There are some matrices with a "C" in front, sometimes inscribed in pencil
very lightly so that it's hard to read. They are from Chicago and predate
Decca, going back to Brunswick.
On Wed, Jan 17, 2018 at 2:58 PM, Jolyon S Hudson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Right, having got home and looked on a proper computer I think my UK idea
> is rubbish - some were issued here in the UK but nothing like enough to
> justify pressing shellac discs and sending them specially to the UK and
> anyway who would send them back. Since the records that were issued in the
> UK had already passed through this stage any selection would have been
> chosen from regular pressings shipped for that purpose.
> 1. test recording before production ("lacquer matrix"?). Might be
> recordings never published. unique? would these have to be lacquer?
> - As far as I can see all the title were published and the ones in the
> Archive are shellac, both by the patina and sound of the discs in the
> 2. test pressings from master before production ("lacquer master"?) would
> this have to be shellac?
> - I doubt this as the matrix would not be stamped into the blank area so
> early in the process and here they appear with a suffix indicating the
> take, so to my eyes they must already have been passed and in the final
> stage before normal production.
> 3. test pressings from masters for review
> - This seem the most likely answer although as stated above these copies
> all seem to have the same take numbers as issued discs.
> I notice also that no other pressing marks are apparent to identify say
> the factory so probably pressed from a copy master or an unfinished stamper.
> The rubber stamp to me would mean several copies of each disc would have
> been so marked at one time, to me it would seem to be a complete faff to
> keep changing the number for a single copy (the pencilled markings look
> later and probably added by the collector?- also the 'L.M.' is a separate
> stamp which indicates that others may not have had the L.M.
> 4. if from UK, then maybe a project in 1960's to find candidates for
> reissue (evidence would be if on vinyl and from UK)
> - I think it may not be the UK as argued above as so many of the discs
> never appeared in any format - The London String Quartet for instance. More
> pointedly for transfer purposes vinyl copies would have been pressed from
> which tape transfers would have been dubbed for eventual release on LP even
> by the early 1950s.
> Now the date of these matrices is as follow:-
> 3270 (28 Dec 1943) to 4465 (27 June 1947) this sequence are LA recording I
> 71434 (7 July 1943) to 74034 (August 1947)
> Except for 38573 from October, 1934 which was included in a compilation
> Decca Album 160 'Strike up the band' don't know when this came out but in
> the 1940's sometime I think - don't have easy access to that stuff here.
> In conclusion I believe they may just be sample disc given out for review,
> in none of them are any of the 'OK' or 'Remark' boxes filled in so they
> cannot have been used for testing.
> The tight dating of the matrix numbers may indicate they were owned by a
> reviewer to do their stuff, or for a radio station to promote. Still leaves
> the L.M. - I don't know about the various pressing plants for Decca at this
> time in the US but could it indicate they were issued from say Los Angeles
> rather than New York? or somewhere else? someone with a sharp pencil
> wanting to keep tabs on them maybe?