Acoustic Sounds
By: Michael Fremer

August 29th, 2023


Industry News

Agnew Analog Introduces A New Lacquer Cutting Lathe!

the first new lathe in how many decades?

(Photo credit: Sarah Beastman Hamilton [Lebeast Photography of Vancouver, BC, Canada])

Greece-based Agnew Analog, recently introduced the Agnew Analog Reference Instrument Type 612, a brand new disk mastering lathe, now available to order. It's the first new "from the ground up" lacquer cutting lathe to be introduced in since 1966 which is when Neumann introduced its VMS 66 (L.J. Scully began making them in the 1930s for 78rpm record manufacturing).

The Neumann VMS-82 DMM lathe introduced in 1982 (Neumann lathes and cutter head numbers refer to the year they were introduced) was the last new lathe to be introduced but since that lathe, designed to cut DMM (direct metal master discs) instead of lacquers, was a modified version of the VMS-80 introduced in 1982 and all previous Neumann lathes are updates of the original, since 1966 it is!

What's below was posted on Agnew Analog's Facebook page:

"The Type 612, formally unveiled at the International Disk Recording and Mastering Convention 2023 in July, is a fully engineered, innovative approach to lathe design, inspired by the long established traditions of the New England school of precision machine tool manufacturing.

The carriage slideway is machined directly onto the lathe bed (not bolted on) for maximum flatness and rigidity. It is hand-scraped to establish a bearing and represents a true reference flat plane, on which the carriage can slide. A lubrication system built into the carriage ensures adequate lubrication of the sliding surfaces for maximum smoothness of operation and long-term reliability. The entire system is self-adjusting and self-compensating for wear, eliminating the need for adjusting gibs and bearings.

Instead of a leadscrew, it uses hydraulics to advance the carriage, for quiet, trouble-free operation and long-term reliability.

The platter bearing is also machined directly into the lathe bed (not bolted on). It is a hydrodynamic oil-bath bearing system that is also self-adjusting and self-compensating for wear, machined on a Moore Tool Company, Inc. Jig Borer, ensuring unprecedented geometric accuracy. The platter axis is at exactly 90° to the slideway on the lathe bed and will remain so for several decades of heavy use. No more variations in depth of cut between start and end diameter with wear.

It can be fitted with either a 12” or a 14” vacuum platter, driven by a motor on the floor (such as our direct-drive Type 631).

It can be fitted with any cutter head ever made, including our own Type 602 (stay tuned for a dedicated post).

The Type 612 lathe will cut lacquer masters, dubplates, or plastics.

Most importantly, it can either be ordered as a complete system, or you could just purchase the parts you need to build your system with your own electronics, motors, etc.

An accurate and reliable mechanical assembly is the heart of the system and is impossible to make without access to very expensive precision machine tools and decades of experience. Now it is available so you can be confident in building everything else around a solid base.

We also offer training in the use and maintenance of the machine and long term customer support."


  • 2023-08-30 12:39:56 AM

    Anton wrote:

    Hey, toss a tangential tonearm on that baby instead of the cutting head!

  • 2023-08-30 11:38:59 PM

    Jim Shue wrote:

    This is really good news for the vinyl production chain. However, given the investment of time and knowledge mastering engineers have in their existing lathe setups this will be an uphill climb for any newcomer. I hope Agnew Analog have their product marketing and support engineering ducks in a row - they will need them. Wishing them every success!

  • 2023-09-04 01:54:00 PM

    MrRom92 wrote:

    Fascinating and good news, for sure. But definitely not the first all-new cutting lathe since 1966. It’s not even the first all-new cutting lathe in the last 5 years. Orders have already been taken for the Sillitoe Audio Technology lathe for a while.