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A request — vinyl record identification tutorial (Records 101)


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So, what do all those letters and numbers mean? Another newbie and I thought it might be helpful if some of you experts would by gracious enough to pass on some of your knowledge in this area. On the label and in the dead wax there are codes. (For example, I’ve noticed many of my LZ records have “SD” followed by numbers in the upper half of the label, ST-A- followed by numbers beneath the track listings.) Anyone willing to give us a brief lesson on what these mean and more importantly what we should look for as vinyl collectors? Much thanks!

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These links are helpful but don't really answer the question. The numbers and letters on the label will refer to the catalog number (in this pic you can see it's 124). The small numbers  (45-ATE-111) offer more detail - I figure the '45' is obvious. Who knows what 'ATE' means, but the 111 is specific to this side. The other side has 45-ATE-110. Usually you can assume 110 refers to the A-side and 111 to the B but that's not always the case. 

 

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In this pic, you can see the catalog # is SS2 201, and the tiny number on the bottom starts with ST and ends in PR. I assume ST stands for Stereo. The PR tells you the specific pressing plant (Presswell) 

that manufactured the record. Some companies don't specify that on the label but do in the run-out etching in the vinyl between the playing surface and the label itself, usually with little symbols. The CRC on the left side refers to Columbia Record Club, which is a mail-order only club here in the USA.

 

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This looks like a great place to start. Thanks all. A quick follow up, if you don’t mind. I see notations like these often: A/1, B/3, etc. Can anyone shed any light on what these designate? Thanks again! 

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On 1/13/2021 at 5:55 AM, scdfndr said:

So, what do all those letters and numbers mean? Another newbie and I thought it might be helpful if some of you experts would by gracious enough to pass on some of your knowledge in this area. On the label and in the dead wax there are codes. (For example, I’ve noticed many of my LZ records have “SD” followed by numbers in the upper half of the label, ST-A- followed by numbers beneath the track listings.) Anyone willing to give us a brief lesson on what these mean and more importantly what we should look for as vinyl collectors? Much thanks!

 

On 1/14/2021 at 4:33 PM, Annamilia said:

The other newbie would be me - hope someone will share their expert knowledge with us! 

Try this article on for size.

https://magazine.vinylmeplease.com/magazine/guide-deciphering-dead-wax/

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Whoah great idea and tyvm!
I'll be hooverin this thread and those awesome links to scrutinise my 3 x over vinyl collection and stairway 45 single.
Personally I love the sound of the .flac files, because you can tweak em with multiband & parametric eq's on an azzkicking, (custom) pc
and sound system. ($7k rig, $3k a pop speakers x 2 -> in my time of buying lol).
Until then I'll be listening to my original vinyl mudslide bootleg, which I'll be .flac-ing when my business allows me the time to do so.
CheerZ!

 

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Okay, lets put some of this knowledge to use. (Translation: someone tell me what I can’t figure out on my own.) I just picked up a used VG+ copy of LZI. On the label: SD 8216. Deadwax, there’s a bunch of stuff. ST-A-681461 on side A and same but ending in 2 on side B. Also in deadwax: A, AT, W, LWP, RP, RG. These last two appear only on side A.

Who wants to play?

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ST-A-681461-PR

ST = stereo
A = Atlantic Records label
68 = last two digits of the year Atlantic first received source (tape) and started working on mastering
1461 = tape master number (for side one in this example)
PR = Presswell pressing plant

A = Atlantic

AT = Mastered by/for Atlantic

W =  Audiodisc lacquer brand

LWP = LongWear Plating

RP = probably the Laquer-Cutting Engineer's initials

RG = Rob Grenell, Mastering Engineer for Atlantic in the late 60s

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2 hours ago, SteveAJones said:

 

ST-A-681461-PR

ST = stereo
A = Atlantic Records label
68 = last two digits of the year Atlantic first received source (tape) and started working on mastering
1461 = tape master number (for side one in this example)
PR = Presswell pressing plant

A = Atlantic

AT = Mastered by/for Atlantic

W =  Audiodisc lacquer brand

LWP = LongWear Plating

RP = probably the Laquer-Cutting Engineer's initials

RG = Rob Grenell, Mastering Engineer for Atlantic in the late 60s

Now THAT is what I’m talking about! Ding ding ding! We have a winner!

Seriously, thank you. This is EXACTLY what I’m looking for. 

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12 hours ago, SteveAJones said:

 

ST-A-681461-PR

ST = stereo
A = Atlantic Records label
68 = last two digits of the year Atlantic first received source (tape) and started working on mastering
1461 = tape master number (for side one in this example)
PR = Presswell pressing plant

A = Atlantic

AT = Mastered by/for Atlantic

W =  Audiodisc lacquer brand

LWP = LongWear Plating

RP = probably the Laquer-Cutting Engineer's initials

RG = Rob Grenell, Mastering Engineer for Atlantic in the late 60s

Does this information allow me to determine whether this record was from the original or a subsequent pressing? Thanks 

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