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Quality Control for Labels – How To Check Your Vinyl

Releasing vinyl records is not an easy business. Each one is hand-made, so there are plenty of things that can go wrong. I once received a full run that had the wrong labels attached. And sending out defective records to your customers could financially cripple your label – the pressing plant may replace the vinyl, but they will not refund all the money you have already spent on postage.

I buy a lot of records, and have received a surprising amount of faulty ones over the years. But after 50+ releases over the last 18 years, I have sent very few defective records out to customers myself. OK a few have arrived damaged, warped, or even snapped in half by the postman, but they all happened during shipping so were out of my control. I often receive positive feedback from people about the quality of our releases. Of course this is partially down to luck, I understand some labels have had some bad fortune. However I do believe many of the faulty records I have received could have been avoided with better quality control. So I thought it would be helpful to share the QA process I always follow when doing a vinyl release.

Preparation

The test presses

The full run

And finally, a few things for buyers to consider:

I hope you find this guide useful, these are all my personal opinions and some may disagree with the advice, but it has served me well as both a label owner and buyer over the years. And if you are not familiar with our labels, you can check them out here:

https://djjedi.bandcamp.com