The vinyl-records published on Astres d’Or are each individually handcut in Astres d’Or’s own studio bhaavitaaH bhuutasthaH. The studio is a hybrid between the best vintage 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s equipment (valve pre-amps, valve EMT plate-reverbs, rare German tape-delays, RCA 44bx ribbon microphones, etc) and contemporary digital equipment to combine warm analog sound with the flexibility of digital. The studio was originally designed for recording and mastering by Raymond Dijkstra. Since 2017 it’s also equipped with a vinyl-cutting lathe and additional equipment. This resulted in a high level of autonomy because it ensured the full control over the entire route from conceiving music in a well organized studio, to mixing, music-production, mastering, production of vinyl-records and publishing via Astres d’Or.
Since 2017 Astres d’Or started inviting artists from a broad lineage of avant-garde background to collaborate on the publication of combined music and art editions.
The vinyl-records are of the highest quality and cut with the greatest care. The cuts are a direct 1:1 copy from the original masters, without any in between steps; the cutting-lathe apparatus is directly connected to the mastering-equipment. Because of this, there is no deterioration of the musicfiles. This is contrary to pressed records, which are always the result of many in between steps. In other words, a pressed record is a copy from a copy from a copy, whereas hi-fi hand-cut records are a genuine 1:1 copy from the original. Furthermore, when a pressed record is pressed in edition of 300 (or worse 1000 or more), there’s an audible difference in quality between the first pressed records and the last due to deterioration of the stamper.
The advantage of hand-cut records over pressed records, is that each record is directly cut from the source, so the sound quality is superior over pressed records.
In the public view, lathe cut records are often associated with lo-fi quality on abominable plastics. This is caused by amateur vinyl enthusiasts who have traditionally cut records on old mono lathe’s and who used and still use a variety of plastics and other experimental carriers to cut the music on.
Hand-cut LP’s from Astres d’Or are hi-fi cuts made on modern stereo lathe equipment. This guarantees the best possible transfer from original to vinyl.
Pressed records and the hand-cut records of AD are both made of the same material: poly vinyl. So both pressed records and hand-cut records of Astres d’Or are both of the same high quality material. The material of Astres d’Or’s vinyl-records are of a slightly softer type of poly vinyl than that of pressed records. The softness or hardness of poly vinyl has no effect on the sound-quality. Rule of thumb: the harder the material, the more sustainable. However, it is proven after extensive testing that after 10.000 loops there is still no audible deterioration of the sound of Astres d’Or records. With normal care the records can be enjoyed a life-time without having to worry about deterioration of the records.
Because of the softer poly vinyl it’s however more susceptible to scratches. Therefor, to prevent records from scratching, it is advised to use only inner-sleeves with poly-linings instead of paper sleeves. Do not use pvc sleeves for any record, whether pressed or hand-cut because they react negatively with your records.