I'm sure that the mentioned convention was this one:http://gottagrooverecords.com/what-is-generation-wax/http://gottagrooverecords.com/2015/11/generation-wax/
Probably as a result of that convention, some of our clients received information from their cutting engineers being there as guests regarding bad behaviour of GZ regarding sent lacquers. I think that even a negative feedback is better than no feedback. We discussed the mentioned "problems" with our QC, sales people, customer service and galvanics departments.
- rejecting lacquer cuts and aggressively offering DMM technology in case of rejected lacquers
- offering to save the release date by cutting the audio by in-house DMM lathes
- considering kissing grooves as faulty cuts whereas it should be perfectly acceptable
There are some explanations and answers in this topic:viewtopic.php?p=36895#p36895
In the past, there was only a very brief visual check for every supplied lacquer at GZ. Problems, which emerged during galvanic stages or even during the pressing, were examined "ex post" and it was very difficult to say who is responsible for bad results in some cases. Then claims for a bad lacquer would have been (and sometimes also were) refused by a cutting engineer stating that it had been a production fault of the plant. I cannot exclude that bad communication between departments or between our customer service and our clients caused unfounded requests for new lacquers sometimes.
Since this year, there have been implemented several new checking procedures at our QC dept. even before lacquers enter galvanics. Maybe there was some transitional phase during this year when our QC people were too strict, but I still think there should be no kissing grooves on a perfectly cut lacquer. Or at least not in a great amount. I have inspected many received lacquers and if there were present more kissing grooves, there were also overcuts on some places. It means either a badly calibrated lathe or a deliberately reduced land or an uneven lacquer surface. And these problems were found even on lacquers cut in "big name" studios in London. I had to send an email to one of them regarding that. And then we received new batch of freshly cut lacquers - 3 were OK and one still with overcuts... I have no statistics here which studio supplied us the problematic lacquers and which studio is the trouble free one. But some have more problems and some less or none. I talked or emailed with people from several other plants and they confirmed that some studios produce worse cut lacquers than others (technically - the cut itself is worse with more overcuts, kissing grooves, horns/burrs, grey walls, wide bottom etc., but not regarding the audio quality - lacquers play loudly and with a beautiful sound).
Sales and CS people have a different approach to production of vinyl records compared to us, engineers. I noticed that. They want to satisfy the client = to produce his records in time and without additional costs. It is easier and cheaper for them to catch the schedule with the in-house DMM cutting than to reallocate the whole production during wait time for new lacquers with uncertainty of additional problems. And DMM is cheaper compared to the lacquer technology. But our cutting guys have no problem to cut lacquers here according to those damaged/rejected lacquers if necessary (supposing only some basic corrections were done to the digital audio master - HT, EE, HF compression, simple EQ). Maybe this solution isn't communicated properly with some clients.
I'm writing this text now not to defend some people from our galvanics department who might damage some lacquers, nor our customer service ladies who might do their work easier by shortening our claim text regarding problems found on lacquers to "bad lacquer, send a new one" instead of translating the warning for a possibility of production problems due to overcuts or horns. I just wanted to explain that the world isn't black and white and problems can be found on both sides: cutting studios / plants.