The "1st Pressing" LP Hysteria- Is the terminology wrong?
I sell LP’s on Ebay and I find myself having to correct potential buyers all the time because I believe that other sellers are using "1st Pressing" and "Original Release" or "ED1" interchangeably and just confusing a lot of buyers.
I use "First Pressing" to define those records that are pressed with the first set of stampers for a particular label release. In other words, later (than the original) label release can have first stamper codes but not be an original first pressing. An "ED 1" or "First Release" can have first stamper codes or later stamper codes.
There is also a mistaken belief that "First Pressings" sound better than later pressings, but that is another rabbit hole. The biggest problem with that belief (condition aside) is that there is no way to know whether the record was pressed early, when the stampers were fresh or much later when the stampers were at the end of their useful life. This is why I put importance on true "Promo Copies" because it is usually true that these promo records were pressed while the stampers were still fresh.
Just curious: Is it for lack of generally agreed-on terminology or is it the subjectivity of grading tubes based upon "the sonics"....or both. In my career as an innovation consultant, I would often have to start a "culture change" project by getting everyone to understand and agree to a common lexicon. The difference there was we had a group with a body of knowledge to lean on. Is it a lack of a respected body of standards for these areas? Thanks.
IMHO, it is the subjectivity, as well as ignorance and, sometimes, an intentional desire for some to be misleading. Just as in LP grading and provenance. Vacuum tube terms have been in use for a century, so that probably is not the issue.
IMHO, it is the subjectivity, as well as ignorance and, sometimes, an intentional desire for some to be misleading.
I agree with this statement regarding tube grading. But there are many more variables than record grading. Matrix numbers or artwork can be used to ID a record. Tubes have factory codes indicating date, batch, country. But NOS tubes also can be rebranded either by a parent company, or deceitfully by an unscrupulous distributor. Usually there are the factory codes to prove the provenance of the tube, but if the codes are missing it takes an expert dealer to identify the tube by examining the internal structure. Tubes are different than records in that they can be measured by test equipment. But like a record, there’s no sure way to know if the tube is new as in never used, or nearly new. These tubes may have test results that are in range of a new tube even though it was used and put up for sale as new.
Terms like NIB...New in Box, generally indicates this is a tube that has never been used and is in its original box (even if it’s from the 1940s or 50s). NOS...New Old Stock is a term which should mean that the tube is new and never been used. But these are the tubes that test well and may or may not be brand new stock.
A trusted dealer is the only way to buy vintage tubes or vinyl.
@voiceofvinyl, I get what you're saying. The way records are pressed, then marketed is similar to minted coins. Collectors want a 1st release, but there's no way to know how many thousands were pressed with the same die before this particular coin.
I remember reading an article on Led Zep 2 where it pointed out that classical recordings were pressed first in the am when the vinyl vat had a purer mix then rnr recordings that were done in the afternoon. Led Zep 2 changed that,it was the first recording punched out that day. A Ludwig Led Zep 2 is the benchmark for that recording before they dumbed down the original master tape.