columbia stamper info needed

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by barzzz, May 1, 2006.

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  1. barzzz

    barzzz Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    rochester ny
    I am going on a hunt for some 70s chicago vinyl, and was wondering if anyone can give me any info on columbia stampers for chicago 4-9. I checked the achives, and the only columbia lp stamper thread I found had no answers.
     
  2. Ryan

    Ryan That would be telling

    Location:
    New England
    Try for some with "TML" in the dead wax - The Mastering Lab. Really nice sound.
     
  3. barzzz

    barzzz Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    rochester ny
    I found chicago V with matrix 1ab, and 1af , with both sides stamped with tml, chicago VI, with both sides stamped 1a, and c2hd, chicago 11, s/t, stamped 1f, 1j, and both sides with tml, and chicago X, stamped 1g 2p, and chicago live carnnegie hall vol 3 and 4, with 1e, 1a,1a,1a, all with the letter p before the number. These columbia lps all sound better than the group portrait cd box I have, which is also quite good. This great sounding Chicago vinyl has helped me rediscover this great band.
     
  4. pope_ttb_xxx

    pope_ttb_xxx New Member

    As long as the there's a mastering stamp and the matrix ends in "1"-something, it should be a first pressing. As always, the trick is finding ones that haven't been played to death.

    I see a fair amount of Chicago in my thrift shop travels, so I imagine you will too (since they sold so well). Found a nice VI with the textured cover last week.
     
  5. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Prior to TML (The Mastering Lab) assuming mastering duties for Chicago's LP's and 45's, that duty fell to Columbia's New York studios. The last Columbia-mastered 45 was "Feelin' Stronger Every Day" (4-45880, 1973). The first to be mastered by TML was "Just You 'N' Me" (4-45933, 1973).
     
  6. barzzz

    barzzz Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    rochester ny
    On my chicago 5, first presed in 1972, side 1 has in the dead wax pal-31102-1ab tml-s, and on side 2, pbl 31102-1af tml-m. I was assuming that the ia markings meant these were 1st pressings. If tml did not start doing these till 1973, does this mean they re-pressed older titles? Also, what numbers then would indicate first pressings of this title?
     
  7. RJL2424

    RJL2424 Forum Resident

    Actually, the number before the letter(s) indicates the mix or tape used in the mastering: If a matrix on Columbia issues ends in -1AE, the 1 indicates the first tape or mix used, while the AE indicates the lacquer cutting. Columbia used only the letters A-L, excluding I; thus, the -1AE side is the 16th cutting from the first tape mix or generation.
     
  8. pope_ttb_xxx

    pope_ttb_xxx New Member

    Thanks RJL, this is great information to have.
     
  9. barzzz

    barzzz Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    rochester ny
    So, would 1ab be the 12th cutting? Would 1a be the 1st? What would be the 2nd?
     
  10. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Why, -1B would be the second. Actually, extending on RJL2424's point, here's how the cutting structure viz Columbia worked:
    - A - 1st cutting
    - B - 2nd cutting
    - C - 3rd cutting
    - D - 4th cutting
    - E - 5th cutting
    - F - 6th cutting
    - G - 7th cutting
    - H - 8th cutting
    - J - 9th cutting
    - K - 10th cutting
    - L - 11th cutting
    Thus, -#AB would represent a 13th cutting. AA through AL would be cuttings 12-22, BA through BL would be 23-33, and so on. I once saw a lacquer on a deep-catalogue Columbia Masterworks LP as pressed in 1968, marked (I kid you not) -1ABC at the end. You do the math on how far they went with their cutting code structure.

    But as this deals in Chicago, the very first pressings of Chicago V would most likely have been mastered by Columbia in New York. By then, all their Scullys were those in service after 1958, and they had two fixed lead-out pitches - 4 lpi (approx.) for LP's, 2 lpi (approx.) for 45's. That and their machine-stamped type they used for the matrix numbers on the dead wax. The only thing stamped on TML lacquers (all three of their lathes had the same lead-out pitch) was their name plus an -M, -S or -X, which was touched on in other threads on this Forum.
     
  11. barzzz

    barzzz Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    rochester ny
    Great info, thank you.
     
  12. Ryan

    Ryan That would be telling

    Location:
    New England
    I noticed on my Chicago II that only 1 of 4 sides had handwritten numbers, -1BE, and it's also the only one with TML ("TML-M") The other sides have machine-stamped numbers and no TML. Were they not cut by TML?
     
  13. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    That's right. Must be a pressing from after late 1974 (and obviously red/orange "6-eye"). As I said, pre-1973 Chicago lacquers, up to the Chicago V album and "Feelin' Stronger Every Day" single, were mastered by Columbia in New York, machine-stamped numbers and all.

    The other thing is this: At that point, TML lacquers had a 14.729167... lpi lead-in groove, while Columbia New York, up to 1973, had a 7.625 lpi lead-in (changed, on LP's, to 32.3125 lpi in '73). TML's band grooves (from one track to another) were 14.729167... lpi, as opposed to Columbia NY's 32.3125 lpi band groove.
     
  14. RJL2424

    RJL2424 Forum Resident

    Why, yes. Columbia typically wore out the master tapes. That -1ABC cutting is the 146th cutting of that side from the same tape! :bigeek:
     
  15. Ryan

    Ryan That would be telling

    Location:
    New England
    thanks and yes, it's a orange eye label.
     
  16. pope_ttb_xxx

    pope_ttb_xxx New Member

    Going through my Columbia LPs last night, I saw a "For Demonstration Not For Sale" stamp on my Blonde on Blonde. Quickly slid out the disks -- they're stamped "4D".

    Guess that probably doesn't mean "For Demonstration" :)
     
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