----- Original Message -----
From: "D P Ingram" <[log in to unmask]>
> On 25 apr 2007, at 16.34, Bob Olhsson wrote:
> > The catalog number is the number that retailers and distributors
> > use to
> > order the recording.
> That was my understanding.
> > The matrix number is the number used internally by the
> > manufacturing plant
> > to keep track of the specific metal parts used, labels, etc.
> Is this though the number etched/stamped into the vinyl towards the
> innermost ring? Is this what "Matrix" primarily will mean in English?
> Would this be primarily the number audiophiles would want to use for
> some reason?
Actually, "matrix" is a technical term used in mass-produced analog
disc recordings. It describes the negative copy taken from the original
master recording, which is then used to create "mothers" (positive
copies) which are in turn used to create "stampers" (negative copies
used for pressing copies of the record itself). Thus, a "matrix number"
is an internal-use number assigned to a given recording...which then
CAN appear on subsequent mothers, stampers and possibly records. Thus,
the correct mothers can be found if more stampers are needed...or
stampers if more records are needed.
Matrices, which are obtained by electroplating the master recordings
(the latter are usually destroyed in that process...) are also known
as "metal parts," and as such were usually kept by the record firms
(though many would up in WWII scrap drives).
So, "matrix number" means just what it says...the number assigned to
a given "matrix!" Note that "master number" is also used, since the
number was usually assigned when (or before) a "master" was cut. It is
slightly less accurate, since the master usually didn't survive the
creation of the matrix (at least in wax-master days...).
Steven C. Barr