From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad
James L Wolf answered David Seubert over the problem of numbers attached to
the matrix number: are they take numbers or stamper numbers?
----- there is one sure way to find out if you have two records of the same
- if they are stamper numbers, you will have completely identical recorded
surfaces. If the groove starts at the outside at position 0 degrees, then it
ends near the label at a position X degrees plus the number of revolutions it
takes to get there (each representing 360 degrees). If the two copies are
from the same original wax, then the number of revs plus the angle X have to
be the same.
- if they are take numbers, the number of revs plus the angle X will be
different. In most cases the two recordings are sufficiently different as to
have both different outer radii and inner radii (most easily measured as the
diameter (twice the radius) across the center (US spelling) of the hole.
There will be timing differences in the performance, but there might also be
an RPM difference, so you cannot measure the difference by measuring time.
Also, sometimes there could be a change of groove pitch (with a multi-pitch
recording lathe) between takes.
Conclusion: if the number of revolutions and then some from start to finish
is identical on two records, then they are from the same original negative,
and the unknown number is a stamper number. If they are different, they are
different takes. That is also the way to uncover dubs or VTMC re-recordings.
I have done quite a bit regarding the markings of records, in particular the
unavoidable and telltale markings made by the recording machines, and I have
written about it on this list. Nobody wants me to repeat it.
P.S. What a luxury to have access to more than one copy of Emerson records
(or any rare records for that matter!). But this is absolutely essential to
make progress in the markings department.
> I've worked a lot with Emersons in the LOC's collection, and while we
> don't have many duplicates of the same record so that I could aurally
> compare different takes, I did notice that the matrix information (e.g.
> 3391-1) was usually matched by the known discographical information. Which,
> of course, only means that previous discographers have taken that matrix
> info to be take-number information, but that may count for something.
> Furthermore, for the acoustic era I don't see anything odd about one copy
> have 2 first takes and another having a second/third takes. I've seen
> similar situations on many labels in the acoustic era; Victor, Columbia,
> Edison, etc.
> Until something definitive comes along saying otherwise, I think it would be
> safest to assume that the matrix information refers to the take number.
> >>> David Seubert <[log in to unmask]> 6/19/2009 1:42 PM >>>
> I'm de-duping a stack of 9" Emerson discs and in the dead wax there is
> what appears to be a matrix followed by a take number. However, there
> are too many different take numbers for me to believe they are take
> numbers. For example, I have one copy of #9118 with 3391-1/3397-1 and
> another with 3391-2/3397-3. Are these stampers? Does anybody know how to
> distinguish alternate takes on Emerson discs?
> David Seubert, Curator
> Performing Arts Collection
> Davidson Library
> University of California
> Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9010
> Tel: 805-893-5444 Fax: 805-893-5749
> [log in to unmask]