I have to admit I am nearly at wit’s end with this issue.
For the past few years, I have stepped up buying new 180g and 200g vinyl releases. I have quickly found out which labels or pressing plants I can trust, and those which give me pause.
Case in point is anything that QRP presses. On average, I would say that one in four records pressed by QRP that I have personally bought have been off-center. This was something I expected back in the 70s and 80s when records were $5 each and mass produced. The latest was the Stevie Ray Vaughan Texas Hurricane box set. Two of the six records are off center. Shameful, especially for what they are charging for it. My bog common Epic pressings might not sound so good, but they were cheap. And, on center. The last three Rush reissues faced the same fate: two of the three were off center, one so badly off center that I had to turn it off after two tracks.
The good QRPs I have are often extremely well done. Yet with others, the pressing is good but the damned record is not on center. I’ve not been plagued by noise or warpage issues some other listeners have had.
What is so hard to grasp about this concept? Others seem to have no issue with it. I’ve only had one off-center RTI record (cheerfully replaced by Rhino), and all the rest have been dead accurate. Music On Vinyl may not always have the best sources, but pressing quality has been exemplary, and every single record is on center. Pallas, same story there–dead accurate. Even the shoddy records coming out of GZ Vinyl are at least on center (although very poorly handled–most I get are audibly scuffed or scratched from factory mishandling).
Why is QRP struggling with this?
Relate your own QRP centering issues in our forum. Since complaint seem to fall on deaf ears (and I bury Amazon under a pile of returned records), raising awareness might wake up the powers that be. Myself, I’ve curtailed buying