I have been experimenting with embossing/impressing and cutting with different styli on different materials. On this thread I will be posting some of my results, using the same source material to demonstrate the differences.
The source material is an analog recording which I transferred onto cassette tape to be able to repeatedly play it without wearing out the master tape. https://soundcloud.com/diskrecording/source-material-from-cassette-tape
The signal chain is exactly the same for all examples: Modified Tascam 122 cassette deck, Thermionic Culture Custom Green Fat Bustard, Manley Massive Passive Equaliser, Manley Variable Mu Compressor/Limiter, modified Lipshitz RIAA encoding stage,120W no name PA Power Amplifier, RCA MI 4896 Mono Cutterhead, Fairchild Lathe.
First example is impressing on polycarbonate with a tungsten cone stylus. Groove width is 4 mil.https://soundcloud.com/diskrecording/impressingonpolycarbonate4milg
Decent sound, but increased likelihood of "landsurfing" and less recording time available per side.
The second example is again impressing on polycarbonate using a tungsten cone stylus, but this time making a 1 mil groove. https://soundcloud.com/diskrecording/impressingonpolycarbonate1milg
Pretty awful sound, but less likelihood of "landsurfing" and the ability to record close to 30 minutes per side. I would personally never choose this option.
The next example is what "landsurfing" sounds like.https://soundcloud.com/diskrecording/stylusridingonload
This is a phenomenon often encountered on impressed/embossed records, where the stylus is riding on the land between the grooves instead of riding in the grooves. Here is some theory about all this:
I will be posting further examples with different materials and techniques and maybe some more theory to go with it, when I have some time. I hope, some of you will find this helpful. Any corrections, additions or comments are welcome.