A Survey You Can Take From Cleveland, Ohio Based Gotta Groove Records

Cleveland, Ohio based Gotta Groove Records pressing plant just sent out an e-survey to its customer base and invite analogPlanet readers to toss in their $29.99 or two-cents. They've already received 2400 responses in a little over a day

To take the survey go to this page and tell them what you think!

Corry's picture


EdAInWestOC's picture

Matt is a good guy and they are dead serious about making better quality pressings. I checked out 6 of their pressings a couple of years ago and the quality then was excellent.


vinylspinr's picture

...First time caller, as they say. I took the survey, and thought that they asked very good questions, and was happy that they gave room on some of the questions to further explain yourself/add additional comments. Hopefully other pressing plants do this. I have posted some of my important points and answers from the survey below. If anyone else agrees with these, or has any additions to them, please feel free to use them in the survey if you want to take it, and/or to send them off to other pressing plants. Thanks for the site, it's been a great resource for pressing/mastering quality for years, and has informed many of my record purchases.


Here are my answers/comments. Obviously, a lot of these are my personal preferences/opinions, but I especially feel that the last 3 points I make are things that the majority of those here can agree on.

(Optional) If you answered that your record purchases are declining in the question above, please let us know any feedback on why.
"New purchases are declining due to high cost and relative low quality of new records."

(Optional) Please tell us any other thoughts with regard to pricing of NEW records.
"I know vinyl material isn't cheap, but to be priced as high as it is, is a bit outrageous, especially when considering lack of quality both sonically and physically on a lot of releases."

Which statement(s) below reflect your decision making regarding the audio source of the records you buy? (Select as many as apply)
I prefer analog sources, but I still buy records cut from digital sources.
The person who mastered the audio is a factor I consider when buying a record.
"While all analog is great, high-res digital sources can be great as well, given the source used is of high quality, and the person doing the transferring of the source and the person doing the cutting knows what they're doing."

Do you seek out particular packaging used for the records you buy? (In other words, which types of jackets and extra print items listed below are of value to you when purchasing a record).
Standard single pocket jackets
Gatefold jackets
Extra print items / liner notes
Download codes
"If the record is a reissue, I typically prefer it to be made the way it originally was (i.e. either single sleeve or gatefold, unless more pics or liner notes are added, then a gatefold can be used for a record that was originally single sleeve, and inserts can be added to gatefolds and/or in addition to records that have printed sleeves already)."

When purchasing a record with a download code included, how likely are you to redeem the code?
Very Likely
"Download codes are great, especially given the current price of records. The least that can be done is to have a download code for a digital version of the album. It's always nice to have the album for your computer or portable music device. The record is for home use, the download is for you to take everywhere else."

Please tell us any other feedback on the quality of records you buy in general, or anything else that you think a record pressing plant should know or that you want to share with us.
"Firstly, MAKE SURE THE STAMPERS AND LABELS ARE CENTERED! Off-center pressings cause wow and flutter (fluctuation in pitch), and, in extreme cases, can make a record unplayable. Checking the stampers every so often, as well as the labels, to make sure they are straight and centered well, can eliminate these issues, and the records should play fine.

Second, STOP TAKING RECORDS FROM THE PRESS WHILE THEY'RE STILL HOT! That's the main reason new records are "dished" sometimes (they get pulled up or down from the stamper after they're pressed, and it makes the middle of the record come up (or down, depending on the direction it was pulled off) and since it's still warm, it stays that way when it finally cools. If you use a record clamp on your turntable, it fixes this, but only for the side that is sticking up in the middle. The other side of the record will now be sticking up at the outer edge! Again, that can be fixed with a periphery ring, but they are very expensive, so not everyone has one, nor does everyone have a turntable and/or platter that will allow you to use one. Just give the records an extra 20 or 30 seconds, then they'll be flat and should play fine. Doing this should also lessen/eliminate warping. Additionally, flat records have less of a chance of getting sleeve scuffs/marks and/or scratches, because the surface won't touch the jacket or sleeve, but rather, go in and out smoothly, so that's one more major issue eliminated.

Lastly, ALL EMPLOYEES HANDLING EITHER THE VINYLITE MATERIAL OR THE RECORDS THEMSELVES SHOULD WEAR GLOVES AND HAIRNETS (OR AT THE VERY LEAST, HATS)! Fingerprints, scuffs, scratches, hair, oils from skin and who knows what else are, sadly, very commonplace on the surface of and on/in the sleeves of most new records I've purchased within the last 5 years or so (which is why I've been cutting down on records I purchase new). Most vinyl listeners have ways to clean their records, but a lot of them (especially those who are new to the format) don't. But even for those who DO clean their records, having to scrub a BRAND NEW RECORD which they payed upwards of $20 for a single LP (and usually upwards of $30 for a double LP) because it's too filthy and noisy to play, is a bit ridiculous. Gloves and hairnets/hats would be a simple solution to prevent this big (and unnecessary) problem."

Bigrasshopper's picture

Every Speakers Corner record I have purchased is flat and clean. They always use analog sources. They used to have a series of videos on their website detailing their process, much of which took place at Pallas in Germany. They claimed that the kept their vinyl in the press for 60 seconds in order to allow the vinyl to time completely fill and cool. After which the records were stacked in weighted groups for 24 hours. Using the extra 30 seconds or whatever the standard time is also raises the cost the plant has to charge the label, in addition to all the other careful steps. Unfortunately you can’t have it both ways, quality and expense go hand in hand.
Unfortunately their music choices aren’t pushing any envelopes.

eugeneharrington's picture

I think you make some good points. If you cast your mind back to the late 1970s, the cost of a Japanese pressing of an album was about twice what records cost, at least here in Europe. Quality takes time and it costs! Personally, I would rather pay more for guaranteed quality than less for something that was sub-standard. I know that sentiment does not enjoy universal approval, but I would rather have less records that were high in terms of quality than many with issues. You get what you pay for, in any walk of life, and vinyl manufacturing is no different, I think?

As regards the duration of the pressing cycle, I think the cycle used by the Japanese plants back in the day was longer than was common in the West. Unfortunately, I have had some bad experiences with Pallas in recent years involving several records (4 to be exact) with a 'ridge' type warp at one section throughout the record. My JACKSON BROWNE 'Late for the Sky' Rhino reissue (2018) is like that. My last two SPEAKERS CORNER purchases earlier this year (THELONIOUS MONK and J. GEILS BAND) were both very good so hopefully that signals that Pallas is back on track.

eugeneharrington's picture

Although I am based in Cork, Ireland I have a pretty nice collection of records that were pressed in Cleveland, OH at Gotta Groove. I have also been in contact via email with Matt (Earley) over the years. GG has been working away quietly in the shadows of the more well-known plants like RTI and QRP producing some very high quality records. Specifically, I recall RSD 2011 when I managed to find two vinyl LPs by Dean Wareham's LUNA both pressed at GG and packed in beautiful polylined inner sleeves. Pressing quality was also superb! Happily I have never had a vinyl record from GG that had 'non fill' or 'stitching'. These two defects are the bane of audiophiles and record collectors in this modern era. 'Non Fill'/'Stitching' is far too common nowadays and I have added MPO (France) to my 'no go' pressing plants for that very reason.

In my experience it is one of the unheralded pressing plants currently operating in the U.S. and whose recent quality has impressed me very much. Thirty Tigers seems to have most of its projects pressed at GG. My recent purchases of SON VOLT ‘Union’ and RYAN BINGHAM’s ‘American Love Song’ 2LP both pressed at GG are fine examples of the vinyl pressing art!

I was happy to complete the Survey and mail it to Matt and his colleagues. I think they are serious about quality and do not fall into the 'vinyl is an imperfect format' category of manufacturers who cite this as an excuse for sub-standard work. I agree with a previous poster on the issue of having the stampers correctly aligned. This is one area where GG can improve. Having to get out my round file to shave spindle holes is a chore I would rather not have to undertake! I am being very fussy here. Usually any off centeredness from GG has been minimal, but I'd rather have it right.

mgrenwic's picture

Man, this was therapeutic. I'm new to "new" vinyl and bought a mid life crisis stereo, and what a big mistake that was. I went all analog, tubes and vinyl. The quality of the majority of new pressings is TERRIBLE. I've spent upwards of $35 for records that either arrive looking like they were brought back from a war zone or look somewhat clean and play like shit. Pops and cracks etc beyond what is considered just part of the "vinyl experience". The pressings plants should be ashamed of the crap they are dishing out and just goes to show how much of this "resurgence" is hipster non-sense, people not even opening the records or putting them on $100 tables so who cares about the quality, they find the pops and crack "awesome". This resurgence will dissipate like a fart in the wind if something doesn't change. On one end you have moron hipsters, and the other end the tribal/religious nuts of vinyl that all claim they have nothing but "CD quality" playback and no pops and cracks as they spin the one Jazz record they have that is perfect, heads in the sand. In the middle is me, people who love music, experienced a life changing listen to vinyl and want to rekindle that while turning away from the digital non tangible push of the labels. I should have to spend an hour researching where a record was cut and pressed just to marginally increase my chances of having a quality pressing that plays back with minimal noise and "flaws". It can be done, I have a ton of 20-30 year old record that do it...so what is the damn problem? GREED and a lack of commitment to what should be considered holy.