contain over an octave
more high frequencies than the compactdisc
version will have.

Wayner

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 6753
Re: Vinyl Reissue Labels and Pressing Defects
« Reply #14 on: 7 Dec 2009, 12:40 pm »
This is the part that gets confusing: If the LP is made from a digital master, doesn't that defeat the purpose? Wouldn't it be better to buy a CD?



Are reissue LP's made from digital sources? Are they made from original molds?

What's the scoop with them? I always wondered how authentic they are in nature.

You can pretty much bet that the master is digital on stuff from the mid-eighties, at least as far as rock goes. I think there are a few "audiophile" labels that have the origianl master in the analog tape format.

I have no problem with an LP pressed from a digital master, as long as they did it right. There are problems at the cutter with dynamics and volume, which leaves the poor cutting engineer with a big headache.

Wayner

Consumer CDs are compressed to the max so that they will play in everything from a cheap boom-box to the high end ultra system. The master digital file, tape, whatever, is usually at full range, therefore,, the only limitations to the digital domain are the things that are bothersome at record master cutting time, like loudness and dynamic range. A record is capable of 75db of dynamic range, a range that now may be higher then many of the commercially available CDs.

Wayner

kenreau

Re: Vinyl Reissue Labels and Pressing Defects
« Reply #15 on: 7 Dec 2009, 06:59 pm »
This is the part that gets confusing: If the LP is made from a digital master, doesn't that defeat the purpose? Wouldn't it be better to buy a CD?



Are reissue LP's made from digital sources? Are they made from original molds?

What's the scoop with them? I always wondered how authentic they are in nature.

You can pretty much bet that the master is digital on stuff from the mid-eighties, at least as far as rock goes. I think there are a few "audiophile" labels that have the origianl master in the analog tape format.

I have no problem with an LP pressed from a digital master, as long as they did it right. There are problems at the cutter with dynamics and volume, which leaves the poor cutting engineer with a big headache.

Wayner

For additional related reading, do a search on The Rolling Stones {DSD} vinyl reissues from about 2 years ago.  Those reissues used the same DSD (SACD) digital files as the source for cutting the vinyl with.  I've heard three of these {DSD} sourced LPs and they sound fantastic (as does the SACD versions). 

It is confusing seeing "digital" on LPs and I would speculate the early transition years (mid-1980's to mid-1991's?) it was reason to cringe.  Garbage in - garbage out.  Many vinyl pressings were made in ignorance using the same digital files from seedees directly reused for cutting vinyl.  Today, in theory, it appears there is recognition by the manufactures the two formats are really two different animals and if done correctly, the vinyl can sound great.  Imho, that is the big challenge right now. 

Many bad examples of digital files used for vinyl are still being churned out unfortunatley.  The Universal "Back to Black" series is a common one, at least where I am located in the NW, as they some how have a great retail outlet distribution setup.  I've only read of one of the "B to B" title getting favorable comments (Hendrix - Are Your Experienced).  I would speculate 9 out of 10 of their titles are garbage.  Another label I've heard to stay away from is "Vinyl Lovers".  That is why forums like this are so valuable.

Kenreau

jimdgoulding

Re: Vinyl Reissue Labels and Pressing Defects
« Reply #16 on: 7 Dec 2009, 09:22 pm »
I got one complaint that I hope you don't . . at the opening, right where you do NOT want it to be, on Miles' Kind of Blue from Classic Records, there is surface noise galore.  After you get past that, things quiet down.  The few other albums I have from them are very good. 

TONEPUB

Re: Vinyl Reissue Labels and Pressing Defects
« Reply #17 on: 7 Dec 2009, 11:21 pm »
What everyone is losing sight of is that has always been the way of the world with vinyl,
it's an imperfect media.  It's just unfortunate we're taking it on the chin at these prices...

This is why vinyl has always been a love/hate thing and why I get grumpy when other
people in the industry just assume that because something is pressed on a slab of vinyl
it's going to be superior to digital.  No one knows better than Kenreau that I'm totally committed
to analog, but it can be frustrating!


jsaliga

Re: Vinyl Reissue Labels and Pressing Defects
« Reply #18 on: 8 Dec 2009, 12:08 am »
No one is losing sight of anything.  If you are going to argue that people should expect to get stuck with defective records then please, don't post any further in this thread.  And if some clarification would help then I am referring to records that are clearly damaged out of the jacket, have scratches, have gross pressing defects, or are warped.

If you have some specific experience with reissue labels and would you like to share that then by all means please do so.  And that would include your experiences with dealers and how they handle defective returns.  That is what I started this thread for.  Some reissue labels are doing a better job than others and some dealers are doing a better job than others...talking about it here is information that people can use.

--Jerome

kenreau

Re: Vinyl Reissue Labels and Pressing Defects
« Reply #19 on: 8 Dec 2009, 05:28 am »
I just got back in to the vinyl camp in the past few months and the number of defective new pressings I've seen is disturbing.  And they're not even pressed in China (yet).  I think I have purchased about 20 new/sealed lps recently and the defective product rate is around 40% in my limited experience.

I can summarize my heartburn in 3 points, rolled up to one cycle;

1. the pressing plants are sloppy and apparently exercise minimal quality control (Pallas excluded)
2. the distribution system is acting like a dictatorship and forcing the retailers to eat unquestionably defective product.  Is this practice acceptable in any other industry?  I think a lot of the retailers, the independents in particular, are already hanging on by a thread.
3. a number of retailers, in reaction to the above, do not want to accept returns of defective pressings.  This is total BS. 

Not only is the music industry cranking out a lot of poor sound quality pressings, now they want everyone else to pay for their sloppy manufacturing business practices.

I'm still up for starting a thread someplace (SHF?) that voices the above concerns and helps bring attention to the raw deal the retailers are getting.  Maybe suggest a vinyl buying boycott going into this Holiday season???  Unfortunately this hurts the retailers at the same time.  I suppose if the pressing plants would just take responsibility for their defective products, that would be half the battle.

What say ye?
Kenreau