Dead wax is the term for the area in between the label.and the end of the runoff groove.Actually non-promo test pressings get out there quite a bit.I own several dozen.At least 100 or so,including one of "A Christmas Gift to You From Philles Records".The oldest one I have seen,is an early Columbia test pressing of an uncredited recording of "Casey Jones",that I was able to date to about 1906.I sold it on eBay last year.This had a blank white label,with the title written in pencil,and the label usually found on the backs of Columbia of this period.
Bob Olhsson <[log in to unmask]> wrote: -----Original Message-----
From phillip holmes: "...if the deadwax info is the same on a supposed test
pressing as a WLP or first issue, it probably isn't a test pressing? ..."
I've never encountered the term deadwax before.
A test pressing would be identical to the first issue (assuming the press
run had been approved!) except for what was typically a reversed scrap label
which sometimes had ID information written on it. (I've occasionally seen a
plant use a special test pressing label but usually not.)
When they start a pressing run the first few will often be bad because the
press temperature hasn't stabilized. For this reason they might press ten,
throw out the first three because of non-fill, check one out with a
microscope, play it, put a couple on file and send the remaining four or
five to the client. If a client was smart, they'd file away at least one to
prove what they'd signed off on had been ok in the event of a bad pressing
The rest would be passed on for the producer and engineers to check. I would
be very surprised to see test pressings that weren't actually promo copies
turning up very often among collectors.
Bob Olhsson Audio Mastery, Nashville TN
Mastering, Audio for Picture, Mix Evaluation and Quality Control
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