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I thought centering varied on every single pressing.  Am I wrong?  I've 
watched the old videos and read how pressing was done and it seems that 
they cut the hole after pressing the biscuit.  Am I totally wrong on that?
Phillip

Steven Smolian wrote:
> Many 78 tests were made from masters rather than stampers.  The 
> compounds used for tests were initailly quieter but usually oxidised 
> badly.  Some suviving tests were used for the wear test- being played 
> 50 times, and are noisy as a consequence.
>
> However, they have much more presence.  The two additional plates that 
> gave us the stamper also took out some of the immediacy.
>
> I wonder if this might not have been the case with some LPs as well.
>
> Incidentally, aother reason for making test pressings was to check 
> centering.
>
> Steve Smolian
>
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Tom Fine" 
> <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Tuesday, July 03, 2007 5:47 AM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] LP pressing question
>
>
>> Well, I can say how test pressings were used at Mercury Living 
>> Presence, cannot speak for others because I never heard the details 
>> first-hand but I bet most other classical shops operated the same way.
>>
>> Test pressings were a tool to make sure the master was correctly 
>> plated and production parts were not carrying defects. Plus, since 
>> RCA pressed the MLP records (superior plant, superior vinyl 
>> compounds, Mercury plants never got up to snuff until Philips took 
>> them over), this was a way to make sure the plant was doing exactly 
>> what they said they would do.
>>
>> Test pressings were distributed to the producer, the engineer and the 
>> mastering guys. Everyone was encouraged to at least spot-check and 
>> the producer listened to every test pressing all the way through, 
>> comparing with notes made during the mastering session.
>>
>> Now, the fact is that production LPs don't sound as good as the test 
>> pressings, which is why I asked my original question -- what makes 
>> the production LPs generally noisier and less punchy? I'm assuming 
>> that the plants pulled out the "maker's mark compound" biscuits for 
>> the test pressing and that production itself wore down the stampers 
>> and mothers, and perhaps the simple act of being quickly sleeved 
>> effects production vinyl.
>>
>> Back in ye olde days, a test LP would arrive as a white-label affair, 
>> identifiable only by the cutting marks, in a rice-paper-like sleeve 
>> in a paper envelope. There was a separate test press for each side of 
>> a production LP. The general way things worked at Mercury, a clerical 
>> person would pencil in the catalog number on the white label and 
>> distribute copies, including one for the files. When the QC listening 
>> was done, it was done with a stop-watch so that times could be known 
>> for problem, which were noted. Visual inspection was also done and 
>> vinyl "zits" or clearly-visible groove problems were measured from 
>> edge and noted. The rejection rate was somewhere south of 10% most of 
>> the time.
>>
>> The same care was taken with mono, because mono out-sold stereo even 
>> with classical music until the mid-60's when retailers stopped 
>> carrying both formats (see John Eargle's JAES article).
>> -------------------------------
>> Stereo/Mono Disc Compatibility: A Survey of the Problems
>> Volume 17 Number 3 pp. 276-281; June 1969
>>
>> The record industry is now phasing out the mono disc, and the subject 
>> of compatibility has once again been raise as it was with the 
>> introduction of the stereo disc ten years ago. Then, the problem 
>> centered largely around stylus-groove relationships and 
>> considerations of trackability; this time the problem is mainly 
>> concerned with the way a pair of stereo channels combine to yield a 
>> suitable mono channel.
>> Author:   Eargle, J. M.
>> E-lib Location: (CD aes3)   /jrnl6877/1969/6797.pdf
>> -------------------------------
>> available at www.aes.org
>>
>> -- Tom Fine
>>
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "phillip holmes" 
>> <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Tuesday, July 03, 2007 1:24 AM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] LP pressing question
>>
>>
>>> 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".
>>> Phillip
>>>
>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>                             Roger
>>>>
>>>> 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 compounds.
>>>>
>>>> -- Tom Fine
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>        ---------------------------------
>>>> Yahoo! oneSearch: Finally,  mobile search that gives answers, not 
>>>> web links.
>>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>> -- 
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>>
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