Reference Lacquers & Test Pressings Explained




Reference Lacquer 

Since listening to your actual vinyl master is prohibited because playing it even once will cause it to be degraded, the practice of cutting a reference lacquer (also called an “acetate”) was popularized in the 60s and 70s.  This allows you to hear how your music will sound on your record (and make changes if you’d like) prior to the plating and test pressing stages .  

We highly encourage getting a set of these playable reference lacquers.  Not only are they ultra-cool and sound amazing, but they’ll save you a ton of time and money should you want to make a change after hearing them. 

Whenever we make a set of reference lacquers, we also play them back from our turnable and make high resolution digital files that you can download from a link we send you.  This allows everyone in your camp to hear the reference lacquer at the same time, no matter where they are.  It’s well worth the extra cost! 


Test Pressing 

After your vinyl masters are cut, they are plated (typically at the pressing plant), and five test pressings are made.  These are then shipped to you (and one to us) for evaluation.  This is the first time you’ll hear your music on vinyl, and we compare it to the original source material in the same room we did the vinyl master to insure that the test pressing meets our strict guidelines. 

Once you give the pressing plant the green light, they press all the records in your order.  If there’s an issue with the test pressing, we can help determine what the issue could be, and take the necessary steps to rectify the issue.  We use a lot of tools to help get to the source of any issues, including a badass microscope!


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