CD Matrix Numbers Demystified

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by George P, Mar 15, 2008.

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  1. George P

    George P Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    I know next to nothing about matrix numbers, only that there is some information there that is of use to collectors.

    Can one of those with the knowlege please share what the matrix number is for, what it refers to, how to read it, what the presence of SRC means, definition of RE-1, etc?

    Your effort will be greatly appreciated. :)
     
  2. Downsampled

    Downsampled Formerly PlusMinus

    Ah, a good thread topic that I was considering myself. I have another question to throw in:

    What is the relevance/meaning of the "IFPI" numbers which appear on so many CDs?
     
  3. George P

    George P Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    C'mon guys, no love for the newbies? :wave:
     
  4. everton

    everton Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I don't know if you've seen this already or not. I found it on a web site. it was written by someone who posted a message on that site. Not sure how accurate it is.

    ******************************************************

    BEGIN QUOTE

    Ok so I have learned a few things regarding matrix numbers.
    In fact I will make a new thread which i hope becomes a sticky
    for the following purposes:

    1) Verifying a CD's authenticity.
    2) Identifying the number of pressings or issues.
    3) Distinguishing differences among the above.

    Here is a blurb I found on the internet which pertains to CD's:

    Matrix Information: Matrix information is the letters and numbers printed
    on a compact disc in the mirror band close to the center of the CD. In
    most instances, part of the matrix information is printed to be read from
    the top side (label side) of the CD, while other parts of this information is
    printed to be read from the bottom side of the CD. (In some instances,
    matrix information can only be read from the bottom side of the CD after
    the label is put on, and top side information appears in reverse when
    read from the bottom side.)

    The following matrix information can be found on many compact discs:

    Catalog number - the identifying number given to the release by the
    record company.

    IFPI numbers - On many recent CDs, there are two IFPI numbers in the
    matrix. IFPI stands for International Federation of the Phonographic
    Industry.

    The first IFPI number identifies the Laser Beam Recorder that was used
    to cut the master.

    The second IFPI number identifies the specific mold that was used to
    produce the CD.

    Manufacturer's Work Order Number - This often is in the form of a bar
    code.

    Mastering Information - On most CDs there are three numbers separated
    by dashes, such as 2-2-1. These numbers refer to the father, the mother,
    and the stamper. In the example given, 2-2-1, the first 2 indicates that
    the CD was made from the second father, the second 2 indicates that the
    CD was made from the second mother made from the second father,
    and the third number, 1, means that the CD was made using the first
    stamper made from the second mother (The stamper is what is installed
    in the mold machine).

    some of my observations and readings

    Now, the father is the first (or first of many) negative(s) made
    to prepare a positive mother. The father is created from a glass
    master copy. The father being a negative can be used to make the
    CD but this is not normally done because it is important to not damage
    it, since it may be required to create additional mothers.
    The mothers cannot be used to make a CD since they are positives.
    The mothers are used to create a negative stamper which
    is the item used to stamp the CDs. It takes about five seconds to stamp
    a CD from a stamper.

    So, in conclusion, I would say that the best quality CDs will have the code
    1 - 1 - 1. My reasoning is that many mothers can be made from a father
    and there is therefore some potential for data corruption via the electroforming
    process used to deposit nickel onto the surface of the father to make the
    mother, and similarly from the mother to the stamper: 'generation loss'
    as it were.

    END QUOTE
     
    Stephen J likes this.
  5. George P

    George P Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    thanks everton! :)
     
  6. PFA

    PFA Forum Resident

    Location:
    Florida
  7. George P

    George P Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    Thanks. Mind if I cut and paste it here?
     
  8. PFA

    PFA Forum Resident

    Location:
    Florida
    The link is fine.

    I am constantly updating and adding information to it, so I would rather just keep it as a link.

    Thanks,

    Vernon Fitch
    www.PinkFloydArchives.com
     
  9. -Ben

    -Ben Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington DC Area
    We sure do. That's exactly why we have a thing called Advanced SEARCH. :D
     
  10. Shawn

    Shawn Forum Resident

    Ok, you just try looking up matrix #'s for Who's Next using it :D
     
  11. -Ben

    -Ben Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington DC Area
    Actually, I can. Because I already know the right matrix numbers. :D


    http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/showpost.php?p=2326928&postcount=81

    Anyway, I've just searched for Steve's post about... Why aren't vinyl pressings DATED?

    Took me a few seconds..

    http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/showpost.php?p=2150935&postcount=2

    All I'm trying to say is there isn't a book with the answers in the back pages.
     
  12. George P

    George P Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    Yeah, but newbies aren't advanced. :laugh:
     
  13. ricks

    ricks Custom Title:

    Location:
    Hudson Yards
    SRC = Specialty Record Corp.
     
  14. George P

    George P Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    Thanks, are CDs marked with SRC more/less /the same desirable as those without it?
     
  15. namahealani

    namahealani Forum Resident

    SRC signifies the pressing plant of Specialty Records, I think.
    RE-1 would be the first remaster (as in the Reprise Hendrix cds, the ones without RE-1 are preferred because noise reduction was used on the RE-1's)
     
  16. -Ben

    -Ben Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington DC Area
    Hang around and read ... you'll get advanced.

    Example:

    I've had a bunch of Neil Young After the Gold Rush LPs over the last 37 years.

    Hanging out here I learned... "Soon after After The Gold Rush was released in 1970 (matrix numbers "31,009RE1"/"31,010RE1"), "When You Dance, I Can Really Love" was remixed and the entire album was remastered (and matrix
    numbers were changed to "31,009RE2"/"31,010RE2")."

    Well, a few hours ago this afternoon I finally found one with matrix numbers RE1 on both sides. Sounds fantastic.
     
  17. George P

    George P Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    You'll get no argument from me on that point. I am starting these threads and asking these questions because I know that I can learn a lot from the folks around here. From what I am reading, many others are benefiting from the answers to these questions, as well. Myself, I am learning tons every day. :)
     
  18. ricks

    ricks Custom Title:

    Location:
    Hudson Yards

    I like the early SRC's and I believe Barry said it was his preferred pressing plant. Also the early DADC's (Digital Audio Disc Corp.) are excellent as well.

    For more on DADC, this post has everything you could ask for:
    http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/showpost.php?p=2607552&postcount=6

     
  19. -Ben

    -Ben Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington DC Area
    We all do... learn something new everyday. You just have to learn one LP or CD at a time, there is no magic bullet.
     
  20. sungshinla

    sungshinla Vinyl and Forum Addict

    I guess this is a CD thread.

    Pardon me.
     
  21. George P

    George P Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    Perhaps a Gort could add CD to my title? Sorry.
     
  22. -Ben

    -Ben Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington DC Area
    :confused:

    OK, title changed, a CD thread from now on. :D
     
  23. Downsampled

    Downsampled Formerly PlusMinus

    Sometimes the SRC codes have other symbols instead of a dash, e.g.

    SRC=02
    SRC+01
    SRC#03
    SRC**13

    Any guesses about the meaning of the alternate symbols (if any)?
     
  24. George P

    George P Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    Or the meaning of the number?
     
  25. George P

    George P Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    I have two CDs:

    one has 3 : 3 : 4 in the matrix, the other 2 - 9 - 9.

    Which one is better/earlier?

    Also, which of the three numbers is the most important? Obviously 1-1-1 is best, but is 2-1-1 second best or is 1-2-1 or is 1-1-2?
     
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