All I remember from my days in the business was the old saying, "It's
never final 'til its vinyl". Some of us used to grumble and add "...and
sometimes not even then..."


-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of phillip holmes
Sent: Monday, July 02, 2007 11:24 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
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".

>                             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
> 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
> -- Tom Fine
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