Stamper Codes Info
All contents of this Website are Copyright. Original research, photos of our items & all text is ©2017 by select45rpm. This is all published freely on the internet by us to further the scene. We Do Not Authorise any Copying, Republishing or Quoting of Our Research, though we are aware our Vinyl & Contracts research is now common knowledge stolen by others, as it the nature of the internet. You Read It Here First.
WARNING: This page is NOT the fantasy-fest that some hack sellers think buyers care about. We are tired of seeing unwanted & irrelevant matrix info quoted as "something rare" when no-one really cares & this page explains why! If the deep facts of this really does interest you, then perhaps you best not read on as the Truth is here and we may just spoil it for you...
THE TRUTH ABOUT LACQUER, MOTHER & STAMPER CODES
The cold fact is Stamper codes being quoted as 'Important Info' is just silly amateurish & usually incorrect hype selling by amateurs which is used to try to get you to pay more for nothing! In terms of collecting, they are in the majority, of no added value or worth on any record to any sane buyer who isn't an extreme completist! Only BEATLES collectors may find interest in this minutae, but no other Artist has collectors who are the slightest bit interested. There is a tiresome Elvis book listing 20+ variations of his HMV All Shook Up & are there collectors wanting 20 copies of the same record with tiny differences? NOT ON THIS PLANET, MATE! Only when clear PRICE DIFFERENCES occur will it be seen to matter. Does RC guide price up all the variations of Elvis & Beatles 45s? They do to a degree with Beatles & some DO make a premium price, but they must be GENUINELY RARE, not silly hype rare, but pretty much unfindable. Even RC over-complicate what they think buyers are interested in.
We've yet to hear about a buyer not wanting to buy a Rolling Stones 45 with 4C instead of 1C, or a Beatles buyer not wanting a 1N as they heard a 1C might exist (it doesn't, that's a Decca code). You are reading a page about debunking the myth that ANYONE cares about Matrix & Stamper codes apart from the few times it matters when a different mix or recording exists. We have heard of cloud-dwelling buyers bypassing a NM 1954 UK single so they can buy a Mint one instead... wonder if he found it yet?
EARLIEST POSSIBLE MATRIX?
One hack seller keeps saying, who overprices for the RC book we & likely you don't buy anymore. The majority of 45s only ever had one matrix 1N or 1C simply as they didn't sell many copies. Again the fact 1970s Beatles still use the 1963 metalwork explains this as pointless & meaningless. Some got mastered as 2N etc if sales were high & the original plates wore out, were found faulty, had the wrong version (Small Faces, Animals 45s) or simply were pressed on all the machines to get enough copies to the shops. In the 1960s the demand for Beatles & Stones 45s was massive, 100,000 copies would not be enough for the first week of sales after release. Some Beatles 1963-64 hits sold a Million copies & this would have needed enough copies available to the busiest shops as in next day to keep the shelves full. Imagine EMI pressing 500,000 copies of "I Want To Hold Your Hand" the biggest selling Beatles 45. They had to get Decca & Oriole to do contract pressings of some Beatles titles to keep the demand going. They succeeded too, unlike today at Xmas when Kids Toys are "limited supply" cynically to create a demand, but be sure all who want get if paying top money. The Stones 4C we note above looked the same as any other early copy, be sure it was pressed when the 45 was Number One so is not a repress or later press, it's a Contemporary press. Only buyers believing all the Stamper Crap gets undeserved attention to 'early codes' when they are meaningless.
RARE FIRST PRESSING?
If a Single or LP hit the UK Charts, it is NOT RARE! A Demo 45 of a chart single is Rare as the percentage of demos to issues is hugely different. A collectable 45 that didn't chart & wasn't particularly popular or well promoted to a particular buyer will be Rarer to find the Stock Copy. Traditionally Demos of main artists & Northern Soul-Motown make a good premium, though we do question the fact with Northern type 45s as the Demos are usually the one found as a look online will find. The Stock Copy is generally harder to find on non-chart tracks. Some artists like UK Decca "The Birds" made three great beat singles, they appear to be findable equally if only 'Leaving Here' managed one week at No 45 on the chart. It's a shame the Pop Charts were only 12-30 titles long later 50 titles long by 1960 as many records do appear on other charts that you can find online, but only one is used by the Guinness series denying plenty of 45s a chart place. The USA charts wised up long ago by combining Sales, DJ & Jukebox charts to give a broader picture. So for some hack seller to foolishly say any of the Beatles black Parlophone 45s are "Rare First Pressings" is talking nonsense as be sure 250,000-1 million copies looking exactly the same were pressed to be sure shops were well stocked. On the other side, a more unknown risky title Sharon Soul, Invitations or Rufus Lumley may have had 500 copies made with very few sold that were probably returned as unsold. Only years later did collectors see the worth in these records & they were long deleted.
THE 1N MATRIX IS ON ALL COPIES!
Seeing some idiot saying his Beatles EP with 1N after the matrix number is of the first 300 copies shows how stupid this has got. They ALL have 1N usually even on 1970s repressings. Even quoting GRAMOPHLTD codes as "First Batch" is foolish, they made TENS OF THOUSANDS to a Million Copies, do you think every one was numbered correctly? In our research of LONDON Tri centres there are errors & omissions often. How STUPID this whole made up Collectable scene is, only visible with a magnifier. These fools who believe such pointless nonsense are beyond saving... why not collect one of every 500 different GRAMOPHLTD codes, that's interesting isn't it? A whole big box of the same record!
SOLID CENTRES, BEWARE THE SILLY HYPE!
We've revived these pages as the world needs this info again as Record Buying has hit some depths now. The current Nonsense is about Solid Centre records, from a few Beatles Oriole Contacts apparenly making high prices. A SOLID CENTRE IS NOTHING SPECIAL! You see them randomly amid 1960 Pye, 1962 Oriole with ones by 1965 on Pye being fairly regular. EMI by 1966 used solid centres a lot & some tracks if rare are often only found as Solid or Pronged Centres. Pronged centres were to make it easy for Jukebox Operators to use them on the USA type Jukeboxes. To cut out the centre prong section was done on a different machine & to cut the pronged centre will have added to costs. It is fair to say in 1967 especially with EMI the pronged centre can be scarcer than the solid centre, though having looked at the GRAMOPHLTD codes the pronged centre returned later in the run of certain hits. For example Pink Floyd 'See Emily Play" turns up about equally with pronged or solid centre. Neither is "worth more" or "more desirable". Personaly we find the pronged centre ones more attractive than solid centres, though some 1967 EMI turn up on solid only. For PYE the pronged & solid was used at random from 1964 to about 1969 if generally pronged was the typical one. To get Lonnie Donegan's 'Dustman' as a solid centre is unusual. For DECCA this is simpler: All Decca 1954-1982 pre Phonogram are pronged centres. You do find uncut tri centres with rough cut edges & these turn up until about 1963 from what we've seen. First pressings they may not be, they were rejected test copies, they may appeal to certain buyers, but we had a few like Bill Haley Gold London & they didn't seem like a real record to us. 1964 LONDON TEST LABEL RECORDS. One seller had some of these in early 2015, all with different label colours spelling out paper shades & ink types used. There were questions why it used Millie 'My Boy Lollipop' when it was a Fontana-Philips release. Only a dealer who knows can tell you.... There are Decca Contract Pressings of Fontana singles at this time, not very many, Millie & The Merseybeats, we noted this long ago on our Decca Contracts section, now all on one Contracts page.
We notice these some of these things because they are interesting
but all the various label variations The Who 'My Generation" has, from using old 1962 blanks to wide print, narrow print & endless variations of type placing & codes is not very interesting as it's based on several machines being used at once, Decca printed Gold & Silver Londons to issue at the same time & with that Who 45 being a huge hit after Brunswick not having hits beyond Brenda Lee & then 2 huge hits with The Who and Len Barry 05944 & 05942 there will be many Len Barry variants too, but it appears The Who got all the unusued old stuff & Len Barry ones look far less different overall. But until there is a Noticeable Price Difference as with Demo-Promo copies & Gold-Silver, even if incorrect for true scarcity, all these things are Not Worth Anything More than a standard one & be sure the market for Vinyl is still healthy overall, it's a much narrower market than pre 2009. It's sad as we see no point getting certain records that used to sell & to try to falsely hype stupid Stamper Copdes & Minutae of Label variations is going to Alienate Buyers rather than encourage. We had one timewaster want 3 copies of one record but wanted us to tell him which was The First Pressing. This is the sort of nonsense you Amateur BS Hypers are bringing & be sure it's doing no good to the scene.
SO THEREFORE if you want to pay extra for Beatles or Elvis solid centres, label variants or Stamper Code variants this is a market that is interested because these are Major Artists, but beyond that, be sure as with Stamper Codes... NO ONE CARES!
THE LP MARKET IS VERY DIFFERENT THOUGH...
For the fact LPs stayed on catalog for longer, the matrix numbers do change. Most of it is utterly pointless, ie Pink Floyd "The Wall" a huge selling if boring LP has several matrix number variations, if no real difference in the music at all! You pays your money. We found out one Rolling Stones LP 'Satanic Majesties' has a Mono mix & then a later mix that was used for Mono or Stereo. But in 1967 the first version would have sold most copies, it charted at No 3 & stayed for 13 weeks. EVERY COPY will have been the "rare" 1P matrix. But then a later press maybe a year after the original one masters needed recutting, it was a T2 mix that was probably used well into the 1970s. We had two of these abandoned here with an amp & after 2 years time to get rid. Almost missed the 1P nonsense on a common LP we've seen very often even with the 3D cover, but people asking about matrix numbers alerted us. In the end, only the selling price matters, proving all the £300+ "sale prices" to be untrue. All this matrix stuff we really can't stand, though if people want to pay more then we'll oblige, but not on 45s as there are no differences beyond the few noted below. Even the huge selling boring Pink Floyd "The Wall" LP has 'earliest matrix numbers' that are BS again yet gullible buyers think this £20 LP is worth £250+ with these codes. Ha ha ha oh dear.
JUST 2 OF THOSE EXIST THAT DO MATTER on Singles...
Small Faces My Mind's Eye alt mixes 1C is the rougher mix & 2C is the intended hit mix. The 1C was issued first as most copies found are NOC or in low grade. Animals Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood 2N is the proper hit release & 1N was a less good alternate take version that got issued by mistake midway thru sales. These both used to sell for a premium but more are around than first thought & actual selling prices now are only a little higher than the regular versions. In LPs, the 3rd is the "Long Mix" of Tomorrow Never Knows on the Beatles LP "Revolver" but that is the version used on the CD! As an extra about The Animals, the UK & USA versions of "We've Gotta Get Out Of This Place" are entirely different takes. The LP market is rife with this matrix rubbish info & sadly it's creeping into 45s to. We only deal in 45s so there may be more reasons for matrix numbers denoting alternate versions in LPs, but we suspect it's the same old BS trying to get premium prices for misinformation to the unknowing! Buyers of 45s never ask for stupid stamper codes or matrix numbers & we will NEVER reply to anyone asking for any on a record that was not one of the few alternate versions
The only true & reliable way of telling of pressing "earliness"
is the letter/number stamped at 3 o'clock to the matrix (at 6 o'clock usually), the GRAMOPHONE (GRAMOPHLTD) or BUCKINGHAM codes. The ''JR'' or ''G'' EMI pressing or ''B'' Decca pressings are likely the First Ever Pressings, but be aware ERRORS EXIST on these stamper letters & you'll sometimes find NO CODE stamped (found on 1956-58 Decca) or even EMI with "JR" misprinted as "JJ". Most people gladly don't care about such pointless minutae & are glad to get the first LABEL issue as was bought at the time!
are with the matrix number, and as 1983 Beatles 45s show they can last 20 years. Mother codes are at 3 o'clock position, but change less regularly & like any record codes can have errors or A and B side usually don't match. The Stamper codes, the GRAMOPHLTD or BUCKINGHAM codes are the ones that change most. Philips pressings add extra numbers after the matrix, lines of 1111 or similar, anyone dare to explain that? Pye add a 1 in the deadwax & likely other companies did too. Many didn't bother, eg Orlake pressings. It would be interesting to know how many copies the Stampers made before being replaced, there are only a certain amount of the first print Decca B, or EMI G or JR that were made. Usually these were Demo copies made before the issues.
Some big selling records may have different ending lacquer codes ie 1C or 3C
on a Rolling Stones 45, it's all terribly exciting, eh? You all think 1C is the first naturally. But think how many were pressed in the first 2 months of sales on many different pressing machines at the pressing plants at the same time. It's all nonsense trying to make you pay more for nothing. Find a Beatles 1963 hit on the 1st label design as will be carefully pointed out elsewhere. Then find the same song as the 1976 reissue and you'll often see the basic metalwork is identical!
BUT NO BUYER CARES about "earliest matrix" & then the amateur quotes "1C" numbers at you. NO BUYER CARES about Tax Codes stamped on centres.
But read on & understand why they exist and can be useful solely for research into finding what came first in LABEL & CENTRE styles, as our London pages show...
The variations in label that you CAN SEE without an eyeglass are those that do matter & not just on Beatles 45s. Having a likely million-selling Beatles 45 with 'GOD' codes is a funny one, and we got a Tenner for it just to test the market! The 'GOD' code means it's the 160th pressing if you consider the 'G' to be the first. It's really daft though, do you really want to buy the 159 pressings made before it? No, see it's too far into it.
Proof of Record Companies pressing Records just as they came
not the EXACT PRECISE ART some foolishly believe all this Stamper Code mess is. BEATLES Parlophone R5389 We Can Work It Out/Day Tripper. Big hit, 2 classic songs as AA side. Now SEVERAL TIMES, meaning it's pretty COMMON, we've had the MULE of label styles. Huge £££ Rarity??? NO!!! ''WE'' with PARL CO label edge wording & ''DAY'' with GRAM CO label edge wording. It may exist the other way too, though we've not kept track, only the basic Mule idea. All these stating exact dates that things changed ARE EXTREMELY WRONG!!! You see all the Beatles 45 Company sleeve BS saying that exactly that sleeve came with that 45. WRONG!!!! The type may have been the typical type of sleeve at the time, but as we've found untouched unplayed Mint 45s, this is often proved wrong. You can find late 1950s sleeves on 1965 records. WHY??? Simply as these things were made & they weren't going to just throw them away as an old design. They might have found an old cache forgotten about & used them as why not? Elvis 1st HMV 78 comes with the Blue Label, but a Ronnie Hilton hit with a later number still has the old dark red label. Does this mean Elvis should exist with the Red Label? NO!!! It meant the records that were expected to sell got the newer design & the ones expected to sell less got the old paper stock used up. There is a quote from the early 60s we read stating exactly this fact.
KT MT OT etc EMI TAX CODES
exist on records as paper stamps going back to the early 78s, embossed into the centres of EMI product & Decca used them amid the matrix lettering. An Elvis 1963 press of a 1959 EP has a confusing line of letters... BG H MT KT over 4 lines. "BG" is the BUCKINGHAM code, H is a letter often used by Decca, maybe for "Home" as "HL" on London means "Home London". MT and KT were the Tax Codes used at the time. One Ebay page tells you the age of these Tax Codes, all very interesting perhaps, but you can imagine it's full of errors in use & weren't updated on the day. You can find this info on an ebay HERE but to us it is of no importance though you'll find people trying to make out it is important. No-one is buying tjhough... As dealers we see people only care about CLEAR LABEL VARIATIONS & do not avoid buying or especially choose to buy the minor variants. We list some to see what the market thinks, such as typeface big or small, or solid or pronged centres. The sales on these show only high grade clean label 45s are the ones more popular regardless of variant.
One arrogant but ill-informed ebayer
who appears to get a huge premium for ordinary records and even 3rd pressings as he so strongly declares them to be 1st pressings quotes more incorrect facts by the score. His latest one is to state all EMI group demos can only have a "G" GRAMPHONLTD code. Now we've known for decades that "JR" can be on a demo as the 1986 Vintage 1950s picture book guide confirms & we've seen countless times since. Also you can find the odd demo with an "R" and certain records like Darrell Banks which actually had 3 Stateside demos (ignoring the London one), red-White 1966, Green 1968 & Green 1970 & these later demos will naturally have later codes. Clearly the person has no idea repeatedly, putting First Press on Jeff Beck 'Hi Ho Silver Lining' without the "Bolero" credit & 1966 style narrow print. So they pay £39 for a record worth £8-10 anywhere else. Good luck trying to sell them on!
An amount of amateur sellers are now quoting matrix numbers on any record, hoping there are sad buyers out there who want these. It's a bit like the early 80s with Record collector, go find some early copies & silly sellers used to quote the matrix number not the catalog number! Rare First Pressing with 1C, 1N, 1F, 1N, 1IDIOT... who cares. The first pressing of a hit sold the most copies so is the most common!
The LP Market is drowning in this Sea of BS Matrix Number "Importance"
The sickening case that an ultra common massive selling mass market boring LP like Pink Floyd "The Wall" can sell for £150 because of the BS matrix number coding! One 2009 sale for £70 lists the variations that this LP has, the 2/2/1/2 one is the lowest number & one sold in Apr 2013 for £155, so where are the 1/1/1/1 ones? Lowest number does not mean first: eg 1962 Island WI-002 was the first release, WI-001 was issued later. But the problem here is gullible buyers then only want the lowest one. Unaware how huge this LP was, it actually only charted to No 3 & stayed in the chart for 57 weeks total, but be aware the 1979 first sales burst will have had many thousands of copies. No 3 but behind Abba & Rod Stewart Greatest Hits which were mass market huge sellers. The biggest City Shops would need hundreds of copies & EMI will have made many tens of thousands before the release date especially as the "Brick" single was selling hugely & charting the week before. Further PF history will reveal how hyped it was. So there will have been several variants of these BS codes with the exact same mix & exact same everything, but a different number. Some are trying to say the "early one was the better master". Bullshit. We hear PF's DSOTM has the light blue triangle on early copies that jumped, the black one done to denote the better copies, but that's not our own proven fact. To add to the BS pot we know Sam Cooke "You Send Me" London 45 has 1C, 2C & 3C & each is a slightly different sound balance noticeable if all are compared together. What a discovery! No-one cares is the truth. Buyers paying £150 for that Wall are banging their head upside one when they try to sell it & get laughed at. Only auctions bring foolish prices.
HIT RECORDS WITH 1C 1N etc are NOT RARE FIRST PRESSINGS!
Hit records sold IN THOUSANDS to even a MILLION copies in their first few weeks of sale! How can they be anything other than the most COMMON version of the product unless something OBVIOUS shows them apart? Only obvious changes like Gold print, Tri Centres or even Beatles EMI Upper-Lower case Parlophone edge wording & Sold In UK legends are OBVIOUS differences. Irrelevant stamper codes are NOT IMPORTANT is the message we are saying over again.
"...Surely a Stones hit with 4C or even a newly-seen 5C are so much rarer and worth so much more..."
All this BS hype must actually put buyers off.
Confused by a huge amount of unnecessary information making what used to be pretty straightforward into a minefield of pointless facts. The Coin market slumped badly for decades after too many variations spoiled things, those not buying records for the music may well cause that market to die off too, not that music buyers and variety buyers are the same thankfully. We saw one tiresome BS artist absolutely wetting themself with excitement saying their 1C Beatles was one of the first 300 pressed! Total rubbish of course, you can only count "age" by the GRAMOPHLTD and BUCKINGHAM codes & 2000-3000 of each will exist, based on what 1964 Beatles million sellers have as codes. The 1976 press of said 45 still had 1C, a million sales later! Does anyone really care about these codes in the real world?? NO.
STAMPER CODES CAN TELL THE FIRST PRESSING? There are 2 important first issues, one better known than the other. The first is The Beatles "All You Need Is Love" without the TV reference. We've had a few copies and it is RARE in terms of Beatles, but remember this was a massive hit spending 3 weeks at Number One where it may have sold a million copies in the year after being released, it's not rare as the with-TV version, though high grade copies are as such a great 45 was played a lot. Early No TV copies usually had a push out centre & were the more 1966 type thicker vinyl, but as you can see elsewhere online, there are plenty of solid centre ones too. Our opinion on being asked about these is the push out ones were the earliest and as they printed so many labels with the "error" & it'd be expensive to bin them, they just used them up later to shops of less discerning customers. Is it even an error? In those days film & show tunes got a credit, but a TV related release was a new thing, maybe they only thought to add the TV bit slightly later on?
JIMI HENDRIX Hey Joe EARLY UK ISSUES
The next one is one we've been buying for a while now & buyers are finally realising the item is important: Jimi Hendrix "Hey Joe"/"Stone Free" on Polydor. There are several pressings of this: two have "No Experience" on the credit, then there is the JHE one with a push out centre & then a solid centre one. The interesting "No Experience" one has been rubbished by a total BS dealer mentioned elsewhere. But we know a lot more than you, sonny: Dark Red with black Polydor was a short-lived design used for only a very short time. They started randomly in Oct 1966 & by Dec 1966 it was all over & the JH one on Polydor 56139 appears to be the 2nd last number to have dark red, unless others appear, 56140 WW Harris is on Dark Red. You can see elsewhere online a handwritten date promo has the dark red label & we've seen one similar too. In Dec 1966 Polydor couldn't have expected many sales & they'd been issuing good but unselling 45s for years with no chart success. The more orange-red label with white Polydor echoed the JH credit, but most copies you see have the full JHE credit as he wanted to be billed as. In our Experience (pun intended) the JHE is a common record if not in NM or better. The orangey-red JH no Exp credit one is about 10 times rarer based on later finds by early 2015. The Red-black JH one is again about 50 times rarer than the orangey JH one, a very hard one to find.
The JH no Exp on Dark Red is a very rare item therefore. We're not going to guess all Dark Red were sent out as Promos & the DJ etc added the date on or something as some are with unmarked labels. We see the Dark Red one as being very rare & for an artist like JH the price of £45-50 for an EX orangey-red JH no Exp is right, though to price the Dark Red will happen when we get another copy! In terms of JH collectables, it should be priced like the 'Purple Haze' 1 sided Promo. Another point is these earliest copies are hard to find in nice grade usually as they were the ones that established the record by DJs & promoters. We've been watching the stamper codes, in the rare chance it actually matters: one we have has *P* 56139 A//1 1 2 showing that more of the JH on orangey-red were made beyond the initial press, but considering it was a big hit, our current estimation (based on items seen, not 100% fact) is less than 1% are red-black JH, a genuine rarity, perhaps 10% or more are orangey-red JH as we keep seeing more now it's getting better known & the rest are JHE credits. Having bought another now to find it with *P* 56139 A//1 1 3 proves that it wasn't altered to JHE as quick as you'd think, this copy is also a thinner pressing than some. But we've been watching for this now for a good time & the lighter red JH credit have been & gone, we haven't seen ANY of the rare Dark Red & black Polydor word ones since getting our copy. The word is finally out & the prices will rise. To the selfish anon person who copied all of this section to 45CAT like it's free info to steal, note OUR COPYRIGHT, your ignorant disrespect of our copyright got these pages DELETED for a while...
HERE IS A PRIME EXAMPLE OF IDIOTS GUESSING & MAKING A FUSS ABOUT MISINFORMATION
Nina Simone,' I Put a Spell On You' Philips 1415..."VERY RARE 1ST AND EARLIEST POSSIBLE PRESSING ON SIDE 2//1 AND //1 MATRICES WITH '1 1 7' / '1 1 1' STAMPERS ON SIDE1/SIDE2. MADE BY POLYGRAM FROM THE 1ST CUT MASTERS, 1ST MOTHERS, 1ST POSITIVES ON BOTH SIDES. SIDE 1 USES ONLY THE 7TH STAMPER AND SIDE 2 USES THE 1ST SO EARLIEST POSSIBLE PRESSING ON THIS SIDE AND A VERY EARLY PRESS ON SIDE 1"
Now the truth. Philips used an extra 1 or further number after their 1F//1. This line is neatly typed, then the 114, 117 or 118 etc is stamped in as needed. Big selling records can have a number line longer than 3 digits. Guess what, only a single with NOTHING after the 420 is the extreme first pressing & anything after you can work out it's a "later" one. Even by this idiot's own stupid idea, the 7 gives it away. Looking at a few Philips pressings, this number increments fast & a non selling duff 1972 record can have got to "113". Having to admit knowing this pointless junk sadly is needed to debunk these stupid sellers. How they haven't realised NO-ONE IS INTERESTED by the low/no sales shows what you are dealing with here. Oh yeah, and Polygram didn't exist as a name for the Philips group until 1972.
Another for a cheapo 70s Motown... 1ST PRESS. A-1/B-1 MATRICES WITH EMI '1' 'A' / '1' 'R' EARLY STAMPERS. MADE FROM THE 1ST CUT MASTER DISCS AND 1ST MOTHERS ON BOTH SIDES. SIDE1 AND 2 USE ONLY THE 3RD AND 2ND STAMPERS CONSECUTIVELY. NICE EARLY AND THEREFORE HIGH QUALITY PRESSING and another on a 70s London..."EARLIEST POSSIBLE PRESSING ON SIDE 1. ALMOST THE EARLIEST ON SIDE 2. -1C/-1C MATRICES AND '1' 'B' / '1' 'U' STAMPERS, LEFT AND RIGHT ON THE RUNOUTS OF SIDE1 / SIDE 2
MADE BY DECCA, FROM THE 1ST CUT MASTER DISCS AND 1ST MOTHERS ON BOTH SIDES. SIDE 1 USES THE 1ST STAMPER DISC AND SIDE 2 USES THE 2ND"
The tedious & inaccurate line about HIGH QUALITY PRESSING for a supposed early press is DANGEROUS BS TO BE QUOTING!!! The quality of a pressing will be known to deteriorate after xxxx amount of copies so after decades, they'd know when the stampers were used up & replace them before the tolerance levels were exceeded.
All this STAMPER CODE crap cannot disguise some records, going back to the early 50s are still POORLY MADE regardless of codes stamped with a poor vinyl flow which exhibits as a streaky silvery-in-the-light patterning on the groove wall nearest the label, but not the outer edge groove wall! There, bet you never knew that! BUT this isn't usually a problem as the STYLUS rides the groove lower down than the top that is suffering the poor vinyl flow, read stylus-groove info sites for more. Records with a minor amount of this fault are perfectly good & play perfectly still, though some that are too bad will have been rejected by the disc factory checkers & never sold as they are faulty. In USA where vinyl quality is much lower, you often find bumps & lumps in the vinyl that affect the sound & even with 50s & 60s UK vinyl you can very occasionally find flaws. The worst UK vinyl is the RCA pressings from about 1977-81 as lots of flaws as stated elsewhere. The Polygram pressings could have awful streaks by the label from poor vinyl flow.
And there's more. One fool actually WEIGHS records to say an LP is 140g or 150g and even a 45 is 46g!! They goes on about Sleeves too, & the 60s record in a 70s sleeve tells much of their expertise. For all his pointless BS, he's on 4.7 stars for description. QED. This is the sort of CRAP that is sadly growing like a virus on ebay. Are buyers in the slightest bit interested? NO.
Amateur ebay sellers love to go on about facts they clearly know nothing about. You often see the Bluebeat Prince Buster green label 70s represses touted as 'originals' as well as 1961 round centre pressings of 1955 Slim Whitman 45s that would have been Gold Tri if 1st press.
No, the earliest pressings didn't hit the shops first!
An LP collector told us this little gem of a story & it makes sense so we'll share it with embellishments. The first records off the pressing machinery were packed into the 25 count boxes (or similar). Where did they go then? Onto a shelf or a floor of a warehouse and further boxes were added on top or in front. The pressing company would make a certain amount to get early sales and a fast chart placing in knowledge of the market for a record. A pop record that was expected to sell fairly rapidly would need say 25,000 copies minimum and the record company would press this amount to begin with. Lesser or specialist titles may only have 500 copies pressed & only more pressed if a demand from the shops showed more would sell. Known big sellers such as the fast-selling Beatles 45s in 1963-64 meant 250,000+ copies could be pressed before release. This was to be sure major shops had ample copies on the release dates. In the pre-internet days adverts in trade magazines (NME, Disc, Record Mirror & fanzines) would make buyers aware of upcoming releases, a bit like Amazon does now with DVDs etc to get pre-orders. As sales happened or didn't the companies would know whether to press more copies or not. There's the thing: a big pile of boxes of records on pallets takes up a lot of room, the earliest pressed ones would natually be the underneath ones so those very first copies with 'G', 'JR' or 'B' codes would not have gone out first. The first copies to sell of The Beatles "Please Please Me" LP would likely have been the black & yellow ones, the "oddball" black & gold ones by their rarity would possibly only have gone to shops a week or longer after release. The major sales would be in the first few weeks unless it was a sleeper or a record that grew to appeal to the full range of buyers. Common first pressing therefore is more deserved of a Beatles hit 45, though finding them in NM or better isn't easy, even NM the labels may show more spindle trails than a usual NM simply as played more often in the time a record got played most.
It's not that important at all unless it reveals a label variation to be consistently earlier, as on our GOLD LONDONS page. Stick to the LABEL TYPES if you must go deep into the Beatles collecting. Having 25 copies of 'She Loves You' with different code combinations won't impress anyone.
Please don't ask us for matrix stamper mother code info on an item, as we won't reply for reasons stated above
End of. We don't want to encourage this crap to become the norm, imagine having to squint at each 45 & type the stamper info... Sadly tedious books fit for bonfires are being written about really pointless variants on major artists & some LP labels & one we helped the guy a bit a few years ago about Contracts foolishly littered the rest of his tome with enough errors to sink it! If these minutae interest you, much about the Beatles & now even Elvis UK pressings have been done by some. Whether what they say is correct or of any value is for you to decide. We wrote several pages on this site about London stuff just to research the 50s scene.
This is not stamp collecting, though it appears to be heading that way. Sell the records and let the Buyers do as they wish with them! It used to be about buying music to play and enjoy having the article that was bought at the time. Many buyers today only care for the artifact in 'brand new' grade (despite 30-60 years of age affecting it) & never believe the 'unplayed' hype, a needle trail gives it away as played, so Mint = top grade used is our way of looking at it, even though unplayed may be true too.
AS WE SAY, STAMPER CODES ARE MEANINGLESS VARIATION & MONEY MAKING SCHEMES BY AMATEURS BUT IT'S PROVEN IN THE 45s MARKET TO BE OF NO INTEREST TO ANYONE UNLESS THE TRACK IS DIFFERENT. NOBODY CARES AS IS PROVED BY THE LACK OF ANYONE PAYING HIGHER PRICES ON EBAY. WHAT MATTERS IS BEST GRADE VINYL & LABEL AS THERE ARE NO COLLECTORS WANTING 100 COPIES OF THE SAME RECORD THAT IS ONLY DIFFERENT BY MEANS OF MAGNIFYING GLASS. IN COINS THERE ARE COLLECTORS WHO PAY HUGE PREMIUMS FOR VARIETIES, BUT IN RECORDS, THERE IS NOT. NOTE THE "FIRST ONES INTO SHOPS" WERE'NT THE ONES FIRST PRESSED. IT IS UNIMPORTANT. OF COURSE THERE WILL BE THE FOOLISH ONES WHO CHOOSE TO CRITICISE DESPITE OUR HEADER TO THIS PAGE, SO FOR THOSE WHO WONDER WHO DOES CARE, AS THIS ONE DECIDED TO TELL US, WE'LL PUBLISH YOU FOR BEING RUDE & MISSING THE POINT. WE DON'T LIST STAMPER CODES AS NO-ONE HAS EVER ASKED IN THE INTERNET YEARS, YES NO-ONE & WE FIND IT ALL VERY TEDIOUS. RECORD BUYERS SADLY HAVE PROVED THEMSELVES TROLLS FAR TOO OFTEN, SO HERE'S TO YOU PAUL BAKER... YOUR OPINION TO US IS AMUSING & ILL THOUGHT OUT TO ACTUALLY PUT IT IN WRITING. IT STAYS.
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yourname: Paul Baker
question: your speil about stamper codes and only Beatles fans want them, and all the reasons that you say are a load of shit, makes your entire web site look stupid.If you do not understand the collecting side of vinyl records, and have such a narrow view of this, then you have absolutely no respect for your customers... your opinion and your poorly researched facts have made it impossible for me to deal with an ignorant person that you seem to be.Think again fool.... every record pressed will have slight variances, but getting as close to the original master is the aim.... if you do not understand how record collecting works, and how some collectors are motivated by getting the earliest possible pressings, then you are more ignorant than the people you insult throughout your entire speil... you are only interested in your opinion... which makes you a very poor dealer..