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Someone asked me to join this thread. Ask and ye shall receive.

 First, thanks for the kind words re MASTERWORKS HERITAGE series. Columbia
masters of various types are stored in western Pennsylvania. Metal parts
include master negatives, positives ("mothers") and stampers.

Beginning with the Sale of Columbia Records to CBS from ARC in late 1938,
the label began mastering on 33-1/3 lacquer discs that were subsequently
used to produce the 78rpm dubs used for commercial manufacture. Two lathes,
very occasionally three, were set up for each session in order to yield an
"A" and "B" set of discs. Therefore, every Columbia record manufactured
after that date is a dub, i.e. second generation. The lacquer discs are the
genuine master generation and exhibit significantly superior audio
characteristics in comparison to all second generation source.

Fortunately, much of the lacquer inventory has survived and is mostly in
good condition, especially the Masterworks division materials. Seth and I
used lacquers as the prime source when they were available for our work.
However, we occasionally had to rely on metal parts, but often chose late
1940s tape copies of the original lacquers in preference because of the
poor condition of the post-1939 metals. Columbia cheapened the metalwork
process after that date, which is what makes them generally undesirable for
use in a/d transfer. As for the metal jigs necessary to press the parts,
they are difficult but not impossible to replicate. Columbia often placed
stampers in bakelite-like beds that were employed to stabilize the part.
For the aforementioned reasons, Columbia 78rpm metal parts after 1939 are
mostly unsuitable for use, especially if first-generation source is
available.

Vinyl pressings made from stampers were occasionally employed. In our work,
my experience often was that a negative metal part carefully played with a
bi-radial stylus, gave better results than the vinyl pressing. Striking new
pressings also adds cost, and in the present state of the industry is only
rarely done anymore. Usually, earlier tape dubs are copied and heavily
processed, and that product is frequently characterized as being "from the
original masters" when in fact it comes from an inferior intermediate
generation. Properly played back with available signal processing, the
Columbia lacquers offer sound quality that is quieter than tape and
possesses greater dynamic range than any commercial pressings ever
produced. One of the reasons that a second generation production master was
chosen was the possibility of post-production (i.e. gain riding,
equalization) in the copying from 33-1/3rpm to 78rpm, a technique that
governed the making of every Columbia record after 1939. Thus only the
lacquer discs contain the original audio product of the recording session
and truly qualify as original masters.

DDR

On Wed, Apr 7, 2021 at 9:07 AM Tim Gillett <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> Thanks for those extra comment Andreas,  not surprised it was done by
> people who knew what they were doing and using a good original.
>
> Tim.
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: [log in to unmask]
> To:<[log in to unmask]>
> Cc:
> Sent:Wed, 7 Apr 2021 07:53:36 -0500
> Subject:Re: [ARSCLIST] [78-L] What happened to Columbia's masters and
> the masters from some of the other companies? Could they still be
> used?
>
>  Hello Tim,
>
>  Paul Robeson - -MWH reissue from the late 90's? That was a Dennis
>  Rooney and Seth Werner production at Sony music Studios when it
> existed.
>  I assisted on that project and was learning from Seth and the rest of
>  the engineers at Sony during that time about early media. It was a
>  great reissue series that ended too soon.
>
>  I am unsure about the plates as well, but have been told they are
>  necessary for fitting the disc to the machine. Standards today don't
>  fit the 78 negatives or the stampers.
>
>  Best,
>
>  Andreas
>
>  On 2021-04-06 21:42, Tim Gillett wrote:
>
>  > Hello Andreas,
>  >
>  > Thanks for the information. Yes photos would be interesting. I'm
> still
>  > not sure what function the plates serve. Are they adaptor plates to
>  > allow for the different dimensions of the metal master?
>  >
>  > I remember the first time I hear a CD taken from a 78 vinyl
> pressing
>  > from the metal master (Paul Robeson: Songs of Free Men, I think)
> and
>  > was impressed with the much lower noise floor than the shellac
>  > pressing could have ever been.
>  >
>  > Regards, Tim
>  >
>  > ----- Original Message -----
>  > From: [log in to unmask]
>  > To:<[log in to unmask]>
>  > Cc:<[log in to unmask]>
>  > Sent:Tue, 06 Apr 2021 07:57:48 -0500
>  > Subject:Re: [ARSCLIST] [78-L] What happened to Columbia's masters
> and
>  > the masters from some of the other companies? Could they still be
>  > used?
>  >
>  > Hello Tim,
>  >
>  > In the early 1950's, a number of 78 metal parts of Victor's was
> vinyl
>  > pressed before the factory and machines were destroyed. When we
> call
>  > up the parts for reissue projects, sometimes we get them along with
>  > the metal. That is usually a happy day as they sound much quieter
> than
>  > positive metal and definitely shellac pressings. I have inquired
>  > with a number of current pressing plants if they could press from
> the
>  > original negative masters, but no one has the correct plates to fit
>  > current vinyl pressing machines. Some didn't even know what to do
>  > with the 78 that are still in there original shellac beds.
>  >
>  > I have a large project coming in next week that should include
>  > examples of all 78 formats we receive from the vault. I will try to
>  > get pictures to the membership through this list. Perhaps someone
>  > here can suggest a new pressing technique. I would love to press
>  > vinyl for these projects. The metal can be a real pain in the a$sh
>  > to work from. This big issue: cost.
>  >
>  > Best,
>  >
>  > Andreas
>  >
>  > On 2021-04-06 07:48, [log in to unmask] wrote: Hello
>  > Andreas,
>  >
>  > I understood that from the metal parts a 78 RPM vinyl disc could be
>  > pressed from which a digital dub could be made. The vinyl would be
>  > quieter than the shellacs originally pressed. Is that so? Or is it
>  > even difficult to press the 78 RPM vinyl because of the shortage of
>  > suitable plates?
>  >
>  > Rgds
>  >
>  > Tim Gillett
>  >
>  > ----- Original Message -----
>  > From: [log in to unmask]
>  > To: <[log in to unmask]>
>  > Cc:
>  > Sent: Tue, 6 Apr 2021 07:24:48 -0500
>  > Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] [78-L] What happened to Columbia's masters
> and
>  > the masters from some of the other companies? Could they still be
>  > used?
>  >
>  > Hello Eric,
>  >
>  > I receive original metal parts from Victor and Columbia catalog
>  > regularly from their vault for remastering jobs. Much of it still
>  > exists, but condition varies from pristine to unplayable. If you
> are
>  > looking to press new 78's from them, the biggest issue is getting
> the
>  > plates that fit their format. Those were all destroyed at the
>  > manufacturing plant and as far as my inquiries have gone, no one
> has
>  > the
>  > knowledge how to make new ones for modern pressing facilities. If
> you
>  > wish to license, email me directly and I can get you in touch with
>  > the
>  > correct people at Sony.
>  >
>  > Best,
>  >
>  > Andreas
>  >
>  > On 2021-04-06 06:57, ERIC BYRON wrote:
>  >
>  >> Jay,
>  >> Thank you. I greatly appreciate your help.
>  >> Eric
>  >> On Tuesday, April 6, 2021, 07:47:49 AM EDT, Jay Bruder
>  > <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>  >>
>  >> Here is a part of the answer from Allan Sutton's blog post.
>  >>
>  >>
>  >
>
> https://78records.wordpress.com/2020/12/02/tales-from-the-vault-the-unauthorized-columbia-vinyl-pressings-1960/
>  >>
>  >> Given the money and necessary permissions you can certainly make
>  > records from old metal parts if they are still in decent condition.
>  >>
>  >> Jay
>  >>
>  >> -----Original Message-----
>  >> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>  > <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of ERIC BYRON
>  >> Sent: Monday, April 5, 2021 6:29 PM
>  >> To: [log in to unmask]
>  >> Subject: [ARSCLIST] [78-L] What happened to Columbia's masters and
>  > the masters from some of the other companies? Could they still be
>  > used?
>  >>
>  >> I know many of Victor's masters were destroyed when Victor
>  > demolishedits Camden warehouse. Does anybody know what happened to
>  > Columbia'smasters and the masters from some of the other companies?
> If
>  > these masterswere found, would it still be possible to make
> recordings
>  > from them?
>  >>
>  >> Take care,
>  >>
>  >> Eric
>  > -------------------------
>  > Email sent using Optus Webmail
>
> -------------------------
> Email sent using Optus Webmail
>


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