1. What is the difference between a locked groove and an endless loop?

A locked groove is used at the end of a track, and makes the needle stick in a single groove until the listener manually lifts the needle up.

An endless loop is a locked groove made with music; essentially a never-ending loop of music/sound that repeats over and over until the listener manually lifts the needle up to stop the music.

We automatically place a locked groove at the end of each side to ensure the needle doesn't skate onto the center label, but you are also welcome to add additional locked grooves to specific tracks in the middle of the record as well.

If you would like to include an endless loop on your record then we need to know the exact part of the music you want to repeat. The length of that selection will be related to the specific recording itself, and where it’s being placed on the record, but for most, is about 1-1.8 seconds. If possible, please specify a certain word or tone which should be repeated. Please note that this effect can may produce a clicking noise at the point where the end of the loop meets the start of the loop. We do not accept audio claims on this, although we do all in our power to ensure that this doesn't happen.

2. What are test-pressings?

Test pressings are something that we strongly recommend for all vinyl orders. They allow you to check the overall audio quality before we produce the whole amount. In general, we send you (at least) 5 test pressings that you need to approve, although ordering 10-15 allows you further reassurance in the quality of the cutting, plating, and pressing. Once test pressings have been approved, we can continue with the rest of the production

If you are not happy with the test pressings then we need to find out what went wrong. If the problems have been caused by problems on our side, then we may re-cut the DMM plate, or make new stampers, allowing us to make another set of test pressings. If the fault is on the side of the customer (due to a badly prepared master, or faulty tracklisting for example), then the customer may have to pay for new DMM processing and test pressings, should they be required.

3. What is the quantity and production tolerance?

We have multiple layers of quality control to ensure that defective and sub-standard product does not leave our factory. We do everything in our power to keep our level of quality control as high as possible. In order to try and make sure that we at least deliver the quantity of records ordered, we must produce more units than ordered for each component. During the completion process, often times product does not meet our standard and must be destroyed. Please be aware that because of this, there is a potential that you may receive more or less units than requested. Our production tolerance is explained by the following table (e.g. If you order 250 records or CD’s with a production tolerance of 10%, then we may charge you for as many as 275 records or CD’s; or as few as 225). If you absolutely must receive a specific quantity of the product you are ordering, we suggest protecting against the potential for overages, by ordering additional units from the start.

250 300 400 500 1000 2000 3000
+/- 10% +/- 10% +/- 10% +/- 10% +/- 10% +/- 5% +/- 5%

4. What is the difference between a discobag and a jacket?

The term “discobag” was developed (mainly in Europe) during a period in vinyl's history predominantly dominated by DJ’s. DJ’s wanted to fit as many records as possible in their traveling cases, and thus scrapped the white paper innersleeves, and instead started using a tighter fitting, thinner outer jacket without a spine, with a coated inner surface to protect the records.

A “discobag” is essentially an innersleeve, that is used as the outer sleeve for any record. A “jacket” is any outer sleeve that requires an innersleeve of some sort (while a discobag is too tight to accommodate one).

Today, mainly 7” records and some 12” singles are packed in discobags; to save money… and trees.

5. What about taxes, import duties, and VAT?

Custom duties should not be applicable within the EU. Customers from the EU do not pay VAT in the Czech Republic if they are VAT registered, but are obliged to pay VAT in your country. Prices stated on invoices do not include VAT (unless otherwise stated). If your goods are shipped by courier or air-freight, then these agents handle VAT and customs charge payments for you and then re-invoice these costs to you and you are obliged to pay them. Non VAT registered companies will be charged with Czech VAT at a rate dependent on the rates according to their country.

6. Is the “mastering” you do, the same “mastering” that my studio is charging me for?

Unless you have specifically discussed it with your sales rep, we are not “mastering” your audio. We are taking your master and cutting a DMM plate, and then making stampers from it to press your vinyl from. Our studio makes sure that the audio we are cutting is within the parameters needed to make a record, and we make sure that the settings we use are maximizing the potential that your input source has in sounding good on vinyl.  We are not “mastering” your audio - you should do so beforehand, presenting to us something that we can use to transpose (usually from digital) to analog/vinyl.

7. Do I need a specific “vinyl master”?

Some studios have extensive experience with vinyl, and may offer to make you a “vinyl master”, often for an additional cost - for most studios cutting lacquers and using relatively primitive software to pre-process the files, these “vinyl masters” are usually a much better source to use. We have much more advanced software and techniques for cutting records (see DMM Processing), and with the exception of certain types of ambient/electronic music, have just as much success cutting records from the same master being used to replicate CD’s or sell downloads on iTunes.

There are various types or levels of “mastering” that can be done by your studio, depending on their expertise and depth of knowledge with regards to vinyl - bottom line generally is that if the master you provide us sounds as good as possible, and abides by our general specifications you will be happy with the result. If we have concerns with your master prior to cutting, we will most certainly reach out to resolve them.

8. How do I keep track of my order when it’s in production?

We have an online portal that allows you to check in on the status of your (vinyl/CD/DVD) order anytime. Our site is constantly in development, being upgraded to include new features, but currently it will allow you to make sure that nothing prevents your order from moving forward into, and through the production process. In essence, you share the responsibility in making sure that everything moves forward according to plan, so we invite you to use the site as religiously as we do, and ask questions if and when you have any.

See "How do I use the Status Site?" at bottom of this page.

9. Can you ship my order to multiple locations?

Yes, as long as you communicate the instructions to your rep early, we’re happy to make drop-shipments on your behalf. We do have minimums per drop-shipment (usually 25-50pc), but we’re happy to help you save money and make your life easier any way we can. Allowing us to make your international shipments, especially those to Europe, Australia and Asia, has also proven to be a way for many of our customers to save incredible amounts of money and time as well.

10. What type of shipping options do you have?

Within Europe, and internationally, we generally ship with Fedex, UPS, Dachser, TNT, and occasionally private couriers, depending on the specifics of any given shipment, and what makes the most sense with regards to price, time-in-transit, reliability, safely & insurance, as well as a variety of other factors.

Domestically, and through North and South America, we ship almost exclusively with Fedex.

11. Where can I track my order once it’s shipped?

FedEx   • UPS   • Dachser   • TNT

12. My distro has special box label requirements, what do I do?

The labels we use on both the inner and outer carton labels are quite detailed and satisfy the requirements of almost all distributors out there. Please take special note of the box labels, as noted on your sales order, and if there is any additional information that you need included, please make sure that it is noted on your sales order BEFORE the order is put into production.

13. Do I need a barcode?

Some distributors require barcodes. This is a conversation you should have with your distributor, and in most cases when they are required, the distributor should be able to provide you with one. If you do not have an exclusive distributor, and you wish to have one in case you later need one for a future distribution agreement, we will be happy to provide you with a barcode. Please ask your rep for more information and pricing.

14. Can you process outside lacquers/plates?

Yes, we can process your lacquer/plates. Please see below for more information on sizes.

•  14" (35.56cm) for a 12", 10" or 7" recording
•  10" (25.4cm) for a 7“ recording only

NOTE: 12" lacquers CANNOT be processed for a 10" recording.

Mother & Father Plates:
•  14" (35.56cm) for a 12“, 10“ or 7“ recording
•  12” plates for a 7" recording
•  10“ (25.4cm) for a 7" recording only

If you need any assistance or help with supplying lacquers/plates, please discuss with your sales rep.

15. How do I send lacquers/plates directly to your facility?

Use this LACQUER SUBMISSION SHEET, be sure to read all direction carefully, and make sure to alert your account manager BEFORE shipping.

16. How long are my metal master plates stored?

We store plates for 3 years at no cost to the customer, in case a repress is desired from the original metalwork. We do not return mothers unless they are customer supplied in the first place, and we will not provide mothers or stampers for another factory to press with. If a customer needs plates to be stored longer than 3 years, they will have the option to pay in advance for additional 6 month periods, at $40 per record (or $80 for a double LP), per 6 month extension. If a title is repressed within three years, the “clock” reverts to zero, and they will be kept on hand for an additional 3 years, at no cost to the customer. We are NOT charging for the physical mother plates when we charge a customer to process lacquers or cut a title via DMM processing. We are only charging for the service of using those plates. In addition to there being proprietary aspects of how we cut and plate our records, the prices and agreeements in place also take into effect the costs of the actual copper plates being recycled after the 3 year period.

17. How do I place a test press claim?
Although we have an unbelievably successful track-record of pressing wonderful sounding records, there is always the potential that issues can occur. Whatever the problem, our goal is always the same as yours; to resolve the issue(s) and get your records pressed and out into your customers' hands as soon as possible. If you're not happy with your tests, neither are we.

Before placing a claim, make sure that multiple people listen to (multiple) test pressings on multiple record players, independent of each others' critiques. After comparing notes; if there are definite consistencies in your analyses, please proceed with initiating the claims process. This is the only way to isolate these variables as the source of the problem - not isolating them can result in the rejection of your claim, and may cause severe delays to your project unnecessarily.

When placing a claim, remember that you are helping us (and our studio) determine if your record should be recut and/or repressed (depending on the issue), and if so, what to focus on when doing so in order to achieve results that you will be happier with. Please be clear and detailed, and we will do our best to use that information to analyze our copy of the tests, as well as the plates, to provide you with a timely, informative, and productive response. Thank you.

In order to place a test pressing claim, you must fill out our claims form. CLICK HERE to fill it out.

18. How do I place a claim on a final product?

It is mandatory to adhere to the provisions contained in the terms and conditions when submitting a claim against vinyl records. In order for us to process a claim quickly, it is recommended to include:

•   The catalog number, title, description and quantity of the claimed defect.
•   Details of the claim; as complete and specific as possible for everyone involved to fully understand the issue.
•   A sample (photo, video, audio recording, etc.) of the item in question, documenting both the specific damage/error up close, as well as the quantity affected.

Please note: All claims on finished product must be placed within 10 days of delivery. Claims submitted after 10 days will be rejected.

19. How do I use the Status Site?

Our Status SIte (orders.piratespress.com) can be an invaluable tool to help you manage your current projects with us. Below is some information to help you make use of the information provided on the Status Site. 

Interpreting the 'Ship Dates’ you see:

ALL TEST PRESSINGS - The date shown on the site is the tentative ship date of your test pressings to you, from our office in the Czech Republic. They should arrive 1-2 business days later - anywhere in the world.


FINAL PRODUCT (USA/CANADA SHIPMENTS) - The date shown is the tentative completion date of your order + four days. This is to account for the fact that most orders are shipping back from CZ to SF on Fridays, and out from SF to four days later, on the Tuesdays.  Most jobs will have a ship date posted that is a Tuesday, as a result.

FINAL PRODUCT (INTERNATIONAL SHIPMENTS) If your order, or a portion of your order is shipping direct from our factory in the Czech Republic to you, that will likely ship 2-4 days before the date you see posted, (depending on the day of the week that falls on).


FINAL PRODUCT (USA/CANADA SHIPMENTS) - The date shown is the tentative completion date of your order, so for US shipments coming through San Francisco add four days to the date you see posted. The Tuesday following that date (or that date if it is a Tue) is the potential ship date from SF.  

FINAL PRODUCT (INTERNATIONAL SHIPMENTS) - Any portion of your order is shipping direct from our factory in the Czech Republic to you, should ship on the date you see posted +/- one business day.

          PLEASE NOTE: These dates are estimations based on our current production schedules, and while they are usually very accurate, they can change - and thus, they should be used as a guide, certainly not as a guarantee. 

Interpreting the ‘Notes’ you see: 

The 'Notes' section of the status site should reflect the current situation with your project. For example, if you have approved art proofs but not test pressings, the notes should say: "No Proofs Requested (Rush Orders) or Proofs Approved; Printwork in Production. Awaiting Test Pressing Approval”

Please allow 1-3 business days for any approvals/changes/updates to be reflected on the site. For example, if you approved Test Pressings on Monday, the site may not reflect the new status until Wednesday.