Why couldn't anyone else match RCA's manufacturing? As I said earlier, Mercury never got near the 
quality level in their own plants until Philips took over, and this the Mercury Living Presence 
records were manufactured by RCA from pretty early in the mono days until after my mother retired in 
1964. How come the Euros could generally make good LPs and RCA could do it here but others seemed to 
have trouble? Was there really a deep secret sauce to a decent vinyl biscuit or was it just shoddy 
procedures and corner-cutting?

By the way, speaking of all this, Pablo used RCA also at least part of their time from around 1972 
until Fantasy bought them. The RCA-manufactured Pablo LPs are generally quite good, in my 
experience. Fantasy-made Pablo records are like Fantasy's own Original Jazz Classics series -- thin 
vinyl and usually shrink-wrapped too tight but if there's not a QC problem the records play well and 
are relatively quiet for $10-priced mainstream products. At least that's been my experience.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Bob Olhsson" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, July 04, 2007 1:37 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] LP pressing question

> -----Original Message-----
> From Tom Fine: "how many cutters were there at Motown and what was your
> system?"
> We had a Neumann ES-59 half speed mono system and finally added a stereo
> system in 1968 when the superb Neumann SX-68 cutter came out.
> For the most part we were cutting master prototypes that Randy Kling at RCA
> in Chicago had to match using their Scully/Westrex systems for the
> production masters. We only cut production masters when there wasn't enough
> time to go the RCA route. Typically this happened when an artist got offered
> a last minute Ed Sullivan Show appearance.
> We preferred RCA production masters and plating because they could fix any
> skipping problems in a day rather than the week it would take using indi
> plating plants. In the pop music business timing and the ability to put your
> ducks in a row is frequently the difference between a hit record and a
> stiff. In the mid '60s RCA was pressing more Motown singles than RCA
> singles. And that didn't include the reorders which were done by three indi
> plants, Monarch in LA and two others which were half-owned by Motown!
> Bob Olhsson Audio Mastery, Nashville TN
> Mastering, Audio for Picture, Mix Evaluation and Quality Control
> Over 40 years making people sound better than they ever imagined!
> 615.385.8051