I've been told by collectors and people that were in the business, that
test pressings were pressed in very low numbers, IE, 100-200 copies for
the musicians, A&R people, producer, big wigs, and the like. Every test
pressing I've seen had a plain white label with just the bare basics
typed or handwritten, and I only have 2 major label test pressings and
3-4 "audiophile" test pressings. The jacket had a pasted on (typed or
handwritten) note with just the basics--tracks and artist stuff. If
anyone wants a picture, I'll send one. But it's impossible to confuse a
white label promo with a test pressing. Obviously, the idea of the test
pressing is to give fair warning about what's going to be on the
record. It supposedly gave the musicians the opportunity to sign off on
the final product, but this really was a micromanagement tool for the
front office types. I can imagine some imbecile in management spitting
his coffee all over the board room table while listening to Black
Sabbath for the first time. "Fairies wear boots? What the hell is this
crap? Who signed these bozos? I need to fire the A&R department".
> Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote: Why do most test pressings that I've heard sound better than a bought-in-store version of the LP?
> Did the plants do something special for the test pressing or use a "brewer's choice" biscuit
> compound or is it more a random chance of having a further-down-the-production-run copy in a store
> and thus worn stampers? Where I've been able to compare a master laquer to a test pressing to a
> bought-in-store version of the same cut/matrix/whatever, the test pressing usually sounds pretty
> darn close to the first cut but the production disk sounds inferior, usually lower s/n ratio and
> noisier surface. This was less true in the one case I've been able to compare all 3 for a modern LP
> reissue and I assume it's because a modern reissue that appears at retail will be pressed with more
> care on better vinyl and fewer copies will be made per stamper, but I might be wrong on that.
> In some older examples, late 50's and early 60's, the retail version vinyl seems to definitely be a
> different compound from the test pressing, which more resembles modern, "softer" quieter-playing
> -- Tom Fine
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