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Don Tait wrote:

>   Steve Smolian is correct about the "z" on Victor 78s. The records have
> superior surfaces to pressings from previous periods. Much quieter, due to a
> different mix in the material used for pressings. Victor seems to have used it from
> about 1933 to some time in 1935, after which the material was degraded again
> - although not to the level that it had been in the "Orthophonic" period
> (pre-1933). Does any member have more specific details?
>
>   "Z" pressings are sought-after by collectors for their superior surfaces
> and are relatively uncommon because they were issued during the bad times of the
> Depression, when record sales were down.
>
>   Don Tait

I thought Z-material continued in use long after the letter had disappeared from the
pressings, since there are abundant examples of very quiet Victor pressings right into
1940 (until the introduction of drop automatic album sets, lower prices and miserable
quality shellac and the end of worthwhile record collecting as we know it). I've also
turned up the odd z-set that was very noisy (Verklarte Nacht, Ormandy)..could this be
from a set of z-stampers being used on a different mix?

dl