Another one of those exciting moments when that flat square box arrives containing a new piece of vinyl. Today’s delivery was Harrow Fair’s Call To Arms. This is from the first commercial run on Microforum’s new WarmTone presses.
The first thing I noticed when I slid it out of the sleeve was the weight. My collection is largely older vinyl, so very little audiophile recordings that are 180 g or more. This is clearly a 180 g recording.
Side note – I wondered if the 180 grams referred to the actual final weight or something else – like that Quarter Pounder that is a quarter pound of beef BEFORE its cooked. I put this disc on the kitchen scale which is quite accurate and it measured 173 g. My assumption is that the process starts with 180 g and there is a bit of waste that is trimmed off the disc. In this case a paltry 7 g.
First spins on the turntable showed a very flat pressing – good news.
I’ve only given it a single listen through both sides, but can confidently report that to my ears, this is an excellent quality recording. The vocals and instrumentals of Miranda Mulholland and Andrew Penner could challenge a vinyl production with some deep drum beats and along with highs provided by Miranda’s fiddle. All came through crystal clear.
I did the obligatory comparison of vinyl to digital (Apple Music streaming) and, yes, there is an added warmth to the vinyl recording. Fortunately for me, I’ll be able to compare the vinyl to a live performance of Harrow Fair March 10 at the Black Sheep Inn in Chelsea, QC.
Microforum also provided the printing services for the jacket and the inner sleeve. The jacket quality was good. All printing clear and well aligned. While there was only a single colour used to enhance the black and white photo, the colour was clear and consistent. The folds and gluing also had no issues.
Based on this first pressing, Viryl Technologies WarmTone is living up to expectations.