Lathe cut records by Rich Flores
Lathe cut records that have been recorded on polycarbonate sheets of plastic for many years since the 1980's, most definitely, have earned a bad reputation since, because they were always embossed with a tungsten carbide stylus. Many have tried over the years different techniques to improve them, by using, Turtle wax furniture polish, lighter fluid, motor oil, DW40, Etc.
Non of these will ever improve the sound quality nor reduce the clicks and pops or the surface noise if recorded very deep. One thing for sure, is the use of the heat lamp, or a hot sapphire stylus, which I have develop in 2015 by installing 4-5 turns of nichrome wire around the jewel of the my exclusive cone tip sapphire stylus at 5-7 volts @1.5 amps.
The result was NO difference with or with out heat, or a heat lamp.The best way to eliminate that awful surface noise, is to emboss no deeper than 4 mils or 4000/ thousands of an inch. My sapphire styli's point is
much finer at 2000/th of an inch as compared to those tungsten styli made at home.
You can get excellent results at room temperature with no heat, oils, lighter fluid or Pledge wax. The only drawback is, embossed records can't be back-tracked, cued or DJ scratch for hip hop music.The tone arm will just simply jump out of the groove. Embossing with a stereo cutting head will never give you stereo playback, very little separation , if any. You will get a record that will skip randomly.
The loudness is also a factor, that will cause the record to skip randomly if recorded a 7cm per second, this is the standard reference level for cutting a lacquer disc at "0" dB.You willl need to record at minus -7 dB,
this the average level of a microgroove LP recorded at 33 rpm.
The equalization will not be a problem. With my Westrex cutting head, I was able to A/B the disc against the mp3 audio sounding the same.
Rich Flores Can be reached. at: