Warped LPs are the bane of vinyl loving audiophiles. Non-flat platters play havoc with phono cartridges' ability to accurately track grooves and worse yet, the warps make demands on power amplifiers as they try to reproduce wavy records' very low frequency undulations. Woobly LPs sometimes make your speakers' woofers pump in and out. In other words, flat records just plain sound better than warped ones.
Furutech's DFV-1 Record Flattener uses heat and compression to "iron" warps smooth and flat. The device clamps the record, slowly applies heat and gentle pressure, and finally cools the record. The automated process takes place over a two and a half hour period. An LCD display keeps you informed of its progress and a tone sounds when it's done.
The DFV-1 is reviewed in the October 2007 issue of Stereophile magazine by analog maven of all mavens, Michael Fremer. He found the DFV-1 performed as advertised and completely flattened his warped platters. The catch: the $1,480 MSRP ensures the device will only be within reach of the most well-heeled of audiophiles. That said, Furutech's record squasher will be indispensable tool for serious record collectors. Rare and out of print LPs are now fetching higher and higher prices these days.
Some audiophiles try to flatten warped records by piling weights on them, but that rarely works. The bravest souls have popped their precious warped LPs into heated ovens to smooth the waves (yeah, I've done it and melted more than a few LPs). I'm thinking about spreading the investment over a bunch of my vinyl loving buddies so we could buy a Furutech DFV-1 together.